A bit of a departure from the type of topics I normally blog about!
My slim PS3 is about five years old and really only used for a couple of reasons. It's my blu-ray player, and we use it for Singstar! I noticed that with the new version of Singstar, the game was hanging and the PS3 running hot.
Being cautious, I took a back up of the existing 160GB hard drive onto an external USB hard drive. The total size of the back up was 60GB, so the storage is really being used. I notice that the drive was quite noisy as well, so I decided the replacement drive should be an SSD (solid state drive). With no moving parts it will not generate the same amount of heat or noise as a traditional hard drive. It should be quicker as well and from some of the comments online, it may remove some of the lag in bigger games.
Rather than replace the drive with a larger capacity drive, I opted for a smaller one to get the SSD at a price point below £40 for 128GB.
I followed these instructions to remove the existing drive and drop in the new one:
With a blank drive in place the PS3 will complain about not having system software on the drive. The system software can be downloaded from here: http://uk.playstation.com/ps3/
Once downloaded, get a USB stick or USB drive and plug it into your computer. Create a folder on the root of the drive called PS3 (and ensure it's in upper case). In that folder, create another folder called UPDATE (again in upper case) and then copy the file into that folder.
Plug the USB device into the PS3, and you will need to use a controller connected by a USB cable as well. When prompted, press and hold the Start and Select buttons together. It will then prompt you that the hard drive will need to be formatted, which is initiated by pressing and holding the Start and Select buttons for five seconds.
Once formatted, it will copy the System Software onto the hard drive and you will have to run through the initial setup of the PS3 again. Once completed, you will be able to restore from the backup file created initially to get all the games and saves back.
I now have a quick and silent PS3, which should hang mid game for a while!