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If I restore a backup will it totally replace my current system to duplicate the backup archive or merge with my existing data?

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It will totally replace your current system with the version from the backup archive, except for the trophies that are not stored in the backup (the only way to backup them is to create a PSN account and to synchronize them with the server).

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To add, if you restore a backup and notice that your trophies are missing, just re-sync. I find the fastest way to do this is to open your friend's list, and "Compare Trophies" with one of them. Like Sylvain said though, make sure to backup any non-synched trophies before restoring the backup though as the PS3 will reformat your HDD! –  Kotsu Jul 11 '11 at 14:17
    
Nightmare. I think a sync backup would be far more useful, this is pretty pointless really, when would you ever really use this function? When your PS3 breaks! Meaning you can't restore to the same PS3 or de-activate your current PS3 because it is broken. You will then lose a lot of protected data. I had my PS3 die, because I couldn't then de-activate my account I wasn't aloud to download any movies from psn because the account was locked to the dead machine, so I had to set-up a separate account, bummer. –  woodscreative Jul 13 '11 at 14:24
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