What you will need:
- Bad PS3 hard drive
- New hard drive of equal or larger size
- SATA to USB cable or a spare USB enclosure
- Copy of 'dd' for the OS of your choice
- (Linux and OS X users should have it by default, Windows users can get it here)
- Time, patience, and a desire to recover your data
Note: If you have the available hardware, there's no reason you couldn't just 'dd' the data from the bad drive directly to the new drive.If you wanted to do that the command would be
- Remove bad drive from the PS3
- Connect bad drive to a computer that has enough free space as the size of your drive
- Make a backup image using 'dd'
- WARNING! You should be able to do this without having administrator/root/superuser rights. However, if for some reason you have to do this with admin/root/su rights, PLEASE, quadruple check what you type and make sure you have the correct paths. It is entirely possible to completely ruin a system install if you overwrite your computer's main hard drive and 'dd' will do this without blinking an eye if you tell it to.
- The command I used was
- dd bs=10M if=*path_to_your_ps3_hdd* of=*path_to_ps3_save*ps3_save.dd
- Where *path_to_your_ps3_hdd* is the full path to the bad drive and *path_to_ps3_save* is the full path to where you want the backup image to be stored.
- For example, I would've used
- dd bs=10M if=/dev/sdb of=~/OMGPLZWORK/ps3_save.dd
- As a Linux user "/dev/sdb" was the path to the bad drive when connected via the USB adapter and "~/OMGPLZWORK/" was the path to where I wanted to save the image.
- Note that you DO NOT want to specify a partition number (/dev/sdb1) as you want to image the whole drive. There probably won't be a partition number, but just in case.
- If you are a Windows user the command would look something like this
- dd bs=10M if=\\.\e: of=c:\OMGPLZWORK\ps3_save.dd
- Note that dd for windows requires "\\.\" before the drive letter.
- Please read the "dd for windows" website if you are at all confused.
- And for OS X users it would be something like this
- dd bs=10M if=/dev/disk2 of=~/OMGPLZWORK/ps3_save.dd
- As with Linux, you DO NOT want to specify a partition number (/dev/disk2s1) if there is one.
- Note: '~' is a shortcut to your home directory.
- Linux and OS X users (and I suppose Windows users too, if you wanted to install gzip, but I won't cover that) can use a variant of that command that will compress the image as it's created
- dd bs=10M if=*path_to_your_ps3_hdd* ' gzip -9 > *path_to_ps3_save*ps3_save.gz
- This will not compress the image much, as it will only compress free space on the drive, but it took my 320 gigabyte drive to around 260 gigabytes.
- Connect new drive to the same computer
- Restore image using 'dd'
- The command to use is
- dd bs=10M of=*path_to_your_ps3_hdd* if=*path_to_ps3_save*ps3_save.dd
- or if you chose to compress the image
- gunzip -c *path_to_ps3_save*ps3_save.gz ' dd bs=10M of=*path_to_your_ps3_hdd*
- Install new drive into the PS3
- Boot up the PS3 and let it attempt to restore
- dd bs=10M if=*path_to_your_bad_ps3_hdd* of=*path_to_your_good_ps3_hdd*
If you choose to do this, you run the risk of writing the new drive over your bad drive if you have a typo (even if you're not running with admin/root/su rights!), so quadruple check the command and paths before executing.
- dd bs=10M if=/dev/sdb of=/dev/sdc
If all goes well your PS3 should be back up and running with little data loss. However there is NO guarantee that this will work for you. If you're like me, though, it's worth a shot and you never know, it just might work.