PS3 HDD REPLACEMENT GUIDE
I own a PS3 like a lot of people do and I found that my 40GB drive was just about full. As BF3 is out in just over a month, I decided to upgrade my drive with a much larger one.
I initially visited this video as it was pretty helpful in telling me how to back up my old saved files & profile from the old drive. I took out my old drive and put in the new one. Everything was going fine. However, it all came unstuck when I turned my PS3 on to find that I had this message.
The error message presented was:
“cannot start – the correct hard disk not found”
Once again, Google was my friend, yet I had to search a number of different sites to actually find out what i needed to do to get my PS3 up and running again.
So to save you the same drama I had, here’s a list of steps that you’ll need to take to upgrade your PS3 and get it up a running again. As a warning, I’m not a Sony tech so take the advice below at your own risk.
STEP 1. Buy a new Hard Disc Drive for your PS3. Upgrading the HDD will not void your warranty, however, Sony makes it pretty clear that you the consumer take full responsibility when upgrading the HDD, so don’t go crying to them if something doesn’t work.
The HDD must be a 2.5” internal Serial ATA HDD. They come in flavors such as 120GB, 250GB, 500GB & 640GB. I’ve heard of guys going to 750GB and even 1TB, but the general feeling is that 640GB is about the biggest you can go to without running into other issues. I went for 500GB 5400rpm model with a 3.0GB/sec Interface. Sony doesn’t recommend a 7200rpm drive as a replacement so I wouldn’t go there. Oh and Parallel ATA drives are not supported so DON’T buy one of those.
STEP 2. Back up your old stuff BEFORE installing the new hard drive. The easiest way to do this is to find/buy/borrow a FAT32 formatted external Hard Disc Drive and save all of your old files on your OLD HDD (the one thats in your PS3 still) to the external drive. This means that you’ll be able to restore all of your info back on to the new HDD after installation. To save your old stuff to the external HDD, connect the external HDD via a USB cord to the front of your PS3. Next go to the SETTINGS menu on your PS3 – then BACKUP UTILITY. There you will be presented with three options.
Delete backup Data.
Select the BACK UP option. If you’ve connected your external HDD correctly, the PS3 should see your external HDD. Press x and your system will begin copying everything from your PS3 HDD to a portion of the External HDD.
If you’ve got a full PS3 drive like I did, this may take upwards of an hour so go do something else.
STEP 3. When the transfer is done, you’re ready for surgery.
First off, unplug your PS3 from the wall and remove all the cables front and back while you’re at it.
Next you’ll need a Phillips screw driver. Turn the PS3 on its side and gently take off the plastic HDD cover off the side. There you’ll find a blue screw which you need to be firm but oh so careful in removing. Videos are better than words so here’s a pretty good vid of a kid going through the process and removing the HDD and installing a new one on his PS3.
Okay so now you should have removed your PS3′s OLD HDD and fitted the new one in its place. Don’t try and force anything. The new HDD should fit as snugly as the old one did. If it doesn’t, you’ve fitted the new HDD wrong.
STEP 4. Connect the power cord to your PS3 again. Reconnect your HDMI/AV cord from the back of your PS3 to your TV. Also connect a PS3 controller via USB cable to one of your USB ports on the front of the PS3. Turn on the PS3.
STEP 5. Now if you’re lucky, the PS3 should recognize your new bigger better HDD, in which case it’ll begin to format the new drive. After that happens, the OS should reinstall and all you’ll have to do is reconnect your External HDD, navigate back to the SETTINGS/BACK UP UTILITY part from before and hit RESTORE. That’ll then install all your old data from the OLD PS3 HDD to the NEW PS3 HDD.
STEP 6. When I turned on my PS3, I got the following error:
“cannot start – the correct hard disk not found”
STEP 7. Don’t panic. Turn off your PS3 and read on.
Apparently this error happens a bit nowadays when people install a new HDD in their PS3. My understanding is the latest system software for the PS3 is currently larger than the internal PS3 Flash memory is, and part of the PS3′s OS is now stored on the HDD. Meaning that when booted up, the PS3 can’t retrieve the latest operating system because you’ve just removed the old HDD. It also can’t find it in your new HDD you just installed because that is still blank. Hence it thinks the new HDD is the cause, flashing the ‘correct hard disk not found’ error to show.
STEP 8. You now need another way of getting the current PS3 operating system on to your new HDD. So you’ll be needing a desktop/laptop with a decent internet connection for this next part.
Download the latest software and save it to your computer. It should be named PS3UPDAT.PUP
STEP 9. Save this downloaded file to a USB drive or again to your external HDD. I prefer a USB drive for this part but its your choice. Save the file on the external HDD or USB drive. Create a folder named PS3 on the external/USB drive. Then inside this folder create another folder named UPDATE. Finally, save the file you’ve just downloaded named PS3UPDAT.PUP inside the UPDATE folder.
The file structure on the drive should now be PS3/UPDATE/PS3UPDAT.PUP
If it isn’t done this way, the PS3 won’t find it and this next part won’t work.
STEP 10. Plug the USB drive or external HDD into a USB connection on the front of your PS3. Also plug in a PS3 controller via a USB cord.
STEP 11. Next, turn the PS3 on and hold your finger on the power button until it beeps TWICE. At this point you need to select the ‘PS3 System Restore’ option (thanks Brendan).
STEP 12. A screen of text should now come up telling you need to connect your controller via a USB cable. As you have done this, press the PS button in middle of your connected controller.
STEP 13. You’ll now get a wall of text on screen that will inform you that its time to reformat the new HDD and then, re-install the PS3′s operating system on to your new HDD. From memory, you need to press ‘START’ AND ‘SELECT’ on your connected PS3 controller at the same time to get everything installing correctly – the main thing is you need to follow the instructions onscreen to the letter.
STEP 14. Your PS3 should now begin updating itself. This will take a while so go and do something else.
STEP 15. Your PS3 should restart itself or the PS3 will prompt you to restart it via the plugged in controller.
STEP 16. After restart, the familiar PS3 menu should now appear. Plug in the external HDD that has the information from your old HDD. Navigate to the SETTINGS/BACK UP UTILITY part from before and hit RESTORE. That’ll then install all your old data that was on the OLD PS3 HDD to the NEW PS3 HDD.
STEP 17. Hey presto. You should now have all of your old saved files & information from your old HDD on the new HDD in your PS3. Congrats.
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