So I noticed that my PlayStation 3 was running low on hard disk space, and there was a ton of stuff that I wanted to download mainly because I’d joined PlayStation Plus.
After doing a bit of Googling, I came across a few pages that described how to do it for the PlayStation 3, and so I got my screwdriver, unplugged my PlayStation 3 and had my laptop next to me.
It looks like Sony had done some modification to the original PlayStation 3 model – I’ve got one of the 80GB units (before it became the PlayStation 3 Slim), and it turns out that it’s even easier to do than before.
All you have to do is leverage the bottom hatch off (there’s a small notch you can slip a nail in to pry the hatch off). Then, just unscrew the hand blue screw – this frees up a small arm which you can pull gently to disconnect the current hard drive. Then it’s just a case of unscrewing the mounting screws on the side of the hard drive caddy , popping the old one out, and putting the new one in. Slide the drive and caddy back into the PlayStation 3 (the same way up as the one it’s replacing) and replace the Blue screw. Finally snap the hatch back on and you’re done.
One last point, and that is that you’ll need a USB stick to download the latest PlayStation 3 firmware. The USB stick needs to be formatted as FAT32 (or MS-DOS in Mac OS X) and you need to create two folders, one inside of the other. The top level folder needs to be named PS3 (in capitals) and it needs to have a sub-folder UPDATE (again in capitals). Copy the update file into the UPDATE directory and insert the USB key into one of the USB ports on front of the PlayStation 3. When you power it on, you’ll be asked to run the Update, and you need to press Start and Select on your controller to do this.
From there, just follow the prompts and before long your hard drive should be formatted and ready for use in your PlayStation 3!