I found a lot of answers in the internet to the question "Can I put my HDD in another console?" What happens is that the other console will try to format the HDD.

What I want to do is a different thing. My cousin is a spoiled brat and he is coming to my place for some days. I want to remove my 80GB HDD from my PS3 SuperSlim, so he doesn't screw my data. So the plan is to let him play with the 12GB internal flash memory.

Well, later I want to place my HDD again, so I have access to all my saves and such. Will the console accept back the HDD again? Or will she try to format it?

  • 2
    That seems completely reasonable, as long as you don't put another HDD in. I can't speak from experience, but I don't see why it wouldn't work.
    – Elise
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 11:37
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    hmmm, but I want to be sure... Don't want to risk losing all the stuff
    – Wer Bn
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 11:59
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    I have a vague memory that once you've inserted a HDD into a PS3, you can't start using the internal flash memory anymore. However, I have no sources for this.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 12:12
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    I can speak from experience that with my playstation 3, I have removed it's HDD and then re-inserted it, without issue. However my model PS3, is one of the old, old, original ones that was large, bulky, had the extra memory card drives, ect. It may behave differently than the newer models.
    – Ender
    Commented Sep 11, 2015 at 15:52
  • 1
    Whatever you do, backup first! Commented Sep 17, 2015 at 19:22

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can. You should not have any format issues, either.

You will often hear of users having to reformat hard drives for their console, in cases where they are installing a new hard drive. Different devices understand different formats, and in most cases, consoles accept different formats to regular computers. For this reason, portable hard drives do not come with standard console format, as they are designed for computer use. The console has to first format the drive, to convert it to a format the console understands.

Given that the hard drive not only came from a PlayStation, but the same PlayStation, nonetheless; You should have absolutely no problems what so ever.

AFAIK, if you were to connect to a different PlayStation, you would need to reconfirm your user account password. Apart from that, the drive should work on other PlayStation consoles with no trouble, too.


The answer from user106385 is absolutely right, and I marked it as the accepted answer. But I want to add some information.

In the PS3 Super Slim (my case) there's a thing that might confuse the user. When you insert the same HDD after removing it, the console asks you two questions: if you want to change the storage location to the HDD, and if you want to move the internal flash data to the HDD.

Well, you have to answer yes to the first question and no to the second. Logical. But I though that by answering no to the second, I would not be able to do what I wanted. Glad it worked, and at the end, I got all the data.

  • Was your PS3 working after removing HDD? I also need to remove HDD from my 12 GB PS3, but I scared if it will not be able to startup again.
    – Kosmo零
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 12:57
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    Yes. It works fine after removing the HDD. It will just use the internal 12GB storage. The PS3 will work with the previous data that you had in your 12GB flash memory. If you never used it, then it will be empty.
    – Wer Bn
    Commented Nov 13, 2019 at 17:59
  • Good to know. Thanks. It's kind of handy to have 12GB PS3 version :O
    – Kosmo零
    Commented Nov 15, 2019 at 7:43

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