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Latest PS3 Firmware Update Requires Hard Disk Wipe to Fix

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the entire-qa-department-is-fired dept.

Sony 193

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier today Sony launched firmware V2.40 for the PS3 which is mandatory for online play. To my horror after installing the update my console wouldn't boot, and this appears to be a not uncommon problem affecting all ages and models of PS3s. Although there is rampant fanboy denial over at the official Playstation forums, the Kotaku article details the issue and has a suggested solution if you don't mind yanking your PS3's hard drive."

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First (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036915)

Yes! And, to keep on topic, nice work there Sorny!

Re:First (1, Offtopic)

neokushan (932374) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037313)

You still got modded offtopic.

ULTRA FAIL1!!!!!!!!!!

Oh wait, so did I. Fuck.

I prefer (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24036925)

I prefer my MagnetBox GameStation (TM).

Re:I prefer (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037871)

What about this Sorny?
Or that Panaphonics over there?

Re:I prefer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039389)

Do you mean Clony?

Which is why... (4, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036947)

Which is why firmware upgrades like how MS/Nintendo/Sony have them are a bad idea. Rather then just small patches, a lot of them overwrite a lot of the base code. It would be like rather then just patching Windows, you formatted your HD and started over from backups, now the firmware upgrades aren't exactly like that, but it is similar to the risks that it takes. And most firmware updates don't *need* to be done in the first place, and the makers certainly shouldn't prevent you from online play if you don't upgrade unless it would be a natural by-product of the upgrade (like the online play server was moved or something). But really, upgradable firmware in game consoles is just a bad idea to use.

Re:Which is why... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037029)

Yeah, things like the server code need to be abstracted to a layer above the firmware and stored on the Hard disk. We could call it something like Operating System. Someone should get to work on designing something like that...

Re:Which is why... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037085)

Well, in the game console world firmware == operating system. So it is basically the PS3's OS. And running games in an OS above the firmware would be too slow to run most of them at top speed and then we get back into the horrible world of upgrades etc. That has made many computer gamers switch back to consoles.

Re:Which is why... (2, Insightful)

jfim (1167051) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038075)

And running games in an OS above the firmware would be too slow to run most of them at top speed[...]

Wrong. The Xbox ran a modified version of Windows 2000 [wikipedia.org] , for example. They're just not general purpose operating systems and contain only what's needed to make games. Otherwise, every single game would need to write filesystem access code and drivers to access the harddrive and whatnot.

Re:Which is why... (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038251)

But again, that was the firmware. Wikipedia defines firmware as

As its name suggests, firmware is somewhere between hardware and software. Like software, it is a computer program which is executed by a microprocessor or a microcontroller. But it is also tightly linked to a piece of hardware, and has little meaning outside of it.

So would the Xbox OS be considered firmware, yes as I can't just fire that up onto a non Xbox platform and have it work. Same with the Wii's OS, and the PS3's OS. They are all OSes but they are firmware just the same.

Re:Which is why... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039515)

It ran a modified (scaled down, stripped of unneeded features) kernel, not the whole OS.

Re:Which is why... (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037597)

Since this problem can be fixed by simply reformatting the HD, obviously the actual firmware is fine, it's what has been installed on the HD that's borked..

My system was fine with the update btw *shrug*

Re:Which is why... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038979)

Mine updated fine as well. I don't see the problem.

Re:Which is why... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039159)

Mine too. Most of the people here don't even own a PS3.

ScuttleMonkey channels Zonk (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037283)

Wow, just wow.

It's like a flashback to 2007 and the daily Zonk Sony/PS3/BluRay tirades.

Re:Which is why... (3, Informative)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037517)

"""
Rather then just small patches, a lot of them overwrite a lot of the base code
"""

Actually, Sony does do small patches. Check the history for the frequency of these updates if you don't believe me. Or do you honestly believe that small changes to the system can't have disastrous effects?

"""
a natural by-product of the upgrade (like the online play server was moved or something
"""

Or say a protocol was change. Do you know exactly was changed? Because, I'm calling bullshit on what you're saying. That is unless you can show your insider knowledge and prove to me that this change is unnecessarily preventing on-line play.

