As with my first FAQ thread (blu-ray failures - What to do), this thread is not designed as a discussion, but is rather, something which I can point to in my sig line to save me typing it all out each time
Please feel free to add anything I've missed, but I would very much appreciate it if people would refrain from replying with a "my PS3 just got this " message Please
So. Admin out of the way...
This thread is intended to give you some pointers as to your options if you get a YLOD failure.
I'll cover the warranty implications as I go along - hopefully
You have a YLOD.
For sake of argument, we'll assume that you didn't do a full system backup 5 minutes before, and would (in an ideal world) like to get your data back
You have some basic decisions to make...
Some methods will cost money.
Some methods will jepordise your ability to take other options later.
First decision - just how important is your data to you?
Ultimately, the ONLY way to get your data is by bringing your PS3 back to life
Taking the Hard Drive out, trying to read it from a PC, or putting it into another PS3 - these will NOT work.
The Hard Drive is uniquely paired to your (now dead) PS3, and ONLY your (now dead) PS3 will be able to read it.
If you REALLY want your data, your options for getting it are:
1) Bring it back to life with a hairdryer. Yes, this DOES work.
A search on youtube for "PS3 hair dryer fix" will return loads of results on this
The downside - doing that MAY melt the casing of your PS3.
Whilst this may not be a major problem for you, it may impact on your ability to use SOGA to get any money back (see later topic for more detail)
ie - read the rest of this thread BEFORE doing the hair dryer fix
The other downside - this is only (generally) a temporary fix - your PS3 will not come back to life for good.
Some people get minutes of life, some get hours.
See later replies about what to do next to get your data...
Your other option for bringing the PS3 back to life is
2) DIY Reflow / Reflux
Whilst the YLOD has (according to Sony) no specific cause, it would appear that the majority of people report getting it due to an excess of heat, which in turn leads to some of the solder joints cracking and eventually breaking.
By heating these in a controlled manner, many owners have been able to soften the solder to the point where any breaks melt and rejoin.
Which is a good thing
Possibly the best, and most watched YouTube method for doing this is "ps3 ylod fix part1 gilksy" (and then on to the other parts obviously )
It can be found here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U70SgRDVcBo
It should be noted that whilst you have the PS3 open, replacing the thermal paste is worthwhile doing
This obviously adds to the cost, but in the grand scheme of things is not at all expensive.
Different owners prefer different kinds of thermal paste, but "Silver Artic" seems to crop up a lot as the paste of choice
Points to note:
This fix usually lasts a lot longer than the hair dryer fix method - which is good. Owners report weeks and months (or many months) of use.
However, it should not be looked at as a guaranteed permanent fix. But then, the original Sony build wasn't permanent either, or your wouldn't be reading this!
Importantly - you obviously have to open the PS3 to do this, and it involves poking around on the insides. Doing it wrong could completely kill you PS3, even more than it is right now.
Also, your chances of going down the SOGA route after opening the PS3 up reduce to about zero
SO - if you're considering SOGA (see later), or are even a little bit worried about opening the PS3 up and killing it - do NOT try this method.
Also, if you are considering selling the PS3 afterwards, bear in mind that it won't have a warranty sticker, and therefore the buyer will know you have opened it - possibly reducing it's value.
Extra Importantly - by opening your PS3, you a VOIDING the warranty.
If your PS3 still has a warranty, this is therefore a HUGE step to take.
If your PS3 does not have a warranty, this is STILL a HUGE step.
There is a third option - which MAY enable you to get your data back...
3) Third Party repairs.
Throughout the UK (and possibly other countries too), there are a number of companies which have sprung up to service the 'dead console' market.
Costs and services (and results) vary, but essentially they will all be doing either or both of the above solutions, or whatever in-house variation they have (may even go as far as replacing parts).
The difference between doing it DIY, and getting a company to do it are:
Cost. Obviously you have to pay them
Warranty. Many companies provide a warranty for their work - if your PS3 goes pop within a set time, they may attempt to re-fix it. Check before deciding which company to choose.
Time. You may need to put your PS3 in the post, and they may have a backlog.
Experience. Possibly the most important - they have probably done many, many repairs - if you're reading this, you probably haven't done any...
