Character movements in a game are usually controlled by either the analog assembly and/or the directional (arrows) pad. It's pretty obvious when
there's a problem with one of them as the characters will run around by themselves or sometimes not at all - either way the games are unplayable
until the problem is fixed. Most of the time when the analog conks out you can physically feel that it's grating inside or jammed in a certain spot and
if so you can be pretty certain that's what needs to be replaced. You can't always feel a difference in the analog/joystick though and when that
happens it's hard to tell which component is causing the problem - the analog or the directional pad. When I get them in like that I can just swap
out parts and see what happens but most people don't have that option and there's no other definite way to tell that I know of unfortunately.

The analog assembly or "joystick" is one of the components in a PSP that will definitely wear out eventually just from normal use. It's used
constantly in almost every video game ever made and some people are a lot rougher on theirs than others. The assembly inside the PSP has a stem
that sticks up through the front of the console and the round "thumbpad" is a separate item that snaps down on the stem either internally or
external to the console depending on the model. I'll mention here that the non-Sony-original thumbpads that stick up a lot higher will break your
analog assembly far quicker than using the one it came with. The inner assemblies are very precisely machined to work with Sony's original
thumbpad shape - anything taller puts all the pressure in different places and thus ruins the whole thing a lot sooner than normal.

NOTE: With the analog assembly having so many moving parts - machined just exactly right to give smooth control in all different directions -  the
quality of the replacement part is very important. There are a ton of companies selling very cheap non-Sony made analog assemblies that barely
work if at all and many will grind and stick horribly when they do. The analog assemblies I use for my local and mail-in repairs are all Sony
originals that come out of the PSP's I've purchased specifically for parting out. This is the
only way to get a genuine Sony PSP analog assembly and
advertising "genuine" and "OEM" analog assemblies which you can know for sure isn't true. Sony doesn't sell them at all nor do they let their
original manufacturers (OEM's) sell them either as the Sony tech rights absolutely forbid such things. That said though there are a few fairly decent
aftermarket analogs that do come close to Sony's quality and feel (at least for a short while) and they're sure to be a whole lot cheaper than mine.

NOTE #2:  For PSP-1001's the analog assembly is attached to the inside of the faceplate rather than inside the body of the console with everything
else. This means for a 1001 model if the faceplate screws aren't all in place and tightened down just right it won't work properly. The 1001's and
2001's also have clear rubber analog contacts that sit between the assembly and the PSP motherboard and transmit the movement data between
the two. If this contact is missing or not making proper contact for some reason you'll get the same erratic character movements as you do with a
broken or worn out assembly.

These two a grouped together as they're both a part of the same internal PSP component. No matter which model PSP you have the "dir pad" and
L-trigger pad are pressure sensitive data cables that are stuck to or fitted over a plastic frame that screws down into the console. The outer buttons
are completely separate items that have a rubber backing to hold them in place and also make an electrical connection when  pressed down onto
the underlying pressure pads. The outer plastic buttons themselves are rarely a problem but the pressure pads (not the rubber contacts), can wear
out with a lot of use and they're also very susceptible to water damage. For the directional pad part that means the characters might move around
on their own or won't go in a certain direction.  

For the L-trigger part of the cable it might get stuck as always on or won't work at all . PSP-1001's have rubber contacts between the pad and the
trigger itself and these can get fouled over time with normal use. Any of these specific problems can cause
all the buttons to freeze up too.

In a PSP-1001 the "ABXY" button pads are a part of the power switch PCB. The button pads themselves almost never wear out but the whole PCB
is definitely susceptible to water damage. If one, two, or three of these buttons won't work when you press them it usually means you either need a
new power switch PCB or a main cable which is what transfers the PCB data to the motherboard. If all of the buttons won't work though it's likely
there's a button pad/data cable problem but unless there's visible physical damage there's no way to tell which one. Any damaged button/trigger
cable can cause any or all of the buttons to malfunction rather than just the one unfortunately so there's no way to know for sure up front which
one to buy.

