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Submitted by bggriffiths 1074d ago | opinion piece

Coming to Terms with PS3’s YLOD

Dealspwn writes: The YLOD. The Yellow Light of Death. This is the dreaded sickness that PlayStation 3 owners fear. With my PS3 nearing its sixth birthday, it finally happened to me. While hardly as prevalent as the Red Ring of Death in the Xbox 360’s early days, the flashing yellow light is still cautiously feared amongst the PS3 community.

In order to cope with this grim occurrence I’ve incorporated the experience into my regular feature, The Sunday Seven. This isn’t a guide on how to fix the problem yourself, no, no, that’s a different fire hazard for a different day and for someone else to tell. This is what was running through my mind as I tried to come to terms with it and ultimately how to bring it back to life.

Hopefully, this won’t happen to you. So use this as a cautionary tale, an amusing anecdote by someone clearly a bit too much attached to a console or as a comparable accompaniment to your own past woes. Let’s face it; this is probably some form of karmic retribution any smugness of having a PS3 when everyone’s 360s were melting. (Culture, PS3, Yellow light of death)

Alternative Sources
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maniacmayhem  +   1075d ago
YLOD is just as old as RRoD, not necessary for this day and age.
YoungPlex  +   1075d ago
BS, I recently had the YLOD happen to me! I was pissed, but quickly found a temporary remedy just long enough to turn it on and play a game and traded it in! The cool part was that I was able to back most of my stuff up, got double trade in credit, and was able to get a new PS3 SS for just about free; it was on sale for $199.99 with 4 games and a 500gig HDD.
bggriffiths  +   1075d ago
Ha, nicely done dude!
knowyourstuff  +   1074d ago
Yeah, when I spent 80 bucks fixing my PS3, I backed up the hard drive to get all my old stuff back. This was a couple of years ago so I had to pay 300 bucks for another PS3, as there was no trade in special at the time, and no free games special either despite there being one only a few days prior to it happening. I decided to give my old PS3 to my sister, it died a few months later. I already sent it to get fixed to the same guy 5 times, and after 3 months of fixing it initially he wouldn't fix it another time. Oh well, I wasn't going to give him a cent more for it.
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slayorofgods  +   1074d ago
I suffered the YLOD too, I actually think it is preventative knowing what I know now and going the the re-flowing process of trying to extend the life a little.

There was no way for me to have known this early in the ylod epidemic, but changing the thermo compound after owning a ps3 for five years will prevent the ylod.
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8GB_DDR3   1074d ago | Spam
DOMination-  +   1074d ago
No they fixed it with the jasper board that shipped with elites in 2007.
Dark_Overlord  +   1074d ago

"There was no way for me to have known this early in the ylod epidemic, but changing the thermo compound after owning a ps3 for five years will prevent the ylod."

Changing the thermo will make it last a bit longer, but not much. To properly fix it, you need to get it re-balled with leaded solder (The Xbox and PS3 both use that cheap crappy lead free solder).
legionsoup  +   1073d ago
Some kid will get a broken PS3 because of you. So selfish.
cleverusername  +   1073d ago
So then some poor gamer ended up buying it just for it to break within days!
Dir_en_grey  +   1073d ago
Only if people understand why a system get YLOD or RROD.
Most people probably know it's over heat, but they never stop to think why it over heated.

Overheat causes the circuits on the board to melt, and it's likely to snap during cool down, which will cause RROD or YLOD. 360 had a bad design not letting the heat properly escape, so it made it more likely for the RROD to happen.

But older systems are at risk of overheating due to dust clogging up the ventilation. (For new systems too if you don't put it in the ventilated place for the heat to escape)

The fix is called re-flowing by melting the circuits to try to reconnect the snapped circuit back together.

Because for time consuming and other reasons, people can't tell exactly which one of the circuit is snapped so they melt everything, and there's no guarantee every line well melt back properly and evenly, which is why your system is likely to break (circuit snapping again) after it's fixed.

