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Xbox 360 overheating - red light on power brick


MeganJoanne
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Okay, so several years ago I got a 360 from a friend, had that for a few years up until last year when problems that it started with escalated to the point of being unplayable, mainly overheating which cause games to freeze, the console to abruptly turn off even just a few minutes into a game, controls not responding and all sorts of mess. I took it apart, dusted it out, eventually leaving the casing unscrewed just to easily get at the insides better for regular maintenance. But after a time, nothing I did helped, I ended up too frustrated by it, tossed it, piece of junk.

Fast forward, last week ordered another one for myself off of ebay, this from a seller with all positive marks, so thought, okay, plenty of pictures, looks good, had good communication, shipped out right away, though the post office got screwy and this priority mail package came to Austin, then suddenly right back to where it came from, and then back again and finally I get it. It was packaged very well, lots of bubble wrap, very well protected. I take it out, look it over, looks good cosmetically. Needed a little bit of dusting, the console looks great. Though the power supply, the brick, super dusty, on the inside. I used a make up brush as well as a needle to remove a lot of it from the small holes along the sides, felt satisfied, at least that I hope I removed enough of it and the whole thing wasn't filled with it. I plug it all up, turn it on and after a time trying to remember how to set it up and trying to get my games onto it with my account, start up State of Decay and play that for a little bit. All seems well, but felt the console every few moments and it was getting hotter, but not just that, the brick as well. Hmm, only ever had the 360 I had before this and that was used also, and wonder, what are the odds of me getting another one with the same issues?

After a short break I try out some more games, first it does not recognize my Skyrim disc, what the fuck? Was okay with Fallout 3 for the handful of minutes I tested it, but then with Oblivion, having gotten too hot, too hot to hold in the hand for even a moment, the power brick gave me a red light and the system was instantly shut off as a result. To Oblivion with this! Really?! After giving it time to cool down I give it another shot, try a few more games, and as with before after a short time of 20 something minutes, got to Just Cause 2, controls were hesitant, sometimes buttons worked, sometimes not, and then suddenly, red light on brick, super hot again, instant shut down. Try again, this time unplugged from power strip, plugged directly into wall outlet (cause I'm grasping at straws).  Skyrim finally worked after I unistalled it and read directly from disc only (strange), but then froze up not even but a minute into starting from a save point. Oblivion worked this time though the system hadn't reached full heat intensity yet. Tomb Raider Underworld froze on black screen before anything came up. Castlevania Symphony of the Night seemed fine but that is the least taxing game I have with being an older game and not 3D, played til the first boss duo. Far Cry III, a few minutes, threw a grenade, power brick showed red and the whole thing yet again, kablooey.

Okay, so stayed in contact with seller the whole time with what was going on, pictures, a video showing the issue happening. She offered to send me a replacement power brick. I didn't feel too confident in that, because what if that too didn't work, like what if the console itself is fuck also? It was a stressful, very disappointing day, and I felt like I should have just waited until a time I could afford an xbox one instead of trying my luck with old used crap, just because I have games for it that I enjoy the hell out of and miss playing. Eventually end of the night she offers me a deal, I paid $79 for it, she'd give me $45 back and I keep the console. I couldn't imagine her wanting to scam me or anything given her ratings and the trouble she herself was going through with this, because that would put her at risk of a negative mark on her seller status. After much consideration, I took the offer, and she gave me back $49 (extra $4 over what she initial offered), and I can either look at this as losing $30.02 or actually doing okay, that is if, if I can either get a new power supply that could, maybe make this work as it should, that is if the console itself is okay, or resell it as-is for parts or whatever because with that overheating issue impossible for me to know if it is just the power brick (be it still lots of dust inside or just faulty) or both that and the console.

I cannot use it currently, risk not only to further damage to the console but also as hot as the power brick thing got, worry about fire hazard with that. I don't want to chance wasting money on another power supply and cord if ultimately it continues to overheat, been through that already with my last 360 and thousands of hours of joy over the course of several years turned into frustration much like I experience with the launch of the very first Playstation and its issues of freezing and troubles with fmv that nearly made me give up on it. I do not want to give up on the 360, I like the games too much for it, but then I could have those same games and more if I upgraded, moved on, but I opted to stay with the 360 for now and well, this is what I got, like I was right back where I was at the end of my last one, but right at the start of this one, the issue of faulty parts, overheating, whatever else could be wrong with it. I could chance opening it up, but it was hard enough getting into my 360 last year to open that without the proper special screwdriver and certainly I am not for wanting to risk health trying to get into the power brick just to try to clear it of all dust and risk electric shock for what could still probably not work right.

