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How to Add an External Hard Drive to a PlayStation 3

Tutorial Name: How to Add an External Hard Drive to a PlayStation 3  

Category: PlayStation 3 Tutorials

Submitted By: Island-Time

Date Added:

Comments: 1

Views: 8,489

Related Forum: PlayStation Forum


1-Connect the hard drive to your computer using a USB cord.
2-Check what the File System type is. Do this by going to Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Disk Manager. Select the external drive and read the "File System" type. The file system type must be FAT32 in order for the PlayStation to recognize it.
3-Split larger, high quality files into smaller files, if necessary. FAT32 has a limit of 3.9 Gigabytes per file, which means some high quality HD movies might have to be split into smaller files, and that makes it less than ideal for some HD content.
4-Backup all files on the hard drive before proceeding. Executing the next step will erase all files on the external hard drive, so backup all videos, photos, music, etc. that is already on this external hard disk before going on to the next step. Please read this entire step before attempting - going into the command prompt is for advanced users only. It is recommended that you instead use HP's freeware tool[1] instead of following this step which shows you how to manually format your drive.
Note that on all of these systems the formatting process will take considerable time (possibly hours) depending on the size of the hard drive. This is normal, just be patient.
For Windows users:
If the file system type is "NTFS", right click and select "Delete Partition" or "Delete Volume" for Vista.
Recreate the partition but do NOT format it. Make sure you assign a drive letter (for this Tutorial, we'll use H
Format the drive by going to the command prompt (Vista, right click on Command Prompt in Start>All Programs>Accessories and click "Run as Administrator") and type in "format h: /FS:FAT32" (without the quotes). You may need to substitute your drive letter. (note this might not work on XP for a large hard drive - you may have to use a third-party formatting utility like like the HP Utility noted above. If you receive an error message stating that the drive does not exist or cannot be found, it is likely that Vista has formatted the drive to "NTFS". Use the Disk Management screen to delete this partition again choosing the option to not format the partition then use the command line format command again.
For Mac OS X users:
Open /Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app, pick the drive, and click on the 'Erase' tab. Pick 'MS-DOS (FAT)' for the file system type, and click on the 'Erase' button.
For Mac OS X Leopard users:
Open /Application/Utilities/Disk Utility.app, pick the drive and click on the 'Partition' tab. Pick '1 Partition,' for the Volume Scheme, and 'MS-DOS (FAT),' for the Format. Click the 'Options...' button (near the bottom) and select 'Master Boot Record.' Press 'Okay' and then 'Apply.'
5-Open "My Computer" and double-click on your empty external hard drive.
6-Create a folder system identical to that on the PlayStation 3. All folder names must be in capital letters. In the root directory of your drive, create folders named "PICTURE", "MUSIC", and "VIDEO". If you do not create these folders, your media files will not display when selecting the USB drive on your PS3, although you can access them if you press the triangle button and select "display all". If you will also be storing backups, save game data or themes, create a folder called "PS3" with folders called "EXPORT", "SAVEDATA", and "THEME" inside it.
7-Load all files into an appropriate folder. Load all the music you want into your music folder, all the video you want into your video folder, and all the photos you want into your picture folder.
8-Disconnect the hard drive. Do this by clicking the green check-mark in the icon list and the bottom right hand corner of the screen and select "Safely remove..."
9-nplug the hard drive from your computer. Once your computer tells you "XYZ drive can now be safely removed," unplug the hard drive from your computer.
If the computer says "Drive is busy, try again later..." you can simply reboot the PC to make it complete whatever it is doing and release the hard drive.
10-Connect the hard drive to your PlayStation 3. Use the extra space to save information and access all your extra content saved on your external hard drive.
11-Troubleshoot, if necessary. In order to make your new HDD recognized by PS3, you must make sure that:
First, the file system is FAT32 or NTFs. If it is NTFs, you should convert it to FAT32 with an NTF converter.
Second, make sure your PS3 firmware is the latest version. If it's not, download the latest firmware from the PlayStation website and put it on a memory stick to transfer to your PS3 via a USB port. This will be recognized by the PS3 and will be used in the process of setting up your new hard drive. You should also put your FAT32 partition as the first partition on your HDD, as only this can be recognized by PS3.


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Very nice tutorial, well layed out and easy to follow, thanks :)