"""
But really, upgradable firmware in game consoles is just a bad idea to use.
"""

Yah, because fixing errors in the OS is a bad idea. Get a clue. We're *far* beyond the 8-bit NES that didn't have an OS. We're in an age where consoles are basically specialised computers. Computers that have an OS which is software, which will have bugs that need to be fixed from time to time. Computers that will have features added.

But, that's ok. We don't need an evolving set of features or improvements on features or increased stability or... We'll just go back to the old model of a static stagnant system reducing the systems lifespan increasing costs for everyone.

Re:Which is why... (3, Insightful)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037589)

However, it wouldn't be so bad to have a bootloader with an option to fall back to the last working version, even if this option is normally bypassed. I'm not familiar with the internals of the PS3, so I don't know how difficult this would be, but it wouldn't have been hard to design a console in which this was simple to do, so I can't see why they wouldn't have.

One reason (2, Insightful)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037857)

Piracy. You can boot linux on the PS3, but the kernel will not get full hardware access. Allowing users to fall back to old firmware/OSes would probably lead to some people running legit to play online, then having a fallback disk image or whatever to play cracked ROMs. Not that linux relates to that ability; I really don't know.

Re:One reason (3, Informative)

FLEB (312391) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038699)

Given the range of consumer devices you can perma-brick with a botched firmware update, I'd say it's more likely that it's just more expensive to make a fallback bootloader.

One place I've been pleasantly surprised (a bit of a veer, but...)-- I got myself a Sandisk MP3 player (Sansa e300 series) recently, and I was surprised at how brick-resistant the thing is. If you botch the firmware, you can oftentimes still see it as a flash drive, and just drop in a different firmware file. If that fails, you can fall back to a "Recovery Mode" partition and put the new file there, and even if you screw THAT up, there's still a way (using some program that talks more directly to the USB device, I believe) to unbrick THAT.

Now THAT's how software-upgradable consumer electronics should be made.

Re:One reason (1)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039261)

My Gigabyte motherboard has two BIOS flash chips. If an upgrade borks, I change a jumper and use the old. Included in there is the functionality to overwrite the borked flash with a working one. How hard would this be for some of these consoles?

Re:One reason (3, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039345)

Yeah, HP does this with their BIOS's as well. There's is a tad more convenient in that the normal upgrade procedure is to flash one bank, attempt to boot from it, and if successful upgrade the other automatically. A failed boot normally results in a reset and failback to the other firmware. You can also tell it not to upgrade the second firmware automatically so that you could do say an OS check before committing both flash areas to the new version. It's very nice when upgrading a server halfway around the world. Of course even if you bork the firmware you can still boot to a floppy with a working firmware image while either holding a key (F12 I think) or on newer servers simply letting them boot and it will flash the firmware for you. I haven't tried the emergency recovery using the Integrated Lights Out processors virtual floppy, but I bet it would work =)

Re:Which is why... (2, Interesting)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038695)

It's not really the same as what you describe, but from what I've read, Tivos have a separate partition that they load the software upgrades onto. Only after the update is fully done, that partition is set to be the current boot partition.

While it doesn't allow you to fall back to the last version, it at least does hopefully prevent a partially updated and unbootable system.

Re:Which is why... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037661)

Or say a protocol was change. Do you know exactly was changed? Because, I'm calling bullshit on what you're saying. That is unless you can show your insider knowledge and prove to me that this change is unnecessarily preventing on-line play.

What I was saying, is that unless something major was changed to naturally prevent online play like a server address change or a protocol change or whatever, Sony shouldn't prevent people from going online. I'm not saying anything of what Sony did.

Yah, because fixing errors in the OS is a bad idea. Get a clue. We're *far* beyond the 8-bit NES that didn't have an OS. We're in an age where consoles are basically specialised computers. Computers that have an OS which is software, which will have bugs that need to be fixed from time to time. Computers that will have features added.

But, prove to me that what Sony fixed was some major bug or a major feature. From my experience with my Wii (I don't have a PS3 though I have played one), they release patches for completely trivial things. Things that shouldn't have to risk bricking your console to update.

But, that's ok. We don't need an evolving set of features or improvements on features or increased stability or... We'll just go back to the old model of a static stagnant system reducing the systems lifespan increasing costs for everyone.

