I have an 80gb "fat" PS3 that is ~4 years old. I have never had issues with it, but lately when I go to turn it on from sleep mode I am getting the famed "yellow ring of death", e.g. green light for a few seconds, a quick flash of yellow, and then just blinking red. The bizarre thing is that if I switch off the PS3 and go to turn it on again it generally boots and proceeds to work perfectly. I have never had it fail to turn on twice in a row, but it consistently does fail the first time after long periods of inactivity (12+ hours).
I've done the PSU test where you switch it off and on while holding the eject button, and installed games, netflix etc all seem to work fine once it is turned on.
Could this be a firmware issue? Or is some piece of hardware failing and I am just getting lucky that it is booting up?
Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Not firmware. Your PS3 is slowly dying. It will get more and more unreliable. You could try reapplying thermal paste on your CPU/GPU or having it professionally done. There are lots of videos showing how to do it. Maybe you could get lucky and have it last until later this year when the PS4 is released!