I got an original Xbox back in December, and I’ve been told that if I get an original Xbox, I need to get the clock capacitor removed. Well, it’s been 3 months and I still haven’t done so, partially because the weather has been kind of bad, partially because I’ve been busy, and partially because I’d rather leave that to people who know what they’re doing so I don’t damage the console. Do you know if game stores will remove the Xbox clock capacitor for me? And if so, how much will it cost?
Here’s more information on it for context’s sake. (By the way, if you have a version 1.6 motherboard, you do not have to replace the clock capacitor.)
Why remove it? : Essentially, on all motherboard models EXCEPT v1.6, Microsoft chose a cheap super capacitor to power the clock while your console is off. At around the 10 year mark after the console was made, people noticed that the capacitor – which is filled with acid – corroded it’s way through the capacitor and leaked all over their motherboards, causing permanent damage. Essentially if this capacitor is not removed, the console is just a ticking time bomb that will eventually kill itself.
Are there any negative effects from removing this capacitor? : If your motherboard is a revision 1.6 motherboard, you will need to replace the capacitor with a new one, or else it won’t boot (though it is unnecessary to remove it because they are different capacitors than previous models). If your console is on a very old softmod or BIOS version, it may not have the “clock loop” fix and will be stuck in a boot loop until you manually fix it by adding a font file to the HDD (Ernie font) or the latest MSDash, so make sure to update your softmod first if you haven’t. Otherwise, the only thing affected is that the system time will not be accurate once unplugged.
How can I remove it? : First make sure to update your softmod to one that includes the clock loop fix, if you currently have a softmodded Xbox. You can follow either a YouTube guide, or one like this to take apart your console. The capacitor is in the bottom left of the motherboard and looks like this. You can either desolder it, or gently rock it back and forth with your hands until it snaps off.
How can I tell if I have a 1.6 motherboard? : Boot the Xbox in dashboard mode (by powering up without a disc in the DVD-ROM drive). Go to Settings and then System Info. A disclaimer will scroll down and will eventually show you two version numbers: a “K:” value for the kernel and a “D:” value for the dashboard. If the K value is 5838, it is a revision 1.6 motherboard and you do not need to remove the capacitor.
I remember when Dell had a bunch of bad capacitors on their desktop motherboards a bit more than 15 years ago. They looked like popped popcorn. Definitely not something you want on a MB. The company I supported had a lot of them and we needed a full board replacement with each system.
If it was sold as refurbished, I could see them replacing the caps. If it was sold as used, I would expect it would only have the caps replaced if the previous owner had already done it.
Without further info, I’d probably assume they hadn’t been replaced.
I bought the Xbox off of Amazon. For all I know, the previous owner has already removed the clock capacitor.
Gamestop doesn’t do repairs, but a local computer repair shop should be more than capable of doing the job for you.
Best Buy might do it as well, but they’re expensive.
Forgive me for pointing out an obvious solution: Are you able to contact the seller and ask?