My “The Firmware Update Broke my PS3’s Blu-Ray Drive” Story

Last night, after installing an official firmware update to my Playstation 3, my system’s Blu-Ray drive stopped working (it won’t read any media: Blu-Ray, PS3 game, or DVD).  A quick Google search on the issue pulled up this blog post from the official US Playstation Blog:
 
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/09/ps3-firmware-update-v3-01-now-available/
 
On this post there are over 700 comments, many of which talk about users’ Blu-Ray drives ceasing to work (with only one reply in the thread, mentioning how it fixes issues with a specific game).  Since I added my comment on the thread last night (#759), 8 of the ten comments made overnight were in regards to issues with the Blu-Ray player.
 
I called the customer support line today and had three conversations:
 
1) Eva (first level support, did not think to get her ID#)

  • Because my system is out of warranty, it would cost $150 to be serviced
  • Warranty is only 1 year from purchase date; even if you are one year in, w/o a receipt they would charge you $150
  • According to Eva, my phone call regarding 3.01 breaking the Blu-Ray drive is the first they have ever recieved
  • According to Eva, the official blog is just a place to post thoughts and comments; the fact that there was a post with hundreds of comments regarding this issue did not matter at all

2) Jason, #474009 (Eva’s supervisor)

  • To have the system tested by them to discover if the firmware caused the issue, I would have to pay the $150 service fee
  • I asked Jason if I could quote him on this, and he agreed: “Even if the firmware caused the issue, you would have to pay the $150 service fee”
  • Jason told me that even if the firmware update caused the issue, they would still charge me $150 to have the system repaired; there would be no refund of the service fee
  • When agreeing to a firmware update, you agree that if the firmware causes any damage to your system, Sony is not responsible

3) Vance, #47083 (Jason’s supervisor)
 
At this point I explained to Vance that I wanted to be sure I had all of my facts straight for when I shared my story.

  • According to Vance, Sony is unaware of any issues with 3.01 causing issues with the Blu-Ray drive
  • Sony did extensive testing before the release of 3.01 – he is unaware of any testing regarding the Blu-Ray drive issue since its release
  • If the Blu-Ray drive failure did become a documented issue, he does not know if they would refund any service fees
  • There is no way for him to service the system for free, regardless of whether it was caused by the firmware or not, because I have owned the system for two years
  • There is nothing more that I can do to let Sony know that 3.01 firmware caused the Blu-Ray drive to stop working
     

It is appearant to me that Sony’s firmware update has caused this exact issue in a number of Playstation 3 systems, and that they are ignoring the issue.  I find it hard to believe that mine was the first phone call they have recieved on this issue, as was told to me.  I also find it hard to believe that they expect me to pay $150 to repair something that they broke, and that they have no interest in testing my system to find out if the firmware caused the issue.

Does anyone have suggestions on what I can do to better let Sony know that the 3.01 firmware caused my system’s Blu-Ray drive to stop working?

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28 Responses to “My “The Firmware Update Broke my PS3’s Blu-Ray Drive” Story”

  1. Great documentation of what has occured during this whole screw-up. Rest assured, it is Sony’s fault. I had a very similar issue a year ago after a 2.something firmware update. My warranty was out and my calls were met with equal disinterest in providing customer service.
    Unfortunately, the only help I could find was taking my PS3 to a local game shop and pay $110 to have the guys install a new blue-ray player. It took about 2 weeks because he had to order the drive from Hong Kong, etc. When this all went down, I too noticed a great deal of similar complaints on the official forum.

    If you ever find a satisfactory answer/result, please let me know.

  2. Yup, agreed. The firmware fried my drive too. I can get it to work if I screw around with unplugging it, plugging it back in. Sometimes I can get something to read, then it quits again. I can tell the drive isn’t even acknowledging that there’s a disk in, then once every ten tries, it will. This isn’t a coincidence that it died after the firmware. Sucks!

    • “Just to let you all know my brand new playstation move is now not working either after the update will not read blue rays,games freeze some you cant even play,called Sony all they said was send it in and we’ll look at it from time i send it to sony for repairs till i get it back will be aprox 4 weeks she told me,i told her next is x-box,this is my 3rd ps3 that has broke all done with sony after this one!!!!!!!!!

