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To Do List For Your Hard Drive Upgrade

Do It Yourself: More Storage For Your PlayStation 3
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Replacing the PS3's hard drive is a matter of swapping the built-in drive with a new one. Fortunately, Sony hasn't introduced any limitations or restrictions on this point. You can use any 2.5” Serial ATA hard drive that fits into the 9.5 mm z-height format.

However, it's important to know that many 750 GB and 1 TB 2.5” hard drives cannot be used. The highest capacity drives you can find today are 750 GB models, but you’ll get more bang for the buck if you go with 500 GB or 640 GB. We used Toshiba's MK6465GSX, a 5,400 RPM, 2.5” SATA drive with a 640 GB capacity.

Upgrade an Existing PS3 Slim

The PlayStation 3 Slim only needs its firmware to start up. All other data remains on the hard drive. If you buy a new PS3 and decide to upgrade the hard drive right away, then you don’t need to read the next page, which describes the backup process. Creating a backup will copy the existing firmware and all data on the hard drive onto a USB 2.0 storage device. Be sure that your portable drive or memory stick provides sufficient free capacity to hold everything already stored on the factory PS3 drive. Keep in mind that this may be up to 250 GB, so don't assume a flash drive will do the trick. Also be sure you have enough time, as this may take up to a few hours for a complete backup and restore.

Upgrade a New PS3 Slim

If you're upgrading a brand new PS3, then the process is easier. You can go ahead and replace the hard drive straight away. All you need to do is download the latest firmware from Sony’s Web site (here, version 3.3 is 170MB) and copy it onto a USB storage device. Be sure you put the firmware into a folder called PS3/UPDATE.

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  • 27 Hide
    HibyPrime , June 7, 2010 6:46 AM
    PoisonerThats a lot of drama for a toy.


    This entire site can be described by that statement (albeit thats a pretty negative way of looking at it). I'm guessing you're new here?
  • 21 Hide
    LordConrad , June 7, 2010 6:47 AM
    You forgot something very important.

    The USB backup drive must be formatted as FAT32 or the PS3 won't recognize it. If you're using an external hard drive, you'll need to re-format it.
  • 18 Hide
    darthvidor , June 7, 2010 6:45 AM
    me: This article could have been better if a couple of HDD's were benchmarked in Linux.

    voices: ... Linux support was dropped ...

    me: curse you sony!!!
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    darthvidor , June 7, 2010 6:45 AM
    me: This article could have been better if a couple of HDD's were benchmarked in Linux.

    voices: ... Linux support was dropped ...

    me: curse you sony!!!
  • 27 Hide
    HibyPrime , June 7, 2010 6:46 AM
    PoisonerThats a lot of drama for a toy.


    This entire site can be described by that statement (albeit thats a pretty negative way of looking at it). I'm guessing you're new here?
  • 21 Hide
    LordConrad , June 7, 2010 6:47 AM
    You forgot something very important.

    The USB backup drive must be formatted as FAT32 or the PS3 won't recognize it. If you're using an external hard drive, you'll need to re-format it.
  • 5 Hide
    dragonfang18 , June 7, 2010 7:04 AM
    Those screws for the HDD cage are really SOFT! Whats it made of clay? I could crush them with a pair of pliers!
  • -6 Hide
    matt87_50 , June 7, 2010 7:37 AM
    Oh!!! I have a completely unrelated Question!!!

    I'm using play tv to record stuff, and I want to be able to copy some of the files off of the ps3 so I can put them on my file server and other members of my family can play them from their rooms.

    it allows me to do this, you transfer the file from play tv to the ps3 system menu, and its in the video section just like any other video, and from there you can copy it off, i've been using an external hdd. BUT! external USB drives have to be FAT formatted, so you can only have files a maximum of 4 gig! so... how do I copy recordings bigger than 4 gig off of my ps3?
  • 13 Hide
    matt87_50 , June 7, 2010 7:43 AM
    fryeIf the PS3 is "one of the dominant products on the console market" yet is trailing the 360 and the Wii in sales, how exactly is it dominant?Good article anyways - I'd like to see a 360 version.


    people usually come back to toms articles long after they've been posted. maybe they are just future proofing :D 

    also, here is the 360 version:
    Do It Yourself: More Storage For Your Xbox 360:
    Go down to your local games retailer, buy the ridiculously priced Microsoft branded proprietary hard drive.

    (or... maybe you could just buy an external hard drive and leave it plugged in all the time, I don't have a 360 so I don't know what limitations there are with this.)
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , June 7, 2010 8:36 AM
    Be sure to use pliers to loosen the screws before using a screwdriver or they will almost certainly strip.
  • 0 Hide
    amnotanoobie , June 7, 2010 9:21 AM
    fryeGood article anyways - I'd like to see a 360 version.


    That's a pretty good way to get banned (unless you're getting the same model as what's inside MS are selling).
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 7, 2010 10:28 AM
    Please explain why most 750GB and 1TB drives won't work? Are they too hot or do they require too much power?
  • -3 Hide
    rhangman , June 7, 2010 11:32 AM
    So is the above
  • 1 Hide
    zybch , June 7, 2010 12:32 PM
    Hmm, I just upgraded my old 40Gb PS3 with a 250Gb drive and I never bothered or needed to do any of that stupid firmware backup/restore stuff.

    Just switched the drives over, turned the console on and that was that.
    Is the PS3 Slim even more crippled that I thought and doesn't have any kind of built in firmware/OS that stays in the console when the HDD is replaced?
  • -3 Hide
    thillntn , June 7, 2010 1:05 PM
    I don't really see the point, as I have a router with a usb port and share a 1tb drive over dlna on the 360 or the ps3. I have the fat version(3.15 :)  )I see this whole article as a advertisement for sony. Go to "that game store" and get a used fat for 50 more than a new one and just throw in a drive, all that backup stuff not needed that way :) . You will get all the features that the slim has, and alot more. Is there a reason why their stock price has slid since 3.21 firmware came out? :) 
  • 4 Hide
    americanbrian , June 7, 2010 1:19 PM
    I want to see someone upgrade their PS3 with an SSD. TAKE THAT LOAD TIMES. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, Prepare to DIE!!
  • 2 Hide
    masterasia , June 7, 2010 1:21 PM
    This is news? I did this 3 years ago. If you're gonna backup your old hard drive you need third party software to create a FAT32 partition big enough to back up your stuff. Data transfer takes forever. Backing up 40 gigs of stuff takes 3 hours and transferring it back takes another 3 hours. If you're doing this, make sure you don't plan on playing any games for the whole day. I used a WD Black when I first got my PS3, it died within a week. Then I used a 320GB Seagate and it was been running good for 3 years+ now. 320GB is more than enough space. My content is only taking up like 80GB.
  • 1 Hide
    kelemvor4 , June 7, 2010 1:42 PM
    Not that it's a bad article but there's already literally hundreds of such articles on websites, including PlayStation.com

    Next week you might write an article to let us know there's an oil spill because I think it's been covered less than this topic.
  • 0 Hide
    flightmare , June 7, 2010 2:15 PM
    Next week x360 HDD upgrade guide? Isn't that hard either, but it requires a WD scorpio.
  • 0 Hide
    festerovic , June 7, 2010 2:37 PM
    americanbrianI want to see someone upgrade their PS3 with an SSD. TAKE THAT LOAD TIMES. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, Prepare to DIE!!


    it's been done. Minimal speed increases, not worth the effort.
  • 0 Hide
    FSXFan , June 7, 2010 2:38 PM
    FSXFanThere ya go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_ieXPLWJmE

    The web ate my link.
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