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Walkthrough Of My Tried And True Rrod Repair.


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#1 n3r0

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:41 AM

Alright, here is some background. I started repairing 360's about 3 years ago when my first system started freezing a little more than 4 months after me purchasing it. I had been in a nice little side business doing case mods to regular Xbox's since I joined this site, well, since the end of 2004 as my join date on here says. So I knew a little about systems but really wasn't comfortable with it yet. I ended up buying a 360 Special tool kit off eBay and testing out my skills. I got the 8 bolts and 16/16 washers and made the system work for a good 6 months. Then it started freezing and I couldn't play for more than 10 minutes without it freezing, but it never gave an error.

Flash forward... my brother started working at "Paychex," here in WNY working with some decently paid people, who also had malfunctioning Xbox's, this was in the spring/summer of 2008. I took on the task of repairing 4 of their systems. For good news, I just recently found out a year and a half later, one system broke out of all of them after all this time. Good track record.

I tore my ACL doing Freestyle Motocross recently so I was out of my job, it being under the table and what not, I would not be bringing any income in while I was out from surgery, so a month before the scheduled surgery, I bought some systems from eBay broken. Very sketchy to do, I don't recommend it. I fixed them, resold. Good. Never heard anything back. I bought, fixed, sold, etc, etc, etc, for 2 months until a BAD batch of random systems I bought from eBay took 90% of the business funds I had and the systems were unrepairable, I didn't even attempt them.

I was in a slump until I decided to spend a few extra dollars from a seller I found. I bought one, and the repair went super smooth as it was an almost brand new broken system. At this point I have tried 10's maybe even 100's of different variations of every fix and overheat known to the 360 community. Once I found these systems and started buying them from this person in bulk off of eBay, I finally found a fix that as of now, has a very low 5% re-error rate, which is simply spectacular for not actually reballing the system.

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Here is a walkthrough of what I do with a 360 needing repair.

I start off obviously with opening the system. Take off the warranty seal etc, Once I get the system open enough, I start cleaning all the dust out. I feel this is a critical overlooked part to repairing a system as the system CAN NOT cool itself being dusty with dust covering major connection points.

Completely disassemble the system and blow off EVERYTHING, wipe it down, even run the heatsinks under water and let the water evaporate while you work. Wipe down the fans completely. Everything and I mean everything should be rid of dust.

With the motherboard out of the system. Remove the Xclamps. Throw them away at this point, or my case now, add them to the giant bag of them. Remove the screws from the heatsinks. Lay the motherboard down and put about 5 drops of Goo Gone on the Stock Thermal paste of the GPU, CPU, and both heatsinks. You can let this sit for about 15 minutes to make it where you don't have to scrub anything and chance scratching anything on the processors. Come back to the mobo 15 minutes later, grab a q-tip and just rub gently on the thermal paste and it should come right off. Heatsinks too. Use a cloth, preferably an old shirt and wipe off the goo gone from everything as good as possible. Then use some rubbing alcohol to completely clean off the rest of the mess.

After this grab your bolt and washer kit, it's all you need. flip the motherboard over, insert the bolt/steel/nylon washer to eight holes, then tape them down to hold them. Flip it over, put a "piece of rice" size spot of Arctic Silver 5 on each of the processors, with half the amount on the smaller part of the GPU. Now put the other washers on the CPU, lay the heatsink on it, flip the motherboard on its side, take the pieces of tape off one by one and start screwing them down evenly. do the same now to the GPU. When all the screws are in, tighten them right to the point where it gets tight, do not tighten past that point, this is very crucial.

Now for my heatgun technique. I bought a Ryobi 4 temp heatgun from The Home Depot. 200/500/800/1100. Set your motherboard on something that doesn't matter if it gets hot. THE TIMING OF THIS IS VERY VERY VERY IMPORTANT, I have tested different timing so many times it's crazy. Get the heatgun about half an inch above the GPU heatsink, and you will be doing quick little circles inside the little square right above the GPU. Time yourself with a stopwatch of your stopwatch on your ipod or what not. Start at 200 degrees for 1 Minute, at this point turn it up to 500 degrees. Do this until the stopwatch says 3 minutes and 30 seconds [for older heatsink styles] and 4 minutes [for the newer style]. Meaning 1 minute on 200, and another 2 min/30sec - 3min on 500. This is because the melting point of the solder on the GPU is about 420-440, so you want to get above that point but not for very long.

