PS3 HDD Recovery.

Discussion in 'Modding and Hacking - Consoles and Electronics' started by kreg, Jan 12, 2019 at 5:16 AM.

  1. kreg

    kreg Spirited Member

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    Accident: My PS3 Hdd was quick formatted. I took the drive out some time ago. Today I mistook it for a spare blank drive. I connected it to my PC to check if anything was on it. Nothing mounted or showed up. So I quick formatted it to NTFS. Later I realized it was my PS3 drive. No files were written to it after the NTFS quick format.

    I am comfortable with tools like dd and working with specific bs sizes to repair/erase things. Can it be possible to scan the PS3 Hdd, remove the new NTFS table, and put a PS3 table back in it's place? Any advise or suggestions?

    Full disclosure. I'm an idiot.
     
  2. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    You're not going to get far especially since you likely dont have the key that went with the drive either
    The ps3 encrypts its hdd with an eid rootkey, and if a new drive is married to the system it replaces it. if the drive is formatted by windows, youre not going to have luck getting that back since youd also need the eid rootkey, and since you cant boot that drive to get it you're pretty screwed
    the only thing you can do is hope someone stops by and shares a solution to recovering whatever data is on the drive

    I say this optimistically knowing how unlikely this is. No EID Rootkey, no decryption, no encrypted drive, no way to restore what was encrypted.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 7:03 AM
  3. kreg

    kreg Spirited Member

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    Does it change any hopes if a CFW is available on the same PS3? Does the key get randomly changed per drive? If not, could I dd a certain bs range from a newly installed hdd? Anyway to check if the key is still on it, if the partition table is restored? It was just a quick format afterall, which I think is just a new table only.

    Just brainstorming some ideas.
     
  4. gladiator5

    gladiator5 Robust Member

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    Yeah the key changes at the same time, you format a new hdd in the ps3.
    And without a hdd inserted, its not gonna boot up to the xmb
    If you somehow, can get the drive too the state it was before the quick format, you could swap it back in, and dump the eid rootkey.

    Without the partition table, 99.99% sure that ps3 data is gone.
     
  5. PixelButts

    PixelButts Site Soldier

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    Here's more or less a condensed way of how this works in order of how bad it is.

    PS3 and HDD are "married". They cannot be separated.
    They have a unique decryption key pairing for the drive so nobody else's key will work on yours
    If you remove the HDD, it will not boot (cant find storage. Makes sense)
    If you put it back in, it will be fine (basically, just removal for cleaning or something)
    If you put a different HDD in, it will ask to format it (which marries this new drive and generates a new key for that drive)
    It is at this point that if you said "yes" to formatting, the data is gone without having the old key. If you said no, you're fine still
    If you format (marry) this drive, it will toss the old key and replace it with a new one
    If this happens the old drive will no longer be accessible even if you plug it back in unless you have the old key
    If the hdd is damaged (like some part got corrupted), it will tell you so and attempt to repair, but whether it will repair it successfully I cant honestly say
    If you quick format it to NTFS (or anything else really), you overwrite the encrypted aspect of it, so unless you can restore this to its original state you will never get the data off it. You might be able to get some if you had the EID Rootkey, but again, the only way to get it is while the drive is in there and being used.
     
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  6. kreg

    kreg Spirited Member

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    All good info. It's more of a challenge to recover some lost game saves, rather than a crisis. I dabble with things like this and wondered if it was in reach. Either way, good comments to learn from. Thanks all!
     

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