PlayStation Universe

How to upgrade your PS3 hard drive

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on 3 July 2012

So, your PS3 has had some serious use over the years and is crammed full of game saves, installations, movies and music, so much so that there’s barely room left to even squeeze in a PlayStation mini. If that’s the case then now is the right time to consider upgrading your hard drive, which is much easier to do than you might think.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide on how to upgrade your PS3 hard drive.

1. Choose a new hard drive

You will need to buy a 2.5" Serial-ATA format hard disk drive. They come in various gigabyte sizes so check which size drive you have at the moment. You’ll obviously want to buy something much larger if it’s nearing its limit. You can buy hard drives online from a variety of retailers. Though some sources will tell you that you can simply choose a hard drive from any manufacturer, we recommend you only choose an approved hard drive, one that you know is definitely compatible. Seagate, Samsung and Western Digital are all good choices.

Hard drives vary in specification, so you'll notice that some are more expensive than others. They are available with spin speeds of either 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM, with the latter providing a faster performance with the system booting up faster and applications opening more quickly. 


2. Backup data

 You won't want to lose all the current data held on your PS3. You can back it up onto a USB memory stick, providing it has enough storage capacity, or via an external USB hard drive. The storage medium you use must support the FAT32 file system. If you are unsure, check out this article, which explains how to find out whether your drive supports FAT32. 

Use the PS3 backup utility on the XMB to transfer files to your USB device.

3. Open up your PS3

Find your PS3 user manual where you’ll find instructions on how to replace the drive. If you haven't got it, follow these instructions.

You’ll need a screwdriver and a steady hand if you don’t want to damage your console. Make sure the PS3 is turned off. Remove the side panel. Take out the screw securing the drive and then lift the metal latch. You can now slide the drive out.

The drive is still attached to its protective metal plating once you’ve removed it from the console, so take out the four screws to remove it. Place the new drive into the metal casing and put the screws back in. Slide the new drive back into the PS3 and make sure it’s fully inserted before you secure the final screw and replace the plastic panel.

4. Check it works

Turn the PS3 on and wait for the console to format the drive. Go to the backup utility and restore the data from your external USB device. All being well, your new hard drive will now work like a dream.