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June 16, 2010

The trials and tribulations of the PS3

or "what happens when an attempted update continually crashes your system?"

I've been 2 weeks without my PS3.  Not that I've really noticed, since I don't really play games on it.  But I do like to watch some Blu-Ray movies on it, and I have a couple of PS3-only franchises that I love.  So getting rid of it is not an option.

Early last week, I turned on the PS3 for the first time in a couple of months.  The 3.30 update was out and it wanted to download it and install it.  I'm like "sure, whatever" and went ahead.

I sat myself down for a bit of a long haul.  In the past, system updates have taken multiple attempts to install.  Most of the time it took 2 or 3 tries before finally succeeding.  The first time this happened, I panicked and checked the web, until I saw some people say that this happened to them a lot too.

So when this one failed too (the install, not the download), I didn't think anything of it.  Just tried it again.  And again.
And again. And again. And again....well, you get the picture.

The strange thing was that this update kept on failing at exactly 66%.  Finally, I emailed Sony about this after looking around Google and finding out that, while there were some reported problems with the update, nobody had mentioned anything like this.

I got a fairly quick email back from Sony (kudos to them for that) suggesting that I do the system update via a USB memory stick after booting the PS3 into Safe Mode.  No problem!

Or so I thought.

I followed the instructions that they provide on their web site for booting the PS3 into Safe Mode.

Doesn't work.  Instead, it goes right back to the "Attempting to install update again" screen, where again it crapped out at 66%.  I did this a few more times, same thing.  I finally gave up.

We bought the system on Ebay, and I'm sure it's way out of warranty.  Even if it wasn't, we don't have the receipt anyway (it's one of the big models, not the Slim).  So I was thinking of trying somewhere local to see if it could be fixed.
Before I did that, though, the wife suggested seeing I could give it a "hard reboot" of some kind, something that would reset the whole thing (I don't have any saved games on there anyway).  She found me a web site with something I could try.

While the site's suggestions didn't work, they did encourage me to hold the power button down a little longer, letting the thing beep like crazy.

Suddenly, the system went back to the "attempting to install" screen but it wasn't on the HDMI settings.  It was on the basic resolution (and looked damned ugly, to tell you the truth).  It went on and on, counting up toward that fabled 66%.  However, somewhere in the 50s, it just went black and I could see the disk light flashing.

Suddenly, a message stating that an HDMI connection has been detected and would I like to use it for audio/visual settings prompt came up.  I quickly said "yes" and voila!!!  The PS3 dashboard came up.

The thing's working like a charm now! I tried a Blu-Ray and a PS3 game just to make sure it is reading the discs properly, and they all work fine.

I am so relieved.  I know I don't use it a lot, but I still want it working for when I *do* use it.  I may have to go out and buy a game just to celebrate.

Questions for you PS3 users out there:

1) Is it normal for an update to require multiple attempts to install?

2) Is it normal to want to kiss your machine when you see the dashboard come up?


  1. Hard reboots and reformatting can never go wrong.

    Or tossing it off the balcony. It's all good!

    - the wife

  2. No and yes. No it's not normal to need several attempts to install the update. When you go through what you did, it's normal to kiss the machine.

  3. Hey Bob!

    Ok, I shouldn't have said "normal," but is it uncommon? I don't know; I wouldn't think so.

    However, as long as it's still working, I'll grin and bear it. May have to eventually get a new one.

    Thanks for the input!


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