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Xbox 360 Repair - I Have RROD! Why?

Aug 29, 2008
So its finally happened to you. Oh you've heard about it and cringed every time someone mentions it but now its your turn. The dreaded RROD! Don't panic, stay calm, do some deep breathing exercises, its going to be ok.

First, why did this happen? Well, as it turns out, this is not a rare occurrence and you're not alone. Not by a long shot. Some estimates are that the failure rate is between 10% and 15%. The biggest suspect as to why the failure occurs in the first place is the use of lead free solder. The theory is that the processors prevent the solder from completely heating up and flowing correctly. Supposedly this creates weak solder joints where the pins connect to the board. In conjunction with this the design of the Xbox 360 is prone to overheating because of its small size, lack of adequate ventilation and not to mention the GPU is under the DVD drive. Combine these two things together and you've got problems. The constant heating and cooling stresses the already weak solder joints which ultimately causes the "General Hardware Failure" aka the Red Ring of Death.

Now you know why but what do you do? What can you do? First you need to know if your Xbox 360 is still under warranty. Check the manufacture date on the back of the console. Be aware Microsoft knows it has a problem and has extended the warranty on Xbox 360's for three years from the date of manufacture. If your Xbox 360 is under warranty go to their official site. They have step by step instructions on what you need to do to get it fixed.

If it isn't under warranty your choices are a little more limited. You can still send it to Microsoft to get it fixed. Expect a wait. A lot of what I have read estimates a 4 to 6 week wait. You can have a private company fix it. There are some reputable sites on the internet. Just do your research first and get references before sending it off somewhere. Or you could fix it yourself. You don't have to wait and its easier than you think. The most common fix used is called the "X-clamp" fix. Essentially you open the case, remove the motherboard, remove the X-clamps, remove the heat sinks and apply thermal paste, re-install the heat sinks with replacement screws, overheat and re-assemble. This the most permanent fix. There are other fixes floating around on the internet some of which are down right dangerous. Whatever you do be careful.

In conclusion, if you have experienced the dreaded RROD don't despair. If it is under warranty send it back to Microsoft and let them fix it. If it isn't and your a little mechanically inclined I strongly suggest fixing it yourself using the X-clamp fix. Its your best bet.
About the Author
William Fencedoors has developed a free step by step guide as well as videos for the X-clamp fix. In addition he has a website where the X-clamp kits can be obtained along with other components needed to fix the Xbox 360 which are at www.Xbox360FixIt.com.
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