PS3 Harddrive Swap – System Software cannot be run correctly. How to obtain storage media 2.30 or later.

/* Posted June 18th, 2008 at 11:39am    */
/* Filed under PS3, Sony, Video Games    */

While upgrading my Playstation 3, I ran into a little issue. The Error I recieved was:

The system software cannot be run correctly. Press the PS button to try to restart the system.
If the system cannot be restarted, the system partition of the hard disk must be reformated and you must install the system software. Insert storage media that contains update data of version 2.30 or later, and then press the START and SELECT buttons at the same time.
For information on how to obtain update data, refer to the SCE web site for your region

So what to do? Well after you swap out the harddrive thats the error you will be getting, what you need to do is use a flash drive and load up the 2.30+ media storage drivers. To do this, here is what you need:

Required items
A wireless controller
A USB cable
A PC with Internet access
Storage media (Memory Stick™, SD Memory Card, CompactFlash®)* or a USB Mass Storage device such as a USB flash drive
(At least 120 MB of free space required)
* An appropriate USB adaptor (not included) is required to use storage media with some models.

Update data download procedure

1. Create a folder on the storage media in which to save the update data.
Using a PC, create a folder named “PS3” on the storage media or USB device. Within the PS3 folder, create a folder named “UPDATE”.

2. Download the update data and save it in the “UPDATE” folder created in step 1.


Be sure to save the update data as noted below. If the data is not saved in the correct way, the PS3â„¢ system will not recognize the update data. The folder name must be in all uppercase letters.

Location: Save in the “PS3” folder > “UPDATE” folder
File name: Save as file name “PS3UPDAT.PUP”.

I have included pictures of the whole process in this gallery


75 Responses to “PS3 Harddrive Swap – System Software cannot be run correctly. How to obtain storage media 2.30 or later.”

  • Comment from Al

    Ahh….. So you’ve done a ‘how to’ to a ‘how to’. Thanks man, useful info.

    • Comment from mobs

      it does not work buddy bullshit i am trying this for a week now, it say’s if change the file name it will unusable? why ,,,,
      how should i do this ?????????????????????????????

    • Comment from mike

      all you have to do is put a new game in the system… i just did it and it worked out perfectly! just put in a 320gig hd… just so the rest of you know

      • Comment from hr1997

        all you have to do is put in a new game it works. thanks mike

    • Comment from Jason

      I have a 40Gb ps3 – hard drive crashed. Purchased 2.5 WD 250GB with sata connection. I’ve followed everything on here. I just keep getting no applicable update data was found. I’ve tried with flash (formatted to fat32) and via cd – nothing. Any suggestions?

  • Comment from anthony

    thanks alot man it help

  • Comment from Neb

    OK any idea where the 2.41 update is?

  • Comment from timmy

    It hasnt been offically released yet. Sony site says TBD

  • Comment from vegan_mekey

    almost 2 months later and this has helped me thanks.

  • Comment from 6Klub

    Great Info. It helped a lot.

    I have one other issue though once i install the update and the system restarts I have no Video just sound….. or is this still part of the update process.

    Thank you,

  • Comment from Ah-kin

    HI i have almost the same problem and it is that my ps3 got problem. I got new one after some weeks and the hardriver i have has older update version, as the new ps3 has the lastes update, how do i fix this issu plz hlp me.

    thanks for help

  • Comment from jason

    i think the easiest way is to format your old HD and restore to the new firmware, but if you format your old hd you are going to lose allyour data

  • Comment from Mike

    Great article. Saved my day. Thanks!

  • Comment from Calos

    yo thanks bro
    nice info.

  • Comment from jashim

    I have one problem PS3 when format my PS3 then show the massage “The system software cannot be run correcntly press the ps button to try to restar the system.
    if the system can not be restarted the system partition the hard disk must be reformatted and munst reinstall the system software. Insert storage media that contaius update data of version 2.43 or later and then press the start and select buttons at the same time for information on how to oblain update date refer to the sce website for your region.”

