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No luck on the PS3 HDD upgrade

January 24th, 2009 · 8 Comments · Personal

Right now the failure boils down to one of two things. Either

  1. I should have never formatted the drive from its factory state
  2. My PS3 model just isn’t built for HDD upgrades

I don’t like thinking either of them are true but it has to be one or the other. Back when I first got the HDD for my PS3, I decided to keep it as an external storage device, so I formatted it to use it as an external hard drive. A few days ago I decided I didn’t really need 250GB of external storage so I decided to go ahead with the PS3 HDD swap and use the console’s 20GB hard drive instead.

After backing up my PS3 data with the data backup tool onto another external disk, I swapped out the hard drives and switched the console back on. But it told me that it could not start properly and I had to reinstall the firmware. It was supposed to pop up straight to a menu asking me if I wanted to reformat the HDD. So I popped the drive back out and hooked it back up to my desktop, deleted the NTFS partition (since the PS3 can’t read NTFS) and re-formatted it with FAT32. Stuck the drive back in.

No luck, same result. So I pop the drive out, hook it back up to my computer and completely wipe the partition off the disk, thinking that the console wasn’t detecting any empty partitions to format so it was throwing up the error. Pop the drive back in and still get the same results. I tried restarting as well thinking maybe it was still hung up from the last attempt but no joy.

Grumbling to myself I swapped back in the original drive and started up the system. My heart froze in my chest when the same error message popped up saying the system could not run properly. I imagined the EPIC FAIL status update I would make regarding the untimely death of my PS3. However upon restarting the console via the controller it booted up properly and all my data was still intact. *phew*

So I’ve tried everything I can think of. According to all the tutorials I’ve found online (like this one) this is supposed to be a painless and easy process. What leads me to the two possible conclusions above for my failure are the facts that everyone (to my knowledge) who tried those tutorials did so with a factory-new hard drive that hadn’t been formatted (but that shouldn’t be any different from an unpartitioned drive right?) and I can’t find a single tutorial that sports a drive tray similar to mine:

What’s up with that??

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8 Comments so far ↓

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  • chris

    hey man i got the same problem my laptop took a crap on me so I thought i would use the hard drive for my ps3. tried putting it in and booting it up i get the same message. my system looks like yours and i dont know what the deal is. I keep searching for an answer on the internet but nothing comes up.

  • Gaiiden

    Well good to know I'm not the only one. I'm thinking we're just stuck with an older version. Which really sucks. I haven't had time to look into it any further but if I do find any good news I'll be posting it here.

  • Emery

    You might need to add a system update via a flashdrive.

    Sony allows you to download the most recent system update to a dlashdrive or portable HDD via your PC with an internet connection.

    Use your PC to make a new folder on your flash drive called PS3

    In the new PS3 folder make a new folder called UPDATE

    Note that PS3 and UPDATE need to be in ALL CAPS

    Download the update file into PS3>UPDATE on your USB flashdrive.

    It will be called PS3UPDAT.PUP in that folder.

    Update 2.7 is about 146 MB so almost any recently made USB flash drive should work. Even a modest 256MB one. 128MB isn't big enough though.

    Power on your PS3 with the “new” drive, When your PS3 gives you the error message asking for a system update update:

    Go to the system settings tab on your XMB menu and choose system update and from there choose to ” Update via Storage Media” and press X. The PS3 should search for and find the update on your flashdrive. If it does so then press select OK to update and press X.

    Check in settings> system info to see if the system is now at 2.7 (or whichever update you applied).

    And then everything should be okay.

  • Emery

    I just realized that the instructions after starting the PS3 with the new HDD and the flashdrive are kind of worthless but I recently DID get the PS3 to format the new drive.

    Insert the flashdrive with the update and start the PS3 with the new drive.

    It will ask you to insert your update media and then you push start and select and hold them down for a bit and it will serach for and hopefully find the update. Next it will ask you to hold down select and start again to install the update and when it restarts you will be able to format the drive. Once the drive is formatted you will restart again and THIS time your HDD should be working and the PS3 should boot into the XMB.

  • Emery

    Also I have THAT drive caddy you show in your screen shot. I think it is the one with 40GB HDD included.

    This update procedure SHOULD solve your problem..

  • Gaiiden

    Ahh, thanks for the clarification. I was telling myself I distinctly remembered *not* being able to get into the XMB when the console restarted.


  • Gaiiden

    Ahh, thanks for the clarification. I was telling myself I distinctly remembered *not* being able to get into the XMB when the console restarted.


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