I'm reformatting my biggest USB hard drive today. It seems like filesystem support for gaming systems is kind of in a bad place right now -- it looks like both the PS3 and the 360 both only support FAT or FAT32, but both those systems have a 4GB file size cap.

I'd like to use the drive for media files (to watch on the gaming systems), but also for computer backups, including some Linux OS ISOs that are bigger than 4GB.

Do I have no other options?

  • 2
    Perhaps you could create multiple partitions? I'd be willing to bet that the PS3 would ignore any partitions after the first.
    – agent86
    Sep 16, 2012 at 13:34
  • I was hoping I'd be able to mix everything on one (so I don't have to plan out how much space to allot for each purpose) but if I have to, I might try it.
    – James B
    Sep 18, 2012 at 18:10
  • You can use file spanning with .zip/.rar/.7z to break down files below the 4GB limit. Dec 28, 2014 at 3:39
  • The whole point of connecting a drive to the PS3 is to be able to use the media on it. There's no point putting an archive file (ZIP or whatever) on the drive if the PS3 can't use it (and it can't).
    – James B
    Dec 29, 2014 at 11:01

3 Answers 3


Not to my knowledge.

Best bet for media access is to set up your hard drive on a laptop or other computer and just use a media server to provide the media to your PS3.

A FAT32 partition can go up to 32GB if I'm not mistaken and you can create multiple 32GB partitions on the same hard disk. They will each show up as a separate folder on the PS3 however.


Edit: This may since have been changed to allow > 32GB drives but I have no first hand experience to verify it. Either way that still doesn't help with the 4GB file size limitation on a FAT32 partition. You could split the file into multiple < 4GB parts if that is applicable to the file-type in question.

  • I ended up setting up Plex -- I had tried several others but hit performance problems. I think Plex might just work out, though... still, thanks for the suggestions!
    – James B
    Sep 23, 2012 at 13:05
  • 2
    The maximum size of a FAT32 partition is in fact 2TB - it's just Windows Vista and newer that automatically switch to exFAT or NTFS when attempting to format a drive bigger than 32GB because it brings a lot of benefits... for a Windows user. If you want your drive formatted to FAT32, just use any other formatting program (which does not use the standard Windows functions to format, of course), for example FAT32Format. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table#FAT32
    – user47609
    Apr 26, 2013 at 22:51
  • @Foxi4 Can a PS3 read a > 32GB &<= 2TB FAT32 Drive?
    – Enigma
    Apr 28, 2013 at 21:20

Well, yeah. *Technically* it is mentioned it should also support FAT16.

But I guess you was looking for something more advanced, in which case the answer is no, original firmware does not support anything else for usb drives.

Custom ones instead also support NTFS.

Last but not least, another alternative could be a BD or DVD data disk (UDF fs)


Well technically FAT32 will only support devices up to 32GB and Windows will not allow you to format a Hard Drive that is more than 32GB as FAT32. However, you can still do it using third party software like GUIFORMAT from Ridgecorp. I used to have an external hard drive that is 1TB formatted in fat32. However, there isn't any way to get rid of the 4GB file size limit.

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