  3. Robert I Masters Says:

    Sony’s action reminds me of someone I know that keeps pumping Windows &7 despite these 7 “failures” of that OS.

    http://en.windows7sins.org/

    Go sick em

    Robert I Masters
    From the Southern Baptist Geneva

  4. Hey, not sure if you saw this, but thought it might be worth your time. Jump on the class-action bandwagon!

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=25526

  5. I have the same issue, and they also told me that I was the first one that called about this issue. They said that they never heard about a firmware issue causing br drive malfunction.

    Hence my decission. I will never buy sony products again.

  6. I have been following these threads and have seen the same issues on two different PS3s, after updating from 3.0 to 3.01. I have since found that if I disable 24hz output in the Video settings, Blu Ray and all game functionality is back to normal on both systems. Not sure if anyone else has tried this but it worked for me.

  7. Me too. I went back and forth with 3 reps as well. I wrote everything down along with their names. Me story is the exacte same. After I made “The Mandatory” 3.01 Update crashed my system. I can’t play any games and I refuse to pay for something I didn’t cause.

  8. I have exactly the same problem. I’ve tried a number of old remedies: lens cleaner, system reboot, rebuild database, etc. Nothing has worked. I’ll keep my eye on your blog for any updates.

  9. I’ve had the same problem. I was playing Rock band 2 ,it asked me to update to firmware 3.01 did it and ps3 never played any disk I put in it again. I called up Sony and they told me it would be $150.00 to repair that it isn’t a firmware issue, but it just so happen to stop working as soon as I did the update. I will probably never buy another Sony product again if this is now they stand behind there products.

  10. I had the same experience, same answers from SONY. I updated to 3.10 hoping that something might bring my Blu-ray back to life but its still down for the count. Wont read any disks including DVDs.

  11. I’ve had the same problem.

    After this new update, I was playing Gow Collection, a few hours later, the game freeze…

    I turned off Ps3 to the power switch, and then turned on…

    Now, PS3- Blu-ray driver not working afterall… Don’t recognize any Blu-ray or Dvd discs…

  12. I’m also having problems with my Blu Ray player after I had to install the firmware update. I bought the game Uncharted 2 and before playing it I had to install it from the disc. Afterwards, when I wanted to play a Blu Ray movie, the picture skips constantly and I get no sound. After installing firmware 3.10 nothing changed. I’m really hoping that Sony fixes the problem with a new firmware because my playstation is a first genearation device which can play PS2 games and has a lot more slots then the generations that came after it. To all you other guys out there with simular problems. Good Luck.

  13. same here, will not buy anything sony again!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Martin Pryle Says:

    Same thing happened to me last week, got a two year old 40 gb 3rd generation and all in all its probably had 200 hours use as I only have a couple of games and am married so never really get chance to use it. Bought MW2 finnished the game then went online. 3.01 came on the game disk and I also upgraded to 3.10 when that came out. After the 3.10 upgrade my PS3 wont play any Blu Ray disks! DVD’s and CD’s work fine but Blu Rays just spin. Rang Sony and the bloke says yes we know about it everybodys ring up about the same thing, it’ll still cost you £130 for a re-furb with a three month warranty. The Ba***rds have killed my PS3 and I was only one level off prestige on MW2. Booooo sniff!

  15. GoldcupShooter Says:

    I purchased my new PS3 Slim 120GB system the day after thanksgiving this year. Last week, While playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, the system asked for an update, I allowed it, and viola, I can’t play blue ray disks anymore, and I can’t play any of my games either. What a complete crock of garbage.

    I’m going to call Sony tomorrow and demand that mine not only get fixed under warranty, but that I recieve an extended warranty as compensation for a brand new machine failing after the firmware update. You would think that since this problem surfaced in September, they would have the firmware right by freakind December. My XBOX 360 is three years old and solid as a rock. My Wii has never had a problem in the two years I’ve owned it, but this freaking $300.00 paperweight blew up in four weeks?

    Joke. Complete Joke, Sony’s quality control must be a sleep at the wheel….

