Tag Archives: ps3

Playstation PS3 YLOD recovery & Hard Drive upgrade.

We purchased our PS3 on release date around 6 years ago.

It has been faultless. 100% faultless….. Until the other day.

I took it from its rack to upgrade the hard drive (HDD) to 640GB as the original 60GB was full, so carried out my first ever FULL data back up, then swapped in the new drive.

To do this:

  • Carry out a system update on your PS3.
  • Back up your PS3 onto a removable hard drive or memory stick.
  • Remove the old hard drive.
  • Put in the new hard drive.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions and format the new drive.
  • Restore from the back up you made.

You can even buy a case for the removed drive and use it as a stand alone storage drive.

This was no problem…. but…

… a day later and ‘BEEP BEEP BEEP‘… power off. Nothing to do with the new hard drive, but I was lucky to have carried out the back up!

To be honest, I was expecting this to happen at some point. Maybe my moving it around to swap the hard drive didn’t help – but either way, it’s 6 years old and this early model fault was waiting to happen.

It suffered the fate of quite a few other ‘fat‘ PS3’s….Yellow Light of Death (the yellow light only blinks very quickly on then off).

What generally happens is over time the paste that joins the cooling part of the PS3 to the ‘brain’ goes hard over time and the two parts lose contact causing the brain to over heat.

This can cause a problem anyway, and the PS3 will shut down to save itself. The thing is, when the connection between the cooling and the brain (actually two processing units… not really a brain) starts to separate, it puts some strain on tiny soldered connections, and one or more might disconnect…. BEEP BEEP BEEP.

This problem occurs mostly with people who move their PS3’s around a lot, as the continued joggling accelerates the problem.

Anyway, the solution to the problem is to either:

  1. Pay Sony to repair it – and that generally means they just send you a refurbished unit and you lose all of your data – and it takes weeks.
  2. You could give it to someone else to repair – and pay them upwards of £40 (from what I have seen)
  3. You could buy a new PS3….
  4. You could fix it yourself…. OH NO!!! DIFFICULT!!!

Actually… fixing it yourself is really very easy. Just stay calm, have enough room to lay all the bits out, buy or borrow a heat gun (get one for about £15 on Amazon) and buy some Arctic Silver 5 3.5g Thermal Paste from Amazon.

Simply put: Take PS3 apart. Clean old paste off. Heat up board*. Put on new paste. Put PS3 back together.

*The heating of the board 're-flows' the solder and fixes the broken contacts.

A search on YouTube came up with some great tutorials, but by far the best one that I found was by a guy called DAX79. His video was instructive, not preachy, and not over complicated. As an engineer myself (not electronics!), and having written manuals, I know the importance of making something as simple as possible – and this guy does a fantastic job.

After watching the video through once, I then put it back to the start and slowly worked through the process. There are some top tips to help you out:

  • Use the correct tools. Anything else can cause you problems.
  • Take your time.
  • Lay all the parts out neatly as you take it apart. You’ll appreciate this when it comes to reassembly!
  • Don’t Panic.
  • Try and keep all of the screws you take out in a bag or tub along with the bit that they secured to the PS3.
  • Don’t Panic.
  • When you heat the board, keep the heat gun moving. Do it for about 10 minutes. Let it cool for a good 30 minutes before even trying to move it. I recommend repeating this operation as some people find that one heating doesn’t work. So… Heat for 10 minutes, cool for at least 30 minutes, heat for another 10 minutes, let cool for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make sure you clean the old paste off thoroughly.
  • Don’t Panic.
  • Once working, make sure you update your PS3 and fully back it up as soon as possible. Some people say the repair might only hold for a month, two months… a year…. Either way, you almost lost EVERYTHING… so DO A BACK UP this time…. It might not go wrong again… but you’ve just had a lucky break and saved all of your data – and you might not be so lucky next time.

MSN PLUS – How to escape

Several years ago I bought MSN Premium services for me and Chris…. like 7 years ago….

I tried to cancel 3 years ago because Google offer the whole lot for free. Heck, Googlemail and all the other Google services run rings around Microsoft.

The trouble with cancelling from MSN is that it would be easier to find the one ring that controls them all… to pass wind through the eye of a needle…to actually watch all the Adam Sandler movies back to back without killing yourself… than it is to cancel an MSN subscription.

I searched the net for like minded people… there are many. MSN apparently lie our money and make giving it to them easy… but trying to get it back or stop payment is a different matter.

Oddly enough though I thought that an expired credit card would soon have them contact me – seeing as they failed to return my emails – and the customer support links in the MSN Premium web pages were always “under maintenance”.

Nope… I still got emails saying that maney was being taken from the expired card.

Others that had tried to end subscriptions had posted information and links on the net – trouble is it appears that MSN keep changing the location of any pages that allow you to unsubscribe, so all of the links were no good.

I had to search and search until I finally managed to get an online chat with an MSN representitive. The answers he gave were odd and disturbing to say the least….

Here is the transcript:

LRB: Initial Question/Comment: MSN Premium:general question

Anthony has joined this session!

Connected with Anthony. Your reference number for this chat session is 1xxxxxxx7.

LRB (Me): Hello

Anthony: Thank you for contacting MSN Support. I’m Anthony, I’ll be your Support Assistant. Please give me a moment while I access your account and verify this information.

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting, Lucas. How are you doing? 🙂

LRB (Me): I’m a bit confused to be honest

Anthony: Don’t worry, I will do my best to help you.

