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How to upgrade your PS3 internal hard drive

24 January 2008 95 Comments
If you’re looking for a larger internal hard drive – we have used the method below to replace our 60Gb hard drive with this 250Gb Fujitsu drive (Available to order online here – now only £56!!)

Things you will need

1. Larger SATA notebook (2.5″) hard drive (hd), 5400rpm or 7400rpm.

We chose a 5400rpm model for temperature considerations.  Also there are two types of SATA drive – SATA-150 and SATA-300 (differences are the data transmission speeds – either 1.5Gb/sec or 3Gb/sec.  The PS3 supports 1.5Gb/sec only so no need to pay any extra for SATA-300 as these will not run at maximum speed.

2. (optional if you need to back up your PS3 hard drive first) External HD or large USB drive formatted to FAT32 to backup your PS3 downloads or anything on the oem hd.

32gb is the larger FAT32 partition for Windows XP. So if you fill up the 60gb ps3 drive you can’t back up the whole drive.

Maybe a larger partition can be made on a MacOS but we’re not familiar.

3. A ph1 or ph2 sized phillips screwdriver to avoid stripping the hard drive screws.

Be very careful because the screws maybe over torqued and are soft.

What you have to do to upgrade your Hard Drive
(The next three steps are optional if you want to backup what is already on your hard drive).

1. Connect the external hd or usb drive by usb to the ps3. Turn on the external hd.
2. Turn on the ps3.
3. Backup the ps3 data. (optional)

On the ps3 xmb

Settings – System Settings – Backup Utility – Backup

The duration of this process will depend on the amount of data on the ps3.

4. Turn off the ps3 and unplug all cables from the rear.
5. On the right hand side of the ps3 you will see a plastic tab with an HDD sticker. Remove this from the right edge with a thin lever.
6. Discharge static electricity from your body. Unscrew the blue screw in the middle.
7. Lift the tab and push the hd to the right. Now you can pull out the ps3 hd.
8. Remove all four (4) screws that hold the oem SATA hd to the hard drive carrier.
9. Install your new hd with the label facing up, and the ports are exposed by using the four (4) screws.
10. Insert the hd, and hard drive carrier to the right of the ps3 hard drive port using the tab.
11. Slide the hd to the left with the tab. You will feel the SATA and power connectors engage.
12. Flip tab down and secure the hd with the blue screw.
13. Reinstall the plastic hd port cover.
14. Turn on the ps3 and it will recognize that it’s a new hd.
15. Format the hd.
16. A reboot of the ps3 will be required.
17. Most of your settings will be restored.
18. Restore the ps3 data. (optional)

On the ps3 xmb

Settings – System Settings – Backup Utility – Restore

The duration of this process will depend on the amount of data on the external hd.

19. A reboot will need to be performed.
20. PS3 hard drive upgrade completed. (Well done – crack open a beer!)

(You can get a Fujitsu 250Gb internal PS3 compatible hard drive for only £56 here)

Video Guide (3 mins)

95 thoughts on “How to upgrade your PS3 internal hard drive

  1. Drew says:

    rather than backing up all the data to an external drive (since I don’t have any high capacity fat 32 drives), can I use disk cloning software such as Acronis to simply clone the existing PS3 harddrive onto a larger drive, pop the larger drive in and fire it up and everything work? Theoretically, I think it may work since it works with windows operating systems. Essentially, it would take whatever data is on the PS3 drive and copy the data onto the larger drive and maintain all the file structure and folder information and the end result is a perfectly cloned drive only with a lot of unused space on the larger drive.

    I’ll give it a try becuase my 80gb drive is more or less at maximum capacity.

  2. Rachel says:

    Hi,

    This Christmas we bought Play TV for our PS3 but it’s only holding 2 films! Can you recommend what make internal hard drives work in the PS3 and what size hard drive we should buy so that we can store several films and different series. From a beginner, thanks.

  3. bombardier says:

    For all those having trouble with the drive not being recognised and the PS3 asking for a drive with a system update on it, download the official system software from Sony, and put it on a USB memory stick (or external HD). It needs to go in:

    F:\PS3\UPDATE\

    F:\ just needs to be whatever the letter of your external drive / USB stick is.

    Put the stick/drive in to the USB slot and power up, your new internal drive should now be recognised.

  4. blaZeoNe says:

    this has been very helpful..thank you for the advice,now can you point me in the direction of a 500Gb SATA 150 5400RPM 8MB 2.5″ 9.5mm Hard Drive..

