How to Upgrade Your PS3 Hard Drive in about 10 Minutes

Swap Your Current Playstation 3 Hard Drive with a Bigger One in about 10 Minutes

The Sony PlayStation 3 console. This is the original "Fat" version with 60GB hard drive, PS2 backwards compatibility and memory card reader.
Evan-Amos/Wikimedia Commons

While installing a newer, bigger hard drive on the PlayStation 3 video game console is a fairly simple and straight-forward process, it always pays to keep a few keep safety precautions in mind. This goes for doing any type of console and / or computer upgrade.

Make sure all power cables, peripheral cables, and other accessories are not attached to the PS3 prior to opening the unit. Failure to do so may result in electrocution, and can easily lead to damage of your PS3 unit.

Make a backup of any files you want to save off your old PS3 hard drive, this can be done via the use of a USB drive.

Never force or use a large amount of pressure when opening cases or removing / installing new hardware, new hardware should slide into place easily.

Make sure you are installing the proper hard drive, details are listed below.

Do not attempt this upgrade if you do not have a basic knowledge of the safety procedure involved in installing a new piece of hardware in a PC. This is a very simple upgrade but you must use your best judgment when deciding if this is right for you, or if you should hire or ask someone more knowledgeable to perform the upgrade for you., Jason Rybka, or any other parties mentioned in this upgrade how-to do not take any responsibility, if you decide to perform this upgrade it is done so at your own risk.

How Long Does it Take to Install a New PS3 Hard Drive?

No joke, if you have never done it before, it will take you about 10 minutes!

What You Need to Upgrade Your PS3 Hard Drive

There really isn't a whole lot needed to upgrade your PS3 hard drive, you really only need four things, although two of them are optional.

  1. Precision Phillips Screwdriver - No. 0 x 2-1/2" - Required
    1. (This screwdriver will be used to loosen and tighten the screws that secure the hard drive to the hard drive tray, and to do the same for the screw that secures the hard drive tray to the PS3 unit.
  2. New, Larger HDD - Notebook SATA Hard Drive (any size you choose) - Required
    1. This is the hard drive that you will install into your PlayStation 3 console to get more storage, you can choose any size you like, for this how-to article I used a 160GB Momentus hard drive from Seagate. Please note: the PlayStation 3's original hard drive operates at 5400 RPM, so I recommend using that same speed. Other, faster speeds may work, but chances are the PS3 firmware will limit the read / write speed to the drive anyhow, and since a 5400 RPM model will definitely work and is cheaper, just use that. The only important thing to choosing a correct hard drive is to make sure it is a SATA laptop hard drive, an IDE drive will not work as there is no IDE connection on the PlayStation 3 unit. The drive does not need to be a Seagate, it can be from any manufacturer, I used Seagate because they provide a lot of the OEM PS3 drives to Sony.
  1. Small Flat-tip Screwdriver - Optional
    1. This screwdriver will be used only to remove the HDD cover on the side of the PS3 unit, in many cases you can just use your fingernail to remove it, so don't worry if you do not have one.
  2. Portable USB Hard Drive - Optional
    1. This is the hard drive you will use to store any content from the old hard drive to the new one, it is required if you wish to save content from the old hard drive. If there is no content you wish to keep from the old PS3 hard drive, then you will not need this. Game saves, game demos, and other media must be backed up if you wish to save it and transfer it to the new hard drive. However, please note that the PS3 will retain any system software updates, console settings, and network IDs that you have on the console.

Ready? - Upgrade the PlayStation 3 Hard Drive!

The PS3 Hard Drive Upgrade How To is listed as a step by step process with pictures, to make the process as simple as can be for even the most novice of users. You can read the step by step article at the links below: