My Playstation 3 is a launch system, and so it has one of the smallest hard drives available, 60 gigabytes. That might seem like a lot, but after several years of downloading software updates, game expansions, music, movies, and even full games, my hard drive was full. Fortunately, the price per gig has dropped significantly on hard drives, and Playstation 3 uses a standard laptop hard drive. Here are the steps I took to replace my stock 60gig hard drive with a new 500 gig hard drive.

From left to right: Old Seagate 60gig Playstation 3 HD, 500 gig Toshiba transfer HD, new 500gig WD HD

First I connected my Playstation 3 to an external USB drive. It’s important to note that I had to format the external Toshiba 500gig to Fat32 for the Playstation 3 to recognize it, which was a pain. I used a software program called EASEUS Partition Master to accomplish this.

Turning my Playstation 3 on, I went to the settings menu and selected “backup utility”. After selecting “back up”, my Playstation 3 began the five hour process of copying it’s contents to the portable drive. I left it running overnight, in the morning it was ready and the Playstation 3 had shut itself off.



Next, I removed the access panel on the bottom of the Playstation 3. It popped off easily with the tip of a flathead screwdriver. The blue screw in the center held the hard drive enclosure in place. I took great care loosening this screw using a very small headed Phillips screwdriver. The blue screw was fastened very tight, and the metal seemed very soft, making the head very easy to strip. After the blue screw was removed, I simply flipped up the small metal tab, slid the hard drive enclosure to the right, and lifted it out.

After removing all four screws around the metal enclosure securing the old 60gig drive, I removed it, and placed the new 500 gig drive in the enclosure and reattached the four screws.

Next I reversed the steps I took removing the hard drive; I slid the hard drive within the metal enclosure back into the Plastation 3, slid the assembly left, and locked it into place carefully with the blue screw. After reattaching the plastic cover to the bottom, I plugged in the power cord and all audio video cables to the Playstation 3.

After turning on my Playstation 3, I was happy to see that it recognized the new drive, and asked to format it. After doing this, I plugged my external Toshiba drive back into the PS3 via USB, and went back to settings menu and backup utility, this time selecting “restore”. I was amused that the first thing the firmware did was format the new drive AGAIN, and then I was presented with progress bar for the backup to be restored on my new drive.

While I was waiting for the backup to be loaded onto the new hard drive, I took the old drive and installed it in a case I had bought for about $10. Now I have a portable hard drive for my Google Chrome netbook! Total time for this project was 6 and a half hours, but most of that was the Playstation 3 creating and restoring a backup. Going through the settings menus and swapping out the drives took less that a half an hour.
Toshiba Canvio 500 GB USB 2.0 Basics Portable Hard Drive E05A050BAU2XK (Black) Western Digital Scorpio Blue 500 GB Bulk/OEM Hard Drive 2.5 Inch, 8 MB Cache, 5400 RPM SATA II WD5000BEVT  Vantec NexStar TX 2.5-Inch SATA to USB 2.0 External Hard Drive Enclosure

2 Responses to A tale of three hard drives: upgrading my Playstation 3

  1. mikerosss says:

    I think one of your advertisements caused my internet browser to resize, you might want to put that on your blacklist.

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