Products ps3 yellow death

Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Xiang


Uncover PlayStation 3 Yellow Death

I am not considered as DIY person. I’m not entirely sure when, perhaps when I was a kid, I was told I will not be good at DIY. Perhaps exactly that was when I started to believe in it. Until recently my PS3 broke down and my self-perception started to shift.

For my PS3, it was kind of broken down that seems to be an utter death sentence. The machine cannot be switched on. For a gamer, especially a Tekken online fan, all my online hard work and personalized data stored in my machine was an unthinkable idea of losing everything.

Thus I searched solutions on Youtube, and tons of them appeared. Some said using hair dryer, some said there is no permanent fix. And amongst all of them I found this one.

After watching it I was gasped by the fact that you will need to “cook” your ps3 motherboard into the oven for 200 degrees. At that time I had absolutely no idea even how to open the box, not to mention the idea of putting the machine into the oven. So I did a quick math to work out the trade-off for what to do.

The current PS3 is set around £200 and the newly launched PS4 is less than £350. I bought my current PS3 second hand for £100 and I have already paid £50 to repair it last time for the same issue. Rather spending another £50 which the total cost of the console will go up to £200, why don’t I just go ahead and repair it myself, hence the my decision came.

  • First of all to get the tools

You will need a screwdriver set because PS3 uses a few different sizes screws. You can get the tool from most of the online shopping website. Below is a good one.

DEWALT DW2176 37-Piece Screwdriving Set

Secondly, it is widely considered that the cause of the yellow death is due to the overheating of thermal pads, which needs replacement of the thermal compound in order to cool down the CPU and GPU of the machine. Thus I took a quick look of the what’s available and found this one also comes with the purifier. Hence if you purchase this one then there is no need to purchase separate tools for cleaning since it comes all together in one package.

  • Make sure to go through the video to ensure you are following the details
  • Finally, and the other way to know whether it works for you is in fact to do it, the experimental experience.

In fact the easiest task was actually applying the thermal compound onto the thermal pads, whilst the hardest was to take it apart and put it together; as if the root cause is not really difficult to fix, but the way to uncover, the long path to expose the issue as well as to integrate back together was the most challenging task.

The fun bit was it requires to “cook” your motherboard under the oven for 15 mins. (10 mins at 100 degree, and 5 at 230 degrees) The reason was to re-activate the solder so that it can function again. Thus in order to do this, you will only need the most basic kitchen foil and an oven container.

Step 1, to uncover PS3

step 1

Step 2, to uncover the thermal pads, which are hiding behind the fan

step 2

The below is the motherboard of PS3, and the two silver pads are the thermal pads that requires maintenance work.


Step 3, “Cook” your mother board after cleaning your thermal pads.

thermal pads

Step 4, Once done according to the instructions, then apply thermal compound.



Step 5, putting every component back and test it.


In my case the machine was back to life, and I couldn’t explain how excited I was seeing this happening!!!

But do remember to “cook” your motherboard as the first time I tried I didn’t put in the oven and it did not work. So do remember to do this step. It is slightly unsettling, but what else for you to lose, your PS3 can not be more broken than what is, so why not give it a go.

Total cost for repair is just the cost of screwdriver+compounds set, around £17 in UK sterling, and yet I learn a new skills, and I can fix my PS3 again, when needed.

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About the Author


Xiang currently works in finance sector and studying part time in psychotherapy. Self-indulgence into poetry writing. Xiang is aiming to complete his first novel some point in the near future. He is also the Co-Founder of, and author of

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