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Replacing my PS3 Hard Drive - Fin

On 03/18/2013 at 11:06 AM by mothman

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For those of you who have been following my epic journey through replacing my PS3 hard drive it is finally over and appears to have gone successfully. I tried loading games from it, my saves seem to be intact, I was able to save a demo to the new drive and I have 400+ GB free now.

Things I have learned from this process:

- Get rid of everything you possibly can before doing the backup. The process is painfully slow and a backup and restore of 200 GB or more takes about 16 hours in total. My restore finished between 3:00 am and 4:00 am Sunday morning.

- Buy the biggest 2.5" 5400 RPM SATA drive you can afford because you won't want to do this again.

- The tiny screws that hold your drive in place strip very easily. Keep a pair of pliers handy in case you have to loosen the screws from the outside. Do not over tighten the screws when you put them back in. They are also a pain in the ass to find if you drop them on the floor.

- There does not appear to be a way to see stats about your drive i.e. total size, formatted size, etc. Keep in mind that even though you bought a 750 GB drive you will not wind up with 750 available. You will wind up with about 698 GB free before the restore.

- The only way to see how much free space you have is to copy media to it. When copying media (not games) you are given the option of destination and at that point you can see the remaining space on your drive. I just grabbed a game video from the store in order to find out I had 405 GB free.

I hope I've provided some insight into the process for any of you who are planning to go through it.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

03/18/2013 at 11:13 AM

My PS3 is always running out of space but I don't think I have the spirit to do this. I think I only have a 40 or 80 gig, maybe just the 40.  Still, it would be nice to have the extra room.  I think I'll hold off and buy a PS4 with a large drive, I dunno.   

But I'm happy you made it through to the other side!


03/18/2013 at 12:54 PM

With a 40 or 80 the backup/restore process won't be nearly as offputting. Depending on how much data is on the drive you could back it up to a 64 GB USB stick which should be a lot faster.


03/18/2013 at 11:34 AM

I'll try to keep this in mind if I ever get a PS3.


03/18/2013 at 12:52 PM

It's the system that gets used the most for me so the upgrade was worth it. I'd play more Wii games but the awful noise it emits makes me nervous. My 360 got lots of use at the beginning but I don't power it up much anymore. On Wednesdays I check to see if they've put anything unique up there demo wise but other than that I don't do much with it.

True Gamer At Heart

03/18/2013 at 12:12 PM

Let me ask you something..How hard is it to install a harddrive in the ps3..Like if got a ps3 without a harddrive..So I would have to put one in there.


03/18/2013 at 12:35 PM

Unless you are buying a used PS3 from which someone has removed the HD they all come with one. New models come with up to a 500 GB HD last time I checked.

The mechanics of replacing are not hard at all. You remove the plastic cover from the drive bay, undo the blue screw, lift the little metal handle and pull the old drive out. Once out the drive is held in the holder by 4 cross head screws. You remove them and  the drive can be popped out. Reverse the process to put the new drive in. There are no cables or power wires to mess with.

It's only the backup and restore that take a long time depending on how much data is on the old disk.



True Gamer At Heart

03/18/2013 at 01:22 PM

Oh I know they come with a harddrive. But sometimes I come across some used ps3 that work, But they do not come with a harddrive. So at times I wonder how tough it is to find and install a ps3 harddrive


03/18/2013 at 01:34 PM

Finding is no problem because they will take pretty much any 2.5" 5400 RPM SATA Laptop drive you can buy and installation should take about 10 minutes.

Jamie Alston Staff Writer

03/18/2013 at 12:41 PM

Very cool! I'm happy to hear that everything transferred and there doesn't seem to be any issues.


03/18/2013 at 12:46 PM

Thanks. With me being the eternal pessimist I'm still waiting for the anvil to fall out of the sky. LOL


03/18/2013 at 01:15 PM

Glad replacing the hard drive was pulled off without a itch,Pete. I also think this information will save other gamers from a lot of heartache and grief. lol.


03/18/2013 at 03:48 PM



03/18/2013 at 07:08 PM

When I swapped out hard drives...I just deleted everything and started over with the new one, that's why I wasnt worried about re-formatting my HDD, I've done it I have a reason to reply LittleBigPlanet with Tami again...hahahahha


03/18/2013 at 08:27 PM

I am impressed. When my PS3 died I delicately took it apart. Knew I'd never be able to save the hard drive,just curious. That is quite an operation you took on. Glad the story ended well.


03/19/2013 at 01:58 AM

Thanks for posting this stuff. I will be doing this in the future sometime. And yeah, dropping screws for anything usually ends up with swearing and lost screws lol.

Captain N

03/19/2013 at 03:29 AM

Good to hear it went smooth. I think a good tip for when buying a PS4 is buying a bigger HDD first, and installing it before booting up the PS4. Saves you the time of replacing one later on in the future. That's what I may do if I ever get a PS4, that way I can get a 1 terabyte for it cause we know the games will get bigger from here.

Super Step

03/19/2013 at 04:45 AM

We're at the point where video game systems are as complicated as computers, aren't we? I don't like this point. I'd rather be at Makeout Point from Happy Days, or whatever that place was called.


03/19/2013 at 08:18 AM

Happy endings. We like them.


04/04/2013 at 12:44 AM

Like the tips. I am in the need to replacing my ps3 HDD since I still only have 60GB from the original one. So planning to upgrade eventually but it was nice to see how the process went for you! I don't have many games downloaded on my PS3 due to the little room so hopefully my back up and restore won't take as long as yours did.


04/06/2013 at 03:55 PM

thank you. i'm still debating if I should go for a higher RPM since they seem to have a higher GB offering, I know I'll need to do this one more time and am hoping a 1 TB HD will be made known someday. I don't wish to replace my hard drive again unless it crashes.


04/06/2013 at 08:21 PM

There are already 1 TB 2.5" drives available that will work just fine in the PS3. I just saw a WD drive for 90 bucks.  As for speed I wouldn't worry about 5400 vs 7200 RPM. Depending on who you listen to the PS3 will either lower the speed to 5400 or overheat so really no gain to be had there.

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