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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Transferring data from one PS3 to another

Recently, I wanted to transfer my 320GB drive from my old first generation PS3 to a PS3 slim. My initial thought was: "Oh, I'll just remove the hard drive from the old one and stick it in the new one". Ha! How misguided that effort was. The data in a hard drive is tied to that system; if not, you could just clone a bunch of drives and play your friends' PSN network games for free.

My second idea was to use the PS3's backup tool to export all my data to an external drive, and then restore from my new PS3. Unfortunately, that doesn't work either because you can't restore copy protected data and games to a different system (for the same reason as above). Here's what I ended up doing:

Deactivate the old system

I had been sharing games with my girlfriend and cousins, and I realized that if I did not deactivate the old system, my games would not work on the new one. This is done through a "hidden" menu under Account Management. This is actually a pretty important step! If I had bought videos and never deactivated the system, then I'd never be able to watch them in my new system =X

In my particular case, the old system had firmware 3.15, which still retains the OtherOS feature. By the time I wanted to deactivate my system though, the new 3.21 firmware had been released, and I didn't really want to upgrade and remove that feature. I ended up spoofing the version number so I could login and deactivate my stuff.

Use the Data Transfer Utility

So Sony realized that people might want to transfer data from an old PS3 to a new one, especially if their old PS3's are getting the YLOD. Unfortunately, their solution is an extremely annoying one: connect the two PS3's via and ethernet cable and have one transfer the data over to the other.

I didn't want to lose my copy protected save data, so I did it :( The Data Transfer Utility is extremely finicky. If you don't follow these instructions, it will not work.
  1. Both PS3's must be firmware version 3.15 or greater
  2. Connect both PS3s to the TV and then connect them via a network cable (can be CAT5 or crossover)
  3. Turn them both on and use the Data Transfer Utility from the source PS3 first; don't touch the destination PS3
  4. Follow the instructions until it tells you to set the destination PS3 to receive, then do so
  5. With about 70GB of data to transfer, this took a few hours

Use the Backup Utility

After following the steps above, my new PS3 had all my old data, but it was on the Slim's 120GB drive instead of the 320GB drive I had in my old PS3. I finally used the Backup Utility to move my data to an external drive, swapped out the Slim's 120GB drive for my larger one, and then restored the backup onto the same machine.


Sony needs to store my savegames in a fucking cloud like Steam.
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