PlayStation 3 Troubleshooting

Note: This troubleshooting guide covers all Playstation 3 consoles.

PS3 Does Not Turn On ¶ 

Your PS3 will not boot.

Power Cable ¶ 

Verify that the power cable is plugged in properly and not loose. Also, verify that your source of power (the outlet) functions correctly.

Yellow Light of Death ¶ 

The indicator light on the PlayStation 3 starts green, switches to yellow, and then quickly switches to red, and blinks indefinitely.

The PlayStation 3 will display this error for two different reasons. To determine what is causing the error on your console, turn the console on, and listen closely for the fan. If the fan powers on briefly, and then switches off, you have an issue with the motherboard. If the fan does not power on at all, then you likely have an issue with the power supply.

Motherboard ¶ 

The most common cause of the YLOD error and the PlayStation 3 failing to boot is a hardware malfunction on the motherboard. The error is caused by the failure of the solder joints between the CPU and GPU and the motherboard. This error can be fixed by re-soldering the chips to the motherboard, and, while not a 100% guaranteed fix, it is the best option for repairing the YLOD. iFixit offers both kits and guides to facilitate this fix.

Power Supply ¶ 

One cause of the PlayStation 3 not booting is a faulty power supply. A much smaller percentage of PS3 consoles will display the yellow light as a result of a faulty power supply. If the power supply is faulty, then it will need to be replaced.

PS3 Doesn't Read Optical Media ¶ 

There are two models of Blu-ray drives for the fat models of PlayStation 3, each with parts specific to their own model. The easiest way to tell which kind of drive is in your PlayStation 3 is to take the drive out and look at it. If the drive has an exposed control board on the bottom of the Blu-ray drive, the Blu-ray drive's model number is KEM-400. If there is no exposed control board, then the Blu-ray drive's model number is KEM-410.

If your PlayStation 3 is not reading discs, or is reading discs inconsistently, then follow this flow chart to fully diagnose the problems with your Blu-Ray Drive.

Step 1. Insert a disk into the PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Drive

  • Q1. Does the PlayStation accept the disk?
    • Yes - Go to "Step 2"
    • No - Go to "Q2"
  • Q2. Is the Blu-Ray Drive Blocked?-There is a physical barrier preventing your PS3 from drawing in disks
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: Gear Alignment Reset"
    • No - Go to "Q3"
  • Q3. Does the disk eventually get drawn into the console? - You push the disk in ~3/4 of the the way, and the mechanism draws the disk into the console
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: Broken sensor board."
    • No - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Control Board"

Step 2. Clean the Disk - Using a cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth, clean the disc.

  • Q4. Does the PlayStation read both Blu-ray disks and DVDs?
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: Your done!
    • No, it reads one media type, but not the other - Go to "Step 5"
    • No - Go to "Step 3"

Step 3. Eject the disk

  • Q5. Did the disk come out in the same orientation that it was inserted?
    • Yes - Go to "Step 5"
    • No - Go to "Step 4"

Step 4. Re-insert the disk into the PlayStation 3

  • Q6. Is the loading wheel present on the XMB?
    • Yes - Go to "Step 5"
    • No - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Control Board"

Step 5. Clean the Lens

  • Q7. Does the PlayStation read both Blu-ray disks and DVDs?
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: You're done!
    • No, it reads one media type, but not the other - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Lens"
    • No - Go to "Step 6"

Step 6. Eject the disk

  • Q8. Did the disk come out in the same orientation that it was inserted?
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Lens"
    • No - Go to "Step 7"

Step 7. Re-insert the disk into the PlayStation 3

  • Q9. Is the loading wheel present on the XMB?
    • Yes - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Lens"
    • No - Go to "SOLUTION: Faulty Control Board"

Solution: Gear Alignment Reset

Realigning the gears in the blu-ray drive is fairly simple. Depending on the type of Blu-ray drive you have, you will need to either follow this guide or this guide.

