PlayStation 2 (PS2) Cleaning

I wanted to show off and describe some highlights for when I recently cleaned a 2004 PlayStation 2.

Quick PlayStation 2 history:
The PlayStation 2 was officially announced by Sony on March 1st,1999 then first released in Japan on March 4th, 2000, later releasing to North America on October 26th, 2000. The release in 2000 would put it in direct competition with Sega’s Dreamcast. For $299 it offered one major thing the $199 Dreamcast did not have, a DVD player! In 2000, $299 was less than or close to the cost of a stand alone DVD player, but it could do more! This almost ended the Dreamcast on day one. Over the next few months the PS2 sales were going insane with no “actual” competition. Sega tried and was in development with a DVD player accessory, but was never released as the Dreamcast had its End Of Life exactly one year later on March 31st, 2001. This gave way for Sony to sell the PS2 competition free for a straight five months, while Sega stopped all further entertainment systems and focused only on third-party software development, to recoup their major financial losses and layoffs. Nintendo’s GameCube was released in Japan on September 14th, 2001, then in North America on November 18th, 2001. Later on November 15th, 2001 the Xbox was released by Microsoft, thus creating the “Big Three” home entertainment companies that still battle it out today, nineteen years later! The PlayStation 2 lived on till just shy of its thirteenth birthday, with it’s worldwide discontinuation on January 4th, 2013. In total, a reported 155 Million units were shipped out of Sony factories by March 31st, 2012.

On the exterior the PS2 looked good for the most part. With just common build up of dust and grease the only issue was the SONY logo itself with gunk built up around it. On further inspection it looks like the “gunk” was mostly a failure of the adhesive strip decaying over time. This was a quick fix by picking off the logo, cleaning the area, then super gluing it back on. In the back the only dirty area was the internal fan which I will clean once open.

With 8 screws removed, the top half of the case could be removed to expose the fan, heat sinks, controller / memory ports, and the disc drive. Removing only 5 more screws let free the components from the dusty bottom half of the case.

From the bottom, this exposed the internal power supply and the expansion bay. Surprisingly, this console is not too dusty compared to some more modern ones, even with some larger dust balls on the power supply board. 4 more screws allow for more to be removed and then gain direct access to the bottom of the motherboard, allowing us now to disconnect the disc drive ribbon cables and pull it away. Not pictured, I did open the disc drive to clean out a very small amount of dust and clean off the laser too.

Flipping the motherboard over allowed me to pry off the heat sink to view the Sony/Toshiba developed Emotion Engine CPU and Graphic Synthesizer GPU. Again, only light dust in general. To my surprise the factory installed thermal pad was installed all cattywampus, but was contacting enough of the SOCs to help transfer heat away. Super slowly pealing it off, to avoiding tearing at any cost, I was able to straighten out this slight but possibly huge “game ending” mistake. The CPU, GPU and rest of the board were then cleaned, leading me only to reassemble all parts that make up the PlayStation 2.

All back together now, here is a quick pic of before (top) and after (bottom). This cleaning was one of the lightest I have done to date, and easy, due to only needing a normal and smaller Phillips head screw driver. In summary, this cleaning showed me how well the PlayStation 2 was built to last, even if there were some small factory mistakes.

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

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What is a GPU?

A GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is a dedicated processor often used to handle accelerating the renderings of images, video, and 2D or 3D animations.

What is a CPU?

CPU stands for Central Processing Unit, or can simply be called a Processor. It is the essential part of a computer that processes data from