12 Dec 2010

Installing a new PS3 hard drive

Followed some guides online on how to replace a PS3 hard drive, but they turn out to be incomplete. Here's a more complete guide.

Things you will need:
1. A new 2.5 inch, 5400 RPM internal laptop hard disk drive. Some people have successfully installed 7200 RPM drives, but it does not make much of a difference.
2. An external hard disk drive. For backing up data and storing some system update files.
3. Philips screw driver.
4. PS3 controller and USB cable. You won't be able to use it wireless when reformatting your drive.

Things to prepare before starting:
1. Have a partition in your external hard drive in FAT32 format. The PS3 can only read FAT32 drives.
2. Download the latest PS3 firmware from here and place it into the external hard drive under a E:/PS3/UPDATES folder (replace E with whatever your drive letter is for that external drive).
3. On your PS3, connect to PSN and sync your trophy information. You can do this by going to Games -> Trophy Collection
4. Connect your external hard drive to the PS3 and under System->System Settings -> Backup, choose to backup all data onto that drive.

Replacing the hard drive:

Firstly, shut down and remove all cables from your PS3.

Remove the hard drive cover from your PS3, as shown above. You can just remove it by hand rather easily.

Remove the blue screw carefully. Make sure to use the correct screwdriver size to get a good grip or you might just ruin the whole screw.

Pull that metal tab and the whole hard drive bay would come out too.

Remove the 4 screws securing the hard drive to the hard drive bay (2 on each side).

Slide the hard drive out and replace it with your new 2.5 inch internal hard drive. Make sure the pins face away from the tab.

Secure the hard disk with those 4 screws, slide it back into the PS3, and secure it with the blue screw. Make sure the hard drive is all the way in. Note that the hard drive bay is not flushed with the slot, it should go deeper in. Oh and remember to put the cover back into place.

Once that is done, reconnect your PS3 and start it up. You should see the message above. From here, do the following steps:
1. Connect your PS3 controller (with USB cable) and the external hard drive.
2. Press Start and Select, as stated on the on screen instructions.
3. From here just follow the on-screen instructions. Basically, the PS3 reads the external hard drive for the update file that you had loaded earlier to format and install the firmware on this new internal drive.
4. After the internal drive has been formatted and you can go to the main PS3 screen, go to System->System Settings->Backup and select Recover to reinstall the stuff you had back up earlier.

Viola, your PS3 now has increased storage space! If you have any downloaded stuff, be sure to sign in to PSN and activate your PS3 (in the Network menu). Test out all your DLC. If some of them still doesn't work, try going into the PSN store and downloading them again. I did this be starting and then canceling the download. Somehow, just starting a download would help PSN recognise that you are a rightful owner of that DLC.

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