My PS3's Blu-Ray drive died yesterday, and I will probably just end up getting a new console.

I plan on using the Data Transfer Utility as outlined in this question's answer to preserve all my data. However, I would also like to backup everything first using the Backup Utility just to be on the safe side.

When I tried running the utility with a 4GB disk-on-key plugged in, it said I need around 14GB of additional storage. The only thing I really want to preserve are my save-files which probably take less than 20MB (I don't want to copy them one-by-one manually for fear of leaving something behind), so I was wondering just what it is that the backup utility is trying to back up other than save files. Assuming it's nothing I care about, I'll be able to delete it and proceed with the backup.

  • 1
    The answer to the linked question also says "except copy-protectd game saves". How to know if a save is copy-protected or not? (which I find completely stupid, and I still don't get why it exists) – LudoMC Jun 5 '11 at 8:44
  • 2
    It exists to prevents users copying earned features/achievements in certain games to other users who haven't earned them. With respect to online fairplay I have no issue with this. – Asinine Monkey Jun 5 '11 at 13:11
  • @LudoMC: You can identify copy-protected games by attempting to copy them (find the saved game in the XMB, press triangle, choose Copy from the menu). If copy-protected, the only available destination will be the PSN+ cloud. – YellowMegaMan Jun 6 '11 at 2:56
  • 3
    @Asinine Monkey I don't care if they want to kill their gaming experience by getting other people's savegames which will unlock all weapons or similar things. But not allowing me to backup my saves and restore them on another console when the first one dies is too much. And the chosen solution (no possible backups) is not adapted to the problem. They could just link it to my account so I will the only one being able to restore it on another console. Anyway, I'll live with it as I have to. – LudoMC Jun 6 '11 at 9:20
  • Purposeful necro here: with the PSN+ game save backup feature, this is no longer an issue because even copy-protected saves are backed up to the cloud. – mikebabcock Dec 9 '13 at 4:14

The Backup Utility will backup everything, the only limitation is that copy-protected items will not restore on a different PS3 machine than the machine they were backed up from. (Reference)

So to use the Backup Utility on a 4GB USB key you would probably need to first delete everything except your game saves, i.e. all your music, videos, photos and game installs/patches.

  • 3
    This isn't accurate. The backup does not include purchased content, including downloaded games, movies or apps. It also does not include game data. – mikebabcock Dec 8 '13 at 6:01
  • 2
  • 1
    @mikebabcock It does actually. I've just done a backup when I installed a new hard drive into the same PS3 to get my stuff back onto the new hard drive and it copied everything, even the copy protected save files. The only thing not copied were trophies which had to be downloaded again. I was confused by the article you linked as well and thus saved as much as I could in other ways as well, but it seems as long as you restore the backup on the same PS3, it restores everything. – Kodama Aug 20 '14 at 21:10

However, I would also like to backup everything first using the Backup Utility just to be on the safe side.

Be aware though: Apart from using the Data Transfer Utility, the only way to copy copy-protected saved games is by using the PSN+ cloud service. If you're a PSN+ member, I recommend using this feature to ensure your important saved games survive to your new PS3.

  • Currently you can use the free 30-day PSN+ access in the Welcome Back package to access the PSN+ cloud service. – YellowMegaMan Jun 6 '11 at 2:59
  • I appreciate the tip, but strictly speaking, this isn't really an answer to my question. – Aubergine Jun 6 '11 at 4:20
  • 1
    True. I was mainly responding to "However, I would also like to backup everything first using the Backup Utility just to be on the safe side." by suggesting a better "safe side". – YellowMegaMan Jun 6 '11 at 4:34

Somewhere on my CECHC PS3 it says I can back it all up for transfer to another PS3 and it will also copy copy potected stuff. I do not think you can use this though because it will most likely format your PS3 HDD after it finishes backing up the whole system and everyting onto your backup Flash/USB/HDD. Never tried it but it the only solution I know of, if you want trophy info and save games just use the normal backup procedure, trophy info has to be synced using PSN. I have PSN+ so not sure if this can be done without sub to +. Hope this helps. http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/backuputility.html


You CAN transfer everything, but deleting everything that way you only keep it once, not a copy - Sony doesn't want you to be able to copy stuff since hackers have found ways to unlock stuff or cheat by just copying save game files. You can find this in the System Settings, Transfer Utility I think it's called - which will allow transfer from one PS3 to another. I am not sure if it can transfer to an external HDD or USB Flash Drive.

The Back-up Utility will most likely NOT transfer copy-protected files to your external HDD/Flash Drive. The PlayStation Plus subscription of any kind allows you to access a Cloud where you can save ALL save games files even if copy-protected and that way keeping it on your online profile. Beware some files allow only to be copied once every 24 hours. You can get a PS+ subscription of 3 months for about $18 in the PS Store. The Cloud is in the GAME section where you find the folder of save game files. You have 1024Mb aka 1GB so that's PLENTY of space. I use 200Mb with over 100 save game files many that use up to 10Mb or more per save like Fallout 3.


I have a better instructions for you on how to copy game saves. Go to PS3 or which ever games you want backedup. Then once in that game save folder press /\ Triangle button and options will show up, select multiple copy and it gives you the option to select all of just your own chosen ones. Select all by right click on that button that says select all. Then select backup device either PSN+ or your USB stick/HDD. Good luck!

protected by Wipqozn Oct 2 '14 at 10:45

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.