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How to fix a YLOD PS3... with an oven.

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To start, I'll first just admit that I have always been an XBOX 360 fan boy. I have done my fair share of ridiculing the PS3, and even deterred people from buying one. But that was all before Gran Turismo 5, which literally had me convinced at first sight that a PS3 was something that I had to own. So, I bought one. A broken one. A YLOD one. Now, some might think that was a stupid choice, with good reason.

However, because I was an XBOX fan, I was very familiar with the Red Rings of Death, or RROD for short. And because I am an aspiring engineer and experienced tinkerer, I had gotten very familiar (and very good) at fixing consoles with this problem, thanks to the many helpful tutorials posted on sites like xbox-experts.com. Once I discovered that the YLOD is basically the same problem as the RROD, I made the choice to buy a broken PS3 and fix it. This tutorial explains how I did it, using tips, tricks, and methods I have used to fix XBOX's in the past.

BE AWARE THAT PERFORMING THE METHOD WILL VOID VOID VOID YOUR WARRANTY (which is probably expired anyway if you are fixing a launch console). I will also say right now that I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE for any damage you may do to your PS3 or your oven (I'm talking about a conventional kitchen oven BTW, not a microwave!) by following this guide, and I do not guarantee a fixed console. But I will say that if you follow this guide, your chances are good.
 
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kdigre15 hours ago

Do I need to use blutak or can I use generic adhesive putty?

MCStrider1 month ago

Very nice work, much appreciated! My fat ps3 got YLOD first time about 18 months ago. I followed the instructions here (up to 450 degrees) and got it working again. Lasted about 8 months, then hit YLOD again. Did the process again, though let it get a bit warmer (up to 460+). Worked and lasted about 10 months, then YLOD again. Followed the process again, but used lots more flux (lots of excess on the board). Bought a new stand alone oven thermometer (for $6) and it seemed to be about 30-40 degrees behind the oven temp display (wasn't sure if this was due to the placement of the stand alone, or if one or both were a bit inaccurate). I trusted the stand alone, but had to set the oven up to 520 to get the stand alone up to 460. When I pulled the board out, some of the plastic connectors were melted (the HDMI connector and the big 2 prong connector that connects to the power supply). I suspect the temp got well above 460. Had to break off some of the melted plastic to get it back together - but everything fit OK. Confidence was not high it'd work this time (3rd time + melted parts...), but tried it out and it lives again! (note that it's only been running for one day...) Suggestion - get an accurate thermometer (or 2) and test them in the oven without the ps3 board in it....

sjgusmc212 months ago

Thank you for this great guide! I have a 7 year old Fat PS3 with 30 GB hd and it bit the bullet 2 days ago. Followed your guide and worked like a champ! I couldn't find the blue tack stuff, so I used white playdough instead and it worked great! Thank you again!

NeuroPulse10 months ago
My PS3 does not have YLOD. I get a green light and can navigate the menus, but when I launch a game or app the screen turns black and stays that way. Does that problem have the same cause as YLOD?

Make sure all your wires are correctly in, the CD drives main wires have a tendency to slip out. Make sure to snap the wires in well.

deeelwy5 months ago

My PS3 recently died with the weird blinking red light and the three beeps. After, some googling this is called a YLOD despite my PS3 not actually having a yellow LED. I guess when sony made the PS3 cheaper they ditched the yellow light for a blinking red one. Some more googling found this page. So for about $15 worth of supplies I followed your instructions except I only dried and unwarped my board for 2 hours instead of 8. To my amzement it actually worked! I couldn't believe it. Not only does it work, but it is also about 3 or 4 times faster at starting up and loading the menu. I created an account on this site just so I could post this, Thanks!

red and green make yellow.

tisaconundrum4 months ago

PS3 finally died :P Lol, i'll be fixing it again at some point.

PS3 is finally up and running again, I'd like to stress some keypoints!

The screws should all be of equal length! This will ensure that you're board straightens out correctly.
Second, the pizza board that you use should also be straight. If it's thin, this is good. the board will naturally straighten out from the heat.
Third, don't use the tack consecutive times for cooking, it begins to decay rapidly and will start sticking to your components.
Fourth, make sure you seal up the components jack! it will melt, I had the displeasure of dealing with that.
Fifth, Don't ever force your PS3 back into the casing, this will certainly break a solder ball somewhere. This isn't a big deal as you can bake the PS3 again, just be sure that you're PS3 is straight to begin with.


PS: I suggest buying all same screws (to keep consistent height), just make sure you're nuts are big enough to NOT fit through the holes of the PS3.

aredding14 months ago
I love you. I successfully fixed my Yellow Light of Don't-work-none with this guide. Thank you very much for all the great info.
rt1245 months ago

Hi, I have been reburbishing ps3s for over 3 years and previously used a heat gun for reflows. I had less than 25% success rate and for the most part when I got a ps3 with YLOD, NO VIDEO I would just throw them away. Since reading this I have begun reflowing ps3s again, my success rate in now 90% or higher. Thank you., I could of saved myself, and made a lot more money!

tisaconundrum6 months ago

Here I am again :D And my PS3 has not failed yet :D
I thank you again for this instructable.