Let the whole board cool down for about 20 minutes, do not move or even touch the motherboard during this or you could screw the whole thing up. Once it is completely cooled, flip it over and tighten the screws just a touch where they have backed out from the heating/cooling process.

You are now ready to put the system back together. I always do a 12v fan mod to keep the system cool at this point. And whatever other cooling mods you want is up to you.

This should completely fix the system, as I have fixed about 50 like this, and had about 2 or so re-error. I then do a little variation of this and adjust tightening of the screws and the system then doesn't break.

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In my opinion, this new fix kit I have seen, the one with sanding everything down, works great, I agree, but it's just not necessary if you can do the original fix correctly.

I had an idea going where I would cut out the rectangle underneath the processors to avoid the bending of the board, but as the screws were only just tight enough, and there was no pressure under them, the heating and cooling of the processors made them back out, giving an overheating error. I never perfected this, but would like to in the future with some testing.






Well friends, there is all the information I have been wanting to let you all in on for myself personally for a long time recently. Negative opinions are welcome on my methods but are not recommended as I have spent hundreds of dollars, and a closet full of broken 360's getting to the point of being certain with my repairs.

#2 nm*13

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 03:59 AM

do you heatgun with the heatsinks on?

#3 n3r0

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:22 AM

Yes, I have tried it both ways, on and off. and with the correct just enough pressure on top of the processor, I found it distributes the heat very evenly without putting too much on one part of the board, and also makes it so the processor cannot lift up at all either.

#4 Ben1223

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:00 PM

Very nice tut thank you

#5 shivadow

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 11:32 PM

I have been using this and many other methods for a long time and it is by no means a permanent solution. It is a hit-n-miss fix that works sometimes at best.

Thanks for sharing but honestly, the only way to solve it is to replace the whole console and even then it isn't guaranteed as ALL 360's are prone to RROD/3LOD. It is a design fault. The parts are tolerant but the 'big brother' isn't, this is why RROD/3LOD happens.

#6 n3r0

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 07:03 AM

QUOTE(shivadow @ May 3 2010, 06:32 PM) View Post

I have been using this and many other methods for a long time and it is by no means a permanent solution. It is a hit-n-miss fix that works sometimes at best.

Thanks for sharing but honestly, the only way to solve it is to replace the whole console and even then it isn't guaranteed as ALL 360's are prone to RROD/3LOD. It is a design fault. The parts are tolerant but the 'big brother' isn't, this is why RROD/3LOD happens.


If by replacing the whole console you mean having microsoft warranty it out... It has been studied that 45% of warrantied systems re-error. I guess if you could grab a brand new system and remove the XClamps out of the box, it could keep it safe forever, or at least a very very very long time.



#7 Martinchris23

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:46 AM

Heatgunning with the heatsinks in place (and bolted down no less) is very bad. What are you trying to accomplish? You've replaced the thermal transfer compound so conductivity is at an optimum you can expect from two metallic surfaces. You're then heating it up, meaning the only thing getting the majority of the heat is the heatsink, THEN the GPU die.

Now read the below which I took from your 'guide'.

QUOTE
This is because the melting point of the solder on the GPU is about 420-440, so you want to get above that point but not for very long.


If you're looking to get the BGA solder to 440 Deg f, what temperature do you think the die's going to reach???

Worse still, you're putting a serious amount of pressure on the GPU meaning if you ever did get the BGA anywhere near melting point, the BGA solder would just collapse and you would have wrecked the board.

I understand you have a method which works for you, which is great. However this is considered very bad advice and a recommend to anyone looking at doing this to reconsider. As already stated, it's a temporary fix so at best you could be looking at another 6 months. Worst case - you'll kill the console. Oh and with the 12v fan mod you'll be listening to an aircraft taking off the entire time.

Please don't do this - send it to someone offering a reflow service or look at other DIY methods. No offence to the OP, but don't follow this guide.