  • Comment from afroman

    thanx, i was about to send back my 320 hdd, thank whiteboy! much appreciated

  • Comment from riz

    i’ve got same problem, i hav replaced the hard drives, to do this do i have to put my old hard drive back in to do this

  • Comment from riz

    iv’e resovled prob, i tried ur way but the ps3 didn’t recocnise the update data with all those symbols so i got rid of them, then with my new hdd in the ps3 i also put the usb in ps3 with update on, it then recognised and by pressing start and select the format thing comes up, after its formatted it will restart and begin updating then follow steps and the ps3 will be like brand new, then just restore backup utility

  • Comment from Jay I

    thanks for the info. yours seems to be the only one i’ve found which says about making the ‘PS3′ and ‘UPDATE’. Every other clever twat seems to totally dis-regard the thoughts of this problem when they write about fitting a new hard drive. thanks again.

  • Comment from Thanks!

    Thanks very much for your help, you’ve made my day. It has fixed the issue i’ve been having for ages with my PS3, and it’s all thanks to you. I seriously appreciate your help!

  • Comment from bones

    i know the new HDD has to be FAT32 formatted, do you also have to partition it for each menu(Games, Music, Video etc)?

    good article!

  • Comment from Dusty Lappels

    At last someone who could help. Got new 80gig for exmas. Wanted to swap drive and everyone telling me its easy. I think the latest PS3′s have a change and that the system software is running direct from the harddrive. Remove the drive and remove the system !!. You cannot re-install from the PS3 so you have to re-install from external drive cinnected via usb. I tried many wayd but all you have to do is this.
    Create folder on memory stick called PS3 then inside that folder have another called UPDATE. Then go onto sony site downolad software save it in the UPDATE folder. The plug the memory stick into the ps3 and follow instructions. If you dont set up the folders with the titles my ps3 would not find them >>> Good luck its worth it once complete. Thanks to everyone on the page for their advice. Hope mine helps..

    • Comment from JaMeS

      DUDE! thank you so much, your comment helped the most, more importantly, IT WORKED! i was in serious struggle town mate haha. thanks.

  • Comment from x-man

    U da BOMB! thx bro!

  • Comment from Richard

    Hi fellow PS3 HD replacers,

    I recently just finished my own installation of a 320 GB hard drive for the PS3 and have some comments to add to this thread to help future users. I started with the 80 GB model GECHC01. As Dusty Lappels mentioned, it seems that the PS3 (at least this model) does not recognize the folder ““PS3””, but DOES recognize a regular folder called PS3 followed by UPDATE folder. It seems that the most trouble I had though was using the correct external storage device to deliver the PS3UPDAT.PUP. I originally tried this on a USB thumb drive, but the PS3 would not recognize the folders and the update file. However, after perusing the SONY website I also saw that you could burn the file onto a CD in the appropriate folders, and by using this method, the PS3 recognized the file. Unfortunately, I’m not sure whether there was a problem with the thumb drive I was using (ie: somehow not compatible with PS3), or if the PS3 itself simply did not recognize the update on the thumb drive. However, I just wanted to put the FYI out there that CDs might work well if you are having trouble with your update. In my particular case, I updated with version 2.6. The following hyperlink that I pasted into this post is to the Sony website describing what to do (similar to this webpage). Happy formatting~

  • Comment from a thankful man


  • Comment from David

    I just downloaded the update to my thumb drive and it worked perfectly! No fuss no muss! All you need to do is go to the playstation website and follow their update instruction! It is that easy!


  • Comment from Phil

    I got this message months after i swapped out my HDD in the middle of playing a game…. anyone get this problem?

  • Comment from roguetr

    Nicely ranked info :) … easily found.

    Hehe … people, the folder should just be PS3 then UPDATE, the characters in the article are html crap that shouldn’t be there. ALL PS3 info is stored under a folder called PS3 then UPDATE or SAVEDATA etc.

    The article is spot on, though the html could use some cleaning up :)

  • Comment from Mikey O

    great help this forum,

    and yeah its just the newer ps3′s
    my 40gb had a 250gb Hdd in it and that was installed easy, the ps3 died
    so sony sent me a new ps3 (the 80gb that replaced the 40)
    and i had the same problem as all of you :)

    Resolved thanks to this forum though, so thanks :)

  • Comment from Chris

    I have a 40gb ps3, i just bought that exact same western digital hard drive and im having that same problem and im trying all the different methods you guys have posted on here and my ps3 still will not recognize the update on my toshiba 500gb portable hard drive or my 8gm flash drive, both are formatted to FAT32, i also burned the update to a disc and it still wont read it. Im out of ideas, please help!

