This is a quick guide explaining how to easily maintain a PlayStation 3 (PS3) to ensure that it works as good as when you bought it (except for manufacturing defects).
Where to place the PS3?
You want to place the PS3 somewhere with enough space for the PS3's fans and vents to allow proper and clean airflow. Follow these tips to avoid overheating issues.
- Avoid placing the PS3 next to other sources of heat. I've noticed that some Plasma TVs produce a fair amount of heat, so try to avoid placing the PS3 near any fans blowing heat from the Plasma TV or other electronic devices.
- Avoid enclosed environments. Never operate the PS3 if it is enclosed in a tight place, such as the inside of a cabinet. Avoid enclosing the PS3 with other objects (especially other devices that produce heat).
- Use the PS3s Vertical position if possible. When the PS3 is in it's vertical position, heat inside the system can rise out a large vent located at the top (heat naturally rises above colder air).
- Air contaminants: Avoid placing the PS3 in an environment where common impurities like dust and cigarette smoke are in the air. If you can't avoid smoking around the PS3, then use a fan to move the smoke away from the PS3.
Maintaining the PS3's discs:
Follow the following tips to ensure your PS3 is able to read games easily and avoid "disc read errors" before they begin to appear.
- Avoid inserting ANY type of disc (DVD, CD, BluRay) that has severe damage, dirt or other substances on the disc. The lens is very close to the disc when it reads data, so other contaminants on the disc can scratch/hit the PS3's laser lenses. Discs that are warped should never be used (warped discs have a chance of hitting the lens as well as breaking when they are spun at high speeds).
- Fingerprints on discs should be avoided, but they can be easily cleaned using a micro-fiber cloth. When wiping a disc, always wipe directly from the center to the outside/edge in straight line. Never wipe in a circular motion. If these is severe build-up on the disc, you may need to rinse the disc or use some soap. It is not recommended to submerge discs in liquids but in some cases you may not have any other option to clean the disc. Make sure the disc is dry before inserting it back into the PS3. You can find these at large stores such as Mal-Mart, and possibly smaller electronics stores, such as ones that sell CD, DVD and/or BluRay players.
Dirty/scratched laser lens:
If your PS3 is under warranty and already experiencing problems reading clean undamaged discs you should call Sony and have them fix it for you. If your system is out of warranty or paying Sony to fit it is not an option, you can attempt some of the following tips. I do not recommend using ANY of these methods if your system is able to read clean discs without any problem.
- Buy a laser lens cleaning disc. These are about $10-$20 from places like BestBuy, Wal-Mart or other electronic stores. They have brushes on the disc that will wipe any dust or other contaminants from the lens when you play the disc in the PS3. Tip: if the cleaning disc does not work you can also try using a bit of Alcohol on the disc's cleaning brushes.
- Take the PS3 apart carefully to reach the BluRay drive, and manually clean the lens with a micro-fiber cloth and possibly using a lens cleaning solution or Alcohol. I recommend using this method instead of the one above if you are comfortable taking the PS3 apart and don't mind voiding the warranty.
Follow these tips on a regular basis.
- The PS3's fans should be silent or not very noticeable during normal operation. Signs of overheating include the fans getting louder, possible warning messages displayed on the TV and unexpected automatic shutdowns of the system. If you begin to notice any of these signs, consider finding a better location to place the PS3.
- Clean the PS3's vents using a vaccum cleaner by sucking the dust out the vents and fan areas. Avoid blowing air inside the vents/fans as this will just blow more dust inside the system and possibly on the lens and causing more issues.
- Clean the USB ports and/or memory card slots from dust, just as you would the vents. You may need to use a soft cloth to gently wipe some of the dust away.
And that's it! This should keep your system running great aside from any manufacturing defects or bad firmwares Sony might release I've following most of the tips in this guide on my own PS3 and it has been running just as good as when it was new.