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Old 10-23-2012, 12:26 AM   #1
Whiplashr
 
 
 
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Recovering data from a PS3 hard drive

Hey all. I am looking help for a friend of mine. I don't know anyone else with PS3, nor do I hang in more appropriate forums for PS3 discussions. I figured someone here could probably help or offer advice. I'm sure there are many people here with PS3 and with expertise in how they are setup.

My buddy has a PS3 that did the red ring of death or whatever. It no longer boots. It's dead, Jim.

Of course, he had data on the hard drive he wishes to recover. But not just save games. He also believes he can recover his account information. Someone told him this was possible anyhow.

He had a year of time purchased for the PS3 online network which he wants to keep/get back. Apparently he doesn't actually know the real account info.. the PS3 was setup by a family member who put in an email address that was incorrect or something. Or this is what he tells me.

Now I've looked into this, and from what I can tell he's not going to pull this off. Putting the drive in another PS3 would just reformat the drive.

He also has a dream of hooking the drive to an actual computer, and copying the files to a USB/flash drive. And then turning around and copying the info into the new PS3.

But I don't see how that would work either. I'm sure that the account info is encrypted and hidden in the drive. I wouldn't know what files to start with or what/where to copy. Also the fact that (supposedly) no PS3 can read another PS3's drive tells me that even if you could copy the files over, it wouldn't be that simple. (encryption, etc)

Also, from what I read, even knowing his account info wouldn't be enough. You apparently have to boot the old PS3 and deactivate the account on it first, before you can use those credentials on another system? A part of the protection from account theft, etc?

Please forgive me if I'm wrong on any of this. I don't own a PS3, and this is just the information I've been able to gather from searching.

But my friend has been told by someone else that this is possible. Probably someone who doesn't know what they are talking about.. and my friend is probably grasping at straws here. But still, maybe I just can't find the appropriate information.

So I'm hoping to get advice here.. what can he do? I told him he'll probably have to contact Sony directly, and prove ownership of the old account. Then they possibly would give him that information and allow him to activate it for his new PS3.

But if anyone has advice of any other way this can be handled, please share.


thanks for any help
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:29 AM   #2
Wardiaper
 
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Just log in on the new PS3?
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:30 AM   #3
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http://community.eu.playstation.com/...5151#U10675151

google says no

Last edited by T@T-2-MoNk3y: 10-23-2012 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:31 AM   #4
Whiplashr
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardiaper View Post
Just log in on the new PS3?
His problem is that he doesn't know/remember the account credentials from the old PS3. He let someone else set it up originally, and it was all automated to him. He doesn't know the account, or password, etc.

A mistake on his part to be sure. He's not very tech savvy, and surely let someone else do it all for him.

This is the information he hopes to recover from the old drive. And also why I think he's not going to have any luck. If you could easily find the account credentials on a drive, and copy them, it would be open season for stealing peoples PS3 accounts and personal information.

Also, as I said, I read somewhere that you have to deactivate an account on a previous PS3 before you log into those credentials on the new one? If so, he can't do that, as the old system will not boot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by T@T-2-MoNk3y View Post

Yes that is one of the many links I came across searching. But still, my friend is really worked up about it, so I thought I'd ask around, just in case I was missing something. But that does confirm and backup everything else I read.

Thanks though.

edit: that is a great, detailed link I can show my friend which will hopefully make him realize that the information his other friend is giving him is just wrong. Thanks for that.

Last edited by Whiplashr: 10-23-2012 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:44 AM   #5
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http://community.us.playstation.com/.../td-p/18726897

I think that will reset your PSN password from a computer. You still need to know your email address. Please tell me he knows his email. Otherwise, he may just be out of luck.

There has to be a way to transfer the info to the new PS3. I know that you can just login on an Xbox 360 and transfer your profile - Sony wouldn't leave people hanging like that, unable to log in on a new PS3 if the old one broke.

Heck, I log in on my Vita to the same PSN account as my PS3 no problem.

Edit - Every time I want to buy something on PS Store it makes me enter my password.

Last edited by Wardiaper: 10-23-2012 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:17 AM   #6
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Hmm thank you for that. I will talk to him again tomorrow and ask him if he knows the email address or not (I was under the impression he does not, which I admit, is sad. He let someone else set it up for him and didn't care about the details. And then gladly bought a year of time on account credentials he doesn't even know).

But if he does know it, at least that's an option for him to recover the account.

And I believe they do actually have a means of allowing you to transfer an account to a new system. His problem, again, is he doesn't even know the damn credentials at all. He wishes he could boot it up one more time, just to see what information he could manually recover.

