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V1.2 Xbox Starts Without Pressing Either Button


HDShadow
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My LE Green Xbox which is very little used and has been kept in practically retail state (never opened) completely out of the blue decided to start itself the moment I turn on the main's power. Its been connected to the same power block as my most used Xboxes for years so when either are on it will have been getting some power to the clock cap but TBH I can't remember when it was last actually used; it has to be at least a month ago. Then this.

It won't turn off using the Xbox power button but will turn off using the UnleashX menu option > Shutdown but then immediately powers up again. Its working perfectly otherwise. Clearly something has happened, probably partly due to the hot weather but what?

My theory is that I made a big mistake keeping it plugged in so that when the other Xboxes were being used its clock cap was indeed being charged. Despite it not being used regularly that has led to its premature ageing and leaking, doing some sort of damage.

I suspect I'll only know if that is correct by cracking open the case which I specifically did not and still do not want to do. So if the cause could be something else which doesn't required me to take its virginity advice would be appreciated. 

Edited by HDShadow
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  • HDShadow changed the title to V1.2 Xbox Starts Without Pressing Either Button

The clock cap has leaked and damaged the traces on the main board and you will need to open it to fix it as it will get to the point where the controller port 1 and 2 will stop working.

The yellow line is where the normal trace damage happens and the arrow is pointing to the damaged controller port traces

93878692-246478550053593-532604532865315

 

If you are really worried there is a person selling preproduction stickers

il-1140x-N-3216996376-gdum.jpg

 

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1040861884/original-xbox-replacement-back-stickers?ref=shop_home_active_1&fbclid=IwAR0drmLESJrOQtulFhKEvYhQ9FOUwIbeD12kO5ikAwHHSw3HBO22nxI9Ok4&variation0=2153842811

If you replace the stickers I would not refit the 2 middle screws that way you can open it with out damaging the new stickers.

 

 

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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I was practically certain the only solution to the problem was to crack it open and not be surprised to see a leaky clock cap has done the damage but I had to ask just in case there was some other fix.

Searching around other old post on other forums there is advice on this I missed initially and still some hope that the damage caused may just be bridging two traces and a good clean up with IP alcohol may be all that is necessary. But of course the clock cap will still have to be removed/replaced.

No problem with doing that as I bought a small pack of spare 1F 2.5V ones when I needed to replace a couple of others which where looking dodgy in the other Xboxes I have.

Just so annoying with this particular LE Green one I'm going to have to do that; I just didn't think about but should have the fact its clock cap was being charged up regularly over the years when I was using the other Xboxes simply because I'd left it plugged in.

That's proof of something I've long suspected is the explanation for its lack of longevity for some users but not others, myself included. If it is plugged in 24/7, usually done to maintain the time/date, it ages much faster because it is being used.

That is particularly true of the clock cap types whose life expectancy specs are much lower than the other Xbox caps, typically (depending on the manufacturer) 1000hrs at 70°C. Most other caps are rated for 2000hrs at 85°C.  

   

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In most cases it's 1 trace along the edge of the board and in this one it was 2 traces.

Ver-1-4-trace-damage-after.jpg

 

The other option is to add a wire link on the top of the board.

pe_trace_12-15.jpg.d97ae18bc96098fa8912599e55dd1603.jpg.fa931767d86303746aaf5e279bfb3604.jpg

 

I seen my 1st leaking clock cap and trace damage 17 years ago in a version 1.0

 

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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I'm going to open it up later today if I have the time; dreading what I'm going to find.

But its odd this is the first time I've had this sort of trouble as I've owned several previously used Xboxes with clear clock cap leak problems I've dealt with in the last few years. None has caused trace damage, at least not anything that has affected the Xbox's operation. A good clean up and cap removal/replacement is all that has been necessary.   

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Posted (edited)

Update........................................and you're not going to believe this - I reluctantly opened up the Xbox :( a few minutes ago.

Took everything out above the MB and looked down at the clock capacitor expecting an unholy mess and it is pristine. MB underneath as far as I can see and surrounding area is as clean as a whistle not the slightest hint of bulging or leakage.

I was so expecting it to be that I'd  focused entirely on the area whilst dismantling it. I'd even taken all the MB screws out in anticipation of having to clean it up underneath, at the very least, I'd not even bothered to look at anything else.  When I did it was gobsmackingly obvious what I hope is the entire cause of the problem.

The three biggish 6.3v 3300uF capacitors adjacent to the CPU heat-sink have all blown. There's no leakage on the MB below at all but each one is sporting an ugly, very crusty orange/brown cap. Its better than having to faff around identifying and repairing broken traces - but I now have three caps to replace.

Hopefully that will be the only fix necessary. Only problem is that having done those cap replacements on two other Xboxes where they were looking bulgy I've only got one spare of that type left. I'll have get some more.