  5. blaZeoNe says:

    aight i emailed black bever on this matter and have recieved no feed bak..so i’m gonna post it here
    lemme start with this link..500 gigwhat i don’t know is if this will fit in the ps3.

    and before i order it i wanna make sure everything is compatable,but when i compare the size of the 500 gig, to the one of your fujitsu 250 gig, they are off slightly.

    allow me to compare…Dimensions of the “500″ gig 6.9cm (W) x 10.0cm (D) x 0.9cm (H) – Weight 0.11kg

    Dimensions of the “250″ (WxDxH): 7 cm x 10 cm x 9.5mm

    it’s not a 150,which ya’ll said that wasn’t a big deal..if it will not work can you point me in the right direction of one that does.

    your help is greatly appriciated

  6. mat says:

    I am sure it doesn’t invalidate warranty by replacing Hdd as it is documented in the manual which comes with the ps3. So long as the originally drive is replaced (if ps3 becomes faulty)
    I currently use a 320 gb 5200 rpm sata. I considered 7200 but heat is dangerous to the console. Last thing I want is a fried console. As for windows you can create larger partitions than 32gb but unfortunately these will only allow individual files upto the 4gb limit. Use Tversity if you need a bigger files transporting or streamed to ur PS3!

  7. Mix Master Ice says:

    Reference UK 40GB PS3, when installing a new hard drive you will probably get the message that you need to install the latest software version and you need to connect a media drive containing the lastest firmware.
    Ok this how you do it; plug your on your FAT32 formated external drive or memory stick in to your PC and create a folder Named PS3 then in that folder create a folder Named UPDATE, go to the offical playstation website click on PS3 at the top of the page then click on support then click on latest update.
    Download the update in to you newly created fold marked update, when down load is completed unplug your external drive/ memory stick plug it in to the USB port on your PS3, Turn on your PS3 follow the on screen instructions and the you will be asked to formate the the new hard drive say yes and the new firmware will begin to install.
    Once this has finished you go through the proceedure of setting up your PS3 and internet connection, once this has been completed you should be able to install your backup Restore.

    Good Luck

  8. Zzpun1zz@yahoo says:

    What do I do if my ps3 doesnot read my new hard drive??

  9. wooerrigdi says:

    i bought me a ps3 like last or so and is there a reason it won’t go back to the main system screen or even show it when i boot up my system?

  10. JMC2543 says:

    Just a note for the ones asking if replaceing the hard drive will void the warrenty. No it will not. Only opening the case and messing with internal items (boards, ect.) would void the warrenty. Sony intended on the HDD to be upgradable, hense the reason it is so easily accessable.

  11. major k says:

    Hi great tutorial before i buy the hdd i want as i want to go for the 7200 but as ive read above about the heating issues i was wondering if i did go for the 7200rpm would a ps3 cooler work enough to stop any major overheating?

    thanks in advance.

  12. Ali says:

    hi
    I would just like to know if this hard drive in the link below would work with my PS3 if i format it to a FAT32 filesystem.
    http://www.aria.co.uk/Products/Components/Hard+Drives/External/Buffalo+500GB+DriveStation+TurboUSB+With+Power+Saving+Mode+USB2.0+External+Hard+Drive+?productId=33949#rqc

    Many Thanks.

  13. jonnywombat says:

    Thanks bombardier, you saved my life…

    i have the newer version of the ps3, the HDD has been rotated through 90 degrees, and the seperate flash memory for the OS has been scrapped, so I had a shock when I power up and found my PS3 was a brick!!

    Thanks to bombardiers post i was able to figure out how to install the OS again…

    Maybe some could update the how to to include the new type PS3 with end on trays, coz lots of ppl are going to get a nasty shock following the how to and also finding this problem.

    Thanks

    Jonny

  14. dan.b says:

    In reply to mix master ices post very helpful. Spent hours last nite trying to install new hard drive with no result. I hope your advice works.

  15. sb says:

    a friends 60gb ps3 has died,if he brought a new ps3 40/60/80gb can he put the hd from the 60gb into the new machine to keep his saved games…thank you

  16. steve says:

    Hi theri just upgraded my ps3 with a 500gig hard disk only to discover
    That when recording or viewing while recording the picture just
    Stutters or breaks up. It’s not the tv signal as all is fine when you stop
    Recording. Any ideas how to fix?
    It’s a seagate momentus 5400.6r

  17. Don W says:

    If I buy a ps3 without a hard drive, will I need a special hard drive for soley the ps3? or will any hd work as long as it has fat32…
    Thanks
    Don W
    a Granpa

  18. Sanjog says:

    To Don W:

    You cannot purchase a ps3 without a hard drive :) However, if one is available on ebay without one, then yes any 2.5 inch SATA hard drive will work with your ps3.

