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.

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maniacmayhem2057d ago

YLOD is just as old as RRoD, not necessary for this day and age.

YoungPlex2057d 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.

knowyourstuff2057d ago (Edited 2057d 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.

slayorofgods2057d ago (Edited 2057d 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.

2057d ago
DOMination-2057d ago

No they fixed it with the jasper board that shipped with elites in 2007.

Dark_Overlord2057d 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).

legionsoup2056d ago

Some kid will get a broken PS3 because of you. So selfish.

cleverusername2056d ago

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

Dir_en_grey2056d ago (Edited 2056d 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)

kayoss2056d 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.

YoungPlex2056d 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!

Emzx992056d ago

Well played. It's almost impossible to find good deals with Gamestop, looks like you got one though.

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bggriffiths2057d 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?

guitarded772057d 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.

jc485732057d 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.

-Alpha2057d 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.

Karpetburnz2057d ago

wow, I havnt had it yet and my PS3 is about 6 years old, Im suprised I havnt had it already.

GamersRulz2057d ago

I have a launch PS3, still kicking a$$

rayzorn2056d 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.

legionsoup2056d 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!

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Derekvinyard132057d ago

These are the exact reasons why I'm never buying launch day consoles ever again, there is always a problem

YoungPlex2057d 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.

UnholyLight2056d 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.

Irishguy952056d ago

Nintendo don't have these issues because they don't use up to date hardware.

Upbeat2057d 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 :)

delboy2057d 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?

Reverent2056d ago

Regarding your comment history, I highly doubt you even own a PS3.

Ragthorn2056d ago

I'm with Reverent, judging by your comment history, you seem to also be a Nintendo fanboy.

delboy2056d ago (Edited 2056d 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.

IAmLee2057d ago

I've still got my FAT PS3, haven't had one issue.
I've had an xbox, but that got RRoD

Sucitta2056d ago

Re-Ball is the only way to really fix YLOD = )

Persistantthug2056d ago

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 :)

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Galacticos2057d ago

Do not try to fix the YLOD. That's impossible. Instead... only try to realize the truth.

What truth?

There is no YLOD.

RioKing2056d ago

Dude, your avatar...totally uncalled for. :D

Root2057d ago (Edited 2057d 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 :|

Upbeat2057d 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

rainslacker2057d ago (Edited 2057d 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.

mushroomwig2057d 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.

Hicken2057d 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-12057d ago (Edited 2057d ago )

Uncommon? Dude I suffered up to 4 YLod. FOUR! All of which last for 11 months at best.

csreynolds2056d ago (Edited 2056d 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...

toxic-inferno2056d 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.

Skips2057d ago (Edited 2057d 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

Rageanitus2057d 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

Agent_00_Revan2057d 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-2057d ago

The difference was, MS gave you another one for free.

Skips2057d ago


Not for the first 1-2 years they didn't.

Amsterdamsters2056d 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).

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Dms20122057d 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.

xBigxBossx2057d 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.

Seraphemz2056d 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..