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How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby gabrile23 » Tue May 31, 2011 1:45 am

This is not my work, I saw it on PS3 tropies and I thought it'd be nice to have it on our site.
Thanks to breakpoint the guy who wrote it.
How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive by Breakpoint

One of the best things a PlayStation 3 owner can do is to upgrade their PS3 to have more storage space by installing a new hard drive. Doing so will ease most worries about running out of room from all of the different game installs, save files, demos, and HD videos. The best part about this process is that it is pretty simple and anyone can do it!

Additionally, it is recommended that all PlayStation 3 owners have an external hard drive or flash drive to store and backup their PS3’s data to in case of the probability that their system breaks. This allows for an easy swap of data from the old PS3 to the new PS3. These devices may also be used to easily transfer songs and movies from your computer to your PS3, turning your PS3 into a multimedia machine!

The guide below will show you how to find an external hard drive or flash drive to backup your PS3’s data and how to find and install a new hard drive to your PS3.

How to Find an External Hard Drive or Flash Drive to Backup Your PS3’s Data

Using an external device can be a quick way to ensure that your PS3’s data is safe in case something bad happens to your PS3, such as it breaking down for many reasons. Even if your PS3 is covered under its warranty, most of the time when you send your PS3 in for repairs or replacement, you may not receive the same hard drive back. So Sony has placed the user in charge of backing up their data. If you take the chance of not backing up your data before something like this occurs, then you run the risk of losing everything you have on your hard drive. That risk means you must say goodbye to a lot of your important game saves and expect to start all over from the beginning, not something you may want to do if you are playing on expert difficulty.

So to make sure you’re clear from anything like this ever happening, you must decide first on what kind of external device you would like. The two most popular options are an external hard drive or a flash drive. The external hard drive is a device that can usually match the storage capacity of your PS3’s hard drive and should be used if you plan on backing up everything from your PS3, but they can be big and require a lot more power than a flash drive. The flash drive is a much more portable option since it can fit in your pocket, but it cannot store as much information, like an external hard drive, so you must pick and choose what you would like to back up.

When you are making a choice on the size and manufacturer of the external device, it is best to search the internet to see if these devices are compatible with your PS3. Even though most types of external devices will work with the PS3, there are some that may not work, and you will need to return them for another. Also keep in mind that if you plan to run the power for the external hard drive from the PS3, make sure it is less than 250GB since the USB ports won’t be able to power anything larger than that size.

Once you have your external device, the first thing you should do is make sure it is formatted correctly on the FAT32 file system by connecting it to your computer. If it is not, then you will need to reformat the drive so it is FAT32 since this is the only file system the PS3 can read. The most recommended free utilities to use for reformatting an external hard drive to FAT32 are SwissKnife (XP) and Easeus Partition Manager (XP/Vista). Now you can connect the external drive to your PS3 and start to back up all of the data. But before you decide to backup everything, you should first go through the PS3 and delete any videos, game installs, and demos you do not need since they take up a lot of space. In order to do a full PS3 backup, you will need to navigate from the XMB menu to Settings > System Settings > Backup Utility > Backup. With the external device attached, the PS3 will begin to copy an exact image of your files on the PS3 to it. Be sure to create a backup of your PS3 every so often just to make sure you save all of you new files over time.

How to Find and Install a New Hard Drive to Your PS3

The best part about installing a new hard drive on the PS3 is that it is very simple. This is due to that fact that the PS3 uses the same type of hard drives that are found in most laptop computers. You also are free to install a new hard drive on any type of PS3 you may own, from the 20, 40, 60, 80, and 160 GB models, without worrying about voiding your warranty. The PS3 was made so owners could install a new hard drive in less than 10 minutes!

Before you install a new hard drive you will need to decide if you would like to save any of the information on your current PS3’s hard drive, such as PSN games, save files, music, or videos. If you think that this stuff may be important to keep then you will want to create a backup of your PS3’s hard drive before removing it. These steps were described above in How to Find an External Hard Drive or Flash Drive to Backup Your PS3’s Data.

