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roB3AR

3 Reboots Then Flashing Red and Orange (V1.0 Not Modded)

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Hello,

I've been lurking around here for a couple days, but haven't found anyone with the same issue so I thought I'd ask.

I have a v1.0, never modded, xbox (original and only owner). Last time I used it (about a year ago), it was working great, but when I turned it on the other day, it attempted to boot three times, then started flashing red and orange. I was able to get it to boot after restarting it a few times, and I played through a game for about 5 min (then game froze due to a scratch, I'm pretty sure), but I have not been able to get it to start up again since (just 3 reboots and FOAR). If I hit the disc eject button once it's FOAR, the TV will show the green blob come on screen (it freezes after less than a second), but I'll continue to hear the music that goes with it (haven't left it on long enough to see if it goes to main menu and i can hear the sound of changing menu selection). I've seen a few '3 reboots and FRAG' articles, so I'm curious if this is the same situation, but maybe error colors are different for the earlier xboxes?

Based on what I've read so far, I've checked the following:

  • Cleaned the innards of most of the dust (had never opened it up in my 18+ years of ownership)
  • LPC traces are undamaged (even did continuity check for sanity sake)
  • Reseated all connectors
  • Checked PSU voltages -- this was an interesting one, all voltages were correct, except for the power on signal (pin 11/teal wire), which i measured to be be 2.6V, not 3.3V
  • Clock cap wasn't bulging, but it does look like it leaked a little, so i removed that, cleaned the area, but I don't see any damaged traces

I'm planning on replacing all the caps on the board as a next step, but I'm wondering if anyone has an idea for something else worth testing to figure out what might be causing the error state. I'm so curious if the 2.6V power on signal is an indicator of anything. Does that get set by the CPU or the PSU?

Thanks in advance for any ideas or suggestions!

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Red/orange can also be a be memory failure, Pin11 is a signal to the Xbox PSU to turn on 2.6 should be fine.

Possibly give the main board a good clean with isopropyl and a toothbrush.

 

Cheers

SS Dave


Soft modding is like masturbating, It gets the job done but it's nothing like the real thing.

  

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Thanks SS_Dave! Does that mean there's a possible failure with one of the Samsung K4D263238M chips? If so, is it reasonable to just replace both of them (I'm very comfortable doing so, and the chips are relatively cheap)? Didn't know if the lower signal voltage was indication of something possibly wrong with the PSU.

I can definitely try giving the board a better cleaning in the meantime.

Thanks!

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Following up to my above issue in hopes this information will be helpful for someone else down the line.

I was able to fix this error. The issue ended up being with one of the RAM chips (the Samsung K4D263238M-QC50 ones). I first reflowed the pins to U6D1 and U5F1 (the two RAM chips on the top side of the PCB - side with CPU and connectors) manually with a soldering iron. That did not solve things, so that at least let me know it was not an issue of solder/connection degrading. I ordered new RAM and began replacing each one individually. I first started with U6D1, removed the RAM package and replaced it with a new chip. No luck. I then did the same for U5F1, and that fixed it! My xbox boots with no error anymore.

It's possible both RAM chips went bad, but that's unlikely; it was probably just the second one. If you run into this issue, and have the skills to perform this fix, be sure to order enough replacement RAM to replace all 4 chips, and replace each one individually, testing after each replacement (might save you some work). Also, I'd recommend using something like chip quik to aid in the removal of the RAM chips. I didn't have any on me this time, but it would have made this a bit easier and safer for the PCB.

Good luck and be patient!

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21 minutes ago, roB3AR said:

Following up to my above issue in hopes this information will be helpful for someone else down the line.

I was able to fix this error. .......

Good luck and be patient!

I have two V1.0's that do that exact thing. I wish there was just a schematic that I could use for this sort of thing, fat chance though, right? haha, Any chance you have a youtube video, links, or other steeping blocks that helped you accomplish this? I don't think I'm to the level to flow bigger chips and stuff (I have a 50/50 record at replacing simple micro USB adapters on cell phones). 

Is that a process that requires a heat station and more quipment then just a heat gun or iron, basically a Louis Rossmann setup? 

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I took photos as I went through the process, but there wasn't much that I followed, since this error is not well documented. You could look up videos with tips for chip removal, but it's something that really takes practice. I had some clues that the RAM was the issue, such as this case often being linked to RAM not installed properly with mod chips, and the fact that things worked briefly, and even the display attempted to start at some points.

