PS3 Repair Log

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Apr 29 2009

I had to send my PS3 in for repair due to an error I was getting when trying to read disks (Blu-ray movies and games). I wanted to post my experience to help anyone in the future that needs to send in their PS3 for repair too.
First up was getting to the point of needing to send in the machine for repair. I called support (twice for troubleshooting) but when all troubleshooting failed I was told the PS3 would need to come in for repair and, to my surprise, I was sent an email to put in the request online instead of doing it over the phone. The link I was sent was and I was told to put in my information there and I would be sent a box. I was happy with this process because I received 2 emails saying my request was complete and within 3 days my PS3 coffin was at my door.
It came with a handy page that said what to do before sending in the PS3. First they recommend backing up your PS3, then deactivate your master account, then delete all users (lame), and finally format the PS3 system hard drive (double lame).
After all that was done I laid the PS3 in it’s temporary home for it’s long trip to Texas.

2009-04-19 – Received error 80029906 when trying to play a Blu-ray movie and error 80010514 when trying to play a disk based game. Games on the Hard drive worked just fine.
2009-04-19 – Submitted request for repair.
2009-04-21 – Coffin arrived at my door.
2009-04-22 – Shipped PS3 to repair center.
2009-04-28 – Email confirmation that the PS3 was received by the repair center. The email said repairs usually take between 7-10 business days.
2009-05-04 – Looks like they tried to deliver the system today. I got a call this morning but didn’t pick up cause I was driving. We will see if I get it tomorrow.
2009-05-04 – The driver came buy again at 6:00 p.m. to deliver the system. That sure was nice of him. As he dropped it off he asked if I play Xbox. I laughed a little and asked him if he had been delivering a lot. He just said they have needed a “little service lately”. When I told him it was a PS3 he was surprised and asked what happened. I just let him know the Blu-ray drive was having problems and signed for the package.

With the system is finally back and I was able to finish the movie I started three weeks ago. I haven’t restored my information yet but we will see how that goes.
And for anyone curious, I did get my exact system back (not a refurbished replacement). The only thing that looks changed is the fact that they flash firmware 2.60 and reset all the settings to default. I needed to update the firmware back to 2.70 and once I did that everything appears to be working just fine.

How-to format a disk to FAT32

4 Comments | This entry was posted on Apr 23 2009

When backing up my PS3 for repair I needed to plug in a external hard drive to back up the system. My PS3 is only 40 GB but even that is larger than any USB flash drive I have so I needed to pull out one of my USB hard drives for the backup. I started the the backup process and when it asked for a hard drive I plugged in my terabyte external hard drive but nothing happened. I soon found out that the PS3 will only read FAT32 formatted hard drives. I did not think this would be as much of a problem as it was.
First I tried the format tool built into Windows but I found out that Microsoft decided not to let any drive larger than 32 GB be formatted in FAT32 because…well because they suck and wanted everyone to move to NTFS. So I tried formatting from a command line with: format d: /fs:fat32But I got an error saying the drive is too large for FAT32. I know that isn’t true because FAT32 is technically able to format drives up to 2 terabytes. So I decided to try gparted in Linux. Of course gparted wouldn’t have any problems right? Well in gparted I only had the options for ext2, ext3, reiserfs, and unformatted. That’s a bummer. So how about from the terminal? I tried variations of mkfs and mkfs.vfat but I know there was something I was doing wrong because each time it would just give me a error.
Finally I found a way to do it! There is a program called Fat 32 Formatter. This is a command line program that works in Windows XP/2000/Vista and all you need to do is open a commend prompt and type in:fat32format.exe d: You need to replace d: with whatever your drive is currently mounted as. Once the process completes you have a fully formatted FAT32 drive for your PS3 backup needs. There is a mirror of the fat32format tool here just in case it is removed from online.
And yes this was far more complicated than it needed to be. If you have the commands for completing this task in OSX or Linux please leave them in the comments.

MediaSmart server advanced Twonky settings

3 Comments | This entry was posted on Feb 07 2009

With a new MediaSmart server I was excited to get the TwonkyMedia server up and running to be able to stream all my music and videos over to my PS3. I have some experience with Twonky from my Buffalo NAS and it was the best DLNA server I have ever used. I was a bit disappointed that the server configuration was dumbed down and limited to the MediaSmart console.
twonky restricted

Access is restricted to MediaServer configuration!

To enable to regular Twonky configuration pages you need to do the following steps.

1. RDP onto the server using mstsc.exe from a run command. If you have a version of Windows without remote desktop you will need to find a way to install it (I don’t know how) and open up C:\TwonkyMedia\twonkyvision-mediaserver.ini
2. Locate the line

# Web access

3. Change it to

# Web access

4. Save the file
5. Restart the TwonkyMedia service by opening services.msc from the run command, find the service on the list, and click restart on the left column.
twonky service restart

Now all you need to do is browse to your home server in a web page and go to port 9000.
You should be greeted with the normal Twonky configuration settings now.

I hope this helps someone, it certainly helped me.

