The dreaded red ring of death is a reality for many Xbox console owners. The RROD renders your Xbox unusable and, if you are portent on playing your Xbox games, you’ll be forced to shell out the cash for a new one. Unless, you have a heat gun laying around.
What does a heat gun have to do with Xbox???
Essentially, you’ll be using the heat gun to “reflow” the solder on the motherboard of the Xbox, and in doing so, tricking it into thinking that the soldering underneath the CPU, GPU, and RAM units have been redone. The outcomes of this process vary, but if your console isn’t under warranty, after a RROD, it has just become one of the world’s ugliest paperweights; so what do you have to lose?
Here’s what you’ll need, follwed by the 10 steps of How to: Fix Your XBox with a Heat Gun:
- A Heat Gun (don’t have one? We got you covered.)
- A heat resistant surface thermal paste
- A Torx screwdriver
- You’ll want to get to the motherboard, so begin the process by going through what is perhaps the most time consuming part of this entire tutorial by disassembling the XBox’s exterior plastic case.
- Once the bottom case is removed, carefully remove the white and green eject button from where the front.
- Flip Xbox over so you are looking at the metal case and remove the screws. This is where the Torx screwdriver comes in handy. A hex wrench will work, but you stand to strip your screws, so if you go this route, be careful. This will release the top, and you will now be looking at the inside of the console
- Remove the tape covering the optical drive case, lift the optical drive up, and disconnect its SATA data connector. Set aside. Locate the cooling fan duct at what was the rear of the Xbox, unscrew and remove along with the fans.
- Turn the console to where the front was and remove the RF module shield — this is where the RROD originally appeared when the console was whole. You’ll need your Torx screwdriver again.
- Now, turn the console upside down. On the bottom you’ll see two Xs, these are heat sinks. Use your Torx screwdriver and unscrew all the remaining screws on the bottom. The motherboard will now be loose. Carefully remove it.
- Next remove the heat sink X’s, all the cables attached, and the GPU. Clean off all the old paste that held the GPUs, etc., to the board. Ready your heat gun to low (keep in mind not all heat guns are alike).
- Place your motherboard on a heat resistant surface, and slowly sweep your heat gun over the back of the motherboard evenly for about a minute.
- Flip the motherboard over so you are looking at where GPUs, RAM, and CPUs were. Heat your heat gun to high. Avoid heating any of the cylindrical electrolytic capacitors (cover them with something heat resistant like aluminum foil) and evenly heat the aforementioned section for 4 minutes. Never keep the heat on any one spot for very long. Allow to cool for about an hour.
- Once cool, reapply some thermal paste to where your connections are going to be made. Reassemble. Plug it in and admire your handiwork.
See what a little personal ingenuity see what your ever handy heat gun can do? Don’t let a little thing like RROD stand in the way of your game-time.