The 250 GB PlayStation 3

Watch this video and turn your PS3 into a vast, data-engulfing beast

Jan 16, 2008

So, you finally got that PS3 you wanted for the holidays, but there's a problem: the 20-gigabyte hard drive. Trust us: in a few months, you're going to have that thing packed with saved games, downloaded games, music, videos, and assuming Sony ever gets its act together, downloaded HD movies and TV shows. And when it's full? You're screwed and there's nothing left to do but delete and weep.

Unless, of course, you swap out the old hard drive for a beefier one. Sony designed the PS3 so that you could easily crack it open and slap in nearly any off-the-shelf laptop hard drive - no fancy, snap-on enclosure required. You won't even void your warranty if you follow the instructions Sony has printed right there in the PS3 owner's manual.

Of course, if you're like us, you've probably either lost, thrown away, or just refused to read that manual because hardcore gamers believe that reading instruction manuals is a sign of weakness. So we thought we'd whip up this handy video to help you through the process. Besides, isn't it less scary when it's someone else's PS3 at risk?

You will need:

  1. A PlayStation 3.
  2. One Phillips head screwdriver with a very small tip. We recommend a #1 (that's a measurement of the tip's size), which any home supply, hardware store, or maybe even Radio Shack should have. Just be careful - the screws you're working with can strip very easily, making them tough to turn.
  3. One 2.5 inch, Serial ATA drive. We're using a Seagate Momentus 5400.3, 160 GB drive, but it isn't critical. Almost any laptop-sized (that's 2.5 inch) SATA drive will work, including the 250 GB monsters you can get now.
  4. If you have stuff already on your PS3 - pics, music, saved games, etc - that you want to save, you'll need something to back it up on. We used an external USB key, which worked like a charm. Note: for PSN-downloaded games like Pain and Everyday Shooter, you only need to back up the saved game. Then, after the swap, you have to go and re-download the game itself from the PlayStation store - but don't worry: there's no extra cost. You just go to your download list and there it is.
  5. And this video. Enjoy!

Here are the instructions written down as well:

0679 1. Back up your game saves and power down

0680 2. Unplug your PS3 and pry off HDD cover

0682 3. Unscrew blue screw

0682 4. Slide drive to the right, and pull out

0684 5. Remove four screws on drive "sled"

0684 6. Remove old drive from sled

0685 7. Put new drive in sled

0687 8. Reattach mounting screws

0689 9. Insert new drive and slide to the left

0689 10. Replace blue screw and HDD cover

0690 11. Plug in PS3

069212. Power up, format drive, and restart system

0693 13. Replace your saved games

Here are the instructions written down as well:

0679 1. Back up your game saves and power down

0680 2. Unplug your PS3 and pry off HDD cover

0682 3. Unscrew blue screw

0682 4. Slide drive to the right, and pull out

0684 5. Remove four screws on drive "sled"

0684 6. Remove old drive from sled

0685 7. Put new drive in sled

0687 8. Reattach mounting screws

0689 9. Insert new drive and slide to the left

0689 10. Replace blue screw and HDD cover

0690 11. Plug in PS3

069212. Power up, format drive, and restart system

0693 13. Replace your saved games

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.

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