So, my PS3's hard drive has filled up. I attempted to play a new game and was happily told that the disk was full. Since Sony did make a few good design decisions, it turns out that I can simply buy a new laptop-style SATA drive and swap the disks using only a screwdriver and an easily removable cover. I found a 500 GB drive on Newegg for $75 that at least one person in the review thread had already used in a PS3, so I picked it up. Once it arrives, I'll have a 12.5x increase in storage.
Of course, before I do that, I first need to backup the old disk. Again, Sony has happily provided a utility to back up the old disk to a USB mass storage device. I have a USB/eSATA drive that had basically gone out of use since I picked up a high-capacity flash stick. The drive in it had previously been used on one of the various Linux boxes floating around, so I formatted it FAT32 and tried to do the backup. The PS3, however, refused to recognize it.
It turns out that the PS3 requires that the partition both be formatted FAT32 (a listed requirement) and also be properly marked as such in the parition table (an undocumented requirement). I know 0x0C (W95 FAT32 LBA) works, but 0x83 (Linux) doesn't. I suspect other partition type labels may also work, but am disinterested in trying. Nevertheless, this may be relevant if you intend to swap out your disks.
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