Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New PS3 Skinny

This is the new PS3 and it's a beauty! Sony says it's 20% lighter and more energy efficient. Both good things. I wish it were 20% cheaper, but it's around the same price as before, though the hard drives are now larger. So it's $270 for the 250GB and $300 for the 500GB model.

Some regions will also have a model with just 12GB flash memory and without a hard drive. This will be useful to people who already have a PS3 and are upgrading or replacing their old PS3, which sounds like most people at this point in time. I guess it's just a matter of time until we see the imports roll in.

Repairing my old PS3

I almost found myself in the market for this new PS3 as my slim PS3 was suffering from some strange problems. Thankfully, I was able to repair it myself. Trophy unlocked: Nerd Repairman!

The symptoms:
Generally slow XMB response. Well, slower than usual.
Games would drop frames and occasionally freeze for a second.
Loading times took longer than usual.
Game music would be choppy, like a stuttering CD.

The fix:
If your PS3 is displaying problems like this, it's usually some corrupted files in the hard drive. 
1. Back up your data. 
2. Go to PS3 recovery menu. (Hold down the Power button until you hear three beeps.) Try Restore File System option. If that doesn't work, you can also try the Rebuild Database option. Sometimes this will work. In my case, it didn't. I had to go for the nastier options.
3. Head over to System in the XMB and choose Format Hard Drive, making sure to back up your old data first (and sync your trophies). You should have done that in step 1 anyway. You can choose Quick Format, which takes a few minutes or you can format every sector of your hard drive to be sure. This took me 28 hours. Still didn't work.
4. By this time, I concluded that if the problem was my hard drive, the entire drive was now wonky. So I took out the hard drive and placed an old drive in it. Had to format that, and restore the PS3 system. Once that was done, however, my PS3 was working as good as new.
5. Restore your backup.

Moral of the story:
Don't give up on a semi-broken PS3! Sometimes, you can fix it yourself.

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