This high profile PS3 problem is signaled by a brief change in the normally green LED light to a flashing yellow before it shifts to a red blinking light right before the console crashes. Any further attempts to use the PS3 are unsuccessful due to repetitive nature of this problem. Consequently, once the(YLOD) occurs, the PS3 is considered as good as dead.
Sony has attributed theto a vague hardware malfunction that subsequently leads to console failure. Many have pinpointed the use of lead-free solder as the main factor contributing to susceptibility to breakdown. The two main causes of the PS3 YLOD involve either an issue with the motherboard or the power supply. To differentiate between the two, assess the cooling fan’s function after switching on a console that has completely cooled down. If the fan starts up initially then dies down, the main problem lies with the motherboard. If the fan does not turn on at all, there is a problem with the power supply.
Two effective solutions to a faulty motherboard are currently in widespread use. The first procedure is termed reflow, and it basically involves opening your machine to locate the areas where the solder has failed to maintain the steady connection between different parts of the motherboard, particularly the two processor chips. A heat gun is aimed at these areas to re-establish connection. In the process, adjunctive measures to reduce overheating are done, such as replacement of the thermal paste and dust elimination. Thishas been observed to extend the PS3’s “life expectancy” by four months to two years.
The second technique is popularly called reball. Instead of merely reconnecting detached components using a heat gun, it goes one step further by replacing the lead-free solder with the more durable lead-containing solder. Since this requires access to lead-free solder, this PS3 YLOD fix is usually performed by third party service providers. This procedure prolongs the PS3 life span for a longer period, approximately two to four years, thus it is more expensive.