Recovering data from a PS3 corrupted HDD
So to get myself more familiar with my ghost-blog setup i decided to make an article on how i saved my save-data of my 1tb PS3 system. download-link
EDIT: new download link: https://legacy.downloads.diomtec.com/u/seppdroid/brain/ps3hddrecoverytools/
Okidoki let's get started! So what happened? well my PS3 Hard-froze in the PSN-Store and i had to manually reboot the system. i got the standard "the files may be corrupted" message because the system wasn't shut off correctly. No worries there as it booted up correctly and i could play games perfectly too. Fast forward a couple of weeks and my system started showing artifacts in sys-intensive games like the GTA series and red dead redemption. (i started replaying rockstar games for fun and as a time killer in the covid-19 house arrest)
Here is a video of a funny artifact in action:
So at first i thought my blueray laser was failing, and from experience i knew i didn't like replacing these disc-lasers. I even didnt feel like replacing the disc drive itself! Instead i chose for the more expensive option: i bought a new hdd and a new PS3 System. and the idea was that i would use the PS3's built in system transfer tool to transfer all my data to the new ps3. So the plan was:
old ps3 (1tb harddrive) —> new ps3 (1tb harddrive)
Ok so to not confuse you i will use the names: my old ps3 & my new ps3.
So before i transfer the data i went to the savemode menu on the old ps3 to click on restore filesystem and when that process was done i clicked on rebuild the storage database. Well it never came that far...
Some videos of the result:
whatever i did, it would always crash land at 28% to a message saying:
"An error occurred during the restore operation. The system storage must be formatted. All data on the system storage will be deleted during formatting. Do you want to format?"
Well obviously no! well when you click no you get the message:
Cannot start. The appropriate system storage was not found.
Let's get our data back! Im not going to sit through the 150+ installs on the playstation 3! And lose allot of progress in my game saves!
PLEASE make sure to make a copy of the old ps3's HDD in sector by sector mode. Before you start troubleshooting. This is for if you make your ps3's drive unbootable and you want to revert to the copy. It's not worth it losing everything over a small mistake!
But first i need to know if you have tried absolutly everything in the savemode menu:
Try option 1 for restarting the console
Then try option 3 & 4 for restoring the file system and rebuilding the database
And at last option 6 for updating the console.
If all of these options freeze or are stuck at prepairing for more than 6 hours (just to be safe) and or show no HDD activity light whatsoever then you may go and try the things i did.
Ok so sadly for this part you will need to Jailbreak your PS3 system to get the encryption key of the harddrive. Also known as the EID_ROOT key. Without this key you wont be able to decrypt the harddrive.
As of 2-6-2020 it is not possible to jailbreak a superslim console or one of the newer slims... DON'T use the tools i provided with the homebrew enabler (HEN/HAN)... as this won't work and might render your system unbootable... You will need a custom firmware (CFW) Keep an eye out for content from mrmario2011 on youtube as he is the most trusted recource for jailbreaking a ps3 system.
So remove the harddrive you want to save data off from the PS3 system and get yourself an empty harddrive to install de custom firmware (aka jailbreak) on.
first install the official firmware that sony provides (i provide OFW version 4.86 in the download) and the latest is available from sony here
Once you have the operating system installed just follow mrmario2011's tutorial as they are straightforward, easy, fool proof and detailed.
After installing OFW and or the CFW jailbreak please make sure to not login to psn. do this to prevent getting your account or system banned...
Ok so the jailbreak went succesfull right? Congratulations sony now hates you! Just kidding, but i am friendly reminding you again to NOT login to psn. And prevent getting your account or console banned. Make sure to save your flash chip backup to a safe space on your computing system (the .bin file).
We have to retrieve the EID_ROOT_KEY from the playstation system. this is the encryption key that lets us decrypt the old currupted drive and read its data.
Insert the usb-stick to your computer and copy the contents from the "USBROOT" folder to the "root" of your usb. Your usb-stick will look something like this:
gracefully remove the USB-stick from your computer and insert it into the jailbroken ps3. Now we install multiman & rebug toolbox like so
On your PS3 homescreen XMB go to "package manager --> install package files --> package directory" then click on rebug toolbox and when thats installed install multiman.
When you have installed it correctly it will show the toolbox and multiman in the game tab XMB.
Open Rebug toolbox and please be carefull as these include powerfull tools. You wouldn't want to cut yourself in the fingers ;).
Once in the rebug toolbox scroll down to "Dump eid root key" in the utillities tab. click it and the system will restart
After restarting open multiman and copy the EID_ROOT_KEY to a USB drive. Im a little short on time but a quick youtube search will give you the steps on how to copy the KEY to your usb drive with multiman. location of the key is:
and you must copy it to
Or some other usb disk that is attached
Multiman has an built in FTP server that is easy to connect to with your favorite client
The ip address of the PS3 system can be found in the settings tab at the XMB
The ftp server doesnt require any credentials, just connect to the local ip over port 22
Now we will need to connect the usb stick with the eid_root_key file and the old PS3's harddrive with the data we want to retrieve
first copy the eid_root_key file from the usb to the ps3 "harddisk reader folder" like so
once you have copied your key you can now open "ps3_hdd_gui.exe" as an administrator.
Congrats! you have now access to your PS3's HDD
First i recommend changing the folder location to where the files are being copied. Just rightclick anywhere in the window to change this.
It defaults to your windows temp folder and by clicking open folder location you can visit that location.
Step 3 - Where is what? and what is where?
So the most important is your savedata right? Well this is located at
Your username-id is a long number like 00000001 00000002 00000003 etc. It depends on how many accounts you had on your system
I reccommend just copying the whole home folder to your pc. and all the savedata from that folder can be uploaded to a USB disk (/PS3/SAVEDATA/)
Some savedata may have to be patched because of copy protection. 90% of the time bruteforce save data fixes this very easy. just google "remove copyprotection ps3 save files)
The game folder (dev_hdd0)/game contains all the gamedata. some games use this to store savedata (like the LittleBigPlanet series)
i will add more information on how to retrieve this data later on but for now i will have to call a quit for today. I will edit this post soon with more information and better grammar :). I really hoped ive helped you thusfar.
have a question or anything to add? corruptedps3drive(at)seppdroid(dot)com