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Old Jun 28, 2008, 11:22 AM   #1
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New internal hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Ok I had a PM a day or so ago from a guy new to Driver Heaven who asked me if I knew why his Playstation 3 would not accept a new internal SATA harddrive (text shows up with (no media found, hit start and select to search - this just loops). I will explain. (or skip to step 5 if you already know the normal drive replace procedure).

Ok for those of you reading this who don't even know what we are talking about, the Playstation 3 can accept a new 2.5 laptop drive by simply removing a cover on the bottom of the unit and then unscrewing one screw to remove the old drive. It is as simple as that. PLEASE BE AWARE THE 2.5 INCH DRIVE MUST BE A SATA UNIT.

This means for those of you stuck on the 40 or 60gb unit, you can quite easily upgrade to a 120-160gb (or even larger) for a small cost. For example a 160gb Samsung Spinpoint drive in the UK is currently around 35 pounds (I picked one up from Tekheads).

This means you can basically quadruple your storage for under 40. Tekheads.co.uk

Anyway, the issue I initially mentioned is due to the newest Playstation 3 firmwares being too large to fit on the internal flash memory. This means when you remove the old drive you are actually removing some of the data the system would need to reformat the new drive.

There is a simple workaround for this and ill explain it in a step by step and link the person who asked me in PM to this thread. Hopefully this will help other people who have experienced the same problem. For some reason very few if any of the google found guides on the net do not explain this or have not updated.

1: plug in a FAT32 formatted USB hard drive and use the PS3 built in system backup to copy all your saved game data etc to external HD (manually copy any movies or mp3s yourself, this is not included in the PS3 backup, you may also lose any downloads from store, however you can redownload them easily if you log in, just relog into store and check your download section, they are all tied to your account for a maximum of 5 downloads on 5 machines).

If you have a large USB2 drive (over 32gb) and are annoyed that windows will not format it to fat32 (exfat does not work in PS3), then follow this PDF guide www.hardwareheaven.com/zardon/fat32forps3.pdf (this guide is not my own, if you share this PDF with others please do not remove the authors name). This lets you format any sized drive to fat32 for access by PS3!

2: once you have backed up your old 40-60-80gb HD, unclip the bottom flap and unscrew the drive mounting tray.

3: remove old drive with 4 tray mounting screws

4: insert new 2.5 inch hard drive (do not turn on yet, read step 5)

5: older PS3 firmwares (prior to 2.36 did not need this step).

Download the new firmware data on your PC from this link (at time of writing this it is 2.36, but if you access this thread after Jun 2008 it may/will be newer) PlayStation.com

Copy the PS3UPDAT.PUP to a fat32 formatted flash drive or external mass storage drive - create a folder named PS3 on the storage media or USB device. Within the PS3 folder, create a folder named "UPDATE" copy the data file from the playstation site into this folder

so PS3/UPDATE/PS3UPDAT.PUP

6: plug in this drive to one of the PS3 USB ports. plug in a PS3 controller with the USB lead.

7: make sure new internal hard drive is secured (don't force too hard, it should slide in easily, not much force is needed). reseal the unit, put in HDMI or video lead and power lead.

8: turn unit on. follow format instructions and let the unit get the PUP firmware update data from external USB drive/flash card

9: once you set up with new HD, plug in the backup data drive from step 1 and reinstall all your settings and saved game data.

thats it! (or install ubuntu as well on new large drive, google this for info).

Hope this helps some people who are finding old guides via google and they are not detailing the additional steps for the newest and larger PS3 firmwares.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 12:33 AM   #2
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maybe this should be put into a sticky?
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 02:46 AM   #3
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/second that. Awesome thread, thanks a ton! This is a problem my friend ran into and couldnt figure out.

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Old Jun 29, 2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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I second that - hopefully people find this thread from google search who are having issues. I recently updated my PS firmware to the newest one and bought a 320gb laptop drive for cheap and then thought this would be easy. I followed the guides online and couldnt figure out what I was doing wrong.

