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~ Aidan's YLOD Repair Guide ~


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Ok, fools. Listen up.


Tired of losing all your damn savefiles? I mean, really, who has the time to back up every single day, right? Tired of losing all those movies you downloaded? Are you tired of waiting days and days, if not weeks, for your broken PS3 to come back in the mail? Tired of having to pay $150 because of some damn warranty issue? Tired of having to resort to your Xbox 360 while waiting during the summer and have the damn thing raise your room temperature by another 20 degrees, like it wasn't hot enough already?


Time to man up and beast-mode all over that broken black box. You're going to do this yourself, and I don't want to hear any crying. I've repaired PS3s, so you can too. This is Aidan's YLOD repair guide~! *guitar solo*




1. Disclaimer


First of all, I'd like to mention that everything from this point on is at your own risk. I do not take responsibility for any damage or complications that may arise from following this guide. I live in America, and I have to make disclaimers like this before you sue me, you bastard. I saw you thinking about it. Quit it.


I learned a bunch from a guy called Gilksy. He'd made a PDF, and can be found on youtube right here: YouTube - gilksy1's Channel


His videos go through the same steps, in very good detail. His video handles the 60GB model. The pictures in this guide pertain to the later 40/80GB models.


2. Identifying the problem


This guide is going to do the following;

  • Provide a detailed look into your 40/80GB PS3 model.
  • Show you how to replace a BR-ROM drive.
  • Show you how to replace a Power Supply.
  • Fix the motherboard.
  • Provide me with things to write, as I like to do just that.


First of all, identify your problem. I'm willing to bet half my trophies that 90% of the problems here are the same. You turn your unit on, it briefly blinks yellow, followed by just a red light blinking. Congratulations, you just got fucked by the Yellow Light Of Death.


No worries, we're here to fix just that. This works on every old model PS3, from 60GB all the way to the newest 120GB. I am not sure about the PS3 Slim models, as I've never worked with those before. Regardless, all people that experience YLOD experience it on an older console anyway, and every Slim should still be under warranty at the time of writing.


If you still have the normal Sony warranty, then use it! Don't go fiddle-fucking in this thing, and run unnecessary risks. If you can get it repaired by Sony, followed by an extended warranty, then by all means do it.


3. How does the YLOD happen anyway?


The YLOD is easily explained. There's a lot of little metal parts on your motherboard, and they all follow metal's scientific rule set; it expands and contracts. When your PS3 heats up, the metal parts expand. Then when it cools down, it shrinks again. Do this often enough, and something is going to give. At one point, the connections will break, and you will be presented with a broken PS3. We're going to fix those connections, and make it all better than it ever was.


4. Shopping List


You're going to need some stuff. Luckily, you can buy all of this crap at your local hardware store. No online ordering, no special items, nothing. Just simple stuff, but you need to know it. The list is easier to follow for United States residents, as it links directly to your stores. However, for those abroad, simple find alternatives that are practically the same. Real easy.


  • A broken PS3 with the YLOD (hurray)
  • A Heat Gun that blows about 700 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Thermal Compound/Grease
  • Phillips Screwdriver.
  • Torx Bit Screwdriver
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Can of compressed air


For the Heat Gun, I recommend going to Home Depot, and get the following: Home Depot; Heat Gun. This gun is cheap (around $25 including tax), and does the job just fine. I used it myself, so there you have it.


Thermal Compound can be found at any electronics/computer store. I got mine at Radioshack, and it's some damn good stuff. Will run you about $10, but it's worth it; Radioshack; Thermal Compound


You can find the screwdrivers anywhere, rubbing alcohol at CVS or any store that sells beauty supplies or first aid supplies. (just about any grocery store should have it as well) I bought the little box with tissues dipped in rubbing alcohol. If you don't want all that crap, just make sure you get a shop cloth, or something soft. Don't use sandpaper, is all I'm saying.


I'd recommend a little tray with different compartments as well, just to keep the screws organized and sorted. Your personal housekeeping and finesse will determine whether or not you'll be successful.


5. Repair Guide


Before anything else, make sure you repeat this to yourself about 50 times: do NOT force anything. Some parts have to be slightly forced due to plastic clips, but that's normal. Use the correct screwdriver, and nothing else. If a screwhead strips, you're fucked, so keep that in mind. Don't use the screwdriver if it's too small or too big. Stop, find the appropriate size, and then continue. You WILL regret it if you don't do that.


