XBOX360 Red Circle of Death Fix
July 31, 2008 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to buy an xbox360 and some guy is selling a red circle of death xbox for 50bucks. It seems that everyone and their mother has some different kind of fix for this, I kinda doubt whether most of the posted advice actually works. If you have actually done this repair yourself or have witnessed it done first hand could you please give me some advice on this. The guy who owns the console now said he gets the three red lights (minus upper right light) and he fixed it himself but it broke again after a month, he didn't specify how he fixed it. I guess he broke the warranty seal or whatever, I wasn't planning on sending it back to Microsoft anyway.
posted by BrnP84 to Technology (10 answers total)
Best answer: I haven't done any 360 repairs myself, but I know more than a few people who sent in their faulty console for warranty replacement, then received another broken one. So, based on that, and on your observation that (to paraphrase) the publicized remedies are varied and inconsistent, I'm going to speculate that 360 repair is far from easy or foolproof.

On the other hand, hey, fifty bucks.
posted by box at 5:54 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: As long as you know you're going into this buying it for parts only, go ahead.

But I wouldn't do it expecting to get a working XBox out of it. It's been "fixed" once. And that didn't take. Which means that whatever was originally wrong with it is, at best, still wrong it it. At worst the "fix" caused more damage.

There is more than one thing that can cause RRoD. And all of them are bad, systemic failures. Without knowing which specific problem(s) are causing the RRoD you don't know which folk remedies to apply, so no one can advise you accurately on "oh yeah, rubber spacers under the mobo totally fixed it" or whatever. Clearly at least one folk remedy (whatever the seller did) doesn't work well. I would take that as an important indicator.
posted by Ookseer at 5:59 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: Avoid. Even if you manage to get it working again, it's guaranteed to fail again right before the big boss battle at the end of whatever game you spend the prior month playing.
posted by mkultra at 6:07 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: I have personally seen the towel trick work, but I don't know how long it lasted, and it's sure to break again in the future. Probably a bad idea.
posted by 0xFCAF at 6:15 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: Yeah, I wouldn't do this. Save your pennies and buy a new one.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:16 PM on July 31, 2008

Response by poster: This is kinda what I was thinking, doing some quick google searches I found like 5 different solutions to the same problem, didn't make too much sense. I was just hoping someone had some type of miracle cure but it's looking like a bad buy.
posted by BrnP84 at 6:28 PM on July 31, 2008

Response by poster: The guy just told me he sold em anyway, he had two of them so that right there made the deal seem shady.
posted by BrnP84 at 6:31 PM on July 31, 2008

RROD Xboxes in warranty are worth far more than $50.

RROD boxes that can be fixed by numerous sources in cities are worth more than $50. (average repair price is about $60 I believe, and you can get a months warranty...)

I would have said walk away, but it walked away from you. Probably a good thing.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:50 PM on July 31, 2008

I repaired my 360 with the X-Clamp Fix, and it has worked perfectly ever since (maybe 6-8 months ago), even with marathon sessions of GTA4. Basically, as I understand it, the RROD is usually caused by bad solder joints on the GPU. The X-Clamp fix puts more pressure on the heatsinks, pushing the chip down hard enough that all the pins once again make contact. I also did a final step of removing the cooling fan and placing it on top of just the CPU so the GPU was uncooled except for the heat sink, then ran it for about 10 minutes like that, which supposedly gets the chip hot enough to reflow the solder (which is also the reason the "towel trick" sometimes works).

The X-Clamp fix works, it worked for me and it has worked for many people. It's not bogus. However, it requires completely disassembling your 360, and the use of a large, quality hand drill or preferably a drill press. It's by no means easy to do, but it works.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:26 AM on August 1, 2008

Oh, and once you're in there, there are a couple tricks you can do to prevent it from happening again. I installed a little cardboard shim on the fan shroud that splits the airflow evenly between the CPU and GPU, which improves cooling. However, you should never buy any of the external clamp-on coolers - they actually make things worse, and have been known to melt the power supply plug or even catch on fire.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:36 AM on August 1, 2008

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