PS3 Hard Drive Replacement FAQ
It was suggested that we might want to make a thread to collect some
of the questions and answers regarding hard drive replacement for the
PS3. The stock hard drives in most models (especially older ones) are
usually not up to snuff for gamers that like to play a lot of games, and
use their PS3 for lots of content.
I've personally replaced my hard drive, and most of my knowledge on the
subject is somewhat old (I did this almost two years ago), and it will
be mostly on the older models. I'll try to answer any questions
regarding the newer ones to the best of my knowledge, but if I get
something wrong, or there's a better way to do it, by all means post
here or PM me and let me know and I'll make the appropriate changes.
Can all models of Playstation 3 upgrade their hard drive?
- Yes. On the old "fat" model PS3s, the hard drive access is on the
flat side of the system (where you'd place it if it were standing
vertically), simply pop off the cover, and remove the one blue screw. BE
CAREFUL: the blue screw can be stripped rather easily, you don't have
to be super gentle, but don't go at it like a bear in Winter. Just use
as little force as is necessary to get it out, and you should be fine.
On newer Slim PS3s, the hard drive is also on the side of the system,
but the latch and screw holding it in are on the UNDERSIDE. Flip it
over, once again pop out the cover, remove the blue screw. Back on the
side of the system, there should be another cover to slip off, then pop
out the hard drive.
What type of hard drives does the PS3 support?
- Basically, you're looking for a 2.5 inch laptop SATA hard drive. Both
5400, and 7200 rpm should work fine. At the time of replacing mine
(though this may be different now), it was rumored you should stick to
5400 which is the native speed of the PS3s hard drive, but both probably
work all the same by now.
Where are good places to buy hard drives?
- Most chain computer stores will sell hard drives, as far as online
retailers, NewEgg.com has great prices, and great quality merchandise.
They have their own RMA and return policies, as well as feedback from
What size hard drive should I get?
- As long as it's a 2.5 inch SATA laptop hard drive, size should be up
to you based on price and how much space you think you'll need. Laptop
hard drives usually come in smaller sizes, so 500 GB might be the best
you can find. If you can find a 1TB hard drive, and can spare the money,
it's probably worth it. It's also important to keep in mind brands. You
don't want to get a cheap hard drive, Western Digital, Seagate, and
reputable companies are where you want to be looking.
Does the backup/restore function really work?
- For the most part, yes. There are some limits, such as it not backing
up certain save files, and not backing up certain games. But if you use
it just to save the *state* of your PS3 (settings, backgrounds, login
info, etc), then it should work fine. All of your downloaded game
content can be redownloaded for free from the Store. And as far as save
files go, PS+ users can utilize the Sony Cloud to store all their save
files online and download them again at will. Otherwise, back up as many
as you can on an external hard drive, or flash drive, and put them back
on. Some will be unable to save, unfortunate, but that's how it goes.
Any other tips?
- Just remember to back up things you can't get back before swapping
out the system. Either use the PS3s backup utility, or just manually
copy save files and other important data to an external or flash drive
before you format the drive.
All in all, it's a fairly simple and painless process. If you need any more help, feel free to use this thread to ask for it.
And if anyone out there thinks of something I left off, or should be added. Please say so so I can add it to the thread.