Archive for broken

Replacing an Xbox 360 Laser

Posted in What I learned this week. with tags , , , on August 19, 2011 by Jackal

My brother has an electrical engineering degree from Penn State and, needless to say, is good with electronics. And he likes to fuck with them. So when his two roommates offered him two broken Xbox 360s, he took them. Then he came up to visit me.

Like red-ring-of-death broken.

After messing around with them, we decided that one was unfixable but had some good parts and the other one’s disk drive was broken. And by “we” I mean him because, as mentioned before, I’m not exactly a handy kind of person. I have skills in other areas.

Why hello?

After he messed with the firmware and couldn’t figure that out cause they’re kind of old and Microsoft goes out of its way to make things difficult, he decided that the laser was broken. The laser that reads the discs in the disc drive. So this is what I learned how to do: take an Xbox 360 apart without breaking it.

Sort of.

There’s lots of pushing in plastic bits and wedging flat head screw drivers in to pry panels off. But then you pull out the disc drives:

These babies.

And start prying off the panels again. These are metal and involve more screws. Get that done and I wish I had pictures for this part but we already put it back together (I’ll find some on the internet). But you a green errr… chip thing. Sort of a motherboard type object (fuck, I’m bad at this) and you just pull that out, unhooking a couple things. Then you have the laser, moving between two metal poles and you have to unhook one of those poles to slide it off.

Its less impressive than it sounds...

But you have to use an Allen Wrench to unscrew the poles out. I, personally, didn’t know what an Allen Wrench was and my brother informed me it was a hexagon tool and to go look for it. I didn’t exactly come back with the right tool. And then we didn’t have the right size, which meant we went digging for it in his car.

Allen Wrench. In keychain form.

Then we unhook the poles, slide the laser off and, bam!, you have a laser. We each took apart a different disc drive and I was given the one that had the valuable laser and the useless everything else. And despite my tech slowness, I’m actually pretty good at taking things apart so I did figure it out. Then we switched the two and the Xbox 360 works! Which means nothing since I already had a working Xbox…

And that’s what I learned this week.