So, if you have an older system you should just air blow it and keep the ventilation clean and clog free. Cuz dust is going to build up no matter what. And you really only have yourself to blame if it dies. (well there's also the likely hood of drive failure but that's the same for all PC parts and is easier to replace w/o worrying of the same part breaking down again)
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kayoss  +   1073d ago
@Dark overlord
I had the ylod 4 years ago and look online on how to fix it. I re-thermaled it and it was fixed for about 2 months then i got it again. I did research and found that you have to re-ball it. I didn't want to do that so I cut two openings in the ps3 where the problem was and intergrated two large computer fans on it. So when the ps3 is turned one of the fan would turn on and blow cool air into it, the other would suck out the hot air to keep the ps3 cool. The air inside the ps3 would always be circulated with cold air. The same ps3 been working for 4 years now. I play gran turismo 5 on it and leave it on for hours while I go to work.
YoungPlex  +   1073d ago
Some kid will get a broken PS3 because of you. So selfish."

So then some poor gamer ended up buying it just for it to break within days!"

Calm down kiddies, Gamestop warranties their systems to work for 30 days, and I know for a fact that that system died in a matter of an hour or less! So if some little kid suffered it was only until he got the replacement, had it not been that way I probably wouldn't have done it.

Will someone please think of the children, oh the humanity... They should've bought a Wii lol!
Emzx99  +   1073d ago
Well played. It's almost impossible to find good deals with Gamestop, looks like you got one though.
bggriffiths  +   1075d ago
thankfully MS and Sony seemed to have cleared up their acts with more recent versions of their consoles. Or does anyone still have problems with either?
guitarded77  +   1074d ago
I had two hard drive failures with one of my 1st gen slims, but that's not Sony's fault. I had my FAT die a couple years ago, but it had thousands of hours on it and the fan failed and the automatic update kicked in on a 100++ degree Texas summer day while I was at work and the air was off. But with 3 PS3's I've never had a premature death. However, I keep my consoles as dust free as possible (inside and out), and I keep them in well ventilated spaces so they don't get too hot. I also have a 360 Pro-model with Jasper chip set and a Slim 360. I haven't had any problems with them, but they haven't had the same daily abuse my PS3's have had.
jc48573  +   1075d ago
the only difference between the two is that YLOD takes longer to happen. All I can say is that YLOD will happen to all "launch consoles" eventually. It's usually around 6 years.
-Alpha  +   1074d ago
Hey, don't get me nervous. I intend to buy a PS4 on launch, which is a first ever for me. Poor launch owners. Always getting bit in the ass for being loyal.

I always thought it would have been good on the parts of companies to offer some reward system for early buyers-- throw in some older games for free, start them with some online store credit, discount prices on games, etc., but I guess they can always rely on the diehard fans to sell to.
Karpetburnz  +   1074d ago
wow, I havnt had it yet and my PS3 is about 6 years old, Im suprised I havnt had it already.
GamersRulz  +   1074d ago
I have a launch PS3, still kicking a$$
rayzorn  +   1074d ago
still have a launch 60 here with a changed out hard drive and i havent had one problem. and even if i do its not hard to fix with a little time and a heat gun. helped one of my buddies fix his.
legionsoup  +   1073d ago
I have 2 launch PS3s. Both are on and played almost on a daily basis (one by me, and one by my kids), and mine are still going strong. They even play PS2 games!
Derekvinyard13  +   1074d ago
These are the exact reasons why I'm never buying launch day consoles ever again, there is always a problem
YoungPlex  +   1074d ago
I agree that both Sony and MS have had problems, but I don't think that Nintendo has ever had these issues. Both my 360 and PS3 (Original models) took a dump on me, but my Wii is still alive and kicking. I bought a Wii U because I'm pretty sure it will not have these problems. Oh well, I'm still buying a PS4 at launch.
UnholyLight  +   1074d ago
You never know. My first Xbox 360 waaaaay outlasted what it was supposed to (it was one of the closer to launch consoles..purchased Feb '06). I think I made it all the way to around November 2009 before I had 2 Red lights due to a failing fan and it wasn't able to distribute enough heat away from the console it finally gave out. I gamed many many many hours on that console in those years haha so I guess it was expected.