PhiPhi897 months ago
Let me first say that although I frequent instructables.com I just now created an account to express my gratitude.

THANK YOU!!!
I was definitely skeptical of this procedure, so I put it off until I had run out of options (i.e. blow dryer with box, replacing therm paste and using blow dryer, etc..).
Yesterday I finally decided to give it a go. I followed the procedure exactly with 3 exceptions: 1) Oven was at 170 not 150, and 2) like phoneman6m7 (couldn't tag for some reason) my oven beeped at 450 saying preheat was complete--I waited just 5 mins longer; and 3) I should have listened about the insulating the component port....

To my dismay: when I opened the oven after the 500F bake smoke came pouring out, and boy did it smell! When the m-board finally cooled, I turned it over... and there was a big burnt spot! I almost trashed it right there :( I believe I may have used too much flux and it pooled and cooked. Despite my sadness I scrubbed and scrubbed the residue with shop towels and alcohol for about 30mins... I removed as much as I could, but there was still hard black carbon caked on a couple spots. I figured it was pointless, but I re-assembled the unit and plugged in the power for kicks.... IT WORKED!
....I was speechless.... Thank you Formulajake88! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I played a round of BO2, and it was flawless. :):):)

The only issue I had was: since I did not insulate the component input, it melted. I had to carve off pieces of the hardened plastic so that the m-board would fit back into the chassis.
I have a friend who also has YLOD, so I may be doing this again in the near future. Best of luck to all of you!
mixmanuk8 months ago
Many thanks for this article it worked a treat. It was the most thorough one I found and explained why certain other methods are not advisable and won't last as long. I wasn't looking for a quick fix as I'd like my original 60 GB to last me a lot longer if possible.
If you're following this from the UK (where I am) IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) is not easy to come by...I found mine in Maplins, Servisol IPA 170...£10 mind you!
I used Ever Build Wonder Wipes to clean the majority of the compound off and then rubbed over with some IPA.
Also I got my no clean flux from Maplins..in the form of a pen (can see being used in this video http://youtu.be/MZRReDIHTe0) again £10.
I did the full bake for 8 hours at 65°C and then the actual reflow upto 235°C.
I used the instructions here (http://psxrepair.com/taking_apart_the_ps3) for the dismantling of the PS3.
Once again many thanks
NeuroPulse9 months ago
Greetings. I advise adding to use liquid no-clean flux. Put it under the CPU and GPU from the sides of the chips with a syringe.
grazer10 months ago
I think something went wrong in the oven, when I opened it, a cloud of smoke rose out... So I took it outside to settle and cool down, I hope it will work...
tisaconundrum11 months ago
Followed your instructions to a t, except for the oven temperature, I end up doing 400 degrees. in the end it was successful.
Note: no you do not need the solder liquid, it helps though. other alternatives to Blu Tack, fun tack. make sure your pan is straight, my motherboard ended up warping a little bit. make sure you clean your mother board well or else it well get really smokey in the oven.
NeutraltEAm4za11 months ago
I've fixed two First Gen 80GB consoles multiple times with this method and it works every time. You become very efficient at this once you've done it a few times, but don't forget to make sure you've insulated and done all the steps (except for the long bake if you arent concerned about it). Thanks for the steps!
So many thanks!! It really worked for me! I had a 60GB ps3 that would turn on and show a green light, but no video/audio and no controller connection at all. I think this 'green light of death' is almost the same as the well-known YLOD, but not enough to let the playstation show te yellow light sign. So for people with the same problem, this works!
You only have to press and hold the button, to reset the display action. Lolz
ringo_9611 months ago
The lowest setting my oven has is 170 degrees farenheit, but the oven thermometer I bought is reading 190F when set at 170. How long should I do the long bake at this temp?
Also, I bought some yellow sticky tack made by the Super Glue company. That should work just as well, right? I am assuming it's the same stuff...
Lastly, I took my PS3 in to a repair shop where they repaired it once and that lasted about 3 weeks. Then I took it back (warranty) and they couldn't fix it a second time, although I can't be sure they actually tried a second time. I am hoping to get the unit working (via your method) long enough to transfer data from the defective PS3 to my new one. Have you ever heard of people having success with this type of situation? I think they did a "reflow" the first time.
You could just pull the data out if the drive by sticking it in your computer and then using a Linux live CD pull the data out.
tisaconundrum11 months ago
Can you name some alternatives to blue tak, because there is no such thing where I live
jarelll1 year ago
I don't know if you mentioned it ... But people please remember to remove your battery from the motherboard .. I popped mine in the oven loolll
mgardener1 year ago
Ok I have done this twice and it has extended my PS3 life by about 6-8 months so far! Just gone YLOD again today so wondering how many times this will work. Going to give it a go again anyway and see if it lasts until the new Xbox comes out (yeah...Im going to swap to the dark side...Sony havent exactly impressed me!). Still, Im on 378 hours of PS3 battlefield 3 so Im not giving up yet!
rdouglas1 year ago
Used this method 3 times now on an original PS3 FAT backwards compatible and getting more slap dash each time. Just done my third 'cook' with little hope and zero insulation - worked! All I need the machine to do is last an hour or so to let me back up all my stuff and I'll be happy. Great post so big kudos sir! And for everyone that's a little concerned about trying it - what do you have to lose?
ChinaMike1 year ago
I am sure having a cat nearby is also part of the inventory to do this? ;)
WhiteMerve1 year ago
Could any one confirm if there's anything i need to differently with the ps3 slim?

