Activate PS3 Safe Mode & Reboot System

Step 6 of 7

Activate Safe Mode and Reboot System (for PS3 Systems with software 2.60 or greater)

Click here if you need to update to the latest PS3 system software update

Sony tells us that the purpose of the Safe Mode is to enable you to start up your PS3 system with just basic functionality, in circumstances where the system is no longer able to start up normally due to, for example, turning off the MAIN POWER switch while data was being written to the hard disk drive.

By starting your PS3 in Safe Mode and executing one of the options provided, it is possible to rectify certain causes of PS3 failures.

Safe Mode is not intended for use unless you are experiencing problems with your PlayStation. Also note that some of the options provided may result in loss of data.

If you wish to avoid any loss of data it’s recommended that you back up your data before attempting to enter Safe Mode, if possible.

Click here to learn how to manually backup PS3 data.

When to Use Safe Mode

Use Safe Mode if you’re experiencing any of the following:

  1. When the PS3 starts up the XMB menu is not displayed, only the wave screen background is showing.
  2. When the PS3 starts up nothing appears on the screen.
  3. When the PS3 starts up a message appears stating: “The hard disk’s file system is corrupted and will be restored” If on confirming to execute a Restore operation, a Restart Original message is displayed again, or the System during restoration.
  4. When the PS3 starts up a message appears stating “The hard disk’s database will be rebuilt” If on confirming to execute a Rebuild, a failure occurs and system stops while formatting hard disk drive.
  5. The system stops while restarting after a system update or while updating or restoring the database and the fault is not rectified when the system is restarted.

Safe Mode

To activate Safe Mode, take the following steps:

  1. Place the PS3 in standby mode so the power light is showing red on the front of the console.
  2. Turn off the main power to the console (For PS3 Slim models simply unplug the console).
  3. You will hear a short beep after about 5 seconds (video reset) and a further beep after 10 seconds when the system will shut down. Release the power/standby button.
  4. Next touch and hold down the power/standby button again and after 5 seconds you will hear the system beep once.
  5. When you hear 2 short beeps in quick succession, release the power/standby button.
  6. If you succeeded in activating Safe Mode you will see this screen:

PS3 Safe Mode Screen

When you successfully activate Safe Mode you will see the following 6 options:

PS3 Safe Mode Screen

  1. Restart System – Ends safe mode and starts up the PlayStation 3 normally.
  2. Restore Default Settings – Performs the same operations as [Restore Default Settings] on the XMB and also deletes PlayStation Network account information from the system.
  3. Restore File System – Attempts to repair all areas on the hard disk drive where files can be saved. Corrupted data may be erased if it cannot be recovered.
  4. Rebuild Database – Deletes messages, playlists, changes made on [Information] screens, trimming information for pictures in [Photo], video thumbnails, video playback history and video resume information.?This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
  5. Restore PS3 System – IMPORTANT: All data will be lost by performing this step.?This will reformat the hard drive on the PlayStation 3, deleting all data and restoring it to as if it just came out of the box. This is the same as [Restore PS3 system] on the XMB.
  6. System Update – Updates the PS3 system software. This can only be done with an update file already saved on an external storage media.

Take Note: “Restore Default Settings” will remove any personal settings on your PS3, including password, email and any messages that you have currently stored on your PS3. See below for full list of restore settings.

Option 5 which is the “Restore PS3 System” along with Option 2 “Restore Default Settings” are the most common troubleshoots for most PS3 problems. Unfortunately both of these fixes may result in loss of personal data/settings. You are advised to safe any data that you want to keep.

Sony recommends that you perform Safe Mode options in the following sequence until one of the options work for you.

If one options works, do not continue with other options.

  1. Restore Default Settings
  2. Restore File System
  3. Rebuild Database
  4. Restore PS3 System

Below is a list of the stored settings that will be erased during Restore Default Settings. These settings will be restored to factory settings (i.e. ‘out-of-the-box’ settings):

  • Game settings
  • Video settings
  • Music settings
  • Chat Settings
  • System settings
  • Theme Settings
  • Date and Time settings
  • Power savings settings
  • Printer settings
  • Accessory settings
  • Display settings
  • Sound settings
  • Security settings
  • Remote play settings
  • Network settings
  • Internet browser settings
  • PlayStation Network log-in information

If you wish to save your PS3 settings and any other data on your hard drive, you should perform a PS3 Data Backup.

Click here for Step 7: System Settings & Software Download Update

Step [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]