Monday, November 14, 2011

Upgrading Your PS3's HDD the Mister Bones Way

As you may or may not know, recently Sony not only made an option for DC Universe Online to become free to play, but they also offered the game itself to download for free. As you can imagine, this made me very excited and I anxiously awaited the day that this deal would go live. The day finally came, and sadly I was unable to get the game right away, as it required 20g of free space, and my meager 40g hdd was already nearly full.

I had read online that you could buy a larger hdd and easily install it in your PS3, but hadn't really had a need to do so before, even though I had considered doing it just because. This game, however, with it's monumental space demand forced my hand. Now, consider that I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to things like this. I wasn't even sure what a hdd looked like before I started looking at pictures of them on the many, many tutorials I read before attempting this. I had my doubts at to whether it would be as easy as these articles continually assured me it would be.

As it turns out, it wasn't easy. In fact, the entire process from start to finish took me about 16 hours. In an effort to help anybody else out there who may be thinking of upgrading their PS3 hdd's, I thought I'd do a little step-by-step "how-to" post, breaking down my experience so that you can really see what all is involved with this project.

1. Google - Google is my bestie when it comes to doing almost anything. And when I say anything, I mean anything. I've googled everything from how to tie a tie, to how to scramble eggs. When I first decided to do this hdd upgrade, I read a TON of articles, tutorials, and how-to's, and learned many new terms, such as FAT32, SATA, NTFS, and 5400 rpm.

2. Get discouraged - Yep, all those new terms, none of which I had any understanding of whatsoever, coupled with the fact that I was having trouble finding a larger hdd for the amount of money I wanted to spend (not much) got me to thinking about throwing in the towel early. Luckily, I mentioned to a friend at work that I was debating on upgrading, and he asked me what size drive I needed, and hooked me up with one for my absolute favorite price to pay for anything, NOTHING.

3. Get excited - A free 350g hdd! Score! Now I HAD to go through with it, no way I'm not taking advantage of that kind of generosity. Back to the tutorial reading!

4. Begin process of transferring data from old hdd to external hdd - I didn't want to lose my Arkham City save. That is the one and only reason I even bothered with moving any data from the old drive to the new one. In order to do this, I apparently had to format my 1t hdd to from NTSC to FAT32, whatever the hell that means. According to many sources online, this was easily done by opening a command window and typing in "format /fs:fat32 X:" but replace the "X" with whatever letter is assigned to your external hdd.

5. Wait 10 hours - Yep, followed the directions above, and looked at the time as the format progressed. By my calculations, this was going to literally take somewhere around 10 hours to complete.

6. Go to bed - Formatting wasn't going to be done until close to 2am, andl let's not kid ourselves, there's simply no way my old ass will be staying up that late for any reason, let alone this one. I took my tired ass to bed.

7. Wake up, check format progress - Well, it finished but I got a message stating "Volume too high for FAT323". Apparently drives larger than 32g don't like the FAT32 format. Who knew?!

8. More Googling - I'm back to Google, trying to figure out how to format a larger capacity drive to FAT 32. I'm learning more new terms, like "partition". I'm now googling "partition". Discourage is setting in again, as there seems to be a lot of opinion as to the best way to go about creating a partition, and apparently it requires the download of a program which will do so.

9. Come close to quitting - At this point, I was getting aggravated with the whole thing.

10. Find a youtube video which also has a link to a program that will format my 1t hdd without creating a partition - SCORE. Back in the game.

11. Begin transfer of content from PS3 to external hdd - This was easy, bascially one of the only parts that I had no problem with. Find your stuff, hit the triangle button, hit copy.

12. Remove hdd tray from PS3 - Almost every single tutorial will tell you how easy this is. These are LIES. Sure, it was easy to open the small plastic cover over the hdd tray, but that's where the easy stops. To remove the screw that holds the tray in place, you must first find the world's smallest phillip's head screwdriver, you must then harness the strength of Hercules to get the tiny screw to release it's grip from the tray.

13. Remove hdd from hdd tray - You just THOUGHT the tray screw was tiny, and had a steely grip. The four screws that hold the hdd in the tray have been spot welded into place by lightning bolts thrown down from the top of Mount Olympus by Zeus himself. I'm pretty sure I heard them laughing at me as I tried in vain to get them to release the death grip they had on the tiny 40g hdd. Eventually, through the aid of a rubber band, pliers, and my screwdriver, I managed to remove three of the screws, MacGyver style. Yep, three, not four.