Also I've found a kit on eBay which comes with some copper shims to put between the gpu and cpu to help with cooling, has any one tried anything like this ?
ac_23001 year ago
So, here is my report on this:

As german Blu-Tack alternative I used Pritt Multifix. It left some residue, but I could clean that with some electronic cleaner. Forgot isolating the Multi-AV and it melted though.
I used the two power pins as a stand, because I hadn't enough screws at home. Bad idea, because it fall off under the board's pressure at about 200 C/390 F and I couldn't reattach it.
Also, the board was uneven afterwards, because I didn't use screws in the middle of the board.
With some force and metal bending I could put the PS3 back together. But I got the blinking red light.
At the end of all that I found two little chips on the pizza tray. Must have fallen off under the heat or something. My thermometer was at about 235 C/455 F when I turned it off.
Anyway, maybe someone learns from my mistakes.
9lucky21 year ago
Success!
rcamus1 year ago
This was a fail for me. I used to get the YLOD error and shutdown, but after going through the process, I now have a dead (no lights, no beeps) PS3. Anyone have any ideas on what might have gone wrong?
asbas531 year ago
First of all, I would like to thank you very much for making this guide. I got the cursed YLOD after having my 40gb for about 7 years now. Followed everything to a "T", except for the final step where you use the fan to suck out the hot air. I understand that it helps the solder solidify better, however I was worried about the motherboard itself, and tried a different method for the final cooling. Anyway, it worked for me!! On the second day now, and cranked right up no problem. I'll try posting back later for an update. I just hope it lasts unti PS4!! THANKS AGAIN!!
rcamus1 year ago
does it make a difference if it is a gas or electric oven? The gas ovens seem to heat up faster
I am willing to try this because u wanna get back to Black Ops 2XD. I've recently got this a couple day ago at first i was like WTF!?! but then i found this page it seem pretty straight to do it
rudi91 year ago
I did everything and i fixed it but when i tried to play a game once more it turned off and afterall same thing the YLOD is back! -.-
mking201 year ago
Success!!!!!!!! I can't actually believe this worked but we spent most of the day preparing for it, we put my brothers broken PS3 (yellow light of death) into the oven (Motherboard only) and cooked it at 460F and then reassembled it and now its working again!!!!!

Thanks a million!!!!!
A friend of mine mentioned that his old PS3 had karked it a while ago and instead of trying to send it back to Sony or trying to fix it himself he decided to just fork out for a new slim version, since they are reasonably cheap these days. He had heard about various methods of getting it working again (the heat gun method), but he didn't really want to bother with it, so his old one was still gathering dust. He told me about this and said I could have the PS3 if I wanted to have a crack at trying to fix it.

Now I'm a PC gamer from way back, I enjoy picking out components and building my own machines, and so have never really been that interested in console gaming. In saying that, every so often I do come across a game that is not available on the PC that I would like to play (Uncharted 3, Gran Turismo 5), so thought I might as well give it a nudge - at the very least it would give us a blu-ray player at home... :-). So I took his machine and started to do some research into the problem and came across this article, which seemed like a very well researched and thought out method, and the pros/cons versus the heat gun method made a lot of sense to me. (Plus I'm cheap and didn't feel like forking out for a heat gun).

Over the last couple of weeks I've followed the steps outlined here, pulled the machine apart & given it a thorough cleaning (talk about filthy). Did the 8 hour low temp bake over two 4 hour evening sessions at 170F as that was the lowest the oven went. Insulated and ramped up to 460F last night, and when I put the machine back together it looks like it is all working perfectly! Amazing. I don't actually have a controller or a game to test it out with yet - he kept that stuff when he bought his new PS3. I'm going to borrow a game/controller this weekend, give it a good burn in with Uncharted or something and see how she holds up. If it all looks good then will invest in my own controller and game on..

Thanks a lot for documenting this method as you have, much appreciated!
mgardener1 year ago
YLOD once again after 3 months from this fix and fairly heavy use. Did it again and found out the weak point was application of the thermal adhesive. I wouldnt try and spread it out evenly, just add a few small stripes near the centre and allow it to squidge out evenly over the processor areas. Repeated the fix and Im back online once more!
Would this help with laptops that are running badly?
formulajake88 (author) 1 year ago
Hey everyone! I just wanted to say thanks for all support, and I'm glad that this has worked so well for so many people :)
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