But like you said the consoles were becoming more like computers, so how long before I have to upgrade my RAM in a PS3 to play a new game? How long before they come out with different CPU models? This is killing what made console gaming popular in the first place the fact that you didn't need to upgrade the RAM to play a new game, the fact that everyone was equal whether you bought your console on launch or bought it near the end of the console's lifetime you could all play the same games, with the same performance. One of the reasons I don't play many computer games (aside from a few games of Wesnoth here and there and OpenArena) is that you have to upgrade your system every few months to play the newest games. With consoles the big point was you could play every game within the console's lifetime and that being about 5-7 years that was a lot of games. Now tell me, will a stock PC from 2001 play a game released in 2007? No, but a PS2 bought in 2000 will play the games made in 2006 the exact same as a PS2 bought in 2006 will play a game made in 2006. That is why console gaming has increased so much and computer gaming has declines.

Re:Which is why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037869)

But like you said the consoles were becoming more like computers, so how long before I have to upgrade my RAM in a PS3 to play a new game? How long before they come out with different CPU models? This is killing what made console gaming popular in the first place the fact that you didn't need to upgrade the RAM to play a new game, the fact that everyone was equal whether you bought your console on launch or bought it near the end of the console's lifetime you could all play the same games, with the same performance.

If I remember, the N64 has an expansion slot for additional memory and if used a few games would perform better, such as starfox(?) and one of the star wars games

Re:Which is why... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038209)

such as starfox(?) and one of the star wars games

Not Starfox. Starfox was before the expansion. Starcraft needed it, and Donkey Kong, but I don't remember any others.

Re:Which is why... (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039179)

Perfect Dark, I think?

Re:Which is why... (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038217)

Ok, well there were tons of random expansions released by various companies to boost RAM/etc. But the games that required them were rather few and if I remember correctly the official Nintendo expansion pack cost like $30 and you could get third-party ones for $15. Today though, computer RAM costs you $40+ for a GB of extra RAM and isn't in a nice cartage like for the N64.

Required to play * Donkey Kong 64[1] * The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask [edit] Required for major features * Perfect Dark[2] * StarCraft 64[3]

From Wikipedia. Sure there were others that made the game look nicer, but that is more like using component cables or HDMI cables rather then normal ones. Rather then, the game is unplayable or is slower without it, as in the case with a computer game that needs more RAM. Oh and Donkey Kong 64 came with the pack.

Re:Which is why... (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039341)

>> Today though, computer RAM costs you $40+ for a GB of extra RAM
DDR2 is like $20 a GB.

Re:Which is why... (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039551)

But those few were really, really good games...

Re:Which is why... (1, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037885)

This is why I stopped playing games on the PC. I just didn't want to spend the $400 a year keeping my system up to the point it could play the latest game. I plan on never buying a video card again, and I'm happy about it.

BTW, The N64 did have a RAM cartridge that you had to buy if you wanted to play a few of the games.

Re:Which is why... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039367)

My HTPC is 3.5 years old and plays games at 1080p better than any console released at the time =) Oh, and for another $100 it will play them better than any console available today too. The upfront cost was a bit more, but for that money I get to use bittorrent, connect to work, edit photos, print, etc.

Re:Which is why... (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038567)

We're *far* beyond the 8-bit NES that didn't have an OS. We're in an age where consoles are basically specialised computers. Computers that have an OS which is software, which will have bugs that need to be fixed from time to time. Computers that will have features added.

Why? Why should consoles be "specialized computers"? Why should their feature set change over time? If I wanted a gaming box, I'd go to Newegg and build myself one. I want a console because its guaranteed to just work. By introducing things like upgradeable firmware, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are destroying the only advantage that consoles hold over PC games.

Re:Which is why... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038807)

I, personally, like the fact that the fall 2007 update to the xbox360 added mpeg4 support. Updates deliver free stuff to the consumer, and add value to the product. The spring 2008 update now allows users to transfer downloaded content licences from console to console, something that people have been complaining about day one.

The Xbox does just work. All I do is power it on, it says update available, then downloads, and reboots. A retard couldn't fuck that up.

Oh, and nothing is guaranteed, explicit or implied with regards to the workability of the xbox, it is warrantied.

Re:Which is why... (-1, Troll)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039193)

A retard user couldn't fuck that up.

