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Monday, July 4, 2011

Disassemble a PlayStation 3

I recently acquired another 60 gig, backwards-compatible PS3 on craigslist for a mere $30. Only catch? It has the "Yellow Light of Death" (YLOD). This is basically the PlayStation 3 equivalent of the Xbox 360's Red Ring of Death (RROD). It's caused by the solder joints under one of the microchips on the board (usually the GPU - just like the 360) breaking or pulling away from the board.

In this tutorial I will guide you through the steps needed to disassemble your PS3 (fat model) so you can then later fix your YLOD. Another reason to disassemble your PS3 would be to dust it! This is the main cause of excess heat in these systems that leads to the Yellow Light of Death!

First thing you'll want to do is pop off the small plastic cover over your hard drive (HDD).




There will be a small blue screw in place - remove it and grade the little handle on the HDD. Pull it to the right and then away from the console.


Just above the HDD compartment is a small rubber cover. Remove it along with the screw!


Now you can slide the top of the PS3 off of it. Slide it towards the HDD end of the console and then lift.


There are quite a few screws here! Remove them all with a standard Philips head screw driver.


Once they are all out, CAREFULLY lift the top of the PS3 towards the front using the same motion you'd use to open a briefcase. Do this very carefully as there is a small, fragile ribbon cable attaching this piece to the console.


Take a good look at the small clip attaching the ribbon cable to the console. Lift the clip and slide the ribbon cable out. Please remember to undo the clip before pulling the cable out - there should be very little resistance once it's undone.


The top cover of your PS3 should be completely detached now. Unplug the small power cord right next to where the ribbon cable was attached. This goes to the blu-ray drive!


Lift the blu-ray drive from the front - being careful of the ribbon cable underneath it. Just like before - undo the clip and then slip the cable away from the board.






Unscrew the small screw near the back of the PS3 that was previously covered by your blu-ray drive. This holds the WiFi antenna in place. It will also have a thin, long wire attached near the front of the PlayStation, pull the connector on that end out as well.


After taking more screws out, you should be able to lift this small daughter board away from the console. It's the one that had the antenna attached to it.


Now we're going to remove the power supply. It's attached to the console by several screws and 2 power cords. Remove them all!



Lift the power supply straight up and away from the console.


Carefully unclip and remove the small ribbon cable from the front touch-pad assembly. Then unscrew the 4 screws holding the board in place and remove it along with it's little metal plate under it. You could also remove the ribbon cable from the motherboard instead of the smaller board side if you wish.


Now carefully flip you PS3 upside-down. (Like the Superman sticker the previous owner put on it? Lol!)


Life the bottom of the case away from the console. The back port covers will left behind.


There are a few plastic clips holding the black port cover on. Undue them and pull the cover off. The power button will come with it after you unscrew the last remaining screw holding it on.


Unplug the large fan's power cord.


Now unscrew the 3 screws holding the fan in place.


Lift the fan and dust it! This thing was extremely dusty when I took it out! A can of compressed air took care of that.


Remove the little power cable attached to the small, round battery. You can leave the battery in place - no need to take it out.


With a smaller Philips screwdriver, remove the 2 small screws on the HDD compartment.


Flip the console over again and remove the 2 long, parallel metal plates by first unscrewing them. These are the PS3's equivalent to the Xbox 360's X-clamp. They apply the pressure needed to hold the heat sink onto the GPU and CPU.


Back on the other side, you should be able to remove the heat sink from the console. Look at all the dust! No wonder this thing has the Yellow Light of Death!


You should be able to take the metal shielding off of the motherboard by lifting the pieces out of their hinges.



Use some rubber alcohol and remove the thermal compound from the GPU, CPU, and heat sink.





Make sure everything is thoroughly dusted and cleaned before you reassemble your PS3! Also remember to reapply more thermal compound - NEVER put it back together without it!

My next tutorial will go over 1 method of fixing the YLOD, so stay tuned!

Until next time...

75 comments:

  1. This is an awesome blog man. It will certainly come in handy when my xbox inevitably goes to that red ring in the sky.

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  2. Interesting stuff, you never know when you gonna need this. +1 follower

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  3. Wow, cool. The PS3 GPU is crazy powerful. They even built a supercomputer out of PS3 GPUs!

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  4. First time i've heard about the YLOD.

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  5. I just disassembled my PS3 and it was so dusty! Thanks for this blog!

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  6. This might be good to know, since I have one of the old PS3's. No problems with it so far, but if I get the YLOD, I know what to do!

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  7. Is it just me, or are the insdes of a ps3 higher quality than a 360's?

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  8. thanks for the info, might come in use one day

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  9. good stuff; a friend of mine has an old ps3 that hasn't had any troubles yet, hope it never suffers from the YLOD :/

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  10. Hah love the superman sticker :P

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  11. @Shaw -

    I forgot to mention that! I was amazed at the quality of the innards of the PS3 compared to the Xbox 360 the first time I opened one!