So, assuming that replacing them does the job, it is another bit of useful knowledge knowing that if you have the same symptoms described in my first post that the culprit could be those caps, not the much maligned clock cap.  

   

Edited by HDShadow
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Intend to do that too for that very reason even though the clock cap, as said, looks pristine.

I just can not understand how all three of those 6.3v 3300uF ones adjacent the CPU heat-sink blew at the same time and no others anywhere else on the MB looking even slightly suspect. If the Xbox had been well used then it might be understandable but, as said, this one has been deliberately cotton-wooled over the years because it is a more valuable LE Green.

Bad batch of caps?   

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Not sure how or why but I also had leaking CPU caps and a non leaking clock cap. I also had one 1.6b with horrible leaking CPU caps but the rest of the caps on the board was fine.

So your assumption about a bad batch could be possible. I defently saw more black Nichicon caps leaking as all other silver ones and non of the green ones they also used.

It maybe also add how much the xbox is used and stored if not used. But thats just a guess. Maybe Dave or any of the other "hardcore" collectors could tell something about it.

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6 hours ago, HDShadow said:

Intend to do that too for that very reason even though the clock cap, as said, looks pristine.

I just can not understand how all three of those 6.3v 3300uF ones adjacent the CPU heat-sink blew at the same time and no others anywhere else on the MB looking even slightly suspect. If the Xbox had been well used then it might be understandable but, as said, this one has been deliberately cotton-wooled over the years because it is a more valuable LE Green.

Bad batch of caps?   

Is it a v1.6 Xbox?

I believe the resign of the 1.6 motherboard with 5Vdc standby has power always applied to those capacitors all the time it is connected to AC power.  The console itself does not have to be on just plugged in.

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8 hours ago, HDShadow said:

Intend to do that too for that very reason even though the clock cap, as said, looks pristine.

I just can not understand how all three of those 6.3v 3300uF ones adjacent the CPU heat-sink blew at the same time and no others anywhere else on the MB looking even slightly suspect. If the Xbox had been well used then it might be understandable but, as said, this one has been deliberately cotton-wooled over the years because it is a more valuable LE Green.

Bad batch of caps?   

Here is why and I also suspect the fact they are next to the heat sink is not helping

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

 

It would be interesting to see the number of hours on the HDD as that would give an idea of how much use it's had I suspect it will have a lot of hours on it, The next one I open with dud cap's I will have to look.

 

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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4 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Is it a v1.6 Xbox?

I believe the resign of the 1.6 motherboard with 5Vdc standby has power always applied to those capacitors all the time it is connected to AC power.  The console itself does not have to be on just plugged in.

LE Green UK/EU are all v1.2 - date of my one is 21st February 2003. As I recall it was bought from Amazon in Spring that year only a few months later.

The blown 6.3v 3300uF caps are all the black and silver Nichicon type although not marked as such from what I can see. Manufacturing date of those must have been slap bang in the middle of that bad 'cap plague' period SS_Dave's wiki link describes.

I've just ordered some low ESR Panasonic branded replacements very similar to the ones I've used before successfully.

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8 hours ago, KaosEngineer said:

Is it a v1.6 Xbox?

I believe the resign of the 1.6 motherboard with 5Vdc standby has power always applied to those capacitors all the time it is connected to AC power.  The console itself does not have to be on just plugged in.

On the 1.6 versions the 3 X 3300uF 6.3volt main filter caps for the CPU/GPU are not powered when in standby the same as the other versions.

 

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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4 hours ago, SS_Dave said:

On the 1.6 versions the 3 X 3300uF 6.3volt main filter caps for the CPU/GPU are not powered when in standby the same as the other versions.

 

Cheers

SS Dave


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

Is this table wrong?  Standby 5Vdc is on the RED wire and not the ORANGE wires.  At the moment, I don't have a 1.6 Xbox to measure them.

spacer.png

As well, the BLUE wire doesn't have 3.3V when in STB mode?

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1 hour ago, KaosEngineer said:

Is this table wrong?  Standby 5Vdc is on the RED wire and not the ORANGE wires.  At the moment, I don't have a 1.6 Xbox to measure them.

spacer.png

As well, the BLUE wire doesn't have 3.3V when in STB mode?

That diagram is correct and a Xbox power supply will not stay powered on without the PowOk 3.3 volt 

The 1.6 supply gives a approximately a 1 second pulse on the 5 volt standby when the AC is connected and if it doesn't see a PowOk it shuts down.

 

The 3 X 3300uF caps are the filter caps for the 1.8 volt supply for the CPU/GPU and that supply is controlled by Q2F1 a Power Mosfet 

The 2.6 volt supply for the RAM is controlled/regulated by U5G1 and that gets a 3.3 volt supply from U7F1 that is powered by the 5 volt standby

 

As far as I can work out the the red is the 5 volt for HDD and USB power with the yellow 12 volt for the HDD and Fan, In my testing some time ago the Xbox will not fully boot ( no animation) and will shut down if either is not present or removed after booting.

