PS3 HDD surgery: What are these screws made of?

I’m finally getting around to replacing my 20GB PS3’s hard disk, so I bought a drive this evening with the intention of swapping it out.

I managed to get the tray out just fine, but all of the screws holding the drive in the tray have become stripped beyond usefulness. I’ve tried using needlenose to unscrew them (and succeeded with two), but the ones I’m having trouble with are the ones in the slightly-depressed tabs.

Does anyone have any advice for dealing with this? I messed with it for over an hour before my rage finally made me stop.

I pity you because I went through the same ordeal. The key is to try to get the perfect size screwdriver and even then you are likely to strip the screws out. I suggest pliers and rage. I got a new 500gb drive in my ps3 and I refuse to touch it again. If you do get the screws out, don’t tighten them back in much…

If they absolutely positively will not come out you should drill and/or cut them out. You can also try filing a big wide slot in the top for a large flat-head screwdriver etc.

Get a proper screwdriver and apply a lot of force inwards, twist slowly.

Impact screwdriver! You push inwards, and when you push in enough it turns it, it also bites the screw. Perfect for screws that have been stripped to hell, also as a plus hitting them with a hammer can make them work better.

I’m not sure they make those in such small sizes.

How small a screw are we talking about here? If it’s like the ones I use in my desktop HDD rack I can easily fit an average Phillips head that has a narrow point in there, sorry unlike Robertsons I don’t know anything about Phillips sizes so I can’t really help with specifics there. Checking my impact screwdriver does in fact fit quite nicely into my cases screws, but it is a tight fit. If we’re talking small fiddly screws that have grooves that are less than a mm wide…

Well I’d then recommend taking your Phillips, a hammer, and gently hitting the end of the screwdriver until it digs in. Shouldn’t take too much force to do that.

These things were nasty, but I did eventually manage to get them off with some vice grips, a lot of foul language, and some moderate rage.

Needless to say, I hand-tightened them back in.

I tried every Philips-head screwdriver I had; even ones that fit well did nothing more than strip the screw head.

Now I’m busy reinstalling all my games to the new drive. :)


Sorry to be late, but for another time: unless the screws have bonded with whatever they’re screwed into, any fast hardening filler is easily strong enough to create a viable temporary screw-head for screws that size.

I love that. “Errors : ZERO”!!!1!

61,31 Euros. Please tell me I’m wrong and they really aren’t charging 61 Eurpos for a screw!

But it’s the Special Sony Screw with ZERO errors!

That whole processes felt like a psychological experiment in torture. I knew going in that they would be problematic and did everything I could to make sure I was using the right screwdriver with the right pressure and still the fuckers were stripped to hell. Took a lot of sweat, some blood and needle-nose wrangling to get those fuckers out.

Since it’s a Sonyware, I’d suggest corrosive metal dissolvant, applied with great care (while I may dislike sony and consoles, I’m not out to have you inccur damages and suffering) to break out the screws, then replace them with your own, which you know are reliable and will be able to extract much easier if and when required.
I’ve had a similar case with a PC once.

I just did this a couple of weeks ago. I think my advice is too late for you, unfortunately. I had read so many horror stories about those screws that I was really careful, never touched them with a screwdriver, and used a needlenosed vicegrip to remove each screw, taking excruciating care to be sure the vicegrip had a firm grip on the screw before applying pressure. Using this method it turned out to be simple - I had no trouble, and when I assembled it with the new drive I used a jewelers screwdriver to get the screws back in.

In hindsight, maybe the PS3’s revolutionary dark chocolate screws weren’t such a good idea after all.

Not that I’m particularly eager to do this after reading about the horror, but is there a specific type of drive I should get if I want to upgrade my PS3? Inexplicably I’ve managed to fill up 40gb.

I didn’t realize this was such an ordeal, either. I was thinking about replacing my 40GB too.