PlayStation Tips #5 – DIY Hard Drive upgrade

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No matter which model of the PLAYSTATION 3 you’ve got – 20GB, 40GB, 60GB, or 80GB – music, video, and gaming download fiends will find a way to fill up their hard disk drive. Fortunately, the PS3 doesn’t require some hard-to-find proprietary HDD – you can swap it out yourself with the kind of drive found at most electronics retailers and on the internet.

Rather than spell out the intimate, step-by-step instructions right here, I found that the fine folks at CNET put together a pretty awesome tutorial.

The type of internal 2.5″ drives that work with the PS3 top out at about 250gb. So if you’re looking for more storage and/or don’t wanna bother with opening up your box, 500gb external USB drives are also readily available.

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  • @aredo

    Then why is everyone using this method instead of page swapping on the HDD in yellow dog linux? Are they all just dumb?Including the makers of YDL terasoft (because they support this)?


    True developers would like more RAM as they all ways have.But its not like the Xbox (a.k.a. crap box 3sucks D) or the Wii (a.k.a wii have no balls) have any more RAM then Sony. Least Sony has blazing fast Rambus running @3.2Gigs,Woot!

    Ever notice how you need to activate the WMV,WMA ability with in the Sony os before you can use them? Thats because Microsoft owns it like you said.
    But!!…Microsoft wants everyone to use there formats so this is a logical thing to do. But…NTFS is different because they want you to have to go to them to get all the advantages of NTFS mainly the ability to make 4gig and larger files.Something you can’t do on a FAT32 HDD.
    This is also why they made it so you cant formate a HDD larger then 32gigs in FAT32 within XP or Vista(don’t believe what Microsoft says about 32gig+ HDD’s not running as fast in FAT32 tho its true the speed lose is vary vary small.This is mainly just a way to try to force us to use windows. Shame on Microsoft you monopolizing but holes).

    Wheeew!!!…and lastly @ Sony
    Great work with this playstation tips thing.Informing everyone on all the Great things PS3 has to offer here is saving me allot of typing Lol. Because if you haven’t noticed im the unofficial Sony PS3 spokes man(feel free to put me on the pay roll when ever ya get a chance hehehe).
    By the way im LOVING my 500gig external PS3 HDD!!

    LONG LIVE THE BEAST!!!(Chant with me now)PS3!!!…..PS3!!!….PS3!!!!…PS3!!!!

    p.s.Omg can you tell its 2am here ROFL

  • @aredo

    P.S. Not trying to offend you with the page swap thing. As far as i know they could all be dumb lol. I’m a total Linux noob!!!

  • @maxerus: No probs. The fact is that using flash on USB as a cache to speed things up has been a real failure with Vista and that wouldn’t change with any other OS. There is a big gap at the bandwidth level, the RAM on the PS3 has a massive bandwidth that the gap is even higher than that on common PCs. Only low-end notebooks with slow HDUs can get some benefits out of caching main OS files on USB, and anyway that’s no major boost.

  • WARNING!!!
    THE SCREWS ARE CR*P!!! :-/
    I put in a 160GB hard drive in and it works perfect ;-P
    But the 4 screws on the metal case are rubbish!!! You just look at them and they wear out!!! ;-D
    +I CAN’T FIND ANY WHERE THAT SELLS the metal ps3 case??? you put the hard drive in??? Please SONY sell them in shops please.
    Happy 2008!!! ;)

  • Hey, Playstation team! Why not make the PS3 support the EXT3 format? It’s very good, and I think it’s better than NTFS. Also I think it’s free for you to support. The PS3 supports installing Linux, so it would feel very natural to also support an extern harddrive (or USB/FLASH memory) with the ext3 filesystem. Also I know that drivers for the ext3 filesystem exist for Windows XP. I really hope EXT3 support will come in a future update for the PS3-system. That would make everything so much easier.

    Anyway, I want to add a link to a good free software to format and partition your hardrives to FAT32:

    Remember that this software is based on linux Windows users needs to burn it on a CD or put it on a USB-memory to use it as a bootdisc. :)

  • I have an external 500GB Seagate and the PS3 does not recognize it. I have tried a Maxter 80Gb and two generic external laptop drive enclosures. None work. I am going to try a Solid State Drive(SSD) internally next to reduce heat and drive access times. If it works I can use Nero or Ghost to copy my existing drive info onto the new SSD. Must remember when duplicating drive info use a Linux system as a windows system will attempt to change the file system to NTFS or FAT and may not work internally on the PS3 after duplicated.

  • Hey 3371, this problem has been talked about in previous blog posts. Make sure that it is a FAT32 system. Search google for finding a program that works in windows vista, if you have it. There are ways to do it in vista, but it is not as easy as XP. I just used my laptop running XP to do this, since my new computer is Vista.

