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Suspected Gpu Overheating


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#1 WoodZ

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:52 PM

Ok, so my 360 was running ok, as it has done for the past year and a bit. I turn it on today and it runs for about 3 hours, then the graphics goes all blocky and everything freezes. So I reboot it. It runs for 2 mins and it does the same thing again. Now if I leave the 360 for 10 mins, it will boot but after a few mins the gfx go blocky and it freezes again. Sometimes the 3 red lights appear. sad.gif ...but again, if I leave it for approx 10 mins I can get it to boot again for about 2 minutes.

So I whipped the case off and booted it up. Again it ran for a few minutes then gfx go blocky and it freezes. I touched the heatsink on the CPU and it was failry cold. I touched the the heatsink on the GPU and it was HOT!!!

Does that sound like a definite GPU issue?

I proceeded to remove the GPU heatsink. There was no foil on it (as has been reported in other posts), so all apparently normal on that front. However (and this may be a red herring), I noticed that some of the grey silcon paste has started to drip towards the CPU heatsink. I stand my 360 on its side most of the time, so when the 360 is in that orientation it would mean that the paste has dripped in a downward direction.

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Has anyone come across anything like this before?

If I pop to the local store and buy some good quality heatsink paste, is that likely to cure my 360's crashing issue?




Also, this may be completely unrelated, but I've also noticed something crusty and white on the bottom of the motherboard. No funny comments!!! It only appears on the bottom of the board. I thought it might just be dust, but it is quite hard to scratch off. So, I thought maybe it is dust combined with condensation, but all other dust in the 360 (and there hasn't been much) tends to brush off fairly easily. Also, it appears in patterns, but the patterns don't match the shape of the metal it sits next (I.E. the metal of the case when it is all fitted together). Also, I am certain that nothing has been spilt into the 360. I've had it since new.

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As you can see in this next image, some of the copper on the board has started to corode:

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Is this normal? Has anyone come across this before? Is it likely to be related to the fact that my 360 is now unstable???

Any thoughts or suggestions on anything above will be much appreciated!

#2 GSX

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:18 AM

As far as thermal compound goes, less is more.

Those stains would worry me. Also the corrosion on the copper dosen't look healthy. Reminds me of an exploded battery... Only thing I can think of, is way too much humidity(or somebody really did spill something in there).

Edited by GSX, 21 February 2007 - 12:18 AM.


#3 WoodZ

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:46 AM

I'm sure nothing has been spilt. For a start it's not in a position where something could be spilt in it.

Actually, I've just noticed I have the same damage as detailed in this post.

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I suspect I have just done that by removing the X-clamp (after it started freezing), but I suppose it could potentially be due to overheating? As you can see in my case the capacitor is still there, but it is slightly dis-lodged. Is that likely to cause freezes, as it is right under the GPU? I have no way of knowing if it was like that before I started having the issues, or whether I have just done it?!? sad.gif

Thing is, it is so small (about 1mm long an 0.5mm wide) I don't think I could ever solder it back. :-(

I'm still keen to know what may be causing the freezes and whether or not it is likely I have done the capacitor damage myself by removing the X-clamp.

#4 WoodZ

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:00 PM

Ok, so I cleaned the GPU and heatink and applied some Antec Formula 5 Silver thermal compound. Then I soldered the capacitor back on... switched the 360 on and... nothing! Well, it booted for about a minute then it crashed and now I just get 3 red lights (error code 0022). Thing was it wasn't even overheating this time. It crashed before the GPU (or CPU) was even warm! So looks like my 360 is terminally ill! :-(

#5 rrg

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:28 PM

I assume you have the box sitting horizontal.
That white crust looks like dried up hard water deposits. What is the humidity in the room?

1.) Do you have a humidifier running in the same room?
2.) Is it near a bath room, steam condensation?
3.) Do you live near the ocean?
4.) Is the box in a humid basement?

The pooling areas of white crust can be from some low spots on the mobo.
Also remember water will condensate on the cool areas not the hot.
The green is copper patina and only comes from water touching the copper for long periods of time.
If you look in your basement at the copper pipes you will see the same color.




Edited by rrg, 26 February 2007 - 07:31 PM.


