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Bought a fat 40GB PS3 in April 2008. Finally gave me the YLOD.
Didn't want to lose my Simpsons episodes or playthrough of Last of Us, so I decided to give this a shot so I could recover my data.
Since my PS3 is a CECHH01, I needed different instructions than the one provided. My system was actually easier to take apart once I figured out what to do.
It took a bit of sleuthing around the net, but with my model number I found a video on YouTube that gave enough advice to get me through. The main thing was making sure I wasn't breaking anything by applying pressure to pull things apart.
I procrastinated doing the thermal paste and pads for a while, simply because I wasn't sure I would do it right and it seemed like one of those things that either works or doesn't. I wasn't even sure my YLOD was caused by bad thermal paste. But for 40 bucks, I couldn't resist the urge to tinker.
Sure enough, the circular method with the heat gun followed by the reapplication of new pads, a simply reassembly, and my PS3 powered up, quieter than ever.
I have no idea how long it will last, but it lasted long enough to do an ethernet Data Transfer from my old 250GB PS3 to my new 500GB Super Slim, which took under 8 hours. So I'm selling it for parts on eBay.
Check videos on YouTube. Look up your exact model number. Make sure you know what you're doing going in, and if you're even remotely technically inclined, you should be just fine. I went in ready to accept that I had wasted 50 bucks, but much to my surprise, it worked beautifully.
Vacuuming out six years of accumulated dust and debris probably helped as well ...