Tutorial  Updated

The Ultimate PS3 Repair Guide, YLOD Repair, Replacing the Nec Tokin Caps, Delid, Syscon Diagnoses

After further research it has been known that the Nec Tokin caps are not the true cause of YLOD failure in a PS3. The best form of repair is to prevent your PS3 from overheating by replacing the thermal pads and the thermal and getting delidding or delidding it yourself if you have right tools and skills if not get it done by a professional.

Introduction:
I picked up this Backwards Compatible NTSC J PS3 CECHA12 an A01 console. That i imported from Japan, not only does this PS3 play PS1 games natively, but it can also play PS2 games flawlessly due to the hardware of the PS1/PS2 being included. The Phat PS3 is an easy system to softmod which allows for region-free support. The use of emulators and other applications like Webman, which allows for the ability to back up your games and play them off the harddrive putting less wear on the BluRay Drive, a temperature monitor, as well the ability to increase the fan speed. I also replaced the old 60gb hard drive with an SSD. This should improve load times. As well as a Delid to replace the old thermal paste with Arctic MX4 or Grizzly underneath the IHS and i recommend spreading the paste over the point method. Thermal Right also sells 1.5 and 2mm thermal pads with a performance rating of 12.5 W/Mk. If you want to replace the old thermal pads aswell. Thermal Grizzly Pads are great too but cost more and you get less. Aeronaught is designed for standard air based cooling systems like on the PS3 and also includes a thermal paste spreader.

Dellidding is very difficult to do and one little slip or a scratch that is deep enough can be the end of your PS3, unless the trace is repairable, you can also replace both the Cell by remarrying it aswell as the RSX which doesn't need to be remarried, thanks to the Syscon hacking community, such chips are able to be replaced.

As for Delidding i recommend practicing on an old computer CPU or the cheaper 80gb PS3 before trying to dellid the more expensive 60gb model. If you aren’t comfortable, find a pro who has experience along with a great method of delidding it.

If you have a non working stock PS3. Using the Syscon is the best way to know what the fault of your PS3 is usually a YLOD means you have a bad RSX chip. Sometimes though rare Nec Tokins can fail and getting a hold of the Tantelizer board from OSH Park and populating will be the best replacing for non working Nec Tokin caps. But don’t those caps to fail. In most cases they are in fully working order, but can rarely fail due to heat stress. If you have bad Tokin caps and do not want to use the Tantalizer board 32x 330uf Tantalum Capacitors and 470uf for the Phat models should work as replacements too. I recommend looking into a way of removing the caps and they will likely have to be broken off. But overall i recommend not bothering as the caps are likely to be fine.

The best form of repair is preventative delid, repaste/ repad. As for the repair replacement of the RSX by find someone that has and can use a BGA machine. You can put a 40nm Slim RSX into a Fat PS3 drastically improving it’s reliability from 90nm to 40nm.


Beside the RSX gpu, Other components can be at fault aswell, such as a failing HDMI ic chip. The Syscon is great tooltool to diagnose what the other fault can be. This link goes more into detail with this method https://www.psx-place.com/threads/f...syscon-first-steps-and-error-reporting.30100/

Other riskless ways to improve cooling
Other than Dellidding another way to improve cooling is to replace the thermal pads and replace the 15 blade fan with a 19 blade fan. There is also the cooler and more power-efficient CECHG PSU for the 40gb PS3, an APS 227 PSU for the 60gb PS3 or a Power Brick mod to your PS3 bringing a PSU outside of the PS3 which can reduce heat. People use PC PSU's which looks awful. This person instead used a readily available Dell Power Brick that's the same size as a laptop charger. And since there is extra space available after doing the mod. You will be able to put a 120mm fan in its place to improve airflow. Stay away from eraser mods, ventilation/case mods as they will disrupt the flow of air and will make overall cooling even worse. There is a reason Sony designed the PS3 this way. PSU Guide: https://www.psx-place.com/threads/powering-launch-ps3-w-external-power-brick-d220p.21818/

Update: I had go back in my Delidded PS3 as it was running warm. I decided to instead use the spread method over the peasize method when applying thermal paste and replaced the thermal pads using 1.5 and 2mm Thermal Right pads. Thanks to this. It made a 10 Degrees C difference in cooling. I was able to turn the fan speed down to 35%. Post on that is here:

Dellidding: Always use a Peasize amount and spread the thermal paste, not too much not too little.
Good news though i also repeat it here. Screwing up a delid is not the end, for those that are interested in delliding. Since the Syscon has been hacked, there is now a way to swap the Cell and Remarry it to the motherboard. https://www.psdevwiki.com/ps3/Remarry_Syscon the BD Board can also be swapped and remarried and the RSX can be swapped too, no need for remarrying.

