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Thread: Guide on PS3 Internal/External HDD Upgrades

  1. #1
    SwordOfWar Guest

    Post Guide on PS3 Internal/External HDD Upgrades

    Ok, so you want to upgrade your internal (Or external) HDD (Hard Disk Drive) on your PS3, but don't know what to buy? I found myself having a difficult time determining what HDDs are compatible with the PS3. Hopefully this guide will help you find what you need.

    External HDD Suggestions (Must be 2TB or less!):
    - External HDD that connects via USB

    The PS3 (at the time of writing this) only supports USB HDDs formatted with FAT32 (HDDs can be reformated with FAT32). FAT32 has a maximum capacity limitation of 2TB. Unless the drive comes pre-formatted with FAT32, you will need to search (use Google) and download a free tool to format the HDD to FAT32.

    - You can easily transfer files to/from an external USB HDD using a PC.
    - You can easily carry and use the external USB HDD from one PS3/PC to another.

    - Much slower data transfer compared to an internal HDD.
    - Currently at the time of writing this, some PS3 game backups are incompatible with external HDDs.
    - Some PS3 content are not compatible from an external HDD, such as game saves or content that the PS3 will only save/install to an internal HDD.

    Internal HDD Suggestions (Must be 1TB or less):
    - Any 2.5" SATA Notebook HDD

    Internal 3.5" HDD Suggestions (These will require an adapter/extender!):
    HITACHI 3.5" 500GB
    SEAGATE 3.5" 500GB
    WD 3.5" CAVIAR BLACK 1 TB (WD1001FALS) (Buy link [newegg]):

    Internal HDD Adapters/Extenders:
    - PS3 HD HDD PHE-02
    Buy Link (eBay):

    [COLOR="red"]I strongly recommend buying/using one of the HDDs listed under "Internal 3.5" HDD Suggestions (These will require an adapter/extender!)" because not all 3.5" HDDs may fit correctly inside this adapter.[/COLOR]

    This is a pretty fancy extender. It has a few advantages/disadvantages:
    - Acts as a vertical stand for the PS3 (is not built to work horizontally)
    - Does not support PS3 Slim models (it may be possible to use it with slim models, but will not fit the PS3 as a vertical stand)
    - Your internal HDD fits inside this extender, so you do not need a separate case.
    - Has a built-in fan to keep the internal HDD from getting too hot.
    - Has 4 extra USB ports built-in. One of them is used by the extender, so technically you only get to use 3 extra USB ports.
    - Glossy black look matches excellently with black PS3s.
    - A very bright blue LED near the front. It can be very distracting while playing games. You may want to cover the LED, or apply paint over it etc if the light bothers you.

    I bought one of these PS3 HD HDD PHE-02 extenders off eBay from "paul1970tw" for about $50, and it arrived in about one week. In my opinion, the price is worth the features listed above, making it the best extender solution I have personally found.

    - PS3 HD HDD PHE-01

    This is the first/cheaper version of the "PS3 HD HDD PHE-02". I won't go into much detail about this version. This version does not let you fit the internal HDD inside, and thus does not have a fan.

    My recommendations:
    - PS3 HD HDD PHE-02 (Extender) (Not compatible with slim models)
    - WD 3.5" CAVIAR BLACK 1 TB (WD1001FALS)

    I have personally tested both of these recommended items together and they worked just fine without any extra items needed. The 1TB WD drive will give you about 826GB of usable space after the PS3 is done formatting it.

    If you want additional storage after the internal HDD upgrade, also buy a 2TB external USB HDD. Keep in mind that some content or game backups may not work with external HDDs.

    If you have any relevant information or questions that may aid users wanting to upgrade their PS3 HDD, then please leave a reply/comment.

    Buy links are given for convenience purposes only, this is still just a guide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Nice guide SwordOfWar, Thanks for sharing it and +Rep!

  3. #3
    SwordOfWar Guest
    Here is a video showing what the PHE-02 extender looks like:

    This is the first YouTube video I've narrated on so I sound pretty retarded (I had no idea I was making that annoying sound until I finished recording and watched it myself), but there it is!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Thanks again SwordOfWar for the video.. +Rep!

  5. #5
    iCEQB Guest
    Seems like nobody ever succeded in putting in more then 1TB internally...why is t hat? I planned to put in even 2TB, but everywhere I looked, nobody managed to do it
    Is tehre a reason for it?

  6. #6
    SwordOfWar Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by iCEQB View Post
    Seems like nobody ever succeded in putting in more then 1TB internally...why is t hat? I planned to put in even 2TB, but everywhere I looked, nobody managed to do it
    Is tehre a reason for it?
    I've read comments from user users who said the PS3 will format an internal 2TB HDD, but after the format is done it won't work with it.

    There is most likely a software limitation in Sony's Cell filesystem which is used to encrypt internal drives. It could also be due to higher power consumption if the drive being used is taking too much power from the PS3.

    If it is a software limitation, it may be fixed in a future firmware eventually. If it is a power consumption problem, you may need to test the drive while using an external power source.

    If anyone has a 2TB drive, and enough technical ability to test the drive while the drive is connected to a sufficient external power source, let everyone know if it works. This thread is for verified information on HDDs that work.

    Further questions about why a specific drive will not work should be posted in the thread linked below:

  7. #7
    oggo171 Guest
    i got my 2TB internal drive to be read by the ps3, only problem is the ps3 won't allow me to use more than 827GB why is that?

  8. #8
    moja Guest
    Sorry, meant to say 9.5mm limit!

    Also, if you research some of these hard drive skipping issues, many new drives using Advanced Formatting are not so great for the PS3 (due to cluster sizes I think).

    Hopefully there will be a fw update to address newer drives.

  9. #9
    Scruffy Guest
    I just wanted to add to this that i have 2 PS3 Slim models with 1TB HDD's installed. I found that by leaving off the HDD cage from the original HDD the 1TB HDD fits and works fine.

  10. #10
    moja Guest
    Scruffy, which model did you use? Any skipping performance/issues? Thanks for the feedback.

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