My Brother’s Xbox 360 failed yesterday and shows the 3 red lights around the power button, so I did a bit of research on what could have caused this.
The red ring of death appears around the power button of the Xbox 360 when there is a hardware failure, which seems to be happening to far too many people. The fact that Microsoft has actually included a hardware failure indicator means that they were probably expecting things to go wrong.
Many people’s Xbox 360s have failed and have needed to be replaced my Microsoft. The cause of this problem is said to be overheating. Because the CPU and GPU are the parts which generate the most heat, the area of the motherboard closest to these places will heat up faster. The spots of the motherboard closest to the CPU and GPU will expand faster than the rest. Like with bi-metallic strips, the mother board wants to bend, so if the motherboard is not properly held in place, the solder joints can crack or break causing the system to fail.
It is thought that the Xbox 360’s motherboard is not properly supported, so the motherboard is able to bend causing the solder joints to break. The Microsoft has used lead-free solder for the Xbox 360, which is more brittle than the older tin/lead solder. So when the console does heat up, there is a large chance of the console eventually failing.