You need to get down to the motherboard, which is, of course, all the way at the bottom. You're going to have to dig through the BR-ROM drive, the power supply, and numerous covers. The 40/80GB models are a lot easier than the 60GB, however, so that's a good thing. Either way, all motherboards look the same in the end, and that's what we need.


First, where the warranty seal is on the left side, peel it off if you haven't already, and remove the little rubber thingy-ma-bobber. Stick a Torx-head screwdriver in the revealed hole and remove the little screw. Now you can take the top cover plate that says PLAYSTATION 3 off, revealing the following:



At this point, remove all the screws that you can see so you can take the black top off. Keep all the screws separate, and together. These steps are not all that hard, and just use your common sense. Remove the black cover by tilting it towards you. (60 GB models beware, there are cables attached to the top cover. Newer models don't have this.)


You will then see the Power Supply on the left, and the BR-ROM drive on the right.




People with the 60 GB model will have to remove the BR-ROM drive first. On the later models, remove the Power Supply first. Either way, they are attached by some cables as well, so make sure you're careful. For the wide flat cable on the BR-ROM drive, just flip up the little brown connector, and gently pull out the cable. The BR-ROM drive has no screws, so it comes out very easy. The power supply is attached by basic screws and a few hookups. Anyone familiar with building PCs should have absolutely no problem with any of this. It's also hooked up with a double-pin connection, similar to a regular power outlet. Just wiggle it out gently, and you'll be good to go.


Your unit should now look like this:




Everything must come out! The bottom left has the USB board, then the HDD drive holder. Remove the panel in the middle carefully, making sure nothing comes off. There's some pads on there that you want on the same location as they were before you stuck your paws in it. This is of utmost importance. This panel comes off easy, so no forcing is required. Voila, a wild motherboard appears.


This is where you remove the motherboard and the harness underneath it at the same time as a whole. The harness clicks in the little black holders on each side, so some force will be needed to remove it. Not to mention, the old thermal compound that's already on there will be sticky, so it might provide some resistance as well.


After removing this, your unit will now look like this:




This is the enormous fan that cools the entire shebang. On the 60GB models, the fan comes out with the motherboard, so just remove it carefully. Notice the old compound in the photo that is still there? This must be removed completely. To remove the compound, damped a soft cloth with rubbing alcohol, and scrub it off until all residue and compound has been completely removed.


Remove the motherboard from the harness, again making sure all soft pads stay in the same position. You do NOT want to lose these, or misplace these. It will damage your system, and you'll be unable to repair it. Just be careful, and nothing bad will happen.


These are two photos of the motherboard. The back, then the front.





You also see the compound on the front photo here. The same thing goes for the compound on both chips; clean it. Again, use a clean soft cloth with rubbing alcohol, and remove every single bit of old compound.


It should look like this once you're done cleaning it:




Behold, the power of Cell. Ruler of all androids.

Edited by Aidan
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This is the part where you actually go and fix the YLOD. Take the motherboard to a safe clean place, and set it on a piece of wood. Ensure that the motherboard is as level as possible. Turn the Heat Gun on, and make sure you let it sit for a minute or so to get to temperature. If you use the gun I linked to earlier, set it to slow. You want it to be around 700 Fahrenheit, and blowing slowly.


Once it's up to temperature, hold the Heat Gun about an inch away from the board, and heat up the areas boxed in on the photo. Each of the four areas should get about 15-20 seconds of concentrated heating, done in a circular motion. Just start with one sector, heat it for 17 seconds, then go to the next. Do this for all 4.


Now this is VERY important. Do not touch the board, and walk away. You have to wait 15-20 minutes now for it to cool off, and you do not want to move the motherboard. Moving it in this current condition will damage your motherboard beyond repair. What happened is that you liquefied all the connectors and soldering, and allowed it to merge back together. It will now cool off, and solidify. This is similar to the old graphics card in the oven trick. (don't do that to the PS3. Please.)


After 15-20 minutes (I took 20), turn the motherboard around. It's time to do the same thing on the top of the motherboard now. Again, you can see 4 areas highlighted on the photo. Each area needs about 15-20 seconds of heat in a circular motion. Same drill as before. Again, get the fuck out of dodge once you're done, and tell the dog to go outside. It needs to sit there and not move for 20 minutes again.