A retard at Microsoft could.

I heard they have a few on staff -- it's just a matter of time before there's a botched firmware patch.

Re:Which is why... (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038829)

But the problem is that we are no longer in the world of 8-bit NES... prior to Windows 95 (Windows 98 even), patches were very few. Why is that? Well, many patches have to do with security. Who cares about security if you have a single NES hooked up to a television? No big deal. With online consoles we now require patches because bugs in software aren't just glitches that game developers have to work around, they are potential security holes that can have serious impact. Once things become connected, we are in a whole different world.

Re:Which is why... (4, Interesting)

secolactico (519805) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037621)

What is needed (I don't know if there is) is a "failsafe" boot image stored in ROM that does not get flashed. If a firmware upgrade screws the OS, the system will boot from this image and be able to get online and retrieve a fix. Or maybe revert to the old one.

Or maybe even read the fix from a disk and apply it.

Re:Which is why... (4, Informative)

revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038569)

The PS3 actually stores the last 2 firmwares in its internal memory. When installing an update, it writes over the older one. On bootup, the PS3 (booting from a OTP ROM) will verify each firmware and boot the newer one. If one's corrupted, it boots the other.

But Xbox IS like that. (1, Troll)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037831)

It would be like rather then just patching Windows, you formatted your HD and started over

That's what I recommend anytime I see Windows TM.

ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037907)

God that is so clever...

Re:ha ha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038345)

twitter is well known for his humor [slashdot.org] around here.

Re:ha ha (0, Troll)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039353)

twitter is well known for his multi-accounting around here.

Fixed.

Re:Which is why... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037917)

As you guessed, you can't use the PS3 until you've upgraded, if you've got a network connection. When you start it, it sees that there's a new update and refuses to allow you to play games until you've updated.

Sure, you can fix it by wiping the hard drive and reupgrading. Great. There are only a few problems with that:

1. You lose all your save games.
2. You lose all your installed games. Games like DMC4 require a 20+ minute install before you can play them, and repeating that is NOT fun.
3. You lose all your downloaded content. I'm told you can redownload content without rebuying it, PROVIDED IT'S STILL BEING SOLD, but I really don't want to test that.

So, obviously you should back up first, right? Well, guess what:

1. While MOST save games can be copied off the console, some CANNOT.
2. Installed game data CANNOT be copied off the console.
3. Downloaded content CANNOT be copied off the console.

In short, you can backup CERTAIN save games, but not ALL save games.

And most firmware updates don't *need* to be done in the first place, and the makers certainly shouldn't prevent you from online play if you don't upgrade unless it would be a natural by-product of the upgrade (like the online play server was moved or something).

To be fair on this front, they did rip off Xbox Live's Achievement system in this update, so presumably some aspect of online play has changed.

'Course, I'd imagine that would only affect servers and NOT clients, so there SHOULD be no reason for clients to update, but...

Re:Which is why... (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038341)

I was thinking about this a few days ago... basically the best solution (to me) would be a ROM-based bootloader (not upgradable) which attempts to load the latest firmware, and if the system doesn't boot with a success code within a certain timeframe, it automatically restores the previous firmware with a warning message saying that the upgrade failed. If it boots successfully, the previous firmware would then be purged.

This allows for full OS upgrades (except for the low-level bootloader), without bricked systems.

Backup early, Backup often (5, Insightful)

maniac/dev/null (170211) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036967)

Yikes. With consoles becoming more complex and more like computers with each generation, it looks like issues like this will become all too common. How long before someone brings a PS3 backup utility to market?

Re:Backup early, Backup often (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24036991)

The bad part is, so much of the things fall under copyrighted code and so it would be like that Atari flash cart thing, it would be illegal to make your own backups. That, is scary. Game console makers constantly forcing you with useless firmware upgrades that can destroy your machine and not only do you have to buy a new one, you don't have your data.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037663)

PS3s have USB ports and the built in OS lets you back up your saved data easily to them. You're just spreading unecessary FUD without knowing what you are talking about.. I don't want to be overly critical because I end up doing similar things from time to time, but you just end up looking silly if you make baseless accusations like that.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037749)

PS3s have USB ports and the built in OS lets you back up your saved data easily to them.

Which is a good thing.

