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How to Repair a Malfunctioning Playstation 2 - PS2 (Page 2/5)

Updated: March 19, 2006
Written By: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy

The Playstation Curse Begins

A Little Background: Playstation Woes

This isn't the first time a Sony console has had problems reading discs. My first experience with Playstation problems was years ago, when a well-known software company named Square released what many people consider to be a masterpiece, one of its finest games: Final Fantasy VII. The extremely long and complex game offered incredible graphics, stunning pre-rendered movies, a great soundtrack, and killer storyline.

I clearly remember picking the game up at Software, Etc. in our local mall and rushing home to waste several weeks playing through it. But after playing it for about 10 hours straight, things started to go bad. Videos began to skip, sometimes constantly. It would sometimes take too long to load, if at all. I was very frustrated since my Playstation was nearly new and the game was only hours old. The problems persisted and I eventually was so frustrated I bought another Playstation from a friend, and sold mine "as is" locally. The problem went away with the new unit until I was about 3/4 through the game, then it happened again a few times during videos.

Supposedly the problem with the old Playstations was that the cooling ducts were placed on the bottom side of the unit, offering very little airflow unless it was stood up on a platform of some sort. Newer models fixed the problem by placing the ducts on the sides, where airflow was generally much better. Not many people noticed this problem until the Playstations were slightly older, especially when games were played for many hours on end and videos were played extensively -- exactly what happened with Final Fantasy VII. The game effectively killed many Playstations.

As if these problems were not bad enough, over long times the heat would deform the round black piece that a CD would lock on, causing the disc to drop slightly and create even more read problems. An easy fix was to flip the Playstation over once the disc was in place, which would cure the overheating problem and also put the CD back into its correct position, fixing most video skipping problems. So, problems with Playstations are not anything new, but the fix for the PS2 is a bit more complicated than the original Playstation.

Okay, enough rambling - let's void some warranties.

Tools Checklist

Recommended tools:

  • 2 x phillips screwdrivers: one is about "normal" sized, one is "very small"
  • (a pocketknife or small flathead may be used in place of the smaller phillips)
  • Q-tips or cotton swabs
  • rubbing alcohol or static free cleaner
  • a marker or felt-tipped pen
  • compressed air to clean the inside of the PS2
It might also be a good idea to have an original Playstation game, two Playstation 2 games (one with blue bottom, one with silver bottom), and one DVD movie. These will be used for testing to be sure you've completed the repair correctly.

Be sure you have at least one game to test with so you won't have to disassemble the console again later.

Next Page - Disassembly and Cleaning

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