Delidding guide (NOTE VERY RISKY). Never try to force in your tool. If if it’s not thin enough to slide underneath the ihs then don’t bother, you will just scratch the chips. Be gentle, plan ahead and get the knife underneath the ihs. It should almost be effortless. Tools i recommend. Paint knife, 32 Gauge Knife, or a Fishing Wire/LCD Separator wire or a ripped can will need to make the tool your using the ripped can method. Which i hear is even better for removing the IHS. I also highly recommend practicing on an old cheap CPU or an 80gb model PS3. Experience really does make a huge difference. Especially if you can manually Delid a Desktop CPU which is even more difficult than the PS3. And there are many dirt-cheap CPU’s out there for you to practice on. I use this technique for Delidding. Make sure it goes in and not all the way in. But just enough to cut the adhesive, with little to no effort. It is supposed to slide in like cutting butter. And be aware that the paint knife is not a one fits all solution. Other systems may require thinner tools like lcd separator wire and something like the 32 Gauge knife which comes in many different sizes.





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Since the Paint Knife is too thick. I had to trim it down with a file.

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I also bent my paint knife. But whether you prefer it bent or not. Is up to you. I recommending watching the videos, with which technique is more fitting for you.
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I started with the RSX GPU Chip and used my rework station to soften the adhesive.
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Pushing upwards away from the PCB, and not too far in, away from the dye with a dental tool, as well as heating up the IHS on the RSX with a rework station. Eventually, it popped off with little to no effort.
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Now for the most difficult part which is the CELL CPU. But i made a mistake by trying to cram it in through the corner at the bottom side and ended up scratching 2 traces on the CELL. Remember to never rush this. Take your time, be very careful and it should slide in without scratching the PCB with little to no effort. I may be repairing those damaged traces which won’t be easy. I highly recommend starting from the top corners. Since it’s easier to slide the knife into. The bottom side has no traces but unfortunately. It is inaccessible due to some of the components being in the way. Overall don't rush this and never force it in.

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The temps on my A012 Unit Delidded with MX4, after an hour of gameplay in Skyrim.Set up in my bedroom underneath my tv. Not much ventilation and space in UK homes and it would be roughly around 4 Degrees Celsius more on 37% fan speed which is much quieter. It would run cooler if i went with Thermal Grizzly/Thermal Right Paste and Pads.
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Y
 
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Shadow_The_Hedgehog82

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Ordered two machines from japan as junk, CECHB00 and CECHH00 cost me £100 including shipping. Caps arrived today so I changed them out on the CECHB00 and it seems to be working fine. I also delidded + repasted. Excuse the bad soldering my iron cant heat the board very well.

Also just changed them on the CECHH00 and it also seems to be working fine
 

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iVirtualPlays

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Ordered two machines from japan as junk, CECHB00 and CECHH00 cost me £100 including shipping. Caps arrived today so I changed them out on the CECHB00 and it seems to be working fine. I also delidded + repasted. Excuse the bad soldering my iron cant heat the board very well.

Also just changed them on the CECHH00 and it also seems to be working fine
Wow nice work great seeing another restored PS3.
 

Shadow_The_Hedgehog82

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Wow nice work great seeing another restored PS3.
I was having issues with the cechb00 i put some of the caps on the wrong way around so it was still yloding after a bit of game play. Also had another issue wih it where it wouldn't shut down properly and would stay on a red flashing light. that was fixed by replacing the cell caps. Caps on the H00 are also the wrong way around but i didn't correct that one yet
 
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iVirtualPlays

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I was having issues with the cechb00 i put some of the caps on the wrong way around so it was still yloding after a bit of game play. Also had another issue wih it where it wouldn't shut down properly and would stay on a red flashing light. that was fixed by replacing the cell caps. Caps on the H00 are also the wrong way around but i didn't correct that one yet
Yes it’s easy to install them the wrong way. I remember i made a similar mistake on my GBA where it wouldn’t power on after doing the cap mod. Found out it was installed wrong and then it started to work when i corrected it. Even with my PS3, one of the caps wasn’t soldered on properly and some games would crash so i ended up reflowing the caps and it worked. It’s always recommend to double check your work and make sure to use flux with some high quality solder.

Also thought i share this for when the RSX Chip dies. I also put it on the original post.

