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Aug15
YLOD and The Longest Boost: Episode IV: A New Hope
Boosting is hard. Let's face it.

Gone are the days that you had a buddy who lived down the street who you could join in a game and co-op something easy. If you are not an especially social person who can make friends easily across a game network like PSN or Live, it is not going to be a simple matter to find a partner to hardcore boost seriously difficult and tedious trophies.

Occasionally you will however come across such a special person and if you can do that, you should thank your lucky stars. You should thank the Lord and all His angels. It's such a rare thing as to almost be like destiny. For someone like me, it's happened really only twice and this last time was nothing short of magical.

Once upon a time I had a 40gb PS3 phat that I'd played quite a few fantastic games on before it suffered the much feared Yellow Light Of Death. At the time, I had not the expertise or understanding of why this could have occurred. Also, unfortunately at the time this happened, I was not a subscriber to PS+ so all my game saves, hundreds of hours of game time, were locked in a deep dark cage on that encrypted hard drive. Out of reach for all time. I bought a PS3 slim and chalked it up to bad luck.

Years passed.

Last month, when I heard that Burnout Paradise was going offline for PS3, I was alarmed as this was my first platinum game but I had never quite made it to 100%. I picked up a used copy to push my platinum to 100% on that game and then I turned my attention to the Uncharted PS3 games which I heard were also going offline. I looked at Uncharted 2 and saw I was only 6 trophies away from getting the plat and I needed to beat crushing mode to clinch it. No prob, I beat that game on hard, I'd just load it up and roll through it right?

Wrong.

All my Uncharted 2 saves were on the old PS3.

For those of you who've played these games on Hard, it is not a simple matter, it's typically 7 hours of slog before you can even get to the start to play it on Crushing. Crushing is stupidly hard.

I decided to look in to resurrecting the PS3 Phat to try to recover those saves. Low and behold I saw many videos explaining the YLOD and what could be done to resolve it. I watched detailed videos showing the disassembly of the console and how to approach the repair. This was not going to be simple, this was not going to be quick and there was no guarantee of success but I had to try.

I dug out the old lady and plugged her in and pressed the power button: YLOD going strong.
I ordered a special tool kit for repairing YLOD and I got some arctic silver 5 thermal paste and borrowed my father-in-law's heat gun. When everything arrived, I carefully disassembled the console, and cleaned everything and ran the heat gun for 5 minutes at a time on each chip on the motherboard and let it cool off overnight.

Next day, I added the new thermal paste, slapped everything back together, took it to the TV and connected it all up. Now was the moment of truth.

I pressed the power button.

Yellow Light of Death.

Supremely depressed, I disconnected the system and brought it back to my drafting table. I had given it my best shot, there was nothing I was going to be able to do. I pulled up a list of PS3 error codes and 5 minutes later I hit the power button again just to verify that it was indeed the YLOD sequence.

Green light.

Stayed Green.

Stayed lit.

HOLY ****!

Cradling it like a newborn infant, I gingerly moved the system back to the TV and plugged everything back in. Again I pressed the power button, and again saw YLOD. I then disconnected the HDMI cable,

One last time.

Fingers crossed, prayers sent.

Power button pressed.

Green.

I connected HDMI again.

The living room was filled with a beautiful symphonic musical cue!

IT WORKED! SHE WAS ALIVE! SHE WAS BROUGHT BACK AGAIN! I SCREAMED, "YES!" in a guttural manly cry more emphatically and loudly than even when my beloved Florida Gators won a national championship!

My wife rolled her eyes mad hard at me.

I did not care.

There were all my game saves, One Hundred and Sixty-eight of them, so many games I'd forgotten about, so many others I could never forget! Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 6, Metal Gear Solid 4, BioShock, Assassin's Creed II, Little Big Planet, Little Big Planet 2, Battlefield Bad Company, Battlefield Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, Killzone 2, Unreal Tournament 3, Warhawk, Motorstorm, Call of Duty: Black Ops, InFamous, GTI Club + Rally Cote D'Azur, NCAA Football 10,

and...

Grand Theft Auto IV.

Hello, darkness... my... old... friend.

To be continued...

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