  19. paddymcb says:

    thank u so much for this information. was very helpful. just upgraded my ps3 from a 40gb to a 500gb for £60. very happy :D

  20. Richie says:

    Hi Guys,
    Just installed a 500GB SEAGATE MOMENTUS 2.5″ SATA 5400rpm HDD.

    Well after watching the video’s on U-Tube on how to install a new hard drive, i thought of getting my hands dirty and doing it myself coz it looked really easy….

    So i backed up all my data on my External HD which was formatted in FAT32, Incase u are using XP on your computer u will notice tht u cannot format a hard drive to FAT32 anymore, only NTFS!!!
    Unless you have installed some formatting utilities….

    But luckily i had a hard disk which was in the FAT32 format, so just transfered data from that to my computer and then used the External HDD to back up my saved data on my PS3 via USB.

    Make sure u sync your TROPHIES on your PS3 with the server, just go to Trophies and choose Option & then click on ‘sync with server’.

    After all that was done, i replaced the Old 40GB internal 2.5″ SATA HDD with the new 500GB, connected the cables back and switched it ON.

    If you have installed the latest UPDATE on ur PS3 ie UPDATE3.0.1 then you are gonna have some problems which was not covered in any video on U-Tube or else where…

    It will ask you to connect your PS3 Remote via cable & PRESS the PS button on your remote.

    Then it will tell you that you have to install the new update 3.0 or higher version or else it will not WORK, even if you press the SELLECT & START button together,its only going to search for a file that is not there on the SYSTEM……

    So what you need to do is simple & easy,

    1 Just go to your regional PS3 website

    2 After you finished backing all your DATA from your PS3 to the EXTERNAL HDD, just connect it back to your computer, you will see a folder called ‘PS3′ created by your PS3 system, open the folder and create a NEW FOLDER called ‘UPDATE’

    3 On the PS3 website go to the new system updates to download via your computer….

    4 You will see a new version 3.0.1, just click on download and save it to the FOLDER ‘UPDATE’ that you created.

    5 Now connect your EXTERNAL HDD to your PS3, PRESS the SELLECT & START button together, then just follow the instruction on screen…

    6 Then you will get to the screen where it will ask you to enter your USER name etc… Just skip all that…. Go to your BACKUP UTILITY and click on RESTORE….. IT will Format your new HDD again (I think it does it 3 times in total from the time you start the installation).

    7 VALA!!! All your DATA is restored back on your PS3 along with your saved game files etc…

    Out of the 500GB, i got only 375GB to use…. Wonder what happened to the 125GB??????

    GOOD LUCK….

  21. Janner66 says:

    Hi,
    I have just bought a 120gb slimline PS3. Are the instructions the same for this console?

  22. Janner66 says:

    “i have the newer version of the ps3, the HDD has been rotated through 90 degrees, and the seperate flash memory for the OS has been scrapped, so I had a shock when I power up and found my PS3 was a brick!!

    Thanks to bombardiers post i was able to figure out how to install the OS again…

    Maybe some could update the how to to include the new type PS3 with end on trays, coz lots of ppl are going to get a nasty shock following the how to and also finding this problem.”

    “For all those having trouble with the drive not being recognised and the PS3 asking for a drive with a system update on it, download the official system software from Sony, and put it on a USB memory stick (or external HD). It needs to go in:

    F:\PS3\UPDATE\

    F:\ just needs to be whatever the letter of your external drive / USB stick is.

    Put the stick/drive in to the USB slot and power up, your new internal drive should now be recognised.”

    I take it these are the instructions to replace the HDD in a new slimline PS3?

  23. jake says:

    I just bought a 640gb internal hard drive will it work in my ps3?

  24. Neil32 says:

    A big thankyou to Janner66. Without that advice I would have been stuck. Thankyou.
    Neil32

  25. AL83 says:

    I purchased a 500GB Hard drive, I stored all my data to an external hard drive including latest firmware. However my PS3 won’t format, it goes through the process asking me to insert a controller and a media storage device with the firmware, which I do but my it says there is no device even though my external device has the data.

  26. birdseye says:

    my hard drive is corrupt. can i just change my hard drive with a new one? i phoned sony and they wanted me to send my old ps3 in and they said they would send me a reconditioned ps3 for £128. putting a new hard drive in sounds alot cheaper.

