Yeah so we managed to grab a PS3 from the bin. The person said it didn't work and as there was a few of them that were less complete than this alongside a knacked Xbox 360, we took a punt on the off chance that we had a hard drive ( we did from a much more fucked PS3 80GB literally it was just a shell) and some leads from an old PS2. Its got a nasty dose of the green screen, much more than the PS2 ever did and I'll need to look into ways of fixing that but it works for now, we're running a DVD I got from Hackney.
It did give me a not compatible error and to be fair after some googling I managed to fix this. And here's how. Note it implies that you are running this offline and grabbing all files from PC.
Grab your firmware from Sony.
While it downloads, stick a flashdrive in, it unpacks around 220MB so anything above 512MB is fine ; ).
It'll need to be formatted to FAT32 format (though most are already in this).
and your final task will be to create 2 folders, one called PS3 open this and create a folder in this called UPDATE. Yeah they're in all caps. It'll look like this PS3>UPDATE.
Open the folder the update file and drag it across to the UPDATE folder. Do NOT rename this and remove your flashdrive. Stick it in your PS3 and press the PS button (or whatever its called on my one is called P3 but its the button between the start and select). Follow the onscreen instructions and it'll reboot. I reckon you could grab a SATA laptop HD and grade up like this.