Old model of 360 has RROD? Reckon it’s dead for good? Not really. I did the X-Clamp repair and it’s surprisingly easy! Actually, I’m astonished it worked at all, and how easy it was to do.
A guy I know on a forum, who also lives in France, very kindly lent me his American 360. I covered postage and he posted it to me. Five minutes after arriving it suffered the RROD. Looking online I found about half a dozen repair methods, including wrapping it in a wet towel and overheating it (the crazy method), sticking pennies to the motherboard (a hoax?), and several variations on the X-Clamp Repair, which seemed to have the best feedback.
The basic method is you buy some metal washes, nylon washers, correct size screws, and thermal paste, remove the X-Clamps, and screw down the heatsinks with the past and washers.
eBay France didn’t have any repair kits, but eBay UK had hundreds, priced at around £4 or so, with a couple extra quid for postage to the mainland. They also came with alcohol wipes and a Torx 8 and Torx 10 tool, plus a special “opening tool” for the 360 itself. I was in a hurry so instead went to the local DIY SuperStore. In fact I went to several. They had the parts, but the Torx screw tips cost £10 for the 8 and 10 versions together. The nylon washers would have also cost around £20 (these were astronomically expensive, and I needed 16). Plus no place I went to had thermal paste.
So I bought the kit off eBay for £6 (it was from these guys, they have several different packs, I chose the all-in-one pack). I can only assume they managed to make it so cheap due to buying the parts in bulk.
It arrived and I was linked to a set of instructions. Various Youtube tutorials claim you need to re-assemble the 360 and run it for 20 minutes with the cooling fan running above the board - but the instructions I got said to run it for 2 minutes until it overheats, which is what I did and it worked.
The toughest bit was opening the 360 case. Most Youtube tutorials are made by malicious idiots, who seem to purposefully omit various steps. One guy, who had like 3 million hits, blatantly skipped several minutes of unclipping the rear tabs. Why did he do this? Probably because he’s a scoundrel that wanted others to break their machine. I went through around a dozen tutorials before I found one that walked me through the entire thing. The ironic thing was when I got the machine open, it turned out the first owner had done a terrible repair job as some kind of pre-emptive attempt to prevent the RROD. The guy who lent it to me had bought it off this first owner, and hadn’t even been told about this!
Anyway, long story shot:
It took a lot of reading and tutorial watching, but in the end repair was easy (just clean the chips, put paste on, and screw together, then do the overheating thing), and it miraculously worked!
Will it work for you? I don’t know. But if you’re out of warranty, it’s worth a shot for £6.
FUN TRIVIA: after removing the power-button board, which also houses the RF modulator for the wireless controllers, I tried turning the machine on with a wired controller, and it worked! The system doesn’t detect the missing component, meaning it’s entirely possible to run the system as a purely wired device. I mention this, because when you plug the system into the mains the RF board is activated, and it continuously pulls power to transmit a signal - which is ridiculous, because that means it’s eating power all the time! As an energy conscience person, I like the idea of running it without this, and there doesn’t seem to have been any harm done in doing so. Wired for the win.
Seems we were picked up by Kotaku. Here are some links:
The PDF I used with step by step instructions - this is a direct link, so if the site owner sees a thousand hits and replaces it with something bad, don't blame me, I've already shown you the main page to click on for it. It's right there, on that page, a hyperlink to their PDF guide. Or just click here:
The worst bit with opening your 360 are the little pin slots at the back. This video seems to give a good explanation on how to pop them open. You need a super THIN screwdriver to do it, and it takes time. Be patient.
Finally, what I didn't photograph, is the fire extinguisher I keep my kitchen. If you do any repairs, use common sense. Keep an extinguisher close, have a plan should it go awry, work in a clean environment, have a friend over to drag your lifeless corpse from the wreckage when it goes wrong. HG101 takes no responsibility for this.
I've clocked 55 hours on the unit, and the owner has given me his blessing to play it hard. It's the second revision (the one with an HDMI slot, but an early model).
Based on what I've read, this fix can last anywhere from a few hours to over a year - you're obviously living on borrowed time and it should be considered a last ditch effort before the scrapheap.