Has the 3 red light ‘Ring of Death' Stopped you from playing your Favourite Xbox 360 games?
Well, let me tell you that I have been there a couple of times before. Once was only a mere 2 months after I bought the console, which was OK because the game shop just gave me a straight off replacement because it was still under warranty. However, out of warranty it's a right headache. You can pay $140 to Microsoft for a repair and you will have to wait 2-3 weeks for your console to come back. Worse still is that I have heard a few reports that when the Xbox 360 console's came back from Microsoft, the notorious 3 red lights of doom came back shortly afterwards.
So what causes the Hardware failure on the Xbox 360?
The root cause for the ‘ring of death' is the design of the heat sinks, mainly the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). The GPU heat sink is just below the CD drive of the Xbox 360, and as such the heat sink is too small for the heat generated, Its only 10mm (3/8″) High,
Whereas the CPU (Central Processing Unit), is about 50mm (2″) High and comes with a Liquid cooler!
Microsoft, in the Elite changed the design slightly so that the liquid cooling extends to the GPU Which keeps the temperature Uniform between the GPU and the CPU and therefore decreases overall temperature that the system operates at.
So the bottom line is that constant exposure to high temperature's cause the motherboard to warp slightly which causes cracking of some of the solder joints on the board. That then triggers Hardware failure and the 3 red lights show up on your Xbox 360.
After searching online for solutions for this problem, the only free solution was the ‘Towel trick'. You might have heard of it. The ‘towel trick' has worked for some people, but the ‘Ring of Death' Rears it's ugly head again shortly afterwards.
As always with the Internet, if you want good reliable information you have to pay for it. I found 10+ Xbox 360 guides on the web all claiming to get the fix done in 30 minutes, some say 1 hour and others say 2 hours. While most of the guides good offer explanations and step by step instructions, there are some guides that give you summarized information of the top guides out there.
So being a lover of computer games and having an Electronic Engineering degree, I decided to take action and review the top 6 selling guides out there and I narrowed them down to a Top 3.