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You will need an x clamp kit to fix it. If you had taken all of the thermal paste off the cpu and gpu and tried to run it, you might have caused permanent damage that can not be fixed. You can try again. One of the reasons you get the ring of death is the solder joints under the cpu and gpu come apart from heat. The heat will melt the solder and the board will flex away from the chips.
Thanks for your question. To fix the 3 red lights what you will need to do is stop the heat getting to the GPU and the CPU and to do this you can use a good Xbox 360 Repair guide or of course you can send it in to microsoft.
2 red lights denotes a heating issue. The CPU or GPU could be getting too hot. Another issue could be that the heat sinks are not making good enough contact with the CPU/GPU. Since you said you put washers onto the xbox, try tightening the screws a half turn each, and see if that solves it. If it doesn't, you may need to reapply the thermal paste and try again.
Red Ring of Death: Red Flashing XBOX 360 Lights Explained
Common Xbox 360 Red Ring Errors
The XBOX has a reported 54.2% failure rate which makes the XBOX 360 gaming consoles' worst "lemon" to date. If you find yourself with the red flashing lights error,
follow this guide to try and pinpoint the problem with your XBOX 360.
1 Red Ring = Serious Hardware Failure I f your XBOX 360 has a 1 red flashing light error, you're more than likely in big trouble. The 1 flashing red ring of light can be due to GPU or CPU failure, RAM overheating, a DVD drive error, or some serious problem with your Xbox 360's internal components. The most common 1 flashing red ring lights error is the E74 error. The E74 error is no easy fix for the Xbox 360 and usually has to be repaired by the manufacturer [though some have managed to repair it with the heat gun trick - but be careful]
2 Red Rings = Overheating Mostly all red flashing lights on the Xbox 360 rings are due to overheating in some way or other, but the 2 red rings singles out overheating as the main issue. When doing the X-Clamp fix the 2 red rings are required to fix the Xbox 360 by overheating the CPU. If you get this Xbox 360 error without doing the X-Clamp fix, you probably just need to let your Xbox 360 cool down for a few hours. Make sure that all vents aren't blocked off and that your Xbox fans are working properly in order to repair this problem.
3 Red Rings = Basic Hardware Failure The most common error on the Xbox 360 is the 3 red rings - also known as the Red Rings of Death (RRoD). This flashing lights problem is the main cause of Xbox 360's 54.2% failure rate. The 3 red flashing lights can be due to lots of different errors but is mainly due to the X-Clamps in your Xbox 360 and overheating. Fortunately, lots of people were able to fix this issue using the X-Clamp and heat gun fix. Follow this list of error codes to find out the real issue with the 3 red rings because there are quite a few of them.
If you get Red Ring of Death you need to first check how may red rings are you getting and do you see any error message on screen with red ring or the console does not start at all
When there is a general
hardware failure. While this can be caused by any part(or lack thereof)
on the 360, the general cause is from excessive heat, which stresses the
solder joints on the CPU and GPU
What Do The Red Light Errors Mean?
1 light means you have had general hardware failure. If you to send
it in to get it repaired, without a warranty would cost. Not to
mention it can take up to a month for you to get your system back.
2 lights mean your console is over heating---TURN IT OFF NOW TO AVOID SERIOUSLY DAMAGING YOUR SYSTEM!
3 lights also mean general hardware failure.
4 lights simply mean there is a problem with the AV cable. Check the connection and replace if necessary.
basically when you get a RRoD you can try cleaning the connection point of your AV cable but if it does not work please send it to MS Support for repairs, i had 3 Red light problem and with error message E74 i send it Microsoft Support as my console was under warranty