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Repairing an xbox360

 
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Repairing an xbox360 Reply with quote

Hello, i have said before i may be putting a computer into a xbox360 case, but before i try that i think i will be repairing it first,
I already have a replacement, but there's no harm in having two.. this one i am going to repair, has overheating issues (the typical "red ring of death" - 3 lights)
just to clarify, it is a newer model, 2 years old now, was made after Microsoft solved the problem with hardware failure in xbox360's,
(which was that first models used a too small heatsink for graphics and sub standard surface mount solder that could come apart)
this model has the larger heatsink and all the surface mount components are all Ok.

i will be repairing the xbox to see if i can make it function again, i will update this thread with the project status / images

the problem - the xbox doesn't get any hotter than it used to from new, from booting, the fans will whirr louder till at max speed and then it will fail,
so far i have concluded that it may be that either:
1- that the thermal diode in the graphics chip has stopped working correctly (as it is due to graphics apparently overheating when it is not too hot)
2- that the heatsink grease/compound has dried up and has stopped transferring heat well

I will see if de-dusting and re applying god quality thermal compound will work, if not there's always a sledgehammer Very Happy

update will follow soon..


p.s, Happy new year!
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

repairing the xbox360, (sorry if this is a bit too image heavy)
took a while to find one vital cable amongst the junk in the boxes, so i can repair the xbox, unfortunately this cable had become damaged, so that was the first repair job,
I took off the broken parts of the cable and soldered in new cable, job done. (electrical tape used also)
now, the parts:
the motherboard, heatsinks and front panel.


the CPU / GPU needed cleaning up along with the heatsinks, as the old thermal paste had partly dried up.
GPU

CPU


the xbox is 3.2ghz triple core CPU with 512mb gddr3 ram for both graphics and system use.
the heatsinks attach simply, using clip on heatsink clamps from behind.
high grade thermal paste was used on the CPU / GPU, then heatsinks attached, thermal pads placed onto RAM chips (to allow extra cooling of ram to metal case)

then the motherboard is put into its main housing, and screwed in, and fans clipped into place.
oddly it is attached by the reverse of the heatsinks being attached to the meal case part, probably to keep them secure and to transfer some heat to the extra metal, the motherboard would be more secure once the extra screws are used which would also hold the DVD drive in place.

the DVD drive, fan duct and front panel are attached and screwed in next,



the front panel LED's are basic surface mount dual colour LED's (green and red), so they can be replaced with any colour you may want.

and lastly, the last inner case part was put on, the plastic case for the xbox is not needed for it to function, it just looks pretty, only difference is, is that the eject button is in a odd place.

now for testing, and the results of repair,
before, it would overheat within 5 minutes after booting, my guess was, is that the thermal diode is broken, as the fans don't spin fast at all, unlike how it should do when hot.
now the test, I ran a few games on it, and it seamed to function well for 20 minutes until it failed again, though it is lasting longer, but it aslo means the thermal diode is broken, the heatsinks were about 30 C, hardily enough to overheat.

removing the top of the case and adding more fans, keeping it even colder than before, after 2 hours of running with a LOT of air cooling in effect, the heatsinks were barely above room temperature at 25 C, and the xbox fans had finally started working faster ( and louder)

so now, with a load of non-standard extra cooling, it lasts over 2 hours without fail, and any "red ring of death" is just a supposed overheat, (2 lights) rather than hardware failure which it had before ( 3 lights).
overall, a partial success.
though I didn't really need to do this, I have another working xbox360 anyway
the close up pictures were took with the normal camera I use, just using a loupe magnifier in front of the lens.
if anyone needs any more info feel free to ask.
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Alan
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Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Posts: 1399
Location: Winnipeg, MB

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those closeup board pics look great! Are you going to try to replace the thermal sensor? Or if you can figure how is is just wire it so that it thinks the system is very cold and wire the fan so that it is always on.
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can get better close ups with my new camera now (better than these with the older camera), allways interesting with micro-circuity

and the hard part is going to find the thermal diode or sensor,
and either bridging it, or leaving it open depending on type.
also which sensor it is.. there's a few in the xbox360 i would think
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote




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Alan
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Joined: 29 Jan 2006
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Location: Winnipeg, MB

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if the temp sensor could be on the die of the chip?
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it could be surface mounted next to chip, under the chip, or on the reverse side,
or possibly it may be a thermal sensor etched into the silicon wafers of the cpu / gpu, broken from constant wear
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bumblebeepee
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Joined: 29 Sep 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

after a little looking on the interwebs, it turns out that most of the thermal sensors are etched in the gpu / cpu / ram and chip-sets. so no real means of replacing them easily,
i lest the xbox to overheat again so i could look up the error codes it says
0013 error (the xbox will flash the error code when you tell it to. (E07 error)
error codes on xboxdiy
the 0013 or E07 error is apparently the RAM overheating,
so ill have a go at fixing that now..
at least one of the problems was solved from the beginning from the first hardware failure.
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