Brought a launch fat backwards compatible PS3 back to life and wanted to share.

zamardii12

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I don't have many people to share this with so I thought i'd share it here. A little background... When the PS3 launched it was really hard to get. A good friend of mine got his hands on two... the 60GB model and the 20GB model. He sold me the 20GB model for retail cost. I was always fond of the launch edition PS3 because it's an incredibly unique machine. It has the full Emotion Engine chip on the same motherboard as the PS3 RSX GPU and the Cell CPU. The PS2 hardware was built right into this PS3 which means the PS3 is compatible with every single PlayStation game to ever release. The launch edition PS3 to me is a love letter from Sony to their fans that they put in the effort to make the PS3 not only a very unique system but also to make sure that their ENTIRE library of games across 3 generations would work.

It's hard to overstate how incredible the original PS3 was. The system at launch was capable of running a full Linux operating system (specifically Yellow Dog Linux) which would turn your PS3 into basically a full computer with printer functionality, internet, and everything else you would expect from a Linux system. The system had an insanely powerful processor which arguably cost Sony more than it was worth in the long-run b/c the R&D costs for the CELL processor were insanely high estimated at numbers close to half a billion dollars and this alone made the PS3 cost over $800 to manufacture. For those of you interested in the unique applications the Cell processor was used for at the time including cluster computing check that out here: "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_(microprocessor)." For those who don't remember the PS3 when launched went for $500 for the 20GB model and $600 for the 60GB model. People said the console was very expensive at the time, BUT people forget or didn't account for that fact that the PS3 had a Blu-ray drive and at the time the PS3 when it launched made it also the most affordable Blu-ray player available.

On top of the Linux functionality, Blu-Ray playback, and more the PS3 also had full PS2 and PS1 game playback. I remember at the time also using my PS3 as a media server in my home streaming movies from my computer over to the PS3 in the living room.

Anyway, I am going off on a tangent here but I guess COVID has gotten me really into trying new things around the house I haven't before and acquiring a launch edition Model CECHA01 version of the PS3 has always been something I've wanted to add to my game collection. Historically speaking the launch versions of the PS3 ran quite hot. There were also some questionable quality choices made by Sony regarding certain elements of the PS3 including the capacitors, and the thermal solutions for the CPU and GPU. In short, when starting down this path I discovered that a very large majority of the launch backwards compatible versions of the PS3 would certainly fail due to faulty capacitors which would over 80% of the time cause the dreaded YLOD or "Yellow Light of Death." I experienced this personally with my launch PS3 years ago when I had it, and at the time I had to send the PS3 into Sony to have them fix it for a fee. In any case as I was researching this I found a lot of helpful info online about this problem, and the general consensus is that if you truly want to fix this problem you have to start with replacing the faulty NEC/TOKIN capacitors. So not knowing anything about sawdering I started watching YouTube tutorials, and spent a little money and bought a simple sawdering kit. I purchased some really nasty fat PS3s locally and while some of them were simple fixes, two of them are so bad in shape that I decided to use their motherboards as practice boards and practiced removing their caps and just sawdering lines and things on them.

So I went to an electronics website and ordered capacitors that were recommended to me and others as being the best replacements for the ones on the PS3. Once I got those in I was ready to go. I fiddles for 3 hours on the placement of the caps only to end with no confidence in any of the work I did and not even sure it would power on. Well it did power on, and not only that but it stayed on... I left it on a running game for hours and I was shocked that it stayed on. I fixed it! I couldn't believe it. I was so proud of myself. Granted my work isn't clean or anything, but it's my first time trying and doing something I knew absolutely nothing about just 2 weeks ago.

So I just wanted to share some photos below of my project for anyone else who is a fan of this system as much as me or just curious:



31233313.jpg
 

waterbucket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
153
Nice. I have a launch CECHA01 that still works to this day. I actually bought stuff to replace the paste and what not in it because it does indeed run hot and get loud but it’s always been this way so I haven’t bothered yet. I also have a CECHE01 that works great too. They both have CFW installed.

I even still have the original boxes and etc for them. The work you’ve done isn’t work for my shaky hand though for sure.
 

zamardii12

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Jun 6, 2014
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Nice. I have a launch CECHA01 that still works to this day. I actually bought stuff to replace the paste and what not in it because it does indeed run hot and get loud but it’s always been this way so I haven’t bothered yet. I also have a CECHE01 that works great too. They both have CFW installed.