The first thing when looking for a suitable hard drive is to make sure you purchase a hard drive that is compatible with the PS3. When looking for a hard drive make sure that the hard drive you are purchasing is a 2.5 inch (2.5”) SATA hard drive. Any hard drive you find that is not of this measurement should be avoided at all cost since it will not fit into your PS3 and you will need to return it. Next you will then need to decide on the size of your hard drive storage. Since you are upgrading you will want the hard drive to be big! So I suggest upgrading your hard drive to the biggest you can find on your budget. The biggest size available right now is 500 GB, but if you think you don’t need that much than a 320 GB or 250 GB hard drive should be enough. Finally, you can choose the speed of your new hard drive. This aspect isn’t that important, however, since tests have found that the different speeds of the hard drives on the PS3 had little effect on performance saving only about 2 seconds on some areas. So I suggest going with the speed of 5400 rpm since it will save you more money, but if you feel like bragging you can go for the hard drives with speeds of 7200 rpm or a solid state drive. Now that you know what kind of hard drive you want, you can go purchase one from an online store for your best selection. I suggested getting one that is manufactured by Seagate or Western Digital.

When you have received your new hard drive it is now time to remove the old one from your PS3. To replace the hard drives please follow the steps below, if you need more information there are instructions included in your PS3 manual on how to do this.
1.Turn off and unplug the console. Remove the plastic HD side panel, and remove the blue screw
2.Open the metal latch, move the hard drive tray to the right, and slide out the tray.
3.Remove the four screws that hold the hard drive in the tray. Use a screwdriver that fits well since the screws are tight and strip easily
4.Swap in the new hard drive and screw it back in
5.Put the hard drive tray back into the system and slide it into place. Then screw in the blue screw and place the side panel back
6.Turn on the console and let it format the new hard drive
If you had previously used an external hard drive or flash drive to backup your PS3’s data on the old hard drive then you should continue on to restoring the backup from those devices via the Backup Utility’s Restore option. Once you have completed the restore your PS3 will look much like its old self, but with a lot more storage space!


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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby Drew » Tue May 31, 2011 5:34 pm

this is really just a guide to replace your hard drive in a working ps3. unfortunately this doesn't work on a completely new system.

I have tried and it would not restore a backup from another machine.

I believe this is why sony introduced the data transfer option from one system to another.

best advice I can give to not lose any gave saves is to individually copy your game saves to a flash drive. this is done under the game column under game saves or whatever it called.

I also see there is an option to save your games online now if you are a plus subscriber.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby twistedblister » Tue May 31, 2011 7:29 pm

i think drew is right. i do appreciate the helpful nature of your post GAbe.

If only i had done it. ugh.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby fishki » Tue May 31, 2011 7:54 pm

Both helpful guides no matter what :yeh:

Drew wrote:
twistedblister wrote:Drew what did you use for the data transfer? Are there help faqs online?
taptalk jugernaut


I used an ethernet cable. Yes, I found a guide only playstation forums for help. though it wasn't much help. it pretty much explains it on your ps3. but the faq helped with getting ready. it just said to sign in with each account and synch trophies as anything unsynched would not get transfered (I'm not entirely sure why or if that is accurate but I did it anyway) also any users without psn Id's would not tranfers trophies.

I made sure to copy all of my game saves to usb sticks before I started just in case. Turn off both ps3's, connect a direct link ethernet cable to both. you need them both plugged into your tv for video output, or connect one to a computer screen like I did. turn them both on. go to the setting column - system settings - data transfer. then it will give you instructions. it will tell you any accounts that did not have a trophy synch done, then it asks about any users without psn id's. and then the wait begins.

I really forgot about deleteing my music and any useless videos/photo's before I started. I never listen to music with it and just had forgotten I even had it on there. I wasn't sure if my old ps3 would stay on long enough to do the transfer. I figured it would be ok with no game load, but just in case I placed ice packs on top and near the air intakes.. lol. and about 4 hours later it was done :D

next time I would do a back up to an external hard drive if I had the choice. I even had one I could have used, its for my wifes computer but I'm sure I could have used it. oh well, I kinda wanted to try the data transfer. probably wouldn't have been so bad if I cleaned up my old one first.

my ps3 was a 40gb. I put in a 160gb after a few months of owner ship. I created a backup onto a usb stick 8gb, but first I deleted everything except game data, that worked out great.

oh crap, actually creating a back up onto an external drive or esb stick will not work for a new ps3. I remember I tried that once and it failed, back ups only work for a new hard drive on the same ps3. I think the data transfer is the only option for a new ps3.


