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PS3 3.41 firmware puts stranglehold on hard drive

The latest PS3 firmware update should have only added one incidental feature to the PlayStation Store that most users probably couldn't even give a damn about, but instead it added something else: the ability to crash your system if you try to upgrade the hard drive.

Regardless of what version their current firmware is, all users who replace the PS3 hard drive will be asked to download the new firmware before they can go online. But it's actually kind of difficult when, after prompted to download the update, the following message is displayed: "No applicable update data was found."

Sony's official response tells users to update their PS3 with the current hard drive first, then put the new hard drive in, get a USB/Thumb drive, download the 3.41 firmware from their computer at, and then update the new PS3 HDD with the Thumb drive, instead of trying to connect the PS3 online. That sounds like fun, right?

Okay, so this update was supposed to add one thing: when you look at a title on the PlayStation Store, a list of "You May Like" titles pops up based on purchasing history of other users. So why the hell is it affecting the option to install a new hard drive? Most likely, Sony was being shady in itsofficial descriptionof the new firmware and left out details of some back-end changes that also went in place.

Above: According to Sony, this little pop-up window is all that's being changed in the 3.41 firmware update. Yeah, that's probably not true.

There were rumorsfloating around that the new update would in fact change some back-end processes on the PS3 that would make future firmware updates easier. Of course, now that means this firmware update is a b*tch. You gotta love the irony.

Does this sound likfamiliar? It should. After Sony rolled out the 3.0 and 3.21 firmware updates, scattered users on the PlayStation forums said they could no longer log into their PSN accounts, noticed buggy trophy syncing, or received disc read errors.

We would really love to see what a typical day is like for a PS3 firmware engineer. Our guess is that it involves a lot of beer pong.

Jul 30, 2010