Great guide Z, I have my PS3 now working with a huge hard drive and its awesome ! best upgrade you could ever do, and Sony need to make this clear, after all, they make it extremely easy to get at the HD without even disassembling the console, I think they should append their notes to let people know how to update with new firmwares.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 10:15 AM   #5
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Updated mine to a Samsung spinpoint m6 320gb, which is around 60 here in Denmark, properly lower in UK and the US, plus every other freaking country

Anyway here are some small facts:
7200 RPM drives are a waste of money, they are only a tiny tiny bit faster then 5400 rpm drives, shaving almost nothing of load times. Also 7200 RPM drives get hotter, though I doubt it's a problem in the PS3, but they are a bit more noisy.

The PS3 uses a SATA1 (SATA 150) controller, therefore don't bother looking for SATA2 (SATA 300) disk, as it won't do any good. Sata 2 disks will work in the PS3 though, as they are backwards compatible.

When unscrewing the screw for the mounting tray, use a proper screwdriver which fits, as that screw is a bit "crappy". It's not unheard of people destroying the head of that screw by using a wrong screwdriver.

Good guide Zardon.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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I recently upgraded the hd while running 2.36 firmware and didn't run into the above issue. Bookmarked just in case tho, thanks much. Now if I could only find a cheap way to upgrade my hurting-for-space 360 and all will be well in gaming land.
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Old Jun 29, 2008, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dipstick View Post
I recently upgraded the hd while running 2.36 firmware and didn't run into the above issue. Bookmarked just in case tho, thanks much. Now if I could only find a cheap way to upgrade my hurting-for-space 360 and all will be well in gaming land.
I think specific versions of the PS3 have different inbuilt flash memory sizes, although the firmwares are getting bigger so you might find with the to be released 2.40 that it wont fit on any of them, so above method will apply for swapping out drives.
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Old Jul 3, 2008, 02:57 AM   #8
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Yeah that makes sense. Hopefully I never have to upgrade the HD again tho. Still, that is a bad place to cut corners. Sony should be adding more memory to counter the inflating OS and consider saving costs elsewhere imho.
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 12:47 AM   #9
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 02:17 AM   #10
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i also heard that some hard drives with anti shock sensors or something don't want to work? is this true? or can i pop in any 2.5 SATA HDD that is recent?
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Old Aug 8, 2008, 08:35 AM Threadstarter Thread Starter   #11
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Quote:
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i also heard that some hard drives with anti shock sensors or something don't want to work? is this true? or can i pop in any 2.5 SATA HDD that is recent?
Not as far as I know. as long as the drive is a standard laptop size and it is sata it will be ok. some of the 500GB drives wont physically fit in the slot. (same with some laptops too).
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Old Aug 31, 2008, 04:39 PM   #12
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Hey,

Great post.

I was wondering if anyone knew what the internal HDD is formatted to as it can't be ntfs as it's not supported and it's not fat32 as the internal supports files larger than 4gb.

Reason I ask is that i wish to play my HD files which are often 6-8gb. I have tried all the streaming/network download alternatives but my wireless isn't really fast enough to handle it.

So if i could find out the format or perhaps place an HDD which had been formatted in the ps3 into a caddy. This means I would be able to have an external drive which would support files larger than the fat32.

Cheers in advanced
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Old Sep 1, 2008, 02:29 PM   #13
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The only known 500gb to fit is the Samsung M6, I'm using the 320gb version, works great!

I believe the PS3 uses an encrypted FAT32, which does't NOT support files over 4gb, so you are pretty much out of luck.
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 11:07 PM   #14
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Great thread - tried upgrading my 80Gb PS3 with a 500Gb HDD and ran into the exact same problem. Will try your instructions out tonight.

Last edited by Swarve; Oct 29, 2008 at 12:12 AM.
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 01:11 AM   #15
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

I'm currently having a new problem associated with this. I've followed all the steps provided and now for the 3rd time am stuck on the Formatting... screen at 99%. The previous 2 times I have left the PS3 running for at least an hour but it never completes. In searching for others that have had a problem similar to this, everything I've found seems to suggest that formatting the new HD should only take around 5 minutes tops. Am I wrong in this or did I (A) do something incorrect or (B) get a bum drive?
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 07:45 PM   #16
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iambecoming View Post
I'm currently having a new problem associated with this. I've followed all the steps provided and now for the 3rd time am stuck on the Formatting... screen at 99%. The previous 2 times I have left the PS3 running for at least an hour but it never completes. In searching for others that have had a problem similar to this, everything I've found seems to suggest that formatting the new HD should only take around 5 minutes tops. Am I wrong in this or did I (A) do something incorrect or (B) get a bum drive?

