Why Xbox 360 Towel Trick Will Destroy Your Machine

By Marc Sandford

Most quick fix methods for electronics have typically involved subjecting it to some form of abuse. This meant a violent action such as hitting, shaking, or kicking to coax it into functioning again. This works because loose electrical connections can reconnect after enough persistence. But other connections are loosened by the mechanical shock which guarantees more problems later on.

One of the better known fixes for the ring of death error is the towel fix or towel trick. It readily falls into this category of fixing something by abusing it. Instead of mechanical abuse, the remedy involves heating the internal chips at extremely high temperatures so that broken solder points get reconnected and badly warped components get reshaped.

The method to this madness starts with wrapping your Xbox with a few towels. Then you turn on the Xbox for about 15 minutes and you're finished. Now you're all set to enjoy some gaming sessions. When the next ring of death error happens you just reapply the trusty towel trick.

If it fixes your Xbox, then what's wrong with the towel fix? As was mentioned previously, the towel fix cooks the Xbox's components at very punishing temperatures. Damage caused by excessive heat during manufacture is a major concern in the electronics industry. Getting the correct soldering temperature for a good solder join without damaging chips is a tricky operation.

So when you use the towel trick, you get a temporary fix at the expense of damaging the Xbox's internal components. Eventually this damage will lead to yet another heat related failure. Then when you apply the towel trick again, more damage is done which weakens your Xbox even more. You can only repeat this process so many times before the heat damage is too extensive for the towel trick to work any more. This process is a downward spiral that thoroughly destroys your Xbox.

Another issue that concerns safety is that the towel fix is dangerous. The Xbox puts out an enormous amount heat (thus the need for a cooling system). Because of the insulating action of the towels, the heat doesn't go anywhere and rapidly builds up. If your Xbox starts burning, other combustibles adjacent to your Xbox (like your house) may also burn.

The towel fix just isn't common sense and in this instance, counterintuitive won't work. The red ring of death is basically caused by the Xbox putting out too much heat and having an undersized cooling system. Trying to fix this problem by heating up the Xbox is like fighting fire with fire.

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