PS3 Mods 101: Swapping to 120GB HDD

For the guys who ended up getting the shorter end of the stick and got stuck with the puny PS3 20GB, we know how you feel and the humiliation that goes with it when we feel…inadequate…compared  to the lucky mooks who got their hands on the bigger, badder 60GB set…grr…

It doesn’t have to end that way, though, as we picked up this post over at GamersReports about how they decided to combat their shortcoming, and retro-fitted a new 120GB laptop HD to their PS3 20GB – effectively doubling the PS3’s memory capacity. We’re pretty happy with the idea of this swap, especially since it was mentioned it was possible, except we just didn’t wanna try it without proper guidance.

For those with the stones to try this unofficial upgrade, read on – we don’t claim any responsibility for what happens with this swap, so be absolutely sure of what you’re doing.

For starters, you’ll need the following bits of hardware:

  • 1 Mini Philips head screwdriver
  • 1 Mini Flathead screwdriver
  • 1 Safe place to work (A sturdy, dry table)
  • 1 .5MM SATA Notebook HDD (For safety’s sake, one running at 5400 rpm, same as the PS3’s HDD). Make double sure on getting this part, or it won’t fit.

Okay, now for the swap.

Step 1:
Find the HDD panel, which should be on the left side of the unit. It’s emblazoned with the letters HDD. Use the flat head screwdriver to remove the plastic panel.

Step 1

For the brave souls who want to try this mod, jump on!

For the guys who ended up getting the shorter end of the stick and got stuck with the puny PS3 20GB, we know how you feel and the humiliation that goes with it when we feel…inadequate…compared  to the lucky mooks who got their hands on the bigger, badder 60GB set…grr…

It doesn’t have to end that way, though, as we picked up this post over at GamersReports about how they decided to combat their shortcoming, and retro-fitted a new 120GB laptop HD to their PS3 20GB – effectively doubling the PS3’s memory capacity. We’re pretty happy with the idea of this swap, especially since it was mentioned it was possible, except we just didn’t wanna try it without proper guidance.

For those with the stones to try this unofficial upgrade, read on – we don’t claim any responsibility for what happens with this swap, so be absolutely sure of what you’re doing.

For starters, you’ll need the following bits of hardware:

  • 1 Mini Philips head screwdriver
  • 1 Mini Flathead screwdriver
  • 1 Safe place to work (A sturdy, dry table)
  • 1 .5MM SATA Notebook HDD (For safety’s sake, one running at 5400 rpm, same as the PS3’s HDD). Make double sure on getting this part, or it won’t fit.

Okay, now for the swap.

Step 1:
Find the HDD panel, which should be on the left side of the unit. It’s emblazoned with the letters HDD. Use the flat head screwdriver to remove the plastic panel.

Step 1

Step 2: You should now be looking at the actual HDD unit. Use the Phillips head screwdrivers to remove the blue screwhead. After removing that, pull up the metal handle seen, and slide the HDD to the front of the PS3. After that, pull out the HDD tray.

Step 2

Step 3: After carefully pulling the HDD out, unscrew (there are four screws) the original HDD from the caddie, and swap in your Notebook HDD, and replace the fours crews. To lock it in place, put the caddie (With the new HDD) in its slot, and slide it to the rear of the PS3. Replace the blue screw from earlier, pop the plastic cover back on, and boot up the unit.

Step 3

Step 4: Now for the software mods. After booting up, the PS3 will detect that the HDD’s not formatted, and will ask you if you wish to format the disk – This will delete any data in it. Click “Yes” twice if you’re SURE you cleaned out your pRon collection beforehand.

Step 4

Step 4: Formatting will take around two minutes, after which it asks you you to reboot the PS3. After rebooting, go Settings Options Menu (on the PS3 OS)–>System Settings–>System Information. If you did everything correctly, you should see the “Free Space” indicator show the mem capacity of the new HDD, minus 15 to 20 Gig which the PS3 needs for System information.

Step 5-6 - Image 1 Step 5-6 - Image 2

Last notes: The only thing that reformatting should delete is your saved game files. Everything else, your Network ID, network settings, and 1.10 update should be intact after the swap. On a final warning – if you’re not feeling confident enough to try this mod on your PS3 at, we recommend that you leave it alone, and try to get somebody who does. Look on the bright side – as long as it doesn’t involve Sony‘s ill-fated batteries, this should go off with a hitch…we hope…and pray…

Via Gamers Report

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