    I have the 60 gb model with plenty of space, especially since I use TVersity to strem my media from my computer. I do have a 160 GB hard drive that I had to create using the FAT32 system.

    Also, you have to create specific folders in the external hard drive so that the PS3 find the information. Or, click the triangle button to read the directories on the extrernal hard drive.

    For those of you having problems with the network and DNLA, make sure that the router has the newest firmware updates. The PS3 works 100% fine, it is usually the router. I took a hammer to my linksys WRT54G router and bought the Netgear Extreme N gaming router and have had zero problems streaming or connecting to the internet or using TVersity or WMP11.

    The linksys router at my friends house made it difficult to use remote play on my PSP. I am trying to convince them to buy the Netgear router so that I don’t have problems when I go to their house! Also, their linksys wrt54g router has to be reset at least three times a day. That is the same problem I had with my linksys router.

  • I’d like to change the subject…

    Someone tell me why on 90% of all the ads you see for the PS3, the controller’s Home button glows red.

    Is that coming on the dual shock? Or is it just false advertising…which, I remind you, is illegal.

  • in all honesty, i dont know and im not tryin to be a jerk but i really dont care either, im actually gald, especially in a dark full HD setting i dont want a glowing red light distracting me ya know, just my opinion

  • Will the PS3 ever bitstream TruHD or DTS-MA?


  • First comment of the year?

  • the dual shock 3 pad doesn’t light up(i.e the Home button) Shame that, would like a blue glow!!!!!!! ;-D

  • two things – i’d love to see the playstation store for the PC support ps3 downloads. not everyone has high speed internet in their neck of the woods, but maybe they do in town, or at work. secondly, DNLA support for apple would really make my day! Thanks sony people for making the imaginary worlds in millions of peoples heads much brighter! keep up the good work =)

  • Sony plz i beseech you to reimburse your design of the some called or acknowledged controller known as the boomerang. I found it to be a radical design yet a benefactor/convenient for gameplay. I hope that you will release a newly revised design layout of this controller rectifying its faults dispalyed at e3-05. Many companies are pillaging from this idea and selling their own but i want the original design that Sony(you guys) displayed at e3-05. I would be willing to buy the boomerang controller if u decide to create it noww with the integration of rumble/sixaxis(alittle).By default i would buy so many pairs just so you could make a profit. Please sony decide in bringing back this controller design I need something new and different.

  • Why no update since Friday of last year?! SONY you are a worldwide corporation, the fact that you take so many days off seems lazy and disconnected from the community…

  • And what better way to make use of this additional hard drive space, than with additional features that could use it?

    I propose a relatively easy addition to the updates, that being, the backing up (to hdd) of your own, legitimate ps1 titles.
    As far as i know, all ps3 SKU’s have full hardware backwards compatibility with ps1 titles, however for users to play ps1 titles from hard drive they’re required to purchase them from the playstation network store, this brings about issues where as some people may already own the games, and still posess the original disks.

    I feel it would be a valuable addition to the firmwares feature set if an option to “install” was given when a ps1 title is inserted, as far as security goes, the ps3 coudl happily dump the disk image to hard drive, fetch the games icon from an online database (or if no net connections available, use a default one).

    We already know from the situation with modified firmwares on the PSP that the format in which these downloaded games come in, is pretty much just an ISO image of the original, which makes the possibility even nicer.
    being able to backup your own retail ps1 titles, and transfer them to your PSP device, negates the requirement to use more shadier methods to have the same functionality on the handheld device, while allowing users who still retain a large stock of original ps1 titles, to backup and maintain their classic archive to their own system.

    Security measures are already in place to lock copied titles, and titles of a different region from the system, out of booting, so there would be no issues with piracy or incompatibility through regional differences, either.

  • I’ll likely upgrade the internal hdd and by an external. I have a ton of files that I need to store

  • Jeff Rubenstein, could you contact me at my account’s email please?

  • GTA Release date set!! I recieved an E-mail from Amazon saying April 1 2008 for my pre-order!! Just thouht i would get this out there. I am checking Amazon next to see if it is listed.

  • It’s good to have these articles on the blog. There are features that even hardcore tech junkies like myself that can find something previously unknown about our PS3s. I plan to upgrade my HDD eventually once more content becomes available(movies&music).

    BTW…I copped the 60gb over the 20 at launch not because of the memory slots, bigger hdd, or built in wireless. That chrome detailing alone was worth the exta C-note. Talk about bringing sexy back!!!

  • I’ve been planning to upgrade my 40gb for a while. Just ordered a 160gb Seagate Momentus ST9160821AS from Newegg. $109.99 + Free shipping… I couldn’t resist :-) Now I just gotta learn more about Linux. Thanks Sony for making HDD upgrades so easy. Maybe a 3.5″ SATA3.0 drive woulda been better though since we can get them in TB’s now :-D

  • @L3371

    I bet it is because the PS3 only recognizes the Fat32 File System. I too wondered why my Western Digital 500GB External HD wasn’t being reconized by the PS3. I know it is using the NTFS File System so instead of reformating it and losing all my info, I will just buy another external and format it to the Fat32 File System.


