Since you're having so many problems with your hard drive, it may need to be replaced. I know that's not what you wanted to hear. Did you drop it or is it getting overheated by not being in a ventilated area?. You say you're back where you started? what exactly is going on now? If you can backtrack your steps that you did to get official firmware 3.55 working again, then try installing rebug from the update menu on your XMB instead of recovery menu. Mine wouldn't let me install rebug from recovery either - it kept wanting to restore my system to 3.15 stock firmware
have you recently modified anything in the flash? installed ReActPSN? tried using someone's act.dat?
you're not allowed to post cracks or links to cracks here so I can't look at your file to see what happened. Install pkg view and see if there's anything out of the ordinary in your file. I wish I had your ps3 sitting in front of me so I could see exactly what's going on. It's probably something simple that we're missing. I still think you should delete your partition. Try posting your question again on a new thread to see if you can get some more input other than me. Just copy and paste your problem but change the title to something like "Still need help with...."