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Fixing an Xbox360 with a towel

  1. Apr 4, 2008 #1
    Hi. Earlier today my xbox was giving me the three red lights around the power button that signal a hardware malfunction.

    I went online to try to find a way to fix it, and almost all of the methods involved opening up the xbox and fiddling with the circuit board. I was, however, unwilling to take that risk.

    I did find the following, however:

    If you take 3 or 4 towels, turn on your xbox, and wrap the xbox up in the towels, you will force the xbox to overheat. Then you take off the towels, turn off the xbox, and let it cooldown. Then you turn it on and it should work.

    I tried this on my xbox, and I was very astonished that is actually worked.

    My question is: Why would overheating fix a hardware problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2008 #2
    Maybe it was too cold to begin with :P
  4. Apr 4, 2008 #3


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    Well, a shutdown forced by an over-temperature situation is not the same as a normal shutdown. The over-temperature shutdown is probably abrupt -- power is just turned off to the entire system with no warning. If your "hardware problem" wasn't an actual mechanical malfunction, but was some kind of a memory corruption problem, this unmanaged shutdown might cause some things to be reset to their factory defaults.

    This is just a guess, though -- I have no experience with this specific situation.

    - Warren
  5. Apr 5, 2008 #4


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    Get a PS3. :tongue::wink:
  6. Apr 7, 2008 #5
    The problem with all except perhaps the newest revision of X360s is warping of the mainboard. Due to poor design the mainboard will warp, disrupting the connections between the mainboard and the CPU and GPU. One cause for this is poor heatsink (X clamps) design.

    What the towel thing does is cause the solder to reflow, temporarily restoring those connections until the next warping event.

    In summary: X360s are poorly designed systems which'll fail right after your warranty expires :P
  7. Apr 7, 2008 #6
    is that poor design or very clever timeings of failing
    as before your warranty expires, that would cost them
    and after makes a new sale
  8. Apr 7, 2008 #7
    The towel trick is only temporary and purposely causing it to overheat multiple times will eventually damage other components on the motherboard and ruin your 360 for good.

    Opening up the console and having a whack at the X-Clamp replacement is the only fix that addresses the root of the problem.
  9. Apr 7, 2008 #8
    Actually, its been working for almost a week now without problems.
  10. Apr 7, 2008 #9


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    It's even cleverer, games/media/game currency/etc that you download to your Xbox is locked to that X-box. There are lots of complaints about trying to get MS to refund stuff even when they repair it under warranty.
    Supposedly failure rates for some models run at >15%!
  11. May 13, 2008 #10
    is tht too cold for the environment?
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