The user doesn't need to worry about the OS, console settings, or other such stuff. All that is important is having the ability to backup *user* data. Everything else can be a wipe/reload on the console as far as I'm concerned. It wouldn't bother me in the least.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037891)

A bunch of your saves/downloaded content will be tied to your console in various ways.

Sometimes your save file is locked down so you can't even move it off of the system.

All thee platforms have this problem to various degrees.

Welcome to the next generation.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038045)

Well I haven't had that problem with the games I own so far. I transferred my guitar hero save over to a friend's console, and also transferred all of my saved data when reformatting the HDD. I certainly wouldn't place all the blame on Sony if a game developer has asked that save data be non-transferable for some weird reason..

Re:Backup early, Backup often (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038597)

You're so, so wrong. Not all the data is backed up. In fact some games won't let you back up anything.

Plus you have to reinstall stuff (which can take a very long time). Plus anything you downloaded is wiped (feel lucky if you are allowed to redownload, if it's even still available). Etc, etc...

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037163)

dd
I don't see why that wouldn't work for a PS3 HDD. Though I have not tested - anyone actually know?

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037187)

Probably the game code is DRM-ed to your PS3 console. So if you buy a new PS3 the data isn't readable on that console. That is the same way with the Wii's SD cards.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (5, Informative)

sanosuke76 (887630) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037231)

Err, the PS3 ships with one built into its system. You can, at any point, have it do a backup to a memory card (assuming you have a large enough one) or a USB-connected external hard drive.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (4, Insightful)

machxor (1226486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037503)

Err, the PS3 ships with one built into its system. You can, at any point, have it do a backup to a memory card (assuming you have a large enough one) or a USB-connected external hard drive.

Would mod you up if I could. It's true the PS3 has a backup/restore function build right into it. I've used this function to backup while trying to upgrade my hard drive. However I've never gotten the restore to work even though I've backed up to several external hard drives. Thinking about it now the hard drive I'm upgrading to came from a laptop and has a 4GB "recovery" partition that I wasn't able to remove in Windows. I assumed the PS3 would remove this partition and create one for the entire drive when I formatted it but honestly never checked. I'll have to plug it in when I get home and see how many/what size partitions it has on it.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (5, Informative)

sanosuke76 (887630) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037645)

That's because the "Restore" option is deceptively named. When I upgraded a friend's PS3 to 250GB a while back, I used 'restore', but all that was for was restoring the system defaults. If I recall correctly, in order to restore your backup you first go to the backup menu like you're going to take a backup, then there's a 'restore' option buried down in there. It wasn't exactly obvious on the first go, but we did get all his system settings migrated gracefully once we figured out which restore option to use. :)

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

machxor (1226486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038099)

Yeah the restore option under the backup menu is the one I'm using. It formats the drive, reboots and begins to restore from my external hard drive which fails at ~20%. I just checked the target drive and the PS3 did remove all partitions when it formatted it so my only thought is that my larger drive probably has an issue (there is a reason it's no longer in the laptop it came from heh). I'm sure if I wasn't cheap and used a new drive it would work fine.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (4, Informative)

bonehead (6382) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038259)

If you're having trouble with a stubborn partition that nothing seems to be able to remove for you, install it in a computer, boot up a Linux live cd, and try this from the command prompt:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hdX bs=1M count=5

hdX in the above refers to the hard drive. You may have to watch the boot messages to find out which value to use depending on how you connected it. It could also end up being sdX instead.

That command will write 16 megs of zeros directly to the beginning of the hard drive, which will nuke the boot sector and partition table. After that, any partitioning tool will see it as a brand new, unpartitioned drive, and shouldn't give you any more grief.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (0, Troll)

Squozen (301710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037493)

Um. It comes with the console. System Settings -> Backup Utility.

It's not Sony's fault if people don't back up their data.

Re:Backup early, Backup often (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037643)

You can back up your saved games easily to a USB flash drive from the main menu. You don't really need to back up anything else really, you can reinstall games from the original disc, and you don't actually need to have any media on the PS3 since you can stream it. I might consider backing up my save data next time I do an upgrade though :s This particular one was fine on my PS3, as were all the ones beforehand. The only time I've reformatted my HDD so far was to create a Linux partition.

DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (0, Flamebait)

Platinumrat (1166135) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037035)

Sony have lost the plot. Ten years ago, I used to recommend Sony, but now they don't give a rat's .... about consumers. Ever since the founder, Masaru Ibuka, died they've become another money hungry corporation who don't don't care about their customers but more about their shareholders.

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037147)

Really though, all the current-gen consoles suffer from the flaw of upgradable firmwares. Now, they are a great idea in principle but all of them upgrade the thing for trivial features (really, who needs to upgrade the entire firmware to upgrade an internet application?!?!). To put this in perspective, as a GP2x owner (they are a handheld game system running Linux and are made in Korea) you can upgrade your firmware to do whatever, however I and most other users don't because of the possibility of bricking it. Even with a stable open-source OS it is possible to brick it with firmware upgrades, who knows what all these firmware upgrades are doing to a (no doubt) quickly written, proprietary OS.

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (2, Insightful)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037287)

For a number of reasons, these operating systems are treated like firmware because they're embedded into a single image onto an IC. It's not (safely) possible to reflash portions of the image on the fly so the whole thing is written over for each change.

Some UMPC's and handheld media players and stuff, usually working off GNU/Linux, do this too, then save configuration and stuff on hard drives or other storage.

This is generally cheaper, faster, and less vulnerable to user error.

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037833)

For a number of reasons, these operating systems are treated like firmware because they're embedded into a single image onto an IC. It's not (safely) possible to reflash portions of the image on the fly so the whole thing is written over for each change.

So who on the Sony team failed to foresee a failed flash? Motherboards have been out f'r a while with the "Dual BIOS" feature; other than cost, why couldn't this have been implemented in the PS3?

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038265)

It could have been anything between the team responsible for the software and the server that distributes it.

Dual bios surely could have been implemented and for all the things I can appreciate about the PS3 regardless of my limited exposure to it, in retrospect it's kind of stupid of Sony to not take this step to safeguard consumers.

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (2, Insightful)

Spades_ (175131) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037639)

The PS3 for the most part is a fine machine. To say they don't give a rat's ass about the consumers is a huge generalization. The whole 2.4 patch was due to feedback from PS3 users. Most large companies have problems with keeping high standards throughout. While Sony is not the same as they used to be, they still have good products out there.

PS: I updated with no problems.

Re:DRM, Rootkits and PS3. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037761)

Yeah, because Caucasians are too damn tall.

Thank GOD I didn't use my PS3 today! (-1, Troll)

Doug52392 (1094585) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037051)

I was busy playing PC games today, good thing I didn't turn my PS3 on! Unfortunatly, I bet all teh Xbox fanboys are using this as an example of why the PS3 "SUXORZ" (which, compared to the Xbox 360, is not true)!

Re:Thank GOD I didn't use my PS3 today! (2, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037137)

PS3 sucks.
Xbox 360 sucks.
Wii sucks slightly less, but sucks in several other ways, so it still sucks.

Re:Thank GOD I didn't use my PS3 today! (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037317)

As if anything can be so bi-polar.

PS3 sucks and is cool.
Xbox 2 sucks and is cool.
Wii sucks less but sucks in other ways, and it's cool less but it's cool in other ways so it sucks and it's cool.

There, all fixed. Now you're ready for show business.

Re:Thank GOD I didn't use my PS3 today! (0, Troll)

lowlymarine (1172723) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037151)

I KNOW YOU HAVE THAT CELL AND IT'S SO AWESOME AND AND AND...

Never mind that the 360's GPU and 3D API are vastly superior. It's not like the sole use for these things is games or anything...

Oh wait, c wut I did thar?

Re:Thank GOD I didn't use my PS3 today! (1)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037809)

I have all of the above.

The PS3 makes a fine blu-ray player. But most of my gaming takes place on the Xbox 360 or Wii.

None of them suck. They just feed different interests.

--AC

Pay because they screwed up? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037125)

That's interesting. The Sony (and they have such a great track record) firmware wipes your system so you get to pay $150 to send it back and have it fixed. Or you can reformat, destroy all your data and probably void your warranty. Talk about great customer service.

Re:Pay because they screwed up? (2, Informative)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038019)

Void your warranty? Not on your life. You can wipe the hard drive (or just install a completely different one) all you want. The PS3 has a lot of modification options that don't void your warranty. You can run Linux, even!