Thanks

Last edited by Whiplashr: 10-23-2012 at 01:22 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiplashr View Post
My buddy has a PS3 that did the red ring of death or whatever. It no longer boots. It's dead, Jim.
This is very important so I just want to make sure we clarify the damage. When you say it no longer boots, do you mean that it won't power on or does it power on but complain it can't boot? If it won't power on, the hard drive could be fine and it's could be a problem with the power supply unit. If it can't boot due to an error, the hard drive could be corrupted. So please confirm this.
Quote:
He had a year of time purchased for the PS3 online network which he wants to keep/get back. Apparently he doesn't actually know the real account info.. the PS3 was setup by a family member who put in an email address that was incorrect or something. Or this is what he tells me.
He bought a Playstation Plus subscription on an account he doesn't know the credentials for? Oh boy. Can he contact the person who setup the account?
Quote:
Now I've looked into this, and from what I can tell he's not going to pull this off. Putting the drive in another PS3 would just reformat the drive.
Not true. It would reformat the drive and install the new OS if there's no operating system found. If the hard drive is working fine, it should detect the OS and launch fine. Also you will be prompted to format the hard drive, it's not automatic. So if you're not sure, just try it.
Quote:
He also has a dream of hooking the drive to an actual computer, and copying the files to a USB/flash drive. And then turning around and copying the info into the new PS3.

But I don't see how that would work either. I'm sure that the account info is encrypted and hidden in the drive. I wouldn't know what files to start with or what/where to copy. Also the fact that (supposedly) no PS3 can read another PS3's drive tells me that even if you could copy the files over, it wouldn't be that simple. (encryption, etc)
I'm not sure this works but it's feasible. Your best bet is to get the hard drive put in another PS3 (and if the hard drive boots properly), use the backup utility to backup all the data onto a USB memory stick or an external hard drive.
Quote:
Also, from what I read, even knowing his account info wouldn't be enough. You apparently have to boot the old PS3 and deactivate the account on it first, before you can use those credentials on another system? A part of the protection from account theft, etc?
I've never heard of this. I've successfully swapped the original 40GB hard drive and put in a 500GB one and I don't recall deactivating my account on the old hard drive. Plus you'll notice that if you search for how to replace a hard drive in the PS3, there's no step for deactivating your old account. It's just backup, take the old one out, put new one back in, boot, format, restore your data (essentially, don't do that word for word).

If his hard drive is corrupted though, you just need to buy a new hard drive and replace it (that's if the PS3 can power on). You'll lose all the saved data, movies, etc. but you'll have everything saved on the PS3 account.

If he can't get the account credentials, he's going to need to provide proof of ownership and send it to Sony so he can get his account back.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:04 AM   #8
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Not sure if it's even possible but could you not remove and install the HD in a PC, then use a portable Linux to extract the files then burn them to a new HD?
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:31 AM   #9
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Thanks for the extensive reply, KK_reborn. I am going to have to talk to him about some of that before I can answer.

Like exactly how it failed. I am pretty sure he called is some kind of ring of death. It will not fire up at all.

I will also have to ask whether he can get the account credentials from the person who set it up. And whether he can try to run the drive in another PS3.

The information I was saying was from threads I read, while googling around.. but it was old info. But there were several places where I read it saying that you could not read a PS3 drive on any system other than the one it was first setup with. It was even in that FAQ page listed in the post by Monkey. About it being uniquely paired to the system.

I appreciate your answers. I am going to talk to him tonight and try to help him further.

Thanks also MADDOGGE. That's also something else to consider.

Last edited by Whiplashr: 10-23-2012 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MADDOGGE View Post
Not sure if it's even possible but could you not remove and install the HD in a PC, then use a portable Linux to extract the files then burn them to a new HD?
This is what I was thinking since PS3 hard drives are just normal hard drives right?
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TheRevanchist View Post
This is what I was thinking since PS3 hard drives are just normal hard drives right?
Yes, normal laptop hard drives.
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiplashr View Post
Like exactly how it failed. I am pretty sure he called is some kind of ring of death. It will not fire up at all.
The Red Ring of Death is the XBox term to use when the XBox console dies. The PS3 has something similar but doesn't quite have a unique name - best I could find was "Yellow line of Doom" and "Yellow light of Death".
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
cerdos
 
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Only the government has that technology, ask them..
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:30 AM   #14
Whiplashr
 
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_reborn View Post
The Red Ring of Death is the XBox term to use when the XBox console dies. The PS3 has something similar but doesn't quite have a unique name - best I could find was "Yellow line of Doom" and "Yellow light of Death".
I'll have to ask him.. It's possible he said red ring of death simply because he's also an XBOX owner, and that may have been the term that seemed most fitting to him. I was sure he said something like that. And that it would not fire up at all. Completely dead ..apart from some light which indicated failure.
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