So I have had my PS3 for about 10 years. I didn't really use it often; but when I did, it could have been for many hours a day on a stretch for a couple weeks. Recently, it got most of its use for Netflix under the aforementioned schedule. Sometimes I would find that it (irritatingly) had been tripped on accidentally--and therefore had been on and sitting idle for hours.
Last week, while attempting to watch Netflix, I received an error message that indicated there was a problem with either the hard drive or connecting with PSN, and the application wouldn't open. Several days later I attempted to turn on the PS3, only to have it momentarily turn on, followed by 3 beeps and the flashing yellow light--which I learned soon after was "death" for my PS3.
I researched the condition, noting that Sony is all too happy to receive our PS3's--and possibly "fix" them for $100's--when you can purchase a reconditioned PS3 for around $90--without your previously saved data and games. Additionally, Sony would take upwards of a month or more to complete repairs.
Luckily, I found out about "Ifixit." Regarding my issue, A very beautiful, intelligent and skilled woman is featured in their easy to follow video on their site, as well as a handy kit they offer for sale at a very reasonable price. This is supported by an easy to follow, step-by-step disassembly process, with great pictures, that a person like myself having absolutely NO COMPUTER/ELECTRONIC REPAIR TRAINING WHATSOEVER, was easily able to follow. I completed the task and whaddyaknow?! My PS3 has come back from the "dead." Although I have as of yet been able to run it for hours to see if the repair has held, it wouldn't even turn on before this repair. Who knows? It may last another 10 years...
Be incredibly careful with the ribbon cable connections!! I broke one, as they are very intricate and made of fragile plastic. Hopefully my duct-tape solution will hold.
THERMAL PASTE: The kit supplies "just enough" (probably should be just a smidgeon more) to cover the 2 processors. One is larger than the other; but you should still alternate starting line beads on both to ensure complete coverage of both processors. They have instructions on their additional page; but I chose not to use their "finger method." I found that by slowly using their plunger to "draw" 1/16" wide beads on the left side of each processor, alternating to the other processor once the first line was complete on the other, then drawing another bead adjacent the first until both processors had 3 beads together each, made it easy to use their plastic card to evenly spread the paste. Ensure no metal is visible, as the paste should thinly; but evenly spread atop both processors.
Additionally, Patience is absolutely required. Use an air compressor source if you can to completely blow off every component of the dust bunnies that have most likely saturated your unit for years. Cleanliness as explained in the instructions is absolutely critical.