Hacked Gadgets Forum

May 11, 2008

Xbox360 Rings of Death FIX – Overheat Solder Reflow

at 5:44 am. Filed under Complex Hacks, Game Hacks

iHacked has a video that shows the method to repair your XBox 360 by allowing the GPU solder joints to reflow. You may have seen the towel method that looks simple but has questionable results.

"Generally, the 3rrod error is caused by a solder problem, where points on the GPU/CPU have worked loose – or a temperature problem causing the same result. Following this guide, you should be able to fix these joints, quickly and easily! We have used this process to repair over 10 Xbox360s successfully."







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71 Responses to “Xbox360 Rings of Death FIX – Overheat Solder Reflow”

  1. leebee Says:

    hahaha is she fixing that on a carpet, correct me if im wrong but can u not get a static charge from carpet

  2. Electronics Man Says:

    Yes you can get a static charge from walking across the carpet and sometimes it can blow out memory chips and processors etc rare but can happen.

  3. Electronics Man Says:

    How i fixed my xbox to prevent the ring of death. I took it appart found a fan already on the board and i tied into to that fan and soldered added a fan to it and fastened it to the processor heat sink so it cools it and wont overheat the solder joints and or processor. Worked great never had a problem with it since had it for over 3 to 4 years.

  4. Electronics Man Says:

    Again i seem to think it was the type solder microsoft used while solderin the processor to the board had lead in it and eventually became brital and the joints didnt hold up to heat so it is microsofts problem to fix them all no one should accept responsibility for fixing there defect anyways microsoft should have to cover all repairs regardless.!!!!!

  5. SuperSparky Says:

    Actually, it was that Microsoft switched to a lead-free solder that caused the problem. The new lead-free solder required a higher melting temperature, which it barely received. In other words, it was enough to “sort-of” melt it, but not reliably allow it to flow properly once in contact with the cooler PC board (which slightly lowered its temperature causing it to cool too quickly before flowing properly and making a good mechanical and electrical connection).

    Had the solder been the standard Nickel/Lead combo (tried and true for decades), this would never had been a problem. However, due to environmental whining, it was changed to an alternate solder at the last minute.

    By the way, lead doesn’t get hard and brittle. It’s positives is that it is soft and has a low melting temperature. Perfect for soldering. It’s weakness is that it’s not very strong by itself, and required nickel to add to the solder’s strength, which only slightly raised the melting temperature. Nickel covered the mechanical needs and lead covered the electrical needs.

    There’s a good chance that the reliable electronic components you have around are soldered with nickel/lead solder. The ones that fail early or act funny are probably soldered with some sort of alternate or silver solder. (look up “solder wiskers” on Google for an interesting read).

  6. m1k3 Says:

    She’s hot… not smart rofl

  7. John Says:

    well, i just got done with the procedure with success- though not exactly as expected (never got the q1/q3 overheat lights). i removed the heat sinks, cleaned them and the chips to a mirror shine, used arctic silver and the recommended hardware. snug tightened the screws and reassembled for first power on. still had the q1/q3/q4 rrod and continued to after two more boots with the same result. maybe i didn’t leave the screws loose enough? before taking it all apart i unplugged the fan assembly and booted- viola! green lights on two boot cycles! i reattached the fan plug, tightened the screws (cross pattern of course) and reassembled. powered it on to my tv and played need for speed for an hour. right now, its a success.

    btw i bought the above mentioned system on ebay for $20 with the rrod on purpose. i found it quite dirty- dusty heat sinks and fans, dusty air inlets. cleaned it out with soapy water, alcohol and q-tips. apart from the marred tab holes in the back, i gots me a great working system for $40 (20 for the unit, 10 in h/w from lowes and 10 for the paste from ‘the’ shack)

  8. Ebayfreak Says:

    Your pretty!

  9. chuck Says:

    this is all wrong, i purchased an xbox from ebay where someone applied the exact technique to repair that system and within 10 minutes of turning it on it shut down from red ring failure, there is a better way that has better results on llama, although i’m considering trying no x clamp mod and reflowing the board because i really couldn’t imagine seeing a bunch of microsoft engineers sitting on carpet, tearing apart an xbox just to add washers and compound and saying ok all in a good days work. personally i’m shocked there hasn’t been a petition against microsoft from xbox 360 owners demanding some sort of recall, car companies who sell a 30,000 dollar car send you a recall letter if even your cigarette lighter is faulty so why can’t microsoft

  10. Joe Says:

    Worked like a charm for me, my g/f gets a free Xbox!
    Repaired one she was given!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Charles Says:

    Just wanted you to know that this is the best fix video that I have seen. Works great!

