How To: Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies

Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies

How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies

Microsoft has had a pretty bad wrap with their Xbox 360 gaming console. Right from the start, the console has suffered a multitude of different hardware failures and design flaws. These problems cause the parts to get too hot and become faulty. I'm sure everyone who's had an Xbox 360 has gotten at least one Red Ring of Death or E74 error.

Over the years, I have fixed many Xbox 360s, and through experimentation and documentation, I've figured out a few ways to fix them that can prevent and fix any Red Ring or E74 error. This is assuming that there are no other hardware failures resulting from overheating.

In this Null Byte, I'm going to show you my slew of tricks that has fixed over 100 Xboxes to date. The best part? We can do with just a few pennies. I have seen a few variations of my trick, but they involve making permanent changes to the case and don't work as well, so try this out first…

What Causes This?

Overheating. The RRoD is sometimes caused by excessive dust, but is more commonly caused by heat warping the GPU or CPU away from the motherboard. E74 is caused by the HANA/ANA chip warping away from the motherboard.

This method will prevent overheating and fix most RRoD and E74 errors.

Warning

  • This will void your warranty if you currently have one.

Requirements

  • Electrical tape
  • Lots of pennies
  • Thermal paste (Arctic Silver 5, can be bought at RadioShack)
  • Torx 8 and 10 screwdrivers
  • Super glue (optional)

Step 1 Open the Xbox

There are loads of tutorials on this, so I will spare myself from having to make one and show you this lovely tutorial by FixYourOwnXbox. We need to strip everything, including heatsinks. Also, when removing the motherboard, take off the squishy Band-Aid-looking pads from the RAM chips on the underside.

How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies


Step 2 Applying the Fix

These pennies are going to be made into heat conductors and absorbers. Sadly, those pennies are better than Microsoft's supplied pads. They also prevent and reverse flexing in the motherboard because they are solid.

Fix and Prevent RRoD

  1. Wrap 4 sets of 2 pennies each in electrical tape.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies
  2. Apply a thin layer of thermal paste to the black RAM chips where the old pads were.
  3. Now, put the pennies where the old pads were, and apply the optional super glue to them (only a little) to help them stick when we put the case back together.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies
  4. Scrape the old thermal paste off the processors and heat sinks. Apply thermal paste (sparingly) to the chips under the heat sinks that you removed earlier. This will conduct heat better.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies
  5. Put the heat sinks back on, as well as the x-clamps. If you have the RRoD error, you can put your Xbox back together (more than likely). Screw in the black screws on the bottom of the case really tight and test it before the case is fully reassembled. If it doesn't work, adjust the screws until you find the sweet spot.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies

Fix and Prevent E74

  1. To fix the E74 error, we need to apply pressure to the HANA/ANA chip. Make another stack of pennies that can go under the white heat duct, enough so that it pushes the duct up a noticeable amount.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies
  2. Place the duct and DVD drive back in the case, and make another stack of pennies so that it pushes on the top of the case when it's back on.How to Fix Your Overheating, RRoD, or E74 Xbox 360 with Mere Pennies
  3. Put the case back together completely and screw in the screws slowly. The pennies will put enough pressure on the HANA/ANA chip so the 360 runs. About 20 minutes of running the Xbox should fix it permanently. The pressure of the pennies pushing down on the hot chip will ensure when the solder gets too hot, it reforms with the chip in the optimal position.

With a reassembled Xbox, you should be back in business! Start some discussion in the forums, follow me on Twitter, and join the IRC! Get active!

Photo by gamesector

17 Comments

Despite having an xbox360 basically since release, I have never had an issue with mine. Just keep it standing, and off the carpet.. Wipe the dust off it occasionally.

That's not enough to stop it :p Keeping the dust off isn't the only thing that makes it red-ring, I've had my Xbox since release though, with a few repairs here and there. There isn't a spec of dust in that beast :p haha. Xbox's just have severe design flaws. Keeping it standing is worse for it though, cause heat gets trapped in the case and can't escape, always keep it flat :D.

Oh... god... I've had my xbox standing upright for the whole three years I've had it O.o ... Thank the world you were born ;D

Haha, how flattering, thank you x]]

I kept mine flat for 3 years but it still got the red ring of death xD

O.O thew way you talk makes me wonder how I've had mine working fine this whole time lol

I'm not sure xD Failure rates of the first gen consoles are like 90% xD

HEY i hav a xbox 360(arcade) ...its simply not starting up...i went to a repair shop he got it started there...but i cant get it working past 10 mins or so it just shuts itself down and starts up after 10mins...The repair person added some kind of RESISTOR to a Transistor in my xbox...its the new XBOX ARCADE which came in 2010...when i went back he told me he can't get the Resistor VALUE right and i got my money refunded???? can you tell me what should be the resistance value from that transistor which controls the startup of xbox???

I would have to visually see and test the defunct hardware to repair it, sorry, but I can't help.

Hi sorry to bother you guys but my partner done the q tip trick and has it going just every time he putts the hddback on his Xbox it goes strait back to the E74 can any one help with a reason for this please n thank you x

Do i have to keep the pennies in after i let my xbox on for 20 minutes or do i have to get them out?

I wish someone would have replied to you because I'm wondering if I need to remove the pennies or not

No, you don't need to remove them.

This Worked!... for about 5 days. then in the week it sat there whilst waiting for my friend to pick it up, its back to E74 again. bugger

How many apps pennies do I stack together for the e74 repair to put pressure on the Hanna chip?

I only get e74 when i plug in the av and HDMI cable please help

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