Help: Backing up PS3 HDD without PS3

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by deepbrown, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. dubyateeeff

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    In Sweden we have a consumer organisation that helps us argue our case when something we have bought is not to our satisfaction (before going to trial). On their webpage they have a comment about harddrives which is if your harddrive fails no matter how valuable your data is you can't request that it is restored as it is up to the user to back up their files.

    The only problem I have is that some save files aren't being backed up/restored (don't remember which). Most save files are being restored.

    When my PS3 drive failed while playing GTA4 I took it to the shop and the repair time was about 10 weeks and the fault was apparently known by the manager of the store chain.

    Moral of the store as someone said, back up your data!

    Oh, and the "save file, online locker"should be free! Heck, have some adds for the "save file, online locker" if you need to. If Sony doesn't I can see MS including this for free in a gold membershop. Hopefully! Competition is good!
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

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    But as mentioned, backing up is no use if you can't restore. I doubt the consumer groups advice is applicable to PS3 because, on PC, you can always restore if you make the backup as long as you record any passwords or whatever you might use. On PS3 it's tied to the hardware. So what would they say if you do backup your data but when you restore it, it isn't actually restored?

    However, further complivcation to deepbrown's case comes from not paying for this content because it's press material. Sony could fairly argue he's not the owner and not entitled to a restore to a different HDD. Without contracts, it's entirely up to Sony unless you want a proper legal battle, which isn't worth it.
     
  3. patsu

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    I restored my HDD twice (20Gb -> new 60Gb PS3, 60Gb -> 500Gb HDD) although I can't remember the details very well now. I seem to be able to restore my game saves for both. Game Saves was the only data I wanted to backup (I deleted everything else to save space for the backup HDD).

    I know if I tried to copy the game saves manually (instead of using System Backup), the OS may refuse to do some because these files are locked to the hardware ID. It recommended me to use System Backup instead.

    Yes, the 'press' games are probably special builds which are not distributed anymore. Even if he has the codes to get them, they may not be accessible.


    EDIT: The dangerous part about Backup + Restore is you may not know if the backup set was intact. On PCs, the system administrators backup to multiple media, and they restore backup sets on another PC periodically for validation. Most people only have 1 PS3 at home. They won't know if their backup sets are corrupted until it's too late.

    I have seen cases where some may need a few tries (e.g., http://boardsus.playstation.com/playstation/board/message?board.id=ps3&thread.id=3581852). These days, I manually copy some game saves. As long as they are not coded to check for hardware ID, it should be fine.
     
  4. randycat99

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    Does anybody know how much space the ps3 backup takes? Is it just the size of all of the stuff, itself, on your hdd, or is it just take up the size that is the ps3 hdd (regardless of how much is open space)? Does a backup of an 80 GB ps3 hdd with 40 GB of stuff on it end up as an 80 GB bkp file or a 40 GB bkp file on your ext hdd?

    I presume, there is no data compression involved in the size of the bkp file either?
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

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    It's weird and incalculable. I had a 6 GB 2.5" USB HDD to backup to. I was told by the PS3 I needed an extra 650 MBs. I deleted >650 MBs of stuff from the USB HDD and was told I needed another 500 MBs. I deleted more stuff and still it wouldn't fit. In the end I had to pair the files down to a bare minimum, deleting all my PSN downloads. This was without any music, photo or images. As media will be compressed anyway, I doubt it's possible to get much by way of savings. I think you'll need a little more space than space used as a rule. Certainly it's not the whole drive, 40 or 80 GB or whatever.
     
  6. randycat99

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    It does make a lot of sense that most of it should not be able to be compressed any further than it is, if it is music and video content. I had in mind that there would still be a good amount of straight data in there from the system files, the "reserved block" of the hdd, and the game code for all of those demo games. Of course, if none of that kind of stuff gets saved or can be restored, then I suppose it is a moot point. I read through the entire topic, but I've already forgotten if it had been discussed- are downloaded demo games part of the backup or do you automatically lose those upon hdd migration?
     
  7. Shifty Geezer

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    Most game content should be compressed. Audio is MO3's. Images are jpegs or DXTC or what-have-you. Downloaded games+demos are restored to the same PS3 but not different PS3's AFAIK.
     
