harddrive question
  • I have a question out there about the harddrive. I have the 60 gig version and when i powered up and put 3 song on I went to my system setting and it said I had 47gig/ 55gig. Whats up with that? Then when I put final fantasy 11 on it Im down to 37/55 gig. Is it really a 60 gig harddrive and why do I feel like I should start being careful about what I put on my PS3 11 days in.
  • Those size numbers they quote for hard drives are always for the unformatted size. When a hard drive is formatted you lose about 10% of that for hidden partition/ system info. The same is true for computer hard drives- you never get the full amount to use. That 120 GB drive in someone's PC? They get maybe 100 GB to actually use.
  • Still think that Sony shot themselves in the foot when they put the 60gb HDD in the PS3, 200gbwould have been more like it. I've got a 120gb master drive for my PC & when you look at it I've really got 117gb formatted, but by the time I've put my OS & main crap on I've only got 35-40gb left on the drive for what ever (yeh I do run a sh!t load of programs for art & stuff) I've got a 200gb second drive just for MP3's and that's just about full due to my CD's been brought up to the portable digital era, plus I don't buy many "hard item" cd's as I pay for stuff on i-tunes etc. By the time you've updated the PS3 & got demos etc it's not much room to swing a virtual cat around in cyberspace.

    Question for ya, does the PS3 allow you to connect an external HDD apart from Flash drives?
  • Just how much stuff you plan on throwing on that thing when March rolls around? :huh: If they weren't already losing a couple hundred bucks on the thing then maybe they would have made it a larger drive in there.

    Anyhoo, yes you can use USB hard drives if you like to transfer stuff to/ from. As long as the music is in a compatible file format and not copy protected (those bought iTunes tunes won't play) the PS3 will see it. Also, the hard drive inside is upgradeable if you choose- the PS3 uses normal 2.5" SATA notebook hard drives. They give instructions on the removal process in the quick start guide.
  • Hi, Im wondering the same thing, even though manufactures always quote GB in 1000of MB instead of 1024MB the 60Gb PS3 I bought still only reduces down to an actual physical size of 58.5Gb.

    Thats a huge dispararity when 2 days after I bought the thing its showing me it only has 47 of 60 gb available.

    The unit itself has run a couple of movies and played both RR7 and Fall of Man, neither of which has been installed to the hard drive.

    What on earth is taking up the other data space? I can find no data on the drive, am I to assume that the Hard drive is an integral part of the operating firmware of the unit. In which case the poor $^%!^ with the 20gb wont have much space for anything.

    It makes no sense and I can find no documentation online anywhere to state what is on the drive. Ive toyed with the Idea of upgrading the drive, its a fairly straightforward process but as I dont need the space theres no point. Still all said and done itd be nice to know what on earth Sony put on it that takes up so much space.

    Even windows xp with a full application suite doesnt take up that much space on a hard drive.
  • Each of the games do a bit of an install on the hard drive- you will see on the back of the jewel case just how much. The rest is hidden system data such as a drive table, maybe some software like the web browser, etc.

    Formatting the drive normally loses some space- anyone that is a bit into computers knows and deals with this. No need to stress about what it is.
  • I love that, im totally immersed in computers, seeing as its my career, what im looking for a is a definitive list of whats on the drive, loosing 13Gb on a drive is really quite out of order, noone told me XP was going to be installed on the thing out of the box.. :-)

    The drive is sold as a 60Gb but comes preformatted in the system as a 57gb total available which is completely acceptable and expected.

    However loosing another 10gb is a bit much (clean turn on nothing installed!!) to be honest having my own 2TB nas at home I couldnt give a rats, im not going to use the PS3 for data storage or anything else, but I may well use it to install games from blueray to decrease load times. And if the total number of games I can install is reduced significantly because of a web browser I wont ever use...

    Im just trying to understand what they put on, ive emailed Sony directly as well and if they come back with info will post here.
  • Don't be too surprised if they don't reply back- whoever does read your e-mail probably will have no clue what you are talking about. :) Admittedly, I'm a bit curious as to what would be there too.
  • I did notive in my PS3 box was a card with a 24hour call centre you can call for technical questions about the PS3, if I have no love from Sony will give them a call at the weekend and post what I find.

