||We have found a combination of
hardware we like best. We went with a longer screw than some
recommend for ease of installation. We use 16 of the M5 x 1mm washers, 8
Nylon M5 x 1mm washers and 4 M5 Cheese head 12mm screws.
||To install this you will need to
disassemble your Xbox 360
||Remove the DVD drive by loosening the
tape in the front of the console, lift the DVD drive and detach the two
cables from the motherboard at the rear.
||Remove the fan shroud using a small
slotted screw driver or any other small flat tool to push the tab
holding it in place and lift up and out.
Next, unplug the fan. Then lift up on the steel flap holding
the fan in place while pulling it toward you.
||Remove the power button / wireless
controller board using your T8 driver. There are three screws; one
is hiding behind the plastic LED lens cover.
||Remove the all 8 heat sink screws
(T8) holding the processors to the chassis.
||Remove the remaining motherboard
screws using your Torx T10.
||At this point the motherboard will
lift out. The GPU heatsink is a great place to lift the board up
||With the motherboard removed we can
now access the X-Clamp that we will be replacing. This is a
somewhat tricky part and care should be taken to not be to aggressive
and end up damaging the board. We begin by wedging a small flathead
screwdriver between the clamp and the stud. Then gently rock the
screw driver back and forth and the clamp will eventually work its way
up and off of the stud. The third will become very easy to remove
and then it will just pop right off.
||With the clamp(s) removed the heat
sinks just lift off. Some heatsinks are more difficult to remove
than others because the heatsink paste is still sticky. Using your
finger to push the stud through the hole works great for the more
||Once the heat sinks are free we are
able to use our 1/4" nut driver, wrench or pliers to remove the studs.
|To prepare the steel case we use a
3/16 or 13/64 drill bit to enlarge the 4 heatsink mounting screw holes
for each of the heatsinks to be repaired so the larger M5 screw can be
installed. We use a Uni-bit for the task as it's first step is the
3/16ths we need and it also deburs the hole at the same time.
Spacing between the heatsink and the board is critical in this repair so
make sure to clean off any stray steel shavings and burs; particularly on
the board side of the steel chassis as this can impact your success.
|Install all the screws and use some
tape to hold them in place. This makes it much easier to keep
everything in place. If you choose not to do this that is fine... but
when your cleaning up a bunch of washers and starting over again don't
say we didn't warn you.
||Let the ring toss begin! Add 3 steel
washers to each of the screws, followed by a single nylon washer.
It is very important to make sure you have three steel washers first and
then a nylon washer last to isolate and protect the motherboard from
damaged traces or shorts.
|Now that everything else is prepped
its time to clean and prepare the processors themselves. Start by
removing as much of the old heat sink compound as you can with a tooth pick.
If you cannot get your hands on some
ArctiClean, then use something like goo gone and a Q-tip to remove the excess
compound from on and around the processors die. Alcohol will work
also but it is no where near as effective at removing the old sludge.
Follow up the job with a little alcohol to remove any leftover goo gone
or other foreign oils or debris. The processor dies should be
clean and shiny.
|Next we need to apply a thin coat of
thermal compound to the die. The old adage "a dab will do ya"
definitely applies. Notice in the photo on the top the amount of
compound we have used; this is more than enough. You are looking
for a skim coat similar to the thickness of plastic wrap. The
photo on the bottom is a example of what you should NOT do. Silver
based compounds can have adverse effects when
in contact with electrical components not to mention the thermal
compounds efficiency is greatly reduced when too much is applied.
||Now reinstall the motherboard, you
may have to adjust the positioning of the screws to get them to fit
through the motherboard.
||Now with the motherboard in place
install the final two washers, a nylon one first followed by a steel one.
Again it is extremely important to have TWO washers between the heat
and the board. One nylon washer first to protect and isolate the
motherboard and one steel... just to be redundant that makes two
||Place your heat sinks onto the screws and hold them
in place with one hand while carefully putting a couple of turns on each screw
to keep the washers from falling off. I place the unit on the edge
of a table and from below poke my screwdriver through the tape and turn
the screw in a few threads. Do not tighten any of them completely
||Now that everything is in
check, peel the tape off of the screws and prepare to tighten them down.
Turn each screw gently until you feel a little resistance. Do this
to every screw before actually tightening them down. Now similar
to the technique used in mounting your wheels on your car or bolting
down a head on your motor; begin to tighten each bolt slowly in a kitty
corner fashion making sure to evenly distribute the pressure across the
processors die. Tightening down one side and then the other can
result in a cracked processor die. With your large screwdriver put
the final turns on each screw. You really cant make them too tight
unless you actually strip out the heat sink which would require quite a
||Now your ready to complete the fix.
Reconnect your power button assembly/wireless board. Plug your fan
back in but do not reinstall it in it's original location yet; also DO NOT
put your fan shroud back in yet. Connect your DVD drive so as to
not get banned from Live for powering up your box without the drive
connected. Now with your Xbox basically re-assembled except for
the fan shroud, plug your power and video cords in and proceed.
||Now for the most important part and
most likely the point where the majority of people who were unsuccessful
completing this fix failed.
requires you to overheat your GPU. Many tutorials tell you to
unplug your fan and turn it on until it overheats. There is one
major flaw with this approach. The thermosistor for the
overheating protection of the 360 is contained within the CPU. The problem is that the CPU overheats without any airflow before the GPU
is able to get sufficiently hot to "reflow" the BGA solder connection
that has failed.
||In order to cool the CPU but not the
GPU it is again important to have your fan shroud removed. Now
take your fan that IS plugged in and lay it on top of your DVD drive
with one of the fan's over the top of the CPU. This will keep the
CPU plenty cool to prevent it from overheating while the GPU will get
smokin' hot; like burn your finger hot!
||Now power on your 360. Some
boxes may just work at this point because just pressure alone was enough
to make the GPU's connection good. I still like to overheat even
those just to make sure I don't have to deal with it again. So now
you should be getting the three red lights like your were expecting.
You want to overheat the unit for at least 30 to 45 minutes. The
key is in the lights; as long as it is flashing the 3 red lights
(1,3,4) then your are in good shape and the overheating process is
working. What you DO NOT WANT is for the unit to actually
overheat giving your TWO flashing red lights (1,3) at which point the
360 cuts off power to both the CPU and GPU preventing them from actually
getting hot. Again is probably the difference between someone who
succeeds and someone who fails.
||Now that you have sufficiently heated
the GPU, power down your Xbox 360 and let it cool down completely (ten
to fifteen minutes should be more than enough).
Replace your fan shroud; you should now be fully assembled except for
the case itself. At this point you should cross your fingers and
power your box back on. If all went well your should now have a
working 360! Congrats!
||If it did not work for you its not
completely a bust yet. I suggest tightening the screws down even
more and overheating yet again... some units are stubborn!
||Happy Gaming for those who were