 

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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Interesting information ^ ^^.

Can it be explained why those three caps blowing would cause the problem described ie. it turns on when the mains power is switched on?

I've had a good look with a magnifying glass and a x8 lupe at the MB and I can not seeing anything obviously amiss with the traces anywhere, even under the faulty caps. No leakage to cause that sort of problem.

I do know that there were reports about the Xbox that poor manufacturing practices at the time allegedly can lead in the long term to trace damage, things like sweat/grease from bare handling of the MB. But there's nothing like that either. In fact the whole of the inside of that Xbox is cleaner than any other I've ever seen of that age. Only a bit of extra dust on the extractor fan blades betrays that it has been used at all.

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I have been told that on the 1.2-1.4 boards it can power on without the power button if the main CPU/GPU caps have failed but I have never seen it and it was only one person that claimed it was a common fault.

To me it makes no sense that the Xbox would power on without the power button with faulty caps on the 1.8 volt supply (But I am happy to be proved wrong), It makes more sense that the Xbox would shut down randomly with those caps faulty.

I would be looking at the 10k pull up SMD resistors R3G1 and R3G3 for a dry solder joint or a cracked resistor ( I have seen that in car audio systems).

The black/gray dots get 3.3 volt from the power supply 3.3 volt standby pin.

power-and-earth-trace-12-14.jpg

The blue and purple points on the PIC (SMC chip) should have 3.3 volt at all times unless the Power (purple) or the Eject (blue) buttons are pressed then they should read close to 0 volt.

 

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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As I said earlier, the proof will be in the pudding when I get and fit the replacement caps successfully.

But knowing that somebody else has reported the same thing in the past, even if only an unproven claim, is good to hear because I'm going to be very disappointed if it is not just the those blown caps that caused the problem.  

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  • 2 weeks later...

.......................and the proof was in the pudding.

I finally received the 6.3v 3300uF caps and have just finished removing the old ones and fitting the new ones. No problems and my soldering was far cleaner than normal too so I was certain there would  be no issue in that regard.

Turned on the LE Green Xbox and it booted perfectly first time. Left it on for 10 minutes, played a bit of Timesplitters 2 Arcade just as a final test and all is good.

So I can only come to the conclusion that it was those three caps blowing which were the entire cause of the problem.

Worth noting I think.

 

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1 hour ago, HDShadow said:

.......................and the proof was in the pudding.

Hmmmm.... Sweet. You talk about pudding (I hope chocolate pudding) and me is chillaxing in the bathtub watching some netflix and have no chance to to to the fridge to get some pudding as well. :/

ÄHHHM and if you speak about that english pudding, you can keep it - all!

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I think I may have posted too soon.

Later yesterday after I'd tested it as described I put the whole Xbox back together and decided to do one last test and when I turned on the mains switch the damned thing started up by itself again.

But there's definitely been a significant change in the behaviour because I can now turn it off either using the Xbox power button or from the dash and it does not restart. It stays off and that is consistent too - so those blown caps are/were clearly involved.

Nevertheless I'm going to have to take it apart again and test the integrity of all the new caps, my soldering in particular. I hoping that is what it is and I'm effectively using just one or two caps rather than all three and that re-flowing will fix the problem.

If not I'm going to have to lcheck for other component failures maybe as a result of the caps blowing. I doubt very much it is the trace issue as SS_Dave suggested it could be earlier - the MB is a bit dusty on top but underneath it is clean as a whistle, no cap leakage or trace rot evident at all but I'll still go over it with a x8 lupe again just to be sure.    

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Have you tried unplugging the power/eject board and plugging the Xbox back in to the mains as it could be a leaky power switch.

Also test the voltages at the SMC (Pic chip).

 

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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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally had enough time to a take serious look at this problem again.

I'd left it in the last state described: it would turn on by itself when the mains power switch was turned on. But after that you could turn it off/on again multiple times without a repeat. But if you left it long enough unplugged the problem returned.

I'm convinced a capacitor is involved in this and the reason it does not repeat immediately is that the cap involved holds its charge preventing whatever it is that triggers the problem.

It does appear that I have now fixed the problem although I suspect it will return.

The cure seems to have been cleaning up those front edge traces, cited as a prime cause of such trouble by SS_Dave earlier in this thread. I just used some IPA and a cotton bud. However, as stated, I examined those traces thoroughly (x8 lupe) and there is no obvious 'trace rot' at all. Nothing had leaked from the caps and there was no other obvious bridging or lifting of any of the traces. It all looks very clean.

However the fact is that cleaning that area under and along the MB front edge has apparently fixed the problem.

 

 

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