I fixed and broke a phat Playstation 3

While sitting twiddling my thumbs on a Sunday evening in April, my attention wandered to the new hot air station and then on to the old Playstation 3 sitting under the bench.

The Playstation was given to me as ‘faulty’ a few years ago. At the time, I tried putting in a known working HDD, but the console refused to switch on.

So the console was free, and I had a hot air station (Quick 857DW+), my plan was to reflow the chips and see if I could bring it back to life. Partly out of boredom and partly for science.

Playstation 3 switches straight back off

If I switched the console on it, it would switch off again in an instant. There’s a small red led but nothing else.

Playstation 3 red light
Red light says it’s doomed

Reflowing the CPU and GPU

With the console open, it’s easy to identify the main chips. I had read in the past about re-flowing the solder balls under the chips but there is an online debate (argument) about what is really happening and how the fix works.

CPU GPU Playstation 3
The CPU and GPU ready for re-flowing

With my hot air nozzle in one hand and the infra-red thermometer in the other, I used a circular motion over each chip to bring the temperature to around 350′

Then I sat and waited un-patiently for them to cool down slowly.

Green light of success

I certainly wasn’t expecting this.

Green led PS3
It only went and turned on when I put it back together.

With the green light and some fan spin, I hooked it up to a display to the met with:

“Cannot start.. The appropriate system storage was not found.”

There lies the problem with impromtu fixes on a Sunday evening, there are no shops open. You’re out luck if you need to pick up a part or an accessory.

The following day, I did manage to find a 2.5″ HDD at the nearest CEX for only £5. With the latest firmware installed, it booted up but not without some very high fan speeds.

I broke it again 🙁

After stripping it back down to the motherboard again, I overtightened the bolts on the heatskink.

Do you know that feeling when you’re tightening a bolt, it gets nice and tight, but you give it one more little turn, hear a crack and the head of the bolt suddenly becomes loose.

That’s the feeling. My heart sank.

So for now, the Playstation is back under the bench. Sitting waiting, for a chance encounter with a replacement heatsink and bolt.

Upgrading and restoring a PS3

When I do come across a replacement heatsink, I would also like to attempt some other upgrades to expand it’s life.

This would be a good machine (‘cos it was free) to try my first reball on. And if that’s a success, replacing the capacitors, which are another common failure point, would be next on my list.

There is an aftermarket cooling fan too, should the machine still work after my reball and capacitor work.

So that’s the story so far for this Playstation 3.

It was a short lived victory, but a victory is a victory no matter how long it lasts.

Sega Megadrive Corrupt Graphics fix. Hint: It’s the video ram.

This post is for those of you with a faulty Sega Megadrive (Genesis) that’s developed a fault and is now showing corrupt graphics.

The game loads, you can see the game on the screen with things moving, but the entire image is blocky and full of artifacts. The sound seems to work fine tho, so that’s a bonus.

The fault lies with the two video ram chips (or it could be one of them, I replace in both mine).

The good news is, the process is relatively easy. The not not so good news, is that you’ll need a donor board. Finding video chips for a 23 year old games console is rather difficult.

Watch the video tutorial on removing and refitting the Sega Genesis Megadrive video ram chip modules.

If you have any questions or suggestions please use the Youtube comments section. I am always keen to help or learn more from people with more expertise than myself.

Tools used in the instructional video.

Hot air station: Quick 857DW+
Soldering iron: Yihau 937D+

Chirping Mark 5 GHD Straighteners Repair

A friend asked me to look at their MK5 GHD straighteners which had began chirping. This is when they play the start up sound repeatedly when you switch them on.

This is how I fixed them.

After some initial research it looked like the thermistor might be at fault. This is a component which prevents the heating elements from turning on if they are too cold.

In this case the elements were warming up while the GHDs where chirping so I moved my attention elsewhere. Following some advice I found online, a new CPU was ordered and swapped but this didn’t cure the fault.

GHD Straightener CPU replacement video

Next, I did what I should have done in the very beginning and checked the R8 and R11 resistors. Sure enough the R8 resistor was showing open on my multimeter. Thankfully I had some spares from the last time I repaired my girlfriends GHDs, so I was able to quickly sort out a replacement and fix them successfully.

Replacing the R8 Resistor on the Mark 5 GHD Straighteners


Always start with some basic fault finding. Check for voltages, continuity on the fuses and most importantly, look for the well known failure points on what you are fixing, before you go all gung-ho and start looking for more complicate faults that don’t exist.

If you found my videos useful, please like and subscribe to my youtube channel for more.