Upgrading my PS3 harddrive

Today I bought a new external USB harddrive, a MSI 320 GB, 4200 rpm 2.5″ disk. I removed it from it’s cabinet and replaced the 40GB disk from my PS3 with the 320 GB Fujitsu disk that came from the MSI case.

I expected the disk-upgrade for the PS3 to go quite easy, as I had already heard of some other people doing it, and many instruction pages and video’s online. I was however surprised by a message that popped up when I booted my PS3 after swapping the hard drive:

The system software cannot be run correctly. Press the PS button to try to restart the system.
If the system cannot be restarted, the system partition of the hard disk must be reformated and you must install the system software. Insert storage media that contains update data of version 2.30 or later, and then press the START and SELECT buttons at the same time.
For information on how to obtain update data, refer to the SCE web site for your region

After some searching I found the right update software and copied it tot a usb-stick and booted my PS3 again… still no luck.

After some more googling I found out that the update file “PS3UPDAT.PUP” needs to be placed in the /PS3/UPDATE directory on the usb-stick, or the PS3 won’t find it.

For EU playstations, you can get the update file here: http://uk.playstation.com/help-support/ps3/system-software/download/
For US playstations: http://www.us.playstation.com/Support/SystemUpdates/PS3

So now I’m waiting for the formatting to complete, and then I can restore my backup. Which will leave me with 280 Gigs of empty space to fill up with games, music and movies 😉

Computer failure

How to turn on an ATX power supply (connect pin 4+5)
How to turn on an ATX power supply (connect pin 13+14)

Last weekend the PC I use as mediacenter (xbmc/vlc) wouldn’t boot anymore. It would turn on, but then nothing would happen, just a black screen, no BIOS messages, no beep, no nothing.

Trying to debug the system I unplugged all non-essential hardware (disks, pci-cards, usb, video, etc) and re-seated the memory. The system still didn’t respond, so I carefully inspected the mainboard for busted capacitors or other possible failures, but I couldn’t find any obvious issues.

When I turned on the system the powersupply fan and cpu-fan would start turning, but nothing more. I expected the mainboard to be dead, or maybe the bios to be broken, both things I couldn’t really fix myself, so the system was a write-off and I was looking for a replacement.

I ordered a new Dell Studio system, as that seems to be a good replacement for mediacenter use. It’s small, looks nice and has enough power to play back HD media. Another nice feature of this system is that it had a HDMI interface to connect it to my HDTV.

I was still fiddling with the pc when I friend called and suggested that the power-supply might be faulty. I still had a brand new power-supply lying around which I got at eth-0, so I swapped it with the old and noisy powersupply and booted the system.

The fans started spinning and *BEEP*, there was the all to familiar on-boot beep telling me that the system seemed to be working again. I turned off the system again, reconnected the harddisks, plugged in the videocard and closed the case. I connected the system to the tv and could finally watch some movies and series again 🙂

While watching the remaining Firefly episodes I decided to test the old/failed powersupply, and looking on the web for the correct pin-out/voltages and the method to turn it on (connect pin 13+14 with a paperclip). My multimeter told me that all pins and voltages were correct and within specifications, so it seems that they might only be wrong when put under load. I have no idea how to test that, but i’m open to suggestions… otherwise I’ll just bin it, as it was a cheap supply anyway… but I should get a new spare… you never know when you need one.

I expect the Dell Studio to arrive in about 2 weeks… but I’m happy to have fixed my older system again, as it’s the only system I have which has halfway decent (nvidia 6600) graphics hardware (all other systems use in-chipset video (intel 945, sis, via) for playing games.

A review of the Studio will follow asap.