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This is something I have been meaning to write for some time now, this will be a series of articles with the best information I can find to cover from breakdown to changing of thermal paste and everything in between so here we go. I believe that most PS3 owners know how to do light maintenance but I will do a list for those who may not. Doing light maintenance in the beginning can help avoid some issues further down the road, but there are exceptions sometimes your console may experience game freezes, overheating, or the dreaded YLOD this is where a more intense and thorough cleaning of the PS3 is warranted. Because PS3 owners don't want their console to look like this.....

Light Maintenance:

1) Wipe dust off console
2) Clean dust from vents using a low power vacuum or can air

This is something I do every week out of habit but this could be done on a monthly bases or it would depend on the amount of dust that accumulates in the area that you have your PS3.

Now we will move along to the more intense maintenance which involves opening the PS3 ( If your console is still under warranty do not open it to do this, if you are having any issues with it send it back to Sony or take it back to the store where you purchased it from)
PlayStation 3 Teardown


Author: Mint137

This is a teardown of an original launch 60GB Playstation 3 . One of the best units out there that had backwards compatibility and the card readers. Sadly this unit has a GPU a problem so it's broken.

  • Phillips #0 Screwdriver
  • Phillips #1 Screwdriver
  • Phillips #2 Screwdriver
  • Spudger
  • T8 Torx Security Bit Screwdriver

Step 1 — PlayStation 3 Teardown

  • There she is, an original launch PS3.

  • It's got PS2/PS1 backwards compatibility and a multi-card reader. (PS3 Slim doesn't have that)

Step 2

  • Let's get started!

  • Remove the hard drive access cover from the bottom of the PS3.

Step 3

  • Use the Phillips screwdriver #1 to remove the blue screw.

Step 4

  • Lift up the metal lever.

  • Slide the hard drive towards the front of the case.

  • Pull it straight up and out of the unit.

    • This is all you need to do to access the PS3's hard drive.

Step 5

  • Remove the warranty sticker.

    • Obviously this voids your warranty. You have been warned.

  • Use your fingers and pry up and remove the foot underneath the sticker.

Step 6

  • Use the Torx Screwdriver (T8) to remove the torx screw from the space behind the rubber foot.

    • This screw has a security bit.

Step 7

  • Place Playstation face up such that "Playstation 3" is oriented so you can read it.

  • Place your palm on the Playstation 3 logo and slide the plastic front cover towards you and off of the outer plastic shell. Set it aside.

Step 8

  • Remove the metal receiver that held the torx screw you just removed.

Step 9

  • Remove the 9 screws from the outer plastic shell using a #2 Philips driver.

    • 6 large screws

    • 1 medium screw

    • 2 small screws

Step 10

  • READ THIS ENTIRE STEP AND THE NEXT ONE BEFORE PROCEEDING. Locate the two locking tabs on the back of the PS3. Push them in simultaneously and lift the outer plastic shell off of the main board but BE CAREFUL as there is a ribbon cable connecting the shell to other hardware.

    • Ribbon cables are very fragile. Take care when removing or inserting ribbon cables.

Step 11

  • Disconnect the ribbon cable and set the shell aside.

Step 12

  • To remove the plastic card reader, locate its two locking plastic tabs that hold the card reader to the shell, spread them, and lift the card reader off of the shell.

Step 13

  • Working on the main unit, lift up on and disconnect the black RF wire from the wireless assembly using a spudger.

Step 14

  • Remove the flat ribbon cable from the wireless assembly.

Step 15

  • Remove the four Philips #2 screws from the top of the wireless assembly.

Step 16

  • Lift the wireless assembly off the main board and set it aside. Disconnect the ribbon cable from the main board and place it with the wireless assembly.

Step 17

  • Locate the other wireless assembly which the black RF wire is connected to.

  • Remove the one Philips #2 screw retaining it to the main board and lift off the assembly and set it aside.

Step 18

  • Remove the cables that attach the power supply to the main board.

  • Remove the AC connector from the power supply.

Step 19

  • Remove the 5 screws using a Philips #2 from the power supply, and lift the power supply straight up and off of the main body. Set it aside.

    • There are 2 power pins connecting the motherboard to the power supply as you remove it.

Step 20

  • The screws holding the blu-ray drive to the main board have already been removed in a previous step.

  • Unplug the power connector (gray) on the side of the player.

Step 21

  • READ THIS ENTIRE STEP BEFORE PROCEEDING. Lift the player up slowly to expose the folded ribbon cable beneath it.

  • Remove that ribbon cable from the main board and set the drive/cable aside.

Step 22

  • Remove the ribbon cable attaching the on/off switch circuit board to the main board.

Step 23

  • Remove the 4 Philips #2 screws retaining the circuit board to the case.

  • Remove the circuit board from the case.

Step 24

  • Remove the 9 screws from the main body.

    • 5 Small Philips #2 Screws

    • 2 Small Philips #1 Screws

    • 1 Ground Philips Screw with Washer

    • 1 Bolt Philips Screw (under AC cord)

Step 25

  • Grab the main board at the locations shown in the picture and lift the main board off of the back casing.

  • Set aside the black shell.

Step 26

  • On the main body, locate the 5 plastic locking tabs holding the rear plastic I/O shield to the main body.

  • Pry the tabs away from the body and lift the rear shield away.

Step 27

  • Remove the fan power connector.

Step 28

  • Remove the 3 Philips #2 screws holding the fan to the main body.

  • Lift the fan straight up and out of the body.

    • Check out the size of this thing.

Step 29

  • On the top of the mainboard, EVENLY remove the four large Philips #2 screws holding the heat sink.

    • Removing them evenly reduces strain on the GPU and CPU.

  • Remove the plates and the screws from the main board.

Step 30

  • Flip the main board over.

  • Lift (or pry with fingers) the heat sink straight off of the mainboard and processors.

  • Force will be required as the thermal paste "glues" the heat sink to the processor.

  • Note: If new thermal paste is readily available, clean the old paste off well and apply new thermal paste at the time of reassembly. If new thermal paste is not available or you are cheap, do not disturb the "old" thermal paste.

Step 31

  • Remove the 2 Phillips #0 screws from the hard drive enclosure.

Step 32

  • To expose the mainboard, remove the watch battery from the mainboard.

Page 5 of 5

Step 33

  • Using spudger, carefully pry the metal shielding away from and off of the top of motherboard.

Step 34

  • Turn the motherboard over and remove the metal shielding on the opposite side. Pry with a spudger or with your fingers.

Step 35

  • Check out all the chips with heatspreaders on this thing.

    • There's the Emotion Engine chip and Graphics Synthesis chip that allows the sweet backwards compatibility.

    • Cell Broadband... 7 powerful processors (technically 8 but not on the PS3) in one.

Step 36

  • More Chips!

Step 37

  • Consider your PS3 disassembled.
This is a complete breakdown of the 60GB PS3 there are some steps that will not apply to all Fat PS3's but in general it gives you an ideal what to expect, with each step you can continue to remove dust from your PS3 remember to use a low power vacuum or can air, so stay tune there will be more to come. I will be working on a Slim teardown next.

PS3 Teardown guide and photos from: iFixit
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