I'm a PlayStation Plus member who is planning to upgrade my PS3's 120gb hard drive and am trying to back it up to an external hard drive (FAT32 format).

I've ran the backup utility three times and each time it stops around 80%-90% completion with this error:

The backup operation could not be completed 80010038

A couple questions:

  • Any advice on files to delete to prevent this error?
  • If I were to just remove the current drive and install the new one, what would my PS Plus account sync to the new drive?
  • Will my downloaded/"purchased" Instant Game Collection Games, that are no longer available for free (i.e. LBP 2), still be available for download?
  • While you wait for an answer, please Google "The backup operation could not be completed 80010038" - you might find a solution
    – 5pike
    Jun 18, 2013 at 13:55
  • Silly question: how big is the external hard drive? Is it big enough to fit everything?
    – Frank
    Jun 18, 2013 at 13:56
  • @5pike I tried that first and couldn't find anything helpful.
    – Ryan
    Jun 18, 2013 at 13:56
  • 2
    @5pike Please don't tell people to Google something; there should be an assumption that they've at least tried to resolve it on their own.
    – Frank
    Jun 18, 2013 at 13:57
  • 1
    A super fast search indicates this might be a hard drive corruption issue; if you can view what made it into the backup (if it didn't roll it back when it encountered the error), you might be able to eliminate the data where the corruption isn't.
    – Frank
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


The drive is separate from your account, and the PS3 backup isn't reliant on PS+ subscription. You don't lose anything owned by your account by deleting it from your PS3.

If your backup fails, try deleting unnecessary files like game install data (under Game Data Utility on the Game category on the XMB), I had a problem when install data for one game was corrupted and this may fail a backup.

When all else fails, backup all of your saves to the cloud backup then replace your old drive with the new drive and restore all the saves to it. You'll need to redownload all of the full games, demos, game patches, DLC and reinstall disc based games in order to play them again, though, and you'll lose the current themes on your system and all the non-game media (movies, pictures, music).

  • BTW, in my case he corrupted data was a game install for Resistance 3, deleting it too about 2 hours (!) where my PS3 was "thinking" until it finally went away.
    – JohnoBoy
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:08
  • Thanks - I'll try that. Is there a way to mass upload all my saves to the cloud?
    – Ryan
    Jun 18, 2013 at 14:24
  • 1
    Yes, there is. Go to Utility, press the triangle button while highlighting a save file and choose the "Copy Multiple" option (2nd from the top). Now press the right button and choose "Select All", then OK and choose "Online Storage" as the destination. It could take a while so go make a sandwich or something...
    – JohnoBoy
    Jun 18, 2013 at 15:17

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