Question about Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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I changed the x clamps with rubber washers and bolts put new thermal past and fixed the three red lights but now the center light turns green but i am not getting any signal to a monitor or tv.

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It is suggested to use nylon washers, not rubber, in combination with steel washers, as well. Try using two nylon washers on each side of the motherboard, and two steel washers on each side of the nylon washers. So that it will look like this:

Steel washer
Nylon washer
Nylon washer
Steel washer

Of course, with the screw through all of those. And if you take the heatsinks off again, you'll have to redo the paste. Did you perhaps put too much paste on? Only a rice grain size is needed on each chip.

Are you using the correct M5 washers? Did you use Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste?

Did you allow the GPU to "bake? After you do the xclamp fix, it is good to position the fans onto just the CPU and let the xbox run so that the GPU overheats, and this "reflows" the solder. Let it do this for about 20 minutes, until the GPU heatsink is extremely hot.

I would recommend doing the above because it seems like you may have fixed it from overheating to the point that it red rings, but the root problem hasn't been fixed, and allowing the GPU to bake usually solves this.

Posted on Dec 08, 2009


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Red flashing lights shown on the console when i put it on,

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Nov 28, 2010 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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Has 3 flashing red light's so put x clamp kit in it and did't work changed the DVD, AV Cable and checked the 203 W power supply. and did't fix so what do I check now? Thanks Charley

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Nov 09, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

3 red lights on xbox 360

What is the Red Ring of Death?
When Microsoft designed the Xbox 360, they attempted a innovative method of mounting the heat sinks to the motherboard. During normal operation, the temperature within the case is very hot. Which in turn causes the motherboard to flex against the x clamps. It is this flexing, which results in the soldered joints around the processors coming away from the motherboard. The fault is indicated by the now infamous 3 red lights!
Recent Xbox 360 Elite's have been upgraded with a stronger epoxy resin to glue the processors down. Whether this will work, only time will tell!
The X Clamp fix
The modification detailed in this guide, alleviates the flexing of the motherboard and maintains uniform pressure on the processors, this in turn ensures the heat sinks are far more effective in dissipating the heat build up.
Kit list
Torx Screwdrivers T8 & T10
Artic Silver Thermal Paste
Thermal Paste cleaner (nail varnish remover!)
Thin flat bladed screwdriver
8 m5 10mm bolts
8 m5 steel spring washers
24 m5 1mm width washers
Step 1 - disassemble the console
Stop and take a look at your warranty, is it still in date? If so contact Microsoft for a replacement! If not, then proceed.
Remove the front face plate by placing your thumb into the USB door, applying pressure on the side panel, you will be able to lever the cover off. Do not force it!
Once removed this will expose the Microsoft warranty sticker. Next, we need to remove the side panels.
They are kept in place by 3 lugs on each side, which can be seen by looking through the ventilation holes. Using the thin screwdriver (or wooden skewer), push the lugs through the holes, whilst gently levering the grey side panel up. Once you have released a couple the panel will lift up quite easily. You will have to remove one of the rubber feet, to access one of the lugs and the hard drive if you have one.
Once both panels have been removed, we can move onto the case itself. On the rear of the case are 6 retention slots and 4 clips on the front of the case.
Unclip the front clips using the thin screwdriver, and gently lift the front up about an inch.
Now locate the rear 6 retention slots, and again using the thin screwdriver, push gently into each slot, you should hear a click each time.
Once all 6 have been released, you will be able to lift the top halve of the case off.
Flip the console over, and you will notice 14 silver screws and 8 black screws, remove these using the Torx screwdrivers.
Once all removed, turn the console over and remove the case.
This will expose the motherboard and DVD drive. To remove the DVD drive, simply lift upwards and unclip the cables from the rear of the drive.
Now you will have access to the white plastic fan shroud, which lifts out by unclipping the retention hook at the top of the shroud. Unclip the cable to the fan.
At the front of the console, you will notice a daughter PCB, by the power button. Unclip the white power button cover and remove the 3 screws with the T8 screwdriver.
Unplug the daughter board, this will enable you to lift the motherboard out carefully.
Once you have the motherboard out, you will notice on the underside 2 x clamps.
To remove the x clamps, you will need to pry the clamps off the metal studs. Insert the thin screwdriver into each corner of the clamp, gently levering each one until they are released. If you do 2 corners at a time, it is easier. Take your time, it is essential we do not damage the motherboard.
Once the clamps are removed, flip the motherboard over and gently remove the 2 heatsinks by lifting them up. The low profile one is the GPU heatsink, the main cause of the problem!
Using the Pliers, or small spanner, remove the four bolts on the underside of each heat sink. The bolts are no longer required.
Now we need to remove all traces of the old compound from the heat sinks and processors. Start by using a plastic scraper, usually supplied with the thermal paste or an old credit card! Take extra care when cleaning the processors.
To remove the remaining compound, use the nail varnish remover or if you have it compound cleaner, only a little is required.
With the processors, we are trying to obtain a mirror finish on them!
Now apply a little dab of compound to each processor and spread with the plastic card, we want a thin film across the top of the processor, no more no less.
Now we start the process of re-fixing the heat sinks.
Place a spring washer on each bolt (m5 10mm) followed by a steel washer, insert the bolt through the underside of the motherboard and then place 2 steel washers on the bolt. It is essential we have the correct width between motherboard and heatsink.
In order for the bolts to stay in place whilst attaching the heat sink, I stand the motherboard on its side and screw the bolts in a couple of turns until they have purchased.
Once all 4 have been attached, we need to systematically tighten each bolt, so start top right, then bottom left, bottom right and top left. This ensures the heat sink is uniformily tightened and not one side at a time. Repeat on next heat sink.
We can now plug everything back in, apart from the fans.
Turn the console on, we want it to overheat in order for the changes we have made to reset. Looking at the power bottom, wait for the 3 red lights to go to 2 red lights, this could take a couple of minutes. Once we have 2 red lights, leave the console on for about 5 mins.
Now turn the console off and let it cool down for about 1 hour.
Now we come to the test, plug everything back in including the fans and turn the console on. You should now be looking at green lights.
If you have green lights, re-assemble the console.
If you have red lights, we have a couple of procedures to follow, do not worry, some consoles take a number of attempts before the fix is successful.
First, loosen the screws holding the heat sink in place and with the fan disconnected run the console with 2 red lights for another 5 minutes, then allow to cool.
Once cooled try the test again with everything plugged in. still getting red lights?
Check the thermal compound is not too thin on the processors and before tightening the screws up, run the console again for 5 minutes with 2 red lights. Tighten screws up and allow to cool. Run the test again after an hour. If you still have red lights, run the console again with the fan disconnected for a longer period of time on 2 red lights, before allowing to cool.
It is normal for the console to take about 3 attempts to get all green. If none of the attempts work, gone back to the beginning and start again. Do not give up, this fix has been 100% successful for me.
Once you have green lights and you have put everything back together, run another test to ensure you still have the green lights, remember you will not need the 8 black screws for the case.
It is advisable, to run the console on low settings for about 20 days and keep it well ventilated. Fan upgrades are available, which run more efficiently.
For more detailed instructions and video's visit:
Enjoy your Xbox!
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Sep 26, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

