60GB Playstation 3, finally RIP

Back in this post I described how I’d followed some instructions from the Internet to fix my old PS3, which was exhibiting the “yellow light of death”. At the time it seemed to have been successful; the hot air gun heated up the soldered connections on the motherboard to the point where they became molten, allowing them to remake all the connections as the motherboard cooled down. The system started working again.

At this point, rather than celebrating my success, I should have taken a complete backup of the PS3. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

It now seems as though the fix wasn’t as permanent as I’d hoped, as the system went back into YLOD a few days later. After some thought I’ve bought a new PS3 slim to replace it – trying to fix it again seems like a waste of time and energy, though I’ve still had to disassemble the blueray drive anyway, just to extract the disc that was locked inside it.

I also extracted the 60GB disk, which is a standard 2.5″ SATA drive that seems to be working perfectly, but isn’t recognised under Linux. The PS3 is reported to use a UFS2 filesystem, but it appears that the actual filesystem itself (not just the data within it) is encrypted by the PS3, binding the drive to the specific PS3, and preventing any data from being read from the disk by any other system.

From a migration perspective, this is a dreadful decision by Sony, as it means it is completely impossible to extract the saved game information from the drive. This could represent many hours of game-play for some people, including my daughter. It would seem that a better design decision would have been to store the saved game information on a separate partition, using a well known filesystem like ext3, in the clear. But they obviously didn’t consider this a major issue.

Which is more than a little annoying.

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