  27. Greystoke124 says:

    I am trying to inatall a WD250g hdd into my PS3. The hdd is in the ps3, I have the update on a flashdrive (formatted to FAT32) in a PS3/UPDATE directory. The PS3 just asks me to hit PS on the controller then START & SELECT. It scans the flashdrive then tells me that it can’t find the media. I have hit START & SELECT over and over. At no time has the PS3 seen the new hdd to reformat it.

    So what am I doing wrong?

    Thanks in advance!

  28. mark says:

    hi what can i use to backup my dater

  29. jim stiver says:

    I can not get my ps3 to recognize the new hard drive 320gb, 5400rpm. I noticed on all the demo’s that they seem to pull the hd to the right and the hd comes out. Mine doesn’t work that way. It seems every demo I have seen has the hd mounted in the ps3 sitting left to right and it also has like a wire clip where the blue screw holds it in. Mine is a 40gb ps3 that goes straight into the slot and connects straight back as you push it in. The metal clip is solid and this is where the blue screw holds it in the ps3. Can anyone help me out or seen another ps3 where the hd goes straight in the compartment and plugs in that way. I am having a heck of a time and need some help. Thanks, Jim Stiver

  30. Mike73 says:

    I have just upgraded my PS3 with a 500GB SATA HDD. One thing I had to do was copy the latest update into the PS3 folder created when doing the backup data. This is required as only 1/2 the required data is on the PS3 flash memory.

    When you 1st put your new drive in it will ask you to press the start and select buttons together with the external media source in the USB port. If you do not have the update (currently 3.15) saved in your external hard drive then the PS3 will not boot up.

    Once you have the update in you backup data folder (you must put the update in a folder called UPDATE must be in capitals then just follow the on screen instructions. Job done. Then reinstall the backup data through the same process of the making the backup. Sorry to droll on but this knowledge would have saved me a huge headache. Going off topic a little I also carried out re flow on PS3 motherboard and brought my mates PS3 back from the dreaded YLOD.

  31. Marney Louis says:

    to BLT:

    xmb stands for xross media bar
    just the front main menu page on your PS3, silly acronyms :-)

  32. bigdaddybear says:

    Just to start i have a PS3 80GB non-backwards, was looking for a way to put my 1TB extrnal harddrive in there, but i didn’t want to tear it up (cracking open the plastic case) so I just went and pick up a used 500GB SEAGATE MOMENTUS 2.5″ SATA 5400rpm HDD for $80. come home backed up my ps3 replaced the harddrive and ran in to the other problem with needing the update. so i downloaded that and was able to gohead and format, sign up, internet and so on. so im all up and running nice, (not to sound bad or bragging) so i wanted to see all that space i have now…..lol…. i only ended up with 412GB/465GB. its better than Richie’s 375GB (sorry richie) so i thought of doing a full format but any way i go it say’s its going to take 29hrs to complete……!@#$$ $#@@#$ %%$# so i looks like for right now im just going to stick with my 412GB of space. and if needed i still have the 1TB with all my music and movies and pic’s so no space from the PS3′s hdd PS3 Fan

  33. Dirrrtydawgg says:

    I’ve just upgraded my 40GB ps3
    Like many others on here I had a “arrrggghh” moment when, after plugging everything back in, all I got was the screen saying

    “NO UPDATE INFO AVAILIABLE PRESS THE START & SELECT BUTTONS TOGETHER”

    as I had the update stored on my laptop & my ext hard drive, I tried it several times, put it into the other usb plug, tried it on another memory stick & even on my PSP. All failed to find the update.

    It was only when I went back to the PS3 website to d/load the update again that I noticed the problem.

    The first update I d/loaded was v 3.5 and was 179k, The second time I tried it it was 179MB!!!
    Make sure you get the correct file!!!!

  34. yayes says:

    i have update my firmware to 3.41 . why i cannot upgrade the harddisk ? it’s that true i cannot upgrade hardisk with the firmware 3.41 installed ?

  35. Andy says:

    Hi could someone please help as I am ripping my hair out… I have bought and installed a wd scorpio blue 500gb sata 8mb internal hard drive. Upon starting up my ps3 i get the following:

    No applicable data was found Connect storage media that contains update data of version 3.55 or later, press start and select buttons at same time.