There are cheapy generic power bricks thingies, brand new, but have no idea of how good those are, and certainly not for trusting something that could fail a short time after getting it and now also even more leary about getting another one used at all. Maybe that is all that is wrong, get one that works as it should, everything okay, got a 360 for $30, but if not, lose $30 and then whatever I pay for another power supply. At a dilemma, and one I should not even be experiencing, but here I am, paid money for something that I can't use unless I can safely get it to work.

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Fast foward to 23 minutes into video, red light, instant shut down.

 

Edited by MeganJoanne
minor edit
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Took the console apart, it was extremely dusty as I figured, though because of special screws impossible to remove with any of my screwdrivers, can't open the brick.

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At least the console is clean now.

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But console still overheating because brick is probably either clogged with dust, which is most likely, or it is simply just faulty in some other way. It lasted longer though this time, playing for 45 minutes but turned it off before it shone the red light which was close to happening given how hot both console and power brick were becoming, again.

Would a new brick solve the issue, I would like to think so, would hope so.

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Member · Posted

I think the headline here is that you paid 79 bucks for a 360, geez! 😜

Seriously tho, yeah I've got a 360 slim like you that has been giving me issues. No overheating, fortunately, but various other things...

Sometimes the power brick gives me a red light if I don't use the system for a while.... I've had Random crashes on boot-up, sometimes just giving a black screen. That seemed to start happening after I updated the system recently. Sometimes the controller just randomly turns off, even with good batteries.

Also I've recently been playing GTA V, and I'm not sure if it's the game or what, but the system has crashed several times trying to get that beast of a game running, lol!

Eh, way I see it, comes with the territory of XBOX 360, they were just poorly designed and poorly manufactured I'm afraid. It's the cost of entry for running the system, frankly, putting up with such issues, but IMO the games are outstanding, it has an excellent library that's worth the hassle.

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18 minutes ago, OptOut said:

I think the headline here is that you paid 79 bucks for a 360, geez! 😜

Seriously tho, yeah I've got a 360 slim like you that has been giving me issues. No overheating, fortunately, but various other things...

Sometimes the power brick gives me a red light if I don't use the system for a while.... I've had Random crashes on boot-up, sometimes just giving a black screen. That seemed to start happening after I updated the system recently. Sometimes the controller just randomly turns off, even with good batteries.

Also I've recently been playing GTA V, and I'm not sure if it's the game or what, but the system has crashed several times trying to get that beast of a game running, lol!

Eh, way I see it, comes with the territory of XBOX 360, they were just poorly designed and poorly manufactured I'm afraid. It's the cost of entry for running the system, frankly, putting up with such issues, but IMO the games are outstanding, it has an excellent library that's worth the hassle.

No issues, knock on wood, with my 360 E!

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Member · Posted
3 minutes ago, a3quit4s said:

No issues, knock on wood, with my 360 E!

Ah yes, actually I was going to ask if anyone had any experience with the E, I've never used one myself!

With the problems I've been having with my 360, I have been considering buying an E, hopefully I can even try to find a brand new one for cheap, I mean they're not THAT old are they...

But, as far as you are aware, are these models more reliable than either the original or the slim?

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7 hours ago, a3quit4s said:

Did you apply new thermal paste while you had the console open?

Have no experience in doing any of that. The 360 is the most modern console I've had so far, but being used to having to take consoles apart to clean dust out or whatever is as far as I've ever done.

Edited by MeganJoanne
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5 hours ago, OptOut said:

I think the headline here is that you paid 79 bucks for a 360, geez! 😜

Correction, after partial refund I paid $30, and 2 cents. Which was a much fairer price given the condition of it. But if I can get it working then even better. I thought at first, I give up, I'll just resell as-is, try to get all the money back that I spent, but now thinking, I want to be able to get this working right so maybe I will stick with it since I do have money to spare now. And if it still doesn't work, well learning experience, though that wasn't what I was after, sometimes just happens and can be costly, thus is life.

