By AOMEI / Last Updated January 20, 2021

Why clone PS3 hard drive?

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) or its successor - PS4, aside from being a video game console, is also a pretty powerful media center which is developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It has been several years since PS3 was released at the end of 2006. On the one hand, most models of Sony’s console come with small hard drive.

Why need to clone hard drive? There are two main reasons. On the other hand, with along huge game like Mass Effect 2 installs and HD movie downloads, you're probably already running out of space on your PS4 or PS3 hard drive. And if not, you will be soon.

Why not buy a new larger yet faster hard drive to upgrade hard drive on PS3? Nowadays hard drives have come down in price significantly, so a huge drive is pretty affordable. Besides, if you have more budgets, you can replace PS3 hard drive with an SSD which gives you significant improvements in load times.

No matter HDD or SSD to buy, you need to know what hard drive you can use in PS3. The PlayStation 3 is designed to run with 2.5-inch SATA drive of 9.5mm height.

PS3 Hard Drive

Step-by-step guide to clone PS3 hard drive to larger drive

Using a third-party tool to clone PS3 HDD are far easier than you might imagine. I will guide you go through the process step-by-step.

Before cloning PS3 hard drive:

  • Pull out your old small hard drive from your PS3 or PS4 and use screwdriver to free up the frame that holds the hard drive. And then connect it to the spare port in your computer and make sure it can be recognized by Windows.

  • Connect your new larger hard drive or SSD to another spare port in the same computer and also make sure it can be recognized by Windows. If there is no spare port in your computer or it’s a laptop, you also can put it in an external HDD enclosure.

  • Usually, a new hard drive needs to be initialized, partitioned and formatted as NTFS by default before it can be used. However, PS3 or PS4 can only read partitions formatted with FAT32 file system instead of NTFS. Meanwhile, the built-in Disk Management cannot format a hard drive larger than 32GB to FAT32. Luckily, you can use free partition manager like AOMEI Partition Assistant to convert NTFS to FAT32 without data loss or reformat NTFS to FAT32.

  • AOMEI Partition Assistant

  • Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is a free backup, restore and clone software and fully supports all Windows PC operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Vista and XP (all editions, 32/64-bit).

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Detailed steps:

When all have been prepared, you can begin to clone PS3 hard drive to new hard drive or SSD.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Select "Disk Clone" under "Clone" tab as show below.

Clone PS3 Hard Drive

Step 2. Select the old hard drive as source disk (here is Disk1), and then click "Next" to continue.

Select PS3 Disk

Step 3. Select the new hard drive or SSD as destination disk (here is Disk2), and then click "Next" to continue.

Select New PS3 Disk

Step 4. You are almost done. On the operation summary window, there are three options available to choose. At last, click "Start Clone".

Start Clone


  • Edit Partitions: this option is very useful to clone PS3 hard drive to larger drive, because you can resize partition. To make full use of all disk space on the new HDD automatically, please choose "Add unused space to all partitions" (Available in Professional edition).

  • Resize PS3 Hard Drive

  • Sector-by-sector clone: allow you to clone all the sectors of the source disk to a new destination hard drive no matter whether it is used or not. The deleted, lost files or inaccessible data only can be cloned with this option ticked. However, with sector-by-sector clone the program cannot resize partition. But you can manually add unallocated space with AOMEI Partition Assistant after cloning is completed. If not, PS3 or PS4 cannot recognize the new size of the new hard drive, and the free space remains the same as the old hard drive.

  • SSD Alignment: if the destination disk is an SSD, you can tick this option for peak performance.

The PS3 HDD cloning time depends on how much data is on the old hard drive. When the process is completed, you can put the new hard drive or SSD into PS3 by reversing the process you did on old hard drive. Cloning doesn’t delete the data on your old hard drive, and you can keep it as backup or manually delete data on it for other usage.

You can also clone PS4 hard drive with the same steps above. Besides cloning, AOMEI Backupper Standard also enables you to perform system backup, disk backup, file backup, system clone and more.

Workaround: Upgrade PS3 hard drive to SSD with built-in utilities

Besides cloning, you still can try “Backup” and “Restore” feature in PS3. It can reach the same effect. Go on and see details in the following.

Step 1. Backup the saved data on the PS3.

1. Connect USB drive or other storage device to PS 3 and format as FAT32.

2. go to Settings > System settings and press “X” button to enter the next page.

3. Then, click Backup and press “X” button to enter in.

X Button

4. Now, select Backup option instead of Restore or Delete Backup Data.

5. Follow the instructions to backup the saved data to USB drive or other device.

Step 2. Replace the old hard drive with a new one.

1. Wait for at least 10 minutes in order to let your console cool down and then open the HDD door from its lower case.

2. Take out the hard drive from the steel cage and then insert the new drive into it, then using the screw to hold the drive.

Pull out Drive

Step 3. Restore the saved data to the new drive.

1. Start the PS3 and go to Restore option with the same steps like Step 1.

2. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore you’re the saved data to new hard drive.


Cloning PS3/4 hard drive to a larger drive or SSD is very easy. You can choose to use either a third-party tool or the built-in feature. Both can achieve the same effect.

Honestly, the third-party tool AOMEI Backupper has more features. It allows you to clone system, partition, disk and backup disk, system, partition, file. These are the main features of this software. More, it still has many small features, such as, Align partition to optimize for SSD, which can help you to get the peak performance of SSD drive.

AOMEI Backupper Standard will be smart choice. You can download and try it for yourself.