  • Comment from Chris

    Nevermind i got it! thank you so much dude, ur a savior!

  • Comment from Terry

    After following the instructions for creating the folders, I put the flashdrive in and hit the start and select as instructed but it just keeps saying “Checking please wait, then goes back to the same screen. Anyone got some suggestions or solutions? Much appreciated.

    • Comment from michael

      i was wondering if you found a solution to this problem i am having the same trouble. also does anyone know if the usb has to be formatted to fat 32 or can it use just plain fat

  • Comment from W1O1O1K

    thanks it took a while but we got there happydaze

  • Comment from W1O1O1K

    by the way 500gig

  • Comment from Duane Clark

    By the way – if your using a USB key with the update on it, it should be formatted FAT32 – tried using a Sandisk Cruzer 16G and it wouldn’t work and noticed that it came formatted NTFS. Reformatted to FAT32 and update worked like a champ.

  • Comment from Stuart

    You are a star. I was a nervous wreck performing this upgrade and when the message about inserting storage media came up I started sweating big time. So I then copied the update file over to a FAT32 flash drive tried to run it but I kept getting the same message. By this time I assumed the worst until I found your website. I then placed the update file into the 2 folders (PS3 and Update) and tried again. It all worked as it should from that point onwards. I can’t believe that this critical information had been omitted from the original guide I was using. Anyway, Thank you very much.

  • Comment from libioy

    i make format my ps3 with windows xp and now the ps dont work.i put the update 2.41 and steel dont say ‘error’
    what i can do?

  • Comment from Val

    the same problem.. I had a working system, until it has hanged up during the demo install. I had to turn it off to reboot. I’ve ended up with the corrupted file system, which PS3 couldn’t fix itself. I couldn’t reformat the drive within PS3 either. So I took it off and deleted the partition in windows. Created a new one, and plugged the hdd back in. No I keep getting the same error over and over. It finds the update, installs (where??), reboots, and then again. (((((( update version 2.70

  • Comment from Anonymous

    thank you so much dude, ur a savior!

  • Comment from swisher

    good how to…but since i ran into some problems i would rewrite it like this….

    1.) get a usb thumbdrive, memory stick, or cd and make sure its formatted in fat32 (cd doesnt matter)
    2.)Create a folder PS3 on the root of the stick and within that folder create another folder named UPDATE.
    3.)download update found here and copy it to the thumbdrive folder labeled UPDATE.
    4.)start up ps3 with new hardrive inserted, once you get to the “system software cannot be run….” inter thumbdrive and press start and the PS button.
    5.) ps3 should check usb thumbdrive and format the new hardrive…
    good luck!!!

  • Comment from Kitesurfer69

    Thankyou all you beautiful people. Make sure your flash drive is empty. 500mb and cranking

  • Comment from PSN; HiTek-One

    Thank You, Thank You and Thank You. All of You deserve a pad in the back for all of the useful info.
    500 GB here we go!

    PSN: HiTek-One

  • Comment from Kerim Zengin

    To everyone on here, A MASSIVE MASSIVE THANKYOU…you don’t know how many hours i’ve spent on the internet finding why i kept getting that System software cannot be run error.

    Again thank you!!

  • Comment from turbonutta

    wow it worked thought id fooked it by trying to add a 320gb hd
    you have saved the day thank you thank you

  • Comment from Anonymous

    thanks man this worked for me

  • Comment from Stevo35

    Anyone try to take the HD out of the OG model and put it in the new model? My old 60GB model quit so I bought a new one and it wont recognize the HD. I know the HD is good. Is it a different format?

