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Old 06-06-2009, 10:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 548
Default Re: Bake Your Video Card Back To Life

I know a lot about the XBox 360 repairs, and the "true bake" method DOES work- but most people just think "wrap a towel around it and over heat it" which will break your system down worse.

Reasons for this working:
Solder joints break down in time - this is normal.. because of Physics, Gravity, and Thermal Expansion.

When you "bake" a board (or GPU) your heating evenly the whole board, at a lower temp - this can work for some of the easy joints but if it is a cold solder joint (like on Xbox 360) this Won't work, you'd have to heat the board up enough to melt the caps off - breaking it worse- to heat the cold solder ball up enough to reflow it.

A more effective way is a $30 heat gun, some aluminum foil, sticky tack, and silver tape, plus some Oven Bags on a Griddle. You isolate the Cold Joint problem areas (CPU, GPU, North Bridge) away from the Caps all around them with the bags and aluminum and tape and all, then heat gun that thing for about 3 minutes to get it up to melting points , and you will end up (when done right) a 110% xbox 360 = 110% because not even MS "brand new stock" connections are as well done as this method. (Cheap robotics line)

I am sure you could use a Heat Gun and Griddle to fix GPU's and other issues too- the griddle is just to keep the "back" hot so that no odd thermal expansion warping occurs while you apply the heat gun.

When done PROPERLY this could be fine - however I see a lot of idiots cranking their ovens to MAX HEAT and actually baking their system parts for waaaay too long, creating a new life form we'd like to call "The Angry Gamer".

Trick with ovens - don't leave it unwatched - don't crank it - and don't leave it in there over 5 minutes at a time. 3 minutes for Xbox 360 parts remember you can always add more heat and melt some more stuff, but you can't really "freeze" the over-melted junk back into working order.

Overheating is the secondary problem with Xbox 360's , it's not the heat itself that is the problem like people think though - it's how MS has the mainboard laying/screwed into the case of the 360 that causes massive warping and literally at those temps - the solder is loose enough to just "pop free" from the tension.

When you ReFlow a part - you use Flux and a Heat Gun to clean the solder and "melt it again" back into working condition, ReFlowing when you have practice is a very easy task and can rake you in a TON of money (Charge $25 for a Xbox 360 Reflow repair and watch yourself become rich. + s/h costs. meanwhile you do about $8 of work.) Just takes some practice and proper isolation of heat sensitive caps.

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