45 minuten - 1 uur
The Red Ring of Death was cramping our style and rather than spending $99 to ship back to Microsoft, I bought this kit to use as a learning experience for my 8 year old son.
Summary: The repair went great and the XBox worked perfectly after completing it. My son was able to do a number of the steps in the repair, and for the most part the guide walked us through everything.
The kit had everything we needed for the repair other than isopropyl alcohol and some sort of static free q-tips to apply it. You also should have access to a heat gun for the reflowing step (we used a cheap pink one my wife had for embossing).
The X-Box opening tool did what it was supposed to, although it wasn't as robust as an actual spudger would have been, and at certain points it was bending as the steel is softer than the machine steel in the screwdrivers.
In most cases the instructions were really good, although there were a few areas where the pictures were too small to make out what the chip should look like after cleaning, or how to lift the motherboard from the side it showed.
Also be careful when peeling off the adhesive from the provided mini-heat syncs. There are two layers and it is actually pretty easy to peel the adhesive paper completely off instead of just the plastic covering it.
We took our time and did it in two phases: Disassembly: which took us about 1 1/2 hours on day 1.
And Cleaning, thermal pasting and reassembling the heat sync took about 2 hours.
Reassembly was literally a snap and should take you less than 15 minutes.
The only other two criticisms of the kit: It wasn't clear that the T10 screws should be removed with the torque wrench instead of the T8 screwdriver and my son almost stripped a number of the screws as a result until I caught the mistake. It would be nice if the kit just included a T10 screwdriver.
The only other part that was way trickier than expected was getting the new screws and washers installed on the processor heat sync.
I recommend doing this with the mother board on its side as otherwise the screws keep popping out or the washers keep falling off. However this is a place where it helps to have 4 hands available: 1 to hold the motherboard on its side, 1 to hold the processor heat sync, 1 to hold the screws from the back of the mother board, and one to put the washers on. The washers had a tendency to fall off until you got the screws in part way even with the motherboard on its side.
Most nail polish removers have a lot of other crap in them (gelatin, frangrace), so I wouldn't recommend using them, the one my wife had didn't seem to work terribly well.
Isopropyl alcohol is probably safest as it won't damage anything, but requires a lot of elbow grease. Belatedly I saw I should use the spudger to scrape off the old thermal paste, but I was afraid to damage the chips so stuck with the alcohol and static free cotton swabs.
Clean the chips well, this and the reflowing are probably the two most important steps to get right.