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29 May 2009
By Manind95


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Adding an external hard drive. step by step guide

0 Replies 3,050 Views Created 29-05-2009
29 May 2009
By Manind95

For those who dont want to crack open their ps3's here is a useful guid i found to adding an external hard drive.


Here is the original site:


  1. Connect the hard drive to your computer using a USB cord.
  2. Check what the "File System" type is 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 EITHER "FAT32" OR "EXT3" in order for the Playstation to recognize it.

"FAT32" has a limit of 4Gigs per files, 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.

If you have experience with Linux, then format it as a EXT3 Partition using Partition Magic or the Hard Drive formatting tool of your preference.

The Following instructions are for FAT32 formatting only:

    • If the file system type is "NTFS", right click and select "Delete Partition" or "Delete Volume" for Vista.
    • then recreate the partition but do NOT format it. Make sure you assign a drive letter (for this Tutorial, we'll use h:)
    • If you are running Windows, format the drive by going to the command prompt (Vista, right click on command prompt in start menu 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 SwissKnife; however, it does work under Vista - just be sure to use the format command from the DOS prompt, not from Windows Explorer) If you receive an error message stating that the drive does not exist or cannot be found, it is likely that Vista formatting the drive to "NTFS". Use the disk manager window to cancel this format, and when the drive file system is "RAW", use the cammond line again.
    • If you are using Mac OS X, open /Applications/Utilities/Disk, pick the drive, and click on the 'Erase' tab. Pick 'MS-DOS (FAT)' for the file system type, and click on the 'Erase' button. This will reformat the drive in FAT-32.
    • If you have Mac OS X Leopard: Open /Application/Utilities/Disk, 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.'
    • Note that on all of these systems this process will take considerable time depending on the size of the Hard Drive. This is normal, just be patient.
  1. Open "My Computer" and double-click on your empty external hard drive.
  2. Create a folder system identical to that on the Playstation 3 by creating folders labeled "Picture" (not Photo), "Music", "Video" and "Game".
  3. 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. Your game folder should still be empty.
  4. Disconnect the hard drive by clicking the green arrow in the icon list and the bottom right hand corner of the screen and select "Safely remove..."
  5. Once your computer tells you "XXX drive can now be safely removed", unplug the hard drive from your computer.
  6. Connect the hard drive to your Playstation 3 and use the extra space to save information and access all your extra content saved on your external hard drive.
  • Adding an external (or internal) hard drive to your Playstation 3 does not void your warranty.
  • Alternatively to the "prebuilt" folder system, you can press triangle on your hard drive and click "Display All", but you still need to select Video to see video files.
  • Folder system works as follows - Dir/files* or Dir/folder/files - example: Video/files* or Video/Home Movies/files* - Dir/folder/folder/files doesn't work without "Display All" explained above - example: Video/Tv Shows/Simpsons/files*
  • You can copy files to and from HDD & PS3 but you cannot edit files/folders on the HDD from the PS3 - you must copy to PS3 or do it from your computer.
    • you can use a program called swissknife to format the drive. plug it into the usb as normal then run swissknife, the drive will show as normal , select fat32 and it will format it automatically
  • You can use EASEUS Partition Master to partition the USB drive, its free to use. It will also let you add a Fat 32 partition to a NTFS formatted USB drive that has data on it, with out wiping or loosing original data. Its very easy to use and can be down loaded from the easeus website here
  • If you lay your Playstation horizontally, do not place the external hard drive on the right side where the exhaust fans are aimed. The air coming out of the Playstation is very hot and will cause your external hard drive to malfunction.
  • Windows cannot format FAT32 drives over 32GB (gigabytes).
  • You can format drives from the command line with: format x: /FS:FAT32 without limitation.
  • Vista may format a drive into ExFAT rather than FAT32, ExFAT format does not work with the PS3. If this is the case, than you will need to use a program such as Paragon Partition Manager that will convert into FAT32.


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