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Making the Jump: PS3 Fat to PS3 Slim

Submitted by on Monday, 1 February 201012 Comments

Just before Christmas, I was concerned about the amount of noise my creaky (yet shiny) PS3 was making.

Having diligently hoovered the original PS every month since the day one purchase, I think that there was dust in places that there really ought not to have been. The fan would kick in after being on for only 10 minutes and the heat coming off of it was a concern to say the least.

In January, the kind folks at my day job gave me a bonus for the hard work over the past year (thanks guys!), which I decided I would put towards trading in my old PS3 for a new Slim. I did some digging, and it seemed the best solution.

Turns out there a few things I should have known…

The day came, and I backed up the PS3 using the backup/restore procedure I had used countless times before. I then replaced the 200Gb HDD I had put into the PS3 with the original 60Gb one. I de-authorized the PS3 and set the settings back to factory default.

I didn’t have the option to transfer from one PS3 directly to the new one, as I had to do the trade in first; I was not sure they would have accepted the old one because of the small plane taking off every time the machine was on for more than 10 minutes.

As it turned out, the trade went just fine and before long I was at home like a giddy child on Christmas morning with a new toy to open. Sure enough, everything was as it should be – documentation you never read, power cable, DualShock 3, standard A/V cable and the brand new teeny tiny PS3.

Having gone from the old to the new, it has to be said that the difference is quite something. Whereas the original PS3 had a footprint large enough to make a sasquatch blush, the new one is far more compact. In every dimension, there has been a considerable amount of renovation. The weight of the new redesign is worth noting as well; should you have to take the PS3 anywhere in a rucksack or carry case, it will not break your back like the old version threatened to.

So, we skip ahead a few minutes, and there I am in my front room with the PS3 on and looking to transfer all my lovely data onto the equally-lovely new machine. I can literally feel my pupils change into the shape of love-hearts as the PS3 remains silent beyond the ten minute mark. Swoon!

Oh yeah - it's cool.

In goes the USB cable for the external HDD, over to settings and the backup/restore feature and… nothing. “There is no backup data on the connected storage media”, proclaims the PS3.

I double take. Twice.

I unplug the drive and stick it into the laptop and sure enough, there’s the folder with all the data. And look – there’s the data itself, all snug and happy, sitting right where it needs to be.

Breathe. Just breathe.

Back to the PS3, still no joy. I move it from the HDD to the laptop, format the HDD and put the hierarchy back as it needs to be – I even check online and no-one in the history of anyone, ever, has had this happen before. Just me.

But it’s ok, because I still have the old 200Gb HDD from the other PS3, eh? Again, I take everything out, remove the sliding door hiding the same ‘blue screw of doom’ as was present in the old PS3 and change out the HDD. Everything goes back together (with the blue screw changed for a nice sturdy silver one I have spare) and I turn on the PS3.

“The system information does not match the HDD information. Please update to the latest firmware using an external storage device.” I can actually feel my blood drain from my face. I jump online and grab the latest firmware update, fire it onto a handy USB flash drive and stick it into the PS3.

Oh yeah – I forgot that there are only two USB slots on the new machine. And no card reader. This new machine is starting to make my eye twitch…

A few minutes later, and a bar comes up stating that the PS3 is formatting. FORMATTING?!? Oh sweet lord no…

So long PS3, so long game saves! *sniff*

Three years. Three years of game saves, purchases, downloads, trophies and unknown hours of gaming all lost in one fell swoop, apparently without alternative.

Sure enough, after a sullen 20 minutes of waiting, the new PS3 finally decides to creep to life, showing the fancy new logo which matches just nicely with the new font on the machine. The new machine devoid of any of my content. The same new machine I secretly loathe now.

Granted, some of this was my own fault – I could have backed up some of my game saves – not the copy protected ones, mind. I could have copied all of my videos, music and images over to an HDD and manually restored them later. Hell, I could even have used that data transfer option, had I had the confidence that the old PS3 would be accepted for trade in.

But no. Even though I knew people had been fine before, I didn’t do everything I could have done to safeguard against data loss.

The upside is that I did de-authorize my old machine for both video and games before the trade-in, so I have re-downloaded all of my previous games. This took quite a while to do. I also had to put every disc I own into the PS3 in order to make sure I had the latest update before installing any DLC for said game.

The only issue? SingStore.

SingStore no-go? *twitch twitch*

The nature of Sony’s online karaoke beast means that Sony have to be super-careful about how they allow downloads. Even though I was in an authorized account, even though the previous one had been de-authorized, I still was not allowed to download my purchased songs. Which were numerous to say the least.

Fortunately, I called Sony directly on this, and explained my situation to the rep on the other end of the phone. He was not much use, being honest. I advised him of my predicament, and he flat-out stated there was nothing that could be done.

I hesitated, then stressed that I had de-authorized my previous machine, had the new machine authorized and that I only wanted the content that I had paid for. I was not looking for Sony to provide me with the entire Nirvana back-catalogue. That was a different call entirely…

After a bit of moaning and mumbling, the guy finally stated that he could permit the machine to download the tracks once more, but only after some point over the next 48 hours would this be allowed – no notification given, just to keep on checking. I got the impression that he wasn’t keen on allowing me to do this, but given that my backup data had apparently gone bad, I think he had a modicum of sympathy.

Overall? The PS3 Slim is a cracking wee machine.

It runs silently, does everything it ought to do and even looks slightly better than I thought it would. Even the dust seems to be avoiding the matte surface, which is a bonus.

However, if you are planning on changing up to a PS3 Slim from a PS3 Fat, do everything you can to back everything up in as many different places as possible – it is monumentally frustrating to lose everything you have spent years amassing. I know that it sounds obvious, but it is so easy to assume that you have done enough.

The upside is that I now have the pleasure of re-visiting some old friends…

Why hello Uncharted, it’s been far too long… How’s your mother these days?