Go Ahead. Upgrade Your PS3, But It’s a Pain in the Ass

In: Articles by Miguel "DaddyGamer" Gonzaga

25 Feb 2011

ps3drive_embed003With all the new titles and demos about to hit the PS3, I’ve decided to embark in what seems to be a painless proposition: Upgrading my Playstation 3 hard drive.

I read several how-to articles and viewed some Youtube videos and thought to myself: I can do this. Technically, it was easy: buy new hard drive, backup old files, replace old drive.

I love how most of these boneheaded articles omitted the biggest element.

What they don’t say: You’ll need to have a spare external hard drive that is formatted to FAT32 to make this process simple.

Depending on how much you have stored in your hard drive, this simple process could take two to three hours. I had 35GB of files and it took three hours using an external drive.

I had a partitioned external hard drive, so all I had to do was format one of the partitions to FAT32. The frustrating part is finding a good, free alternative to buying Partition Magic. Fortunately, I found several ways. One is using the command-line feature in Windows and typing the DOS format command. But because I’m lazy and did not want to mess with DOS, the one I used is the website referred to in this video:

After the long wait, I followed this decent Gamespot guideline to finish the hard drive swap for my “fat” PS3.

Then I thought, what if I didn’t have a spare external drive like most people. What then? This is where the pain-in-the-ass comes in. I would have had to copy all my pictures, videos and game saves one by one to my small USB flash drive that I would still have to buy. I would also have to sacrifice some of my favorite game saves. By the way, Demon’s Souls does not allow the save data to be copied. With all the hours I put in this title, I would have to pull my hair.

Game data like game updates and DLC’s cannot be copied over. This makes sense but it’s still time-consuming to download them all over again via the PSN.

The physical hard drive swap took 10 seconds. With any delicate gaming projects I’ve ventured into, I’m always glad to have done some homework. At least, I know that it’s a headache I can live with.

Here’s my version of the old Visa commercial, applicable to this situation:

  • New SATA laptop hard drive: $50
  • A set of small phillips screwdriver: $10
  • Going through a PS3 hard drive upgrade without throwing the PS3 against the wall: Priceless.
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1 Response to Go Ahead. Upgrade Your PS3, But It’s a Pain in the Ass



March 2nd, 2011 at 12:11 am

Apart from the very fact it can be done (suck it, MSFT), I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who uses their PS3 as the preferred multimedia machine.

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