There are a growing number of frustrated, disgruntled and angry voices being heard over on the official PlayStation forums. The burning issue, it seems, is still hard disk replacement after firmware 3.56, something we reported on a couple of weeks ago.
As most of you will now be aware, the problem was seemingly fixed when Sony issued a new version of the firmware, still numbered 3.56 but a fixed file that resolved the problem with upgrading hard disks. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have fixed it entirely.
If you had a fully working system on February 1st, when the revised 3.56 firmware became available via an optional update (under System Update on the XMB), then you can just download the revised 3.56 via the XMB option as normal. This lets the PS3 know that you’ve got the latest firmware and it shouldn’t then have problems when trying to read the file from the external drive during the installation process. However, if you tried to swap the hard disks between the original 3.56 (launched on January 27th) and the fixed version then you won’t be able to get past the version check.
There seems to be a specific predicament which leaves users with unusable consoles. If you installed your new disk and formatted your old one (perhaps to use as the external disk needed during installation) then you might be in trouble. It would seem that the installation process still needs an external disk with the newest firmware on it but the latest firmware available for PC download is actually showing to the PS3’s checking system as the version of 3.56 before it was fixed. The PlayStation doesn’t recognise this as the latest firmware during the booting process so it won’t allow you to reinstall it from your external disk.
This means that a growing number of people are finding themselves stuck halfway through the installation process with no means to get their consoles working again. According to many forum posters Sony’s support teams in the UK have admitted the problem and indicated that there is a fix on the way but it has now been seventeen days since the firmware upgrade and the number of users finding themselves in this unfortunate position continues to grow.
For now, we would strongly advise against trying to upgrade your hard disk. We’re sure Sony will get on top of this problem soon but until a fix is issued it’s safest to wait.