    Ive also got a spare 160Gb 2.5sata drive here at the office that I was going to take home and do a clean prep on and see what I loose. The instructions are in the manual so I dont think there is any fear of damaging the thing. See what gets installed on a clean format and prep.

    will post any results I get.
  • Update on this one. I spent an hour being tossed around various SCEA support numbers for the hard drive questions which basically boil down to..

    1) What actual size is the hard drive (60000mb = 58.5Gb not 55Gb)
    2) What takes up the 7-8Gb on initial power on
    3) What if any tools are available to browse the harddrive to quantify whats installed.
    4) When compared to the PSP which has no software based operating system and virtually identical features can you explain the hard drive usage pattern
    5) Do you not feel that you are misrepresenting the product you are selling :-)

    Basically its apparant your dealing with a call centre that has no clue, they do have access to online sony proprietary documentation but have absolutely no clue and no information as to what takes up the space and no answers to any of the above questions, they also have no experience with the product.

    They tried just about every trick in the book to justify the hard drive size and if I was a conspiracy theorist id be really thinking that the answers they where given where designed to confound. The only problem is the answers they gave where easily transparant as being waffle and any self respecting technical person could easily disprove any reason they submitted.

    The one titbit I did gather was that the operating system (whatever that is) could in fact take a staggering 23Gb, god help the poor sods with 20Gb PS3's

    They have escalated my issue to some other department so the search for information continues and I will continue to update as I get information.
  • So today I had another reason to call in to Sony, finally got around to trying to play RFOM online and it wouldnt work. So I called in. Not much help on that, but while on with them the gent said he could see my previous ticket about hard drive and asked if id resolved the issue.

    Ensuing long discussion basically backs up what I know.

    1) the gent from Sony assured me that outside of my own data there should be nothing on the PS3, that I can upgrade the harddrive and not invalidate my warranty and that if i do change the harddrive I wont damage the unit and need no OS install CDs to get the unit back.

    So the 11Gb missing on the harddrive at initial boot intrigued the hell out of this guy.

    He had me run a system format quick and then a full , took approximate 4 hours to run both. At the end I was sat with a brand new clean hard drive of manufacturer size 60Gb, showing 55Gb in size with 47Gb available.

    The gent I was talking to is saying this isnt right and is escalating to tier 3 technical support (the ones who change the coffee filters) so who knows maybe I will find an answer to this vacuous space eating thats going on.

    As an aside I still cant play rfom online.. sigh.
  • And finally an answer...

    So today was a good day in bozzyville, I actually got a call back from one of the technical team responsible for hardware development/support in the US, these mythical people hide behind the call centre people and apparantly only get involved in very interesting or strange problems...

    Anyway in answer to my queries..

    1) What actual size is the hard drive (60000mb = 58.5Gb not 55Gb)

    "60Gb - 60*1000Mb, reported as 55Gb (due to firmware issue)"

    2) What takes up the 7-8Gb on initial power on

    "Reserved space. Sony has blocked access to a certain volume of space on the drive for "future considerations"

    3) What if any tools are available to browse the harddrive to quantify whats installed.

    "None approved - but (hint) you can try putting it in your PC... "

    4) When compared to the PSP which has no software based operating system and virtually identical features can you explain the hard drive usage pattern

    "Correct, the PS3 also utilizes a firmware, the hard drive is for user content and data, with reservations for future Sony requirements. (future proofing)"

    5) Do you not feel that you are misrepresenting the product you are selling :-)

    "Well maybe in the press, but now you know the answers its not misrepresented to you is it"

    Ultimately the discrepancy is due to a space reservation put in place in case Sony needs to release something that requires hard drive space. Such that if a user has filled an entire drive and a critical update or patch cannot be utilized. Hence space is reserved out of the box. So in effect the drive is reported as 55Gb due to a firmware issue but will only allow users to upload 47Gb of data due to a software restriction.

    This feature will likely be updated, reporting of drive space will improve in future firmware updates and space requirements for reserved initial space may drop.