My friend came up with the ingenius solution to pull the face plate and body plates off and vaccuum clean the vents out...turns out there was tons of dust stuck in there too so that probably also created the problem hahaha. Also surprisingly, I had not really heard of YLOD before then, and suddenly my friend and 4 other playstation guys in our high school at the time all had the YLOD pretty close to one another (these were launch PS3's)

Other than that, I got a replacement, then sold it to a friend and I bought a Xbox 360 "slim" and it works perfectly.
Irishguy95  +   1073d ago
Nintendo don't have these issues because they don't use up to date hardware.
Upbeat  +   1074d ago
God I haven't heard of anyone getting the YLOD for about 4 years lol. article in my opinion is completely useless. and my opinion is Fact :)
delboy  +   1074d ago
I've had two laser lens replacements and one ylod on my ps3,then decided to buy a slim.
My fatty is still working after ylod fix but my laser is dead again for the third time.
So why would I even consider buying ps4 before Sony irons it out with ps4 slim?
Reverent  +   1074d ago
Regarding your comment history, I highly doubt you even own a PS3.
Ragthorn  +   1073d ago
I'm with Reverent, judging by your comment history, you seem to also be a Nintendo fanboy.
delboy  +   1073d ago
Silly fanboys, I own two ps3 and ower 40 games.
But that doesn't make me a Sony belivever or worshiper.
In fact I belive that ps3 will be the last Sony product I have ever bought.
#1.6.3 (Edited 1073d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(6) | Report
IAmLee  +   1074d ago
I've still got my FAT PS3, haven't had one issue.
I've had an xbox, but that got RRoD
Sucitta  +   1073d ago
Re-Ball is the only way to really fix YLOD = )
Persistantthug  +   1073d ago
I've tried to help and give good info to PS3 fat owners.
If your PS3's fans are kicking in significantly louder and longer than when you 1st bought's not a magical reason.......
It's generally because your thermal paste is drying out. <------- 6:00 mark

Change paste immediately.
If you're too afraid to open your PS3, I recommend looking for a mom & pop type of shop in your area. Craigslist has some in my area.... probably yours too.

Good luck

PS....I've changed mine, so PM me if there's anyone with questions :)
Galacticos  +   1075d ago
Do not try to fix the YLOD. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.

What truth?

There is no YLOD.
pandaboy  +   1074d ago
can I sniff the seat of your bike?
RioKing  +   1073d ago
Dude, your avatar...totally uncalled for. :D
Root  +   1074d ago
I've never had a YLOD since I've had my PS3...RROD though....well thats a different story

I remember I once got it when Halo 3 came out...waited all year for the sequel and I had to send my 360 away on the day it came out :|
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Upbeat  +   1074d ago
man that happened to me on release day of gta4 lmao lucky enough my mate lent me his. took micro$oft 6 weeks to get my 360 back to me.

Missed my 360 though cause it heated up my bedroom lol
rainslacker  +   1074d ago
yes...but we all live in great fear of it happening...I know it's been an ever present nagging in the back of my mind since I picked mine up my launch console the week of release. /s

I guess if it ever does happen I at least have the technical skills to fix it, but I know I never sleep at night.
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mushroomwig  +   1074d ago
God, I really hate the term 'YLOD', it just implies that the problem was as bad as the RROD and it wasn't even close.
Hicken  +   1074d ago
That's really the point. It was an attempt at making both the PS3's problem look worse, and making the 360's problem look better.

Seriously, though, it's an occurrence that's uncommon; by all accounts, it occurs within acceptable the limits for faulty hardware rates. Sucks when it happens, but... out of the people I know with a PS3, or that have EVER owned a PS3, only one has had YLOD. And that one instance was about four or five years ago.
arronax-1  +   1074d ago
Uncommon? Dude I suffered up to 4 YLod. FOUR! All of which last for 11 months at best.
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csreynolds  +   1074d ago
@ arronax-1:

'Up to' four?

