When I bought my Playstation 3 one of the most enticing things about the system was the ability to upgrade the hard drive with a standard laptop drive. Having previously maxed out the hard drive on my Xbox and my refusal to pay though the nose Microsoft’s exorbitant prices, for commodity hardware wrapped in plastic, this is a key feature. While I did pay up front to get a 120GB version which has lasted me the better part of a year I was with in 20GB or so of maxing it out. Thanks due, in no small part, to the Playstation Plus program that keeps pumping my drive full of new games. If I weren’t able to offload my video on to my home server I’d have been making this upgrade far sooner. Despite the ease with which you can swap the hardware the software end wasn’t quite as straight forward which is why I decided to write this. So lets get down to business.
- Backup your data! Use a second usb drive to make a backup through the backup utility. Move important saves to the cloud saves storage. If you lose your data it’s your own fault!
- Remove the old drive and install the new one. Unfortunately the person who made the video disabled embedding. Who knows why but the link to the video is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sRkj89axOU
- Don’t power on your Playstation 3 yet! If you do you’ll get a message saying “The system software cannot be run correctly”. Don’t panic.
- Format a usb flash drive with a FAT32 file system.
- On the usb flash drive create a folder called PS3 and inside the PS3 folder create a folder called UPDATE.
- Download the latest version of PS3 firmware from here http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps3/pc_update/index.htm
- What you will download is a file called PS3UPDAT.PUP. Put this file in the UPDATE folder on the usb flash drive.
- Take your usb flash drive from your PC and plug it in to your PS3.
- Connect a controller by cable.
- At the first screen warning press the PS button on the controller. You will now get another warning.
- Press and hold the ‘start’ and ‘select’ buttons at the same time briefly and you should launch in to the formatting and re-install process.
- Follow the prompts.
Once you’ve done all this you can then set about restoring your data, re-authorizing your accounts etc. One of the things a lot of us hope for is a performance increase in game load times and there is evidence that you can gain some of that via an SSD. Toms Hardware has some information here http://www.tomshardware.com/news/playstation-ps3-ssd-upgrade-loading,11811.html
One of the thoughts was if a 7200 rpm drive would make a difference. While I’m sure it would I’d be concerned for heat issues with a drive that fast in such a small space. I think an SSD is the ideal situation at this point.