3.56 hdd Issue Persists

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.

Thanks, Jay



  1. Guess it’s time for v3.56v3 :>

    • “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.”

      “the number of users finding themselves in this unfortunate position continues to grow.”

      Errm the number of users is NOT growing, as you mention the specific (and obscure) circumstances needed to get here, which is very date related).

  2. Bring 3.60 out already! My HDD is due an upgrade come to think of it.

  3. I avoided this issue by a solitary day it seems. Phew!

  4. For the record, I updated my HDD to a 500gb Seagate just 5 days ago. I had the ‘old’ 3.56 on it, and loaded the ‘new’ 3.56 that came from playstation.com off a jump drive. No problems whatsoever. Although I would damn sure still wait if I knew it was causing problems.

    • I think this problem only impacts on certain models (listed in the previous article). Not sure how widespread it is but there are 70 pages of people in that one thread complaining about it… I read it all this morning!

      • Yeah, I’m certainly not doubting that it’s causing issues for people. Just saying that I got lucky :-)

    • if you have an old PS3 with the 256 MB ROM or whatever it’s called, then you’re fine.

      The only problem is when people wipe their old HDD. Something that’s unfathomable to me, when people can just use a USB stick. Who doesn’t have one of those??

    • No surprise really, this is non-news, the problem is fixed for almost everyone. I’d be surprised if there are more than 10 people in total that got caught out by this very specific and time related problem.

      Still why let facts get in the way of a good story eh?

      • Even if 10 people got affected by it, its still an issue worth reporting isn’t it?

  5. For anyone thinking of upgrading, make sure you buy a 2.5″ HDD that is 9.5mm in height. Those are two important figures to remember.

  6. This make me scared of upgrading my HDD, thank god I still have a lot of space left in my PS3 and thank god(kinda) my 60gb ps3 broke and was replaced by a 120gb.

  7. Wow that’s really poor Sony. Sort it out!

  8. If 3.56 is changed to fix a bug, how come it’s not number 3.57?

    • Because there are no plans for a decent update in the near future that would warrant 3.60 ;)

      • I just figured Sony were working to the theory:
        Makes improvement we can be proud of = increased version number.
        Covers up balls-up we made = keep same number, hope nobody notices.

  9. Was helping a mate upgrade their HDD yesterday evening and had no idea of this problem until we were met with the error message after putting the new disk in. Therefore, a process what should have taken an hour tops ended up taking three, as we read various posts on forums, etc until we found the solution. After putting the old HDD back in and doing a search for updates it downloaded the revised version of 3.56. After doing that (and downloading the same update off the Sony website into an UPDATE folder on my usb stick) everything started working.

  10. Oh, look! Yet ANOTHER firmware update that only causes more issues…

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