    That Boomarang style controller has been around for years. I had a 3rd party one back in the PS1 days. I believe that it was made by logitech. I am sorry to say the chances of Sony making a different controller are slim to none.


    Usually when a date is listed on the First of any month it is just a placeholder date for the retailer and the game may come out later in that month. Besides the fact that April 1st is Aprils fools day.I doubt it will come out on that day. The Day I heard it will be coming out is April 15th so only 2 weeks later which is not that long of a wait.


    1st it’s 500GB not MB.

    2nd I don’t think it will work as it is 12mm thick rather than 9.5mm which is what will fit in the PS3. All due to it having 3 platters instead of only 2. Looks like we will have to stick with the 320GB model until they bring a 500GB one that is only 9.5mm thick.

  • hopefully you at Sony are still reading this entry. I’ve read on several forums that people have stripped the screws and damaged the cage holding the HDD in. They called 1 800 345 SONY and got replacement screws and a cage.

    I stripped my screws as well, so I called the number. The CSR gave me the part number PS3-HDD-CAGE and forwarded me to the Direct Accessories and Parts Center number at 1-800-488-7669. However the folks at this number stated that they do not deal in PS3 parts, only PS1 and PS2 parts. Frustrating. So I called the original number only to get the response that I can get a HDD replacement at best buy even though I gave them the part number and told them I wanted the cage and the screws, not the HDD. PLEASE END THIS CONFUSION. I am waiting on hold again to try to get this straightened out. If the cage is a standard cage then please update the documentation ….

  • god… i really wanted to ask sony this… you gave the ps3 amazing processing power and awesome new tech but then why such a small RAM? i mean u put so much money and time into development…and 512mb ram? why? the developers would have a easier time and we would have better fps…
    dont get me wrong i love the ps3 and sony but…

  • Anyone know why there is a limit past 500gb?

  • I’ve always wondered why they gave the system such a small amount of RAM as well. Whats the point of giving the system such a unique processor when it doesn’t even have the memory to actually use it?

    Get free PS3 and PSP games!

    IT WORKS!!!

  • i would use my hard drive more if i could download stuff cuz i dont have a credit card. I am waiting for the PSN Prepaid cards to release. Anyone know when this happens?

  • I WANT MY PS3 DVR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GOT THE 80 GIG $500.00 PS3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • THE PS3 ROCKS!!!!
    THE GAMES ARE GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    AND IT PLAYS BLU-RAY MOVIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SO GET ME THAT DVR, SONY AND STOP TEASING US!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I hope by Spring 2008 Blu ray movies are cheaper because right now there to expensive! I can buy a Dvd for $12.00 to $20.00 bucks over a BluRay movie so that to me is absolutely Pathetic! Sony drop your PS3 games to $49.99 and your Movies to $23.00 bucks or so by Spring 2008 because if you don’t you will lose the war with the format.HD-DVD I heard it is alot cheaper then Bluray so think about it!..And updates better ones for Feb 2008.Xmb for our games next yes please!

  • Can someone explain to me why the PS3 system addresses a maximum of 250gb?

  • Agree with bombos! Fujitsu and others are about to release 5400 rpm drives with 2 platters at or greater than 320GB. Why the limit? If I have to live with the 250GB limit for a partition, can I divide it up into chunks other than (10GB->Game OS, Remainder->OtherOS) or vice versa. I would be happy to have 250GB for GameOS and the remainder for Linux.

  • for 134 & 135

    i spoke to someone at the sony company and they told me that as long as the disc drive fits the playstation 3 it will work. i had to find this out cause i ordered this , it’s a 320g HDD. once again they said “if the drive fits the slot the then ps3 can run it, because the ps3 has no set limit.” now if it does not work i’ll be kinda pissed cause i’ll have to return the HDD

  • HighRule, can you post your results with the wdc scorpio? I’m about the buy this drive as well. The momentus just seems too expensive for the small performance increase as others have mentioned.

    To others: There’s confusing information out there on the linux stuff. I definitely want to install linux in the future.

    I think it asks if you want to make a 10 gb partition? Why only 10 gb? Is this just for the OS, as in all of your data files are saved on the other partition. Should I reserve the 10gb for the PS3 OS or the linux OS? Seems like 10gb isn’t enough no matter which route you go. TIA.

  • I’m thinking about upgrading my PS3s HDD. any out there that youd recomend using or avoiding?

  • I’m so glad that Sony gave this ability to their users unlike MS. I recently bought the 80 GB model and I’m very satisfied with it. I’m no where near capacity of filling it, but it’s to know that in the future I can swap it out for a larger one.

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