  16. well its JANUARY 12 just 3 days ago i made the worst and horrific mistake in the world i update to 3.10 and well my ps3 is 2 years old and everything was fine i keep it clean out of dust and i also bought an intercooler to just be safe its an 80GB and well it wont read any blueray im so sad i also email and called nothing i really dont want to go buy the new one because of this im really sad that this happen if only apple made a ps3 lol well any ways im still looking for ways to fix i will go to gamestop and see if i could get fix there but if i have to pay for there mistakes i will brake my ps3 outside the store and make stand for others not to buy this product very very sad

  17. squarecnix Says:

    I was playing Modern Warfare 2 Today, in the middle of the menu the game freezes.

    I turned it off and turned it back on. No Blu-Rays play. No CDs. nothing. It appears they dont even spin.

    I have System Software Ver. 3.15 on a 40gb 2-3 year old system. Has any one else found a fix?

  18. I am a victim now as well. My system told me that I needed to perform an update for Call of Duty MW2 and once I selected OK to perform the update, my system froze. When restarted, it will not play any Blue Ray, DVD or game disks.

    I won’t buy another one!!!

  19. Hey Guys.

    If anyone has the red light of death on their PS3, the articles below might help 🙂

    PS3 Yellow Light Fix

    PS3 Red Light Fix

    PS3 Blinking Red Light

    PS3 Red Light Flashing Fix

    PS3 Red Light OF Death

  20. Edward Peyton Says:

    Same here MW2 + update = no Blue Ray

  21. i have just backed up my hdd an done system restore . my drive is working fine now , could be bad vector on hdd. goin to put my hdd back on now an then reinstall firmware. ill let u know if it stops again. ps sony are jokers, what ever happened to MCMR – my Customer My Responsibility?!!

  22. Same thing happend to me last night, I was not familiar with te prob. and (forced) to made update ‘couse I want to play MW2. After update bluray stopped working. I was very suspicious and google it, what I found: thousand problems of same kind. Very well SONY YEAAAAAA i’m so happy. It’s all very well prepared and putted in market guys. They are making fools of us and gaining huge profit.
    Zelimir, Croatia. Sorry on my english but I think i made my point.

  23. same here, i got one of the first 80 gigs that do it all. i played it for two years, for hours upon hours, no problem. i update then movies stop working followed not to far far by games..people who experience these problems shouldn’t let it go. we need to keep making a big deal about this and maybe Sony will honor their name as Xbox did. i hate to say it but me and many more are gonna jump ship if this isn’t resolved. bother sony, make post, tell others to post, corporations cant rob us like this if we stand together.

  24. John Conley Says:

    I just pick up the Gods of War III game. While playing the game it suddenly frozed up. No responce from anything. The only option that I had was to turn off the console. After the reboot, the blue-ray drive could read anything. No dvd, audio cd, games or blue ray movies. I have the first gen 40 gb system.

    Now Im lucky that in my country the warrenty is for 2 years. I have sent it back via the store that I purchased it from but I have not heard from them yet. I think that Sony needs to Man up to this problem (At Least Microsoft took responibity for the Xbox 360 RROD and did something about it.) This is really bad bussiness practice of Sony not fixing up their mess. The Ps3 was a very exspensive investment for the custumer and Sony is turning the other way from loyal customers.

  25. gta 4 freezes after 3 minutes play after 3.1 update, sony support scripted answer was my disk was damaged.i put my gta 4 disk in a slim that shiped with 3.1 and the game runs fine . different production dates and multiple firmware updates equalls games freezing and console functioning problems .scripted answers is amusing as they must think we are morons. maybe impoving quality control and hireing better software programers and limitting the many firmware updates . i just want good games and no freezing firmare fubar snafu issues . gee like my nintendo i quess.

  26. Steve Tasker Says:

    Was playing black-ops suddenly the audio went off then the game froze, now ps3 wont read any bluray movies or games, ps2 games & dvd’s still work, done some research and it appears my bluray laser is fried, will try to fix myself as I have a 60gb console 2 years old dont want a slimline one. System updates have never affected it at all, I hope it just needs a good clean, if not it will cost £70 on ebay for new part that is fairly easy to replace.

  27. Bought my PS3 Slim Jan 2010. Just returned from a deployment and have been playing my PS3 all week. No odd sounds from my disc drive or anything. Got my internet back today Feb 5th and updated to 3.56 less then an hour ago and I can no longer play any games. Discs enter ps3 as normal but then there is some weird sound from the disc drive and games never load.. WTF sony.

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