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Monday, June 13, 2011

Fix the RRoD with X-clamp replacement

Today I'll walk you through an easier way to fix the Red Ring of Death. This is commonly known as an X-clamp replacement because you replace the 2 x-shaped clamps holding the heat sinks onto the motherboard.

The theory behind this is that the clamps do not provide enough pressure to keep the heat sinks firmly attached to the board. Because of this, the heat causes the motherboard to warp and the CPU and GPU pull away from the board - causing the dreaded RRoD!




Here you see the underside of the motherboard along with the dreaded x-clamps in place! Remove them using the method I described in my disassembly tutorial.


Clean off the thermal paste on the CPU, GPU, and the two heat sinks. Rubbing alcohol works great for this.


Now gather your supplies! I'll link to all needed materials at the end of this post. You should have (at least) 16 washers and 8 screws.


Remove the "feet" from the heat sinks, these will be replaced with machine screws.


Reapply your thermal paste.



From the under side of the board, insert the 4 screws with 1 of the thinner nylon washers in between.


Place the thicker nylon washers on the top side of the board. The order from bottom to top should now be: Screw head, nylon washer, motherboard, nylon washer.


Lastly, place the appropriate heat sink on top of the screws. In this case I'm doing the CPU, so I'll use that heat sink. Make sure you put it on in the right direction!


Now apply pressure to both the bottom screws and the top of the heat sink and flip it over!


Using a screwdriver, screw the machine screws in LIGHTLY until they barely start to resist (it should be pretty much flat against the washer. Do this in a criss-cross pattern. Example: top-right screw then bottom-left screw, after that do top-left and bottom-right.

Once they are all BARELY tightened. Going around 1 more time in the same order and screw them in a quarter or half-turn.. until it feels snug. Do not over-tighten these! It could cause the RRoD to become worse!

Repeat this process with the other heat sink and your Xbox should look like this.






Plug in your A/V cable, power cable, and power button, and push the power button. Pray!


Success! If you still have the RRoD, try loosening and tightening your screws until it works. If this does not work for your 360, please refer to my heat gun tutorial - it is a much more thorough and permanent fix.

Amazon.com sells the supplies needed to perform this x-clamp repair at a great price... check out the link! If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask!

Until next time...

83 comments:

  1. I think I may buy the parts! I hope I am able to do this correctly! Thanks!

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  2. i had this happen twice... i hate the RRoD...

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  3. I've had to do this twice now, but it took me forever to find good instructions. Great website, keep it up bro!

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  4. I so hope I dont get RROD.. Great tutorial though!

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  5. Good tip, looks easy to follow.

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  6. i don't need that but hey it's a grea tip and thank you i might need it someday who knows

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  7. Glad i got the newer version that have less chance of a RRoD. Staying strong after 2 years of gaming :)

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  8. I don't have a 360, but this is definitely useful. :D

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  9. Mine still hasn't RRoD'd yet :)

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  10. Cool I am so glad someone posted about this and included such good photos.

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  11. cheers for this, are there some other workarounds i should know?

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  12. Quality post! might come in handy somday.

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  13. very good post, fighting the evil Rrod.

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  14. Great looking tutorial. I'll need this once I can actually break away from my PS3.

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  15. Will have to link this to my friend, he recently got this as well!

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  16. This was going to be my preferred fix if I ever did red ring.

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  17. That's how I fixed my ol' arcade , still died on me after a while though.

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  18. You should see the kind of stuff people I know have done to try to fix their Xboxs. Absolutely awful.

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  19. What great timing, I just got Red Ringed.

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  20. Those clamps suck. I always used the bolt/washer method. Never fails as long as you use good thermal paste.

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  21. Ah cool, I kind of wish I didn't sell my 360 now

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  22. Nice tutorial, I'll keep it in mind ;)

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  23. Thanks.. i hate the rrod!
    +follow

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  24. I need to get me a soldering iron stat!

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  25. I've been having this problem for a while, thanks for the tip.

