booting up new HDD in PS3

Playstation 3 can accept a new 2.5 laptop drive by simply removing a cover on the bottom of the unit and then unscrewing one screw to remove the old drive. It is as simple as that. PLEASE BE AWARE THE 2.5 INCH DRIVE MUST BE A SATA UNIT.

This means for those of you stuck on the 40 or 60gb unit, you can quite easily upgrade to a 120-160gb (or even larger) for a small cost For example a Samsung Spinpoint drive in the UK is currently around 35 pounds (I picked one up from Tekheads). This means you can basically quadruple your storage for under £40.

Anyway, the issue I initially mentioned is due to the newest Playstation 3 firmwares being too large to fit on the internal flash memory. This means when you remove the old drive you are actually removing some of the data the system would need to reformat the new drive.

There is a simple workaround for this and ill explain it in a step by step:

1: plug in a FAT32 formatted USB hard drive and use the PS3 built in system backup to copy all your saved game data etc to external HD (manually copy any movies or mp3s yourself, this is not included in the PS3 backup, you may also lose any downloads from store, however you can redownload them easily if you log in, just relog into store and check your download section, they are all tied to your account for a maximum of 5 downloads on 5 machines).

If you have a large USB2 drive (over 32gb) and are annoyed that windows will not format it, then follow this PDF guide ( This lets you format any sized drive to fat32 for access by PS3!

2: once you have backed up your old 40-60-80gb HD, unclip the bottom flap and unscrew the drive mounting tray.

3: remove old drive with 4 tray mounting screws

4: insert new 2.5 inch hard drive (do not turn on yet, read step 5)

5: older PS3 firmwares (prior to 2.36 did not need this step).

Download the new firmware data on your PC from this ( at time of writing this it is 2.41, but if you access this thread after Jun 2008 it may/will be newer)

Copy the PS3UPDAT.PUP to a fat32 formatted flash drive or external mass storage drive - create a folder named PS3 on the storage media or USB device. Within the PS3 folder, create a folder named "UPDATE" copy the data file from the playstation site into this folder


6: plug in this drive to one of the PS3 USB ports. plug in a PS3 controller with the USB lead.

7: make sure new internal hard drive is secured (don't force too hard, it should slide in easily, not much force is needed). reseal the unit, put in HDMI or video lead and power lead.

8: turn unit on. follow format instructions and let the unit get the PUP firmware update data from external USB drive/flash card

9: once you set up with new HD, plug in the backup data drive from step 1 and reinstall all your settings and saved game data.

thats it! (or install ubuntu as well on new large drive).

Hope this helps some people who are finding old guides and they are not detailing the additional steps for the newest and larger PS3 firmwares.


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