  12. doug Says:

    I don’t care what the rest of you mooks say, she’s hot and this is the best fix on the WEB. My xbox is humming along nicely,
    Thanks a million P!nk Thr3@t!!!!!!!!!

  13. WTF Says:

    She is far from hot and youre abunch of kids sitting in your rooms acting like you are electronics experts. FAIL

  14. Electronics Person Says:

    First of I am a Electronics person it is what I do for a living.First off it is Microsofts Fault. Simple plain fact is they designed the Xbox360 arcade poorly. The cooling is very poor. Result #1 Overheating. All there is to the first Gen Xbox is 2 basic fans that sit inches away from the aluminum heat sinks. Very poor cooling Design has nice wind tunnel like them dell machines but the plain and simple fact it dosnt keep it as cool as it should be and when its not as cool as it should be it melts the thermal paste inbetween the processor and the heat sink. When the thermal paste wears out it looses cooling as well. The thermal paste is responsible for transfering the heat from the processor chip to the heat sink block. When these fail and it over heats it results in the melting of thermal paste. Result 1, And if it heats up long enough probably result in blowing the processor chip or melting the solder connections.from overheating and the Xclamp. Thanks thats the facts plain and simple. Ive been working with computers since I was 5 years old thanks. I also studied electronics in school. I think that Microsoft was rushing to get there product out to compete with PS 3. Well lets see what the next new Xbox360 errors will be this time. Looks like they have added cooling. Also Everyone In my family that has had a Xbox has had them Go up on them in a matter over a year to three years. This is all microsoft will cover is three years. Just think if it was designed properly there would not* correction be an overheating issue and the machine would last a life time.
    Wow Liquid Cooling Wouldnt that be an exciting new feature for a standard game machine of todays age. With a mini Air conditioner closed system that was small enough to put in there new system they just came out with.

    Leave a Reply

  15. pacotin Says:

    yes this just might work in some cases BUT NOT ALL….
    a proper reflow works just fine

  16. mic Says:

    wonder if anyone has tried heating the heat sink up after it has been screwed tight on to motherboard with a paint stripper gun as a last resort might be worth a try to heat up solder on other side of chip. wonder what the design max temp for these chips are.

  17. john Says:

    3 years and 10 repair attempts later, i’ve had about a 50% success rate. e74=dvd drive connectors might not be secure enough. other problems encountered though- many dvd drives seem to have a mechanical problem opening, requiring a bit of a slap to get them to open. also heard gears grinding in one. my 1st xbox never rrod’d, but it does suffer from an overheat failsafe now. this seems weird- i cleaned off the heatsinks and replaced the arctic silver (without doing a ‘reflow’) and the problem persisted… oh well, gave me an excuse to just go out and get a new 360 slim. btw, the paint stripper gun idea? seems desperate, pretty sure that would make a dead system deadder

  18. bob Says:

    Ok. First off.. she is using a flat head screw driver on the back of the motherboard when tightening the screws.. There needs to be notes that if the screwdriver slips, you can easily sever on of the micro circuits, I’ve done this on 2 xboxes already.. More people need to mention this.

  19. scott Says:

    I’m confused.. It looks like all she did was take it apart and put it back together with new thermal paste and different nuts and bolts. Am I missing something? Where’s the step that turns the 3 red rings into two red rings?

  20. GroundHawk Says:

    well it’s very simple. The loose flexing of the 4 point harness or the tight rigidity of 4 screws. Instead of a reflow of the board, they exert pressure to reconnect the processor pins to the board. most HP machines have the same issue, when the laptop or desktop cpu gets too hot, it desolders itself, be a surface mounted chip or the socket via thermal transfer. considering they go far above 180F. but this is not permanent. It is recommended that anyone who tries this approach a professional service and have the board reflowed. its only $50, and then use the screws to guarantee that if it ever gets too hot again that it wont come out of place.

  21. How to Reflow a Macbook Pro GPU - Hacked Gadgets – DIY Tech Blog Says:

    […] that wasn’t working. The system would boot but the display output was dead. Similar to the  Xbox 360 BGA  problems there are some Macbook Pro computers that have experienced BGA solder issues. The big issue here is […]

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