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The slim edition of the classic Xbox 360 with a 250GB HDD and built-in Wi-Fi. Repair requires intricate prying and special tools.

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Xbox 360 red dots on cold start, runs fine warm. Why?

This is a model I’m using to learn more about repair. I broke a screw head on the heat sink so I’m pretty sure that is the issue, but for reassurance that I’m understanding what is happening I’d like second opinions. I warmed up the heat sink with a hair dryer thinking maybe the thermal paste needed to warm up to settle, and booted the Xbox with no issue. It started up, it played games, connected to the internet, wrote to the hard drive. Acted like new, however after letting it cool it immediately red dots. I am trying this with all the screws and parts attached except that one single screw on the heatsink that snapped. The sink makes a solid connection to the chip, so would that one single screw really be the issue, or is there something else I’m not understanding happening behind the scenes? Thank you in advance! (Note: I have also already bridged the zero-ohm resistors known to cause the false overheat. After that I intentionally took the motherboard out to clean everything with rubbing alcohol 91%, that’s when it started red dotting again)

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You have mind boggled me. This is one of the most specific problems ever. Good luck

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First of all that screw head might totally be the problem, and I am only speaking from the experience of fixing a red dot on an xbox 360 S. Now, I'm going to give you a list of things that may be going wrong. Check the av/hdmi connection (I didn't have it plugged in fully on top of other issues), if that's fine then make sure the fan is acctually spinning when the console is running (do this by running it while the cover is disassebled), make sure that the x clamp on the back of the motherboard is in place fully and settled in its notches, last of all try doing a reflow of all the chips using a heat gun or a hairdryer, remembering to keep the temp. just below 200 degrees farenhiet. Do both sides of the board. Also make sure that all your remaining screws on the heat sink are tightened fully by criss-crossing while tightening. I would definitly buy a replacement screw because even if that's not the problem here, it will definitly cause a problem in the future.

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Thank you, this gives me a list of other things to check, so now I’m not going in so blind. I’m waiting on the new bolt and screws, as well as a new x clamp just in case, to arrive in the mail, then I will proceed to testing all these things and updating with what worked.

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I added the new clamp and replaced the screw as well as the leg on the heat sink with the broken screw and it indeed did fix the problem. Thank you for your advice again!

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