How to Fix PS3 Blinking Red Light

image of PS3

Issues with PS3 Console

PS3 blinking red light and PS3 yellow light of death (YLOD) are two common issues with the play station 3 console. A large number of gamers have been troubled by them. You can see that when looking through communities and forms related to the PS3 console. 

Here is a true example from ifixit.com:

Hey everyone, 

My PlayStation turns on for about 2 seconds, then beeps 3 times and I get a red flashing light. Does anyone have any ideas on how to fix this? –ifixit.com.

source: ifixit.com

Compared with the PS3 red light of death, PS3 YLOD is worse because it signals permanent damage to the motherboard and can’t turn on. 

As for the PS3 red blinking light, you can regard it as a warning sign. It means that there’s a little life left in the console. You can get the console working again by taking some actions. To fix the error effectively, you need to find out the reasons for the error.

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Reasons behind PS3 Blinking Red Light

When the red blinking light appears, you can’t play your favorite games. This is rather annoying. What causes this issue? According to user reports, the primary reason for this error is overheating. Other factors like hard drive failure and power supply failure are also responsible for the error.

After finding the potential causes for the blinking red light error, you can take corresponding fixes to troubleshoot it. Here, I would like to share some solutions with you.

Solutions to PS3 Red Light of Death 

In this section, several solutions to the PS3 red light of death are talked about. You can try them one by one until the issue is resolved.

Solution 1: Cool Down Console

As overheating is the leading cause for the error, you are strongly recommended to cool down the console when the error occurs. Overheating can give rise to various issues like crashing, hard drive failure, freezing, black screen, etc. 

If you see PS3 red blinking light and the console is hot, you should stop playing games and turn off the console. Then give the console a rest. If you see the dust on the console is piled up, you probably should perform a PS3 cleanup. By doing so, fans in the console can work properly. Then you can avoid overheating issues to a large extent.

Additionally, you can also put the PS3 console in an open place with enough airflow. This is also a great way to cool down play station. After waiting for some time, turn on the console again to see if it boots normally.

Note: The normal startup order of the PS3 is that a green light blink appears after booting and then it runs smoothly.

Solution 2: Utilize New Thermal Paste on CPU and GPU

Thermal pastes before 2014 are not good for the sake of longevity as they can wear out rather fast. Then your console may not work properly. In this case, you should consider replacing them with new thermal paste on the CPU and GPU of the console. Here’s how to do.

Step 1: Remove the insulating pads from the motherboard VRMs.

Step 2: Remove the existing thermal paste with rubbing alcohol or acetone.

Step 3: Ensure that the CPU and GPU are clean and dust-free.

Step 4: Take a small amount of thermal paste on the CPU and GPU with tools offered in the package.

After reapplying the thermal paste, the CPU and GPU can dissipate the head more efficiently.

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Solution 3: Check Hard Drive for Errors

Since hard drive failure is responsible for this error, you’d better check your hard drive for errors. Bad sectors, bit rots, and file system errors can lead to hard drive failure. To check the drive, you are required to take it out from the console. Here are the steps for that.

Step 1: Disconnect the power cable of PS3 and then hold the Power button for 15 seconds to turn off the console. This operation will consume electricity in the play station 3 so that you don’t have to worry about any electrocutions or shorts.

Step 2: Remove the HDD cover on the left side and then pull the hard drive out directly.

Step 3: Connect the drive to your PC.

Step 4: Run Command Prompt as administrator from the search box.

  • Type command in the search box.
  • Right-click on Command Prompt from listed search results.
  • Click on Run as administrator.
image showing how to run command prompt

Step 5: In the elevated window, input chkdsk *: /f and press Enter. You should replace * with the actual drive letter. Then the program will scan and fix detected errors for you.

administrator window

Alternatively, you can also use this hard drive repair guide to troubleshoot drive errors.

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