I did a load of Googling and came to the conclusion my baby was barely worth repairing, either through Sony or third party peoples, as there are loads of reports of repairs only lasting a few months, and with pricing from £80 to £120, it just doesn't seem worth it...
...especially when you can attempt a self repair fairly easily, as long as you take your time and act carefully. There are two really good video walkthroughs here and here. I'm pretty handy at such stuff, no professional, but I was REALLY careful and had a grand total of four attempts, now warning #1:
Over my four attempts I got braver with the heating sequence, at first I was really light with it, no effect, round two my YLOD reduces to a no power up (bit worse), round three and the ribbon to my power buttons deteriorated, needing a bodge to keep going, round four and it's completely dead. That's right U3S, I totally killed my beautiful shiny baby.
In retrospect, I now wish I did just pay someone with skillz to fix-up, mainly for warning #2:
No data recovery. The last backup of my PS3 was March, so nearly a year of data loss. A few facts you might not know about:
- moving a PS3 HD to another PS3 requires a format - you WILL not be able to recover anything
- connecting a PS3 HD to a PC is not readable, there is a chap who managed to use a Linux distro to backup a HD, restore to a larger HD (moving the sectors and then resizing), but this only worked for the same PS3 - they are totally tied to the one PS3 and encrypted
- On restoring my very old backup, because its restored to another PS3, no games were restored, just a bunch of accounts and game saves.
So, now I've got a PS3 slim (I think it's like an ugly skinny cousin compared to the original) with my 320GB from my original, totally wiped and ready for new games. Some of my Platinum dreams are crushed, but there is a wonderful saving grace:
MW2 - the online multiplayer servers immediately gave me back my Level32 and all weapon unlocks, so that game still feels all warm and fuzzy, mmmm, Killcams are back :)
the moral: GET A BLEEDING GREAT BIG EXTERNAL HARD DISK AND BACKUP YOUR PS3 ONCE A MONTH - AND DON'T BE A HERO WITH SELF REPAIRS!