Here's a bit of advice (3, Interesting)

dannycim (442761) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037165)

Next update, do a backup, then accept the update. Worse comes to worst, wipe the disk and restore the backup. The snag is that you _can't_ format the drive inside of the PS3 as the XMB menu doesn't come up.

Still, I'm pretty surprised that Sony doesn't have better QA on something like firmware updates. One mis-step and they can end up with millions of bricks in the wild. They should have a "restore previous firmware version" at a very low-level in the firmware. Something triggered by holding a button or two during power-up.

Re:Here's a bit of advice (4, Informative)

NuclearError (1256172) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037255)

Not all save games can be backed up - Rock Band, for instance. The PS3 just won't let you copy it. It used to be with consoles that if your hardware crapped out, you'd have your save games on a memory card or something. Now, you have to remember to back games up to a flash, if you're allowed to, so the fate of your data is not tied to the hardware. Just like PC games, huh?

Re:Here's a bit of advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038625)

The same thing with a few games for Wii, such as Super Smash Bro's Brawl. You cannot backup that game data to SD. If something happens to your system, you will lose all your data. To anyone that has played SSBB, will know it takes a lot of time to get all that data.

Now, Homebrew software has been released that allows you to backup non-backup-able saves, but then that's "against" Nintendo's TOS...

No problems here (3, Informative)

beoba (867477) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037183)

Did the 2.4 update on my 80GB (MGS bundle) this morning. No problems whatsoever.

Details Of Who Is Getting The 2.4 Problem (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037381)

The only people having 'problems' with are the same old teenage Xbox 360 owners who sit around creating new accounts on the Playstation forums like they've been doing ever since the RRoD to become a publicized.

Yawn...

Re:No problems here (2, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037605)

Same here, updated with no problems and all the new features work as advertised. I also have Linux on a separate partition, so that at least is not causing the problem.

PS3 Firmware Update (2, Informative)

Vskye (9079) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037185)

I updated our PS3 last night and it works just fine. The kids like the new features also.

Breaking: The update's been pulled (5, Informative)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037311)

Re:Breaking: The update's been pulled (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24039011)

Breaking: You are not on digg anymore.

The 2.40 firmware has been pulled (5, Informative)

mkraft (200694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037315)

The firmware has been officially pulled by Sony for review. Even though it affected a minority of users, it must be pretty bad for Sony to do that.

See the KB link [custhelp.com] .

Re:The 2.40 firmware has been pulled (3, Insightful)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037825)

it must be pretty bad for Sony to do that.

No, not really. In fact, they should be praised for making this wise decision.

Hey, no one or orginization is perfect. Shit happens due to human error. But at least their owning up to the problem. But if I were Sony, I would also send out a letter of apology to every PS3 user inbox. Also, I would ensure those effected would be taken care of at no cost to them and even have credit to download a game or two free for their troubles. That would be the proper PR move to make IMHO.

Re:The 2.40 firmware has been pulled (1)

Aussenseiter (1241842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038339)

I believe he meant "pretty bad" as in the error itself, not Sony's decision to pull it.

Any reason to update? (1)

strider2k (945409) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037369)

Is there any reason to update if you use your system strictly as a game system? I'm only using it to enjoy Metal Gear Solid 4 and a few other key games, but I can imagine people like me in the majority.

Re:Any reason to update? (3, Informative)

Squozen (301710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037451)

You need to update to use the PSN network (for multiplayer gaming and the PSN Store), so it's almost mandatory unless you're not networked.

Re:Any reason to update? (2, Informative)

Admodieus (918728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037945)

Also, this update is particularly noteworthy because it introduces in-game cross media bar (a feature many PS3 users have wanted for a while), as well as trophies (think achievements, but with a lamer name).

Rampant..? (4, Interesting)

Squozen (301710) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037445)

'Rampant denial'? I updated last night and had no problems. I don't know that any of my PS3-owning friends had problems. I guess that makes us 'fanboys'.

Point #1 - Any firmware update has the potential to go wrong, especially when it's as large as the PS3 firmware is (130Mb) and can be downloaded over flaky links and installed from potentially faulty hard drives.

