If you are anything like most Xbox 360 owners, how to clean your Xbox 360 probably isn't among the first things you think about. Cleaning your system can have any number of helpful benefits, however. Cleaning your Xbox can help extend the life of many delicate parts, and it also just generally looks nicer than having a dusty, grey box sitting in the center of your bedroom. Still, you should know that outside of wiping off the case of the Xbox, anything else you will do here will void your warranty. This is only a good idea if you know your way around the inside of a 360 and also aren't worried about, or are already well past, the warranty agreement of the console.
In order to do this, you will need very small flathead and phillips head screwdrivers, and a Torx10 star style head screwdriver. You will also need a dry rag, a q-tip, and some rubbing alcohol. The surface of your Xbox console can be cleaned by using a simple dry or very lightly dampened rag, but cleaning the inside of the Xbox takes more work.
- Strip it! Disconnect all external wires from the Xbox; this includes any wired controllers. Remove the hard drive and whatever memory cards or peripherals you have plugged into the console. Grip the front faceplate by the top and bottom near the left side of the console and pull it until it pops off. Do this with the right half also. It should pop right off. Use a small screwdriver to push in the grey tabs that hold the grey panels to the console on the sides of the Xbox. Using the same small object or flatheaded screwdriver, insert the tool into the back of the console in the little notches. When you hear a pop, you know you are in the right place. These are the tabs releasing the top of the console from the bottom. Keep doing this from left to right, and make sure to keep them separated so they don't click back into place. Use your fingernail to unhook the tabs on the front of the console, and that should be it. The top of the case should just slide right off.
- Turn the screws. Using your Torx T10 screw driver, remove the six long screws on the case. These should be obvious, but they are the four in the corners and the two in the middle. You don't need to remove the rest. After you unscrew them, flip the console over so that the white case you just removed the screws from is on the bottom and pull the white case straight up. It should come off easily. You are now staring at the naked innards of your expensive equipment.
- Remove the disc drive. The disc drive is the large square on the left of the console. Make sure you unplug the two plugs on the back of the drive and remove it. Lift it up carefully. If you would like, using a regular compressed can of air, blow out any dust that you see. Make sure not to break any of the components on the inside of the box, and don't use any liquid on any of the motherboard's parts. Focus on clearing the dust from the fans and any place it has built up. This will prevent overheating.
- Turn the screws part 2: Electric boogaloo. Now that the drive is unplugged and out, use the phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the 4 screws in the corner of the drive. Don't lose these. Remove the top of the drive case. Now after you slide the top off, you should see the laser eye. Dip the q-tip in a little bit of rubbing alcohol and gently rub the laser to clean it, then use the otherside of the q-tip to dry it. If the circular piece in the middle is dusty, use a fresh q-tip to clean it in the same way.
- Do everything backwards. Now hit rewind and put it back together! You now have the cleanest Xbox on the block!
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