Pineapple Express Blu-ray extras

1 Comment | This entry was posted on Jan 19 2009

Beth got Pineapple Express from Netflix this week and while I think the movie is funny it is not for everyone. That of course is not why I am writing this post. When I put in the Blu-ray disk I noticed something very unusual on my PS3. There was a bubble under the game section like I had downloaded something and it was waiting to install. Sure enough the extra was a Pineapple Express wallpaper for the PS3 that was stored on the disk. I of course “installed” it and the wallpaper changed to a background that was way better than the Pineapple Express wallpaper available in the PlayStation store.
My question is, does anyone know how to extract the picture from the Blu-ray disk or how to save just the image to the hard drive instead of having to install it on the PS3? I would like to have the picture on my computer but I don’t have a Blu-ray player on my computer and couldn’t find a way to explore the pictures on the disk.
If you know how to do it please just leave a comment. Oh and by the way, the deleted scenes aren’t that great. I haven’t watched the extended version but please let me know if you did.

Do you need Blu-ray?

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Jul 22 2008

So I recently watched Live Free or Die Hard on Blu-ray with some people that have never seen a Blu-ray movie before. I know it may surprise you but they were unimpressed. That got me thinking, what is it that people are looking for in Blu-ray? The most obvious thing is better video quality. I mean Blu-ray has the ability to hold 720p/1080p video where standard DVD can only hold 480p video. Honestly though, if your TV is not going to display the difference (or you can’t see the difference) what is the point? I thought I would point out a few more things that make up the Blu-ray puzzle.


While this may not seem like a cool feature or worth any money I have really become accustomed to having a menu available whenever I want. If I want to skip to a new chapter, turn on commentary, or use any other special feature I don’t have to exit the movie to go to the menu. I just hit the pop up menu button and there are all my menu items.

Sound quality

I have to admit, I do not have a receiver that can decode uncompressed DTS-HD and I have never even heard what it sounds like but I know that if you have a great TV and a crappy sound system, or a improperly set up sound system, you are missing half the movie. I can only imagine that having great sound would have the same affect as having improved image quality. Even more so, having good speakers and a properly set-up room will make your Blu-ray experience even more enjoyable.

Bonus features

Of couse regular DVD’s have bonus features too but not like Blu-ray. Of course Blu-ray has all the normal features like deleted scenes, language selection, and alternate endings, but newer Blu-ray movies are starting to come out with what is called BD-live. BD-live is really just a fancy way of saying that the Blu-ray player you are using is connected to the internet and can provide for temporary storage for a movie. Things like web trailers, updated movie information and stats, and even multiplayer games.

So does all these extra features mean you should run out and get a Blu-ray player? Absolutly not. If you don’t feel like you need a Blu-ray player or if you don’t think you will use any of the extra features, you probably shouldn’t spend the money on one (unless of course you want a awesome game system in the meantime). If your TV can’t display 1080p (or is under 42″) you probably won’t tell the visual difference, especially if you bought a Visio, and you should just stick with regular DVD’s. If your sound system came in a kit and cost you less than $200 or your speakers are from the 80′s,  you probably can’t hear the difference and therefore you don’t need Blu-ray. And if you don’t have internet access you can’t read this blog and will listen to whatever the Best Buy employee tells you anyway so it doesn’t matter.

To rap up, the next time you come across a first time Blu-ray watcher please just let them know that Blu-ray is more than just a pretty picture. I will admit, The first time I watched a Blu-ray movie I was less than stunned. As time goes on though expect the transition to be just like DVD’s. The very first DVD (Twister) didn’t even have surround sound for goodness sakes! If you have any features I missed or a first time Blu-ray experience you would like to share please feel free to leave a comment.

Windows tools

0 Comments | This entry was posted on Mar 04 2008

So I thought I would clean out a few more pinned articles in my bloglines before I went to bed. By a few, I mean 9. Lets just get started with this.

The first one is real simple. This is how you can easily disable Aero before running a program. In many cases you would want to do this before running a 3D intensive game. All you have to do is find the shortcut, right click and go to properties, click the compatability tab and check the box that says “Disable desktop composition”. That is it. Aero will disable itself next time you launch the shortcut and enable itself when the program is done.

The next tip it two-fold. First there is a quick tip on how to backup your DVD’s with 1 click. Sure that 1 click is going to take you a few hours to complete, but all you have to do is click once. The second part is a bit more involved but shows you how to backup your DVD’s and play them easily on a PS3. Sure you could always put the DVD in the PS3 and play it but who wants to get up? This uses a great tool, which I have yet to use, called PS3 Video 9.

Next up is another two parter and this is all about extracting things you never knew you could extract out of Windows. If you want to use a icon that a certain program uses. You can use IconsExtract or if you want to extract all the drivers you are using, to save as a backup, you can use DriverMax.

One of the last useful updates I have is a visual tweaker for Vista. It is called Vista Visual Master and has a lot of very useful tools. It gave me the ability to use custom themes again after I installed SP1 and that is worth a download itself.

Here are a few that most people probably won’t find very useful but I am going to give them a try for various reasons.

To remove passwords from Excel documents you can either buy a tool called Excel Password Remover or you can run one of many macros that will remove the password for free. I want to link to the full article so you can see all the comments with the macro options.

The last two I have are random but I know I will need them one day. First is a way to disable cached domain logins in Windows. This also may work to increase the number of logins available when off the domain but I need to test with that. To do it all you have to do is open the registry and find:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

Once you find that just change the cashedlogonscount to whatever value you want. Note that 0 disables this ability.

This last one will come in real handy when making my classroom images. A tool called CleanHandler will clean up those autoplay options that pop up in Windows when a cd/usb stick are plugged in.

I feel pretty good after that update so I will leave you with that.