14. Strip the fourth screw - Dear God at the obscenities that spewed forth from my mouth when that last screw stripped. My occasional tourrette's came on in FULL force. I'm pretty sure I've only been madder at anything once in my life, and that was the time that I got so mad a Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and for some reason my brain decided that the curse words that exist in the English language aren't harsh enough, so I ended up screaming the words "YOU CORE" at my skater. "Core" being an amalgamation of two other words, which I'll leave up to you to decipher.

15. Get out the tool box - I had to get this screw out, even if I destroyed the universe in the process. My struggle against the hdd tray had become personal. I was so close to finally getting the damn thing out, and here was this one little tiny screw smugly staring back at me, mocking my rage, refusing allow me progress further toward my goal. This motherfucker was coming out one way or another. To the tool box! I tried everything I knew to try, different screwdrivers, pliers, a chisel, a hammer, my power drill, etc. and still this damn screw held strong.

16. When all else fails, DESTROY - Being a man, as is my nature, when something doesn't work, or do what I want it to do, I resort to destruction. The screw won't come out? Ok then, I'll take to goddamn tray off around it. Luckily the tray itself was nowhere near as strong as the screws that were connected to it, so I began the process of bending the metal around the screw so that I could pry it out. After a few minutes, I did just that. Sure, the hdd tray was a mass of mangled, twisted metal on one corner, but that's beside the point. In the war against the screw, I had emerged victorious.

17. Put the new hdd in place - Easy peasy. I did my best to bend some of the metal back to what it was supposed to look like, just enough to get the hdd in place and put the screws in it. Goddamn screws. Then put the tray back in the PS3 and replace the tray screw.

18. Turn on PS3, get "Correct Hard Drive Not Found" error message - You've got to be fucking kidding me. None of the tutorials I read made any mention of this error message. Back to Google, and yep apparently this is a fairly common problem, although there seemed to be a lot of difference of opinion when it came to how to deal with it. The one thing that everyone seemed to agree on was to bring up the PS3 recovery menu by holding down the power button until you hear two quick beeps. Did that, and decided to first try the "Restore File System" setting, as that to me sounded like what the problem might be....

19. Get "critical error has occurred" message - This obviously wasn't the right option to choose. FML.

20. Get supremely discouraged, believe that you've essentially destroyed your PS3, decide your best option may be to sell it for parts to somebody on eBay - Yep.

21. Try other options, "just to see" - Maybe I could bring her back, maybe I hadn't completely broken the console. I decided to at least try some of the other options in the restore menu, I did "restore default settings", "restore PS3 system", and even "system update", and nothing worked.

22. Google, one more time - Last chance before I give up, I looked one more time, if I couldn't find anything else I was going to attempt to put the 40g hdd back in and call it a day. I found one more thing to try, downloading a system update file from the Sony website, putting it on the external hdd, and uploading it from there to the PS3 system, from the system recovery menu. It sounded like a long shot to me, like it was too simple of a fix, but it was all I had left so what the hell.

23. Download the system update file - First thing I had to do was go into my external hdd and create a PS3 folder, then go into that folder and create a second folder labeled "update". Folder creation, FINALLY something I can do without needing assistance from Google! Got that all done, now back to the PS3...

24. Upload system update - To upload the update, I first went back to the "restore PS3 system" option from the restore menu. I fired up the controller, and waited to see if the system was going to find the file to upload....

25. SUCCESS! - The file uploaded, and the PS3 went back through all the motions as if I had just gotten it out of the box. I set everything all up, restored my PSN account, and transferred all the info from the external hdd to my brand spanking new 350g hdd. Next step was to re-download all my PSN games, including the hdd space hogging behemoth that set these events into motion, DCU Online.

(not actually me, but pretty close)

That's all there is to it! Easy right? Just like all those damn tutorials said it would be. If you're planning on upgrading your PS3 hdd anytime soon, might I suggest you skip all those other tutorials, and simply follow my 25 step program detailed above, in a mere 16 hours you'll be transformed into a hdd changing BEAST, just like me.


Erik (Drunketh) said...

Holy shit dude. That's nuts. That would be way too much trouble to go through for me. But your story has inspired me to work on my old computer... after all, my lost porn is important to me!

Lissa Lycan said...

I lol'd at #9. That probably would have been much earlier on MY list.

Cherry Neko said...

I tried downloading DC Universe this weekend too, but ever since I did my PS3 kept crashing =(. Same thing happened to my friends laptop too, and the ps3 is no where near full. So after all that I had to uninstall before I even got to play. A sad day for me. But it seems a good day for you in the end so yay!!!

Cherry Neko said...

oh and you've won an award =)

almond paarman said...

I read online, you can buy a larger hard drive, easy to install on your PS3, but did not really need to do before, although I had considered doing so just because. The game, but it's a huge demand for space, and force my hand.

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