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Adventures in PS3 repair

Cut from ribbon cable

So Ricky’s fat PS3 Black Betty bit the bullet last week, dreaded YLOD. Now as a good network administrator he had a fairly recent backup of his system so he wouldn’t have lost too much if we couldn’t get the system working again. But as techies we had to try and revive his trusted companion.

With a bit of googleing Ricky found a tutorial on how to re-flow the processors and IC’s on a PS3 motherboard (http://playstationlifestyle.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2376). So we got together the necessary supplies and went to town on Black Betty (PS3’s name). Disassembly was no problem at all, much like a laptop. The only concern we had was that the tutorial used a variable heat gun set at 350C, and all we had was a Mastercraft heat gun with a 250C and 450C heat setting. We decided on the 450C and went at it.

After I did the re flow Ricky pasted the processors and we began to reassemble it. Once she was all back together we plugged her in and, DUM DUM DUM, No Power! Now the question was did we burn up the board with the 450C heat setting? or was it something else? With this we went into troubleshooting mode!

We started by tearing Betty back down to her motherboard and carefully put her back together making sure all the ribbon cables and connections were in place. Still no go. To aid our thinking we took a break and made a Tim’s run. Sitting in the parking lot I whipped out My android phone and got back to googling. Not many forum’s described our situation exactly, but some hinted towards the small ribbon cable that goes from the motherboard to the power button board.

When we got back to the ER (Ricky’s basement) we cracked Betty back open again and inspected the ribbon cable. Sure thing there were tiny cracks in the leads that fit in the connectors. We could buy a replacement from ebay, but that would put operation “restore to new PS3” schedule way off track.

I then noticed that the cracks were about half way down the lead and the connector actually didn’t take the full lead in. With nothing to loose I found a pair of scissors and cut off the lead at the point of the cracks. I then put the cable back in place to no avail. Not one to give up too easily I started backing the cable back in the connector and BINGO! We have Power! Seems the connector’s pins are mid way in the connector (now that I think of it that’s where the break was so it makes sense.

With that we called it a night and decided to start operation “restore to new PS3” the next day. With the PS3 backup taking 4 hours we figured the restore would be close to the same. So around 2PM we took the larger drive from the old PS3 and put it in the slim and started the restore on the slim PS3.

Now Ricky is a nice fella and had not only his PS3 backups on his drive, but also a roommates as well. Problem was his roommate had a slim PS3, and no matter which backup we selected, it seems if there is a slim backup on the drive that is what it will restore. The only option we had now was to restore the PS3 backup on Black Betty with the 160gb drive from the slim in it and use the network transfer option on the PS3 to get the data over. it was about 3pm when we started the restore to Betty… and it was about 3am when it finished.

In the end the network transfer worked and the new PS3 is working well. What an Adventure!

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Categories: Misc Tags: , , ,
  1. tony
    December 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    OMG I freaken luv u man i just got a ps3 from the neighbor for 30 bucks and he said he didnt know what was wrong with it and then i took it apart and b4 i read this i thought the power supply was dump so i just put it in my closet for like 2 months and was gonna sell for 40 in parts on craigslist but then i see this and all i do is cut the end of where the pins were cracked and put it back in the and bamb it works !

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