Did anyone find a solution or explanation to this yet?
Searching weeks yet, though very few seem to have that problem and noone seems to care :|

Thanks very much in advance
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 07:52 PM   #17
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

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Originally Posted by kyogun View Post
Did anyone find a solution or explanation to this yet?
Searching weeks yet, though very few seem to have that problem and noone seems to care :|

Thanks very much in advance
First off welcome to DH

I haven't even tried this and cannot give you an answer but seems others have had success so we will leave this open and see what feedback we get.
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Old Jul 25, 2009, 10:27 PM   #18
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

And you are running latest version of the PS3 firmware, version 2.80?
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Old Jan 26, 2011, 07:56 PM   #19
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Thanks for posting this. This is very poor design on the part of the PS3 imo and I was confused momentarily until a quick google search led me here.

Interesting I didn't see any results from Sony or Playstation on this matter, perhaps I missed them.
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 01:38 PM   #20
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

I am having the same issue. To get you up to speed my PS3 got the YLOD, my mates PS3 had blu-ray drive issues. He gave me his PS3 and from it i have used his motherboard with my blu-ray drive and i currently have both the hard drives (40gb and 80gb from memory). At the beginning of my issues the PS3 was formatting both of the HDD's perfectly and was allowing the install of the latest firmware. However it never completed it. I have received error messages at approx 40% (HDD issue), no error message at 70% (Blu-ray drive) but same again, it paused at 99%. Left it overnight but to no avail. Read on the forums that it was most likely still a HDD issue due to the fact that (as previously stated earlier in the thread) part of the firmware update is stored in the HDD. I also read in other forums that if you are having issues 'zero' the HDD, so i have used command prompt on windows 7 (as the standard right click does not present the option of formatting in fat32 at the same time) so i typed in the command "format (drive /fs:FAT32 /p:1" (actually insert the drive letter for the HDD to be formatted where it says "drive"). Now the PS3 doesnt allow the firmware to be installed ("corrupt data") and the other error message that shows is "a fatal error has occured".

Now the HDD's still work as i can re-format them and detect them on my laptop but the PS3 is seriously unhappy with me. I have also read that there are a few tricks and certain order things must be done in so i am currently having a play with that side of things. If anyone can help that would be great but if not i will post results as i find them out!
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 08:05 PM   #21
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

With my PS3 I found that it was rather easy to perform an upgrade (ie: swap out) the harddrive. On Scan UK they have a phrase to the likes of "PS3 compatible" next to a lot of the harddrives. My particular choice was a 500GB Western Digital Blue. If you don't get one that is proven to be compatible then you're taking a bit of a risk. I'm not saying this is the case to anyone here, it's just a warning.
By all means, I didn't need a 500GB harddrive, it was just so cheap pound for pound. It was a heck of an upgrade from 60GB anyway.

The only real guideline for formatting a drive is to make it FAT32
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Old Sep 26, 2011, 09:37 PM   #22
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

I think this only applies to newer PS3 units. With the original 60 and 20 GB models you can run the newest firmware and just swap the hd without the need to do anything at all. Any hd should work, even 7200rpm models.
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Old Oct 4, 2011, 11:57 AM   #23
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Wink Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

...so just to update...i have admitted defeat and purchased a new ps3. just to let everyone know mine was the older 60gb and my friends was the older 80gb, and i now have the slimline 250gb. after consulting alot of people and further research we all came to the conclusion that the microprocessors needed to be re-flashed. virtually had to step right back to how playstation originally loads the firmware before putting the chips on the board....to buy the tools and find the software would have been expensive and time consuming.
good luck to the rest of you guys but im gonna go play some F.E.A.R 3 now!
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Old Oct 9, 2011, 11:55 AM   #24
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

I have bought a Seagate 500GB 7200rpm. I followed all the steps to replace the drive. I placed the update on a usb memory stick, and switched the PS3 on and received the following message - "Cannot start. The correct hard disk was not found."

I'm at a loss, as I have followed the instructions, yet nothing seems to work.

