If you wish to change or upgrade the hard disk drive in your Sony PlayStation 3, you need a 2.5" Serial-ATA format hard disk drive. These small hard drives are also the drives usually used in laptop computers, so you may have to look for laptop hard drives at some retail outlets.
The Sony PS3 includes a hard disk drive used to store game data, music and media files. The first PS3s originally came with a 20 GB hard drive, but are now available with hard drives of up to 320 GB pre-installed.
Carefully checking the specifications of a replacement hard drive will help you maximize the performance of your console. Important specifications to look for include the hard drive's built-in cache memory, as data access is faster on drives with more cache available. Spin speeds are also important, though 2.5" hard drives are also usually available only with spin speeds of either 5,400 RPM or 7,200 RPM. 7,200 RPM drives provide faster performance.
As of February 2011, 2.5" SATA hard drives are available with capacities of up to 1 TB, providing more than three times the storage capacity that comes standard on the 320 GB PlayStation 3.
Sony provides instructions in the PS3 manual on how to access and replace the hard drive, but also states that improper hard drive replacement may void the manufacturer's warranty. Proceed with caution to avoid damage to your console.
A utility program is accessible via the PS3's menu system that allows you to copy all of your data from your hard drive to an external device. You can then copy this data back to your new, high-capacity hard drive.
- hard drive image by iMAGINE from Fotolia.com