Which External Hard Drives Are Compatible With the PS3 Console?

Written by alexander poirier
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Which External Hard Drives Are Compatible With the PS3 Console?
(Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)

With the PlayStation 3 system, you're able to watch movies, view pictures and listen to music, making it a much more versatile piece of technology than previous generations of video game consoles. You can even hook up an external hard drive to your PS3 system to add more storage space for media files. However, only certain hard drives are compatible with the PS3 system.

FAT32 Formatted Hard Drives

The term FAT32 refers to the way in which data is stored on your hard drive. The PlayStation 3 console works with all external hard drives that are formatted to the FAT32 storage type. The largest FAT32 hard drives can hold up to 2 terabytes of data that can be read by a PS3 console. To use, simply plug the hard drive into your PS3 using the USB cable that came packaged with the hard drive and select the hard drive from the Cross Media Bar on the PS3 console.

NTFS and Other Formats

Though NTFS may be considered a more secure format for hard drives, it is not supported by the PS3 console. If you have a hard drive that is formatted to anything but FAT32 you'll have to reformat the hard drive to FAT32 in order for it to work on a PS3 console. SwissKnife is a free program that allows you to format any sort of external hard drive to the FAT32 format. Be aware, however, that formatting your hard drive will erase any data you may have saved on it.

Flash Drives

USB flash drives come formatted to the FAT16 format. This is a variation of the FAT32 format and is, therefore, compatible with the PS3 console. To use, simply plug your flash drive into your PS3 system and select it from the Cross Media Bar.

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