1 - 2 heures
Discarded PS3 was given to a neighbor who gave it to me when he realized it would not boot up and there was no hard drive in it. A little research led me to iFixIt's walk-through, and I knew there really wasn't much to lose. For less than the cost of a new PS3, this old boy is up and running again.
The vents on the exterior of the console were dirty, even fuzzy, so I knew gloves would be a good idea. Not that I DID put any gloves on, but it would have been good. Tear-downs are NEVER as clean as the demo video.
Keeping track of what screws went to which component was a challenge; label those screws!
Pulling off the case was easy. Lots of dust bunnies already. Plus, that really fine dust, tainting everything that brushes against it (why oh why didn't I get some gloves??).
Disc reader pulled out easily, no ribbon or connection damage. First spider corpse found in the fold of the cable. Joyous.
First board pulled up to access the power supply screws it was above. Second, third, and fourth spider corpse found. GLO-O-O-OVES!!
Power supply pulled up and away to the sound like that of very old tape pulled from glass. The sound was not tape, but an elaborate network of spider web (petrified? Does web petrify??) between the power supply and motherboard. Another corpse is here. Not sure if I want to go back to ask where, exactly, this console was kept.
Looked up Haz-Mat responders in the phone book, just in case. Mysteriously, there are none around here.
Pulled the motherboard/fan assembly out. Heat sink appears surprisingly clean, not clogged up that I can see.
Removed the fan.
-so. many. corpses.-
Leave the project for a day and stand at the sink, scrubbing with only the hot tap running. I keep scrubbing but my hands won't come clean.
PUT ON GLOVES to continue with the horror.
The mobo is in fair shape, late second gen CECHE01 model COK-002 (hooray, PS2 compatibility)
The heat pads are all in awful shape, chipped the pieces off of the tertiary chips (saved two very thin strips not in the kit) and cleaned the precious little thermal paste from the CPU/GPU and heat sink (looks to have mostly boiled away, really)
Heated up the motherboard to flow the solder again & let it cool off.
Reapplied the two thin strips and added the rest of the new pads, applied a quarter-inch thick layer of thermal paste to the CPU and GPU (*no* I did not put that much on - sarcasm!) and reassembled the box.
I had doubled the size of the hard drive from original to be 160G, and downloaded the latest fw from Sony to have on a USB to ensure it's up to date.
Powered it on, and heard a nice tune come from the speakers. All has been well, and my concern about the fan possibly not working after its de-corpsification was happily wrong. It spun up quietly and freely.
GLOVES. Also, the heat gun provided worked incredibly well, but I would recommend taking it outside to run it for a few minutes before using it on the motherboard. It needs a burn-in moment to clear out the stink of assembly (run on level 1 setting for ten minutes ought to do).