Upgrading Your PS3 Hard Drive

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I recently decided to upgrade the hard drive in my fat 80G PS3 up to something a bit meatier, I was getting far too fed up with only having a limited number of games installed and having to juggle the install data. Finding a comprehensive guide detailing every step of this isn’t actually that easy so I’ve detailed everything I needed to do right here.


What you will need:

A tiny Philips screwdriver.

A new hard drive, this will need to be a 2.5″ internal SATA drive. This can be pretty much any capacity or speed, I’ve used a 500GB 5400rpm Seagate drive.

A USB drive to backup data too. You can just use a flash stick and backup your saves instead, but some saves are protected and you will need to install all your game data/update data again.

You will also need a USB drive to save the PS3 update data onto for installing the new hard drive, you may be able to get away with using the same drive all your backup data is stored on.


Step 1 – BACKUP

Probably the single most important step. Plug in your USB drive and scroll over to the left on the XMB and down to system settings. Under there you will see an option called backup utility, go into that and select backup. You get asked to confirm that you want to backup and then you choose your USB drive to backup to.

This is a timely operation and it might be beneficial having a clear out so delete any demo’s you’re finished with and remove any old game install data you won’t need any more.


Step 2 – INSTALL

The easy bit, take out the old hard drive and pop in your shiny new one.

On the fat console, there is a little plate on the left side you can unclip and then there’s a blue screw you can take out and the hard drive tray slides out. Unscrew the four screws from that and screw in your new drive. Check the picture below for the exact location.

On the slim unit there is a screw on the bottom which allows you to take the drive out the front. Once you have the tray out it’s the same as the fat console, unscrew the four screws in the corner and screw your new hard drive in a fit in the console. Check the picture below for the location of the drive.


If you’re struggling with this it’s actually pretty easy to find a video for this step on youtube or just give it a google.

Step 3 – FORMAT

You’ll need to download the latest PS3 update data and save it to your USB drive. Now this needs to be in the right folder as well. On the root of your USB drive create a folder called “PS3” and inside that create another folder called “UPDATE”, you need to copy the file in there.

At the time of writing the latest firmware version is 3.73 and can be downloaded right here.

Otherwise you can go to the system software page and click on the very top one.

Once this is on your USB drive and plugged into your PS3, power it up and follow the instructions on screen to get the drive formatted and system software installed. It can take a little while and after it has finished you’ll be asked for time/date settings and connection settings etc. After that you’ll having a working playstation again.


Step 4 – RESTORE

Nearly there! Now you just need to restore your data, so head back to the left side of the XMB and find the backup utility and this time select restore. You’ll be asked to select your USB drive and then the process will begin. This will restore your console to the same state as it was when you backup everything up. Again this is a timely process, but be patient this is the final step.


That’s it, not quite as simple as it’s made out to be, but you can add plenty of storage and it can really help out with download only games becoming ever more popular.


Feel free to ask any questions or let me know if you’re having any problems with this process either below in the comments or on twitter @GamEvolution_uk

James Plant

20 something gamer. Love my racers and RPGs. Got a thing for horror games, but don't like horror films. Strange, but true.