The R-trigger pad in a 1001 is a part of the main cable rather than the power switch PCB so if that's the only one not working it's a lot easier to
identify. The clear outside trigger presses down on a rubber pad that makes an electrical connection with the R-trigger part of the main cable
underneath. A fouled R-trigger pad can cause all the PSP buttons to freeze up too which is why the internal cleaning/maintenance stuff is so
important. No reason to throw away a perfectly good PSP just for the sake of a $2 part or a little effort put towards cleaning.

For 2001's and 3001's the ABXY button pressure pad and R-trigger pad are a part of the main cable rather than the power switch PCB. They don't
have a separate trigger contact to get fouled so if just the R-trigger isn't working properly in one of those you'll almost certainly just need a new
main cable. As with all the other data cables though, any problem can cause any or all the PSP buttons to freeze up or malfunction.

The button bar cables wear out all the time and can cause all sorts of problems including, once again, causing all the PSP buttons to freeze up same
as above. The volume buttons are on the button bar and if your PSP is stuck at a certain volume replacing the button bar will almost certainly take
care of it. If you have no speaker sound at all though it's more likely a headphone jack problem which is described in the next section.

The button bar also has the "start" button on it, "select", mute, and the backlight control - if any of these don't work I'd guesstimate a new button
bar will take care of it probably 90% of the time. The Home/PSP button is also on the button bar but you can't always tell so easily whether it's
actually causing the problem or not. If the home button just doesn't work when you press it chances are it is the button bar causing the problem but
if it's activating by itself without you pressing it there's other considerations. A damaged/fouled UMD trigger mechanism in the drive will often
make the exact same message pop up in the middle of a game asking "Do you want to quit the game?". Without visible damage there's no way to
know for sure what you need up front but they are all standard $50 repairs so no difference at all if you're mailing it in.
CAN'T CONNECT TO THE INTERNET/ROUTER OR OTHER PSP'S  / 80410a0b - 80410AOB - 80410A0B - 8041OAOB - 8041OA0B errors

These are all lumped together as they're all functions of the one "Wi-Fi PCB" in a PSP-1001 model. If you're having any of the above problems with
a 1001 this is almost certainly what you'll need and again it's a standard $50 repair. As a note if you're fixing this yourself - the 1001's have
different motherboard models all of which have to have their own particular model Wi-Fi PCB in order to work properly. A few are interchangeable
but most aren't so if you put the wrong one in there it'll still fit but quite possiblywon't work right so be sure to get your old one out first and order
accordingly. Also, if you get an 80410A0B message when you do a wi-fi scan go back and try entering the name and passcode for the router
manually - this often takes care of the problem altogether though you might have to do it again at some point.

For a PSP-2001 the memory card slot and Wi-fi are part of the motherboard with a separate headphone jack PCB and all three are part of the
motherboard in a 3001. All of these are still standard $50 repairs in almost all cases.

If there's no sound coming from the outer speakers or and/or with headphones plugged in it's pretty much always a broken headphone jack that's
causing it. I've fixed thousands of PSP's over the years and not once have I come across one with no sound due to a bad/broken outer speaker.

For memory card reading problems it's also quite possible the problem's with the card itself rather than the PSP. It needs to be formatted before it
will work at all which is an option under "system settings" and you also have to follow the instructions in the owner's manual on putting music or
other information on the card. Everything has to be in the right file in the right place or it won't work. Another problem is phony memory cards that
are cheaply made and sold all over the Internet - with "Sony Pro-duo" and everything printed on it just like the real one's so it's hard to tell the
difference until you put them side to side and compare printing quality. The fakes are often complete duds and the genuine ones made by Sony,
San-disk and Lexar that normally work fine can still be damaged or have corrupted info which will cause the same no-read problems. Before
sending a PSP in for repair or ordering any new parts it's best to try your card in someone else's PSP just to be sure you're not wasting your time
and money.

