So my precious first generation 60GB backward-compatible Playstation 3 got its second YLOD (Yellow Light of Doom) a few days ago and it looks like it’s dying for good. It gave us the YLOD  for the first time around less than a month ago, and we managed to revive it using this solder reflow method but it is only a temporary fix. Everything I read on the net says that even if a PS3 that has YLOD has been fixed with the better fix of solder reballing, it’s still just on life support and the second YLOD just confirmed it.

So I’m now looking for a new PS3 to replace the dying/dead one, and also searching for the best methods to get my game data and save files from the old one to the new one (especially the save data, since I don’t have Playstation Plus). There’s a few things I noticed when researching, and this blog post is actually my notes to self to see things more clearly and list the things I should do or note later.

Of course, if this posts helps more people than just me, it’s a pleasant bonus.

* Note, I don’t have those rental videos and copy-righted video downloads so there’s a lot lesser things I need to pay attention to. If you have those, read the articles/posts/guides I linked to and take note. Best to google and get your own confirmation.

There are 2 official methods, the Data Transfer Utility and the Backup & Restore Utility.

Data Transfer Utility

– A good guide with pictures for How to Transfer All Your Information to a New PS3. This uses the Data Transfer Utility.

– For Data Transfer Utility, things to note:

“When you perform this operation, all data that is stored on the PS3™ system that will receive the data (the “destination system”) will be deleted.” Not a problem for me.

“If the transferred data is saved game data that is copy-prohibited or data that is copyright-protected, it will be moved to the destination PS3™ system and deleted from the source PS3™ system.” This is good news.

“If multiple users exist on the source PS3™ system, you must perform the following operations for all of the users before starting the data transfer operation.” Oh dear, this is gonna be tedious.

“Little Big Planet and PlayStation Home both have extra areas you may want to check to make sure your data is backup up before proceeding to the next step.” Yikes, I have both of them so I probably should take note.

— With the exception of rental/copy-righted videos, certain PS2 game files, some other files that I don’t have, it seems everything can be transferred without much problems. Even though Trophies need to be synced, but I just need to remember to do the correct account login and activation/deactivation.

— The official instructions about System Activation.

Conclusion: This seems to be the better method, but at the moment, I have a big problem… My old PS3 needs to be working.

Backup & Restore Utility

I have used the Backup & Restore Utility back when I was thinking of upgrading to a bigger size HDD. It takes very long, and according to many people, the bigger the used file size, the longer it takes. Backing up my 55GB takes roughly 2+ hours.

I personally think that the Backup & Restore Utility has two purposes:

1. For original machine, for upgrading to a bigger HDD or restoring/replacing a corrupted HDD:

— I found a guide for How to backup your PS3 harddrive to an external harddrive / thumbdrive before upgrading

— From what I read, people who have done restoring to the same/original machine says that everything is restored.

— If a new HDD is being restored to, it seems that a USB stick with the latest firmware is required.

— The old HDD (if functional) can still be inserted back into the PS3 and used without problems in case anything is missing (though it really shouldn’t be, unless the backup is corrupted or something).

2. For another/new machine, for replacing an original machine which is usually dead or unavailable:

— Found an information list of 8 Things You Need To Know About Backup and Restore on PS3

— What can be restored are non-copyright-protected PS3, PSP and minis save data, media files, internet bookmarks and dictionary terms.

— Game Data needs to be re-downloaded. Including patches and likely DLC as well. Not a problem but it is tedious and will likely take a while to download everything back.

— PS1 and PS2 save data and locked saves are not transferred as well, as confirmed by some helpful person. They can be manually backup and restored via the Copy method (can use either USB, PSP or PS Vita). This is still not good news because I don’t think I have some of the latest saves copied out. In order to have all the latest saves, my old PS3 needs to be revived.

Conclusion: For my purposes, namely replacing a YLOD-ing PS3, it seems I will not be able to restore everything. Coupled with the restoring process potentially taking 2+ hours and needing to re-download game files and manually copy in the PS1 and PS2 save data, I would say I will only resort to this method if my old PS3 is truly dead and unable to revive.

What I should do now

1. Obtain a new PS3

2. Attempt to revive the old PS3 because I missed doing a number of backup before it gave me the dreaded yellow light.

If the PS3 is revived successfully,

3. Do a full backup of PS1 and PS2 saves. Note the games that I play and will need to download again should I end up restoring a backup to the new PS3. (For anyone who is in the same situation as me and have not done a Backup recently, now is a good time to do so. I was lucky to have done Backup the morning my PS3 YLOD the 2nd time.)

4. Do a full round of Trophy syncing, noting down of account info, system deactivation for all the accounts, and also check my Playstation Home and Little Big Planet stuff.

5. Hook the new PS3 to the TV and get an ethernet cable and use the Data Transfer Utility.

6. Pray for the best.

7. If transferred successfully, check what’s missing. Setup whatever is required.

If the PS3 is NOT revived successfully,

3. Find out exactly where my latest PS1 and PS2 save data are stored.

4. Hook the new PS3 to the TV and after setting up Playstation Network account, plug in the storage device with my Backup and Restore it.

5. Wait and pray for the best.

6. If restored successfully, check what’s missing. Setup whatever is required.

7. Manually copy in the PS1 and PS2 save data.

8. Do the tedious re-downloading of games and patch them.

I really hope this helps me out later. Goddess knows I’ll forget most of the little details when I wake up six hours later.