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PlayStation 3 - How To

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How to enter Safe Mode

Published by SuperCheats Staff on Sep 4th 2013
The PlayStation 3 has an optional mode in all models known as Safe Mode. This is primarily used in case your Hard Drive is corrupted and system performance is reduced, or because you can no longer access the XMB (main system menu). These issues usually arise because the console has been switched off while it is saving data (possibly because of a power-cut, for example, or because it crashed).

1. To enter Safe Mode, first of all put your PS3 in standby (with the red light showing on the front). Then, press and hold the power button - the light will turn green. Keep it held down - you should hear one beep initially when your finger touches the button, then another after about five seconds. After a few more seconds, you will get a third beep and it will turn itself off, going back to the red light.

2. Next, press and hold the power button for a final time. You will hear that first beep, one more after five seconds, and finally, after roughly another five seconds, you will receive a double beep. This means the procedure has been successful.

3. You should see a message on screen asking you to connect your controller with a USB cable and press the PS button.

4. You will then see 6 options:

The list of safe mode options

Restart System: This just restarts the PlayStation in regular mode, booting up the XMB again.
Restore Default Settings: This will restart your PlayStation while resetting it to its original settings - including display, network and PlayStation account information. This does not wipe any physical system data (saved games and so on) from your PS3.
Restore File System: This is best used when you have corrupt files on your PlayStation. The system will take its time working through the hard drive and repairing any corrupt sectors. There is a risk of data loss when performing this step.
Rebuild Database: Similar to Restore File System, this is helpful when battling corrupt data. You will lose saved messages, playlists and video playback info, but should not lose any physical saved data such as saved games etc.
Restore PS3 System: The final resort, this deletes everything on your PlayStation. If none of the above steps have helped, then try this step. Your PS3 will effectively return to the state it was in when you first turned it on.
System Update: This allows you to use a system update file saved to a USB stick to update the console.

NOTE: You will never lose your trophy data from performing any of these steps. That information is saved on the PlayStation Network so is safe, as long as you remember your password (which will be removed by performing some of the steps above).

A video walkthrough of getting your PS3 into safe mode
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