I recently attempted to update my PS3 to the latest version as required by sony for online blahblah. The update failed and now I receive error code 8002F147. I've gone through Sony's tongue in cheek joke they call troubleshooting (unplug the unit, wait a few minutes, then boot up again) but still get the error code. I found a guide that indicated how to boot into safe mode (essentially holding the power button through a cycle of beeps), but I can't get to the menu. I've tried pulling out the hard drive and trying to get to safe mode and doing the same and trying to get the update to initialize, but I still get the error code. And now, I'm in the process of formatting the hard drive to fat32 on my pc and will throw it back in and repeat the safe mode attempts, etc.
As Sony wisely chose a 1 year warranty (for my 2 year old system), I'm on the hook for $110 bucks + shipping to send it to them and get a refurb or new replacement unit.
Update - please read on for how I solved the problem.