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PS3 slim issue with 50GB blu-rays and games: laser replacement?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I still have my 60GB phat boy, but I rarely turn it on to prolong its life because my slim is in use nearly every day for hours.

When I got Uncharted 3, it wouldn't load on my slim -- it took sometimes upwards of twenty tries to get the disc to be recognized and then all was fine! All other CDs, DVDs, and blu-rays and games would play fine.

After one exchange and trying a friend's copy of U3, I figured the issue was limited only to 50GB blu-rays because Avatar also wouldn't load up on the slim.

From what I've read, this seems to point to the blu-ray laser wearing out?

I tried the Maxell Blu-ray cleaner (it is a DVD with two holes in it, it vacuums dust away from the laser lens) and it helped for some disks, but it did not eliminate the problem.

So I've bought a replacement laser for about $30 on e-bay and it arrives this week hopefully. Has anyone else gone through this experience?
post #2 of 22
I don't have any experience to offer for you on this, but how long did you get to use your slim before it got to this point? What would you consider its lifespan, considering what you have observed so far?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I got the 120GB Slim in October, 2009 for under $300. I would say that it has gotten a lot of use in those 2 years, so putting in less than $50 (laser + BR cleaning disk) to maintain it seems reasonable -- especially if it will prolong its life.

To everyone: I do recommend the Maxell Blu-ray cleaning disk, it was about $13 at Sears and it made a difference. I don't think it will solve issues, but it may be preventative maintenance!

I'll report back after my attempt to replace the laser.
post #4 of 22
I've never had any issues with my slim and U3 loaded just fine when I played it and I'm going on a little over two years now.
post #5 of 22
I've replaced the lasers on both a fat and a slim. There are plenty of websites that show you how. The most difficult things are the monotony of taking all those screws out, and reconnecting the ribbon cables. But, all-in-all, it's pretty straight-forward.
post #6 of 22
I too have replaced the PS3 laser. my one thing to keep in mind and I believe all the sites will list this as well.

But make sure that you do not have a disk in the drive. If you do, man are you in for a process or at least I was. I think I would have had mine complete in under an hour maybe hour and a half. But since I didn't remove that disk my process turned into something like 3 hours or trail and error in getting the disk drive since it's a slot loaded back in the correct positions and all.

Although having said that, since I did the switch, no problems what so ever. I will say though that when my laser went out, it wouldn't read any Blu-rays but would read regular DVD's just fine.
post #7 of 22
Man, 2-ish years is not encouraging, at all, if that is a semi-plausible trend.
post #8 of 22
I know mine failed at about the 2 year mark, perhaps 2 and a half. Since I did the swap though it's been very solid.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

Man, 2-ish years is not encouraging, at all, if that is a semi-plausible trend.

It sounds like his system has seen very heavy use. Something going haywire in the disc drive after thousands of hours of use is all but inevitable with even the best drive.
post #10 of 22
Is the laser issue a general failure or is due to watching blu rays? Would I still need to worry about that if the ps3 was used strictly for games?
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckademic View Post

Is the laser issue a general failure or is due to watching blu rays? Would I still need to worry about that if the ps3 was used strictly for games?

The games are on blu ray also.

Mine failed 3 weeks out of warranty. I called and pleaded my case and Sony came through and replaced the PS3.
post #12 of 22
but i thought i read somewhere that the reason the older ps3s were failing was due to overheating or something like that was caused from playing back blu ray movies.
post #13 of 22
There's been many "reasons" people have claimed as to why the older units fail. I will say that the slim units don't seem to put out the heat the the original units do. My youngest sons unit runs a lot quieter then my launch unit.
post #14 of 22
My original design unit first lost its laser after about 2.5 yrs of use. So I resumed usage with just playing downloaded videos and downloadable games. It eventually succumbed to YLOD about a year later.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo_Ames View Post

It sounds like his system has seen very heavy use. Something going haywire in the disc drive after thousands of hours of use is all but inevitable with even the best drive.

Well, I know games like MW3 just thrash that optical drive the whole time - its not even a loading issue it just keeps hitting the drive. For a lot of people, thats a LOT of drive usage.

