I did a bit of searching tonight and the best I can gather is that each PS3 HDD is encrypted in a unique fashion. I am not sure if this is tied to the actual PS3 system, the HDD, or something else, but it is painfully apparent that there is some form of anti-piracy. Honest I can understand that part – Sony does not want you backing up your PS3 HDD, posting the backup on the internet, and then letting thousands of folks download goodies for free.
The best I can tell is that I actually have the same PS3 unit – at least the SN is the same. Or is it? The PlayStation support folks said it was the say, but why did my PS3 system say that my 250GB HDD was from a different PS3? Is it possible that whatever keys the HDD encryption to a matching PS3 was replaced? Kind of like keeping the shell, but the internals are all different? That is my guess.
So it looks like I am SOL. I still cannot get over losing my PSX, PS2, and PS3 game saves and data. The PSX and PS2 saves are priceless. The PS3 game saves are really more of an annoyance because I have not had them as long, but I have put in a decent amount of time with games like Super Star Dust HD, Oblivion, Pixel Junk Monsters and Eden, and F1. I hate that all of that is just gone. Well actually the data is on my Pass Port, but I cannot get the sum bitch to load.
Another real pisser is that I have to download all this shit all over again – all the PSN games and Qore downloads will probably take hours and hours to download. I would gladly accept that if I could just recover my data.
Here is the real kicker from the online manual
In some cases, you may not be able to use the Backup Utility feature to back up or restore the system correctly. It is recommended that you always copy or move important data to storage media in order to independently back up your data.
Cheese and crackers! Now you tell me. WTF is the backup and restore utility worth if you cannot use it to restore your f’ing data onto a repaired PS3? I am so f’ing despondent over this one. I do not even have the stomach to turn on my PS3 and start over.