What you need to know about the PS3 HD

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,847
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
I recently upgraded my PS3 HDD from 160GB to 500GB, in the process I had to sort through a lot of guesswork and FUD.

This is what I found out.


  • 1) Upgrading HDD on same system
    • To do this you will need a FAT32 formatted HD with free space equal to or greater than the size of used space on your PS3.
    • FAT32Format is a nice minimalistic tool to handle FAT32 formatting under windows
    • If you restore the backuped data on the SAME Playstation3 as you copied them from, DRM content will be intact
    • The backup tool is located under "Settings -> System Settings -> Backup utility". This is where you do both the backup and restore.

  • 2) Swapping PS3 system
    • The typical scenario here is swapping between a PS3 Fat and a PS3 slim, or to a PS3 model with PS2 emmulation capabilities.
    • You'll need two Playstation 3 systems (doh!)
    • You'll need a normal network cable
    • You'll "migrate" your data using the "Settings > System Settings > Data Transfer Utility".
    • This will move content with DRM protection, and copy all other content from the old system to the new system.
  • 3) Need to send your PS3 in for service?
    • This could be a YLoD situation, or another situation where you cannot access the XsMB OS of your Playstation3, and must return the machine to Sony for repair
    • Sony might format your drive during such a service, so all content already downloaded might need redownloading, and other content from your camera, ipod or such might get lost.
    • To get around a situation like this, make a bit-for-bit/sector-for-sector copy of your harddrive before returning it.
    • The Playstation System Filesystem is encrypted, and the Playstation3 HDD cannot be accessed on a filesystem level by any other device at the moment.
    • Tools which can access the hdd and image it are Northon Ghost and HDClone
    • The result is a clone of your harddrive, this clone can be used in a new system in case Sony replaces your console with a new one.
    • Limitations are that cloning cannot be used to increase the harddrive, only back it up.
  • 4) Upgrading to Firmware 3.21 (no other-os)
    • When you upgrade to firmware 3.21 Sony will remove the "OtherOS" functionality on your console
    • If you have another OS installed (linux like me) the space used by that OS will not be freed (typically 10GB)
    • The firmware simply just removes the possability to launch the other os, and install a new one.
    • To reclaim the space used by the other os, you will need to do a reformat.
    • What you can do is a backup-format-restore cycle. This will reclaim the 10GB of space.
I hope this sorts it out for you. There are lots of discussion on these topics out there, but very little on what to do and when to do it.

I borrowed a friends PS3 this weekend and I've played through all four scenarios.

It was very time consuming, as I wasn't smart enough to play with a small dataset, I used my actual harddrives and content. Also, after migrating all the data to my friends slim console, I had to migrate it back to the ps3 fat to make sure I had all my DRM contents.

My friends Playstation3 was not harmed in these experiments. Neither was mine for that matter.

Some metrics so that you know what you go to:

  • I use 5400rpm HDDs, since it's in a game console I won't splash out on high performance drives
  • My Playstation3 HDD has about 145GB of content on it.
  • Backuped by the Playstation3 it's about 99GB worth of HDD space
  • Backup process takes about 2h and 30m.
  • Restore process takes about 4h and 30m.
I cannot say how long the network transfers used as I didn't monitor them since it all took so long. But I belive that network cables are slower than USB2, I would expect that it took longer.
 
Last edited:

moijk

Licence to fish
AmiBayer
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
Posts
2,411
Country
Norway
Region
Grimstad
[*]You'll need two Playstation 2 systems (doh!)

Slight feeling you have an error there... 2->3

Beside that, great article. I however only have one PS2 (and no PS3)
 

keropi

Active member
VIP
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Posts
7,144
Country
Greece
Region
Ioannina
I am amazed that the restore process takes longer than the backup one!!!
 

arnljot

Dad, gamer, nerd, amigian
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Posts
3,847
Country
Oslo
Region
Oslo
I think it's because it does a lot of DRM validation during restore, I'm just speculating.
 

keropi

Active member
VIP
Joined
Dec 5, 2007
Posts
7,144
Country
Greece
Region
Ioannina
it is insane, almost double the time! drv validation takes 1-2 secs at worst , they just change the console ID and re-sign the data, not a big deal AFAIK...
ah, the mysteries of the ps3 system :p
 
Top Bottom