How to: Replace a PS3 hard drive

One of my favourite features of the Playstation 3, being able to easily replace and upgrade the hdd! Not only does it not void your warranty, but Sony themselves advertise this fact. With our game collections always growing and more and more download content appearing, it’s likely that most people will be starting to run out of hdd space soon. Here’s a quick and easy guide that will give you a huge upgrade on hard drive size for a very cheap price!


1. Backing up your data:

Turn your PS3 on, connect an external drive (the size depends on how much you want/need to back-up), go to Settings -> System Settings -> Backup Utility -> Backup. Your external drive will need to be formatted in FAT32 but this is easy to do on both Mac and Windows. My 60gb backup took nearly two hours…

2. Remove the original hard drive:

Make sure you have turned off your console and then flicked the off switch on the back. Unplug all cables and follow the above photo to locate the hard drive cover. A small flat head screwdriver will do the job to gently lift it up and off.


You’ll then see a blue screw. Use a philips head screwdriver to remove it. Now this step can be different depending on your PS3 model. My original 60gb (PS2 compatible) console had a metal lever that needed to be pulled to the right to release the hard drive. Our new 80gb (current) model is a little easier as it has a simple lever (under the blue screw in the pic above) that you just slide up to remove the drive.

Once the drive and enclosure has been removed, simply unscrew the four screws to release the drive from the enclosure.


3. Install the new hard drive:

This is straightforward. Just reverse the steps, so screw the new drive into the metal hard drive enclosure, slide it in and replace the blue screw. Then put the cover back on and you’re ready to go…

Note: As with any screws in any device, make sure not to over tighten them as they can lose their thread and no longer be undone.

Looking down into the empty hard drive bay

Looking down into the empty hard drive bay

4. Restore your PS3 with the backup data:

Connect all the cables again and turn your PS3 back on. It will prompt you through the basic set-up and formatting again and then once you’re done just go to Settings -> System -> Backup -> Restore

Pretty much all of your data should be transferred now but it is worth noting that if you ever change to a new console, while keeping the same hard drive, your purchased content will not copy over. If you log in with the same account though, you won’t have to pay for it again (because the PSN keeps a record of all downloads and purchases) but you will have to re-download all of your games and content.

So today, I’ve gone from a 60gb PS3 to a huge 500gb for only $135 AU. If you’ve read my previous blogs you know how many games I have, so I really needed the space. But 500gb gives me a lot of breathing room for the future too!

Just make sure you buy a 2.5″ SATA hdd, a laptop hard drive basically. I stuck with the default 5400rpm but you can choose quicker if you want to cut some seconds/minutes off install times, just remember that it will run at a higher temperature, something I didn’t want to mess with.

Feel free to post any questions or comments and good luck!


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