Good toolkit but crash and burned either way.
45 minutos - 1 hora
Like lot of people, I started to get the usual lockups and one day the 3 red lights made its appearance (again). Mine is pretty much the oldest of the old 1st gen unit and the first go around was fixed free or swapped at Microsoft. After many more yrs of enjoyment, The 3 red lights came back with a vengeance. No sense of sending back the unit for 100 bucks so i decided to try out this cool tool kit from iFixit.
There's no doubt that this toolkit is the way to go to get to the innards of the unit and do the fix very quickly. Everything went well and quickly got it back together. Upon power up, the unit came right up, but would freeze up after so many min. This happened each time i cycled on and off. So the next step was to get back to the heat sink screws and tightened it but since it felt pretty tight, i decided to remove one of the washer from each screws thinking the washers were preventing the heat sinks tightly attaching to the chip. No go here either but now get the two red light popping from the get go when you powered the system. My guess now is that like some of the other posts at iFixit, this board needs to be reflowed. i don't have a heat gun.. can it be done with a hair drier?? Probably not.. but had fun taking stuff apart and back together!!
This is a easy doable fix and worth every penny to try it. UPDATE 3/30/2012 - I bought a heat gun and gave the GPU and CPU about 15 sec on top and bottom then installed the heat sinks back on both chip. Then heated the back side of the board on GPU and CPU and tightened the hold down screws even more. After putting everything back together, its running perfectly. In fact I think its running even better than before. So im pretty happy and didn't have to throw it in the dumpster after all.