    I have download to memory stick latest version from sony website even tried reformating memeory stick to FAT32. Nothing works please could someone help as I was led to believe this was suppose to be easy…. Thanks

  36. alicat says:

    hi i tried to back up my ps3 and it keeps saying the back up operation could not be completed (8001002A) witch meens that the my external hdd is not conected propporly but no matter how mutch i try it says the same thing can any body help

  37. jacobs799 says:

    u can use swissarmyknife program for larger gb’s i got a 500 gb for mine i just formated it to fat and it worked

  38. josh56040 says:

    I have a 250gb ps3 slim and i want to upgrade the hdd to 2tb, can i?

    I want my ps3 to have the most space i can & still have it b really fast)

    I want to know if this would effect my download time for updates and installs and stuff like that. If i can not use this one, please tell me the hdd that you think would be best to you in my ps3 (or any) (with a link to ur suggested hdd)

    Here is a link to the one that i was thinking of useing….

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Seagate+-+Barracuda+2TB+Internal+Serial+ATA+Hard+Drive+for+Desktops/9419382.p?id=1218102739460&skuId=9419382&st=hdd&contract_desc=null

  39. adam allardyce says:

    i have a 2.5″ 640gig hdd that is the correct dimensions for the ps3
    but when i fit it in the ps3 says it needs a new update. i currently
    have op sys 3.65 on my ps3 and when i try to install this version
    on the new larger hdd (select and start) it keeps telling me data
    is corrupt, i cant figure out how it can be corrupt as i am using the
    same external hdd and op sys update that i used to update my ps3.
    I have tried downloading the update again and put it on an external
    hd and also on a usb pen drive but nothing seems to work it still
    says data is corrupt wether i use the external hdd or the pen drive
    i even burnt 3.65 to a cd and that didnt work either
    do i have to wait for op sys 3.66 to come out before my ps3 will
    upgrade??
    update to 3.65

  40. George says:

    Need help. I formatted my external HD so that I could back up my files for getting a new internal HD for the PS3.
    I know that it’s formatted properly because after I did the FAT32 I put some files onto the drive that previously could not be read
    by the system until after I did the format change. I started the back up and it appeared to be doing the work properly; however,
    with a few minutes left to go in the process, it gave a message saying that “the usb device cannot be accessed.” I unhooked the
    external and hooked it up to my PC–it does show archived files that were copied onto it today but I’m in fear now of attempting
    to put the new drive in because of this message displaying (thinking that it truly may not have copied all my files as a back up) and
    then losing everything I have on the drive. Anyone know about this or can advise before I try to go any further with the change???

  41. telfish1 says:

    Hi have just replaced my 40Gb hard drive with a 160Gb. I had to update software to format hard
    drive. everything works ok but I backed my old hard drive to a flash stick (64Gb) FAT32 (25.3Gb on back up)
    when I try to restore info the ps3 tell me there is no backed up files on flash.
    Has anyone had this problem? any answers? I backed up twice to no avail. The only option I can see is to borrow a ps3 and
    transfer info via eternet cable any ideas?

  42. nick says:

    Hi i have one of the original 40g PS3s i decided to upgrade to a 320g. On doing this all i get is a message saying major error contact sony technical !!! i have tried everything nothing works. i have tried it in my bros 60g & a guy at works 40g it works fine in both of them so the hard drive is fine.
    Now the only difference we can see is:
    1) My hardrive goes straight into the PS3 to connect (rather than pushing towards the back of the PS3 like the 60g & my friends 40g)
    2) There original hardrives are hitachi & mine is a fujitsu.

    My new hard drive is 320g (MDT) Magnetic Data Technologies
    any help would be great as im ready to pull out what hair i have left

  43. Jez23 says:

    I have just upgraded my original 60gb backwards compatible UK spec PS3. Total success, almost.
    Backed up data to 64gb USB pen drive (fat32), synced trophies to PSN.
    Replaced original Seagate 60gb hdd with 500GB Western Digital WD5000BUDT AV, 2.5″, 9.5 mm, SATA 3Gb/s, 5400rpm, 32MB Cache.
    Turned on system, formatted a couple of times. then system booted up.
    Transferred data from USB, sync trophies, success.
    Check hdd space total 465gb/382gb available.
    I transferred 30gb of data where is the other 50gb (I know 500gb = 465gb)
    Anybody any suggestions?
    p.s. firmware 3.70

  44. Chris Charleswoth says:

    Just what to say thanks to this website I installed my new hard drive in my PS3.

  45. Bryan says:

    As far as upgrading your PS3 Hard Disk Drive from GB to 1TB, will upgrading to 1TB void your warranty?

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