Other than that, all the other pros and cons of the above posts are still there
Final point - check and double check before selecting a company to entrust your PS3 to.
I've not come across any that guarantee to fix your PS3 and give it back.
If they can't fix it, they will either not charge (or reduce the charge), or supply you with a similar model that they have managed to get working.
This obviously won't give you your data back
But on the other hand - if a company couldn't fix it, could you have managed to do it DIY?
So, check, check and check again what you are paying for - and ask around in the forums if anyone else has used the company you are considering.
To emphasize again, as with the DIY fixes, third part companies will almost certainly be opening the console to fix it, which will VOID the warranty and remove the warranty sticker.
This has implications for trying to claim under SOGA (see later) or selling your console on at a later date (again, see later).
The final option is something which Sony sometimes offer.
4) They MAY offer to repair your console.
In the same way as the third party companies do, but with all Sony's know how behind it
This typically costs about £130, and may take up to 3 weeks.
It is fairly rare of them to offer, but may be worth considering / asking them to do.
The downside is that it usually costs more than a 3rd party fix.
The upside is that you should retain / get a 3 month Sony warranty when you get your PS3 back.
It does still have a knock on for the SOGA route.
Ok, if you've got this far, your hopefully now have a working PS3 again, and your data is available - hurrah!
Put it to one side (turned off ), and decide where to go from here
There are 3 basic options for dealing with you data.
1) copy stuff to USB individually.
The down side is that this takes ages, and is a faff. It also won't work for copy-protected saves.
The up side is that you only need copy the bits you need, so the data should fit on a USB stick or two
2) do a system backup to external USB drive
The down side is that you need a (potentially big) external USB drive, as the system backup backs up everything - saves, demos, photos, music, the lot. Probably best to spring clean the drive before doing this.
It also takes a while - so if you fixed with the hair dryer method, your PS3 MIGHT re-die mid backup...
Backups can take a dislike to copy protected saves - either failing during the backup process, or worse, during the restore.
Some stuff doesn't lie being restored to a different PS3
In short - backup method is not really a good solution here
3) Data Transfer.
This is the daddy
With firmware 3.15, we got the option of 'data transfer'.
By connecting 2 PS3s together with an ethernet cable, you can transfer everything across
The downsides - you need 2 PS3s.... Which means buying a new one before you sell the old one...
The receiving PS3 is wiped before the transfer starts - so don't use a mate's
The sending PS3 (your zombie one ) is wiped after transfer completes.
You need both PS3 to be able to display on a TV - so either faff with cables and switching, or 2 TVs (minor point really)
However, the data transfer can take a while - which may be a problem for PS3s fixed with a hair dryer
Most importantly though (from a data point of view) - ALL the data is transferred - accounts, saved games, even copy protected save games - everything.
(Couple of minor exceptions like singstar tracks that need to be re-downloaded).
But it is THE most complete method there is
Before doing anything at all with the data, sign in to PSN and sync your trophies.
This will ensure you don't lose any
After transferring all your data (and checking it worked), go back to your old PS3 and deactivate your account (XMB, account settings, deactivate).
Sony only allow you to have your ID on 5 consoles at any time.
That's you options if you want to get your data back
Coffee break needed (for me ) now, and then I'll do the options if you're not worried about the data
all the above was what to do in order to get your data back.
If actually you don't care, then you have more options...
1) Use the PS3 as a door stop. Because that is about all it is good for at this stage
2) Sell it as broken.
This leads you into a world of "OMG I wish I'd thought about that!"
If you sell your PS3 without doing anything to it - there is nothing to prevent the new owner from fixing it (with one of the above methods) - and therefore having full access to your data and your account.
At very least, you should therefore (via a PC to the https://secure.eu.playstation.com/sign-in/?reason=
Ideally, you would want to actually format the PS3 Hard Drive.
This can be done by either putting it into a USB / SATA caddy and connecting it to your PC (and formatting it) - cost about £20 if you shop around.
Or by simply putting your Hard Drive into a mate's PS3, which will instantly prompt for a format.
They will be able to put their own Hard Drive back in afterwards with no problems. (Or at least, they SHOULD get no problems...)
Other things to consider.
Most high street game shops will not buy broken PS3s - but it may be worth asking.