    Next step - Ive ordered a 160gb sata drive to test out some theories.. more to follow.
  • Many thanks for the update bozzyville, this has provided answered for quite a few previously unknown things about the PS3. This will save quite a few gamers having to go through the same long and painful process.

    Be sure to let us know how you hard drive experiments go.
  • bozzybear said:
    5) Do you not feel that you are misrepresenting the product you are selling :-)

    "Well maybe in the press, but now you know the answers its not misrepresented to you is it"

    I like this question you asked, bozzy /\ /\

    I am amazed at your persistence. I get so mad at customer service people, I always feel like I know more about their products than they do. What's up with that?!

    I do want to hear your ongoing travels bozzybear :D Keep them coming.
  • It bugs me no end when companies produce a product and then dont provide their own staff with support information. The absolute worst company I've ever dealt with for support was philips, dont ever buy philips if you think you will need help, sony are usually very good with their products but the company is so big things fall through the cracks, its plain they are loosing so much money on this units they simply didnt invest money in training the support arm.

    Further information on the hard drive system follows:

    Yesterday I picked up a 100Gb 7200RPM Seagate 2.5" SATA drive for $168CDN.

    TURN OFF YOUR PS3! before you do this, and even recommend you unplug the power.

    I installed the hard drive last night. Instructions are actually in the manual that came with the PS3, this DOES NOT invalidate your warranty, very very easy to do. Only catch is you slide the hard drive mount forwards (towards the front of the PS3) before you can pull it out.

    Swapping the hard drive is matter of 5 screws, all small philips head.

    When swapped and the system is turned on it instantly recognizes the new hard drive and informs you you have to format it. Proceeding with a format its obvious by the time taken its simply a hard drive partition and quick format, it takes approximately 45seconds to complete on a 100Gb drive. No time at all to copy data to the drive, especially not a monolithic 8Gb operating system as the support guys claim. Anyone whose installed hard drives in a PC before can attest, its an identical time frame to doing a quick format.

    Now the intestesting bit..

    1) 100Gb hard drive = 1000*100= 97.66 nominal actual GB.
    Shows up in the PS3 as a 93GB drive. Tallies with firmware issue misrepresenting hard drive size already identified in conversations with Sony.

    2) Free space tallies out at 81Gb free.
    Scarey shit!!

    But this actually makes sense. Taking the original numbers from the factory drive in GB
    Drive stated size | Actual Size | Reported Size | Free Space
    60 |58.66 | 55 | 47
    And the new
    100 | 97.66 | 93 | 81

    So on a 100Gb drive you loose approx 17% of the total drive actual size to the (lets call it the) Sony partitioning system.

    On the Factory drive you loose 19%

    There are margins for error in the reported drive size as manufacturers use different anotations, cluster/platters/sectors but basically Its safe to average out I should think and say that on any size drive you will loose approx 18% of the drive to this sony partitioning system.

    What does this equate to.. be very carefull what size drive you replace in your PS3, your cost per GB will actually increase the more space you loose. So that 160Gb SATA drive that you paid $200, by the time you are done actually costs you with a ~28.8GB lost $1.52 not the $1.25 you paid per GB for.

    Calculating back the percentages, and you see that the drive structure is in fact managed by some percentile layouts to determine reporting/size/free. This tallies and argues completely against info provided by sony support where they claim that the operating system takes up space on the drive. In fact the operating system takes up no space. The drive is actually misrepresented and formatted in accordance with space estimates based on percentage that sony think needs to be reserved.

    IE sony didnt arbitrarily say they needed 8GB reserved for future considerations they reserved and created some formula by which to reserve space on a drive, and that space grows linearly with the size of Drive you install.

    Be Warned.

    What I can also state from this process is that the drive does not contain any part of the PS3 OS, it is as expected completely firmware resident, all settings on the PS3 remain when you do this process, the only thing you loose access to is save game and downloads. Even your PS3 online account remains after the hard drive swap.

    Next step is to get a PS adapter figure out how to mount the OS and see about backing up data to transfer data from one drive to another so you dont loose your downloads.

    More to follow soon as I have the adapter.