How to… install a 1TB hard drive on your PS3

The problem

Tech has leaps forward lately – double-strength squash, that robot jerk Siri who lives in your phone, and hard drives big enough to back up your brain. Now cram a 2.5-inch 1TB drive into your PS3 and ban uninstall bars forever.

Step 1: Banish your dusty old hard disk

Unlike previous PlayStation 3 designs, there’s no visible drive bay on the Super Slim. To find it, you need to locate the side panel without the PlayStation logo on it. Handle it so that your fingers are touching the Blu-ray slide cover, then move the panel to the right with your thumbs. Congratulations, you’ve just discovered your hard drive’s secret den. You should now be able to see a blue screw, which you need to unfasten with a Phillips-head screwdriver (remember to keep this screw somewhere safe). With that removed, the tyranny of your old HDD and its desire to see you constantly deleting things you’d quite like to keep comes to an end. You can now pull it right out in its drive bay, from which you’re going to need to separate it in a few moments. You may now perform a brief celebratory gesture.

Step 2: Replace the old drive with your new 1TB behemoth

The screws fastening our stock hard drive to its bay were screwed in by Arnold Schwarzenegger and stuck down with Chuck Norris’ own adhesive, so it might be a good idea to use an electric screwdriver to remove them and save yourself the sweat and swears. All that’s left now is to mount your new drive into that bay. Remember: 2.5-inch drives good, 3.5-inch drives too fat. The Super Slim does at least allow 9.5mm-height, though, allowing a bit of extra headroom from the 7.5mm stock units they ship with. Why 2.5-inch wide but 9.5mm high? Because tech measurements were standardised by the devil, and that’s funny to him. With your new 1TB laddie secured to the bay, pop it back in your PS3 and fasten that blue screw back on. You do remember where you put the blue screw, right?

Step 3: Transfer your data on to the new drive

Here’s the bit where all the manly DIY activity makes way for some brow-soaking data transfers of all your save games. Presumably you’ve got some data that’s worth keeping on the drive you just removed from your machine? Well, to transfer it back onto your new disk you’ll need to place it in a USB cradle. Yeah, we know – it’s a bit of a drag, right? You can source one online for under £20, though, and once attached, you just need to plug it into a USB port on your super slim, find the device on your XMB and hit w to enter the copy menu. If you have access to another Slim or Super Slim PS3 (and a pretty easygoing mate) the job is even easier – just put your old drive in your borrowed PlayStation 3, then on your new ‘infinite-capacity’ machine, select settings > system settings > data transfer utility. Sorted.

The verdict

Except for a few wayward screws, replacing the hard drive is a cakewalk. Trickier is getting the data off your old drive and on to your new Franken-PS3, which involves either another console or a USB cradle.

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