Seeking advice: I think my PS3 just died

Mallus

Legend
So as I was closing in on the endgame of Mass Effect 3, my original model PS3 (60GB, full backwards compatibility) shuts itself off: 3 beeps then a blinking red power light. I shut it down, wait a while, power it back up, same thing.

I wait some more, dust it off, then manage to get it running long enough to transfer my ME3 save to an external drive, then it shuts off again.

Did a little research. Didn't find anything conclusive. Might be heat issues (it's not in an enclosed space, and it always ran hot), might be the hard drive. I put in a 320GB drive about 1.5 years ago. I'll try reseating the drive this week.

If I can't get it running again, is it worth trying to get it repaired? Hopefully I can at least copy a few more saves off the drive.

My gut instinct is: no. I'd be better off with a new unit and a full warranty. It is 5 years old.

Opinions/experiences?

Thanks in advance.
 

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ssampier

First Post
Sorry to hear about your PS3. Unfortunately this is a common problem. I had this happen on two of my PS3 machines.

If you are comfortable, you can potentially fix it yourself. I'd find another PS3 to practice on. There are plenty of YouTube videos.

Another thing is that Sony of America offers an option to trade in your PS3. You send your full PS3, minus controllers, and you get a refurbished PS3 back. It costs around $120 to do this. As always your mileage (cost) may vary.

Personally I never felt comfortable fixing it myself. I did the 'exchange a PS3' once. The new refurbished system lasted six month before dying a similar death. I bought a slim 300 GB system instead and I am quite happy.
 

Janx

Hero
My PS3 (orig 60GB model) has had the blue ray drive die. i'm going to order a replacement online for about $70. I'd already disassembled it and tried cleaning the drive. Which, btw, the way that drive is built it stays REALLY clean, so a dirty bluray is one the least likely problems to have.

A bad hard-drive is more likely to generate a read/write error that the OS would report. It is highly unlikely that a storage device is going to cause a whole system shutdown. Most operating systems talk to the drive through an API that would simply return an error code, to be passed up to an error message to the screen or a attempt a retry. The drive does not sit in the critical path.

Things that cause a shutdown:
power supply failure
thermal temp deadly is reached, which the OS monitors a thermal sensor, and when that temp is reached, issues a shutdown command. Temp Deadly is usually implemented as a direct and immediate power shut down. Temp Caution is a lower threshold, and when this is reached, the operating system issues a graceful shutdown command.

Almost any other kind of chip faiure is more likely to cause a freeze or graphical glitch than actual shutdown. This is because the power supply controller has to recieve a shutdown command for it to remove power. It is possible the Power supply controller has an extra signal from the processor to detect a "hang" but this would make it impossible to debug a crash or hang. Development models of computers have debug ports so they can connect logic analyzers to the system and read the memory and control the processor so they can step through instructions to debug what caused the crash. To mimize system change from the test to production model, these ports are removed, but the traces are still there on the circuit board. To redesign the board at the last minute for the production model would invalidate the testing.

Most of what I've described above applies to the PC world, but I expect certain commonalities with game consoles, as they are not really all that different.


To sum up:
you can try swapping the drive, I doubt it will help
you can try making it cooler (to verify if its an overheat issue), maybe run it in a cool dry place
you can replace the power supply chain, or at least detach and test it. a voltmeter would tell you if the levels are consistent on the output end.
 

Heat issues are a strong possibility. If you're into electronics, you could try opening the thing up and looking for issues. Could be a heat sink came off, a temp sensor moved, a vent got blocked, or something along those lines. It could also be a component overheating, which would be harder to fix. But if you could at least identify where the failure is it might be helpful.

I've never taken apart my PS3, but my PS2 is... slightly deviated from the factory standard. One of the mods I made to my PS2 was to bypass the fan control system so it always runs at max speed (better cooling, but more power and more noise). I would imagine the same thing is possible on a PS3, but cracking one open and poking around is the only way I could figure out how.
 

Janx

Hero
Heat issues are a strong possibility. If you're into electronics, you could try opening the thing up and looking for issues. Could be a heat sink came off, a temp sensor moved, a vent got blocked, or something along those lines. It could also be a component overheating, which would be harder to fix. But if you could at least identify where the failure is it might be helpful.

I've never taken apart my PS3, but my PS2 is... slightly deviated from the factory standard. One of the mods I made to my PS2 was to bypass the fan control system so it always runs at max speed (better cooling, but more power and more noise). I would imagine the same thing is possible on a PS3, but cracking one open and poking around is the only way I could figure out how.

I have my PS3 open right now (waiting for me to order the blu-ray drive). It is a very DENSE machine. Just about every inch of space was used with each component that is itself encased. Not a lot of open boards, etc exposed.

there are lots of guides online to help take it apart and identify its parts. Google is your friend. As is a sense of electronic adventurism. As long as your careful, its not like you can break it, it already doesn't work.
 

Banshee16

First Post
I have read that there are issues with the PS3 and Mass Effect 3.....some people are having it corrupt their HDD's, so that their system no longer sees the HDD.

I tried to Google it, and couldn't find the exact article, but I did find a number of people having problems at the Bioware forums.

Choose Language | BioWare Social Network

Banshee
 

Mallus

Legend
Thanks for the replies, folks.

The link to the Bioware forums was interesting. My experience was very similar to the OP's: some disk chugging, black screen freeze in the Citadel elevators, then the big shut-down after the Asari mission.

Thing is, I got my PS3 to boot once after than, and it passed the file system check, no corruption (and stayed on long enough for me to copy some saves). I never received a "hard drive not found" error -- though that thread did confirm the old 60GB models *will* boot with a bad drive, which makes sense since the OS doesn't reside on it.

As of this morning, my PS3 won't boot at all. After a second I get 3 beeps and then it shuts down. Repeated this several times. So whatever ME3 might do to the hard drive, I'm doubting that's the problem. Bad power supply, bad Blu-ray, and heat damage to the motherboard (it's definitely not overheating now, I've been trying to boot it --literally-- cold) are all sounding like likely contenders at the this point.

I think it's time for a trip to Best Buy after work. A friend and I might take a look inside of the dead unit for laughs over the next few weekends -- who knows? If we can somehow get it running again I'll give it to his kids.

Again, thanks.
 

Janx

Hero
Thanks for the replies, folks.

The link to the Bioware forums was interesting. My experience was very similar to the OP's: some disk chugging, black screen freeze in the Citadel elevators, then the big shut-down after the Asari mission.

Thing is, I got my PS3 to boot once after than, and it passed the file system check, no corruption (and stayed on long enough for me to copy some saves). I never received a "hard drive not found" error -- though that thread did confirm the old 60GB models *will* boot with a bad drive, which makes sense since the OS doesn't reside on it.

As of this morning, my PS3 won't boot at all. After a second I get 3 beeps and then it shuts down. Repeated this several times. So whatever ME3 might do to the hard drive, I'm doubting that's the problem. Bad power supply, bad Blu-ray, and heat damage to the motherboard (it's definitely not overheating now, I've been trying to boot it --literally-- cold) are all sounding like likely contenders at the this point.

I think it's time for a trip to Best Buy after work. A friend and I might take a look inside of the dead unit for laughs over the next few weekends -- who knows? If we can somehow get it running again I'll give it to his kids.

Again, thanks.

pretty sure you can boot without the Blu-Ray drive (I forgot to plug the power line back into it when I was testing it post-lense-cleaning.

Google up the how to open the PS3 directions. The top cover is secured from the LEFT side by a screw that may be covered by a rubber boot (top, center, when facing the left side). it took me a while to find the mythical screw that i was supposed to remove.
 

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