How to Fix Xbox 360 Ring of Death

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How to Fix Xbox 360 Ring of Death

The Xbox 360 red ring of death is caused by a hardware snag in the system. This article includes ways to resolve this error.

On starting the Xbox 360 gaming console, the green circle surrounding the power button gets replaced by a red circle, which denotes an error message. This is one of the problems associated with this gaming console.

Ring of death is caused due to a hardware bug initiated by loosening of the graphics processing unit or GPU. Overheating of the motherboard will loosen up the GPU, along with vibrations, and 3 red lights start flashing in place of green lights, while the system freezes. If your product is still under warranty, I would suggest you to send your Xbox to Microsoft, for repair. If you want to fix the problem, avoid using towels, as it just blocks the fan intake and leads to overheating, capacitor drying, or failure in chips. For the procedure, you will need some tools, like washers and screws. You can take help from the Xbox 360 repair guide as well.

Tools Needed

You will need the following tools from the Xbox 360 repair kit.

  • Washers for keeping the motherboard immovable. If you want nylon washers, you can use them, however, you don’t have to touch any component here. So, regular washers will also do.
  • Pan head screws, 3/16″ x ½”, 4, for graphics processing unit and 3/16″ x 1″, 4, for tightening the central processing unit heat sink.
  • Arctic silver thermal paste for heat sink.
  • A flathead screwdriver to break open X clamps and a screw driver, Philips head for machine screws.
  • Socket, ¼ “, to disengage clamp posts off heat sink.
  • Screwdriver, torx 9, to take the screws off case.


Let’s go through the steps to fix this problem.

Disengaging the Case

The first step is to disengage the Xbox 360 case. Take out the faceplate with the help of a screwdriver. Loosen the metal case beneath the plastic.

Taking the Motherboard Off

Put a rigged cardboard over the motherboard and take off the bracket legs. On removing the clamps, the heat sink will come on top of motherboard. Take off the DVD drive, after detaching all cables linked to the motherboard. Move the motherboard to other side and search the X clamp beneath the heat sink. The 2 metal clamps in X shape hold the GPU and CPU to the heat sink. If they lose their elasticity to hold it, this problem crops up. The heat sink has little room to shake back and forth and the motherboard can bend due to the heat. This obstructs heat dissipation and processor loosens.


The next step is to loosen the heat sink to take off graphics processing unit and central processing unit for cleaning. You can use Flathead screw driver for removing the heat sink. Now, with 1/2″ screw driver, disengage the clamp posts. Carefully scrub the thermal glue on graphics processing unit and central processing unit.

Widening the Screw Holes

Widen the screw holes on the case with 3/16″ drill. Make sure that there are no projections on the holes left.

Cleaning GPU and CPU

Cleaning of graphics processing unit and central processing unit is a very crucial step in repairing the ring of death. Apply arctic silver on GPU for cleaning and let it rest for approximately 20 minutes. Fix the heat sink and motherboard back in place. Fix the GPU by using 3/16″ x ½” screws.

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