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Install Hard Disk Drive (12GB PS3 / CECH-4201A)

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[PS3™ system] Updated 12/05/2014

The 12GB PlayStation 3 is great for playing disc-based games and streaming media from video services such as Netflix and YouTube. If you are interested is downloading content with larger storage requirements, such as Day 1 Digital releases or HD movies, you may want to install a hard drive.

Note: User supplied HDD is not covered under your manufactures console warranty.

What is required:

The following items are required (both sold separately) to install a hard disk drive into the 12GB PlayStation 3:

Hard Disk Drive Installation & Setup

  1. Follow the directions in the offical Hard Disk Drive Mounting Kit Instruction Manual to install your hard disk drive into your PlayStation 3.
  2. Once installed, click the link below to reveal the process of formatting and copying content from the flash memory to the hard disk.
Top Hard Disk Format Process

Once you install a hard disk drive and power on your 12GB PS3, you will be prompted to format the hard drive and copy the contents from the internal flash memory over to it.

Once this process is complete the internal flash memory will be disabled and hard drive will become the sole form of internal storage.

Complete the setup process:
  1. With the hard disk installed, turn on the PlayStation 3 system.
  2. A message will appear asking if you want to change the location of where you save your data from flash memory to hard disk. Select 'Yes" and press the X button icon button.
  3. Select "Yes" and press the X button icon button again to confirm that all data on the hard disk will be erased before the data on the flash drive will be copied over to it.
  4. The content from flash memory is copied over. DO NOT turn off your system during this step.
  5. The database is rebuilt on the hard disk. DO NOT turn off your system during this step.

Once the database is rebuilt, the process is complete. Now the installed hard drive is the primary storage device for downloaded software, apps, and game saves.

You can confirm the amount of space available by doing the following:
  1. From the XMB, go to Settings icon (Settings).
  2. Then, go down to System Settings icon (System Settings).
  3. Finally, scroll down to System Information and press the X button icon button.
  4. Here you will see the amount of available space and total space on your hard disk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Top What is the difference between the 12GB PlayStation®3 and the 250GB PlayStation®3 systems?

The 12GB PS3™ system system has a 12GB Flash memory while the 250GB PS3™ system system has a 250GB hard disk drive (HDD). All PS3™ systems come standard with the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.), Blu-ray Disc™ (BD) player, 1080p high-definition output, Wi-Fi connectivity, two USB ports and the DUALSHOCK®3 wireless controller.

Top Will all games and applications work with the 12GB PlayStation®3?

The 12GB PS3™ system system is compatible with all PlayStation®3 games and apps. However, certain games or apps may require installation space that exceeds the available capacity of the included 12GB flash memory.

Top What other factors will affect the memory capacity of the 12GB PlayStation®3 system?

Previously installed games and apps will also affect available memory. In addition, a portion of the 12GB flash memory is reserved for system administration, maintenance and other options.

Top What happens if I try to purchase content that exceeds my storage capacity?

You will see a message informing you that you do not have enough free space in your system storage, and asking you if you would like to continue with the purchase.

Top Does installing a hard disk drive void the warranty?

Installing a hard disk drive does not void the warranty, unless you damage the system while installing the hard disk drive. Since your hard disk drive was not originally part of your PlayStation®3 system, however, it is not covered under warranty.

Top How do I check the available memory of the 12GB PlayStation®3?

Available memory can be checked by accessing the System menu > System Settings > System Information. The available memory will be listed next to Free Space in this format: (Free Space)GB / (Total Capacity)GB.