How small PS3 HDD could be? The answer is... :)

Discussion in 'Hardware Mods' started by Berion, Jan 23, 2019.

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    Berion

    Berion Developer

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    I have tried SDHC cards 1GiB (this one was microSDHC through adaptor) and normal 2GiB but no success. Error 0x8002F271 quick after mass access and formatting message. Success with four, so probably answer to that question is 4GiB. All my cards have very similar write speed so I doubt is the fault of the error. It looks like there is some hardcoded min. size limit or some strange and broken free space calculation mechanism for partitions.

    scr1.jpg

    Of course such setup is terribly slow (~6MiB/s in write and around twice in read) and quite useless besides fs experiments (it is faster to read and write 4GiB instead of my stock 80GiB, right? and even the speed is not the most important as we living in SSD area, but size overall). Console reboot froze, and cold boot to XMB is around 1min. (after that everything is smooth, however I don't test any games or apps, it is clean OFW 3.55).

    I don't have any SDXC (producer state it is SATA2SDXC) so I cannot say how fast it is and how high are lost on translation.

    ps3_sata2sd_2.jpg ps3_sata2sd_3.jpg

    I bought those staff mainly for my Xbox Classic. So I'm satisfied anyway. ;p
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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    pinky

    pinky Bitsiboo's Other Half Developer

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    probably due to hdd1. that cache is 2GB. I got what I thought was the smallest hdd with my new ps3. it was only 50GBs.

    btw, iicr, the system will designate around 10% designate for hdd0, so you'll always have less.
     
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    Berion

    Berion Developer

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    Oh, right. I completely forgot about this. So my memory is broken.

    BTW: Put those cables inside was a horror. My fingers are twice of hole size. Thanks to sticks for flowers, I succeed. :D
     
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    SpyroMancer

    SpyroMancer Member

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    weird but cool discovery
     
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    sandungas

    sandungas Moderator Developer

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    This can be verifyed too by using the hdd SMART settings, there is one named HPA
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_protected_area

    By modifying the HPA you can "crop" the capacity of an hdd to any size you want, time ago i had an scratched/damaged hdd and i cropped it to 5gb or 6gb (dont remember right now), and it was working fine in a PS3 :)
    I didnt tryed to reduce it more, but i guess you can go a bit lower than 4gb

    And yes, you need to consider the size of cache partition (dev_hdd1), that is 1.99GB
    And For PS3 models with NOR there is a VFLASH partition on hdd with 256mb
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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    psykosis

    psykosis Developer Developer

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    2.5 might be the lowest you could go, unless they implemented a minimum specifically, considering the first 2.2GB is taken up by the 10% and the cache, that would still leave around 800mb for the gameos.

    It's not practical, logical, or even very ethical to the console, but it'd be funny to see someone try to install TLOU on such a small hard drive... :D
     
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    sandungas

    sandungas Moderator Developer

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    Lol, yeah
    I did it because the hdd had a lot of bad sectors spreaded all around, and none "spare sectors" (used to remap the damaged ones)
    So i used HPA to keep all that damaged sectors out of the "usable" area, this way the PS3 cant see them and thinks the hdd is perfectly fine

    I thought i could use that hdd for betatesting homebrew apps... you know, apps that are not completly finished or with bugs and a high probablity of crashing/freezing the PS3
    I hate when the PS3 crashes and the hdd does a "click" noise, thats bad and eventually creates bad sectors in the hdd
    But in a hdd like the one i had that was already damaged i dont mind in damaging it a bit more, so it was a bit like a "battle hdd" for experiments :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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    Berion

    Berion Developer

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    @sandungas Many UEFI removing HPA and DCO when it detect it, and many have bugs in freezing/unfreezing commands. So it is not always so easy. But anyway, of course You have right, and Your procedure for safe what it left from this HDD is ok, I just ordering this controller for many other purposes. In case of PS3 it was just for fun to fed my curiosity and keep HDD image for eventually future needs (clean one compressing quite good, to ~380MiB using LZMA2 in 7-Zip). ^^
     
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    terryhoho

    terryhoho Forum Noob

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    what's the agenda?
     
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    Berion

    Berion Developer

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    @terryhoho If You asking about sense/meaning/purpose of this, then of course such solution is not for daily usage as memory is to small and to slow, especially for games. However, such toy is useful to getting full internal mass memory dump in most possible tiny size. In example: 4GiB of clean fw v3.55 installation can be packed to ~400MiB, so You don't even need to unpack it to mount on Linux (if compressed per block of course). Also this is useful for file system experiments as writing 4GiB to SDHC is much faster and easier than writing 80GiB to my stock PS3 SATA HDD. Oh, and when I sell my console, I'm still be able to look into HDD logic structure (because keeping several hundred of MiB is easier to backup rather than several GiB ;)).
     
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