USB or external hard drives can be used to add memory to your PS3 and transfer or use data from your computer on your PS3. Before you can use an external hard drive with your PS3, you must use your computer to format the drive using the FAT32 file system, otherwise the console will not recognise the drive as viable. Although this may seem complicated, reformatting an external hard drive is quite easy, but it can be somewhat time-consuming, depending on the size of the drive.
Connect the hard drive to your computer and allow both devices to recognise one another. Click the "Start" button and click "Run." Type "cmd" into the text box and hit "Enter" or click "OK."
Type "format /FS:FAT32 D:" into the Command Prompt window, but replace the "D" with the drive letter used to represent the hard drive. Press "Enter" to format the hard drive.
Open the hard drive via "My Computer" by double-clicking its icon. Create a new folder and name it "PS3." Open the "PS3" folder and create new folders with the names "MUSIC," "VIDEO" and "PHOTO," taking care to type in all-caps. Copy any files from your computer that you would like to use with your PS3 into the appropriate folders on the hard drive.
Disconnect the hard drive from your computer and connect it to the PS3. An icon representing the hard drive will appear in all sections of the XMB main menu. Select the icon to access the files you copied from your computer.