Another problem I've come across is a firmware glitch in certain PSP-2001's that won't let them read any memory card over 2GB's. These same
memory cards will work perfectly in any other PSP and the PSP itself will read any 2GB card or smaller so check for this also if you're a 2001
owner. Lastly, the gold contacts on the card have to be clean in order to make proper contact with the motherboard pins - a Q-tip and alcohol is
always worth a shot before giving up on it. If filth is definitely a problem the internal pins might have gunk on them too. They're too deep in there to
be able to clean them with alcohol but you can
very carefully scrape the top 'contact' edge of the pins with a plain thin brown and beige emery
board. Look in there first with a flashlight so you can see where they are and what you're aiming at- just jamming something in there blindly will
almost certainly bend or break a pin which isn't always fixable. This also works well for DS lites and i's that won't read the games to by the way as
they work with the same pin-and-contact set up.

This is common and almost always fixable without having to install a new motherboard. All PSP models have the same the outside that the inner pin
is broken off or something's jammed in there the socket isn't the problem but if it is there are do-it-yourself charger socket replacement kits on the
PSP repair kit page or it's $59 if I do it.

PSP batteries are rechargeable but eventually they'll wear out and won't be able to take a charge anymore just from age and use. The PSP
chargers can conk out too so it's important with any charging problem to try somebody else's battery and charger first to be sure the PSP is
actually the cause of the problem. I have official Sony brand chargers and batteries available on the 'PSP parts' page too if you need one. In both
cases there are other companies that make and sell PSP "compatible" batteries and chargers, often for an amazingly low price. The quality of these
items varies greatly, usually depending on price like everything else - some work great and some not at all so don't assume it's the PSP just
because your new battery or charger doesn't work either.

Ruling those two out it's common for PSP fuses to blow from a power surge, if they're just been plugged in too long, or plugged in with no battery
installed. If you know your battery and charger are good but the orange charge light doesn't come on when you plug the PSP into the charger it's
usually a blown fuse (or fuses).  Occasionally the orange light will work and it still won't charge but that's rare. The fuses are tiny items soldered
to the motherboard so fixing them isn't a good job for a beginner at all but I charge $59 if you'd like to mail it in.
I've tried to cover all the most common problems here and I'll be adding more information as time allows.

Links are below if you need them and if you want to ask a question you're welcome to email any time and
I'll try to help. Thank you, Lynn Brown
Mail-in repairs
PSP repair parts
Email LBrown@psprepairservice.com

Listed below are the most common PSP problems I've encountered, what usually causes them, and where possible what
needs to be done to fix them. Please keep in mind though that in all but the most obvious cases, like a cracked LCD screen,
there's no way to know 100% for sure which component might be causing a particular problem as they're all
interconnected and the real culprit may not be so obvious. Note also that water damage is something that changes all the
rules, one drop of water in the wrong place can wreck the whole thing and some lucky folks have run theirs through the
washing machine and they came up just fine.

There are a few different things that can cause a PSP to not load a game and you can usually tell which component's
causing the problem by taking note of what exactly the PSP does when you load a game :-


If the message pops up immediately when you put a game in or if the laser starts tracking all on it's own any time you turn
the PSP on it's pretty much guaranteed you need a new motherboard unfortunately rather than a UMD drive.


When a UMD game is loaded in a PSP a small spinning circle should pop up in the very bottom right hand corner of the
screen. This happens because the UMD disc case presses down on a tiny plastic lever inside the drive area called the main
trigger which tells the PSP that there's a game loaded and to start trying to read it. There's one UMD trigger in a PSP-1001
model and two in a PSP-2001 or 3001 model (see photos at left). The trigger in the top photo is the "main trigger" which
is a tiny black or white plastic lever sticking up out of the silver metal drive tray just to the left of the center spindle, all
PSP's have these. For 2001's and 3001's there's also a secondary UMD trigger which is actuated by a tab on the UMD door
rather than by the UMD case. It's a tiny black plastic post sticking up out of a black or silver box  in the bottom right hand
corner of the drive area. If either of these are broken or missing the PSP won't try to load the game at all.
Check that the UMD game is clean and scratch-free just like normal CD's, that the outer case is intact (as per below)and test it in another PSP if at
all possible. You can clean fingerprints off with any soft cloth and alcohol though you'll probably want to have a magnet on hand as well to spin the
inner disc around with.

