Recently, one of my reader mailed me these questions.
1. If I take my ps3 hard drive out and put back in, will I lose all my game saves????
2. If I reformat the ps3 hard drive, will this resolve my yellow light of death?
The first question is very similar to a situation like you removing a hard drive from PC…just simply unplugging and putting back the drive in, definitely will not erase the data in the hard drive. So, the answer is No…You will still have all your game saves on the hard drive if you only attempt to unplug and plug back the PS3 hard drive. But keep in mind that improper removal or installation of a HDD may cause damage to your PS3 system or loss of data, and may void your PS3 hardware warranty.
So I would suggest you to refer to a good repair guide like PS3 Lights Fix by Rob Sheffield for instructions on how to reinstall your ps3 hard drive. It is recommended that you regularly back up any data on the HDD that is of a type that can be backed up. If for any reason software or data loss or corruption occurs, it may not be possible to restore or repair the software or data.
The second question needs little more explanation.
YLODs in PS3 or Yellow Light of Death in general are caused by major hardware failure. The “red light of death” occurs after a major Hard Drive failure.
So probably your hard drive too might be causing a red/yellow light of death on PS3, hence by removing the PS3 hard drive and turning on the PS3, you can very well find out if your hard drive is faulty and causing the YLOD
If the Yellow/Red Light still displays even after turning on the PS3 with the HDD out, then you can be sure that it isn’t the hard drive. If it doesn’t display any Yellow/Red Lights then it’s the hard drive.
If the hard drive is the problem, then three main reasons could be,
1.Faulty (e.g. broken)
2. Corrupted (e.g. data/firmware issues)
3. Hasn’t been formatted to FAT32 (if you installed a new HDD)
After doing this, you are going to need software that has the ability to read PS3 hard drive. I personally recommend SwissKnife, This application has the ability to format PS3 HDD’s properly. (If you are using Vista as opposed to XP you will need to download FAT32FORMAT instead of Swissknife since it won’t work with Vista) Once the software is installed, format the HDD to FAT32 (NTFS is not for PS3’s, but for PC’s). Format the ENTIRE HDD and ONLY in FAT32. Remember to select your PS3 HDD.
If windows is not reading your hdd out of your ps3 then right click on my computer and go into management. assign the drive a letter and reformat it from there, then windows will read it.
So to sum it up, if you reformat or replace your HDD…you may be able to resolve the yellow light issue, if the problems are either faulty hard drive, corrupted data or firmware issues or a hard drive that needs formatting.
For more detailed & specific instructions on how you can fix your hard drive refer to Ps3 Lights Fix guide by Rob Sheffield