Congratulations. If you did everything right, you now fixed the YLOD! PRAISE BE YEVON.


Now for another crucial element; the Thermal Compound. On both chips on the front of the motherboard, spread a little worm-looking bead of thermal compound on one side, and then using a credit card, or any card like that, spread it evenly across the surface of the chip. We're obviously talking about the two largest chips on the board, but you should've known that going by what you cleaned off earlier.


You'll want a very thin layer on both. Too much compound can damage a system more than perhaps too little, so beware. You'll want it to be less than a millimeter thick, almost making it transparent. Look up some Thermal Compound guides on youtube or google if you're not comfortable with this.


That's it. Time to backtrack all your steps carefully, and re-assemble the entire unit. Again, make sure that all the little pads on the motherboard are exactly where they were before you took it apart. This is highly important for temperature conducting.


Turn that shit back on, and wham. Notice how quiet the PS3 is now, and how smooth it runs? Pat yourself on the back, buddy. You just fixed your problems!


First thing you should do? Backup your saves and what you can, because you never know if this will be permanent or not. If you followed the steps perfectly, then yes, it will be for a very long time. However, I don't know how deprived your motor skills are, so just as a friendly reminder; backup.


I might add some more crap to this later on. This is enough writing for one night, so excuse the sloppy format. Give me a break here. D:

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I tried this method when my 80 GB died on me (YLOD), but unfortunately it didn't work. I still have to try again with a more powerful heat gun, the one I used was too weak, probably didn't generate enough heat.

You could potentially compensate for lack of heat by increasing the time you heat it up. Try it again with slightly more heat, but do it 20 seconds per sector. A lot of factors are involved, such as room temperature, etc.


If you live in a cold area, and you do it in your garage where it's maybe only 50 degrees, then it might take longer. The best environment is room temperature, or close.

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You could potentially compensate for lack of heat by increasing the time you heat it up. Try it again with slightly more heat, but do it 20 seconds per sector. A lot of factors are involved, such as room temperature, etc.


If you live in a cold area, and you do it in your garage where it's maybe only 50 degrees, then it might take longer. The best environment is room temperature, or close.


Yeah, I will try that, but my buddy has a nice heat gun and I will probably borrow it to try again.

Nah, I don't live in a cold area. In my garage the temperature is well over 90 F right now, hehe. :whistle:

By the way, nice guide.

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Try it again with some more heat, or perhaps slightly longer heat. I've had a PS3 that worked for 10 minutes, then went dead again. I heated it longer (5 seconds longer per sector), and it has worked ever since.


Regardless, the day it gives you might sometimes be enough to quickly copy 2 years of progress onto a USB stick, if anything.

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Today I got a proper heat gun (Black and Decker, the only one I could find nearby) and I did the procedure all over again. Guess what? It WORKED! My dear fat 80GB CECHE01 PS3 is now back to action! I'm so happy! :D

But I noticed one problem, the fans are rotating at a wicked speed, like a turbine. I think it's not gonna last long, but hey, I already managed to deactivate my system from the PSN, it doesn't really matter if it breaks again now.

Thanks for the guide again, Aidan! :applause:

Edited by Jaime
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So after much debating, I figured I might as well take my PS3 apart since I've got nothing to lose anyways.


How easy would you say, Sir Aidan, for someone with no knowledge of electronics whatsoever, never worked on a heat gun in his entire life to fix my Beast? I just want it on long enough for me to backup my saves.

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Aidan, shouldn't we ground ourselves or something before messing with the parts?

You should remove yourself from all static electricity, yes. I'll add it to the guide just to be safe.


So after much debating, I figured I might as well take my PS3 apart since I've got nothing to lose anyways.


How easy would you say, Sir Aidan, for someone with no knowledge of electronics whatsoever, never worked on a heat gun in his entire life to fix my Beast? I just want it on long enough for me to backup my saves.

If you follow the guide, then you should have absolutely no problem. I'd recommend you watch the videos I mentioned at the start before you start, just in case.


Keep an eye on your parts, and don't get in a hurry. Don't stop halfway through so you never forget what goes where. Take a lot of photos as reminders. You'll do just fine.

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