Surely if this was true you'd know exactly how many times you'd had an YLoD, rather than giving an approximation of anywhere between one and four times...
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toxic-inferno  +   1074d ago
I agree. It was uncommon. I have several friends who have never faced it.

I, unfortunately, did see my launch console break in this way, but that was after a year of its fans being EXTREMELY loud. In a way, that was a warning.

I'm not at all bitter. I got several years out of it, and I was very pleased with my slim replacement, which hasn't had a single problem! It also meant that I could upgrade my HDD, which is something I needed to do anyway.
Skips  +   1074d ago

PS3 comes in at an 8%
Wii comes in at 1%
and the 360 comes in at a WHOPPING 42% freaking failure rate!

"To make matters worse for Xbox owners, 55 percent of those with failures have needed more than one repair or replacement, and 39 percent have had to repair or replace their consoles more than two times."



Same here, I only know like one person who has gotten the YLOD. But he bought it at launch and it only died like a few months ago. lol
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Rageanitus  +   1074d ago
This is why Xbox fanboys are sooo defensive. They try to make the multi purchase of anther unit like it were acceptable.

Sorry but RROD got fixed past the half way life cycle, and that is not acceptable IMO
azshorty2003  +   1074d ago
I'm currently on my Fifth 360. Launch console died after 90 days. The replacement console broke after 2 days. The third survived a year. Forth was actually about 2 months from hitting the warranty limit and died. And the fifth still works, but it's been disconnected since Mass Effect 3 since I had migrated completely to PS3 and only used it for exclusives.
DOMination-  +   1074d ago
The difference was, MS gave you another one for free.
Skips  +   1074d ago

Not for the first 1-2 years they didn't.
Amsterdamsters  +   1073d ago
My first 20GB 360 got the RRoD and MS sent me a coffin and I had a working one 6 business days later free of charge. My 80GB Fat PS3 had it's Blu Ray drive go out right after a firmware update and while it should still have been under it's one year warranty, Sony wouldn't repair it under warranty because I didn't have the store receipt. They wanted $150 to repair it even though the manufacture date on the back was less than 1 year before. I sold it as none working on Craig's List, sold off my games and bought a bunch of new 360 games with the money. I did buy another PS3 a couple years later (320GB Slim) and haven't had any problems with that one. I never had any problems with either of our Wii's (original white one and Red Mario one).
Dms2012  +   1074d ago
Well, when you add together the YLOD and the br drives dying(like the one in my slim) it was a pretty big problem. I personally know 3 people who had the br drive die.
xBigxBossx  +   1074d ago
I've had to RRoD and one YLOD. The YLOD happened right before kz3 came out. Lol I'm still not the same since my phat ps3 died... I have 4 years worth of gaming on my baby... Someday I will ressurect her to pull my files. Until then I will continue to cope and live with a slim.
Seraphemz  +   1073d ago
Same 80 gig fatty is just sitting there right now. I am going to try to get it fixed and use it mainly as a bluray player. I got 2 other PS3's and soon, I will have the PS4 for games..
scott182  +   1074d ago
I had YLOD happen to me about 3 months ago, granted I had my system for around 5 years and I didn't treat it perfect. Got it fixed though, not really sure of good ways to prevent it.
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xBigxBossx  +   1074d ago
I'm pretty sure it stems from how the OG phat ps3 were made. Using the bluray is the main cause because it caused over heating.
PimpDaddy  +   1074d ago
Not just the PHAT's. My PS3 Slim 120GB got YLOD twice. Thankfully I got it covered under the original 1 year warranty and it hasn't happened since.
OpenGL  +   1073d ago
I don't think the YLOD has anything to do with Blu-ray but issues with the solder on the CPU and/or GPU on the PS3, very similar to the RROD and E74 errors on the 360. I don't think even launch PS3 Blu-ray drives produce any more heat than the DVD drive in the 360.

