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Hi folks sorry not hacks related but will try keep this short. I had a friend come to me with a hard drive from a PS3 which has broke. Not exactly sure in what way it is broken, however..

there were very important photos, videos etc on this Ps3 which are unreplaceable. won't get it into to much but its pretty devastating for my friend to say the least.

so I've took the drive home, connected it to the PC, ran it through easeus and managed to recover 5 separate .SWF which equate to a total of 12GB so i am going to assume that the data she is after is in those files. Now obviously at this point i can't read the files, and my understanding so far is the PS3 has its own file structure?

i have my own PS3 that i don't use so i figured that i could maybe place these files onto another drive and put it back in my own PS3 and hopefully be able to read these files. but My PC does not recognize the unpartitioned drive, sort of reverting back to the whole file structure nonsense.

that's about as far as i have got so far so thought i would search the forums for an answer to my issue but to no avail, hence why i am posting this. any help would be appreciated in this matter and thanks in advance
The PS3 hard drive is encrypted to the console it was used in and the PS3 doesn't use a standard file system well actually I think it does but it's slightly a modified file system. Which is why windows thinks it's un-allocated.

Basically unless you know the hard drive encryption key your knackered.

But by the sound of it the PS3 file system on the hard drive has become corrupted. You may be able to repair it on the PS3 it came from. Maybe a safe mode menu option.

:alert: WARNING: With safe mode menu options please make sure not to select an option that will format (wipe) or overwrite the data on the hard drive that you may want to recover.

Been a while since I've used safe mode so I can't remember the menu options anymore.

Only enter safe mode using the hard drive in the PS3 it came from.
:arrow: Update #2: There is now a PS3 HDD Reader for Windows and a PS3 HDD Reader for Linux via Picard (aka 3141card)

Download: PS3_HDD_Reader_final_windows.7z (908 KB) / PS3_HDD_Reader_final_linux.7z (63 KB) / PS3_HDD_Reader_final_source_code.7z (39.09 KB) / PS3_Unlock_HDD_Space.7z (79 KB - includes PS3_Unlock_HDD_Space.pkg) / lv0_446.idc.7z (113 KB) / lv1_446.idc.7z (949 KB) / LV1 embedded Files IDCs.7z (413 KB - includes lv1_446__pme_init.idc, lv1_446__ss_init.idc, lv1_446__ss_server1.idc, lv1_446__ss_server2.idc, lv1_446__ss_server3.idc, lv1_446__sysmgr_ss.idc and lv1_446__updater_frontend.idc) / lv2_446.idc.7z (1.3 MB)

Spoiler: Related Tweets

I would try what finalman suggested first as it's been many years since I've messed with PS3 stuff myself.

From what I recall similar to cloning if the PS3 was on CFW it could be done if the EID root key was obtained (not on SuperSlim models unfortunately), but on OFW or via PC the process of recovering files from a PS3 HDD was difficult to say the least.

There were also a number of PC programs that developers used to manipulate files contained on the PS3 HDD including:
Finally, there is documentation for mounting the PS3 HDD on PC Linux from glevand and just about everything else pertaining to the PlayStation 3 hard drive on this Wiki Page.

Most people end up giving up after tinkering with the above options due to the skill level requirements being above typical end-users, but a few devs I knew managed to recover files from PS3 HDD's although they were extremely talented guys themselves. :notworthy:

:arrow: Update: hdd_decrypt_arcade.rar (18 KB)

A friend needed an Arcade compatible version of the HDD decryption tool, so here is today's small contribution to the PS3 preservation scene.
It's all mostly from lv1ldr reverse engineering, I published/produced another tool in the past that did the same thing, but my friend wanted/needed that specific tool from the Obscure Gamers thread to work with his arcade images.

I just patched the tool to work with Arcade (system357/369) HDDs. Make sure to use the supplied eid_root_key file.

:arrow: Update #2: A PS3 HDD Decryption Helper is also available from @Berion which is a bunch of bash scripts to automate PS3 HDD decryption, mounting and unmounting.

Download: PS3_HDD_Decryption_Helper_(2022-10-31).7z (11.92 KB)

Spoiler: Depreciated

Here's further details and some of the recent changes from Berion, as follows:

Bunch of bash scripts for automate PS3 HDD decryption, mounting and unmounting.
  1. Unpack them in Your home dir, don't change any folder or file names.
  2. Drop ERK into /keys dir as "eid_root_key.bin".
  3. Drop bswap16-ecb and ufs (optionally) kernel module in ps3 dir.
  4. Run keygen script.
  5. Run mounter script.
  6. Have fun under /storage (root privileges needed).
  7. Run umounter script.
PS3 HDD Decryption Helper (2022-09-22)
  • updated Tasker with new option for boot loop fixing caused by "dev_hdd1" corruption
  • changed filename for dump of ps3vflash5 mapper from "dev_flash5_backup.bin" to "dev_flash4.bin"
  • changed filename of UFS2 super block dump
PS3 HDD Decryption Helper (2022-10-31)
  • few script cosmetics for few scripts
  • fixed loop device names in NAND Mounter script for dumping
  • shorter eFlash dumping by changing bytes skipping from 1 byte to 512KiB :winkytongue:
Actually probably before you even attempt anything you should try and find a program that you can get a byte-by-byte \ sector-by-sector image of the hard drive. Obviously it'd need to work with unknown file system drives as that what the ps3 file system will be seen as.
Hi all! Sorry for refold this post.... But I need your help! I try to change the internal ps3 hdd with other hdd more bigger, using oficial/custom firmware the max capacity of internal hdd is 1,5tb....

Can I add more bigger hdd to use as internal hdd using any app (I have my hdd keys using PS3 HDD Utility v1.00 by nullptr)

Can anyone explain the proccess?? Thanks for all!! ;)
I've cloned my PS3 HDD by using HDClone_6ENG in "Backup menu" and use its default setting values. It can complete the cloning. But only the same size as the original one whatever a new HDD has a bigger size.
You can also clone a HDD using DD in linux but be warned you can also damage the filesystem super easy if you are not familiar with DD. However it is a very powerful free utility.
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