Point #2 - Wiping the drive shouldn't be an issue if people are running backups like they should be. Sony *do* provide a backup utility for this. Don't read this as an excuse for Sony - if the firmware is flawed, they should have done more testing, but EVERYBODY should be backing up their data if they care about it!

Re:Rampant..? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24037647)

FLAMING HOMOSEXUAL

Re:Rampant..? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038779)

'Rampant denial'? I updated last night and had no problems. I don't know that any of my PS3-owning friends had problems. I guess that makes us 'fanboys'.

Are you intentionally being so dense?

Saying you haven't had a problem does not make you a fanboy. Calling someone a liar because they say they have had a problem - and doing so vehemently - quite possibly does. Plenty of people do this in the linked forum thread.

Re:Rampant..? (1)

fawzma (1099863) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038785)

This is a game system, not a computer. Users shouldn't have to go though this in the first place.

Re:Rampant..? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038871)

'Rampant denial'? I updated last night and had no problems. I don't know that any of my PS3-owning friends had problems. I guess that makes us 'fanboys'.

Nope that makes you and your friends part of the lucky majority that had no problems.

HOWEVER

Point #1 - Any firmware update has the potential to go wrong, especially when it's as large as the PS3 firmware is (130Mb) and can be downloaded over flaky links and installed from potentially faulty hard drives.

Point #2 - Wiping the drive shouldn't be an issue if people are running backups like they should be. Sony *do* provide a backup utility for this. Don't read this as an excuse for Sony - if the firmware is flawed, they should have done more testing, but EVERYBODY should be backing up their data if they care about it!

This is fanboyism at its finest, you blame the victims of sony for not backing up and then try to pass it off as a minor flaw that can happen to anyone so really we shouldn't be ragging on sony for this. This is a game console not a computer system, many users would barely be able to turn there machine on let alone understand the consequences of a firmware upgrade or why it is important to do a backup before it.

If sony brick only .1% of consoles each firmware upgrade that is going to be in excess of 10,000 bricks an update, this is not even remotely acceptable especailly as these updates are expected a few times a year.

Re:Rampant..? (3, Interesting)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039039)

Any firmware update has the potential to go wrong, especially when it's as large as the PS3 firmware is (130Mb) and can be downloaded over flaky links and installed from potentially faulty hard drives.

Sorry, that doesn't fly. Checksums have been a known quantity for decades.

Wiping the drive shouldn't be an issue if people are running backups like they should be. Sony *do* provide a backup utility for this. Don't read this as an excuse for Sony - if the firmware is flawed, they should have done more testing, but EVERYBODY should be backing up their data if they care about it!

Again, doesn't fly. Rollbacks and non-destructive upgrades have been a known quantity for decades. And you have zero excuse when your update is less than one percent of your smallest target harddrive.

Re:Rampant..? (2, Insightful)

Tweaker_Phreaker (310297) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039321)

Point #1 - Ever heard of hash trees? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_tree [wikipedia.org]
A .torrent file is mostly filled with such hash trees which allow your BT client to check the integrity of the files. Flaky links and faulty hard drives shouldn't be excuses after nearly 3 decades of hash trees' existence and a decade of them being used in mainstream p2p applications.

Point #2 - The firmware should automatically make a backup of settings when doing an upgrade and user space data should NEVER be wiped.

Re:Rampant..? (1)

Furry Ice (136126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039411)

Talk about overkill...the PS3 doesn't use a P2P system, does it? It probably just downloads from a single TCP connection, so a simple hash or even a signed hash is all that would be needed. They probably already use one anyway, so the flaky download/disk drive argument is likely a red herring.

Re:Rampant..? (1, Informative)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 6 years ago | (#24039439)

No, the fact that there are 70+ pages of fanbois claiming the problem doesn't exist and it's all 360 kids trying to slander Sony makes it "rampant denial."

Anonymous FUD? The hell you say!?! (2, Funny)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 6 years ago | (#24037665)

Who would have thought an anonymous submission would be not entirely accurate.

Could it be that this is the fault of (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24038401)

niggers?

You get what you pay for? (0, Troll)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#24038781)

May Sony should have spent some more dollars on the system, and charged closer to its value. Mistakes can't always be avoided, but it helps to not have to be saving every penny so you don't go broke trying to sell your product.
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