PS3 – Converting a Demo PS3 to a Retail Unit (Part 2)

On the 28th January 2011, I explained what the Demo/Kiosk PS3 unit was and why I got one.

Today I will explain on how I spent a Saturday evening (only crawling into bed at 04h00 the next morning) converting it to a retail unit.

I tried about 3 other methods and this was the one that worked for me, so YMMV.  Usual disclaimers apply and if you decide to follow this guide it is at your own risk. OK with that out the way lets start!

What you will need:

(1) A Jailbreaking device – I suggest E3 Card Reader as it worked for me.

(2) A USB Flash Disk that is at least 256Mb

(3) USB Cable for your remote control

(4) Time (about 1 hour after getting the files) and Patience

The process I used was:

(1) to UPgrade from version 3.10 to version 3.41 (kiosk) firmware  (you cannot load the normal firmware on Kiosk models).

(2) jailbreak the PS3 with the E3 Card Reader and then “DOWNgrade” the firmware to the retail 3.41 firmware

Optional steps that I then did…

(3) UPgrade to Sony 3.55 normal firmware

(4) UPgrade to version 3.55 custom firmware – to allow backup managers and homebrew.

Lets Get Started…

On powering up the PS3 Demo/Kiosk unit this is what greets you  (please excuse the reflection of the lights on the screen):

If you try and do something on it you are shown this message:

As you can see I am sitting on version 3.10 of the firmware.  With Sony releasing firmware that removed OtherOS functionality I decided to stick it out  and see how long hackers would take to bring it back…

Step 1 – Upgrade to 3.41 KIOSK Firmware

After spending quite some time doing searches for Kiosk firmware for the PS3 I eventually found  it, to make it easier on you I have placed it here for you to download.  Please note it is 170Mb.

Get a USB Flash drive and format it FAT32 (click here for a HOWTO if you have a large capacity drive).

Have a look here at how the folder structure should be for the PS3 to recognize the USB drive correctly.

You must create a folder in the root of the flash drive called  PS3. Create a subfolder called UPDATE. Place the KIOSK firmware update file PS3UPDAT.PUP into this folder (DO NOT CHANGE THE NAME)

Go to the SYSTEM tab of the XMB and then up to SYSTEM UPDATE.  Insert your USB flash drive into the PS3 and then select FROM EXTERNAL MEDIA.

It will show you the following:

Follow the prompts and upgrade to 3.41 (Promotion)

Once done your PS3 will show that it is upgraded to version 3.41:

See the mode in the bottom right corner…

Step 2 – DOWNgrade to 3.41 Retail Firmware

OK lets start by watching the following clip from ChrisTechTV –

While you waiting for YouTube to cache, download the “E3 Card Reader – PS3.rar” file, either from or from here it is 170Mb.

OK, YouTube should be done, watch the whole video thru first so you understand what is to be done. Once done lets go to certain sections in the clip, fast forward to:

2min30 till 5min50 – Here Chris shows you what files to copy where on the USB flash drive and E3 card reader, do it.

You now need to put your PS3 into non-Auto Start mode. To do this:

(1) Have a disc in the drive – any game will do
(2) Turn off the power switch at the back of the machine
(3) Turn it back on at the switch until you see the Blu-Ray light flash one or two times (that is the BLUE light)
(4) Turn it off at the power switch at the back again
(5) Turn it on again at the power switch at the back, the machine should not automatically switch on, but instead only show the RED standby light in front.

5min50 till 7min00 – Here Chris shows you how to put the PS3 into Factory service mode. Only problem is that Kiosk models do not show the big RED box as his screen shows.

So what you gonna do is insert your E3 (place it in the most left USB port if you are facing the machine and it is lying down) into the PS3. Power on the machine and immediately press the EJECT and POWER button as what he does in the video. If you have done it right then you will see that the E3 lights turn from RED to BLUE. Blue is GOOD. The console will panic and shut down the first time. When you turn it back on your controller should desync and the resolution will be super low. You are now in Factory Service Mode.

OK now first unlock the PS3 menu – on the XMB go to System, highlight Security Settings, hold the [L1] + [Select] +  [R1] + [SQUARE] buttons. Enter the passcode (here is a reminder of what it is). Now shut the PS3 down from the menu as Chris does and remove the E3.

7min00 till 08m45 – This is the actual converting to retail firmware process.

Power on the PS3 with the normal flash drive in the most RIGHT USB port of the PS3 and press the Power On button.

You are going to see a black screen and your memory card light is going flicker for roughly 6-10 minutes until the process is done. The console will shut down on its own when it finishes, so don’t mess with it until it’s done.

When the console finishes doing its thing, power it back on and it will be in red box (service) mode.

08m45 till 11min40 – This process takes the PS3 out of Factory Service mode.

Copy the files like he states, then insert the flash disk into the most RIGHT USB port again and power on the PS3. The screen will stay black and the PS3 will power off automatically after about 30 seconds.  You can remove your flash disk and normally power up your PS3.

Congrads!  You now have a NORMAL retail PS3 instead of the demo/kiosk unit.

The next steps are totally optional, I however wanted to do this as I wanted to play around with Custom Firmware (CFW) and Backup Managers – that is a post for another time…

Step 3 – UPgrade to 3.55 Retail Firmware

Download from here the Sony official 3.55 firmware and copy it to the PS3\UPDATE folder of your flash disk.  Go to the System tab of the XMB and then up to the System Update option. Select from Removable Disk and then follow the update process.

Step 4 – UPgrade to 3.55 CUSTOM Firmware

I settled on “kmeaw 3.55 Custom Firmware – LV2 Patches with Peek/Poke Included”   you can download it from here or here.  It was the most stable one that was available at the time that I did the Kiosk to Retail conversion.

Now you can copy the PS3UPDAT.PUP file to the flash disk as you would normally to update the PS3, however as you already have 3.55 official firmware already installed the console will not all you to update it again…so you need to put the PS3 into the Recovery Mode.

To do this you need to:

1. Turn off PS3.
2. Hold The power button down; The system will turn on and turn off once again.
3. Once the System has been shutdown, re-press you finger until you hear 2 consecutive beeps
4. When you hear the 2 beeps take finger off power button.
5. You will be prompted to plug in your controller via USB and then hit the PS button
6. The Recovery menu will pop up.

Insert your USB flash disk with the custom firmware on and then select 6. System Update from the menu and follow the steps.

Congrads! Not only have you converted your PS3 Kiosk/Demo machine into a normal retail unit but you should be running custom firmware now also!

I must say thanks to both ChrisTechTV and for whose guides I used bits and pieces from to turn my PS3 into a normal retail unit.

DISCLAIMER: The above post is for educational purposes only! I do not condone piracy or hacking, but believe that if you purchase hardware you have the right to use it as you please. Please Don’t Pirate Games – Support the Developers!

MadMike posted at 2011-2-11 Category: Playstation

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