Monday, October 1, 2007

How To Open Your Xbox 360

The first steps in repairing your Xbox 360 is getting it open without damaging the case. First you will want to lay out a soft towel or blanket on your work surface.

Next you need to remove the face plate. There are latches on the ends of the face plate internally. You can not see them from the outside. Laying your Xbox flat, squeeze the ends of your face plate and pull forward. It will pop off.

Once the face plate has been removed, you can remove the side panels. To release the tabs, insert a thin, round screwdriver or punch into the holes on either end of the white case panels and gently push. Be careful not to break them.

You will now be able to see the metal chassis inside. You can now remove the bottom of your Xbox 360. Apply gentle pressure with a flathead screwdriver to release the tabs on the front and back. You'll need to insert the screwdriver between the white panels to detach the back tabs.

You can now remove the top portion. At this point you will need a torx screwdriver. If you do not have one you can buy a cheap set at your local hardware store. Do not try to use a regular flat head or Phillips, you will damage the torx screws.

Remove the 6 torx screws located near the four corners and center of the chassis. Remember where the longer ones came from. It should now look like the above photo.

At this point you can lift out the DVD unit and you will find the CPU underneath. You now have access to repair your Xbox 360

At this point you will need a more comprehensive Xbox 360 repair guide. Out of all the manuals I found this one to be the most useful.

Repairing an Xbox 360 Game

Repairing an Xbox 360 Game - If you have damaged or scratched Xbox 360 Games you can save some of your disks if they are not damaged too bad.

Deep scratches can not be repaired but if you have minor nicks or scratches that cause your games to freeze or not play at all you can try saving them. Since they do not work anyway you have nothing to lose.

The best way to remove minor scratches if with toothpaste. Get a soft cloth and put some toothpaste on it. Start from the center of the disk and go out. Do not go around the disk in circles. Keep working in an outward motion and you will start to see a cleaner looking surface.

Wash the disk well with mild soapy water and dry it completely. It should work a lot better. I have saved a lot of disks with this method. It also works on regular audio cd's and DVD's.

To avoid jamming the DVD drive and damaging discs or the Xbox 360 console:
  • Remove discs before moving the console or tilting it between the horizontal and vertical positions.

  • Never use cracked discs. They can shatter inside the console and jam or break internal parts.

  • When the console is vertical do not use discs that are smaller the standard DVDs and CDs."

  • The best way to Repair an Xbox 360 Game is to make a copy of the original disk and play the copy, That way you can always burn another copy if you damage one. Blank disks are cheap.

    See our other post about making backup copies or get Game Copy Pro here.

    Cure Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death

    You are playing your favorite game, your screen freezes then you get the dreaded 3 red light error. I hate when that happens.

    Here are 2 tips you can try to start with,
    1. Unplug the Xbox 360. Remove the hard drive. Plug in the Xbox 360. Press power button. Worked? Good! Now shut the power off and hook your hard drive back in. Still working? Great, you fixed it!
    2. Unplug the Xbox 360. Remove the hard drive. Remove EVERY cable plugged into your console, including the video and anything else that can be disconnected. Plug in the console. Boot it up. Works? Great! Shut it off and hook everything back in, including the hard drive. Power it up again. Still working? Great.... Resume your game playing.
    Neither one of the tips corrected your problem you may have a more serious problem and will have to look deeper into your Xbox 360.

    Microsoft has extended their warranty support of the Xbox 360 in order to accommodate owners who have become so frustrated with their merchandise. You may want to check if your Xbox is still covered by there extended warranty before tearing it apart.

    The big issue with the XBox is overheating. make sure your console is getting enough ventilation. Do not enclose it in a cabinet or throw your blanket over the top of it. Is it laying on a thick carpet or rug? Make sure it can get enough air circulation. Before plugging it back in, use your compressed air to blow all the vents clean of dust and particles.

    Fixing your XBox 360 yourself is not difficult, as long as you are comfortable opening up the machine yourself and following instructions. Just note that if you do open the XBox to repair it on your own, you'll void any warranties on it. If the idea of opening up the box and working on it yourself makes you nervous, it might be better to wait the 2-8 weeks it may take for Microsoft to take care of it for you.

    To fix your own XBox 360, you can pick up a guide that shows you how to do the XBox 3 Red Lights Fix and get it taken care of in an hour or two.

