2010 archive site. For the current website, please visit


USB HDD not working with PlayStation 3? Format as FAT32…

Sunday 25th March 2007

It’s not particularly surprising that PlayStation 3 does not support the Microsoft based NTFS file formatting system. So those PlayStation 3 owners out there who happily plugged in their USB HDD’s to copy media across may have been disappointed to see that their drive does not appear - most likely because it’s formatted as NTFS.
FAT32 drives are fine however, but as Microsoft want’s you to use NTFS; Microsoft software like Windows XP, won’t let you format drives using FAT32, above 32Gb. This is frustrating.

So, to format your drive so that it works with PlayStation 3 - you’ll need some additional software. CompuApps SwiftKnife V3 does the job very well. It’s simple and easy to use and, most importantly - free.



given that FAT32 will not accept files over 4MB, which format do you advise using for storing my movies in? Many Thanks.


Posted 1 month and 13 days after the item.


I didn’t actually know that… Hmmm. Well I guess that leaves you a bit stuck in the mud. Do you really have that many files in excess of 4Gb though?
Perhaps try a file splitter to cap each video rip at 4Gb before creating a new file. Some video applications are able to do this.
Alternatively, try experimenting with different video codecs to achieve a more efficient compression.

Tom Kiss

Posted 1 month and 14 days after the item.


Thanks, i was starting to think i had wasted my time…
Haven’t tried it yet, but the man said 4mb not 4gb


Posted 7 months and 29 days after the item.


I purchased a 250gb usb external hd that comes with two usb ports at one end. The system was NTFS format and i used the above mentioned software swift v3 to convert it all to fat32, however my ps3 still fails to detect the device!

My laptp has no problems picking the device up! I have also notice that next to the usb ports on the ps3 are two lights these do not flash when i plug in the external hd with both the usb slots assuming that one is for data trasfer and oda is for power. The external hd itself has a power light which is on but nothing on the ps3.

I have a pen drive 250mb on a fat16 format and when i plug this device into the usb it picks it up instantly and the lights on the ps3 next to the usb port flashes.

Ive tried every single combination but nothing works…..


Posted 9 months and 24 days after the item.


Sorry to hear that, it does sound rather like the HDD you have might be incompatable… The 2 USB ports sounds odd. tbh- HDD are so cheap these days you may be better off simply exchanging it for a new one…

Tom Kiss

Posted 9 months and 24 days after the item.


Swissknife your hd
download “mkv2vob” to convert your video files to avi or vob
use the feature to split it up to 4gig files, works great.  Heck, the icon is even the playstation logo…
create 3 folders on your drive, “videos” “music” “pictures”
When your ps3 detects the drive, press the Triangle button to view all files. 

Bingo Bango Sugar in the gas tank.



Posted 1 year 3 months and 9 days after the item.


if i format my hdd will i lose all my data on my harddrive


Posted 1 year 5 months and 4 days after the item.