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Thursday, January 07, 2010

PS3 Hard Drive Upgrade: The Backup's just files, man

I wanted to swap hard drives between the one in my external case (60 gig) and the one in my PS3 (20 gig. Yup, it's the original one.)

So, long story short:

1. Back the PS3 20 gig up to the 60 gig using the PS3's built in utility.
2. Copy the 'PS3' directory that gets created on your backup disk to another PC or Mac.
3. Swap the hard drives out physically.
4. Format the drive that came out of the PS3 as FAT32 (If you're using Disk Utility on a Mac, it just says 'FAT' in the options.)
5. Copy the 'PS3' directory to the now FAT32 formatted external drive.
6. Power up the PS3. Format it when it asks.
7. Use the PS3's built in Restore utility and connect the external drive when it asks.

If you need more info on the backing up and restoring part, hit this link.

It's also useful to know this as you can backup to a small external disk, then move it perhaps to a much larger disk, put it on a server for long term storage, etc etc.

Why did I do this? I was just using the 60 gig for moving videos around to watch on my Xbox 360 (Bittorrent, ripped DVDs, etc.) and it was a bit overkill. 20 gig is enough temp storage for that stuff.

60 gigs should be good for a while on the PS3. Mainly for game demos.

Now if only Microsoft made it as easy. Ha. I have a Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3. So don't start. :) They each have their merits, much like the PC vs. Mac debate. Of which I also have both. My choice: Mac and Xbox 360.

Bet you didn't see that coming. Apple on the one hand and Microsoft on the other. Somewhat ironically, the 60 gig I put in the PS3 is my old drive I took out of my Macbook when I put a 500 in it.

Minor note: the old 20 gig drew more power apparently than the 60, and I had to provide more power to the external case once it was in by plugging it in to two USB ports simultaneously so it could draw power from both.

Formerly, it would power my 60 gig drive on just one USB port.

You'll know if you get an error during the restore like I did. Many external cases are made this way. Mine has a 'Y' cable with two usb ports on one end and one on the other. I also have another that has a USB to a mini power cable, and another regular USB to mini USB cable. Same thing, sometimes an older drive will need more power, sometimes you only need the one cable.

Good luck!

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