The reason it wasn't an issue later on later models was that die shrinks reduced the amount of heat produced by the CPUs and GPUs in both consoles.
AdmiralSnake  +   1074d ago
Never had an issue with YLOD...and I've own 3 different PS3's including the Phat at launch. I'm always scared it might happen to me, thankfully it hasn't.
solidjun5  +   1074d ago
same here. I got my original 60GB phat and one other and it's still working *knock on wood.* I think my brother's 80GB YLOD. That sucked.
TruthbeTold  +   1074d ago
I lost my original 60 gig this way. I was pissed, but at the same time had to realize that I got years of service out of the machine, and probably shouldn't have watched so many movies on it.
kenshiro100  +   1074d ago
My fat PS3 bit the dust two years ago. It was extremely sad. It wasn't the YLOD but it was painful. I got a slim afterwards.

Thankfully the YLOD isn't a huge problem.
MeetMyHand  +   1074d ago
I honestly wasn't aware that "YLOD" was a thing.
baraka007  +   1074d ago
my system is very old. (my controller doesn't even have rumble) I never got this ylod. Was it the very first systems that got it?
rainslacker  +   1074d ago
They could all get it, although not sure about the new SS. It's not terribly prevalent though, so you shouldn't worry about it too much. If you clean out your system and keep it well ventilated it should be fine. My launch PS3 is still going strong, as is all my friends with older systems who've never had problems.

The biggest reason for it was if air flow were prevented with the system it could get too hot which could cause the solder points on some of the chips to become weak or break so they wouldn't make contact with the board.

Best way to keep this from happening is vacuuming out the air vents once a month or so, particularly if you have a dusty place. Also not best to keep it in a cabinet that is entirely closed, or keep it above another component that generates a lot of heat, like a stereo receiver.

If you know your fan has gone bad you should look into replacing it, as it's easier than waiting for the system to just overheat. Keep in mind though that a loud fan doesn't mean that it's a bad fan, so use your discretion.
RTheRebel  +   1074d ago
RIP My Fat PS3
Only Lasted 2 Years =(
jjb1981  +   1074d ago
My 60 gig backwards compatible... R.I.P.....
RE_L_MAYER  +   1074d ago
I would sell a kidney or two for backwards compatibility original 60gb ps3
Jazz4108  +   1073d ago
Well you are in luck. My gamestop on Tropicana has a bc ps3 for sale and I have a friend that needs a kidney. If you are a match this woukd be a bargain for her. Please pm me if you want or need more info?
contradictory  +   1074d ago
hasn't happen to me yet
probably and hopefully it won't
but my ps3 has some slowdown occasionally so it might
be passing away

no matter i've had it for pretty long time at this point
i'm probably going to get the new slim model after it breaks
well, if ps4 isn't out at time yet
saint_seya  +   1074d ago
My 60gb launch console had the lasser issue, i tried to fix it and ended up breaking the bay tray, so i use it for downloable games (still working) #i can say that got more uses in those 2 years before the lasser issue, than some that are 5 year# and after that i bough a 80Gb metal gear bundle, and upgraded to 620GB hdd and never had a problem with it.
Skynetone  +   1074d ago
First of all, keep it out of the light, especially sunlight, never get them wet, never play after midnight
#16 (Edited 1074d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
BoNeSaW23  +   1074d ago
That was some funny shit man! LMAO!
Gamefan12  +   1074d ago
Had ylod on my 40 gig ps3 few months ago. Tried the "fix" but only got it working for a minute. Got the ps3 Black Friday bundle. What sucks is it died (super slim) right away with over heating. And i mean like the second time turning it on and 5 minutes of playing music. A faulty unit. Replaced it with another and have been good since.
josephayal  +   1074d ago
Ylod? Meh! My 60GB Still working
PurpHerbison  +   1073d ago
Should probably take some precautions as more and more of the old PS3s are starting to fail.
C-Thunder  +   1074d ago
I had my release day 60gb die 2days before Christmas this last year. Had bought Wonder Book for my 5 year old, so I had to replace it next day. Didn't mind as much as I thought I would, thing has ran most of the day since we got a good Internet connection 2 years ago and quite a bit before that.

