PS3 Bricked By Firmware 4.45? Here’s How To Enter Safe Mode

Reports came in overnight that PS3s were getting bricked by Sony’s latest firmware update – version 4.45. It doesn’t affect every machine (indeed, it appears those that are affected are in the minority at the time of writing) but it does appear to be concentrated on those with larger than 500GB hard drives, or custom drives.

Sony has already pulled the firmware update, so chances are if you’ve not downloaded it yet you won’t get the prompt and won’t (presumably) need to worry about all this. Likewise, if you’ve downloaded it and installed it and all is fine then you’re good to go.


However, some consoles have been ‘bricked’ by the update, which means something has gone wrong during the install and the PS3 won’t boot up properly, or at all. Thankfully Sony have a ‘safe mode‘ built into the console which means that there’s still a chance your machine can be restored.

You’ll need to wait until Sony have come up with another version of 4.45, most likely, but it’s still worth giving this a go to see if it works. Bear in mind that you do this at your own risk and we’re not responsible for any further damage or loss of data. If you’re concerned, the best place to start is Sony’s Customer Services.

The video below explains what you should be looking at:

Again: attempting any of this may result in loss of data on your console, and Sony recommend keeping full backups of your data. Always call Sony first.

How do you access safe mode? It’s quite simple. Turn off the console, then hold the power button down until you’ve heard three beeps. That should take about 15-20 seconds. It’ll then power off again. Do the same again – hold the button down – and on the third beep it’ll actually do two quick beeps.

You’ll then need to connect a controller via USB and press the PS button. You’ll then get the safe mode menu, which will let you restore and reset various options.

Obviously the one you want is the bottom option – System Update – which it’ll attempt to do via USB. As we said you’ll need an updated version of 4.45 from Sony (which we assume will be coming shortly) and hopefully that’ll fix things. It might, it might not, but it’s probably worth a shot, right?

Please note that safe mode shouldn’t be used lightly and some of the options can completely wipe your console, including all your saves, profiles and downloaded games. Again, get in touch with Customer Services first and see what they have to say.

Sony have said they’re “aware of reports that the recent PS3 update (4.45) has caused” and “apologise for the inconvenience”. Another version of 4.45 should be arriving soon.



  1. I used ‘restore file system’ from the safe menu on my ps3 phat a couple of years ago, and it hung half way through meaning I lost EVERYTHING :-(

    • Exact same thing here, i elected to use the restore filesystem option a few months ago and it halted at 37% – i lost everything and such a pain to download it all again.

      • Likewise. Only got to 17%. And nowadays you’re encouraged to run it after a crash.

    • I used that about 10 times last week and no damage occurred.

      It couldn’t fix my blu-ray drive unfortunately, but that was a physical problem.

      So maybe it has improved?

  2. Oh!, typed this info in the original article about FW 4.45 bricking PS3’s. Typing at the same as this article was being posted by the looks :P

  3. My PS3 “told” me this morning that the firmware was downloaded via PS+ auto-update, but it’s not yet installed. Will install automatically by itself? and don’t remember if it will.

    • Mine told me the same thing this morning but when I checked it still had 4.41 installed and not the new one. I am not sure if it auto inztalls as well but I turned the option off for the time being. I should note that I have a 500gb hdd so it may not affect me but im not taking that chance.

      • Same situation for me. The question is that: is it not to late to turn off auto-update? Does auto-update mean that the firmware is downloaded automatically OR is the firmware downloaded and installed automatically? I’m guessing it’s not about auto install only, as this would be stupid if we would have to download a firmware manually, but the install would be done automatically.

    • Same here…. does anyone know if you can find the downloada update file on the PS3 to delete it?

    • I think because you have to agree to a EULA every time, it can’t do it automatically.

  4. Thanks for the warning, will delete (if possible) if PS+ has downloaded update.

  5. Great guide, good to know that the bricking isn’t as severe as actual bricking! I think id rather lose our data and save the console than get rid of a console unaware of how to save it. Back up your saved games folks!

  6. Ouch. I hope Sony release a “fixed” version soon.

  7. I manually downloaded the patch at 5am this morning. It installed as normal and rebooted fine, the new trophy on/off is now in the settings. I have just tried it again now I’m home from work and it started up just fine and loaded up the PSN store perfectly. If it helps I have a 500gb HDD in my PS slim.

  8. I’ve noticed the PSN has been down for a couple of hours. Wander whether its anything to do with this?

  9. Gah!

    My new PS3 is supposed to arrive tomorrow and I won’t be able to update the firmware? :(

    • You can, it would just update to 4.41.

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