Selling a broken PS3 on ebay CAN be fraught with issues of scammers - buying yours, claiming they didn't realise it was broken, sending back an entirely different (and worse) one...
3) sell it as broken / fixed.
Obviously you need to fix it in order to sell it as fixed
And the same issues about removing your data apply
Again, most shops will not accept a PS3 with a melted case - so if you used the hair dryer method...
Also, most shops will not accept a PS3 without a warranty sticker - so the DIY or 3rd party reflow / reflux method...
Selling on ebay - same issues of scammers potentially applies - be careful!
Obviously a repaired PS3 from Sony will have a warranty sticker (and a 3 month Sony warranty, but I'm not sure that this is transferable).
I'm not going to go into the moral issues of selling a PS3 which you know has a good chance of breaking again.
As with the above method, this does not give you the chance to deactivate your account on the PS3 - which means that you have 'lost' one of your 5 account activations...
4) return it under warranty.
Obviously this only applies if you have a warranty
In the UK, standard Sony warranty is 1 year.
For a good while, Sony offered an extended warranty scheme called 'Continuous Play' through a 3rd party insurance provider (GE).
This unfortunately got closed because people were signing up to it after their PS3 broke
Again, I'm not going to go into the debate of whether that was Sony's fault for leaving the loophole, or the owners fault who took advantage of it.
But basically, if you got on to it while it was still running, and are still paying -
If you didn't / aren't -
Many high street shops also offer extended warranty (at time of purchase).
Ultimately, if you have a warranty - use it
ANY attempts at DIY or 3rd party fix will (at the very least potentially) VOID the warranty.
Things like melted cases (hair dryer fix) or removed warranty sticker (reflow / reflux fix) will give the warranty provider a very good excuse to reject your claim.
If you return to Sony (or to Sony via Continuous Play), they can deactivate your account on it (freeing that 1 of 5 slot back up) - but will only do this if you ask, and sometime you have to push for it.
Sometimes they will even only do it when you reach your 5 activation limit
Worse though, is that Sony will ONLY do this for returns which they know about.
So a 3rd party warranty claim - you've basically lost that activation slot
5) Sale of Goods Act....
This subject is worth a thread all in itself
In fact, there are already MANY good threads on the subject in this forum and else where.
As an external link, this is also a very good source of info
What it basically boils down to (though I would still recommend reading up for yourself!) is:
Sale of Goods Act (SOGA) can only be applied in the UK. Other countries have different laws and rules.
SOGA can only be used against the retailer where you bought the PS3. If you bought it from an individual (say on ebay), SOGA does not apply.
SOGA is there to ensure that consumers are protected from buying goods with inherent faults.
Some owners have successfully managed to get a result by quoting SOGA at the retailer.
To date, it should be noted that (I) have never heard of a retailer who has actually paid out / recompensed under SOGA - directly...
All the results have been given under things like "goodwill gesture".
But that is still a result
You will probably need to push hard to get a result under SOGA - but some people do
You will need:
Your original receipt or other proof of purchase;
A copy of the SOGA to refer to (see the above link);
Probably need to put it in writing (again see the above link for example letters);
Possibly a note from a repairer stating the cause of the fault *
* NOTE: wait for the retailer to ask you for this, and make sure you have written confirmation from them saying that they (the retailer) have seen your PS3 with the warranty sticker intact.
The repairer will almost certainly need to open your PS3 up to do the report - removing the sticker in the process... So don't do that until told to! Plus, it will cost you money, and you don't want to spend it if you aren't asked for the report
At time of writing, some retailers are more likely to give "goodwill gestures" than others.
Game / Gamestation are typically good
Currys / Comet canvary store by store
Argos are generally ok when pushed, but some owners report otherwise
Amazon usually don't back down.
Again, ANY attempt at DIY or 3rd party repairs will seriously damage your chances at claiming under SOGA.
The retailer will take one look at a melted case or missing sticker, and show you the door (politely obviously )
IF you do get a result by pushing SOGA, the chances are that the retailer will take possession of your dead PS3.
Which obviously is why this 'solution' is under the "You don't want the data" bit.
However, you should note that this also means you will not be able to deactivate your account (again, as with the other solutions above)