I even still have the original boxes and etc for them. The work you’ve done isn’t work for my shaky hand though for sure.
I really want the original boxes in my collection.
 

waterbucket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 10, 2018
Messages
153
I really want the original boxes in my collection.
Ya know I plan on selling the system one day especially since one like mine goes for $300+ on eBay and it’s got CFW already installed on it but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. If it weren’t for that you could have the box.
 

Starfalcon

Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
670
Yeah I have a launch 60 gig PS3, got it so that I could play my old games as I had a huge library of PS2 and PS1 games. I also have a second fat PS3 I got later as I was having trouble playing Blurays, and I didnt want to upgrade my old one with the firmware that made linux no longer able to be installed. Havent turned my old one on in quite some time, should do that and see if it still works.
 

scojer

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 13, 2009
Messages
6,955
My fat PS3 stopped working, I need to get it repaired. It started showing artifacts while playing games, then, one day, turned it on, heard the sounds, and had no video.

So, I don't think it's fixable, but I'm going to call a few local repair shops and see if they have any ideas.
 

apcviewer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
317
Anyway, I am going off on a tangent here but I guess COVID has gotten me really into trying new things around the house I haven't before and acquiring a launch edition Model CECHA01 version of the PS3 has always been something I've wanted to add to my game collection. Historically speaking the launch versions of the PS3 ran quite hot. There were also some questionable quality choices made by Sony regarding certain elements of the PS3 including the capacitors, and the thermal solutions for the CPU and GPU. In short, when starting down this path I discovered that a very large majority of the launch backwards compatible versions of the PS3 would certainly fail due to faulty capacitors which would over 80% of the time cause the dreaded YLOD or "Yellow Light of Death." I experienced this personally with my launch PS3 years ago when I had it, and at the time I had to send the PS3 into Sony to have them fix it for a fee. In any case as I was researching this I found a lot of helpful info online about this problem, and the general consensus is that if you truly want to fix this problem you have to start with replacing the faulty NEC/TOKIN capacitors. So not knowing anything about sawdering I started watching YouTube tutorials, and spent a little money and bought a simple sawdering kit. I purchased some really nasty fat PS3s locally and while some of them were simple fixes, two of them are so bad in shape that I decided to use their motherboards as practice boards and practiced removing their caps and just sawdering lines and things on them.

So I went to an electronics website and ordered capacitors that were recommended to me and others as being the best replacements for the ones on the PS3. Once I got those in I was ready to go. I fiddles for 3 hours on the placement of the caps only to end with no confidence in any of the work I did and not even sure it would power on. Well it did power on, and not only that but it stayed on... I left it on a running game for hours and I was shocked that it stayed on. I fixed it! I couldn't believe it. I was so proud of myself. Granted my work isn't clean or anything, but it's my first time trying and doing something I knew absolutely nothing about just 2 weeks ago.
I never knew the capacitors were the issue to the YLOD; I always thought it was the solder used on the processors cracking. I baked my PS3 motherboard and it worked for 30 minutes before getting the YLOD again. Baked it again to revive to so I could transfer all my save games to my then new PS3 slim, and put it back in its original box. Still in my closet today. I may have to give this capacitor change a try in the future if I am looking for something to do. Still have my collection of PS2 games in a box and it would be nicer to revisit using a wireless controller and with upscaling.
 

T4rd

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Messages
18,650
Wish I had kept my old 80 PS3 with software emulation still. It YLOD'd after several years of service and I tried baking the mobo to fix it and, just like the 360 that I baked, it only worked very temporarily before dying again. I was too cheap at the time to go get it fixed and got a newer 120GB slim model instead so it would be much quieter, which still works today at least and my daughter still plays it almost daily for Little Big Planet 2 to play online with another friend she made on there.
 

N4CR

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Messages
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I had three used ones replaced under warranty over 8 months, until I gave up and spent the money on a 7970. Best PlayStation bar ps2 fat IMO just reliability is the issue.
It got hard to get the non updated ones with Linux compatibility..
 

auntjemima

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Mar 1, 2014
Messages
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I never knew the capacitors were the issue to the YLOD; I always thought it was the solder used on the processors cracking. I baked my PS3 motherboard and it worked for 30 minutes before getting the YLOD again. Baked it again to revive to so I could transfer all my save games to my then new PS3 slim, and put it back in its original box. Still in my closet today. I may have to give this capacitor change a try in the future if I am looking for something to do. Still have my collection of PS2 games in a box and it would be nicer to revisit using a wireless controller and with upscaling.
Mine did the same, baked it and it worked for years afterwards. Never heard of the capacitors either.
 