  8. randycat99

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    Does this indicate that you are actually able browse the contents of a ps3 backup? Is it just a folder of stuff or a monolithic image file?
     
  9. Shifty Geezer

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    Monolithic image file.
     
  10. randycat99

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    I guess my academic curiosity on this subject is- is the backup an actual "image" of the ps3 hdd, or is it just a manual collection of contents enclosed in a proprietary "image file"? I doubt it matters, either way. I'm just curious of the nature of how it backs up content.
     
  11. randycat99

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    Finally did my first back-up to an external hdd. Here's a curious thing- when I look at what has been stored, I see a series of folders containing various things, but the actual "meat" of the backup seems to be hidden from view. That is, the hdd is able to reconcile that 32 GB of stuff was consumed "somewhere", but the folders that are actually visible where the ps3 evidently did its thing only show 4 GB or so of stuff? Does that sound normal?

    This is kind of inconvienient (assuming this is the standard result). This means I cannot really transport the backup to another location (a bigger hdd in my main computer, for example), because there is literally nothing to drag'n'drop other than a few visible folders that are obviously not the full manifestations of the complete backup. So it sits on this portable hdd, and that is the end of the line. Now, I realize this should not be a problem for those with the mega-capacity drive explicitly used for such purpose. I'm just wondering if this is really the normal/intended result. It's a "backup", but still a backup with some caveats, if this is the case.
     
  12. patsu

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    What did you see from Windows command tool ?
     
  13. randycat99

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    Windows command tool? You mean doing a dir from a cmd.exe window? I hadn't thought of doing that, but sounds like another interesting thing to try. (will get back to you on this, if this is what you meant)

    This brings up another question on the issue of backups- if the data cannot even be seen in a standard browser window (Windows or Mac OS), can you even delete it from your external hdd (to free up space to use it for something else, for instance)? Are we expected to go back to the ps3 to use the "delete backup data" operation just to recoup the space? That's quite the cumbersome approach to managing backup data, imo. I have a feeling it is probably being done this way to discourage "tampering", but it also discourages backing it up, too. It's really not practical unless you absolutely DO use one of those monster external hdd's. If not, that could be 32-80 GB of invisible data sitting on there, that you could rather use to store something else, if the opportunity presents.
     
    #93 randycat99, Feb 5, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2009
  14. patsu

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    Yes, that's what I meant.

    dir /ah (I think)
    or
    dir /ash (also list system files)
     
  15. randycat99

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    Would dir /ah expose anything further than simply using the classic Windows file browser with the show hidden/system files enabled, or is that essentially the same thing?

    When I had it hooked up last, I did try it with the show hidden files part, but not the system files part. I'll have to go back and see if that makes any difference.
     
  16. randycat99

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    Finally got to try out dir /ah- no dice. In the cmd window, it would not even show that the ps3 directory even exists (hidden attribute in dos?). So I manually navigated through the ps3 folder chain, and typed the dir /ah command in the final folder. It didn't show up anything extra that I wasn't able to see before.

    So I don't know how they hid it, but there is a phantom 26 GB or so of content on there somewhere. Evidently, only a ps3 can read or see it, and only a ps3 can remove it from the storage device.

    Curious, eh?

    The components of the backup that are visible comprises about 6 GB (for me). I'm guessing that is actually the core of the actual ps3 system files/settings.
     
    #96 randycat99, Feb 6, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2009
  17. deepbrown

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    New PS3. Got press games.

    No saves.

    But oh well.
     
  18. tha_con

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    Saw that you were online last night, glad to see you back!

    Good to hear you got your press games back, at least it smoothed over things a little.

    Now you just need to get some storage so you can back up your content, or at least saves!

    On that note, one thing I really *really* wish that Sony would do is allow for a quick backup, allowing me to preserve save files and other personal information.
     
  19. patsu

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    deepbrown, does that mean you have zero trophy now ?
    [size=-2]muahahahaha[/size]
     
  20. Shifty Geezer

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    Trophies are recorded online, so you're still bottom of the pile, Patsu!

    Depp : How'd you get the press games? Did Sony arrange something directly?
     
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