    Sunday, September 30, 2007

    Get Paid To Play Video Games

    This sounds too good to be true. Ever wish you could get paid to play video games? I know I did. Now that would be a dream job wouldn't it? I know people really do get paid to play but I never knew how until now.

    Well you can make it happen. Plus you can work at home.
    The only requirements are you need to be 15 years old or over!
    As a video game tester you will:
    • Get to play video games
    • Get paid to play video games
    • Get to play un- released versions before anyone else
    • Get FREE copies of video games and they are yours to keep
    • Get access to cheat codes,level secrets, and other bugs that only you and other game testers will know about!
    • Get real-world experience working with company departments and learn about the development, marketing, manufacturing, customer service, and testing phases of each game.
    Here are 2 ways you can get started in just a few days...
    Get the Game Testers Guide Here
    Or Learn how to become a video game tester here.

    How To Reset Your Xbox 360 Console

    If you are getting an error after updating your console or game you can clear out the update and restore your Xbox. This will also work on software mods gone bad.

    How To Clear Any Failed system updates that cause the console to error.
    1. With the console off, press and hold the sync up button.
    2. While holding the sync button press the power button to turn on the console
    3. Continue to hold the sync button until the Console has booted up completely.
    4. During the boot process the console should clear any failed updates, allowing you to use it normally.
    How To Clear All Installed Game Updates
    1. Go to the "system" blade
    2. Select "memory"
    3. Press Y on the HD symbol
    4. Press X,X, Left Bumper, Right Bumper, X,X
    5. A message will appear saying: "Do you want to perform maintenance on your Xbox 360 storage devices?"
    6. Select Yes
    If you are still getting an error it is probably a hardware failure. Check the error code list and go from there.

    Or Get the Xbox 360 repair guide that will show you how to fix 90% of Xbox 360 problems. It gives you step by step instruction, plus video. Unless you are having a DVD drive problem more than likely this book will fix your problem.

    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Xbox 360 Controller Repair - An Easy Fix

    If you ever missed a shot because of a bad controller this will help. Do you have sticky or dead buttons on your Xbox 360 controller? With a few basic tools you can repair it yourself.

    I just wanted to smash my controller last time I hit a button 3 times and nothing happened. I was going for my all time personal best too.

    Here is how to get your controller working like new again. grab a Phillips screwdriver and flip your controller over. Remove the 7 screws holding it together. Flip it right side up again and carefully remove the top.

    Remove all the buttons and rubber pads they are sitting on. It is a good idea to lay them out on the floor or table, what ever you are working on, in the same pattern as they go in your controller. Makes it easier when you are trying to figure out what color goes where. You could also draw yourself a diagram before you remove the buttons.

    You can wash the rubber pads with soap and water. Take some rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab and clean the black contacts on the board. DO NOT try to remove the black paths just rub until the dirt comes off and the cotton swab is clean, may take a few times.

    Make sure everything is completely clean and dry. Turn your top cover over and start replacing your buttons. They should be keyed so they can only go in one way. Next put the rubber pads back in place on top of the buttons.

    Replace the bottom cover and the screws. Check your buttons to make sure none of them stick. Your Xbox 360 game controller should now work like new again and you will not have to press hard on the buttons to get them to work.

    Game controllers are built different for different types of game consoles but this procedure will work to repair any game controller.

    Xbox 360 Error Codes - And What To Do About Them

    If your Xbox 360 has stopped working you can get the error codes and get a general idea on what to do next. Error codes should be used as a general guide, they are not always 100 percent correct. They will give you an idea on where to start.