Caused my brand new Slim to die in a week - which I'm grateful for as I was able to return it for a refund.

Why on earth you can install a game and RUN said game off a hard drive on a 360 (where HDs aren't even standard), yet a game like MW3 drops a measly 50mb on a system where a drive IS standard and proceeds to run off the friggin' optical is just beyond me.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, it took two tries to replace the laser, but I have resolved all of my issues for now. I'm out of warranty and would rather prolong the life of my slim rather than replace it, migrate data, etc.

Taking apart the Playstation is fairly easy if you are used to constructing a computer from components, I am impressed with Sony's engineering:
Taking apart the Blu-ray drive was straightforward, too, but I had to stop when I didn't have the proper tiny Philips head screwdriver (PH 00 if I recall correctly). I remedied that issue with a trip to Frys. The second try took about an hour to replace: putting everything back together properly in the drive mechanism was obviously more difficult than taking it apart.

I used: PS3 Slim Blu-Ray Drive Laser Replacement Tutorial - ConsoleZombie.com


So far, everything is back to normal: I can play all my blu-ray movies and games again! I'm happy, I hope it lasts!

$13 Maxell blu-ray cleaning disk (Sears) + $32 laser replacement (E-bay, US Seller, made in China part) + $14 precision electronics screwdriver set (magnetic bits are good! from Taiwan) -- was an investment well worth the time to learn how to do this = roughly the price of a new game.

I will report back if the Slim or laser fails just to let others have a benchmark. I guess I'm doing better than an XBox 360 Ring of Death.
post #17 of 22
Awesome report there. I know my laser replacement has lasted at least 2+ years now. If mine fails again, I'll just replace it again.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I just wanted to share this experience so others can benefit.
Your input is a good benchmark for others, too!

I think I understand the following:
- there are different laser mechanisms for each successive models of the PS3: be sure to order the correct match to your model.
- there are two lasers, a red and blue laser. CD+DVD for red, blu-rays for blue.
- because the blue laser was failing, only some blu-rays were being affected.
- 50GB (dual layer) blu-rays were harder to read, so they failed completely

I think this means the blu-ray laser diode/LED/power source was wearing out and needed replacement.
post #19 of 22
I had the same issue on my phat at 14 months. And I never used the thing for anything other then streaming and a maybe 4 games that year. They should start calling BluRay CrapRay instead.

Why on earth there is no install to hard drive option on a system that obviously has laser issues is just stupid. Add in the fact that we can install whatever size HD that we want, and it just doesn't make sense that we can't use it for game installs
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfmp3 View Post

I had the same issue on my phat at 14 months. And I never used the thing for anything other then streaming and a maybe 4 games that year. They should start calling BluRay CrapRay instead.

I won't defend Sony here, because the PS3 blu-ray laser endurance IS an issue. Whether or not it is a wide spread issue, I don't know.

Since we both have PS3 phats and they were the first widely deployed consumer blu-ray players, we were early adopters. The first generation of anything will likely be improved upon in successive generations.

However, I encountered this issue in Sony's third generation PS3 (the slim) after just over two years of heavy usage. I would have expected three or four years before any problems or the hard drive to go out first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfmp3 View Post

Why on earth there is no install to hard drive option on a system that obviously has laser issues is just stupid. Add in the fact that we can install whatever size HD that we want, and it just doesn't make sense that we can't use it for game installs

Game installs are opening up if you don't mind digital downloads: I'm seeing more and more (like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus this past week) available in the PS store. More recently, Assassin's Creed was installable from the AC: Revelations blu-ray. I agree it would be more convenient if it were across the board, but I imagine there is some piracy concern.
post #21 of 22
The biggest problem with install to hard disk is the shear size of the games. When you consider that some of the games are filling up dual layer Blu-Ray disk, that's going to be a huge install and you're only getting a few games on that way.

I do think that at some point digital distributions will be the answer at some point but the US infrastructure won't support it.
post #22 of 22
I'm right on the same page as your concerns, drummernrg. It really does seem like things are largely unchanged as far as bluray laser life. That is nothing to feel good about for us or Sony, imo.
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