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Windows 7: Hard drive problems

14 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Hard drive problems

Just recently I replaced my Playstation 3 HD with a larger one. The one that comes stock in the PS3 is a Seagate Momentus 5400 RPM 60 GB HD. The one I put in was a Western Digital Scorpio Blue 5400 RPM 320 GB HD. Since the hard drive that came out of the PS3 was perfectly good I figured that I'd throw it in an external hard drive enclosure for some extra space and a way to move files to/from my PS3. After putting the PS3 hard drive in the case, deleting the volume, partitioning it into two 27.5 GB partitions and reformatting it as FAT 32 I plugged it into my computer. After a little while it began beeping very loudly. So, figuring this wasn't good I immediately unplugged the hard drive from the computer. However, I figured I'd see if this would happen a second time when plugged in so I plugged the hard drive back in and Windows told me that both partitions were corrupted and had to be reformatted. At the time nothing was on the drive so I figured it was no big deal so I did the same process with the partitioning and reformatting, once again in FAT 32 format. Once again the hard drive began beeping very loudly and once again Windows told me it had to be reformatted. This time I wasn't reformatting again before I got some advice. So I contacted Seagate and this is the email they sent back.

Thank you for contacting Seagate.

Generally these drives beep when they are not getting enough power. Also since your drive that you are using is an OEM drive, it is and was designed to be used with one device only the PS3. It is possible that the way the drive is designed, if it is not in the environment it was meant for, you could have issues. This is common with OEM drives, as the companies that buy the drives from us get them 100% customized for their needs only. The drive you have is not like a standard SATA drive, it has specific firmware that tells the drive to act in a certain manner, if the drive is not in the environment it is looking for, issues like you are experiencing arise.

If you have any additional questions, please let me know.
I was skeptical of this email considering that numerous reputable computer sites I saw which gave directions on how to change the hard drive said putting the old one in an enclosure was a good idea.

These were my thoughts on what he had to say:
1) If the drive was, in fact, designed specifically for PS3, why can I just swap in any 2.5" SATA drive without having to buy ANOTHER OEM drive?
2) 100% customized? I realize that hard drives could different in speed and what not but isn't a hard drive a pretty basic thing? Why would Sony need a custom hard drive?
3) If the drive does in fact have special firmware on it, wouldn't deleting the volume and reformatting TWICE delete that firmware?

So is PS3's hard drive really custom tailored for its needs only?
Any help is much appreciated.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jan 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Does the new drive apparently work OK in the PS3? If so, may be some type of compatibility built in where you can swap, but only one way--as you have discovered.

I am not a drive engineer, but you have probably noticed that drives have circuit boards and all that that implies. They aren't just spinning discs.

I think the firmware resides on a chip on that circuit board. Maybe the firmware on the new drive is PS3 compatible, but the firmware on the old drive is NOT PC/SATA compatible. Sounds reasonable to me, but I don't know if it is true. Maybe you can get new firmware for the old drive that might render it sane in an external enclosure?

If not, maybe it is worthless for your purposes.

I wouldn't think formatting would touch firmware.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I was told by Seagate that the reformatting does not touch the firmware and then that they don't actually support OEM parts. Now I have to talk to Sony.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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