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New Problem, Artifacts On Boot


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#1 Difio

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:58 PM

Well, I'm here again with another problem. I've a 1.4 Xbox TSOP'd with the last ind bios flashed on. Since I had two xboxes broken and good skill in soldering, i decided to try to make the RAM upgrade to 128MB. So I took the dead motherboard (another 1.4) and with the solder wick I desoldered the RAM chip. I've also cleaned them.
Then, i took the working motherboard and i started to solder the RAM chips in one of the free "socket" on the motherboard. Unfortunately, cause my distraction, during this process I've broken one pin of the chip. So i resigned to forgot the memory update and, taken again the solder wick, i desoldered the few pins that i've soldered before.
All of this went ok, so I put the motherboard back in the case, connected al the cables and turn on the console. No problem, indeed.

But, after i think 1-2 minutes, maybe more, some intermittent artifacts appeared on the screen and they made the xbox frozen.
So i rebooted it and the artifacts comes up during the flubber. I rebooted again and the xbox froze with intermittent artifacts directly on the "ind bios loading" screen.

For some period the xbox had the FRAO, but as soon as i checked with the multimeter the fifth LPC point voltage (that initially was 0.2, and then it came back to normal to 3.2v) the xbox again show artifact on the ind bios loading screen and froze.

What could be happened? Could be one of the original RAM chip broken? maybe the one under the socket where i tried to solder the chip. There is a way to understand if one or more ram chips are fried? (even if i don't understand how it could be possible)

I've checked for broken trace, shorts etc. around the place were i tried to solder the chip, but nothing.

Edited by Difio, 17 October 2011 - 11:00 PM.


#2 Difio

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 12:26 AM

EDIT: after many attemps, trying to reboot every time it frezze, the xbox started and load xbmc correctly.

Sometimes, however, the xbox still freeze...i think that it is something releated to the heat...if the xbox has not reached some temp, for a strange reason don't start or freeze on boot. Now i try to leave the xbox off for a while, than i'll try to turn on when it's cold. In this way, i hope, i'll understand if the problem is related to the heat. Someone has any idea? Maybe some dry solder on a ram chips? or maybe on the GPU? (i hope it isn't, because in this case fix it is impossibile without the appropriate rework station).

#3 shambles1980

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 01:18 AM

maybe you moved Gpu heatsink and now it needs new thermal paste?? (if your lucky)




#4 Difio

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 03:23 PM

I seriously don't know, i tried to remove the GPU heatsink but it seems glued on the chip...and i fear to force it because i could brake definitely the supposed drying solder it. However what you said could be a reason, because i remember that when i tried to solder che ram chip, i used to take the motherboard from the heatsink...in this case, i thought, i wouldn't touched any motherboard component that could be fried from any electrostatic discharge (this happened with a previous xbox).

However after some test the xbox now seems ok. At the beginning started whitout no problem and then, after less than a minute, gave me the same issue, so artifact on boot screen or during the flubber.

So, following the theory of drying solder, i started to make little pressure above MCPX, Focus chip, GPU heatsink and ram module...after that the xbox runned without no problem, i tested it for an hour more or less, leaving in idle, playing music, load some application etc. No problem, all was ok...so probably my pressure have restored (maybe only temporally?) the dying solder that cause the problem...or better i hope that this is the problem that generate all of this.

However, what i would know is how this bad solder has created...especially if it is under the GPU, that i never touched...

Do you think that would be better to reflow the solder of the focus and ram chip? (i don't have the proper tools to make this on the GPU and MPCX)

However as soon as the xbox gets cold, i'll try again to see...

#5 shambles1980

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 05:57 PM

you must leave the xbox on so it gets hot. when it has been on and is now hot you can then take off GPU heatsing "twist and pull be gentle"

if it was one of the ram chips i think you would get error lights "red orange" and no boot.

you have seen how hard the heat sink is on the gpu. I have seen many xboxes broken because the heat sink was pushed hard and broke solder on the gpu..
thats why it is importaint to make the xbox hot before you take off the heat sink.

I cannot tell you to reflow. I woudl try new thermal paste on gpu 1st..
If your lucky its just not making good contact and when you pressed it down that helped.
usualy when solder on the gpu is broken on the xbox screen is black with sound.

#6 Difio

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 09:31 PM

ok, i will try this method, thank you.

However, just to be clear, for a day the Xbox gave me the FRAO, so flashing red and orange led...and sometimes after it froze showed me the FRAO.

However, this problem happened before i tried to remove the GPU heatsink.



