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Bodge Repairs

The Towel Trick

Ive seen this on You Tube and people are advising doing this if you have the RROD and E74 error. It involves wrapping the Xbox console in a towel so it gets that hot it shuts down. Now, its does work but only temporarily. Speaking from a technicians point of view, DON’T DO IT!! Its ridiculous, running the console at temperature’s that it wouldn’t normally run at. Doing this can actually do serious permanent damage that can not be repaired. All electronic component’s have a temperature level where they fail at, no matter how big a heat sink they have.

Over Heating method

Again, I’ve seen this on You Tube and people are advising doing this when you replace the X Clamps. It involves stopping the cooling of the GPU only. You are supposed to run the console until the GPU gets stupidly hot for up to an hour. Now again, it does work but only temporarily. People say this reflow’s the solder underneath the GPU, Its quite funny that people actually think this will happen. The solder will get to 100 oC if you are really lucky, you need the temperature to be at least 3 times that for anything to actually happen. Again, speaking from a technicians point of view, DON’T DO IT!! It’s ridiculous, running the console at temperature’s that it wouldn’t normally run at, Doing this can actually do serious permanent damage that cannot be repaired. All electronic components’ have a temperature level where they fail at no matter how big a heat sink they have.

X Clamp

This is the most common DIY repair. It involves removing the X Clamps which hold the GPU and CPU heat sinks down. The X Clamps are replaced with washers and M5 Bolts/Screws. These kits are sold on eBay and claim to work and be a permanent repair, take it from me they are far from permanent. I’ve tried them and had console last a few weeks to a few hours, that’s if the kit actually works at all.

Heat gun Reflow

This involves using a heat gun/Paint stripper to heat the PCB and vital components. By doing this you actually get the solder to melt. This is not really a good technique as it will warp the motherboard and damage vital components if not done properly. It can work if done carefully but there are risks in doing this and many people don’t do it properly.

Real Repairs (BGA Rework)

Reflow

This is the best way to repair the Xbox 360 without reballing. It involves heating the motherboard and BGA chip using a hot air or IR rework station to 217oC to 225oC. This melts the original solder back to its original state eliminating cracked/fractured solder.

Reball

This is the best way to repair the Xbox 360. It involve using expensive equipment to remove the GPU (CPU if needs be). The GPU is removed from the PCB, cleaned up and new leaded solder balls added, then re-soldered back to the motherboard.

The only down side to this is the price, It is expensive to have a reball done. There are some repairers out there saying they will do a repair for £25 – £30 and the repair they do involves a reball. I would be reluctant to believe this as a genuine reball cost about £40 – £60.

Repair prices and times

Some people claim to be able to do a repair for £10. The price reflects on the quality of the repair in my opinion. It usually involves a cheap X Clamp fix and overheating.  Another one is, Repair your Xbox in 10 minutes or something similar. You can’t do a good repair in that sort of time. I spend around 1 hour just on the prep work alone. A good thing to look for is a Warranty; Make sure the repairer offers a warranty. This shows that the repairer is confident with the repair carried out.

One thing to remember about ANY repair to the Xbox 360, there is NO permanent repair, Even if it goes back to Microsoft to be repaired, it still won’t last forever.

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