How To Change A PlayStation 3 Hard Disc
If you want to change the standard hard disc in your PS3, you'll need to follow these simple steps. We discuss which sort of drive to buy, how to backup your data, and provide a step-by-step tutorial for replacing the HDD itself.
Step 1: Buy the right Hard Disc
As long as you use the right sort of drive, changing the hard disc won't void your warranty.
You need the sort of drive made for laptop PCs – that's a 2.5” SATA drive. We picked up a whopping 250GB drive - that's more than enough to store several series of recorded TV shows, plenty of games and still loads of space left over for all your photos.
The other element to factor in is the speed of the drive. Most are 5400rpm – that's the speed of the drive. You may notice marginally-faster loading and saving times with a 7200rpm drive, but it's not strictly necessary.
The smartest thing to do is to scour The Internet for customer reviews of the drive you want to buy – if you find people reporting success of installing it into a PS3, you know it's a safe purchase.
Step 2: Backup
The only stuff that's stored on your Hard Disc is whatever you've downloaded, copied across, and your games' save data. All the front-end operating system stuff is handled separately, so there's no need to copy that. Your user ID and PlayStationNetwork login will all remain in-tact after the swap.
If you want to do a full backup, get hold of a large-enough USB External Hard Disc, and plug it in.
Head to Settings-> System Settings and Backup Utility. From here, you can auto-backup everything to your USB device.
If you've only got a small USB key, you can simply backup your save files to that by going to Game-> Saved Data Utility, selecting the game and pressing Triangle to go to the Options. Selecy Copy, and the USB device you want to copy to.
You can re-download anything from the Playstation Network several times, so there's no real need to worry about software you've spent money on – you can re-download it after you've changed the discs over.
Step 3: Remove the Drive
Unplug the PS3, and move it to a nice clean bright space so you can see what you're doing. Sit it on its back, and you should be able to see this label on the bottom.
Using a small screwdriver, carefully pry away the plastic plate covering the Hard Disc. It comes away from the right hand side.
With a crosshead screwdriver, unscrew the blue screw holding the disc in place, and lift the small metal lever. Carefully push the drive to the right, and slowly pull the whole thing out.
There are four screws holding the drive into the metal frame, one at each corner. Carefully remove each of them with a crosshead screwdriver. Make a mental note of how the drive fits into the tray, and slide it out.
Wrap it up and store it somewhere nice and safe and dry in case you ever need to use it again.
Step 4: Insert the New Drive
Place your new Hard Disc into the metal frame in the exact same way as the old one, and replace the four screws. Make sure it's all nice and tight, and re-insert into the PS3. Slide the unit to the left ice and firmly, push the little metal lever back across, and replace the blue screw that holds everything in place.
Re-insert the little plastic cover, and hook up the PS3 to the power supply and Television as before.
Step 5: Format
When you fire up the PS3, it'll tell you that the Hard Disc needs formatting. Accept, and wait for the process to finish.
Once that's done, your PS3 is up and running again. If you want to check, head to Settings-> System Settings-> System Information to check the disc capacity.
Step 6: Restore Save Data
Depending on how you backed up all your old info, you can now re-copy it across in the same way as before, either by going to settings-> system settings-> Backup Utility or Game-> Saved Data Utility -> selecting the USB device, then the game's save data. Press Triangle, and select Copy.
Congratulations, you've now got a monster Hard Disc in your PS3. Good luck filling it up...!