#6 WoodZ

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 07:35 PM

QUOTE(rrg @ Feb 26 2007, 06:35 PM) View Post

I assume you have the box sitting horizontal.
That white crust looks like dried up hard water deposits. What is the humidity in the room?

1.) Do you have a humidifier running in the same room?
2.) Is it near a bath room, steam condensation?
3.) Do you live near the ocean?
4.) Is the box in a humid basement?

The pooling areas of white crust can be from some low spots on the mobo.
Also remember water will condensate on the cool areas not the hot.
The green is copper patina and only comes from water touching the copper for long periods of time.
If you look in your basement at the copper pipes you will see the same color.


No, the box is vertical.

Answer 1 - 4 is no.

#7 RDC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 09:00 PM

The "white crust" is from where the board was cleaned (ironically) of flux residue and such, but then not cleaned again enough to remove the cleaner, if that makes any sense. wink.gif

The 360 would still run fine missing one or more of those little caps under there and knocking one off seems to be fairly common with removing the X-craps, but it's still a good idea to have it repaired or replaced.

The 0022 Error you're getting now is most likely due to one or more of the solder joints on the GPU/CPU finally comming the rest of the way off. That was also the cause of the freezing and blocky graphics, but taking it apart and putting it back together sometimes just adds more stress to the problem and finishes it off.

You may get it to run again by trying the Towel Trick or Heat Gun the thing, but neither will be a permanent solution to the problem.

#8 WoodZ

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 09:45 PM

QUOTE(RDC @ Feb 26 2007, 08:07 PM) View Post

The 0022 Error you're getting now is most likely due to one or more of the solder joints on the GPU/CPU finally comming the rest of the way off. That was also the cause of the freezing and blocky graphics, but taking it apart and putting it back together sometimes just adds more stress to the problem and finishes it off.


Thanks RDC. That's useful. I don't suppose, by some slim chance, you have a rough idea where the solder joint(s) are likely to be? I understand it may not be the case, but if I had a vague idea of where to look for a potential problem, I wouldn't mind doing a bit more looking. I'm willing to try anything before opting to buy a new 360!

#9 RDC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:17 PM

The ones on or around the corners of the GPU/CPU seem to be the main culprits, but they are BGA joints, not easy at all to resolder. The fact they're lead free solder makes them even crappier to mess with and may not even be "reflowable" due to them breaking down too much, but one can try. If the pad or trace has com up with the joint you're looking at pretty much a write off, and you need a microscope to see the actual damage, it's nothing you can just look at and see without an aid of that type.

#10 WoodZ

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 10:27 PM

QUOTE(RDC @ Feb 26 2007, 09:24 PM) View Post

The ones on or around the corners of the GPU/CPU seem to be the main culprits, but they are BGA joints, not easy at all to resolder. The fact they're lead free solder makes them even crappier to mess with and may not even be "reflowable" due to them breaking down too much, but one can try. If the pad or trace has com up with the joint you're looking at pretty much a write off, and you need a microscope to see the actual damage, it's nothing you can just look at and see without an aid of that type.


Do you mean on the GPU itself, or just next to it? Also, do you mean on the top of the board (as in the side the heatsinks go) or the bottom?

Sorry about all the questions. I really appreciate your help.

Edited by WoodZ, 26 February 2007 - 10:28 PM.


#11 Tortuga2112

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 11:08 PM

QUOTE(WoodZ @ Feb 26 2007, 10:34 PM) View Post

Do you mean on the GPU itself, or just next to it? Also, do you mean on the top of the board (as in the side the heatsinks go) or the bottom?

Sorry about all the questions. I really appreciate your help.


see this diagram , CPU diagram
right where it says cpu legs, that's where the solder balls are.

this is where the problem is believed to be. for some its the CPU and some the GPU.

#12 RDC

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 11:24 PM

You can't really see the solder joints, only the outside row or two at most. All of the GPU/CPU connections are under the chips themselves, between the chip and the motherboard. Rows and rows of tiny solder balls (BGA = Ball Grid Array) that are attached to the chips, then the chip is placed on the board and ran thru an oven to solder it to all of the pads that are on the motherboard.

#13 Tortuga2112

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 11:28 PM

just check out the GPU re-balling thread and you'll see some better pics. you can also watch a video of
a brazilian guy actually doing it .




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