The appearance of a yellow LED on the PS3 indicates a hardware failure and is often referred to as the "Yellow LED of Death" or YLOD. This comes from the CPU and GPU chips inside the PS3 loosening from their connection to the circuit board, causing the PS3 to refuse to turn itself on. Repairing the PS3 so that it once again functions requires patience and attention to detail. This will save you money and let you get back to playing games.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Clean cloth
- Thermal compound grease
- Credit card
- #4 Phillips screwdriver
- #00 Phillips screwdriver
- T10 Torx screwdriver
- Heat gun
Unplug the PS3 power supply and any audio and video cables connected to the PS3. Put the PS3 on a clean cloth.
Lift off the hard drive door on the side of the PS3. Take the #1 Phillips screwdriver and remove the blue HDD screw. Put the screw aside.
Slide the hard drive towards the front and pull it straight out of the PS3. Put the hard drive down on the clean cloth.
Remove the warranty sticker at the top of the open space where the hard drive was taken out of. Unscrew the rubber foot from inside and put it aside.
Slide the top of the PS3 to the left to expose other screws. Remove all the screws that have an arrow placed next to it. Put the screws aside.
Lift the top of the PS3 off from the back until it stops. Turn the PS3 around so that the components are facing you. Remove the ribbon cables connected to the memory card readers if using the first generation PS3. Take the top off and put it aside.
Lift up the Blu-ray drive and remove the power cord and data cables attached to the Blu-ray drive by pulling them straight out. Put the Blu-ray drive aside.
Turn the PS3 sideways and remove the screws holding the Wi-Fi antenna. Remove the ribbon cables attached to the Wi-Fi antenna by pulling them straight out. Put the Wi-Fi antenna aside.
Remove the two connectors attached to the front and back of the power supply. Remove the screws and remove the power supply.
Remove the power eject switch by removing the ribbon cable and removing the screws holding it to the circuit board. Put the switch aside.
Remove the screws attached to the top case that have arrows noted by them. Turn the PS3 over and remove the protective casing. Put the PS3 back down.
Remove the plastic tabs on the case to release the back side of the PS3. Put the back side aside.
Remove the connector attached to the fan and remove the screws holding the fan to the circuit boards. Pull the fan up and put it aside.
Disconnect the battery by pulling out the cables attached to it. Remove the screws holding the hard drive bay in position. Take the hard drive bay out and place it aside.
Remove the screws holding the heat sink to the circuit board. Separate the heat sink from the circuit board and put it aside after cleaning off the thermal compound on the exposed side.
Remove the metal shield by pulling it up and removing the tabs at the back. Put the shield aside. Remove the metal shield from the other side. Put the circuit board down on the clean cloth with the computer chips facing up.
Opening the PS3 Case
Locate the two grey plastic squares near the middle of the circuit board which are the CPU and the GPU chips.
Take the heat gun and adjust the temperature between 148 and 260 degrees C. Heat both sides of the board with a swirling motion and a back and forth motioo for less than a minute on each side. Put the top section dpwn on the cloth and heat around the CPU and GPU chips for five to six minutes.
Reduce the heat to 26.7 degrees C and continue to heat around the CPU and GPU for another two to three minutes
Let the circuit board completely cool down. Reapply some thermal compound to the top of the CPU and GPU and smooth it out with a credit card.
Replace the metal shields to the circuit board.
Reverse the disassembly process to reassemble the PS3.
Plug in the power cord and the audio and video cables into the appropriate connectors on the PS3.
Turn the PS3 on and enjoy movies or playing games.
Repairing the CPU and GPU
Tips and warnings
- Always work in a clean and well-lit environment.
- Avoid carpets and carpeting since this can cause static electricity build-up, which can damage the PS3's electronics.
- Making a modification on the PS3 voids the warranty. Sony or an authorised dealer might refuse to make a repair on it because of this, even if what needs to be fixed has nothing to do with the modification.
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