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  1. #1

    Question Guide: Problems booting up new HDD in PS3?

    Ok for those of you reading this who don't know what we are talking about, the Playstation 3 can accept a new 2.5 laptop drive by simply removing a cover on the bottom of the unit and then unscrewing one screw to remove the old drive. It is as simple as that. PLEASE BE AWARE THE 2.5 INCH DRIVE MUST BE A SATA UNIT.

    This means for those of you stuck on the 40 or 60gb unit, you can quite easily upgrade to a 120-160gb (or even larger) for a small cost For example a Samsung Spinpoint drive in the UK is currently around 35 pounds (I picked one up from Tekheads). This means you can basically quadruple your storage for under 40.

    Anyway, the issue I initially mentioned is due to the newest Playstation 3 firmwares being too large to fit on the internal flash memory. This means when you remove the old drive you are actually removing some of the data the system would need to reformat the new drive.

    There is a simple workaround for this and ill explain it in a step by step:

    1: plug in a FAT32 formatted USB hard drive and use the PS3 built in system backup to copy all your saved game data etc to external HD (manually copy any movies or mp3s yourself, this is not included in the PS3 backup, you may also lose any downloads from store, however you can redownload them easily if you log in, just relog into store and check your download section, they are all tied to your account for a maximum of 5 downloads on 5 machines).

    If you have a large USB2 drive (over 32gb) and are annoyed that windows will not format it, then follow this PDF guide ( This lets you format any sized drive to fat32 for access by PS3!

    2: once you have backed up your old 40-60-80gb HD, unclip the bottom flap and unscrew the drive mounting tray.

    3: remove old drive with 4 tray mounting screws

    4: insert new 2.5 inch hard drive (do not turn on yet, read step 5)

    5: older PS3 firmwares (prior to 2.36 did not need this step).

    Download the new firmware data on your PC from this ( at time of writing this it is 2.41, but if you access this thread after Jun 2008 it may/will be newer)

    Copy the PS3UPDAT.PUP to a fat32 formatted flash drive or external mass storage drive - create a folder named PS3 on the storage media or USB device. Within the PS3 folder, create a folder named "UPDATE" copy the data file from the playstation site into this folder


    6: plug in this drive to one of the PS3 USB ports. plug in a PS3 controller with the USB lead.

    7: make sure new internal hard drive is secured (don't force too hard, it should slide in easily, not much force is needed). reseal the unit, put in HDMI or video lead and power lead.

    8: turn unit on. follow format instructions and let the unit get the PUP firmware update data from external USB drive/flash card

    9: once you set up with new HD, plug in the backup data drive from step 1 and reinstall all your settings and saved game data.

    thats it! (or install ubuntu as well on new large drive).

    Hope this helps some people who are finding old guides and they are not detailing the additional steps for the newest and larger PS3 firmwares.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    if I understand well, I can`t change the HDD of my ps3 (40gb) for a 160 or more) without the update "PUP" pluged in the USB??

    is that right?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    you only need to do that if your current firmware is above the one listed above. thats my understanding of it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Last I checked, one does not need to update the FW in order to upgrade the PS3 HDD!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Quote Originally Posted by CJPC View Post
    Last I checked, one does not need to update the FW in order to upgrade the PS3 HDD!
    My understanding of the post is the opposite of what you say - i.e. if you're on certain FW version you need to take those steps to be able to upgrade HDD because due to a FW size part of it resides on (old) HDD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    ok, but with that info (part of FW stored in the HDD) means Sony has no limit in the firmware storage capacity of future updates.. ie: limit size of FW memory on Wii.

    sorry if its sound like off topic post.

  7. #7
    Thanks for the info, just upgraded to a 500Gb for less than 100.

    This was a big help couldn't get it working at first.


  8. #8
    Don't know about you guys, but I changed my HDD disk to a 250GB with firmware 2.42 and I didn't do anything. I just replaced the HDD with the new and it even had my USERS untouched!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Personally I never feel the need to upgrade my HDD cos I stream everything from my server, but this was helpful when I upgraded a friends HDD, keep it up.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I just updated my HDD to 320 GB HDD, had 2.42 firmware installed, but didn't had to install firmware from USB, so I guess this also proves, that old PAL 60GB models has bigger flash memory for firmwares.

    (As does this thread also state:

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