After my PlayStation 3 acquired the YLOD, I frantically searched the Internet for easy fixes of the YLOD. I did not want to pay Sony $150 and wait weeks to have my PS3 back again. So after my research was done, it seemed that I had three available options: re-flowing, re-balling, or a PS3 YLOD fix repair guide.
Re-flowing can be done at home from watching videos on the Internet, but it does require some skill and supplies. The most costly supply being a heat gun. Re-flowing involves taking the PS3 apart and re-flowing the solder between the computer chips and the motherboard. While re-flowing it is important that you don’t have your heat gun too hot, because if your heat gun is too hot you can completely mess up your motherboard. Also, it is very important to insulate the motherboard during a re-flow. Personally, I use bubble wrap and aluminum foil. Insulating protects the other parts of the motherboard that you do not want the heat to get to. Then after you re-flow, you have to reapply thermal compound to the computer chips (CPU & GPU). From experience, I would recommend Arctic Silver Thermal Compound, it might be a little more expensive, but it will make your re-flow last longer. Re-flowing your PS3 by yourself definitely runs some risks. I personally re-flowed my PS3 three times, and then on the fourth time it just wouldn’t power on anymore. After a process of elimination, I reasoned that I had simply heated my motherboard too long, and messed up some component on it. Another thing to consider about re-flowing is that it is not permanent. My re-flow repairs generally lasted from 3-5 months. Re-flowing is a relatively easy do-it-yourself fix if you can find the right videos and have the proper supplies. Just keep in mind that there is a risk of really messing up your console.
The second fix that I mentioned is re-balling. Re-balling consists of replacing the solder balls that attach the computer chips (CPU and/or GPU) to the motherboard. The replacement solder used will be much more durable than the old solder. Re-balling is impossible to do unless you have the right equipment. The equipment needed is very advanced, and costs thousands of dollars. Re-balling should be left to the professionals, which you can send your console to one of these professionals and have them re-ball it for you. There are plenty of people on the Internet who do professional re-balling. Re-balling is going to be the only for sure permanent fix for your PS3 if you are a very heavy gamer. Meaning the original solder in the PS3’s is just not meant for hours upon hours of game play. The drawbacks to re-balling include: you will most likely have to send your console off, unless you can find someone locally, and re-balling can be a bit pricey. You can search the internet to see what kind of deal you can get, but it will usually run you $90 or more.
The third and final fix I mentioned is buying a repair guide. The repair guide will take the risk out of repairing your console by yourself, as it will thoroughly explain and walk you through everything that you need to do. Also, if you have any questions the support provided is great. The fix provided by the guide will last longer than if you were to re-flow by yourself, if not a permanent fix. Also, the repair guide is less than half of the cost of re-balling. With a repair guide, you can be back to gaming as quick as it takes you to complete the fix, which usually takes about an hour, and you don’t have to ship your console off. For a more detailed review of the repair guide that I recommend, follow the link below.