I have started using the cloud backup option now, luckily I wasn't in the middle of anything major at the time. Had it happened 20 hours into Ni No Kuni I probably would have been sick.
PS4isKing_82  +   1074d ago
Just thought id throw this out there that my original 60GB got it in dec 09, my fiancé's MGS 80GB bundle ps3 got it in nov 11, and one of my co workers got it a couple of years ago or so too. So far, all of our slim models are working perfectly.
Unztayble  +   1074d ago
my launch PS3 crapped out last Summer. I'm sending it to Endless Electronics sometime next month to get it fixed.
RE_L_MAYER  +   1074d ago
Got mine around the launch date....lasted me around 2 years after which turned off on me while I was starting to play mirrors edge, I had it fixed 2 times and each time it only lasted 3 maybe 4 months-I still have it just sitting there-best playstation design ever
InTheLab  +   1074d ago
Truth is, i dont know a single person that owns a PS3 that has had a failure...but every I know that owns an Xbox (incuding myself) has had an Xbox die on them. Of course my death happened out of warranty and of course I was fool by the Jasper chip fixes rrod lie. Bought mine holiday 07 and it died holiday 2010.

With that said, i am worried about my ps3. It has a monster number of miles on it and was the work horse for most of this gen despite owning a nice gaming rig, xbox, and Wii. The fan starts up immediately after i hit the power button now and i swear the thing was sweating while running the GoW Ascension demo...
FuzzyPixels  +   1074d ago
It's always tough when a console fails. I nearly cried when, after a good six years of constant battering, water damage, numerous drops, spills, falls, and tumbles, my Game Boy finally packed in.

I remember cradling my first Xbox 360 in a towel, desperately hoping that the heat sink adhesive would re-melt and slip back into its proper place. Oh Microsoft, you sharks.

Thankfully my PS3 has never YLOD'd on me...yet. Although it did develop a temporary fault of burning an unreadable ring into blu-ray discs a year ago. That was fun.
Rebo00  +   1074d ago
I've still got my original fat PS3. I occassionally wipe the dust off the top but other than that do no maintenance to it. I spend most of my time on it (yes i'm lonely) and have never had an issue with it.
My 360 died midway through Rainbow 6 Vegas I think, RRoD but was thankfully still under warranty many, many moons ago and was repaired by MS.
ZBlacktt  +   1074d ago
Everyone already knows it's a very very rare case that happened to the old 60g models mostly. Giving users some 5+ years of gaming in many cases. This is not even a issue at the rate to consoles sold. Not even close. I still use two launch 80g's. I have thousands and thousands of hours on one of them. Even letting it run a week straight doing the 24 hours races on GT5 for the Class B throphy.
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leemo19  +   1074d ago
I had 80gb launch ps3 that ylod in 2010, but I blame karma on that. Gameshared bl1 dlc and within 10 mins it ylod on me. Luckily I didn't have many save games mainly kz2,bad company 1 and 2, bl, uc2, motorstorm 1, gow collection 1-2, and thats it. Wasn't too mad about losing any of those saves, mainly was mad that I didn't have backward compatibility with ps2 games anymore and not having sd slots. I kept it, may not work anymore but still part of gaming history.
kma2k  +   1074d ago
my first ps3 cechg model got ylod, i talked sony into fixing/replacing it for free with a 90 day warranty. The first replacement they sent me lasted 45 days & it also had YLOD they sent me another one it last me almost 2 years. I bought the new super slim black friday bundle this last year sold me old ps3 & the games that came with the bundle & actually profited $17.32 not to shabby & i ended up with a brand new ps3 :)
DarKnightDave  +   1073d ago
I went on youtube and watched several videos on how to fix a PS3 with the dreaded YLOD, after my 60 gb fatty crashed on me, I learned to do it, and fixed mine several times, because it was a temporary fix, the last time it YLOD on me I fixed it and took it to Gamestop when they had a double trade in credit. Got like $200 for it so I'm not complaining at all lol. I also fixed some for friends and made a lil extra cash on the side.
Seraphemz  +   1073d ago
I tried that hair dryer thing... that didnt work. And im not about to open it up myself.

What did you use?
ziggurcat  +   1073d ago
the best/funniest is people blaming FW updates for the YLOD...
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