On Sony original UMD's the clear circles tend to cave in around the edges and it's not always easy to notice.

Both clear circles need to be up exactly even with the white plastic part all the way around on both sides and if one of the circles is pressing on the
inner disc long enough it'll eventually ruin it altogether. Even with a damaged case a UMD game will quite often continue to play for quite a while
which is a problem because most kids won't say anything to their parents about it until the expensive inner disc's damaged beyond repair. If you
have smaller children playing PSP games it's a good idea to check the games and cases over regularly and always load brand new games yourself
the first time to make sure they don't require a version update beforehand. Updating isn't a complicated procedure but it has to be done just right or
it can render the PSP unplayable so definitely not a thing for small children. You can also buy heavy-duty two-piece UMD cases around the Internet
for just a few dollars and that do away with sides-caving-in problem altogether. They're very easy to put on and pretty much guaranteed to save
you money in the long run - especially if they're protecting a $60 game.

If your existing case is already damaged these are definitely the way to go but in the meantime you can try to fix the existing case if you want to.
The problem as mentioned above is usually that the clear plastic circle is pressing down on one side of the inner UMD disc causing it to rub on the
opposite side and/or throwing it all out of balance. Sony's original cases can be opened fairly easily by prying the front and back half partially apart
with a box knife blade or something similar as they're usually not that well glued together to start with. If you have an intact outer case off another
UMD that you don't use anymore it's easiest to just swap out cases as you'd just need to glue the two sides back together. If not though there's
directions below on how to fix a UMD case temporarily with glue or tape.  
NOTE: Be extra careful not to let any wet glue get anywhere near the
inner disc and I highly recommend using something other than superglue as just the fumes can do disc damage as well

If you only have the one case to work with you'll need to re-glue or tape the clear circle up to where it'll stay exactly even with the outer white
plastic part of the case. This is easiest to do by taking the two case halves completely apart so you can press on each half from the inside. Lay it
face down on a hard flat surface, add tiny dots of glue around the edges of the clear circle, and press it firmly into place (being careful of course not
to glue it to the table in the process :-). This works with wide packaging tape too though it is a bit tricky getting the tape to stay still
and laying
sticky side up. The aim is to neatly press the white plastic and circle down onto the tape evenly and at the same time so the circle part doesn't have
any leeway at all up or down. You don't want any wrinkles in the tape and once you've achieved that you can just trim off the excess (or fold the
tape over the edge a bit if you really want to do a good job). Gluing the front half of the case to the back is usually better than using tape as you
don't want any wrinkles around the outside edge either. Done correctly you can hardly tell there's any tape or glue on there at all but this meant to
be a temporary fix - you still want to get a good replacement case on there as soon as possible.

NOTE: For PSP-1001 models you have very little leeway with this as the UMD's will get stuck inside the drive if the tape is too thick or wrinkled -
never force the UMD in a 1001 otherwise you might not be able to get it back out. PSP Slims have a completely different drive set up with a lot
more room so no fear of anything getting stuck in those. Lastly, if the inner UMD game is scratched up so badly that it won't work anymore you
might be able to find someone locally that has the equipment to polish the scratches out. The best place to start is to call whoever sells used video
games as they often also offer a polishing service for CD's, DVD's, and games, (and occasionally UMD's) normally for around $3-5.