EDIT: Just read your last post again:

QUOTE
I guess if you could grab a brand new system and remove the XClamps out of the box, it could keep it safe forever, or at least a very very very long time.


What's with this advice? There is absolutely nothing wrong with the X-Clamps in the new systems. They do the job fine. Not only are you voiding the 3 year warranty but you're running the risk of causing unnecessary damage.

Edited by Martinchris23, 04 May 2010 - 08:49 AM.


#8 n3r0

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 10:09 AM

QUOTE(Martinchris23 @ May 4 2010, 03:46 AM) View Post

Heatgunning with the heatsinks in place (and bolted down no less) is very bad. What are you trying to accomplish? You've replaced the thermal transfer compound so conductivity is at an optimum you can expect from two metallic surfaces. You're then heating it up, meaning the only thing getting the majority of the heat is the heatsink, THEN the GPU die.


Heat is spread evenly above and around the heatsink main area as the whole heatsink heats up evenly in the area. The heat will flot around and under the gpu which is the point. Even heat.

QUOTE

Now read the below which I took from your 'guide'.
If you're looking to get the BGA solder to 440 Deg f, what temperature do you think the die's going to reach???

Worse still, you're putting a serious amount of pressure on the GPU meaning if you ever did get the BGA anywhere near melting point, the BGA solder would just collapse and you would have wrecked the board.


Wrong. Completely Wrong. The heatsink is held perfectly at the correct height from the washers. Thats why the bolts and washers are put in place like they are before. The only time I had this error where it collapsed is on one of my first attempts where I was testing and the nylon washers melted and flattened and smeared all the solder. When you get the whole area under the heatsink to the point where the solder can re-melt then it will reconnect the points. This temperature is now monitored by myself with an Infrared Thermometer.

QUOTE

I understand you have a method which works for you, which is great. However this is considered very bad advice and a recommend to anyone looking at doing this to reconsider. As already stated, it's a temporary fix so at best you could be looking at another 6 months. Worst case - you'll kill the console. Oh and with the 12v fan mod you'll be listening to an aircraft taking off the entire time.

Please don't do this - send it to someone offering a reflow service or look at other DIY methods. No offence to the OP, but don't follow this guide.


I have spent 100's if not 1000's on this method getting it to work correctly.

You clicked this thread to criticize.

QUOTE

EDIT: Just read your last post again:
What's with this advice? There is absolutely nothing wrong with the X-Clamps in the new systems. They do the job fine. Not only are you voiding the 3 year warranty but you're running the risk of causing unnecessary damage.


And the new systems are what ones? I have been working on early 2009 boards lately. If you are talking about late 2009 models, then after only have been out for a few months, where is your research to say they are completely fine? And if they are completely fine, why worry about your 3 year warranty IF THEY GIVE THE E74! You don't just get the 3 year warranty for any random problem. Your argument is invalid in every point you have made. You have based every statement on opinion.

I have systems dating back to a year and a half when I started using this method that are still running great.

Also, I don't understand you saying that the 12v method I use is, well, anything?... Are you saying one 12v source is more or less voltage than another 12v? That's quite the statement for the record if you ask me. That was the point I knew you were just on a criticizing rampage.

If you even see this and read it. I welcome you to respond and let me know your thoughts of this method based on fact, and not complete random opinion.

#9 xmugen360

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 07:58 AM

i really dont like ur advice i think there are some wierd parts to it...ur 100% right on about dust removal though... buuuuut i do like the effort that you put in and i appreciate you wanting to share...with that said...

what do you think of the oven fix?

is it possible for you to get any satisfied customers to post in the thread..?

you really have gotten 2009 boards with rrod? seriously?!

in your opinion do you think that your fix is better than the hybrid fix?

I am going to go on a limb here but i bet you dont have a jtag? just was curious if you did and had done this fix and what your temps are...

thousands of 360's you saw/fixed huh must be in some twilight zone 360 deathville bless ur soul...

Edited by xmugen360, 16 May 2010 - 08:01 AM.


#10 pascoe_one

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 12:19 PM

what solder are you trying to melt with a heat gun.. are you in kindergarden or something




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