MadHatter's Guide to repairing Xbox 360 Overheating Faults.

MadHatterMadHatter Semo-Regulars
edited October 2011 in Tech & Games
Tools/Parts List:

Variable Heat Gun ( about $70 from any decent hardware shop )
8X 5MM Wide X 10mm Long Bolts Zinc ( Go Cheapness! )
16X 5MM metal washers
Thermal Paste
Pair of Latex Gloves
Alcohol Wipes, 10 or so
Philips Head Screwdriver ( Size 4 )
Small Flathead Screwdriver ( Size 2 is best )
Precision Flathead Screwdriver ( for dis-assembly, I can't remember which size off the top of my head, I'll edit this later when I'm at work )
Small Shifter
Masking Tape
A packet of Blu-Tac ( Optional )

You'll need about an hour of time for this repair.

This tutorial can be applied to a PS3 Original with the YLOD fault as well, just ditch the washers and bolts.

I'll not be covering how to disassemble an Xbox 360 in this Tut, I'll write one up with pics at a later date ( when I'm not feeling slack/hungover as all fuck. )

SO! Disassemble your Xbox down to the motherboard. Not sure of how to do that? Check out some YouTube vids, work near your comp so you can reference the video if need be.

Turning your motherboard over, and using the small flathead screwdriver, pop off the X-Clamps holding the heatsinks on, maneuvering one leg off at a time. Take it really slow here, not worth it to rush, slip, and scratch up your motherboard.

Once the X-Clamps have been removed, put your gloves on, grab some alco wipes, an clean off all the old thermal paste. It's usually set like fuckin ROCK, so lay a alco-wipe on it, let it soak for a minute, and use a flathead on the alco-wipe to scrape it off. The paste on the CPU and GPU should be easier to clean off.

Once that is done, using the shifter, unscrew the bolts on the heatsinks and discard. Place the heatsinks aside for now.

At this point those who want to can cover all the capacitors around the CPU/GPU in Blu-Tac, to protect them from heat, but if you don't want to it isn't a biggie, just be careful during the re-flow process.

Start you heatgun up, at full fan, and 50 degrees C. A lot of Tuts' will tell you to heat the entire board, but this is pretty pointless as the area around the CPU/GPU will heat up as you go anyway. Move the heat gun over the CPU/GPU, swapping between the two every 15 seconds or so. MAKE SURE YOU ARE CONSTANTLY MOVING THE HEAT GUN OVER WHICHEVER CHIP YOU ARE HEATING UP. After 60 seconds or so, increase the heat to 100 Degrees C. Repeat until you are at 300 Degrees C, and heat the CPU/GPU up for about 90 seconds. Reverse the process once done, cooling the board down. Do NOT rush this bit, or the solder holding the CPU/GPU in place will crack from cooling too slowly, and you would have wasted your time.

Leave to cool for 20 minutes, do not touch the board while it is cooling, or allow it to be moved.

Once cooled, flip over so that the chips are facing down. Working on either the CPU or GPU side one at a time place 4 washers over the bolt-holes, and then thread through 4 bolts. Secure with masking tape, it's difficult to do the next few steps without having done so.

Flip the board over, and thread 4 more washers over the screws.

Place Thermal paste on whichever chip you're working on, and spread it around evenly.

Turning the board on it's side, hold the heatsink up to the bolts, and begin screwing them in. Once one bolt is threaded, work on another, tightening them like the bolts on a car tyre that's just been changed. Make sure all bolts are tightened.

Repeat for the other chip.

Re-assemble your console, and give it a test. Don't stress if it doesn't work immediately, wait a day or two and test it again. This repair will work for about 90% of all consoles with overheating faults.

Edit: I realize this information may not be new, but it's a compilation of the best techniques I've seen/read, and what I've found to work best.


  • edited October 2011
    Some pictures would make guide even better, but it was some good information anyway. It's very similar to fixing the YLOD on the PS3, actually. I think it's advised to heat up the entire board so that the heat is evenly distributed throughout the whole thing, minimizing the risk of breaking shit. I'm not an electrician though, so I honestly have no idea why it's advised. Maybe Daktologist can help us on that one :D
  • MadHatterMadHatter Semo-Regulars
    edited October 2011
    I'll post some pics, possibly a video tomorrow. Yeah, I'm unsure about the " heating the whole board thing ", I've noticed without heating it all it seems to work a bit better, plus I'm paranoid about cooking caps. I'm open to ideas and suggestions though.
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