When there's a problem with the UMD drive you can load a game and hold the console up to your ear and usually hear a tapping noise, a scraping
sound, buzzing, or the sound of the laser endlessly passing back and forth. Ideal game loading is usually three full laser passes and then the UMD
icon pops up on the screen. Right at the beginning you can usually also hear the UMD spindle whir to life (this is the center "spinner" that spins the
disc around for the laser eye to read). The whirring sound is perfectly normal but if you notice dead silence when you load a game you know it's not
just a laser problem.  All sorts of things can cause a UMD drive problem but most often it's to do with a worn out or damaged laser. The spindles and
gears can all get jammed up or broken and sometimes it's a motherboard problem and nothing to do with the drive at all.

NOTE: There are a few things you can check before declaring it an (almost) definite UMD drive problem. Occasionally there will be a motherboard
malfunction that causes the laser eye to not light up at all but otherwise operate (and sound) like it's supposed to. There's instructions below on
how to see the laser working and if you do that and see it's not lighting up at all it's very likely to be a motherboard problem rather than the drive.
It's possible for a laser to conk out and not light up at all but it's very rare. Another common motherboard malfunction will cause the center spindle
to jerk around rather than spin smoothly, this is always a motherboard problem as far as I've ever seen.

To check for a 'no-light-laser' or a 'jerky spindle' you'll need to actuate the UMD drive with the door open so you can see inside. In a PSP-1001 you
can turn the PSP on and just stick a pencil or something inside the drive and press the main trigger down manually to see what happens (it's in the
center of the drive just left of the spindle and it presses down
towards you rather than towards the back of the drive). For a 2001 or 3001 you
have that same thing plus a secondary trigger which needs to be pressed at the same time to do this test. It's a delicate black post sticking up out of
a tiny silver box (occasionally a black box), in the very bottom right hand corner of the drive. It's a part of the motherboard rather than the drive so
it's deeper down and there's very little room to work with. You'll need to find something that's small enough to fit down in the hole but with a flat
end as you want to make sure you're pressing
straight down on the post rather than at an angle. They do break easily and if your PSP's not
recognizing that there's a game in the drive at all chances are this is the part that's broken. For the repairs that come in with this I bypass the
secondary trigger permanently rather than just put it back the way it was. There's no real reason for it to be there at all in the first place and this
way it's guaranteed not to cause any further problems.

When you have the trigger(s) pressed the center spindle should start spinning smoothly and the laser should light up bright red with the laser eye
slightly moving up and down as well. When there's a game loaded the laser will track side-to-side too but with no game to read it'll normally stay in
the one place. The tracking is usually what makes the odd sounds mentioned above but even if the laser's jammed in one place you'll still usually be
able to hear a tapping sound which is the laser eye going up and down. If there's no light it doesn't
necessarily mean a motherboard problem but
it's definitely a possibility.

Quite often a UMD drive problem will only crop up intermittently too - work fine one day and not the next.  Some will start acting up when they get
hot, like after they've been played for hours, and some will only work when the LCD screen isn't installed, so there's always going to be variables.
Hopefully this info will help you narrow it down to the UMD drive itself or not and if so they're $55 including return postage and everything for me
to install one if you like.
PLAYS FINE THEN FREEZES (frozen screen, not "do you want to quit the game message")

If you put a game in and it at least tries to load for a while it's almost always going to be a problem with the UMD drive or
rule that out first..
Center UMD trigger
in a PSP-1001 (top)
and the additional /
secondary UMD
trigger in a 2001 or
3001 (bottom).
Both shown dead
center of each

There's a lot of different things that can stop a PSP from turning on properly but the most common by far is a plain old worn out battery. The
battery in a PSP is rechargeable but sooner or later they'll all stop taking a charge just like any other. The chargers can just stop working all of a
sudden too so if you have access to another battery and charger that definitely work properly try your PSP with those first and see what happens.
If that's not possible you can sometimes take it to a Gamestop and they'll let you use one of their batteries and chargers for a minute if you ask
nicely or you can send all three items in for a free quote if that's easier.


