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PS3 Repairs Part One – Opening the Case (PS3 Fat)

PS3 Repairs Part One – Opening the Case (PS3 Fat)

DIY Projects

Platform: PS3

Difficulty Rating: Beginner

By Malefico

So, your beloved game box has failed you. Whether you are facing a relatively simple task like fixing a Blu Ray drive problem, or the more complex and time-consuming quest to fix the dreaded RLOD/YLOD issues, the first step is to open the unit to expose the internal components.

You will need:

  • Phillips Screwdriver (#2)
  • Small Slotted (Flat head) screwdriver
  • Torx T10 Security Bit or Driver (available at hardware stores)
  • Small plastic cup or bowl (optional but very helpful for keeping your screws together)
  • Plastic-bristled paint brush (useful for cleaning the inside of the unit)

PS3 Tools Needed

First, arrange a clean open space in which to work. If you have one, lay out your anti-static mat and gather the required tools.

Step 1: (Optional step: If you are repairing/replacing the PSU, BD or small PCB components, you don’t have to remove the hard drive) Orient your PS3 so you’re looking at the side of the case that houses the hard drive. Using a small slotted screwdriver, pry the drive cover open at the small slot on the right. Set the cover aside. Remove the blue anodized Phillips screw holding the hard drive in place. Depending on the model you’re working on, you’ll either see an extensible bracket or a simple hinged wire handle. Either way, the drive should easily pull out. On some models, you have to slide the drive to the right, then out of the case. Modding note: You are looking at a standard 2.5” hard drive commonly found elsewhere in laptops, and yes, you can upgrade to any drive that will physically fit in the PS3 drive bay.

PS3 Outer Case

Step 2: Remove the warranty sticker covering the rubber seal near the top middle of the side of the case. With your thumbnail or the small slotted screwdriver, pry the seal out of the case and set it aside. The screw inside this well is the only “special” screw in the PS3 assembly. With the Torx T10 security bit/driver, loosen this screw and set it aside. Slide the PS3 system cover toward you slightly and lift it free from the case. Some models have a small metal clip into which this screw fastens, while others seat the screw in the plastic of the inner cover. If you have a clip, take it out of the case and set it aside.

Torx T10 Detail

Step 3: In PS3 “fat” models, there are seven major screws that hold the case assembly together. On some models, you will have to remove smaller screws recessed into the top of the case in order to loosen the cover. Sony has provided helpful markers to indicate which screws to remove for each “level” of disassembling a PS3. There are arrows in the plastic showing you which screws to remove to open the case. The seven larger screws are quite long relative to the others inside the unit. One is shorter than the others, and its position is marked not only with an arrow but an “S” as well.

PS3 Inner Case

Step 4: Having removed all the screws necessary to get into your particular model PS3, turn the case so the back is facing you and examine the seam between the top and bottom of the case. Some models have clips that have to be released (flat head) before the two halves will separate, while others will come loose with gentle pressure. Regardless, you’ll want to open the two halves starting from the back of the unit and working forward. At some point you’ll hear a snap. Don’t panic, it just sounds like you broke the case. Important: Some models have a small ribbon cable attached to the logic board that controls the power/reset and BD eject buttons. Pry open the latch that holds this small cable in place and gently pull the cable out BEFORE you totally remove the cover.

PS3 Inner Case Screws Removed

That’s it! Your PS3 is now open and ready for diagnostics/repair. Take some time to look over the internals and even if you’re only working on the PSU/BD, it’s a good idea to clean the inside of the unit with compressed air or a vacuum.

Reassembling the case goes in reverse order, just remember the long screws are seated in the plastic case itself, so don’t over-tighten them or you will either strip the plastic housing or snap it loose, possibly cracking the exterior of the case. Just tighten them until they are snug. If you have a model that uses a metal clip to hold the security screw in place, remember to reinstall it in the case before you try to tighten the screw.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this guide helpful. Please check out my other repair guides covering specific components and other helpful hints. If you have ay specific questions please email me,

Written by Nerd Bacon

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