Let us get straight to the point, you have arrived at this article either by searching through Google or finding it through EzineArticles and for one reason – your indispensable PS3 is now staring back at you through that dreaded, now infamous yellow light of death. The question is how to fix the yellow light on PS3 when you are not an electronics repair guru or appliance engineer.
Some PS3 owners are lucky in the sense that they have a PS3 purely for gaming purposes, so if it goes down they still have a dedicated blu-ray player to use as back up for non gaming activities. If you are not that lucky, then a faulty PS3 also prevents you watching movies, documentaries or even recording TV if your sole means of recording was via the PS3 Play TV Box connected.
I think the point I am making here is that PS3’s have become much more than mere gaming consoles in many households, while maybe not rivalling the family pet (we know some of you lovingly caress its sleek back curves though), it still has a massive impact on your everyday entertainment lifestyle. A Yellow light of death or ‘YLOD’ can seriously hamper your ability to unwind after a long day.
So what do you do?
You have three options.
1. You can buy a new PS3 which is costly, but if your existing PS3 is getting old, it might be on the downhill slope and pick up more errors even if you get the yellow light of death fixed.
2. You can send it away to Sony for repair, but the figures I have seen banded about online start from £100, so not a cheap solution. Of course the PS3 might still be in warranty, but unless you have given it some serious hammer, the YLOD is generally a problem affecting older models, which in turn are usually out of warranty.
3. The cheap option in theory – DIY YLOD fix. This is where you watch the YouTube videos, follow the forum postings or buy/subscribe to an online product that shows you the fix steps. Obviously the risk with step three is that you do the work yourself and if you are not trained in electronics, you need to be very careful which advice you follow.
Most people, myself included, usually turn to YouTube – the go-to guide for almost anything nowadays. You will find plenty of videos on YLOD, but you obviously have to pick carefully, because people will show various methods and variations of the same method. Some of these will work fine, but others could irreparably damage your PS3, which defeats the object of this endeavour in the first place, as you now have to fork out another £200+ for a new PS3.
After performing some research on this topic the common cause of the yellow light on PS3 is separation of the CPU and/or GPU from the motherboard. To fix YLOD on PS3 you need to follow some straightforward steps. The steps themselves are easy enough, but also fraught with dangers if you get them wrong.
I changed the hard drive over in my own PS3, because I wanted more capacity for storage and even though I am a trained electrician who uses screwdrivers everyday, I could see how some steps might seem daunting to the uninitiated.
For instance, as soon as I removed the hard drive protection panel I was faced with the dreaded blue screw. A screw with a head so soft, that shredding it is a real option if you do not have the correct Philips screwdriver at the start. If you do shred it then your chances of ever removing it, which you need to for a YLOD fix, have just flown out of the window. The fact that my blue screw was ridiculously tight did not help matters!
Another tip worth mentioning is where you do the YLOD repair. You may have noticed that computer components generally come wrapped in sealed plastic bags, this is to protect the sensitive electronic circuitry from static electricity. Likewise, you should really perform this task in a dust free, well-lit, clean area, preferably on a static free plastic sheet.
With the power disconnected, to dismantle the PS3 in stages remove the parts below taking into account removing screws and ribbon cables in order:
Hard drive panel
Card memory readers
Fan and connector
Hard drive bay
When you have the naked motherboard before you the next step is to clean off the chemical compound from the back of the CPU/GPU and then apply a heat gun for approximately five minutes to heat them up.
Apply new thermal grease and after letting the board cool for fifteen minutes you then reassemble the PS3 and this should solve the problem for a while, but this method is purely the YouTube workaround and is no guarantee of success or long-term fix.
I do not personally recommend the YouTube way to most people, except those with some skills in dismantling electronic equipment. The first option is probably best if you have had the existing PS3 for a long time, but then again do you really want to buy a brand new PS3 with the rumoured PS4 just around the corner?
The cost of sending it away to a licensed PS3 engineer is fairly prohibitive when you consider how much a new console costs, so option three using a trusted online resource appears to have the most benefit as long as the cost amount is not too great.
At the end of the day you are reading this article, because it is likely that you have to make that choice urgently. If you wanted to know how to fix the yellow light on PS3, you now know the details and have the information to make whichever choice you deem best.
I wrote this simple guide as a result of research performed in conjunction with my friends, who used some of these guides successfully, so that we could point others in a helpful direction.