Step 4: Low Temperature Oven Bake

Picture of Low Temperature Oven Bake
Alright, so the purpose of this step is twofold. First, it helps to gently unflex the mainboard, and second, it serves to evaporate moisture that has trapped itself in the board over time, which is critical to get rid of in order to perform a good re-flow. However, the motherboard can't just be tossed on a pizza tray and then into the oven. This is where the bolts come in. They will be used to create a simple stand for the board, so no parts of it will be directly touching the tray.

First, put a nut about 10mm down on a bolt you are going to use. The smaller M4 bolts go around the outside of the board, and the M5's go in two of the big holes in the middle (see pictures). Then, place it in a hole on the board. Now, take another nut and screw it down until the top of the nut is flush with the top to the bolt. Then tighten the nut underneath the board until it "pinches" the board tightly. No need to crank down on these - finger tightening  is good enough. Do this for all the bolts. Make sure when you do the M5's that the nut on top of the board does not come into contact with any chips or other small components.

Then, set the board on an even surface like a counter-top. You want to look straight on at the board and make sure it is level. If it sags or curves in the middle, adjust the middle bolts so that it does not.

Once this is done, it's time to cook. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If your oven will not go this low, you can go as high as 170 without insulation, but any higher and you risk damaging the board. If you simply cannot get your oven to do this you can skip this step, but it is very beneficial to do it if possible.

Alright, when the oven is ready put the board on a pizza tray and pop it in the oven for 8 HOURS. That's right, 8 hours. This ensures a completely dry and straight board, and is totally worth the wait. If possible start the bake early - then you will have time to re-flow later in the same day.

Once the wait is over, take the mainboard out of the oven and let it cool completely. Now it's time to insulate.

cannibs4203 years ago
couldnt find long enough m4 hex nuts anywhere. decided to use thermal ahesive to attach 20mm M8 bolts to 16mm M4 and M5 bolts. i assume the adhesive will be fine.

the only thing this guide is missing, is removing the IHS heatspreader off the RSX chip, and cleaning all the adhesive off the four ram chips, then using either thermal adhesive (arctic alumina) or else thermal paste(i like arctic mx-4) to attach the heatspreader after.

reflowing a board with the IHS still attached will completely own all the thermal paste that the RSX has on it in the center of the heat spreader.

i imagine this will happen with the cell's IHS as well, but the rsx is usually the culprit for YLOD and the silicon on the CELL's IHS makes it a challenge to get off.

I have tried this method twice on the same board with no luck, do you think I should try again with the heatspreader off? Could it be pulling heat away from the solder joints that need to be reflowed?

ringo_962 years 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.
formulajake88 (author) 2 years 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 :)
jacqeez2 years ago
Has anyone had success without doing the low-temp bake? If so, how long has your ps3 been holding up? My oven just doesn't have this option.
formulajake88 (author)  jacqeez2 years ago
I can't tell you for sure what the success rate is without the bake. If you absolutely cannot do it, I'd go ahead and reflow. Hope that helps!
awu63 years ago
ok, so 8 hrs kinda long for me. Do you think 1 - 2 hrs is ok for the bake? probably around 150-160 degrees Fahrenheit
formulajake88 (author)  awu63 years ago
If you absolutely cannot wait, put it in for at least two hours. This should get most of the moisture out. But seriously bro, the longer you bake, the better your chances will be of owning a functioning PS3. I really, really recommend going the full 8 hours.
Sadodare3 years ago
I have accidentally insulated my board before this first 150 degree pre-bake....Should I un-insulate the board for the pre-bake or can I just leave it on? Also, does your Ps3 still work since this repair?
if your only trying to get component off the board (scrap it) would it be safe to stick it in at 500 degrees for about 3 min?
formulajake88 (author)  Jimmy Proton4 years ago
I'm not sure if I understand. If by scrapping it, do you mean destroying it? Or recycling components? And by safety, since you intend on not reusing the board, do you just mean what temperature it will withstand before bursting into flames? I've never got a board that hot before, but I would guess that it would be OK. However, your caps will pop at that temperature before too long. And it will be hard to reach in and pull components off due to the heat, but with an oven glove, as long as the heat sticks around for awhile... I don't see why you couldn't.
i mean recycling components. i put the oven at full temp which is about 500. i dont care to much about the caps. i mean before the heat ruins the silicon, how long can i keep it in an oven at that temp before it ruins ICs and things like that. i just hit the board on the concrete and they fall off.
formulajake88 (author)  Jimmy Proton4 years ago
Well I can't really give you a time frame, because I just don't know. But temps required to melt or burn IC's are probably higher than 500F. If I had to go with my gut, I'd say in the 700F or 800F range. So I think you'd be OK at 500F for awhile, but I cannot give you any sort of guarantee.
well ok, thanks for the help!