2 Answers

Xbox 360 doesn't turn on but rings do...

no u can fix it go to radio shack buy some thermal grease and plastic washers and small screws and open the 360 and take off the clamp and take off the heat sinks and clean off the grease with alcohol and buff the gpu and put the new past on and put the new screws on the back do not put the clamp on

Jun 22, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

Scratched Xbox 360 motherboard


Usually if a motherboard has been scored or damaged.
( tracks or resistors/capacitors dislodged et,c )
The board is in the Bin. ( scrap ) unless the damage can be repaired. The RROD Or red-ring of death. Is usually due to the x-clamps fitted to the console initially, by the manufacturer.
Replacing the x-clamps, with a kit ( bolts/washers thermal Compound ) And 4 x heatpads recommended. Can cure the RROD. And in my own experience the 1 red light And E74 error.

Bottom line, if the boards scratched. it,s in the Bin.

Mike @ Compurepair.

May 29, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

2 Answers

Console wont boot up

It's probably not dying. Just spend the time replacing the thermal paste on the heat sinks with Silver Thermal Paste from Radio Shack. Takes awhile, and you have to do it right. Don't be lazy and impatient with it while prepping the surfaces, and maybe it will all be alright. I switched out those 'X' clamps on mine with 4- 5mmX12mm machine screws, and 4 - 5mmX20mm machine screws...4 - #10 washers to even the mother board with the rest of the casing, A #10 Teflon washer on top of the motherboard(to keep it from shorting out in the future, and for heat expansion), another #10 metal washer on top of that, and then screwed them evenly into the heat sinks..Works fine now... Had to grind a few of the washers to have a flat side, and drill some 3/16 holes to make the casing holes a little bigger than factory size...but it was easy.

Jan 16, 2009 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

Two Red Lights On A Cool Xbox 360

i have the same problem. the problem is the x-clamps. the x-clamp are these stupid x shaped clamps that keep the heatsink touching the CPU and GPU, over time they weaken and the heatsinks lose there connection. 
you need to look up the x-clamp repair kit. all it does is replace the x-clamps with screws and washers (no need for drilling the holes are already there) anyway it a simple process and anybody can do it and it'll save you money, it's only about £3.
in most kits you also get thermal paste, all you do is scrap the old thermal paste off the CPU/GPU with a cotton bud or q-tip and put a little bit of the new stuff on. the kit has about a 90% success rate and fixes your problem and the red ring of death problem some people get.
look it up on you tube theres loads of instruction videos on it
also make sure you get a kit that does NOT have nylon washers because these just get squashed or melt. 
just type "x-clamp repair" into e-bay to find a kit
you can also find the screws and washers in hardware shops, but your better off getting the kit to make sure they are the right size plus you get  a sachet of thermal paste with it, othwise your would have to pay about £10 to get can of the stuff. 
i'm getting my kit in a few days
if you still have your warrenty call microsoft (number is in the instruction book) lie and tell them you got 3 red lights and they'll repair it for free, if you tell the truth they'll make you pay so it's your choice. they never check it anyway. they just replace the parts and send it back to you.
hope this helped

Nov 20, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

1 flashing red lights than 2 flashing red lights???

try the towel trick.wrap the console in 4 towels or a blanket and turn it on for 30 minutes,then let itt cool downn for about 15 really works.if this was helpful please leave a feedback rating

Nov 19, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

1 Answer

2red lights

2 lights is over heating.. when you did your x clamps, you have to make sure the sinks are sitting perfect on the gpu and cpu and use good thermal paste (i use arctic silver and fixed soo many now)
another thing is dont forget to put the air flow housing back in.. im sure you didnt but i did once and had to rip er all apart agin due to 2 red lights

Nov 02, 2008 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

10 Answers

My xbox flashed a red light, and the screen goes black

I went with the eraser fix and it worked like a charm. Can anybody explain why using erasers changes things and makes the 360 work without the 3 red lights flashing? Just Curious!

May 05, 2007 | Microsoft Xbox 360 Console

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