Trivia

Hard

Many Xbox 360 Owners, Desperate To Fix The “Red Ring Of Death” Failure, Resorted To Wrapping Them In?

Cold Cuts
Towels
Duct Tape
Aluminum Foil
An Xbox 360 showing the infamous Ring of Death.
Droobey/Wikimedia

Answer: Towels

As a general (and well applied) rule, you never want to purposely overheat your electronics. Typically, we go to great lengths to ensure our computers run cool, our consoles don’t overheat due to being shoved into poorly ventilated cabinets, and our smartphones don’t roast at the beach to the point that they shut down.

Yet a manufacturing defect in early Xbox 360 models led many owners to do just that: purposely overheating their Xboxes. Why? Many of the Xbox 360s had a solder problem where the soldering points connecting the GPU and other large chips on the motherboard were failing because of tiny microbreaks in the solder, resulting in intermittent to complete shutdowns of the machine. In desperation, they were effectively turning their Xboxes into little ovens by wrapping the console tightly in towels or other thick material in order to overheat the device and, in the process, “reflow” the solder connection points on the chips.

This method, as you can imagine, wasn’t very controlled (nor was it consistently effective). Many Xbox 360 owners whose warranty claims were denied or were out of warranty service areas resorted to more intense methods, including removing the motherboard from the machine and using a heat gun to properly and completely reflow the soldering points on the motherboard.

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