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  12. I know you're going to leave that sexy Superman sticker on there!

    Yeah, the PS3 looks much more complicated than the 360. That's an awesome Craigslist find, I wish mine had good deals like that.

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  13. For 30 bucks! that's a pretty nice deal.

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  14. I am lucky that I haven't had any hardware problems with my PS3 yet, but this guide will come in handy as I do want to dust it out, keep up the good work!

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  15. Wow, very detailed tutorial! I'm thinking about a similiar one for only 30 dollars on ebay. Sounds great in theory ;).

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  16. Going to use this guide to fix up my friends ps3. Thanks for the info!

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  17. Another great tutorial buddy, keep up the good work

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  18. nice, mr technical surgeon : D

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  19. maybe smash it onto the ground!?

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  20. really intereting, you never know when you're going to need to disassemble your ps3. +follower for interesting info!

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  21. Interesting i really didnt know there was such thing as yellow ring for ps3, this is new to me "). +1

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  22. Thanks for the info now I could show my friend how to fix his ps3. +1

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  23. I had to take mine apart to replace the crappy blue ray laser

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  24. I don't dare try to take that apart, but if I ever needed to, i'd use this. But as it is, it'd have to be crashing and dying over and over and a last result.

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  25. nice tutorial! when i get a ps3 thats broken ill come back to this guide!

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  26. Directions how to put it back together?

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  27. @Monkey Treats -

    Just follow the guide backwards :)

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  28. Wow this is really cool, seeing all the architecture of computers is awesome.

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  29. lol nice didn't know the ps3 had a similar problem

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  30. Oh jeez, I have a PS3, best be careful! Hit me back, +follower :D http://cryptozen.blogspot.com

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  31. well if I ever buy a ps3 (which i may actually be doing soon) I'll probably need this somewhere down the line. Great post.

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  32. This is a really impressive one btw.

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  33. Whoa, I didn't know you could dissassemble it like that! Great post! :)

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  34. Wow, very nice man, won't try it though, have no PS3.

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  35. Sweet, if only I had a PS3 ;)
    +followed

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  36. Sweet! I was looking for something like this. I haven't cleaned my PS3 since I got it and I've had it for some time now!

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  37. nice tutorial i really need to dust mine so definitely useful

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  38. Thanks for the tutorial,hope that never happents to my PS3.

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  39. When I saw the blog title "The DIY Gamer", I thought doesn't everyone "do it themselves"? This post explains it all though. Not the average 'gaming' experience.

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  40. Great post! Information I can actually use!

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  41. Well done! Getting a ps3 for $30+work is a steal.

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  42. Would you repair mine? haha

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  43. So... you are a god. A god of game repair. I bow down to you sir. +follower

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  44. very helpful. now if only i could mod it to play pc games

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  45. Thanks, if my PS3 ever needs to be opened, I'll have this to help me.

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  46. excellent work! ill have to bookmark this just in case my PS3 breaks.

    +followed

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  47. hey, thanks for your comment

    I'm currently working in a small business, i'm limited to mantaining the computer systems and the database, i expect to work in another thing related in the future.

    I don't have any gaming system, I use the computer to all the games, but is interesting to know more about it

    PD:following you!

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  48. I don't know how you got the patience to take it apart.

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  49. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. While I don't have a PS3 I do have an NDS with a damaged touch screen. Do you think you can do a post on that? Thank you.

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  50. That's really awesome. I've always wanted to disassemble my PS3 but I'm afraid that I'll screw up the warranty or something. :S

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  51. Awesome! Helpful to all those PS3 owners out there!
    Too bad I don;t have one

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  52. very nice tutorial :) great :)

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. Nice tut, although I like xbox better :/

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  55. This may be the single most informative blog I have seen thus far.

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  56. Do you, perchance, take requests? For instance, a PS3 that stopped reading DVDs?

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  57. This is actually awesome how you can take a part a PS3 and fix it like that! How long did it take you to fix it??

    You can make a good living out of doing these kinds of tech stuffs. When my phone or mouse stops working, I just throw it away and get a new one lol.

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  58. Amazing work there. Go diy or go home!Superman sucks though :p

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  59. wow, never seen a ps3 inside. I don't think I would ever open it, I love it too much. nice post mate and nice work

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  60. very good tutorial, following =)

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  61. this is great!!

    http://afdreview.blogspot.com/

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  62. Useful post. My friend recently had some issues with PS3, so this disassembly tutorial (hah) could be handy in dire need ;)

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  63. I opened my ps3 to clean the blu-ray lens and forgot to eject the disk. I wasn't able to to fit it back together properly afterwords :-(

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  64. this blog is awesome, i'll stay tune on it

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