Mac&Windows: How to Format your PS3 Hard Drive?

Can’t seem to format a PS3 hard drive on your console? Then read this post to learn how to format your PS3 hard drive on Windows or Mac like a pro.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Nov 29, 2021 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

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“How to format a PS3 HDD on PC? I want to wipe my hard drive and install a new one on my PlayStation, but I don’t know how to do it!”

As a friend of mine asked me this, I realized that so many PS3 users find it hard to format the hard drive of their gaming console. It might sound surprising but learning how to format your PS3 hard drive on Mac or Windows is pretty easy. Just make sure that you format the hard drive in FAT32, which is the compatible file system for PS3. Therefore, without much ado, let’s get into details and learn how to wipe a PS3 hard drive instantly.

Formatting PS3 on PC Banner

Part 1: How to Format a PS3 HDD on PC or Mac?


It doesn’t matter if you have a Windows PC or a Mac, you can easily learn how to delete things from a PS3 hard drive. Ideally, you can carefully remove your hard drive from your PlayStation and then follow these techniques to format it.

Method 1: How to Format your PS3 Hard Drive on Mac

Mac users can just take the assistance of the inbuilt app, Disk Utility, to format their PS3 hard drive. The application can be used to wipe the PS3 hard drive or any other internal/external drive on the Mac. Since you can select a file format for the hard drive, make sure that you format it in the FAT32 system. To learn how to format your PS3 hard drive on Mac, just go through these steps.

  1. At first, go to the Finder on your Mac and browse to its System Preferences > Applications > Utilities to launch the Disk Utility app.

Mac Open Disk Utility

  1. Furthermore, remove the hard drive from your PS3 and just connect it to your Mac. On the Disk Utility interface, you can view the connected drive under the “External” tab on the sidebar.

Disk Utility Select Drive

  1. Simply select the connected PS3 drive from here and click on the “Erase” option from the toolbar on the right.
  2. This will open a new pop-up window, letting you format the PS3 hard drive. Simply give it a name, change the format to FAT32, and click on the “Erase” button.

Erase PS3 Drive on Ma

You can now just wait for a while as your Mac system would format the PS3 hard drive in the FAT32 file type.

Method 2: How to Format a PS3 HDD on PC via Command Prompt?

Ideally, there are different ways to learn how to wipe a PS3 drive on a Windows system. For instance, you can either take the assistance of the Command Prompt or the Disk Management tool to do it. For smooth formatting of the PS3 hard drive, let’s consider the example of the Command Prompt. Here, we will use the Diskpart (Disk Partition) module to set the PS3 hard drive format type to FAT32.

  1. Firstly, dismount the hard drive from your PS3 and just connect it to your computer. Afterward, launch the Command Prompt application from the Start menu and just enter the “Diskpart” command.

Diskpart Command Loading

  1. This will simply load the Diskpart utility module on your system. Now, you can just enter the “list disk” command to get a list of all the connected drives and partitions.

Diskpart List Disk Command

  1. Here, you can note the identifier of the PS3 hard drive and use the “select” command to pick it. For instance, to choose the “disk 2” drive, you can enter the “select disk 2” command.

Diskpart Select Disk

  1. Great! Once you have selected the PS3 hard drive, just enter the “clean” command that would wipe its storage entirely.

Diskpart Clean Command

  1. Subsequently, enter the “create partition primary” command that would create the primary partition on the PS3 hard drive.

Diskpart Create Partition

  1. In the end, you just need to enter the “format” command and the PS3 hard drive format type. That is, to format the disk in the FAT32 file system, you can enter the “format fs=fat32” command.

Diskpart Format Disk Command

Lastly, you can assign the drive letter to the PS3 hard drive and complete the formatting process.


Part 2: How to Delete Things from a PS3 Hard Drive?


Since the PS3 hard drive format type is FAT32, you can access it on any Mac or Windows PC. All you need to do is unmount the hard drive from the PlayStation and connect it to your computer with a compatible cable.

In no time, your computer would automatically detect the connected PS3 hard drive that you can view in the Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows). On Windows, you can double-click on the dedicated drive icon that would let you can explore it just like any other partition. You can now manually browse the PS3 hard drive and delete anything from it the usual way.

External Drive on Windows


Part 3: How to Swap PS3 Hard Drive without Formatting?


As you can see, learning how to format your PS3 hard drive is pretty easy. Besides that, some users also wish to swap their PS hard drive without formatting. In this case, you can first take a backup of your data and then swap the disk to make more space on the console.

  1. Before you remove or format your PS3 hard drive, make sure that you take its backup. For this, just go to your PlayStation’s Settings > System Settings > Backup Utility and maintain a dedicated backup of your games.

Backup Utility on PS3

  1. Once you have maintained a backup, you can remove the hard drive from the console. To do this, you can use a pin to pull the hard drive door out and simply get rid of the blue 8mm screw.

Open PS3 Disk Space

  1. Now, you can just use the hard drive pull tool that you must have got with your PS3 to manually unmount the disk.

Unmount PS3 Drive

  1. That’s it! In the end, you can remove the screws from the hard drive jacket on both sides. This will let you remove the old hard drive from the metal jacket and manually insert the new one.

Swap Hard Drive on PS3


Note: Use Wondershare Recoverit to Retrieve Deleted Data from a PS3 Hard Drive


In case you have accidentally deleted something from the PS3 hard drive (or formatted it), then you can use a recovery tool to retrieve your data. I would recommend Wondershare Recoverit, which is a tried-and-tested DIY data recovery tool.

wondershare recoverit

As you can see, learning how to format a PS3 HDD osn a PC or Mac is pretty easy. Since FAT32 is the compatible PS3 hard drive format type, you can connect it to your computers and use it like any other external hard disk. Just be sure that you format it in the FAT32 file system (and not NTFS or APFS). Besides that, if you have deleted anything accidentally from your PS3 hard drive, then use a reliable tool like Wondershare Recoverit to get your data back.

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