How to Install a New Hard Drive in a PS3

Things You'll Need

  • USB removable storage
  • Screwdriver
  • New hard drive

The Sony PlayStation 3 game console is a versatile machine. Not only can you play games on it, you can also download movies, music, get updates for your current games, store music, pictures, or almost any type of media content that you might have. The problem with this is that after a while, it can really eat into your hard drive space. The hard drives that comes stock in the PlayStation consists of twenty, forty, sixty, or eighty gigabytes of storage depending on the SKU that was purchased. You can upgrade the hard drive in the PS3 safely, without voiding the warranty.

Preparing the PS3

Check your PS3 for any data that you may want to back up before switching hard drives. All of you game saves, music, downloaded games and pictures will be removed from your PS3 with the hard drive.

Back up your information. This can be done with a removable USB thumb drive, or a USB hard drive. Select the item that you would like to back up and push the triangle button. This will bring up a menu. Select Copy from this menu, and select the USB drive. This will save the files onto the removable drive. All files saved in this fashion can be transferred back onto your PS3 after you install the new hard drive.

Shut the PS3 off. This can be done by holding the “PS” button on the controller and selecting the “shut down system” option. A red light on the front of your PS3 will signify that it’s completely shut down.

Switch the main power switch on the PS3 to the “off” position. This will ensure that your PS3 is completely off. Unplugging the PS3 while it’s in standby can damage your PS3.

Disconnect all of the wires from your PS3. This includes any A/V cords, power cord and ethernet cord coming from the back of the console. Disconnecting the wires from the front isn’t required, but it’s certainly useful.

Check your new hard drive to make sure it’s compatible with the PS3. The PS3 takes a 2.5 inch SATA laptop hard drive.

Removing the Old Hard Drive

Place the system on a hard surface so that the “HDD” panel is facing up. This is the compartment that the current hard drive is in. The PS3 will stand up on it’s own, so you don’t need to worry about it falling over.

Remove the “HDD” panel. There will be a little squeeze tab on the side of the panel. Simply press in on this tab and the panel will lift right out. You will be looking at the side of the current hard drive with a little blue screw sitting on the top.

Remove the blue screw. This screw holds the whole hard drive and containing harness into place.

Pull the hard drive and harness out of the side of the PS3. With the harness screw removed, the whole thing should slide right out.

Remove the two screws that hold the hard drive into the metal harness. Set the screws aside, as they will be required to put the new hard drive in.

Installing the New Hard Drive

Place your new hard drive into the metal harness and secure it into place with the two screws that you removed previously.

Place the hard drive and harness assembly into the hard drive compartment. You may need to apply a little bit of pressure in order to get it to snap into place. Ths SATA plugs on the end of the new hard drive will plug right back into the PS3.

Screw the harness back into position with the blue screw.

Place the plastic HDD cover back onto the side of your PS3.


  • When you first boot your PS3 up with the new hard drive, the PS3 will prompt you to format the new hard drive. After it gets done formatting the new hard drive, you can attach the USB storage device you used to back up all of your information and put all of it back on the new hard drive.