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Member · Posted

Applying new thermal paste would be taking the processor off the motherboard, cleaning the old off and adding fresh.  this helps dissipate heat from the processor.  can be a little overwhelming for a newbie, but I'm sure there are lots of YouTube vids out there u can watch.  thermal paste is pretty cheap as well so it wouldn't be an expensive process.  that being said I wish I could help ya out with this but I don't know enough about it to weigh in past anything already said.  don't they sell fans for these to help with overheating?  I think that was generally the main issue with this gen of systems from Microsoft but I could be wrong on all of this.

Edited by Jeevan
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Okay, so spent some time yesterday trying to find a way into the power brick without the required security screwdriver bit. Hammer and screwdriver, pounding away at the little bump in the center of the 4 screws, then tried one of the asterisk shaped bits I have, the right shape and size, but no hole in the middle to make it fit properly, thus why I was trying to mash those bumps. Managed to get one flat enough that this bit I have actually worked, I was able to remove one of the screws. Yes! But still had 3 more to go. It was getting late, too late to be pounding and making a lot of noise so I tried a combination, flathead screwdriver bit which I tore the hell out of the tip of it and then the star/asterisk shaped one and got the rest of the screws removed. Whew. That was rough work. And of course, the fan was caked with thick yellowish-brown dust. Hopefully the only reason this thing was giving me the red light and those emergency shut offs.

 

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So, took apart the fan, used a few makeup brushes to brush away all the dust. Damn that was nasty.

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Not perfect, usually would wipe down parts with rubbing alcohol or wash anything nonelectrical, still, clean enough, so much better, clear enough that if the dust was the only cause of the overheating, then hopefully it will work properly now.

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Member · Posted
8 minutes ago, MeganJoanne said:

So, took apart the fan, used a few makeup brushes to brush away all the dust. Damn that was nasty.

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Not perfect, usually would wipe down parts with rubbing alcohol or wash anything nonelectrical, still, clean enough, so much better, clear enough that if the dust was the only cause of the overheating, then hopefully it will work properly now.

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Fine job, good luck! 🙂

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Ever since one of my NES consoles that I got in 1999 I have taken apart game consoles, and controllers to clean and/or repair them, as well as my laptops, but this was the first power brick thing I took apart. Lacked the proper tool for opening it, but got it opened, got it cleaned out, put back together again (except I did not put the 4 screws back, fuck no, they were hell to remove), now all I have to do is test it out. Just waiting for my camera to charge so I can record and take pictures and then it will either be good news or more of the same bad news.

Anyway, for those interested, made some vids of my little project.

 

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I think I might be in good shape. Once my camera was charge, I started recording and plugged xbox 360 back in, turned it on, tested it out with State of Decay. Played that for nearly a half hour and all seems well with the power adapter, the brick never got hot, at most, warm or sorta hottish but not quite that much and that took a bit. Fan is noticable, I can hear it, I suppose that is better than not at all, at least I know it is spinning, so I guess that is good.

Okay, so it has been a while since this video and the console is still on, currently waiting for game demos to download (a slow process with wi-fi). The console itself is letting off a lot of heat, but only from the vent and a bit on the right side but so far okay. Only other issue and one I had to start, still having trouble with Skyrim which makes no sense because the game worked perfectly fine when I last played that on my previous 360 and has been in the case since until I got this 360 and has not a single scratch upon it. Only thing I can think of, the disc reader is having issues with some games, because it said it couldn't read the disk the few times it failed to but then one time did though froze just a minute into starting, so I may have to remove that and take it apart also to see what it looks like, could also be dusty given how bad everything else was inside the console.

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Member · Posted

Fan noise from the power supply is normal, as is a reasonable amount of heat from the system during operation.

Not sure about the Skyrim crashing issues. It always COULD be a laser issue, did you say you are having disc read issues with multiple games there? Might just be a dusty or dirty laser, which you can clean with a microfibre cloth and alcohol.

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Member · Posted
1 hour ago, Jeevan said:

Glad this is working out a lot better for ya.  And, the best part, u can tell @OptOut u got it for way less than when u originally did 😉.  Hopefully you can get the laser thing figured out and enjoy yourself 🙂.

Yeah, but I still got mine for like 7 bucks, so I'm STILL gonna tear her apart for that, lol! 😉

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3 hours ago, OptOut said:

Fan noise from the power supply is normal, as is a reasonable amount of heat from the system during operation.

Not sure about the Skyrim crashing issues. It always COULD be a laser issue, did you say you are having disc read issues with multiple games there? Might just be a dusty or dirty laser, which you can clean with a microfibre cloth and alcohol.

