I have a 60GB launch PS3 with FW3.41, and a 750GB internal HDD. I am unsure of whether it was the good or bad version of 3.41 (the one that causes issues with replaced HDDs) since I bought the PS3 used and didn't update it myself.
I was playing White Knight Chronicles this weekend and in the middle of a cutscene, the PS3 froze. I tried accessing the in-game xmb to quit the game or turn the system off, but it was unresponsive. Then I tried holding down the power button on the front and nothing happened, so finally I turned it off via the power in the back. Upon restart, it said that it needed to restore the filesystem, which failed and then it said that it needs to format, which I don't want to do since I would lose all of my saves.
I tried all of the options in the recovery menu besides formatting the hdd. I even tried upgrading to a known good version of 3.41, but the PS3 still says it needs to format before it can boot. Using the original 60GB hdd I can boot the PS3, including in jailbreak mode. Last night, I tried booting in jailbreak mode off the 60GB, launching the ftp program, waiting 5 minutes for the hdd to spin down, then hot swapping with the 750GB. I was able to ftp into the PS3 and access /dev_flash, but accessing /dev_hdd0 would cause my ftp client to freeze. When I pressed x to exit, the ps3 just hung. Tonight I'll try the hot swap again with the Awesome File Manager.
So my questions are:
1. Is there any way to recover the savegame data? This is uncharted waters here since I don't think this has been done before. However with both HDD's keyed to the same working jailbreakable PS3, it should be possible. Some thoughts I had were a custom payload that bypasses the filesystem check, or getting the encryption keys from the PS3 somehow and accesing the disk on a PC.
2. How often does the PS3 randomly decide to delete ALL of your data? I have never seen such a blatent disregard for user data. I can't believe it corrupts everything when it freezes, and from forum posts I've been reading, the PS3 has been doing this for years.
3. Is there a way to prevent this from happening again, or do I need to take backups of my saves in the middle of gaming sessions forever? Could this be related to using the bad version of 3.41, or an unstable JB version?