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Saturday, October 31, 2009

How To: Enter Diagnostics Mode on Sony Playstation 3 (PS3)

There's a secret way to get your Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) into a diagnostic mode that will enable you to try some advanced "fixing" options for your game console. With the recent failure of my Blu-Ray disc drive, I figured it was worth a try.

In order to enter the diagnostic mode on your PS3, perform the following:

Hold Power button down for three beeps (while PS3 is off): Enter PS3 diagnostic mode.

However, this can be a little tricky. Generally, you do not count the first beep when the system turns on, so it is three after that. What happened on my PS3 is that the first time it beeped three times, the Sony Playstation 3 console shut itself off. On the second try, the second and third beeps come very close together. Take your finger off the button and you enter the diagnostic mode. They key here is the two quick beeps.

Once you enter the main menu for the PS3 Diagnostics, you have the following options:
Restart System
Restore Default Settings
Restore File System
Rebuild Database
Restore PS3 System
System Update

Two of the options are only available through this menu, Restore File System and Rebuild Database. All of the others can be completed through your normal Sony Playstation 3 menus.

Here is how both of them work:

Restore File System
After entering this mode, you are prompted with the question, Are you sure you want to restore the file system. You select yes and press down the X button.

The system restarts and then you get this message:
The hard disk's file systemis corrupted and will be restored.

It took about 45 seconds for my file system to be rebuilt. After it was restored / rebuilt, the PS3 restarts itself automatically.

Rebuild Database
Here, you are prompted with the question:
Are you sure you want to rebuild the database on the hard disk?

If you rebuild the database, messages, playlists and other saved information will be deleted.

It may take a few hours to rebuild the database.

After choosing yes, the system reboot's then you get the message:
The hard disk's database will be rebuilt.

In my case, it took less than 30 seconds and then the Sony Playstation rebooted itself automatically.

Unfortunately in my case none of these diagnostic utilities fixed the problem with my Blu-Ray disc drive...which means I will still need to send it in for service. Hopefully, you'll find these tips and options helpful!