Opening your Xbox 360 is fairly easy however you will need the proper tools and to make sure that you don’t lose any of the parts during process. Below I have listed the necessary tools and all of the steps necessary to open up your Xbox 360 to either upgrade any parts such as the fans or to fix some of the known problems that occur on the Xbox 360 yourself.
Tools Needed To Open Xbox 360:
- Philips Head Screwdriver: size small
- T10 Standard Torx Screwdriver: a T10 torx screwdriver bit will obviously also work
- Pliers: a set of durable needle nose pliers used to remove X clamps attaching heat sinks
- Small Flathead Screwdriver: a fairly thin flathead screwdriver or something similar to a butter knife
Step By Step Instructions For Opening Your Xbox 360:
- Remove Xbox 360 Hard Drive: First detach the Xbox 360 hard drive by pressing the button located on the hard drive and pulling the hard drive away from the Xbox 360. Once the hard drive is removed the side of the Xbox 360 will look similar to the below image.
- Remove Xbox 360 Front Cover: After the Xbox 360’s hard drive has been removed snap off the front cover which can be done by applying outward pressure to the top or bottom of the front cover. The Xbox 360 front cover is basically just a plastic plate which in the below example image is silver so you can see it clearly.
Once removed your Xbox 360 will look like the below example image.
The front cover of the Xbox 360 was made to be changed easily so it should pop off easily.
- Remove Xbox 360 Side Covers: The two side covers are grey in color and also held on only by plastic clips. You should be very careful removing the side covers as the clips are easy to break and until you have removed them once it is likely a clip or two will break in the process. Look at the image below that show the sides removed so you can see how the clips connect the side covers to the Xbox 360 itself. Using the butter knife or the flathead screwdriver start at either end of one of the plastic side covers and pop out the plastic clips. The clips are all located around the edge of the Xbox 360 side covers so once a couple have been snapped loose the sides should come off fairly easily and once they are completely removed your Xbox 360 will look like the below example images.
As you can see above the first image shows the side cover underneath the Xbox 360 hard drive removed, the second image shows the other side cover removed, and the third image shows both Xbox 360 side covers removed.
- Release Xbox 360 Cover Clips: Now exam the image below so you can see how the two halves of the Xbox 360 separate in the back.
You can see that there are numerous clips holding the two parts of the case together. Here you should use the small flathead screwdriver or the butter knife to release each of the clips in the back. After releasing these clips you can also release the clips in the front of the Xbox 360. You should be able to apply pressure to the small part of the plastic clip to release it and once all have been released pull the clips apart.
- Remove Bottom Half Of Xbox 360 Case: Once the plastic clips in the front and the back have been released in step four you can now pull the Xbox 360 apart and remove the bottom half of the Xbox 360 cover as shown in the below example image.
Once the bottom half is pulled away from the top half of the cover the rest of the Xbox 360 will look similar to the below example image.
- Remove Xbox 360 Case Screws: Now you will need the T10 Torx Screwdriver to remove the screws holding the top half of the Xbox 360 cover in place to the metal frame. I believe there are 15 T10 Torx screws holding the top half of the cover onto the Xbox 360 metal frame.
The T10 torx screws are mostly located around the outside of the Xbox 360 metal case and are gold in color.
- Remove Top Half Of Xbox 360 Case: Once the T10 torx screws are removed the Xbox 360 top half should separate from the metal frame and now you should be able to see inside the Xbox 360 where the DVD ROM, motherboard, fans, etc. are located.
- Remove Xbox 360 Power Button: Now when looking at the front of the Xbox 360 you will notice the power button and power button circuit board located on the right side. Pop off the white plastic power button which is only held on by a clip on the top and the bottom of the white power button assembly.
When removed the power button circuit board will display as shown in the below example image.
- Remove Xbox 360 Power Board Screws: There are three screws that hold the power button circuit board to the Xbox 360 metal frame as you can see in the above example image. Use the T10 torx screwdriver to remove the three screws and then the power circuit board will slide directly out towards you as explained in the next step.
- Remove Xbox 360 Power Circuit Board: There is a connection that fits through the front of the Xbox 360 metal frame and connects to the Xbox 360 motherboard. The image below gives you an idea of what the connection to the motherboard looks like.
- Remove Xbox 360 DVD Rom Drive: Now remove the DVD drive from the Xbox 360 by first removing the drive by lifting it out gently as shown in the below image.
After the drive has been moved out of the way as shown in the image remove the two wire connections that come out of the DVD ROM drive and connect to the Xbox 360 motherboard. The wires can be disconnected from either
- Remove Xbox 360 Fan Cover: The fan cover is likely white in color as shown in the below image and is only in place by a couple easy to release clips. The image below shows the Xbox 360 fan cover in process of being removed.
- Remove Xbox 360 Fans: The fans have a single group of wires connected with one plastic connector to the Xbox 360 motherboard so that should be removed first. The wire connector is connected on the left side of the image below. Once the connector is removed the metal bracket holding the fans in place should be lifted up until the two black clips holding it in place can be moved forward and the fans will come out. It takes a fair amount of pressure to remove the fans the first time.
- Remove Xbox 360 Motherboard: With the Xbox 360 case removed, the power button & power circuit board removed, the DVD ROM removed, and now the Xbox 360 fans removed the motherboard should slide out of the metal frame as shown in the below image.
Once the motherboard is completely removed you will be left with the metal case and the motherboard as shown in the below example image.
- Remove Xbox 360 GPU Heat Sink: Both of the heatsinks are connected via x-clamps on the back of the Xbox 360 motherboard as shown in the below image.
Use the needle nose pliers to remove the x-clamps from the Xbox 360 motherboard as shown in the below image.
The GPU heat sink is the slimmer heat sink pictured in the below image.
The GPU is the video card in the Xbox 360.
- Remove Xbox 360 CPU Heat Sink: The second x-clamp is removed in the same manner as the first. Below is an image of the Xbox 360 CPU heat sink.
- Review Of Xbox 360 Parts: Now every major piece of the Xbox 360 has been removed or taken apart so you should have the front cover, the side covers, the top half of the plastic case, the bottom half of the plastic case, the metal case, the DVD ROM drive, the power button assembly, the power circuit board, the fan assembly, the motherboard, the CPU heat sink, and the GPU heat sink.
This should start you on the way to fixing the three red rings of death on the Xbox 360 or you could stop at any of the steps above to replace things such as the fan assembly with a more powerful set of fans. To put the Xbox 360 back together simply follow the directions in reverse.