Post subject: If your attempting a 360 repair...READ THIS!
Posted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:15 am
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 3:11 am Posts: 728 Location: Diggi Down Under
The problem of people attempting to repair xbox 360 consoles using outdated/dangerous methods seems to pop up every now and again.
Please note the following methods of repairing the xbox 360 console are outdated and/or harmful to the console: <>Towel trick <>penny trick <>overheating the console (last step of x-clamp fix) <>hair dryer reflow (why was this ever considered a 'fix')
These fix's/tricks are far from permanent, most dont last more than a week.
Here is some reference material for the outdated/harmful fix's listed above:
I was seeing a lot of posts that made it sound like the Hybrid fix was not working for everyone, but then you read the posts and the people admit to intentionally overheating their xbox over and over trying to reflow the solder. Please stop doing this.
We do not recommend you do the "baking" trick at all really as it causes more damage than good. For one thing, each time u heat it up like that, more and more oxidation occurs and builds up on the connections, degrading their quality more and more with each subsequent overheat until the unit no longer boots at all.
Also from past experiences, we have seen in units that were intentionally overheated, some transistors/resistors or other component malfunctions from the high heat, resulting in the unit forever running much hotter than normal.....as much as 5-7C difference in operating temps.
Yet another bad thing with overheating is that it is never a permanent fix and does NOT reflow the solder like so many online claim. For lead-free solder to liquify, it must reach at least 217 degrees Celsius. When overheating, you will be lucky to get it much over 100C.
Now another thing is that every CPU and GPU have a max operating temperature that they must not exceed while being powered. For most current processors the limit is usually somewhere between 75 and 100 degrees Celsius until critical damage starts to occur. Now when the unit is off, this is another story and it is perfectly fine for it to reach over 200 in order to be reflowed properly.
Yet one more reason to not overheat your console is that the DVD drive sits right on top of the gpu heatsink, and the heat radiation that builds up in the drive can no way be good for the laser, or the drive's pcb board.
If you have an Xbox that you've overheated over and over and now it wont work, try these ideas....
1. if your board looks warped at all or you live in a place with high humidity you might want to try this little trick to get rid of any built-up moisture and help level the board.....
preheat your oven to 70-80 degrees Celsius. Cover the plastic parts with foil and place the mother board by itself (with dvd cords taken out) on the oven rack so as it is not resting on the ram chips for any other component under the board. Easiest is to just use some more foil to raise it a bit off the oven rack. Let it sit in there for close to an hour or so and then turn off the oven and let it cool completely before removing. Many times this will help undue any previous flexing and help the hybrid fix work better. If this doesn't do the trick, then you need to take everything back apart, and do a complete reflow, using some flux to get rid of all the built-up oxidation.
2. Get some good lead-free liquid based flux (check the other posts) use a needle nose dropper to inject the flux under all chips that are to be reflowed. Let the flux dry for a bit and then proceed to follow one of the proper reflow tutorials. Easiest method is to follow Wilhelm's heatgun tutorial.... http://xbox-experts.com/e/tutorial.php?n=heatgunisol
4. After reflowing, you can remove the flux residue using a product like "flux-off". Wait for the board to cool completely before removing the flux, but also do it within a couple hours, before the residue solidifies and hardens. The flux used should be pretty mild, halide-free and non-corrosive, so removing the residue is optional, but optimal.
Why the towel trick (and hairdryer reflow) are not suitable:
As most of you know the melting point of solder is quite high (about 200ºc, which is ~390ºf), im not 100% sure on the temps but it is about right. A hairdryer gets to about 50ºc (~125ºf), now if you do the math you will notice there is no way in hell a hairdryer can liquify solder. If your going to say
but i used a hairdryer on my xbox and it worked. so your wrong!
The very best a hairdryer can do is heat the motherboard up to the 50ºc or so, which is just enough to help flatten it out; therefore creating a temporary connection between the two half's of the broken solder joint. The very same can be said for the 'towel trick'. The basics of the towel trick are as follows: wrap the console (plugged in) in several clean towels or thick rags, then power the console for 30min-1hour. after which the 2 red quarters would show indicating an overheating console. you then leave it to cool for another hour and after that time, when you power it on again it will show green/its working. If you are going to say
but the xbox operates at about 40-50ºc, so it gets hotter than a hairdryer. so therefore this method must be good!
True, the xbox 360 does operate at around 45ºc (~110ºf) BUT the console has a 'kill switch' so to speak. when it reaches a temperature of about 90ºc (~195ºf) it automatically shuts itself off. Once again, solder liquifies at about twice that temperature. The best this method can do it help to flatten the motherboard, creating a temporary connection between the broken joint. Also note that the solder Microsoft uses is un-leaded, which liquifies at a temperature 5-10º higher than leaded solder.
Finally, you may now be asking "how do i fix an xbox 360 properly then Mr. smart guy?" Here are some things you need to know if your going to attempt a fix:
1. The x-clamp fix is still a good method! You need to however, remove the step of overheating completely. (once you have replaced the x-clamps with the bolts and washers, test it out. it might work. if not, take it apart again and use a HEATGUN to reflow it, heatguns can get to temps of up to 700ºc, which is more than enough to liquify solder.
2. If you do not want to replace the x-clamps (if you want to put them back on after you fix) this is also fine, give the console a reflow with either a heatgun or professional equipment (you can send it to a specialist in your area if you dont want to buy a heatgun)
3. If you do not want to buy a heatgun/pay for a professional to fix it there is one last option. It is NOT guaranteed that your console will be fixed though. This method is called an 'oven reflow'.
And finally here is a list of tutorials for the above "approved" fixes:
Post subject: Re: If your attempting a 360 repair...READ THIS!
Posted: Tue May 03, 2011 10:32 am
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 2:16 am Posts: 7
I did the oven trick on my ps3 and it worked. Since I was short on supplies (and a bit sceptical on the effect) i only wrapped up the caps with tin foil and made sure it was level by building 4 little support columns. one of the most important part is I read about was not to take it out of the oven for at least 30 minutes after it was baked, this would cause the solder to run under your chips and most likely mess everything up. It is however note worthy that my ps3 runs extremely hot(first time my power supply failed after 10 hours of operation,whether this is caused by the re flow I don't know.) and I find it only safe to use in front of my AC unit at 17 C.
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