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Thread: Initialized PS3 HDD on PC... How do I undo?

  1. #1
    hedgehog90 Guest

    Unhappy Initialized PS3 HDD on PC... How do I undo?

    Here's what's happened. I have a PS3. The other day I decided to do a back up. I haven't backed up a ps3 harddrive before, so I thought I'd do it through the PC instead of the PS3 (I've backed up many harddrives on my PC before, so I thought this was a clever thing to do)

    I plugged it in and went to disk management, and clicked Initialize. Bad idea... The PS3 harddrive is in some weird format... like a modified version of FAT32, and when I clicked initialize, it did something to the table structure I believe.

    Anyway, after initializing, I realised i had no way of copying the files over, so I took it out.

    When I plugged in the harddrive into the PS3 and turned it on I was greeted with the unwelcome message "The harddrive needs to be formatted, blah blah blah"

    Now I want to clarify that all I did was click Initialize... a tenth of a second later it was done. It couldn't have done anything TOO harmful, but after a day of trying a handful harddrive recovery softwares, and scouring the net, it appears what I'm trying to do is fix the unfixable.

    PLEASE just tell me how I can UN-initialize the harddrive somehow or get my important data off... It just seems ridiculous that a single non-descriptive button can ruin a harddrive in less than a second.

  2. #2
    Typhoon859 Guest

    PS3 HDD Initialized by Windows - What now?

    So essentially, the story is this. A really long while back, when I wanted to upgrade my PS3's HDD, instead of backing it up using the PS3 (at which point I didn't have any external hard drives anyway), I decided to be "wise" and use Acronis to mirror the drive. What happened though is that for Windows to even see the drive, it asked me to initialize it. I saw no problem in that so I did. I then used Acronis to mirror the drive and all seemed to be well. When I put in my new HDD into the PS3, it prompted to format the drive in order for it to work. I followed up by putting the original back in its place and of course, the same thing happened.

    I wasn't sure what has happened so I decided to see if I could at least see all the data on the drive so I plugged it back in. In order for Windows to actually access the drive, it too asked to format it. Obviously, that's because it's still in the proprietary PS3 SONY format and the PS3 is just retarded that it doesn't have it's own initialization function like Windows has, besides in the form of completely formatting.

    All my save data from the first day that I started gaming was on there. PS1 games, PS2 games, and of course PS3 game save files were all on there. I thought that I could somehow find a way to copy the files to a flash drive and that would be it. As you guys here probably know, that would do no good as well since the files would still be "encrypted" I guess I could say. I used EasyRecovery to browse through the files. I think I figured out which format was the save files but yeah, it didn't work.

    A shorter while back, I heard something about the PS3 being cracked in some way and that's sorta what I was waiting for. Is there now any way to reinitialize the HDD for the PS3 or somehow make those save files readable? Thanks for your time. I know that if anybody is to have the answer, it'd be you guys

  3. #3
    JesusFMA Guest
    I'm afraid you've lost all your data. I did once the same thing and yes, "initialize" is not quite descriptive but it does something to your drive (I read something about, it "modifies" the record table or something).

    I'm sorry about your situation. I remember I was able to recover my info with a tool named "Recovery Partition", try it and see what happens, of course, my disk had a FAT system and was encrypted either.

    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Raze1988 Guest
    Well, "Initializing" basically means "DELETE EVERYTHING".

    I made that mistake once and will never make it again. Recorded my vacation with a portable DVD recorder, forgot to finalize the disc and then put it into my DVD Player/Recorder at home.

    It asked me to Initialize. I thought "Initialize = Preparing the disc so it is ready to be played". 2 minutes later I raged.

  5. #5
    Typhoon859 Guest
    Initializing could mean something different for different things. All the data is on the drive. It remains the same size and I was able to see all the files. I just wasn't able to have the files working.

    It is still currently unreadable on the PC without recovery the data in raw format? If there's a way, that would solve all the problems. Then, the save files can just be copied.

  6. #6
    hedgehog90 Guest
    Ok, I think I've got a good grasp of the situation now anyway.

    I think I'm right in saying that the initialize has NOT wiped anything. For now I'm extracting all the raw data from the 60gb harddrive, and I'll keep it for the future.

    If I could just get my save files off there (forget the tens of gigs of rockband) then I would be happy. At the moment though, it appears there is no way to decrypt the data of the harddrive. I think I'm right in saying that back in February 09, someone managed it, but it hasn't gone live? Or Sony have already quashed it.

    So, is there any progress in the battle against the PS3 HDD encryption? Have I got any hope of getting those save files off now or in the near future?

  7. #7
    CJPC Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by hedgehog90 View Post
    So, is there any progress in the battle against the PS3 HDD encryption? Have I got any hope of getting those save files off now or in the near future?
    Well, the biggest problem is as others have stated is the whole "its encrypted" thing. The larger issue is that when the drive was initialized, most of the data should still be there, but the first few really important sectors (the whole master boot record, etc) are most likely gone.

    Assuming that the algo and keys for your box were known to decrypt the HDD, I suppose it may be possible in the future to manually decrypt data, but even then its a very long, longshot as those things are not even known yet - as data recovery for even PC based systems are hit and miss with a missing file table, let alone encrypted data.

  8. #8
    mushy409 Guest
    I know this'll sound nasty but WHY DID YOU PUT IT IN YOUR PC?

    Any storage device connected to windows that is in a format windows cannot recognise will be prompted for "Initialise" (Erase / format / delete / whatever)

    More than likely Acronis has wiped the MFT to make the drive appear blank (as opposed to a full initialise -> full format).

    I doubt it's recoverable. From experience, HDDs SOMETIMES store a backup MFT (Master File Table) somewhere else on the drive. Your only hope would be Paragon Partition Manager (Hiren's BootCD) or some powerful partition software that can restore the MFT. With the PS3, I doubt there is a backup MFT.

    Next time you come to put a PS3 or Xbox 360 HDD into a PC - NO!

  9. #9
    Typhoon859 Guest
    Well, as hedgehog90 is doing now I've done before, extracting the raw data. The very sad part is that the files are obtainable but just not properly so since they're "encrypted". Maybe someone knows...

    Does somebody at least know for sure if somebody has been able to solve this in the history of this site?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post
    Does somebody at least know for sure if somebody has been able to solve this in the history of this site?
    There are 2 tools you can use linked HERE to do it, however, they are "Dev" tools and so are not very "end-user friendly."

    Basically they are only intended for those who can understand how to use them... which probably doesn't apply to 95% (myself included) of the people here.

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