Drew wrote:oh, I forgot the most important part. you need to sign into your main account and deactivate the system.

yeah, maybe your hard drive has the wrong file system? I have a 16gb flash drive that the ps3 wont read. I had to change its format so I could install large files on it.

I think all you really need are game saves and the ability to deactivate your system. I'm not sure what that really does, but I think its for the store. It may affect larger games like warhawk. everything else you can just redownload.

I just transfer my games saves onto my computer via usb.

the ability to do the data transfer was really nice tho... when it was done :pick:


Drew wrote:
twistedblister wrote:i would really love to be able to swap my existing drive into a new ps3.. my concern is that the housing wont mate. and maybe the drive and not the ps3 hardware is the issue. ugh. uncertaintiy is a pain.


well it will physycally go into a new ps3 (actually can't say for 100% as i haven't looked into it). but the ps3 just uses a plain old laptop hard drive. it has its own mounting bracket just like any pc would so you would just have to swap out the brackets.

problem is that the hard drive is not just used as a storage drive. it is formatted to your specific ps3. so if you switch it out the system id will not match. and it will tell you that you have to format the drive for it to work. this is the same reason why you can not make a back up onto an external drive or flash stick and then restore it onto another ps3.

backing up your game saves or doing the data transfer are really your only options.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby twistedblister » Tue May 31, 2011 8:03 pm

this is cool but man i dont have the time and i have a spare HD so i might just ship this off to Sony. i thought this was cool to see if i had time i might pull it apart but i decided not to.

part one the shell

part two the board


Gabe I will probably go this your suggested link. but i have to wait for my ps3 to be repaired. so i can link the dirve :-(

i had read about FTP ing off the HD but i cant find anything that will help me do this.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby Drew » Tue May 31, 2011 8:23 pm

I'm sorry but that was f'n painfull to watch :suicide:

hahaha, I'm sure he gets them fixed.. but that guy's an idiot.. not that I'm not an idiot... but he lost me with the fan and stand it vertical thing. I guess he's never stuck his hand around to see where the air comes out. it blows air out the back and sucks in off the top or side. by his logic the ps3 is sucking its hot air back in on itself. unless your fan has died or is really really clogged with dust or blocked the ps3 moves a pretty good amount of air for that not to matter.

anyway...

try this guy, there are 6 video's I think
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby Drew » Tue May 31, 2011 8:29 pm

twistedblister wrote:this is cool but man i dont have the time and i have a spare HD so i might just ship this off to Sony. i thought this was cool to see if i had time i might pull it apart but i decided not to.


Gabe I will probably go this your suggested link. but i have to wait for my ps3 to be repaired. so i can link the dirve :-(

i had read about FTP ing off the HD but i cant find anything that will help me do this.


if you send it to sony they will just send you out a rebuilt ps3. you won't be getting yours back. at least that's what what I have always heard.

also, be carefull as not all game saves are on your hard drive. I believe some are stored on the system itself. not 100%, but I remember losing my game save to burnout paradise somehow during my hard drive upgrade I did a LONG time ago. I backed up from one drive to the other and decided to reset the system too before I restored. yeah I think thats what happened.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby Drew » Tue May 31, 2011 8:57 pm

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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby twistedblister » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:59 pm

Drew wrote:I'm sorry but that was f'n painfull to watch :suicide:

hahaha, I'm sure he gets them fixed.. but that guy's an idiot.. not that I'm not an idiot... but he lost me with the fan and stand it vertical thing. I guess he's never stuck his hand around to see where the air comes out. it blows air out the back and sucks in off the top or side. by his logic the ps3 is sucking its hot air back in on itself. unless your fan has died or is really really clogged with dust or blocked the ps3 moves a pretty good amount of air for that not to matter.



ha yeah my fans and vents push a massive amount of air or did. and i have had this system since 2006 belive it or not. ha yeah well i just thought if no one ever took thiers apart tthat this was cool to see. i will watch the ones you found man. thanks.

I hope they repair and send mine back that is the only reason i am shiping it to them. i dont play a lot of warhawk anymore but would i ever now rack up the points i had. no.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby twistedblister » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:06 pm

yeah i think your guy has his act a little more together. ha.
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Re: How To: Backup and Upgrade Your PS3's Hard Drive

Postby twistedblister » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:26 pm

Yeah i think i get my old ps3 back monday. if not its goodbye game saves. I cant imagine if they replaced it that they kept the old one on the side in case i complain. we will see.
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