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Have you seen this message when you try to upgrade PlayStation 3’s hard drive? “The system software cannot be run correctly. Press the PS button to try to restart the system”. No matter how many times you press the PS button, you will land at the same screen.

While there are lots of instructions and YouTube videos on how to upgrade hard drive of PlayStation 3, most of them failed to mention what to do exactly when you see this error message after you install a new hard drive and turn the console on. They all tell you to go to System Settings and format the new hard drive. However, many PlayStation 3 consoles show above error message and don’t allow you to move forward.

Upgrading steps of common instructions or videos on line are:

(A) Back up current data to USB storage media
(B) Remove current hard drive from the console
(C) Install new hard drive
(D) Format new hard drive
(E) Restore the backed up data.

If you see above error message between steps C and D, follow instructions below to fix the issue and complete the upgrading process.

  1. Get a USB storage media (flash/thumb drive or external hard drive) with 160MB of free space. PlayStation 3 does not support NTFS file system so you must use a storage media with FAT32 file system. Create a new folder named “PS3” (without double quotes). Also, under “PS3” folder, create a new folder named “UPDATE” (without double quotes). Folder name is case sensitive so make sure that folder names are all upper cases.
  2. Go to PlayStation’s official website and download the system software to “UPDATE” folder as follows:
    Go to “” >> click “PlayStation 3” >> click “Support” >> click “System Software Updates” >> click “PS3 System Software” >> click “Download Now” >> click “Download Now”.
    Once downloading is complete, you should have “PS3UPDAT.PUP” file in “/PS3/UPDATE” folder.
  3. Connect your USB storage media into PlayStation 3’s USB port and turn the console on. If you’ve created folders in Step 2 and downloaded the update file correctly, the console will automatically detect and show the screen that asks you to press the START and SELECT buttons at the same time for at least 5 seconds to format the drive.
  4. Simply follow the instructions on the screen. The new hard drive will be formatted and the system software will be installed.
  5. Once the whole process is complete, connect your USB storage media that you’ve backed up the data from old hard drive and start the restore process. To restore, go to “Settings” >> “System Settings” >> “Backup Utility” >> “Restore”.


Comments on: "How to Fix PS3 System Software Cannot be Run Correctly Error" (35)

  1. OMG thx you soo much i though i messed up instaling the hard drive or something but thxs to you it all worked out in the end and im back and running my ps3 with the new hard drive and no problems afterwords. Thxs for this post it helped ALOT

  2. what do you do if everytime the PS3 states the file (system software update) is corrupted?

  3. steve88 said:

    Thank you for the instructions.

  4. Thank you. There are far to many forums out there missing critical information pertinent to the upgrade procedure.

  5. Siyawosh said:

    I’m following the instructions…I have the file on my USB Drive, but I keep getting the “No applicable data was found.” message. Every site I’ve read has said the same thing, but I just can’t see what I’m doing wrong. Help? 😦

    • Few things to check. Is your USB Drive’s file system FAT32 format? Right-click your drive on your computer and click Properties to check its file system. Second, make sure the folder name is in all caps (PS3/UPDATE). Hope this helps.

      • mine is fat32, PS3/UPDATE folders, PSUPDAT.PUP file and everything, but i’m still getting the message…any ideas?

      • Hmmm…. I have no idea. If you’re getting the same error message, somehow the console is not recognizing your USB drive/slot. Have you tried with other slots or other USB device?

      • Elazybones said:

        Ive done this and i still get the same result as Siyawosh

      • Like I’ve replied to W above, I don’t know what to tell you if you keep getting the same error message…. sorry.

  6. Its not effective for me… it is advisable to change my HDD or calling for service to my PS3?….other solution please … thanks for concern!

  7. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I was a bit disappointed in Sony for not auto-recognising the hard drive needed to be formatted, and prompting me to do so!
    Also – downloading update at 200 kbps – less than a quarter of the speeds I normally get! No wonder PS3 updates take so long, Sony’s servers are shit!

  8. It stays on 99 procent, is it normall?

  9. JromanGamer said:

    Tenx man, youre awesome! You saved my PS3″s life!

  10. I bought a ps3 off eBay and it has this error, how would I know if this hard drive is the original before starting the process or can I use any drive?

    • Well, it would be hard to tell but when I opened mine, it had Toshiba drive. But as long as you have/put 2.5″ SATA drive with 5400rpm, you should be OK.

  11. Finally!! Thank you!! I tried to click the “like” button, and it asked for something, and half of the prompt was hidden by being off the window (the prompt stopped where the Firefox window ended) – Doh, made the window wider and could see it all – but still should show the wold prompt whenever I click it, right?

    But anyway – thanks again! I finally was able to pass that stupid prompt – it tells you to put the update file on a USB drive but mentions NOTHING about putting it in PS3\UPDATE – which worked like a charm. Much appreciated!

  12. Ok its not working :/ after it goes to 100% it says “A serious error has occurred. Contact technical support for assistance. (8002F281)” Ima need a new harddrive huh?

  13. I have this error….but it doesn’t come up when i try to update. it shows up when i TURN ON MY PS3!!!! Please help

  14. Thank you!! Big help

  15. Thanks I was able to get past the error message following your instructions. Who know why the playstation can’t fix on this on it’s own? In my case I changed the original 40GB drive for a 120GB solid state drive. I noticed that they moved the update files to another locations on the playstation webstie. I found them here.

    Thanks again,


  16. ramonreyees said:

    hey do you need a new hard drive for it to work if you get error message in the beginning. what about if you dont get it you dont need it??

  17. martin walsh said:


  18. I just brought my PS3 last week and am getting this message WTF!!!! I’ll give you instructions a try. Thanks.

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  20. Al sartwell said:

    Thank you! Saved me 200$

  21. Thanks! I finally upgraded my 40 gb system to a 500 gb drive this afternoon and these instructions helped me out big time.

    (>=GO TO)
    >Knowledge Center
    >System Software Updates
    >PC Update
    DO as this person said on number 3. and continue 🙂

  23. Dude you Rock!
    This definitely got me passed the hurdle.

  24. Thank you!!! I have been working on this all day and I finally got it to restore. It is very tedious and you have to have the correct names etc…. I was ready to do data transfers, ready to then throw my ps3 away. But I had to re-format my jumpdrive (usb memory stick) to FAT 32, right click on the drive under computers and go to properties to see if yours is on FAT 32 to format. Then did the folders, PS3, UPDATE and then PS3UPDAT, the .PUP will come up automatically when you save it. Plug the jumpdrive in and turned on the ps3 and when it came on it said that little version of start button and the triangle button for 5 seconds, I held mine for about 8 seconds. It automatically detected the jumpdrive and it downloaded the updated system on my jumpdrive, I was able to restart my ps3….. Thank you….

  25. jdawg97739 said:

    God bless you. I’m a mental midget when it comes to this stuff. You have saved my bacon.

  26. Thank you so much for this. I just put in a 500 GB hard drive today and had no idea something like this was going to come up. I’m not the most computer savvy person, but your instructions made this easy.

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