Anthony: I understand that you want to cancel your MSN Premium subscription and I’m sorry to learn that you’ve decided to discontinue this service. For documentation purposes, may we know the reason for cancellation?

LRB (Me): I haven’t used the service for a few years. I tried to cancel last year but nothing happened.

LRB (Me): The service is good – but just not what I need now (Got to be nice – It’s much easier if you’re nice to them)

Anthony: I understand. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your confirmation number.

LRB (Me): What has confused me is that my billing card expired in 2005 – yet each year you seem to renew. I no longer have that card…it expired!

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your MSN Premium subscription, and your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxxxx8. Effective immediately, your subscription is canceled. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience.

LRB (Me): I also pay for my wifes service and need to cancel that one too.

Anthony: Let me inform you that Microsoft/MSN will try to charge the credit card on file regardless of the status until the subscription has been canceled. So you did the right thing in contacting us to cancel the MSN subscription to avoid future charges.

Anthony: I can also assist you in canceling your wife’s MSN subscription. Can you give me her primary e-mail address?

LRB (Me): xxxxxxxxx@hotmail.com – All the addresses and billing info are the same as mine

Anthony: Okay. Please give me a minute while I access my tools and cancel this subscription for you. Please stay online for your other confirmation number.

LRB (Me): If my card has expired, has MSOFT been able to even take my money – or has this just been overlooked for the past 4 years?

Anthony: Your credit card has been charged but nothing has been taken out of it. (Okay…. so the past few years MSN have charged a dead credit card, but not taken any money out – Remember this……)

LRB (Me): Ah right. I could have carried on with free subscriptions then! Doesn’t matter as I haven’t been using it, but still!

LRB (Me): How’s it going with that second number?

Anthony: Thank you for patiently waiting. I have processed your request to cancel your wife’s MSN Premium subscription and issued a refund for 34.95 GBP. Effective immediately, your wife’s subscription is canceled. Microsoft will process your refund within 72 hours. It may take longer than 72 hours to appear on your bank or credit card statement. Your confirmation number is 1xxxxxxx2. Would there be anything else I can assist you with?

LRB (Me): How can money that wasn’t taken be repaid into a card that doesn’t exist? I’m a bit confused now.

Anthony: The refund is for the subscription of your wife which still has 4 more months.

LRB (Me): Yes, but it would have been on the same card – which expired in 2005…. So the money couldn’t have been taken from it (as you said). I just want to know how it can now be refunded if it wasn’t taken? You see my problem?

Anthony: There is a tie up between selected banks and Microsoft that will let Microsoft charge even the expired credit cards so the subscription can be reactivated. (That’s a bit scary then. An expired card won’t stop payment – You have to jump through all the hoops and get the cancellation numbers – There is no other way, just the near impossible way that MSN have set up…)

LRB (Me): Does that mean money can still be taken by MSoft even if the card has expired?

LRB (Me): or that it can just charge?

Anthony: Yes. That’s why you really need to cancel the service to avoid these kinds of trouble in the future.

LRB (Me): Sorry – was that yes to Msoft can still take the money?

Anthony: Yes, that’s correct.  (OKAY….. so what he said a minute ago about “not taking money out” was bulls**t)

LRB (Me): Okay. Finally then, why is it so difficult to cancel any Msoft subscriptions? Everything is complicated and hidden away, yet to pay for things it’s all very easy. I tried to cancel last year and yet the renewal still came through this year -all very contrary.

Anthony: We apologize for the inconvenience. We are trying our best to present an easy and quick process in canceling MSN subscriptions. I’m glad I was able to process the cancellation to both your accounts. Can I assist you with anything else, Lucas?

LRB (Me): That’s all, thank you very much Tony. (It was a small thing using Tony and not Anthony… but I felt a bit of warmth for that…. )

Anthony: You’re welcome. Thank you for contacting MSN Support. Bye.

So… I would really like to give you the links and info on how you too can cancel any MSN subscriptions, but I can’t. They change the link addresses so any link I post will no doubt be dead as soon as I post it. Feel free to drop me a line and I’ll try to help you out though.

Where does this leave me then? Well, now I am adamant that that I will not touch Microsoft products ever again.

I bought an Apple iPhone a while back…. It impressed me so much that I took the big leap and bought a Mac laptop. I am so impressed by the Mac laptop that I am perfectly happily enough to never buy a PC again. Windows is history, MSoft is history… and I don’t care how good an XBox could be, I’m sticking with PS3 and whatever new none Msoft systems hit the market.

True, the Mac appears to be pricier than a Windows computer if you compare hardware specifications, but IGNORE that… The Mac uses all it’s parts in such an efficient way that although it has a lower spec, it far out performs far higher specification PC’s…. Infact I will go as far to say that you would need to spend more money on a PC to meet the performance of a lesser specified Mac.

I don’t use MS Office or any other hugely expensive MSoft software, because SUN make free software that is MSoft compatable OPEN OFFICE.

It doesn’t end there. Why pay for Windows operating systems when there are free operating systems out there? You could even use the standard Mac O/S which costs next to nothing compared to MSofts software.

MSoft just want your money and rely on people buying there stuff because they don’t know of the other options.

I am not an Apple Fanboy or PS3 fanboy, I’m just someone who doesn’t like the second rate service and products of Microsoft – and I don’t like them telling me what I should and shouldn’t have when there are better options out there.

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