The primary cause of the PS4’s red light of death is an overheating console. The very first thing you should do is check your warranty, and try and get a replacement. A normal PS4 console doesn’t overheat even in a crowded area, so you may have got a bad batch. If that’s not an option, there are two possible fixes to this issue, the first option is to make sure the console is in an open and well-ventilated area. If you’ve got this issue:
- Make sure the console is clean of dust, so vacuum out the vents.
- Try changing the orientation of the console.
- Remove anything that you may have on top of the PS4.
- If you have your PS4 on a carpeted area, place it on a hard surface, a thin plank of wood or plastic will be more than enough to help circulation.
If these simple steps don’t fix your issue, the next option is much more drastic; swap out the thermal paste.
What you will need:
- Torx T9 Security bit/screwdriver (star with a hole screwdriver)
- Phillips #0 size bit/screwdriver
- Phillips #1 size bit/screwdriver
- Good thermal paste. e.g. Arctic Silver
Steps to take PS4 apart:
- Remove the HDD cover and pull out the hard drive.
- At the back of the PS4, pull off “Warranty void if removed” stickers near the light strip, unveiling two screws. And on the ends of the bottom side of the PS4 revealing a further two screws.
- Remove the screws.
- With the PS4 upside down, lift the bottom of the PS4 off, do this as if you are opening a door on a hinge. With the front side of the PS4 being the hinge, and the back side being the place you are prying it open.
- Unscrew and remove the power supply unit along the back first.
- Unscrew and remove the Blu-ray drive, be careful with the ribbon cables.
- Turn the PS4 so it is facing the right way up now, and remove the screws holding the second piece of plastic in place.
- Unscrew the metal shielding and remove it.
- You can now pry away the motherboard from the housing, be careful not to damage it.
- Clean off any existing thermal paste with a soft cloth (no abrasives) from the heatsink/fan and CPU/GPU.
- Wipe both surfaces with 99% pure isopropyl alcohol, and whilst you’re there you may as well clean out the rest of the PS4.
- Apply a thin amount of new thermal paste (Arctic Silver or Arctic MX branded ones are very good), this should be as thin as possible, whilst maintaining contact between both surfaces.
- Spread it out with a card, and try and keep it under 1mm thick at the most.
- Re-assemble PS4 and test, it should run a lot cooler now.