Armenius

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Messages
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I never knew the capacitors were the issue to the YLOD; I always thought it was the solder used on the processors cracking. I baked my PS3 motherboard and it worked for 30 minutes before getting the YLOD again. Baked it again to revive to so I could transfer all my save games to my then new PS3 slim, and put it back in its original box. Still in my closet today. I may have to give this capacitor change a try in the future if I am looking for something to do. Still have my collection of PS2 games in a box and it would be nicer to revisit using a wireless controller and with upscaling.
The YLOD on my 60GB model was caused by the internal power supply. I swapped it out and it has been working fine ever since. I honestly would switch to using a slim PS3 full time if it did not have issues with some of my PS3 games, since I just keep the old PS2 out to play PS2 and PS1 games. I've mostly transitioned to PC for PS1 games now, though, since mesen offers clock-accurate emulation. There is also a new kid on the block with modern advanced features called DuckStation.
 

zamardii12

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Messages
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I never knew the capacitors were the issue to the YLOD; I always thought it was the solder used on the processors cracking. I baked my PS3 motherboard and it worked for 30 minutes before getting the YLOD again. Baked it again to revive to so I could transfer all my save games to my then new PS3 slim, and put it back in its original box. Still in my closet today. I may have to give this capacitor change a try in the future if I am looking for something to do. Still have my collection of PS2 games in a box and it would be nicer to revisit using a wireless controller and with upscaling.
There is a very passionate online community that is dedicated to these machines i've found. The YLOD is definitely due to the capacitors.

https://www.psx-place.com/threads/tutorial-research-nec-tokin-capacitors-replacement-ylod-fix.25260/


Baking the PS3 has always been a temporary fix. Reflowing the solder or whatever that really does isn't the solution and each subsequent baking kills the PS3 overall even more. So your time-on time reduces with each subsequent baking. The most long-term fix and likely permanent fix is to replace EVERY NEC/Tokin cap and then using 18AWG wire to bridge them. I've gotten away with replacing a single capacitor, but if the system fails in the future then I will have to replace more capacitors.
 
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vegeta535

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Eh was hoping that they would be worth something but they are not. I still have a 80gb far ps3 that is backwards compatible. I had to replace the laser assembly once. It be nice if Sony would incorporate BC for PS1-3 games. I wouldn't use it much but I get the itch to play old games once in a while.
 

Armenius

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Eh was hoping that they would be worth something but they are not. I still have a 80gb far ps3 that is backwards compatible. I had to replace the laser assembly once. It be nice if Sony would incorporate BC for PS1-3 games. I wouldn't use it much but I get the itch to play old games once in a while.
They want you to subscribe to their "PlayStation NOW" service to play old games. I don't think they will give up that revenue stream to do what Microsoft has been doing with backward compatibility.
 

vegeta535

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They want you to subscribe to their "PlayStation NOW" service to play old games. I don't think they will give up that revenue stream to do what Microsoft has been doing with backward compatibility.
I know but it isn't happening. I got old physical discs of all the games I want to play.
 

apcviewer

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Messages
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Wish I had kept my old 80 PS3 with software emulation still. It YLOD'd after several years of service and I tried baking the mobo to fix it and, just like the 360 that I baked, it only worked very temporarily before dying again. I was too cheap at the time to go get it fixed and got a newer 120GB slim model instead so it would be much quieter, which still works today at least and my daughter still plays it almost daily for Little Big Planet 2 to play online with another friend she made on there.
I still have my 60GB PS3 for the "just incase" scenarios that I would probably not even act on. At least I now know there is another path to revive it.
Mine did the same, baked it and it worked for years afterwards. Never heard of the capacitors either.
I really wished the baking fixed my PS3. It always sucks to spend money on a replacement. At least my PS3 slim still works to this day.
The YLOD on my 60GB model was caused by the internal power supply. I swapped it out and it has been working fine ever since. I honestly would switch to using a slim PS3 full time if it did not have issues with some of my PS3 games, since I just keep the old PS2 out to play PS2 and PS1 games. I've mostly transitioned to PC for PS1 games now, though, since mesen offers clock-accurate emulation. There is also a new kid on the block with modern advanced features called DuckStation.
I read about the PSU being a possible cause also. Hoping for the best, I bought a used PSU from ebay, but it didn't work. That was a waste of ~$20-50 (don't remember the exact cost). I really did not want to bake the motherboard because I read about capacitors falling off if moved while still hot.
There is a very passionate online community that is dedicated to these machines i've found. The YLOD is definitely due to the capacitors.

