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When the PlayStation 3 came out one of the big advantages it had compared to Xbox 360 was very low failure rate. If you know only a little bit about consoles you probably heard of the Red Ring of Death error which affected as many as 30% of the first Xbox 360 models. Believe it or not Sony did not learn from Microsoft’s mistake and the Yellow Light of Death is a PlayStation version of the Red Ring of Death. It also occurs due to the exact same reason as the Red Ring of Death.
So what causes the RROD on Xbox 360 and YLOD on the PS3? The answer is overheating and poor design of cooling and chip attachment to the motherboard. These two flaws combined have catastrophic results and kill the console over time. Both consoles are extremely powerful but have too small casings with poor ventilation and release of excess of heat. After playing your PS3 for few hours what happens is the temperature rises a point where the solder joints attaching the CPU and GPU chips to the motherboard liquefy and then solidify again once you switch the console off.
These heating cycles put stress on the solder joints and make them weaker and at a point, sooner or later one of the hundreds of solder joints breaks and the motherboard loses connection to the chip (either processor or graphical chip). At this point your PS3 will show the yellow light of death to notify you of the problem.
Now that you know what causes the problem lets talk about your options to get your PS3 running again. I found that this site demonstrated this intelligently on this Denny Danks web page.
Option 1: If your console is still under warranty call the Sony customer service line (800-345-7669) and tell them what happened. You will have to send them your PS3 for repair or they will send you a refurbished one. It’s completely free but you will have to pay the shipping and insurance and wait for few weeks to get your PS3 back.
Option 2: If your PlayStation 3 is no longer under warranty you can still send it to Sony for repair. But they will charge your $150 + shipping and insurance and you will only get a 3 months extended warranty on the repaired or refurbished PS3. So if something goes wrong with it and the yellow light of death comes back after this period you can prepare another $150 and forget about gaming for weeks again. I do not recommend this option because it’s a waste of money.
Option 3: Don’t feel like giving Sony $150 to fix a problem THEY CAUSED? You don’t have to! You can fix your PS3 at home yourself. No need to waste hundreds of dollars (it cost you enough to buy the PS3) or having to wait for weeks. If you think fixing a PS3 requires a tech savvy person or special tools you are wrong. People who never took anything apart fixed their PS3’s without any problems.
All you have to do is follow a step-by-step video tutorial with commentary which will guide you through the whole process screw by screw and you could be playing your PS3 TODAY!