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First Son
Registered: 02/19/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 9, 2012

So I think I've figured out the problem but I'm hoping someone can give me a second opinion. I've used external hard drives with the PS3 before and had no problem. Now I have a My Passport drive and the PS3 doesn't "see" it. I checked with the manufacturer who told me that I needed to re-format to FAT32 which I did. The system still doesn't see it.

Looking at an earlier response in this thread, I'm thinking that the problem might be that the game system isn't giving it enough power so I started looking for what was described as an "externally powered USB hub." I've looked that up and I'm kinda confused by the results. My guess would be that I would plug the hard drive into this port, which would supply the power ... and then the port has another USB cable that would plug into the PS3...? Nothing I'm seeing looks like it works that way. They just look like devices which increase the number of USB slots. This My Passport is a very simple device. It only has one port for the cable to connect to the device (a computer or, in this case, a PS3) so it seems like the externally powered USB port would have to work the way I'm describing. But again, none of the devices I'm seeing seem to work that way.

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PlayStation MVP
Registered: 12/16/2008
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 9, 2012

A USB hub lets you plug multiple USB devices into one port. It's difficult to find an adaptor that will provide power to just one port, because there isn't much demand for it. You have to go with a USB hub. They come in two flavours: bus-powered and wall-powered.

Bus-powered hubs get power from the device that they're connected to; it is the PS3 in our scenario. Unfortunately, the USB ports on the PS3 cannot supply very much power over a USB cable; the USB ports on the Slim PS3s provide less power than the Fat PS3s too. Power hungry devices like USB hard drives may not have enough power to spin up. Consequently, your hard drive may not show up when you connect it to the PS3.

Wall-powered hubs get their power from a power adaptor connected to the wall outlet. This provides the full power allowed by USB for every one of the ports on the USB hub. You want a wall-powered hub.

The cheapest hubs usually don't come with power bricks. Look carefully in the description. Shop around. I found a Targus hub with an AC adaptor.

Targus ACH115USZ 7-Port Powered USB 2.0 Hub @ Newegg

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First Son
Registered: 02/19/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 9, 2012

Thanks for the reply. But what I still don't get is that the USB wire that would come out of the hard drive and plug into the PS3 would instead go into the hub, which would provide the hard drive with power, right? How then does the hard drive connect to the PS3? It's only got the one port. So does the hub then connect to the PS3? Do I need a splitter so that the one wire that comes out of the hard drive can be plugged into the power supply (the hub) and the PS3?

Sorry if I'm being a pest. I live in (relatively) rural Vermont and don't have access to, say, a Best Buy where I might be able to ask a salesperson.

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First Son
Registered: 02/19/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 9, 2012

One other question: I just checked Amazon (where I got the external hard drive I have) and there's another external hard drive, which I think is even cheaper, from the same company. It's bigger and it comes with an AC adaptor. Any thoughts on whether this would all be easier if I tried to exchange the drives?

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PlayStation MVP
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 9, 2012

No worries. The USB cable from the hard drive plugs into the hub. The hub has a USB cable that plugs into the PS3. Data from the hard drives goes through the hub and to the PS3. You don't need a splitter.

If shipping back and forth doesn't cost too much, you can try swapping for a different drive.

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First Son
Registered: 02/19/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 15, 2012

Okay, now I don't know what to do: I got a new hard drive with has its own power supply that plugs in. This is a WD Essential 1.5 TB drive. I formatted it to FAT 32.

Still nothing. The PS3 just isn't seeing it. I've had two other external hard drives that I've used with my PS3 and never had this problem. Also, the PS3 is still reading both those drives but when I plug the USB of this new drive, that I've had for a few hours now and which has the FAT 32 format and its own power supply: Zip.

My desktop computer, meanwhile, does recognize the EHD.

I'm really frustrated because I would bet $18 and a button that it's something really simple. But I can't think of what it is. Any ideas? Does it make a difference that the PS3 is not connected to the internet? Do I need to connect it to the Web when I first plug in the new device to get a driver or something?

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Treasure Hunter
Registered: 06/27/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 15, 2012

Rune_84 wrote:

Does it make a difference that the PS3 is not connected to the internet? Do I need to connect it to the Web when I first plug in the new device to get a driver or something?

That shouldn't make any difference, just like if you connect it to an offline PC the PC will still recognize the drive.

I'm not really sure what to tell you about it not working, but I wanted to let you know that connecting to the Internet won't change anything.

EDIT: Out of curiosity, what did you use to format the drive in FAT32?

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First Son
Registered: 02/19/2010
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 15, 2012

WD sent me a link to a utility that reformatted the drive. When I right click on it, I get a message saying it's in FAT32 but it's still not showing up on the menus when I plug it into the Playstation.

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Feb 16, 2012

Rune_84 wrote:

WD sent me a link to a utility that reformatted the drive. When I right click on it, I get a message saying it's in FAT32 but it's still not showing up on the menus when I plug it into the Playstation.

Just for the heck of it, try this utility instead: http://download.cnet.com/HP-USB-Disk-Storage-Format-Tool/3000-2094_4-10974082.html

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Splicer
Registered: 02/22/2009
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Re: How to use a USB external Hard Drive on your PS3

Jun 9, 2012

Ok I have question relating to this but different.

If I  use the 1TB hardrive as the main HD internally and not plug via usb willI still need to format it using windows first or will the PS3 format it for me with no issues?

Its confuses me becuase people are saying it doesnt like anything over 4GB etc.

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