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have you experienced these types of problems before?
Not exactly but I've fixed a few. I'll only be able to help(maybe) if it's a software problem though but it sounds like a hardware problem.
would it be hard to fix it if it had a hardware problem
Yeah with no ps3 hardware experience I wouldn't recommend getting into it, get the harddrive into it and go into recovery menu and see if re-installing the firmware will help.
It sounds like a standard YLOD problem to me, which is hardware related. I have no idea if its possible to fix it unfortunately. Maybe Google will give some tips, try searching for 'YLOD fix' or something like that
sounds like you need to reball the rsx chip. look on ebay for "ps3specialist" he does pro repairs and i recommend him to anyone. he is quick and professional. i use him for all my repairs. tell him to replace the thermal paste under the rsx IHS as well.
And are you 100% certain reballing and reapplying new thermal paste under the RSX chip would defiantly fix it?