    4 Flashing Red Lights - AV cable can not be detected.
    • Make sure it is plugged in all the way.
    • Disconnect the AV cable from the Xbox 360 console, and then reconnect the AV cable to the Xbox 360 console.
    • Make sure none of your contacts are bent. Try cleaning the metal contacts on each end with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol
    • If the AV cable is correctly connected but the four red lights are still flashing, try a different AV cable if you have one available.
    3 Red Lights Flashing - is a general hardware failure
    • Unplug everything and let it sit for 20 min. Re-connect and try re-starting
    • If these steps do not resolve the behavior, turn the console off, remove the hard drive, and then turn on the console. If the 3x Red LED error light is no longer displayed, turn the console off, re-attach the hard drive, and then turn on the console.
    • Check the lights on the power supply. When you turn on the console, the power supply light should illuminate green even if the three lights on the console flash red.
    2 Flashing red Lights - Your unit is overheating
    • Let your Xbox 360 console cool.
      You may have to wait several hours for the console to cool enough. Do not turn on the console when it is still hot.
    • Make sure you can hear the fan running, also make sure you are not blocking the console from getting enough ventilation.
    • Do not lay your console on heavy carpet or in a confined book case or shelf
    • If you CPU is overheating you could replace the thermal compound. See the manual before you attempt this. The compound can be purchased at any radio Shack or electronic store.
    1 red Light Flashing - General Hardware Failure
    • This type of hardware failure can be determined by the error code displayed on the screen. If the screen is blank or you would like additional information follow the instructions for determining the secondary error code
    • E45: Unknown
    • E65: DVD Drive Error,DVD Timeout, Wrong firmware, DVD is without chip. This can also be caused by the tray not being fully closed or jammed on boot.
    • E66: DVD Drive Error: DVD model, or version does not match that of the version expected by the dashboard. OR the firmware version on the drive is older then the firmware version expected by the dashboard. Make sure the DVD drive is of the same version originally included with the console and that it is using either the original firmware included with the console or newer.
    • E67: Hard Drive Error, It could be a problem with the Hard Drive itself or a problem with the internal connection to the hard drive, Try removing the hard drive and re-connecting it.
    • E68: Also a Hard Drive error. It could be a problem with the Hard Drive itself or a problem with the internal connection to the hard drive, Try removing the hard drive and playing without it, This can also be caused by a Hard Drive Eprom Error. Some also believe this might be caused by a problem with the fans.
    • E69: Hard Drive Error. Could be a problem with the Hard Drive itself or a problem with the internal connection to the hard drive.
    • E71: Possibly a dashboard update error, Check below in the "Console Reset Codes" for instructions. If that does not work there is no other solution and the console must be sent back to MS for repair.
    • E73: General Hardware Error: Ethernet port, this error is caused by a problem with the Ethernet port.
    • E74: AV cable error. There is a problem with the AV cable, try using a different AV cable. If the cable is known to be working then there is a 90% chance it's a scaler chip problem in rare cases it is the CPU.
    • E79: Hard Drive Error. It could be a problem with the Hard Drive itself or a problem with the internal connection to the hard drive, Try removing the hard drive and re-attach it.
    Still having problems? Get this easy to follow guide and repair your Xbox 360 yourself

    Xbox 360 Games - Discounted Prices

    How To Clean The Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 consoles must be kept clean and free from grime to perform at optimal levels. Here are 4 quick steps on how to clean your Xbox 360 gaming console.

    Step #1 - Turn Off Everything except Power Source

    First, disconnect everything except the main power source used to open the disc tray. All openings, ports and sockets will be cleaned as well to maintain optimal performance levels.

    Step #2 - Wipe Away All Dust & Grime

    Get a soft towel, or use your care Kit and start wiping away all dust on the exterior of your Xbox 360.

    That includes wiping away the vents, underneath the Hard Drive, and cleaning out all the power sockets & memory card slots.

    Step #3 - Clean Out the Disc Tray

    Next, wipe the disc tray clean, and remove grime & build up from the interior part of your Xbox 360. By touch up, I mean wipe away any dust particles visible, and use air to blow out hidden dust particles inside your Xbox 360 console.

    Step #4 - Remove Game Disc Scratches As Well

    If your game discs carry any scratches, use the soft cloth and scratch solution provided in the Xbox 360 Care Kit or a soft cloth & hydrogen peroxide to work at eliminating any disc scratches. Used games with scratches will cause damage to your Xbox 360 console over time.

    If you want to prepare for further cleaning duties, please see my resource box to purchase your Xbox 360 Care Kit.

    Want to Clean Your Xbox 360 Quickly & Easily?

    Xploder's Xbox 360 cleaning kit prevents games and DVDs from skipping, protects your discs 100% scratch-free, and keeps your Xbox 360 running smoothly.

    Click here to learn More about the Ultimate Xbox 360 Care Kit.

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Xbox 360 Three Red Lights Fix – Repair It Yourself

    If your Xbox 360 has stopped working and you are getting the 3 red light error don’t panic, there is hope. With some basic tools and a decent repair manual you can fix it yourself.

    You will need a set of torx screwdrivers, If you do not have a set you can pick up a cheap set at your local hardware store.

