The Playstation 3 Yellow & Red Light Of Death.
What causes a yellow light error on the PS3?
The yellow light on on the PS3 indicates simply that something has gone wrong with the hardware and is not specific to any particular fault.
If the PS3 is terminal and won’t boot up after a couple of hours, it might be likely to be a fault with the solder points between the PS3 mainboard and either the Cell processor or the RSX graphics card. The BGA (Ball Grid Area) packaging used by the PS3 parts is more vulnerable to breaking under thermal stress, although it’s a minor disadvantage as BGA technology is in widespread use with low failure rates.
Is there is a design flaw with the PS3?
In September of 2009 Sony claimed 12,500 PS3s have been affected by this issue, which when measured against the total number of PS3 systems sold, is a low failure rate. We beleive that the number of affected systems has now increased as more PS3 systems seem to be making their way to our local repair shops.
Currently, the original 60GB model appears to be more commonly affected than later models although the later versions can also suffer this type of failure. When Sony removed backwards compatibility and some other features to produce the 40GB PS3, they also changed to a new version of the processor (a 65nm version of the Cell, the original uses a 90nm Cell). This version uses less power and generates less heat, which should reduce the chance of this type of problem.
Similarly, the new PS3 slim uses a newer 45nm version of the Cell which again lowers power and heat allowing the console to use a smaller cooling system without increasing the possibility of overheating. Based on unscientific anecdotal evidence, a failed blu-ray drive appears to be a more common cause of failure.
Here are some tips to avoid getting the YLoD/RLoD.
Don’t play for long hours causing your PS3 to overheat.
Clean dust from the inside of your PS3, or else it can overheat in a very short period of time, and can even damage the lens.
Give your PS3 good ventilation and do not keep it in an enclosed entertainment center.
To avoid dust from entering your system when not playing, turn it off completely from the switch. You can lay a peice of cloth on it to avoide dust buildup.