https://www.psx-place.com/threads/tutorial-research-nec-tokin-capacitors-replacement-ylod-fix.25260/


Baking the PS3 has always been a temporary fix. Reflowing the solder or whatever that really does isn't the solution and each subsequent baking kills the PS3 overall even more. So your time-on time reduces with each subsequent baking. The most long-term fix and likely permanent fix is to replace EVERY NEC/Tokin cap and then using 18AWG wire to bridge them. I've gotten away with replacing a single capacitor, but if the system fails in the future then I will have to replace more capacitors.
That is amazing; the hardware is old and there was a viable replacement, but people are still taking the effort to keep their fat PS3s running. It is good to know that I can theoretically revive my fat PS3.
Eh was hoping that they would be worth something but they are not. I still have a 80gb far ps3 that is backwards compatible. I had to replace the laser assembly once. It be nice if Sony would incorporate BC for PS1-3 games. I wouldn't use it much but I get the itch to play old games once in a while.
BC on their current systems would be very nice. I still have my PS3 in my TV stand, along with my PS4 Pro and (gaming) PC. Still have a good number of sealed PS3 games to play and beat. I cleared all but one or two games from my PS2 backlog not more than three years ago. At the rate I am going, I'll probably clear most of my PS3 backlog by 2025 (got my PC and PS4 backlog as well...).
 

Krenum

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Nice job. I used to bake em to bring em back from the dead, but they only ever last a couple of months. Shoddy soldering I assume. PS3 ran so hot.
 

vegeta535

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Nice job. I used to bake em to bring em back from the dead, but they only ever last a couple of months. Shoddy soldering I assume. PS3 ran so hot.
The issue then was everyone was switching to lead free solder. The stuff they used wasn't very good. The 360 had the same issues. So did Nvidia GPUs around then also.
 

Krenum

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The issue then was everyone was switching to lead free solder. The stuff they used wasn't very good. The 360 had the same issues. So did Nvidia GPUs around then also.
Yeah, I figured the constant heating and cooling made stress cracks in it.
 

Armenius

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I still have my 60GB PS3 for the "just incase" scenarios that I would probably not even act on. At least I now know there is another path to revive it.

I really wished the baking fixed my PS3. It always sucks to spend money on a replacement. At least my PS3 slim still works to this day.

I read about the PSU being a possible cause also. Hoping for the best, I bought a used PSU from ebay, but it didn't work. That was a waste of ~$20-50 (don't remember the exact cost). I really did not want to bake the motherboard because I read about capacitors falling off if moved while still hot.

That is amazing; the hardware is old and there was a viable replacement, but people are still taking the effort to keep their fat PS3s running. It is good to know that I can theoretically revive my fat PS3.

BC on their current systems would be very nice. I still have my PS3 in my TV stand, along with my PS4 Pro and (gaming) PC. Still have a good number of sealed PS3 games to play and beat. I cleared all but one or two games from my PS2 backlog not more than three years ago. At the rate I am going, I'll probably clear most of my PS3 backlog by 2025 (got my PC and PS4 backlog as well...).
FWIW I got an 80GB model from my sister that had the Blu-ray drive fail and took the PSU out of that to swap into mine. She had already replaced it with a first gen slim model, so I didn't bother trying to fix the drive.
 

vegeta535

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FWIW I got an 80GB model from my sister that had the Blu-ray drive fail and took the PSU out of that to swap into mine. She had already replaced it with a first gen slim model, so I didn't bother trying to fix the drive.
The drive was annoying to fix. You had to get the spindle thing just right or it wouldn't work. It took several trust. Took me about an hour to replace the lens assembly. Think it cost me like $40 off eBay.
 
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