Monday, October 1, 2007
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.
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:
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.
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,
- 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!
- 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.
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.