Wednesday, May 11, 2011

How to prevent red rings on the xbox 360

Anyone who has an Xbox, or has any interest in videogames knows that the Xbox 360 is notorious for shitting out on itself leaving owners with a very pretty, very expensive paperweight.  What a lot of people don't know is how ridiculously easy it is to prevent that from happening.  If you just take a few simple steps, your xbox360 will last you quite a long time after that warranty expires (hopefully)

The red ring error codes signal many different hardware issues, but the most common is due to the solder from the GPU, or CPU melting due to overheating.  It's complicated to explain, but basically the mounts Microsoft used are cheap, and unreliable.  A simple, but costly mistake on their part.  If you want to fix this at the expense of your warranty (if it's still valid.  You can check online) you can replace the original poop soup X clamps.  Here's a good guide on how to do that.
However, if you don't feel comfortable messing around with the innards of your Xbox there are still a few good alternatives. 

1.  Lay the Xbox on its side:  The Xbox can operate in two positions, vertical, or laying down horizontally.  When the Xbox is vertical, pressure is put on the heatsinks.  However, if you lay it on its side, the heatsinks lie directly on the GPU/CPU die, without any negative effects (IE gravity).

2.  Avoid aftermarket coolers:  There's a lot of debate on this issue.  Some people swear by aftermarket coolers, saying they cool their Xbox just fine.  Others claim it does nothing but harm.  My viewpoint leans to the latter of the two.  For starters the Xbox intercooler should be avoided.  The fans in this are small and weak, and it's been debated that they actually slow the exhaust air from the Xbox (less air movement=more heat stays in your box)  Additionally there have been reports of this happening. (yea, thats burnt.  And see those tiny fans?)

There are also designs where the Xbox stands vertically on a fan assembly like this model

Though these fans don't restrict anything (seeing as the only fans are the rear exhaust), but it does require you to position the Xbox vertically, putting pressure on the heatsinks. 

3.  Don't put your Xbox inside of a closed entertainment center:  If you've ever opened up your entertainment center, and been hit by the 999 degree burst of air that flows out, you should already know why this is a bad idea.  Entertainment centers generally have terrible (no) ventilation, so all the hot air created from your stereo, and other electronics builds up inside.  The Xbox puts out a lot of heat, so sticking it in a closed area with no airflow will mean you are essentially cooking your Xbox to death.

If you have an elite console, you have even better odds of never red-ringing.  Microsoft tried to fix their problem by adding this heatpipe/heatsink combo in order to disperse GPU heat better.  Although it helps, it didn't completely fix the issue.  My first elite had to be sent in for repair after it red-ringed.
The smaller heatsink with the copper pipe is only on the newer Xbox systems

It should be noted that these solutions don't mean your Xbox will last forever, and the issues are all fixed.  These are all just measures to try and prevent overheating.  Also, this guide was intended for the original xbox, not the new slim version.  I have virtually no knowledge of the inner workings, and issues that version has, so do your own research on that.  (and if your Xbox red rings, or gets broken, don't blame it on me.  It's your own damn fault <3)

Note: Blogger rolled back, and deleted this post, so i'm reposting it now.  Also, all the comments were lost.  sorry D:


  1. nice tips, I'm lucky enough to have a xbox (1st gen) that hasent gotten a red ring yet, but i know a lot of people who lost their xboxs because of it.

  2. To late, mine went 3 RRD last week and i had to buy a new one.

  3. Wow, this is all it takes to help prevent RRODs? I'll have to consider this now - I used to think that having a PS3 instead of Xbox meant I was mostly immune to hardware failures but PSN being down for 3 weeks has sure made up for that. Maybe I'll hawk it and get an xbox...

  4. i had a ps3 it YLOD on me and tried to fix it but alas it died

  5. wouldnt it be easier to buy a new one? ;-P