Assuming you know for sure the battery and charger are OK this usually means there's a blown fuse (or fuses) on the motherboard which is
almost whenever you have it plugged into the charger. A completely dead PSP can also mean water damage though and occasionally a
malfunctioning or damaged power switch PCB or main cable though this is rare. No matter what's wrong with it (if anything) and it got wet
recently it's important to have it completely disassembled and cleaned up as quickly as possible before corrosion sets in. Many PSP's that have
been completely soaked though have come up good as new and some that barely got a drop wet conked out all together so it's just a matter of
luck really as far as I can tell.


This means there's an internal short somewhere but if there's no obvious damage there's no way to say which part's shorting out without
swapping out parts until you find the culprit. That said it's usually a cracked LCD screen causing the short and if your PSP got dropped right before
it started doing that there's an excellent chance that's what it needs. Usually a cracked LCD screen will have the "spiderweb" look but sometimes
they break in just such a way that it shorts out the whole console before it has a chance to light up at all. Sometimes you can still tell the inner
LCD screen's broken by holding it up to a light and looking at it from various angles. If there's a visible crack or lava-lamp type blob you know for
sure it's a goner and petty much guaranteed to be what's causing the power problem. Any component can cause a short though and even in a bad
fall it's possible that the screen survived intact but something else took the damage or there might be more than one damaged component too. No
matter what though diagnosis is always free and to give you an idea it'd be $65 including postage for me to install a new LCD screen if it needs
one. If more than one component needs to be replaced it's usually only $5-$10 extra too - not a whole separate advertised repair cost.

The most common power problem I see is "bricked" firmware which basically means the operating system or the "brains" of the PSP have been
corrupted or otherwise damaged. The green power light will come on for 15-20 seconds and go back off by itself and there's rarely any other
signs of life other than it'll turn orange if you plug it into the charger. Bricking a PSP is usually caused by a version update being interrupted in
some way though I have seen a few PSP's with physical motherboard damage display the same symptoms.

Sony puts out a new firmware version every few months and you have to update your PSP's firmware to play the newest games which is usually
where things go bad with smaller children. Updating isn't a complicated thing but it does have to be done
exactly right and completely which takes
time and patience that most littlies just don't have. Kids are excited to play their new game and when the screen comes up asking them to update
before they can play they'll often press a few buttons and give up after a while which can easily leave you with a bricked PSP.

The good news here is that a bricked PSP can often be brought back to life good as new for a relatively small amount of money, $45 altogether in
my case.  You can look into unbricking the PSP firmware yourself using the relevant hacks available on the Internet - the one I use myself every
day is a Pandora battery and magic memory stick set-up. For the mail-in PSP's that can be un-bricked I replace the original PSP firmware back to
where it was brand new plus all the internal clean-up/maintenence I do with all repairs.

Do keep in mind though that not all PSP's are un-brickable and those that aren't would need a whole new motherboard installed to ever work
properly again. Almost all PSP-1001 models can be unbricked and most of the 2001's as well but currently there's no way to unbrick a 3001
unfortunately. There's no way anyone can say 100% for sure up front whether any particular PSP will successfully take a firmware re-flash or
not but it doesn't cost anything to find out if you just want to send it in for a free quote.  


Once again an LCD screen can break in just such a way that it stays all black rather than showing "spiderwebs" or shorting out altogether as per
#2 above. It's also possible that there's a blown backlight fuse or some other motherboard malfunction causing the screen problem. In my
experience the backlight itself almost never gives out but they do often stop working for other reasons. You can usually tell if the backlight's out
but the LCD screen is still working by turning the PSP on and holding it up to a bright light and looking at it from different angles. The normal menu
icon images and time/date or however you have it set up should still be barely visible even with a completely dead backlight. This is a good thing
to find as backlight repairs are usually $45-50 instead of the $65 for a whole new LCD screen

If the external sliding switch feels loose, like it's not making contact with anything inside it's a broken power switch PCB for sure. This is a fairly
common problem and it's $50 total including return postage and everything for me to replace it.
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