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Go Balls Deep: Upgrade your PlayStation 4 HDD

February 13th, 2015 by

coverThis guide will walk you through how to change your hard drive in your PlayStation 4 whether this is due to a faulty drive or if PlayStation Plus is eating up all of the free space you have available. When replacing the drive you have a couple of options – SATA or a Solid State Drive. For the purposes of this guide we are going to focus on the replacement drive being a SATA drive purely due to cost (currently). For the record, replacing your hard drive on your PlayStation 4 does NOT void your warranty – in fact Sony actively encourages it.

The first thing you will need to do is choose a hard drive to upgrade to. The standard PlayStation 4 hard drive is a 500GB 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive. You can replace this hard drive with any hard drive that complies with these standards, is no thicker than 9.5mm, and is larger than 160GB. My personal choice was the Seagate STXB2000401 2TB edition because it was compatible and I also got a cracking 70% off during the Black Friday week.

HDDThe next step is to download the latest version of the firmware onto your PC as you will need this to reinitsalise your PlayStation 4 once you have swapped the hard drives.

Go to playstation.com, and find the most recent system software. The current page for this is here:   Scroll down and look for the section titled “Perform a New Installation of the System Software”

Click the link where it states “Click Here to Download”

The files size should be between 700 MB and 1GB in size for the full install file. If the file is around 300 MB then this is the update firmware file and is the incorrect one. There is no danger in downloading the incorrect file as the PlayStation 4 will tell you if it is the incorrect file, it’s just bloody frustrating.

The next thing we need to do is make backups of your files on your console. Account settings are stored under your PSN ID so we are just looking at backing up your save game and “Share” files. For the save game files you have two options, you can either transfer them to your USB drive or upload them to the PlayStation Plus cloud. Remember you only have 1GB of online storage so if any of the files are big then the cloud will not be an option. As you can see from the below screenshot I wouldn’t be able to upload the WWE 2K15 and FIFA 15 games saves to the cloud at the same time.

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The most important thing to ensure before you put any files onto the USB stick is to ensure that the format is FAT32.

Uploading to the PlayStation Plus Cloud

Go To Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage

Upload to Online Storage

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Unfortunately you can only do this one game at a time, so select the top game by pushing X

Highlight “Select All” and push X

Highlight Upload and push X

Move onto the next game and repeat until all games saves are uploaded

 

Transferring to a USB Stick

Go To Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage

Copy to USB Storage Device

Unfortunately you can only do this one game at a time, so select the top game by pushing X

Highlight “Select All” and push X

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Highlight Copy and push X

Move onto the next game and repeat until all games saves are transferred

 

Transferring “Share” Files to a USB stick

Start the Capture Gallery Application

Select the name of the game you wish to transfer your clips and screenshots of. Alternatively click on the “all” option.

Again the files will be filtered by video clips, screenshots or all. Select All

Push the options button on the controller

Select “Copy to USB Storage”

Select the files you wish to copy and then highlight “Copy” and push x

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Place your USB stick into your computer

You will see a folder titled “PS4”

In this folder create a folder called “UPDATE” – notice that the word is all in UPPER CASE. This is important.

Copy the software update file that you downloaded from the PlayStation website into the UPDATE folder

 

Equipment Required

At this stage you are now ready to begin the manual labour aspect of changing out the hard drive. You should have:

A replacement hard drive

A PlayStation 4

A USB stick with your save game files on it or alternatively the files uploaded to the cloud

The same USB stick with any gameclips or screenshots you wish to keep on it

The same USB stick with the software installation files on it

A Phillips headed screwdriver

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 Changing the Hard Drive

It goes without saying but make sure your PlayStation 4 is fully turned off, if the amber light is on then it is in Standby or Rest mode, and remove all cables.

Remove the left hand side of the console by gently but firmly applying downward pressure and sliding the case to the left.

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The entire left portion of the case can be lifted off once you have slid it to the left as it is not on any sort of track or rollers.

Look for the large silver screw that has the four PlayStation symbols on it at the front left of the internal metal case. Remove this screw

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Remove the original hard drive by gently pulling forward – there is a handy finger grip on the front of the case.

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Remove the hard drive from its caddy by removing the four black screws (two on either side) but leaving the small rubber washer on the caddy.

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Remove the original hard drive and replace it with your new higher capacity hard drive. Line up the screw holes and replace the four black screws.

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Reinsert the caddy into the internal casing by pushing the caddy gently towards the rear of the machine until the screw hole for the silver PlayStation symbol screw lines up. Replace the PlayStation symbol screw.

Replace the external plastic cover

Reconnect your PlayStation to your TV and reconnect the power chord.

 

Installing the operating software

Plug your Dualshock 4 controller into the PlayStation via the USB charging chord

Plug your USB stick into the remaining USB socket

Hold the power button down for 7 seconds (2 quick bleeps) to boot your machine in safe mode

Once the Safe Mode options screen has loaded choose the option called Initalise PS4 (Reinstall System Software)

It can take a few minutes for the action to execute and for the reinstall process to commence. It is at this stage that you may get an error. If you do it will be because of one of three issues:

Wrong version of the System Install Software – Download the correct one from the instructions above

The directory is incorrect – Make sure it is PS4>UPDATE

The format of the USB Stick – The format has to be FAT32, if the format is not FAT32 you will need to reformat the USB stick. In which case you will need to replace the old hard drive and start the whole process off again.

If you have followed the guide fully and to the letter you will not have received an error and the process will have completed

Sign into the PlayStation Network and complete the install process which includes time/date and wi-fi settings and some basic options.

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You can now re-install all your disc based games by placing the disc into the console one by one.

Restoring game saves is done via the Setttings function screen. Select Application Saved Data Management, then select the source (USB or cloud) to restore each title’s data.

To reinstall games you downloaded from the PlayStation Store, simply head into the store application and access the Library option. You can pick and choose what games to redownload. Note that you sometimes have to dive into the “My DLC” section of each game to download DLC content you’ve previously installed.

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4 Responses to “Go Balls Deep: Upgrade your PlayStation 4 HDD”
  1. avatar Egg Daddy says:

    Brilliant article. I have bookmarked for the future.

  2. avatar Jamman says:

    nice guide cheers, ive ordered a 3TB, will see if that works OK

  3. avatar Phizzy says:

    SATA is the drive interface, not a type of disk. Any disk you can use with the PS3 and PS4 needs to be SATA. The options are HDD or SSD.

  4. avatar RichieRich says:

    Great guide, thank you. Just one question do you know how to get your captured screenshots and videos back on to the ps4?

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