Solution: Broken Sensor Board

Only the KEM-400 optical drives have IR sensors for discerning when discs are inserted into the Blu-ray drive. If your IR Sensor is no longer working, you can attempt to replace it, however, it will in no way affect the performance of your Blu-ray drive.

Solution: Faulty Control Board

If you have judged that the Control Board is no longer functioning properly, then you will likely need to send your PlayStation to Sony. The Control Board is paired to the Motherboard and will only work with its original partner board.

Solution: You're done!

If everything is working great, then you no longer need this troubleshooting guide. Congratulations!

Solution: Faulty Lens

Being a very fragile piece of technology, it is easy for the lens to break. Both types of Blu-ray drives have a specific lens that will only work with that type of drive. Depending on which type of drive you have, follow this guide (KEM-400) or this guide (KEM-410)d to replace the laser

PS3 Freezes ¶ 

The PS3 continues to freeze or has excessive lag.

Restart the PS3 ¶ 

If your PS3 freezes, turn off the game system by holding down the power button. Turn it back on by pushing the power button again.

Internet Connection ¶ 

If you have continuous, excessive lag during online play, you should first verify that the ethernet cable is properly plugged in. Also, try restarting your router and/or modem. If you continue to have lag, the problem may be your internet connection. Talk to your service provider for additional help.

Note: The PS3 is not meant to be used with dial-up connections; it is designed for broadband networks.

Hard Drive ¶ 

If your PS3 lags or freezes when loading content from the hard drive, the drive either lacks free space or is faulty. To create more space, try removing items from your hard drive or getting a new hard drive with a higher storage capacity. A faulty hard drive must be replaced.

PS3 Sound/Video Problems ¶ 

The PS3 has problems pertaining to sound and video.

Sound ¶ 

For problems with sound:

  • Verify that the TV or audio system is not muted.
  • Check the settings of your audio output device to make sure it "sees" the PS3. Also, verify that you are using the correct audio cables and that they are properly connected.
  • When playing audio discs, verify that the music you are trying to play is not copy-protected. Certain copy-protected discs may not play.
  • Verify that your system's audio input and output settings are set up correctly.

Video ¶ 

For problems with video:

  • Verify that the input mode on your TV is compatible with the connectors used by the PS3.
  • Your PS3 video settings may have compatibility issues with your video output. To reset the PS3 to standard video, disconnect all components and hold down the power button for five seconds.
  • Ensure that the video definition is the same for both the TV and the PS3. When using a HDTV, the PS3 must be properly set up or the image will be distorted.

Comments Comments are onturn off

Interesting helpful Information. For more related discussions visit the PS3 Community -

gerry smith, · Reply

pls i hav a problem on my ps3, when i turn it on it switches itself off with a click and a beep sound, no yellow light....rely nid sme help pls

gee, · Reply

I have this same exact problem did you find out an answer??please let me kno before my grandkids kill me...


pls i have a problem with my play station 3......when ever i switch it one,it goes off itself with a click and beep sound....pls i need ur email addy is be expecting a reply please.


Dan Galadima, · Reply

Pls.. I also have the same problem with my ps3 when system continues to automatically switch off whenever I switched on. And when successfully operational say for over 10-20 minutes then it switched off again. I desperately need assistance.

Gordon Willie, · Reply

I have a ps3 when I turned it on today it brings up , (the file system on your system is corrupted and has to b restored ) then it only give you the option to press X to continue, when you press X it starts loading and when it hits 48 % it jumps to 100 % and the TV goes blank and you can't do nothing , any 1 have any idea please

Shane o Brien, · Reply

Mine too how can it be fixed


My grandson has it to?

matt yellow earrings,

I too have the issue that was mentioned in the top comments, I turn on my system and the fan doesnt engage and about 2 seconds later it turns off completely as if it lost power. I looked through the list of possibilities and none of them match. Could someone please help me out?

Alex, · Reply

my ps3 sounds like its about to take off and now seems to have crashed altogether!!!!! can any1 help???.......


billy maclennan, · Reply

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