Recovering from the Xbox RROD – Your Options

September 28, 2011, By Christian Cawley

So you’re sat playing Gears of War 3 when “duuuuuuuuoooooooo……” your Xbox 360 powers down. Confused, you hit the power button, and only then do you see it.

The red rings of death.

Of course, you’ve heard of this: you’re an Xbox owner. So you call a friend and ask him to borrow his video cable; after all, it can’t be the processor, can it? You’ve been using an external fan to make sure cooling is never a problem.

The video cable doesn’t work. The red rings of death are fully confirmed.

Your Xbox 360 has died.

And you’re not alone. Several years after the problem was identified, Xbox 360s are struck down every day by this problem. The easy way around it is to head out and buy the latest model, but of course many of us are still waiting for the 720, and would rather keep our hands in our pockets.

Fortunately there are a couple of ways around the problem without splashing out $200 on a new 360. However, they’re not for the weak-minded…

Recovering from the Xbox RROD – Your Options

Method 1: Fix the Xbox 360

This isn’t for the faint-hearted, and doesn’t involve towels. Currently available on eBay are special kits designed to allow you to repair your Xbox 360 with better quality bolts for the heatsinks on the CPU and GPU. The idea is that these bolts will keep things nice and sturdy and with a fresh application of thermal paste force the heatsinks to do their job properly.

We’ll be looking at this process in closer detail soon, but in the meantime, think carefully about this method. It requires an additional component, a heat gun, which should be aimed at your two CPUs. Sound crazy? It is, and should only be attempted by an experienced or extremely confident techy.

Method 2: Replace the Mainboard

Almost as crazy as the previous suggestion, and also requiring a trip to eBay, you might decide to purchase a new mainboard for your 360. As long as you get the right model then a quick disassembly of your console will allow you to swap them over and hopefully overcome the RROD issue.

Of course, simply heading to eBay and buying a new Xbox 360 mainboard is a little risky. After all, how do you know that the mainboard you’re bidding on doesn’t have the same problem already?

As ever, make sure you’re bidding with confidence, and get the full story of the device from the seller before you bid.

Method 3: Contact Microsoft

If you’re really, REALLY lucky you might manage to persuade Microsoft to fix your Xbox 360 for free.

Otherwise, they will charge about $100 to fix or replace it for you, although to their credit Microsoft will pay for a courier.

However, it’s a sorry state of affairs. Most RROD-prone devices will be out of warranty by 2011, with Microsoft having dealt with the issue as much as US and EU law requires when it was first discovered.

Ultimately, you might opt to buy a new console…

…now, where’s that heat gun?

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