EDIT 2: I finally gave up on the a full backup/restore. It kept freezing near the end of the restore process (the infamous Error 800283F0). Most of my files transferred, but not my save data, game data, or main profile. Fortunately I backed up my saves. If you attempt this, the fix below did help with the formatting problem, but you may be better off deleting EVERYTHING, in which case you may be better off just putting your saves on a thumb drive or Playstation Plus and signing into your account on the new device. But if you do want to try this mess of a process, read on…
I apologize to my regular readers, as this is something completely unrelated to my usual blog. But I’ve been bashing my head against the wall trying to solve this problem for hours, and I’m hoping to save other folks the trouble. Tune in early next week for a post about running a successful book launch event. But on to this mad business!
If you are attempting to use the Playstation 3 backup utility to replace or upgrade your hard drive, you may have run into “Connect storage media at the save destination” when you attempt to start the process from system settings.
You probably already know you have to format the 2.5″ hard drive to FAT32, and that Windows cannot do this without another program. You may also know that you might need a dock or enclosure that runs off of an AC adapter rather than just USB (although this might not be a problem at all).
If you’re like me, after taking all the proper steps, you plugged the dock or enclosure into the PS3 and the system did not recognize the drive. After trying a 100 different solutions, you–once again, if you’re like me–started pulling your hair out.
Everywhere I looked recommended the free gui version of the Ridgecrop Fat32 format program. However, this turned out to be the point of failure for me. The drive was supposedly formatted, but the drive remained unallocated. It wasn’t until I ran the equally free Fat32Formatter that the sectors were properly allocated and now my system is starting the 300-hour process of backing itself up.
It’s pretty sad that Sony doesn’t provide reliable tools built specifically for their system and its many quirks. I know the PS3 is on the way out, but I’m guessing we’re not the only family that streams our video entertainment through the console instead of a cable box.
If Google, in its infinite wisdom, brought you here, feel free to check out my book. It’s a great way to unwind after nearly destroying your entertainment console.
EDIT: Remember, you’ll need one more HDD than you think, because your replacement drive has to be formatted when it goes into the machine. You can’t just backup and then plug in the drive with your backup files.
TL;DR: Try using Fat32Formatter on your drive instead.