  • Comment from simeon grant

    You are the man….. Thanks for the HELP i was about about to cry because my baby was not working I came across this site last night and I said wht the hell let me try this out went to WALMART got a PNY high speed USB 2.0 Drive downloaded the information and my baby came back to life

  • Comment from Alex

    I have a mass storage usb device ( i think) and it shows up on my XMB, so i click backup, which it does, but how do i back it up into a folder? ANd when i do back it up this message still comes up even though my backed up data is plugged in via a usb cable
    Help me! :(

  • Comment from Yaser




  • Comment from Alex

    Also my computer doesnt show some of the symables in the name of the folder you hav to create. Do i need to download something, does it matter? Please Relpy QUICKLY!!

    • Comment from Anonymous

      hi all, i had two ps3s, i swaped the hard drives and now getting this error, is there a way to just update the framwere or do i have to format the drives?

    • Comment from eric F

      hi all, i had two ps3s, i swaped the hard drives and now getting this error, is there a way to just update the framwere or do i have to format the drives?

  • Comment from Ash

    Hey , mine does the same except once it has restarted after preparing the update it goes back to the beginning? please help me

  • Comment from Mel Allsop

    Thankyou very much to the guys on this page. Thanks to you my son can now enjoy his Christmas Pressie :)

  • Comment from GMH

    Thanks so much for this info! My hubby was cracking a mental but this info really helped!!!

  • Comment from Roshan

    Hi every one!
    FIND IT NOW with help of
    It’s the best one.
    uppercase living consultant

  • Comment from Sam

    hey guys i have the same problem.

    just upgraded my old fat 40gb ps3 with a 160gb samsung HDD, when i turned it on the message came up indicating that the system software cannot be run correcty, so all i did was put in a brand new game that has a firmware update (modern warfare 2) and it worked. although you would have to go through the whole process of setting up your console just like the first time you turned it on, then i just restored my backup game files like usual. i think the problem lies with the old ps3′s where the system software is actually on the HDD rather than on the console itself.

    hope that helps.

  • Comment from Mikey

    Thank you so much!!! got this today and was really freaked out in the beginning, now my ps3 is back and kicking ass!

  • Comment from Joe

    Thanks so much, your a life saver!!! =]

  • Comment from Jake

    Thanks Helpd a lot :P make a you tube vid about this i will be simpler (just a thought )

  • Comment from ToureX

    เก่าขนาดหนัก RT @PanusD เกล็ดแก้ว ดิ โอเวชั่น < นี่ด้วย

  • Comment from 2cool4school

    Hello all, i am trying to upgrade my ps3′s hard drive. Have got the requires version 3.41. Have tried the download thing and the disc thing. No good so far. Any chance of a hand here??
    The game was red dead redemption.

  • Comment from Auzzy

    Well I Just Did It And It Worked Perfectly. Thankyou :)

  • Comment from huni roy

    I was never clear about that. So thanks! :)

  • Comment from ghoul9908

    i have horrible internet connection and i cant figure out why i cant even play nazi zombies without timing out this is why i got an x box

  • Comment from vanah

    eBay has good prices on Super Mario for Sony PS 3. Buy it.

  • [...] FIRST picture from this site all oveer AGAIN after installing ….but never showed up the second PS3 Harddrive Swap – System Software cannot be run correctly. How to obtain storage media 2.30 or la… Can you say what I DO WRONG [...]

  • Comment from poulska

    This works. I did it for my desktop, laptop, and friends computer

  • Comment from dimonniche raymore

    Video Games & Accessories at Kohl's: regular $29.99. sale $22.49. Super Monkey Ball Step and Roll for Nintendo W…

  • Comment from tapski ricci

    u have to do it the same way u do with any other controller you are conneting to the PS3

  • Comment from Phil

    Hey guys
    Just to add to this for those that are still having problems.
    I tried everything including burning a cd with firmware bit was still having this issue. USB drive would not work either. I recently bought a external
    Drive which was factory formatted and this was the only drive that the PS3 read the firmware from. If I wad to make a deduction sd to what the problem wad I would say that all my drives and USB sticks had been formatted on a Mac using fat 32. The burn was also from a Mac. So If you ate still
    Having this problem and you have been using a Mac to format drives etc I think that is the problem.

  • Comment from RENZO


  • Comment from Anonymous

    how to downgreat from PS3 5.44 to 3.44? please anyone can help me.

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