Nothing can ruin a gaming session more than having your system freeze. When a PS3 system freezes, the images on the screen remain still until you reboot the system. The system may freeze for a number of reasons -- including dirty or damaged discs, and incompatible file formats. Some quick troubleshooting steps can thaw your system quickly and safely.
A dirty or scratched disc not only can cause the screen to freeze during gameplay, it can also display and glitches that can diminish your game's performance. Discs, especially those belonging to games that are played frequently, are more likely to get dirty or scratched. When the disc contains fingerprints, smudges and dust, the lens in the gaming system spins much harder and faster than it would normally in order to read the data on the disc. When it fails to read the data, the system freezes.
One of the advantages of a PS3 gaming system is that you can transfer content such as videos, music and pictures from a USB storage device such as a flash drive or SD card to your system. However, a damaged or erratic file or even a problematic USB device can cause the system's hardware to freeze especially during file transfers. Attempting to transfer incompatible photo, music or video formats can also cause the system to freeze. Always refer to the PS3 online user's guide for supported file formats.
The PS3 is a sturdy and ruggedly built system that can handle hours of gameplay. However, if it's improperly stored in an open area that lack sufficient ventilation, the system can overheat and freeze frequently. Storing the game on a flat, exposed surface away from extreme temperatures will ensure proper airflow goes through the exposed vents to cool down the electrical activity in the system. Another way to prevent the system from overheating and causing freezing problems is by turning it off when it isn't in use.
Wipe dirty or scratched discs with a soft, clean cloth. Always wipe from from the center moving outwards. Don't use water or harsh and abrasive solutions such a glass cleaner that can damage the data written on the disc. If the disc is severely scratched, you will have to replace it or you'll keep running into the freezing problems. As a rule of thumb, when you're not using discs, store them in a safe, dry place away from direct sunlight. Always check your USB devices and make sure they are performing optimally before connecting them to your gaming console.