As for performing the fix, I'd highly recommend only doing this if you're very comfortable with surface mount soldering, and more importantly surface mount desoldering. You can do a lot of damage to the board/pads if you're not careful removing the RAM chips. I'd also recommend using a decent quality microscope when doing this, so you can make sure everything is cleanly performed (last thing you want is a bridge or disconnected connection that continues to give you headaches). I've been doing this sort of work for a long time, and even I made a few mistakes (thankfully I knew how to fix them). There are tools like chip quik, which would make the removal of the old RAM a lot easier, but that still requires a decent amount of comfort using a soldering iron to do surface mount level work. I would not recommend attempting this with just a hot air gun, there are just too many small passive components around the RAM that could easily be blown off.

After U6D1 was removed (notice I ended up losing a pad due to human error):

Please login or register to see this attachment.

After soldering a new RAM chip for U6D1 (was able to fix the pad issue with a little rework):

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Edited by roB3AR
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On 5/2/2020 at 6:44 PM, roB3AR said:

Following up to my above issue in hopes this information will be helpful for someone else down the line.

I was able to fix this error. The issue ended up being with one of the RAM chips (the Samsung K4D263238M-QC50 ones). I first reflowed the pins to U6D1 and U5F1 (the two RAM chips on the top side of the PCB - side with CPU and connectors) manually with a soldering iron. That did not solve things, so that at least let me know it was not an issue of solder/connection degrading. I ordered new RAM and began replacing each one individually. I first started with U6D1, removed the RAM package and replaced it with a new chip. No luck. I then did the same for U5F1, and that fixed it! My xbox boots with no error anymore.

It's possible both RAM chips went bad, but that's unlikely; it was probably just the second one. If you run into this issue, and have the skills to perform this fix, be sure to order enough replacement RAM to replace all 4 chips, and replace each one individually, testing after each replacement (might save you some work). Also, I'd recommend using something like chip quik to aid in the removal of the RAM chips. I didn't have any on me this time, but it would have made this a bit easier and safer for the PCB.

Good luck and be patient!

There are two more RAM chips on the bottom side of the motherboard.

Edit: Many of the pins on the short sides of the RAM chips have no connection. The pads are present to hold the chip in place but electrically are unused.

See the attached Samsung K4D63238M datasheet.  The pins labeled N.C - no connection.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

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On 5/4/2020 at 3:01 AM, KaosEngineer said:

There are two more RAM chips on the bottom side of the motherboard.

Edit: Many of the pins on the short sides of the RAM chips have no connection. The pads are present to hold the chip in place but electrically are unused.

See the attached Samsung K4D63238M datasheet.  The pins labeled N.C - no connection.

Please login or register to see this attachment.

Now if i could only find that infor for the main board PCB layout. Thanks for the info Kaos.

I'm thinking that this skill is still beyond my capabilities at the moment. I think an alternative for me, since I have some desire to try to save the info on the original drives, might be to switch the EEPROM out to a good board.... or at least I assume swapping an EEPROM is slightly easier then the 2 other chips.

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Thanks for posting this! My original XBOX started doing this as well and I could not find any info on it.  Mine however is hard-modded with an xecuter2 chip and has this symptom ONLY when the modchip is disabled.  It used to boot up fine before.  It boots up fine when the modchip is enabled.  If this is a memory RAM issue, shouldn't this affect the console when the modchip is ON?

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10 hours ago, rsd737 said:

Thanks for posting this! My original XBOX started doing this as well and I could not find any info on it.  Mine however is hard-modded with an xecuter2 chip and has this symptom ONLY when the modchip is disabled.  It used to boot up fine before.  It boots up fine when the modchip is enabled.  If this is a memory RAM issue, shouldn't this affect the console when the modchip is ON?
 

Lest I speak for someone who knows better, but it's not an inclusive statement.
roB3AR just found that with his particular xbox, the conditions that lead to his "3 reboots and blinking lights" are related to memory. It's not necessarily the same for every single one.
That's just to pasify your concerns while soeone who knows more then I answers correctly, since I have no hardmod experience.

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21 hours ago, rsd737 said:

Thanks for posting this! My original XBOX started doing this as well and I could not find any info on it.  Mine however is hard-modded with an xecuter2 chip and has this symptom ONLY when the modchip is disabled.  It used to boot up fine before.  It boots up fine when the modchip is enabled.  If this is a memory RAM issue, shouldn't this affect the console when the modchip is ON?

Flashing Orange and Red (red and orange) usually means you have a lifted trace under the lpc pin header(the reset signal for pin5) - especially on v1.0 motherboards.

It would help if you posted some pics of the main board..

 

 

Cheers

SS Dave


Soft modding is like masturbating, It gets the job done but it's nothing like the real thing.

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