Mission impossible by Sony, mission succes by me
1 - 2 horas
Hi, my name is Karel and i am from Belgium (EU).
A few months a go, my PS3 (fat edition, 40GB) just suddenly gave up on life. Multiple times I tried to switch the thing on but it continuously gave me the same set of lights, first green, then the famous yellow light of death followed by a red blinking light. A quick session on the internet told me what I was dealing with. My first action was calling the sony-helpdesk. they told me it was fixable but that also came with a price: 150 € (today's currency, 212$), with the loss of my hdd, replaced by a new and empty 40 GB hdd. Even the phonecall to the helpdesk was a waste of money... It took some time, but another session on the internet gave me an alternate solution, Ifixit.com. My first impression was: YLOD Repair guide?? Cool! YLOD Fix Kit?? Awesome!! I never expected I would stumble upon the possibility to repair this thing myself, or the chances that it might actually work. But it did, so it was worth the risk :).
Well, it got delayed because the first package that arrived did not contain the most important item, the thermal paste. But Ifixit has an excellent customer service, so it got solved quickly. Tearing down the console was easy, thanks to the Ifixit guide, however, keep in mind that the guide is made with the first PS3 model with 60GB. I have the first following model, and some things are allready completely different! The on/off switch and eject unit are no longer a seperate item, now it is part of the motherboard. The heat sink and fan do not longer have to be disassembled from the lower motherboard cover. And in my case I also needed 1 or 2 less thermal pads. Here comes the hard part...
Heating the motherboard was not that easy, first I had to buy a heating gun because it was not included in the international fix kit. Secondly, heating up the motherboard is no problem, but what is the limit of temperature for the board? I just made a guess, and kept it with touching it with the back of my hand. It felt like the temperature of a very warm PS3 system after several hours of intensive gameplay...
The following step was heating up the GPU and CPU units.
They needed to be warmed up for about 25 to 30 seconds. I doubled that and made it like certainly a minute for each unit, switching from unit to unit every 5 to 10 seconds. this way to warm them up evenly. DO NOT exceed the 30 second limit like I did!! Why? If your motherboard turns in to a hightigh-bowl thru overheating like mine, the chance of a heart attack increases...
This was my cue to turn off the heat gun and walk away to let it cool down. About an hour later it was completely cooled down and to my surprise the motherboard just straightened out itself!! The following steps were easy.
It took about 3 hours, this was the first time I fixed my PS3 and hope it is the last!
Like I said, DO NOT overheat the motherboard!!
Use a sorting tray, very handy!
Go easy with the teardown, treat it gentle.