I think the backup and restore method will be OK for you requirements. However, you can copy all your homebrew folders to your PC with PS3 FTP server or to your USB mass storage with Comgenie’s Awesome Filemanager. Look at the downloads section if you don't have these hombrew apps.
if you really want to make a 1:1 copy of your hdd, you need 2 things:
1. A running PC
2. Hdd clone software (clonezilla.org)
During cloning, you can then say whether it should be a pure 1:1 copy, or whether the data is adapted from the 40GB to 1000GB, so you can get after not appear in the 40GB PS3, even though you have installed a 1000GB.
I have so then replaced my 60GB with a 500GB without a data loss!
I did this very same thing not long ago, just used FTP to download EVERYTHING on HDD and also all the flash0 flash2 flash3. Then all i did was upload all the files back after installing new HDD. Then i restored dev_flash2\drm\psn this is necessary if you want to keep all your PSN content activated. dev_hdd/home is also vital to your PSN content, double check you have that one backed up to pc.
Also you may need to rebuild database from recovery. Can't remember if i had to do that or not. But this did work for me, all PSN content still activated, no savegames lost.
Last edited by IndyColtsFan84; 12-15-2010 at 08:00 PMReason: Automerged Doublepost
when i used back up from ps3 to ext hdd it didnt do my psn games.. and some games wouldnt let me backup saves to ext hdd(only 3 or 4 out of 40 or so).. excuse my off topic.
for formatting to fat32 it took me hours of downloading programs and trying them only to find they would not work for me, or you had to buy the version needed etc.. then i finally found on google active partition manager.
i like active partition manager better than swiss knife.. its the easiet to use and its free and there is no need to make extra patitions.. i did my 1.5 tb ext hdd and it only took 30 secs..
i'm so pleased with this and hope it saves other people a lot of frustration.