ah ok, well you could try reinstalling your firmware on the P3 just incase the installed "backup" is also corrupt (the one the ps3 install from the restore file system menu option). its a small chance but it might work and if it works it'd save you a few quid.
or you could put it back in a pc and do some error checking on it, move some files to and from it, check smart status etc not sure if it would show though in a PC. if you leave it to tomorrow though i'll have a better look. ive a ps3 with this exact problem coming for repair tomorrow morning so i'll know more then.
I error check 2.5" SATA drives using a laptop. You have to remove the laptops drive and replace with the drive to be checked. Boot the laptop using a CD called Hirens. This can be downloaded from the net and it has all sorts of useful utilities that can be used straight from the disc without booting into windows. There is a whole section on there called hard drive tools and one utility in particular called HDD regenerator. It takes about 7 hours to go through a 160gb drive.
i've got a copy of hirens boots cd around somewhere, but a quick update i've now tried all recovery options none worked.
also taken out the drive, hooked up to pc, run seagate tools on windows, and the wierd thing is smart reports fine, the short tests work fine. Currently running the long test.
But i got a feeling the drives gonna keep coming back fine, which again leaves me stumped to why everytime you select recover file system, it's always corrupt.
got some fluid today, i cleaned the lens and now somethin else wierd is happening, spins up as normal, clock started to turn (loading sign) and then the ps3 seems to not freeze but menu stutters, clocks movin slow and the background animation is goin real slow. still no game showing up, this is becoming a right git lol
managed fix the stuttering on the menu, the big ribbon cable wasn't connected properly to the motherboard (when i noticed no blue l.e.d. flashing). Since I have 2 ps3 drives (1 with ps3 - suppose be faulty, and another one to replace with), i now have cleaned both drives lens and both are giving the same results.
tried audio cd - after 4mins comes up with number of tracks but can't play any - says data is corrupt. tried dvd film - after 4mins clock stops spinning and no dvd shows up on menu. tried blue ray games - after 4mins clock stops spinning and no games show up.
now i'm still not sure if the logic boards knackered, or both drives lasers are knackered (even thou they both light up blue&red), or something else.
Edit: quick update, ordered a new laser, to test through both drives. ordered a new dvd data ribbon cable (drive to mobo) to test if that's knackered. if all else fails it must be a faulty logic board (which i will try swapping chips with if all else fails).
got the ribbon cable today and tested that on the 2 drives, still end up with the same results. just waiting for another new laser to test next.
Edit 2: another update, i've had another laser and tested it out on both drives and still no luck.
so alls is left is the logic board, but how can i tell if the logic board is the correct married one or if it's just any old logic board thrown in to make it all look correct ?