I had the console on for hours, and the whole time after cleaning the brick it never got hot, only warm, not the burning my hand feel it was at before, no red light, no sudden shut down, so I am confident I solved that problem. Okay, so I guess I'm good on the noise from it. My last 360 I had for over 3 years, never heard any noise from it at all, probably because the fan in the brick in that one was clogged too, that if I would have known what I do now, could have saved it. Oh well, took a while but experience level up.

Going to take the console apart again later and see about taking a look at the laser.

 
2 hours ago, Jeevan said:

Glad this is working out a lot better for ya.  And, the best part, u can tell @OptOut u got it for way less than when u originally did 😉.  Hopefully you can get the laser thing figured out and enjoy yourself 🙂.

Thank you Jeevan.

1 hour ago, OptOut said:

Yeah, but I still got mine for like 7 bucks, so I'm STILL gonna tear her apart for that, lol! 😉

And probably didn't have to go through the trouble I did. Not only went through all that frustration with the seller and trying to come to a more fair deal for what could have been junk, but had to take everything apart and do a total house cleaning inside (pretty sure given the little 360 sticker on the back that I had to tear to open the console that I was the first to get inside of it) not just the console but the power supply, and my left hand is so sore today from all the screwing I was doing. Guess I wasn't doing it right, didn't have the right tool, but I managed.😉

But I think a used console just wouldn't feel used if one didn't have to put a bit of effort into making them nice and shiny and workable, though one should always pay a fair price for them too. And mine was console and power supply only, for $59, then shipping on top of that and tax, thus came up to $79.02. I already have a generic wired controller which will suffice for now. $30 is much better and fair for me, but yeah, your $7 deal, that was a steal. At least I don't feel like I've been screwed as I felt like I had at the beginning.

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Well, disk drive perfectly fine and very clean inside, no point showing that. Found my issue with my Skyrim that I thought was in perfect shape, there is a fingernail shaped thick scratch or gash in the inner part close to the spindle hole. Don't understand how it got that. Tried about a dozen times to get it to play, sometimes showed the icon sometimes not, would not recognize the game once I tried to play it though. Except that one time early on when it played for about a minute and then froze, but nothing since then, but that was also prior to me cleaning the power supply. But I decided to try to install instead, several times, 3% then suddenly tells me the disc cannot be read that it was no good, damaged or dirty. Decided to try the toothpaste method that I have read about since many years ago but never actually needed to try, but wasn't sure how that could possibly work, and it didn't, but then maybe I rinsed it too well afterwards. I was going to give up but gave it one more try, this time not rinsing it afterwards, just wiped with a tissue (still left a smear I didn't quite see with my crappy eyes until this picture). Give it yet another try and then suddenly it goes beyond 3%, 4, 5, and so on, holy shit, it might make it. Almost there, 90, 95, 99%... ... 100%... installed. Yes! So now is just a matter of being able to get it to read initially so it knows I own a copy of the game and then just play off of the hard drive. At least I hope that would work fine, would avoid me having to spend more on another disc.

So glad that it is not the disc drive, though mystery how the game got damaged there. Damn fragile discs. So, with final issues worked out, hopefully this console will provide me as many long hours as my last one did.

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Remembers those days what seems like ages ago when I had to fiddle with NES carts to get the console to read them. Wipe contacts with rubbing alcohol, okay clean, now read! Dammit, still not good. Shifts the cart ever so slightly, reset, got it! Always ever been those little pain in the ass issues, quirks to every console.

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Member · Posted
5 minutes ago, MeganJoanne said:

Remembers those days what seems like ages ago when I had to fiddle with NES carts to get the console to read them. Wipe contacts with rubbing alcohol, okay clean, now read! Dammit, still not good. Shifts the cart ever so slightly, reset, got it! Always ever been those little pain in the ass issues, quirks to every console.

Ya know, except for having to clean it, the n64 and the snes seems to be the most stable imo 🙂.  of course I think that the snes is king haha.  

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35 minutes ago, MeganJoanne said:

Remembers those days what seems like ages ago when I had to fiddle with NES carts to get the console to read them. Wipe contacts with rubbing alcohol, okay clean, now read! Dammit, still not good. Shifts the cart ever so slightly, reset, got it! Always ever been those little pain in the ass issues, quirks to every console.

Goddamn 10NES chip

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