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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,


I need some help...


I purchased a used XBOX 360 Core. There is no warranty, but it only cost me $62. Here is what happens:


*Right now, I'm connecting using an AV composite cable. I'm not even sure that makes a difference to the problem I'm about to describe... but, I get this transparent jagged line pattern moving up the screen like:


\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\** \\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**\\\\**


This happens after I play for about an hour or so. The pattern starts out so light that you can't notice it unless you're REALLY looking for it. As time goes by past the hour, it becomes more noticeable and more frequent. More system actually shut down once when it got severe.


*When I connect using S-Video, I have the pattern all across the screen and it's immediately VERY noticeable.


Granted, my TV is a piece of crap, as my standard TV pictures have terrible lines across the screen etc.


With that said, should I assume that this is a problem with my junky TV? Or, is the video hardware in my 360 fried? Or both, because....


*I get the 3 red rings of Doom sometimes. When I do, I hit my 360 on it's sides like a big handclap. I don't hit it so hard that it would break, but hard enough. Suddenly it begins to work. It usually 3 rings if I'd just played a video game, but not when I use the dashboard.


What should I do to my 360 to determine if the problem is related to the video hardware? Advice is very much welcomed!
 

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I'm assuming you looked through this thread first:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=717200

If not, have a look. It will tell you what the red lights mean and you may be able to determine your problem that way.


Secondly, most will tell you that once you start getting the 3 red rings, it is only a matter of time before the xbox is permanently broken anyway. In all likelihood it has nothing to do with your TV or the connection since you are seeing the red rings. Maybe there was a good reason you got it for only $60...


On a side note, I would refrain from hitting the box while it is on because there is a known issue of the 360 scratching disks if you move the unit while a disk is spinning. You could end up ruining your games as well.


Anyway, call microsoft (1-800-4-MY-XBOX) they can repair it, but you'll have to pay for it since it is out of warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I realized it wasn't in perfect working condition... after all, it was $62. However, I also realize that sometimes a problem is minor and can be repaired with some simple fixes. I'm able to play the system for hours at a time (4 hours on Saturday, 5 on Sunday, with only the video problem I described on composite video).


I'm sure this thing has been red-ringing long before I got it, but it still works when I hit it, which indicates to me that something might be out-of-place inside. I only hit it when it's off. I'd never hit anything running electric while it's powered on, lol.


Having MS repair it would be a waste. It would make more sense to just buy a new one, but I don't want to do that until I'm certain I can't repair it myself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresnel /forum/post/0


I realized it wasn't in perfect working condition... after all, it was $62. However, I also realize that sometimes a problem is minor and can be repaired with some simple fixes. I'm able to play the system for hours at a time (4 hours on Saturday, 5 on Sunday, with only the video problem I described on composite video).


I'm sure this thing has been red-ringing long before I got it, but it still works when I hit it, which indicates to me that something might be out-of-place inside. I only hit it when it's off. I'd never hit anything running electric while it's powered on, lol.


Having MS repair it would be a waste. It would make more sense to just buy a new one, but I don't want to do that until I'm certain I can't repair it myself.


Easy fix. Open the 360, clean off the GPU and CPU very well and both heatsinks. Then apply a good thermal paste like Arctic Silver and put everything back together properly. Should work fine after a few hours of use once the thermal paste cures.
 

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cure time with artic silver is probably closer to 200-300 hours
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by formulanerd /forum/post/0


cure time with artic silver is probably closer to 200-300 hours


So they say, but I've never seen any notcieable results after 200-300 hours. Quite simply, you'll get quicker results from running at max load for a few hours then shutting down to cool for an hour or so, then repeat the cycle again. After a few on-off cycles over a period of a day or two, it will have cured as good as its going to get. I've only been using Arctic Silver since the original formula so I know a LITTLE about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay guys...


I've determined that my S-Video cable is a piece of crap. I ran the 360 first using the composite video cable, and everything looked fine for at least an hour. Then I unplugged it and ran the 360 with the S-Video cable... instantly bad picture with the heavy and moving line patterns. I uplugged the S-Video. I then realized that the S-video cord also has composite video connectors, so I plugged those in... again, awful picture.


So, I know for sure that the S-Video cable is crap. I bought it from Gamestop and it's a Gamestop re-package of a MadCatz cable. I'm guessing that I got a used one (thanks Gamestop!).


Nevertheless, I'm now certain that something is wrong with what's processing the video. I'm going to crack the 360 open and do some work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fresnel /forum/post/0


Hey, any chance the power supply could be causing a problem? It's a knock-off brand that says "X-360". It cost $49.


No. As I said before, it's the cheap thermal paste and thermal pad they use from the factory. Once you get the heatsinks off, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about. I've talked about this in a few threads in this forum if you want to search for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by AST /forum/post/0


No. As I said before, it's the cheap thermal paste and thermal pad they use from the factory. Once you get the heatsinks off, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about. I've talked about this in a few threads in this forum if you want to search for it.

I've read some of that. I'll be working on it soon.


I'm just figuring that this may not be the cause of ALL the problems. I have the red rings under control now; the power supply was overheating but I built a cradle that allows the air to circulate in all directions and I haven't had a problem since.


The only problem I'm concerned with now is that video line issue I talked about. The word "distortion" pops into my mind each time I see it. If it's not just a thermal materials situation causing that line and then an increase in distortion as playtime elapses, it could be anything like a problem with the video input on the 360 or my crappy TV. I have to hook this thing up to another TV to rule the latter out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Allllll right... I believe I have found the problem of my video distortion once and for all! Here is the scoop:


I have a composite video connection hooked up. After a short time, a transparent but visible distortion line begins to move up the screen similar to this:


\\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\ \\


I opened the 360 (which was hell! I cut my fingers and stabbed one finger to bloody pain, lol). I checked everything and fixed a few minor issues, cleaned the chips, etc.


I packed everything back up, hooked up the 360 and got the same issue again. Then it dawned on me... check the connection at the TV inputs! So, I pulled the video plug out slightly but still leaving it connected enough for it to display video properly, and I began to see an immediate, dramatic reduction in the distortion line pattern. When I plugged it all the way in, the distortion increased, when I took it out partially it decreased again. Since the distortion also took place with S-Video as well (but far more severe), I believe I can conclude that there is something wrong with my the way my TV receives video, which is no surprise since it's not in good shape anyway and looks awful and line-ridden while watching standard cable TV. Whatever the 360 is doing, it's more powerful than what my TV can handle.


This is what I'm gathering for now. So I have to fix the thermal materials inside the 360, and figure out how to fix my TV until I get my HD monitor.
 
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