Yellow Light of Death

Not long ago, my Sony PlayStation 3 was hit by symptom that is close to YLoD, in which a failure that is indicated by the console failing to start up, and displaying a yellow light.

My unit had issue of auto shutdown after a couple of minutes usage or fail to boot up at all. It was pretty frustrating as I previously send in for fix a couple of months back due to faulty PSU which cost me a couple of hundred ringgit. Therefore I am not willing to spend another couple of hundred to fix the unit again as the total cost of repair could easily equals in buying a new console.

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The PlayStation 3 main CPU and GPU after removal of old thermal paste

Since having a PS3 that does nothing but a house ornament, I decided to open it up. Thus I googled for answers and found a couple of solution. Thanks to a couple of YouTube users who have shared their DIY experience, I manage to get my unit back to life. The sign of YLoD is mostly due to dried up Thermal Paste (90% chance), or problematic Power Supply Unit (10% chance). If you are reading this and your PlayStation have the same symptom as mine, here’s my summary experience in finding the solution.

First of all, my PlayStation 3 was a 1st Generation Console which is the Phat model. Before you begin, find the video in YouTube relevant to your unit.

  1. Search in YouTube with title “PlayStation 3″ and also input your model number. You need the model number due possibility of different internal construct even though the exterior outlook is identical.
  2. Most of the video tutorial in YouTube suggest using Artic Silver as your thermal paste. However I use cheaper brand “Cooler Master (Gold)” instead which cost me MYR 28 only. Artic Silver would definitely be better but it’s personal preference.
  3. Make sure you have the tools e.g. Star-head and Phillip screwdriver to open the case and internals.
  4. Painting brush, to brush off the dust from the circuit board. You can try to blow the dust away if you have the proper tools.
  5. You alone hold responsibility of your own PS3, not me nor the guys whom uploaded the tutorials are responsible for your DIY work!
  6. Lots of patience!

The result I have after the 4 hour fix, I manage to boot it up and play Super Street Fighter IV AE for a rough 40 minutes before it auto-shutdown (maybe due to lousy work in applying thermal compound or using a cheap thermal compound). However, I manage to stream YouTube video on the unit for more than 3 hours without any sign of fault. Thus the fix seems to work for me.

You may have asked… Why would I bother fixing my PS3 when PS4 launch is just around the corner? The answer is because of Ultra Street Fighter IV :D

Please note that if you attempt to DIY your PlayStation 3 fixes, it’s your own responsibility and not mine nor the guys who uploaded the tutorial fix. Thus, it’s your own risk to take. Lastly, happy DIY-ing.

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