Xbox 360 E74 DIY Reflow
Whaddup kids, Mic-B here back with another slick fix. I had one of the many 360′s I’ve fixed from the RRoD come back to me with the dreaded E74 error. I had already previously done the X-Clamp fix on this beast; so voiding the warranty wasn’t a problem — sadly, out the window was sending it to Microsoft as well. I was already in knee deep on this box, so I had to finish it out right.
Be warned… this error *can* be caused by a faulty AV cable; but if you can see the error code on the screen when you turn it on (see the first photo below) then the cable is definitely not to blame. At this point, it’s either a pin of that scaler chip itself that has become unseated or a broken trace between the GPU and the ANA/HANA chip. If you’d like to see the forum thread I gathered information from, you can check that out on xbox-scene.com. There really is a scarce amount of information on this fix at the time of this writing.
In order to make sure that I did it up right, I went out to trusty ol Home Depot and purchased a Ryobi Non-Contact Infrared Thermometer. This thing is cheap, wicked, and I highly recommend it to anyone attempting ANY reflow as it takes all of the guesswork out. Before, when I had to play it safe and would try two or three times on some units, I can now know when the solder has reached its melting point, exactly how hot the board is and whether or not the board is heated evenly, etc… it’s awesome to say the least. Wordemup.
So, this fix is pretty straightforward, with a few exceptions. Instead of reflowing from the top, you should hit this one from the bottom. Ensure that you clean off the thermal paste and remove the heat sink from the GPU (the short one — on elites and 2nd edition hardware, this heatsink also has the secondary sink with the copper pipe attached to it) so that your work area is clean. Thermal paste, on average, will melt at about 248F, whereas the solder will start to melt at 423F. If you don’t take that heatsink off and clean the chip you’ll definitely fry it playing games afterward.
For where to reflow, check the video below. Ensure that you remove all of the cables (SATA and power for the drive) and the little cushions on the four black chips you see in the photo above. Also, after your done, ensure that you play test your unit extensively because these can slip back into submission much like the PS3s with the YLoD.
Hope this information helps, and if you need some advice, drop me a comment on this article or snag my e-mail from the “About Mic-B” page.