I have also been experiencing this problem and made a topic about it because I didn't notice this one until now. Does it also crash occasionally when you use the Internet Browser at all?
Same problem here. Updated 4.31 just the other day, played Madden13. Game froze (right as I won the SB and celebration was going on) and my PS3 slim froze. I restarted the ps3 and now it freezes on the pre XMB screen... at the wave and stars. Every time I restart, the ps3 says I have a corrupt file that it needs to clean and restarts the ps3 as part of the process... then freezes at the same spot. I tried safe mode options 1-4 and 6 with no success. Last resort, #5.
Does it also crash occasionally when you use the Internet Browser at all?
Yes but the internet browser has crashed since darn near day one of the PS3... I don't think the internet browser crashing has anything to do with the game freezes with this update, although I can't say that for a certainty.
I learned a long time ago that the PS3 browser is really buggy and causes system freezes, especially if the web page is complex and includes flash.
Did anyone ever fix this?
I am guessing no as this seems to be a bug in the firmware and Sony would need to address this and fix it. I really don't even know if Sony even reads these forums but if it gets a high enough profile and enough people call into support, which I know many people have done already, then perhaps they will look into it. I surely hope so becasue this is the most unstable I have ever seen the PS3 and my first PS3 was bought in 2006!
#5 fixed the freeze problem ... for now. I WILL NOT update to 4.31
The problem is that once you update to 4.31 you can never go back. Supposedly 4.30 had an issue with games freezing that 4.31 was the fix for but it seems they did not fix it.
Even if you format your HD or install a new one you have to load on whatever firmware you had or newer, you can't go back...