#7 shambles1980

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 01:54 AM

QUOTE(Difio @ Oct 18 2011, 09:31 PM) View Post

ok, i will try this method, thank you.

However, just to be clear, for a day the Xbox gave me the FRAO, so flashing red and orange led...and sometimes after it froze showed me the FRAO.

However, this problem happened before i tried to remove the GPU heatsink.



look for solder splases on the ram. or make sure that the pads for new ram do not touch with a short circuit.
i have had FRAO xboxes and stripped them down and pulled them to pieces checked traces on the LPC. made new traces for the LPC Just incase, and wasted hours on them.. then when i looked with magnifying glass a small piece of wire was shorting out the ram.

#8 Difio

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 10:59 PM

Strangely the Xbox cames up to life itself and for more than a week worked with no problems...however after a man gifted me a 1.6a xbox motherboard, I could not resist to try another time the upgrade. So i taken two samsung ram chip from the motherboard (because i've read that only the 1.0 1.1 xboxes supports all ram chip, and a 1.4 can support only ram chip from 1.2,1.3,1.4,1.5,1.6a chip) with an hot air gun at 300C. So, since i could not remember from what motherboard i had taken the chip off (before i used both 1.1 and 1.4 motherboard for the chip), i looked to the model number of the samsung chips mounted on the 1.6a and seen that they were k4d263238f-qc50...so i took the chip that i had with the same model number and started to soldered it to the motherboard. After i finished, the FRAO came out again. Checked for dry joints and continuity with multimeter...al was ok.

I do not think that the motherboard fried up because sometimes, pressing the eject button during flashing red and orange the dashboard starts and loads xbmc...the only problem is that after some seconds the video goes crazy with artifact and the console freeze. Now i will check again the solder...

Do you think that could be a good idea to reflow the chips with an hot air gun? There is the risk to blow some chips?

#9 Difio

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:52 PM

Reading the forums on the net, i found that many people advise to flash a cromwell bios to the xbox before the ram upgrade and then reflash another bios like ind bios...

I've not flashed cromwell bios but i've a tsop'd xbox with ind003 06 bios...it supports 128MB as i've read, but this could be the problem?

#10 Difio

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 06:15 PM

Ok, after i checked pin by pin with a magnifying glass and with a multimeter to check for solder splashes or weak solder, i found some of them and fixed it.

Then, when i boot up the xbox, XBMC loads fine and in the system info i could see that there are 128MB RAM installed on xbox. So apparently all was ok.

After a minute or so, however, the artifacts appear and the situation was all the same as before (and if i reboot the xbox many times, i get FRAO or black screen).

However, if i leave the xbox off for a while it starts well...but then the artifacts appears and the xbox freeze.

Do you think there are more weak solder that i've not seen? It's strange, however, because i really searched for them carefully.

I think that it's arrived the moment of reflow with an hot air gun...but i'm afraid of breaking IC or messed up some transistor/resistors/ capacitors on the boards...

Edited by Difio, 06 November 2011 - 06:18 PM.


#11 Difio

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 02:13 AM

After some days spent on finding a solution to this problem, i noticed some things:

- The xbox start normally without no problem after i leaved it off for 2-3 hours. When is booted up i can navigate trought XBMC until the artifacts start followed by freeze.

- There is no match between GPU temp and artifacts...at the beginning i thought that the things might be linked, but i found that sometimes the problem came at 35C, 38C or 43C.

- When the artifact starts to appear, we can see them only on the left side of the scrren and they appear as flickering images and object

- I changed the thermal past from gpu and cpu but nothing change

- After the xbox freeze, rebooting it many times, firstly gave me black screen and then FRAO

- Despite all of this problem, after 2-3 hours the xbox started again giving the same issue every time without difference

- I have not reflow anything for now because i'm afraid of breaking some components, so i'm searching different possible solutions

- I checked pin for many many times and found zero problem (infact i think that the module are ok)

The only thing related to the ram chip is that two of the other 64MB are taken from a motherboard (an 1.4) that is different from the other two (taken from a 1.6a motherboard)...however the model number is the same so there's no real reason for incompatibility.

I thought to a problem of GPU but if it is broken i don't realise how this things happen anytimes in the same way

Could be some capacitors? I really don't know.
Tomorrow i will try to disable the new ram chips with the option in the ind-bios config file...so after that i can see definitely if the problem is related to the ram or not.

#12 Difio

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 03:53 PM

using memcheck i've tested the RAM and all was ok...it recognise 128MB and no error is shown...at this point i don't know what could be the solution...

May be the problem is related to the cable (a component cable that i built myself)?

I will try another one and see...




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