    The 3 red light error means there is a general hardware failure. First thing you can try is to dis-connect everything and let your console sit for 20 minutes unplugged from the power. Re-connect everything and try it again, If you are still getting the error remove the hard drive and re-install it. Sometimes they get loose and you get a bad connection.

    If that did not fix it you will need to open it up at this point. The most common failures are no video or disks will not read. Both can be repaired fairly easy.

    If you have no video you can try a different video cable, borrow a friends if you do not have another one. If you still have no video but audio is working you will need to check the soldering connections on the main board for the video connector. Consult the manual before attempting this or any other internal repairs.

    If your Xbox is not reading the disks or getting disk errors make sure your disks are clean. After that you may have to replace the DVD drive or if you have the skills you can remove the DVD drive and replace just the pick up assembly. This is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole drive. Again consult the repair manual before attempting this.

    Your other option is to send your console off to Microsoft and Wait. Nothing worse than having Halo 3 and not being able to play it. I prefer to do my own mods and repairs. The console unit is very similar to your home computer, it is actually a small computer. With a little patience anyone can learn how to do there own repairs.

    Once you learn about the inner workings of you game console and repair it you will become real popular with your friends when the game breaks down. This has turned into a part time business for me. Word seems to get around fast. If you want you can make some decent money doing repairs. People would much rather have someone local do their repairs.

    Get The Ultimate Repair Manual Here

    Xbox 360 Consoles For Sale

    Get a great deal on a new or used Xbox 360 Console

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    How To Remove A Stuck Game From Xbox 360

    Halo 3 is stuck inside your Xbox 360 and you want to get it out. There is a way to manually remove it. First you will want to unplug the power for a few minutes to let your Xbox reset. Re-attach the power cord and see if you can now eject your DVD.

    If that did not work turn the power off and unplug it. Remove the face plate on you Xbox console. You will need a thick paper clip or something similar. Straighten one end of it out. With the face plate removed you will see 2 small holes right underneath the DVD player and one hole to the right.

    Since Xbox uses 3 different DVD drives the procedure will vary. If you have a Samsung or Toshiba drive use the small hole on the right. Should be right underneath the X on the DVD drive faceplate. Push your straightened paper clip in the hole until you feel it hit the gear. The gear needs to be spun from left to right. Poke around until you find it then push in gently until you feel it move. You will see the tray start to move out.

    For Hitatchi DVD drives go for the first hole on the left. Beng DVD drives will use the middle hole. This requires the most pressure to get the gear to turn. You will see the tray start to move.

    take your time and do not push too hard in case you are missing the correct spot. Once the tray starts to eject you can pull on it slightly to help it open. You should now be able to remove your Game.

    Now why did your game get stuck in the first place? Could be a lot of different reasons. You may have to replace your DVD drive if you are having loading problems. See the guide before attempting this.

    If you are having other problems with your Xbox 360 Get a copy of the repair manual here.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    Make Money Repairing Xbox 360’s – Get In On A Red Hot Business Opportunity

    With, what seems like every other Xbox breaking down there is a huge demand for Xbox 360 repair. Why not cash in on the opportunity? After you repair your first one you will discover that they are pretty easy to repair. Not much different than your computer.

    Microsoft charges $140 for a repair and it takes forever. I bet your friends will gladly pay you to fix there game console and get it back in half the time it would take them to send it in.

    Once you get your confidence built up by getting a few repairs under your belt, place an add in the local paper and watch the phone start ringing off the hook.

    This is exactly what I did and now have a nice little business going. I can repair most consoles in less than an hour now. Making some pretty good money doing it. My customers are very happy to pay me and have their Xbox back in working order.

    The tools you need are pretty basic. You probably already have most of them in your toolbox. The rest you can pick up at any hardware store or Radio Shack. I even built up a stock of old parts from some very cheap non-working consoles I bought off of eBay.

    Not to mention 80 percent of the broken consoles I bought off of eBay I ended up repairing. They sell as fast as I can fix them. Most of them were simple repairs. I cannot believe people sold them. Oh well their loss.

    I love the look of the game console but the fact is they jammed too much electronics into such a small case causing a lot of breakdowns. Combine this with hours of steady game play and you end up getting the dreaded 3 ring of death error.

    So once again if you are even slightly skilled with basic hand tools and get yourself a good repair guide you can not only repair your own game console but you can make some very good money doing it for others and you will be providing a much needed and valuable service.

    Learn How To Do Repairs With This Easy To Follow Guide