Any help would be appreciated
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Old Nov 11, 2011, 02:39 AM   #25
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

i am new to this site. any way i am havin the same probs as all of these peeps have as well. thought it would be easy but not as easy would be the right stuff lol. first off i have an older ps3 fat with latest firmware on original hdd. i purchased a new internal 1tb samsung spinpoint # hn-m101mbb raw hdd. plugged it in raw this came up cannot start system cannot read hard disc. so through talkin with techs found out had to format in fat 32. i did have best buy geek squad do it for free, they said they did. and also said should be able to hook right up and format. but did the same thing. i would like to use a 1tb internal but anything 500gb and hight would be great! i also did purchase a wd blue scorpio as a backup in case this samsung cant work, which i heard the wd will work, then i would just send the samsung back. any help on this matter would greatly be appreciated as this ps3 thing is really complicated lol
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 03:07 AM   #26
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Thanks alot man just made this account to let you know i appreciate you helping out ppl like me who had a hard time hooking up the hdd.
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Old Nov 28, 2011, 06:59 AM   #27
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
I have bought a Seagate 500GB 7200rpm. I followed all the steps to replace the drive. I placed the update on a usb memory stick, and switched the PS3 on and received the following message - "Cannot start. The correct hard disk was not found."

I'm at a loss, as I have followed the instructions, yet nothing seems to work.

Any help would be appreciated
You have to make a folder in your usb memory stick,the name has to be PS3 in CAPS then UPDATES in caps save the ps3 newest update under UPDATES and put it back in your ps3 it should work.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 03:08 AM   #28
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
I have bought a Seagate 500GB 7200rpm. I followed all the steps to replace the drive. I placed the update on a usb memory stick, and switched the PS3 on and received the following message - "Cannot start. The correct hard disk was not found."

I'm at a loss, as I have followed the instructions, yet nothing seems to work.

Any help would be appreciated

If you did not get yours to work you may have to return your 7200RPM HDD and get a 5400RPM one. I had to return the 7200rpm 500Gb seagate I bought and traded it for a HD 5400rpm 500Gb I guess there is compatibility issues with some 7200rpm HDD's or you could keep trying other 7200's until one works. I have also read that 7200's do not make a significant difference because the PS3 was built for 5400's.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 06:07 AM   #29
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

It should be noted that the PS3 doesn't support SATA2. More to the point, the PS3 uses a SATA1 controller (1.5Gb/s) to keep costs down. You can still use a newer hard drive on the PS3 as they are "usually" backwards compatible, however some you need to jumper in order to work in the SATA1 1.5Gb/s mode. Seagate drives, for instance, have this jumper, but WD drives don't. As for speed, 7200RPM drives, for the most part, do speed things up, but it varies by game. The more data the game runs off the hard drive the faster it loads (and installs), such as Grand Turismo 5, but that's pretty much it. It does nothing for game performance, and won't help a bit with games that load primarily off of the optical disc.

One issue that might crop up is when you try to install hard drives that support Advanced Formatting, such as the WD Scorpio Blue WD5000BPVT. The PS3 doesn't support these drives, at least not directly. There are ways to get some to work, such as using the WD format tool on their drives prior to installing it, so it is doable, but I'm not sure about Seagate. This is why I usually recommend people try to find the older drives, such as the WD Blue BEVT series, or Black BEKT series, or even Hitachi. There are some Seagates that work, but I can't, off hand, remember the models. Fact is it's getting harder to get larger hard drives that support the PS3 these days.

unit44justin, maybe you can post the make and model number of the drive you have, just for others reference?

Of note: I currently use a WD Scorpio Black 320GB WD3200BEKT in my PS3, and had no issue installing it, as well as no issues running games off of it (no stuttering/audio sync issues). I've also installed numerous drives based on the Scorpio Blue BEVT series too, and have no complaints from clients.
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Last edited by Tipstaff; Jan 13, 2012 at 06:21 AM.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 08:31 AM   #30
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Re: New hard drive in Playstation 3 but it will not format?

Some people are installing SSD or Hybrid drives in their PS3, which helps with texture popup in RAGE and lag in Skyrim. Off course that's an expensive solution for something which should be fixed by the devs, but I though it was worth noticing.
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