Update: You can now install 65nm and 40nm RSX gpu’s into an original backwards compatible PS3, which has a 90nm RSX. But you will need to install a special modchip along with some resistors, check out this vid. The solder joints in this video looks cold. Always make sure to use high quality solder with flux. Replacement RSX chips can be ordered from Ali Express and eBay. Make sure to check the model number of the RSX to identify the Nanometer of the dye. Also do not recommend doing this mod without BGA equipment and skills. So make sure to get it serviced by a professional BGA installer. If your PS3 has a working RSX chip, do not bother. But i do recommend ordering the chip along with the modchip as spares, for when the RSX dies. I will be order them for spares as my PS3 still works.

PS3 Orbis Modchip Install:
https://www.psx-place.com/attachments/orbis-mod-white-jpg.34023/

https://www.psx-place.com/threads/f...cecha-with-40nm-rsx.28069/page-23#post-284839

Resistor Mod:
https://www.psx-place.com/attachments/20210603_113925-jpg.34022/

Check your RSX:
https://www.psdevwiki.com/ps3/RSX

Diagnose PS3 with Syscon:
https://www.psx-place.com/threads/r...s-replacement-ylod.25260/page-192#post-295119

Video:
 
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Shadower6

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@iVirtualPlays

thanks for your detail compilation of this tutorial, instead of 4x 330uF, i have an ideas of perhaps 2x 680uf cap, do you think it could work? I have seen 6x 470uf and 3x 470uf, but I have not seen 2x 680uf so far, the NEC/tokin is 1200uf. so 2x 680uf might works.
 

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@iVirtualPlays

thanks for your detail compilation of this tutorial, instead of 4x 330uF, i have an ideas of perhaps 2x 680uf cap, do you think it could work? I have seen 6x 470uf and 3x 470uf, but I have not seen 2x 680uf so far, the NEC/tokin is 1200uf. so 2x 680uf might works.
I've not finished reading through all this yet but I dont think the capacitors being chosen are very good either as you end up with bodges like this which in fairness are electrically fine. EDIT: likely to get a dry solder joint.


Instead I've been looking for branded caps rated for 2000 hours vs the original at 1000 at 105 C and I think the same 1mm spacing for the same footprint
like EEFLT0D331R which are commonly used for macbook repairs to replace c9560
https://industrial.panasonic.com/cdbs/www-data/pdf/ABE0000/ABE0000C51.pdf
 
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Must replace all nec tokin on motherbord and is it work with out jumper wier!!!!

I have eror A0093003 CELL_POW_FAIL
 

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Hey. I am geting the same error in syscon(A0093003), as stated above, but I also get A0112124 but that's a problem to look at later I guess.

I want to ask if I need to look into replacing the nec/tokin caps first or look into other passive components first. I've noticed that the tokins for the GPU have gone through a lot of heat torture as there is some flux within the housing of the caps.

Also, I am reading that it might be a bluray drive short but I did not detect a short in my quick testing(I might be doing it wrong though). I'd love to get some advice on what someone with more experience would do next. Thank you in advance.

EDIT: So, I have the VER-001 Version. Does anyone know where to probe for the cpu VDDC 1.2V?
 
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Danook28

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Hey. I am geting the same error in syscon(A0093003), as stated above, but I also get A0112124 but that's a problem to look at later I guess. I want to ask if I need to look into replacing the nec/tokin caps first or look into other passive components first. I've noticed that the tokins for the GPU have gone through a lot of heat torture as there is some flux within the housing of the caps. Also, I am reading that it might be a bluray drive short but I did not detect a short in my quick testing(I might be doing it wrong though). I'd love to get some advice on what someone with more experience would do next. Thank you in advance.
Why he put nagativ on postive in pic nec tokin not same the Repair wepsite say... No jumper wier!!!!
 

iVirtualPlays

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Hey. I am geting the same error in syscon(A0093003), as stated above, but I also get A0112124 but that's a problem to look at later I guess.

I want to ask if I need to look into replacing the nec/tokin caps first or look into other passive components first. I've noticed that the tokins for the GPU have gone through a lot of heat torture as there is some flux within the housing of the caps.

Also, I am reading that it might be a bluray drive short but I did not detect a short in my quick testing(I might be doing it wrong though). I'd love to get some advice on what someone with more experience would do next. Thank you in advance.

EDIT: So, I have the VER-001 Version. Does anyone know where to probe for the cpu VDDC 1.2V?
I recommend looking into those Syscon codes. And as for the caps i recommend getting a hold of the Tantalizer boards from Oshpark, populating them and replacing those non working Nec Caps.
 

captainjj

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I recommend looking into those Syscon codes. And as for the caps i recommend getting a hold of the Tantalizer boards from Oshpark, populating them and replacing those non working Nec Caps.
Yes, but it doesn't look like a reasonable option to jump straight into replacing the TOKINs without verifying that something else in the power circuitry is failing first.

