To let people know, my PS3 slim came with a 120GB HDD. That was a downsize for me because I previously upgraded my fat PS3 from a 20GB to a 250GB. Right from the get go when I got my PS3 slim, I had HDD issues since the games I had to install/download were larger than my HDD size available (in MB). I honestly put off upgrading my PS3 HDD because the last time I somewhat stripped the blue screw, and I can never decide what HDD to get.
Anyway, I wanted to get the largest possible HDD size that would fit in a PS3. I wanted a 1TB HDD, but I heard it would not fit. I ended up going with a 750GB. I was debating between Hitachi and Western Digital (most told me WD and I had good luck with their HDDs in my PCs, but some hardcore PC gamers said Hitachi was better). I was not going to go with Seagate because while I've used them before, I heard many horror stories about them going downhill the past few years. I was going to buy a HDD on newegg, but since I have Amazon Prime, I found it better for me to just order on Amazon
(took less than 24 hours for me to receive the HDD). It got great reviews.
So the first thing I did this morning was try to back-up my HDD. The first time I tried failed (I used a 250GB external HDD I had). I tried removing stuff three times (to downgrade the file size), but it still kept failing. I read tutorials online to bring up the system recovery menu (where I hold the PS3 power button until I hear three beeps). I tried restoring the PS3 file system first, still no luck. The next time I tried re-building the database. While I lost all my messages and sorting, it did the trick.
So then I checked out a YouTube video really fast on doing a slim PS3 HDD swap. I just followed the instructions when swapping. Since I learned what screw driver worked best without stripping, I only used that screw driver this time. Took me less than 5 minutes to swap the HDD. My slim PS3 came with a Toshiba HDD. When trying to restore the PS3, it was actually much harder this time compared to last time. I first had to re-load the firmware manually (by downloading 3.60 firmware onto a USB flash drive). After I did that, the PS3 re-installed the firmware and reset a few times. Eventually I got the HDD formated. I then restored my previous back-up onto the HDD (took around 25 minutes, a little longer than backing up). Thankfully it worked without an error. Once everything was done, I decided to start re-downloading stuff and re-synched my trophies.
This is how much PS3 HDD space it now says I have:
Compared to only having up to 111GB. Some ask me why do I need so much HDD space? My PSN download list has 679 items currently. I have ~85 disc PS3 games, and over half of them have an install (some mandatory, some optional). I'd love to store more music on my PS3, but it's not a must. I have a feeling I'll fill up 500GB really easily. So far I'm very happy that I'll have much more HDD space finally and no longer have to constantly delete downloads/installs. Even better that I can finally store most of my PSN+ content instead of only add to my download list (so I own a digital copy). Thankfully all my datasaves moved over.
So now I have a 750GB PS3.
Can't be any happier right now. I wish the back-up process went more smooth, but next time I'll remember to re-build database/restore file system earlier.
I highly recommend upgrading the PS3 HDD. It's very easy. If you worry about stripping the screw, there's a precision screw set you can buy at Target/Wal-Mart for $5 or so, where one Phillips screw driver fits perfectly for the screws.