The Playstation 3 (a.k.a. PS3) is one of the most powerful and popular gaming consoles out on the market right now. Unfortunately, the fame doesn’t come without a few flaws. The PS3 was designed to be slick and beautiful, but it seems that the same kind of attention to engineering wasn’t given to the Playstation 3’s cooling capabilities. One of the most prominent issues with modern gaming consoles such as the Playstation 3 is the inability to keep itself cool. Once overheated, the Playstation 3 will no longer turn on. Symptoms of this issue include the system “beeping” 3 times and a yellow flashing light near the on button. This PS3 issue is highly cited as the “Yellow Light of Death” or YLOD. Let’s see what we can do to revive this expensive paper weight back to life especially if your warranty no longer applies.
Good news, a PS3 fix does exist! As a matter of fact, there is a fix for almost every problem your Playstation may encounter in the future. In this article we will look specifically at PS3 YLOD problem that heavily plagues first through third generation Playstation 3s (also known as Fat PS3 models).
Why Does the PS3 YLOD Happen?
One main reason (99% of the time) why your Playstaion 3 would experience a YLOD is if it had overheated. Overheating a PS3 would cause solder balls under the systems CPU and GPU to become brittle and crack. This is due to a design flaw in the Playstation 3 because the console is unable to remove the heat that it is generating.
Do It Yourself: PS3 YLOD Fix
1x Playstation 3 with YLOD
1x 1500W industrial heatgun
1x Bottle of no-clean flux
1x Roll of masking tape
1x Tamper-proof T-screw driver
1x Phillips screwdriver
1x Heat resistant surface
1x Pack of cotton balls
1x Bottle of Acetone and Rubbing Alcohol
1x Tube of thermal paste
Summary of Steps-
1) Shut down your Playstation 3 and make sure all power cables are unplugged (Safety first!).
2) Remove the warranty seal located above the hard drive disk bay. Then use the tamper-proof T screwdriver remove the screw that holds the top cover to the PS3.
3) Using your Philips screwdriver remove all the screws securing the top shell of the PS3.
4) Carefully disassemble the removable parts (Power supply, Blue-ray drive, Blue tooth board with wireless antenna, capacitance power switch, and the HDD).]
5) Remove the screws securing the PS3’s motherboard. Remove the fan and heat sink and heat sink shroud attached to the motherboard.
6) Using the cotton balls soaked with acetone, clean the thermal paste from CPU and heat sink surfaces.
7) Tape motherboard down on a heat resistant surface so that it sits flat (play around with a corner of the surface to find a good position for the motherboard). Taping the PS3’s motherboard down will prevent it from warping under the heat from the heatgun.
8) Using the heat gun’s low setting, warm up the entire motherboard (~3 minutes). Then apply the no-clean flux under the CPU and GPU liberally.
9) Use the heat gun’s high setting heat the CPU and GPU up. Keep the heat gun about 1-2″ away from the surface of the PS3 motherboard, but move the heat gun around the chips constantly to avoid burn damage (persist for ~8-10 minutes).
10) Allow the motherboard to cool down for 20-30 minutes.
11) Reassemble the Playstation 3 to it’s original condition (careful to replace every screw and plug to its rightful place).
12) Plug the power cord back in and turn on the PS3.
If performed correctly, your Playstation 3 YLOD problem should be gone. This PS3 fix should take 1 to 2 hours depending on your skill with electronics. If you require an even more detailed, step-by-step repair walkthrough with pictures and everything please look towards the bottom of the article for a great guide that I use as well.
– Make sure your Playstation 3 is in a position where it is well ventilated.
– Try not to leave your PS3 on for long periods of time (even idle).
– Do not put the Playstation near sources of dust (i.e carpets, floors, beds, etc)