That's why I was asking on how/where to probe for the cpu voltage before going down that route and ruining the board/rsx further. If the TOKINs are still working then I won't invest into replacing them for no good reason(I've read so many posts and catastrophic failure just doesn't happen on those).
 

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Yes, but it doesn't look like a reasonable option to jump straight into replacing the TOKINs without verifying that something else in the power circuitry is failing first.

That's why I was asking on how/where to probe for the cpu voltage before going down that route and ruining the board/rsx further. If the TOKINs are still working then I won't invest into replacing them for no good reason(I've read so many posts and catastrophic failure just doesn't happen on those).
I thought you said they were heat damaged. If they work then i wouldn’t bother. As for probing i’m not sure. Do you know what that Syscon code means.
 
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I thought you said they were heat damaged. If they work then i wouldn’t bother. As for probing i’m not sure. Do you know that Syscon code means.
I specifically said that they seem to have gone through a lot of heat, but the forum posts by RIP-felix say that discoloration and the housings melting does not indicate whether they're damaged. You're not wrong for assuming they are bad and I would do the same but I am still in the investigation phase.

Yes, the error code is known for the following:

3003 Core Power Failure)​

This error will occur in the case of a PWR failure on the main core voltage of the CPU (VDDC). For example, if the filtering capacitors (NEC/TOKIN's) are severely damaged. There are other SMD's in that filter, so it could be related to them as well.

A shorted Blu-Ray drive can cause this error as well. Be sure that your drive is going well before doing anything on your console.
 

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I specifically said that they seem to have gone through a lot of heat, but the forum posts by RIP-felix say that discoloration and the housings melting does not indicate whether they're damaged. You're not wrong for assuming they are bad and I would do the same but I am still in the investigation phase.

Yes, the error code is known for the following:
Oh ok i would test the smd components around that area but i suspect that those caps maybe causing it. Seems like the caps provide the power to the main chips since they’re right next to it. I highly doubt it’s the power supply or some power inductor/voltage regulators, even the cermaic smd components can handle a lot of heat stress. I recommend testing the resistors in that area and replacing the caps that look bad in that area and then going from there. As for the BD Drive does it work? Also has it been delidded, if so is there scratches/damage to the Cell/RSX?
 
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captainjj

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Oh ok i would test the smd components around that area but i suspect that those caps maybe causing it. Seems like the caps provide the power to the main chips since they’re right next to it. I highly doubt it’s the power supply or some power inductor/voltage regulators, even the cermaic smd components can handle a lot of heat stress. I recommend testing the resistors in that area and replacing the caps that look bad in that area and then going from there. As for the BD Drive does it work? Also has it been delidded, if so is there scratches/damage to the Cell/RSX?
Ok, so. I spent some time going through every smd component around the cpu/rsx area and I've found some components whose solder had melted off and not making contact anymore. I've soldered those back on and replaced some bulging electrolytic caps on a different area so those should be fine now(besides the one 39μf cap that I don't have in hand but that's a problem for later).

I probed for voltage between the TOKINs' positive side and ground and the most voltage it could reach for my meter was 0.87 volts so It seems clear enough now that those need replacing. I also removed all the housings of the TOKINs and the surface of the two on the RSX side have some bulging/rupturing so I guess those two are the culprits.

Thanks for the suggestions :)
 

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I also Delidded the Southbridge chip on my PS3. And if your interested in replacing the thermal pads check out this guide/post:

You will need to order 1.5mm and 2mm thermal pads. I recommend ThermalRight, FujiPoly, Arctic or Gelid.

Are the Thermopad Thermal Grizzly Minus Pad 8 any good? And how many in 120 x 20 x 1.5/2.0 size would be enough to cover all the locations on the system? Is one of each enough or might need a few?
 

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Are the Thermopad Thermal Grizzly Minus Pad 8 any good? And how many in 120 x 20 x 1.5/2.0 size would be enough to cover all the locations on the system? Is one of each enough or might need a few?
They’ll do nicely so long as they’re thick enough to close the gap in any given area. If they’re not thick enough (test by installing, reopening and checking if you have an imprint) they *are* stackable, but you’ll lose out on some of the thermal transfer. I normally recommend measuring the old pads with a set of callipers and oversizing a little bit (since the old pads are probably squashed a bit). You can also just follow the linked list of sizes and thicknesses.
 

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