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  26. Wish I had this awhile ago, had to send it in, two weeks without xbox :(

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  27. Great tutorial! touch wood i never get RROD!
    followed

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  28. Also make sure the screw heads aren't too thick, otherwise the mobo wont sit in the cage properly afterwards.

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  29. Cheers for the info now i know what to do lol.
    +followed.

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  30. wish i had found this last week. just chucked out an RROD xbox :(
    +1 Follow for the future

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  31. okay this one looks a little easier than the last one i saw. And the kit isnt very expensive i may need to try thi!

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  32. My xbox 360 lays in 9000 parts here, so I'll give it a try.

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  33. hope my skills will allow me to do this without screwing everything up!

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  34. I see you have usefull posts around here. Must keep thayt in mind for sure :) thanks mate

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  35. This looks much more professional than the heat sinking pennies to my processor thing...

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  36. Wow, I could have used this a while back.

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  37. Very useful post! Those game consoles are like personal computers, you can even change the thermal paste for better cooling.

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  38. I've had 4 boxes with RRD. Wish I had found you sooner.

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  39. How many ways can you fix an XBOX? We find out here.

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  40. Tried this a few years ago with my xbox, sadly it didnt work, i did everything all the guides said :(

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  41. Nice guide, except letting it cool down seems a lot easier haha

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  42. *sob* my friend said he should've tried this before he sent it to the A/S center
    nice post

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  43. X-Box... get it... X Box. :D

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  44. @Tom -

    Letting the console cool down will only solve the 2 flashing red lights - not 3 (RRoD). 2 lights means it's simply overheating.

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  45. I did this with my friends Xbox and it seemed to fix the problem.

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  46. This was soooo helpful!! thank you

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  47. I can see ur a smart fellow, nice tutorial.

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  48. Wow this is super useful, I bet you're a handy friend to have in RL.
    To bad I sold my RRoD Xbox for 20bucks before I saw this. :(

    It's okay though, I bought my self a gaming PC and am much happier.

    +follow!

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  49. Tried this a long time ago, failed miserably, i think i messed up somewhere and the console never turn on again

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  50. A very interesting mod, keep it up!

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  51. Awesome mod man, keep up the good work.

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  52. this is very useful information! Thanks a lot!

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  53. I had to replace the heatsink on one of my 360's a few years ago. It ended up getting stolen by a girlfriend so I bought one of the shiny slim 360's which less than a year later the hard drive crapped out on, I lost 5 years worth of save games I had transfered to it (she didn't get the hd hehe).

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  54. wow! awesome tutorial, followed!

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  55. dont have the guts to try it,
    nice tutorial anyways!
    follow'd

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  56. Very clear tutorial, you really help people like me with your blog. Thanks.

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  57. After having my third box RRoD, i took out the sodering iron and fixed it myself, great guide.

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  58. Bought a pre owned 360 years ago, sometimes the disc tray wont come out, and it makes awful noises, but no RROD yet, sort of wish it would.

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  59. Looks professional and legit. Very helpful!

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  60. I have a friend who own a repair shop, he does this kind of thing all the time. Neat stuff!

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  61. Well these seems sort of hard for some reason, i think i would prefer doing the "PENNY TRICK".

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  62. Great guide, but I used the penny trick myself and it actually worked. But my Xbox hasn't RROD on me again....yet.

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  63. I've done this, but it failed to work for me. Maybe I did something wrong? Either way, I've had a Slim for a year now, no problems there.

    Still, if I could get the other one working again.....

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  64. Why can't Microsoft just make quality hardware?

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  65. because people want a cheap super graphics machine
    like they say you get what you pay for
    and they lose money on consoles they make it back from third party licensing
    just something to think about

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  66. I am most definitely going to look into this!!! I just the RRoD for the 3rd time now, and I'm sick of microsoft just refurbishing or sending me a new one just to get the ring just after the warranty expires! Mos Def follow'd.

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  67. detailed stuff. Thanks for posting!

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