The yellow light of death (YLOD) is one of the most annoying problems that you can encounter on your PS3. Whether you experience this problem also involves a degree of luck, some people have never experienced YLOD, even owners of the original 60GB PS3, yet owners of much newer PS3 models may have experienced YLOD on several occasions.
One way to solve the YLOD is to send your PS3 off to Sony, and receive a refurbished console in return, however, the price Sony charge for this option is a little beyond reasonable. Many gamers simply choose to repair YLOD themselves.
The only way in which the YLOD can be repaired is by reflowing the the CPU/GPU chipsets. This is how Sony or any other repair company will do the job, and it’s surprisingly simple to do yourself.
Why does YLOD occur?
The YLOD occurs when the PS3 system gets so hot that the CPU/GPU chipsets get shifted, and no longer connect to the motherboard in the right locations.
How to fix YLOD
To fix the YLOD, you will need to reflow the CPU and GPU chipsets. By this we mean heating the chipsets with a heat gun, which will allow them to fall back into place.
1. Remove warranty sticker and rubber foot that’s positioned above hard drive bay. This will invalidate any warranty.
2. Using a small flat blade screw driver or slotted torx bit, unscrew cover plate screw.
3. Slide cover plate towards the left until it stops and lift off.
4. Remove all Phillips screws marked noting size and position.
5. Hinge case towards you until disengaged and then tilt towards the left.
6. Remove ribbon cable by carefully lifting black part of connector (locking tab).
7. Lift/tilt blue ray drive towards the right whilst disconnecting power cable and the large ribbon (lift tab) underneath.
8. Remove 5 screws and the earth wire screw on psu, and unplug connector plug.
9. Now remove the wide ribbon from connector (lift tab) unscrew the four screws on the Bluetooth board and remove.
10. Unscrew blue hard drive screw and disengage hard drive by sliding towards gap in the bay.
11. Remove hard drive.
12. Unscrew 4 screws holding the bracket, on/off and eject control panel. Remove small ribbon (lift tab) and remove control panel.
13. Unscrew the 8 screws. Lift enclosure out of plastic base.
14. Now unclip black rear panel and remove.
15. Unscrew 4 screws and remove sprung brackets.
16. Lift of metal cover plate whilst allowing ribbons to pass through gaps in plate without damage.
17. Supporting fan assembly turn board over, removefan power connector and fan.
18. Remove 2 screws holding plate to hard driveconnector and unplug battery connector.
19. Clean off old heat sink compound from the 2 mainprocessors using Isopropyl alcohol making sure all tracesof the old heat sink compound has gone.
20. Clean both touch plates on bottom of fan/heat sinkassembly with Isopropyl alcohol until all traces of the oldheat sink compound has gone.
21. Now using a vacuum cleaner or compressed airblower get rid of all dust build up in the case and on allcomponent parts of the ps3.
22. Check the top metal cover plate (underside) forburn-in marks.
23. Place the ps3 mother board on a flat heat resistivesurface (kitchen work top or melamine shelf will be fine).
24. Turn heat gun on and set temperature to 350 degand the fan speed to low (to high and it will move thesurface mount bits).
25. Using a circular motion hold heat gun over the chipset areas (keep heat gun an inch aboveboard/components at all times).
26. Now its time to apply new heat sink compound tothe 2 processors, when doing this its always best tofollow the manufacturers instructions but I believe theprocess is the same with all types (please checkinstructions that come with paste), before continuing.
27. Use syringe supplied and dispense a small worm ofcompound from top to bottom on the left hand side ofprocessor chip, now using credit card supplied spreadcompound evenly and thinly over processor face (to muchis bad and not enough is also bad) the ideal amount iswhen you can almost see through the paste.
28. Now repeat on the other processor.
29. Reverse the process of taking apart your PS3 to reassemble it.