Recently, I purchased a CECHA model PS3 to replace a similar model with a YLOD issue. The Blu-Ray drive on the new system seems to be incapable of reading discs of ANY type (I know about the dual-laser configuration), and accessing PlayStation Store features results in a frozen system. It has been updated to 4.31 (I'm also aware of reported issues regarding that), and I've also exchanged the new BR drive with the one from the old system, which had been confirmed working (IDK what its firmware was at the time). Am I looking at a hardware failure, or a firmware issue?
As far as I know you cannot change a Blu-Ray drive from one unit to another as the circuit board of the Blu-Ray is matched to the PS3 motherboard. You can change lens assemblies, but not the entire drive as a unit.
Well, I've just read that you CAN swap the drives, but you have to remove it from the controller board just underneath it. THAT has the device-specific encoders. Even then, the PS3 does not use AACS encryption for games, just BD films. And coupled with the simultaneous loss of fucntionality of PSN store and even Netflix, that suggests to me a more generalized problem than just a bad drive.