How to upgrade your PS4 hard drive to 4TB or more
(Pocket-lint) – When the PlayStation 4 first came out, 500GB of storage seemed like enough. However, it soon became clear that the size of game files was growing at a reasonable rate of nodes.
Games, like Call of Duty: Warzone, can easily exceed 100GB. This doesn’t leave too much space on your default drive for many other games.
Even if you have the upgraded version of the PS4 or the PS4 Pro, each with 1TB drives, they will struggle.
Fortunately, there are two options for increasing the storage space on your PS4 or PS4 Pro. One is blindingly simple, the other a little more complicated. They both work very efficiently and are not too expensive.
The Easiest Way: How to Extend Your PS4 Drive Via USB 3.0 External Hard Drive
The easiest way to increase the storage of your PS4, whether it’s the original model, the 2016 refresh, or a PS4 Pro, is to add a USB 3.0 hard drive to your setup. .
Any USB 3.0 drive will do the job, and the PS4 supports drives up to 8TB in size.
We have chosen a dedicated PS4 edition of the Seagate Game Drive with 4TB of space. It’s great value for under £ 100 and is designed to match the PS4 perfectly.
Another great alternative is a WD_Black P10 game player, which is specially designed for gamers and costs a little extra for up to 5TB.
Whichever you choose, to make it work with your PS4, you just need to plug it into one of the three USB 3.0 ports. We chose one of the rear ports to store it.
You then need to head to the Settings menu in order to format the drive to work as external storage. Head to Peripherals, then USB Storage Devices. You should see your new drive listed on the next screen.
Click on it and you will be taken to a page with a box that says “Format and Extended Storage”. Click on it, wait a bit and bingo, the player is ready to use.
The PS4 will automatically set your external drive as the default drive to install games.
If you want to use your internal drive instead, go back to the Settings menu, head to Storage and press Options. You will have the option to choose between the internal and external drive as the game installation location.
The Hardest Way: Replace the hard drive inside your PS4
Another way to expand your PS4’s storage is to replace the hard drive inside the machine. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and could be ideal if, for example, you want to add an SSD drive for faster access.
You will need to disassemble at least part of the console. Sony makes it easy for you, but you’ll always find the process a bit long. The easiest part, however, is choosing a reader.
The PS4 uses a 2.5-inch SATA hard drive, the type you’ll find in a laptop. However, no older 2.5 inch drive will work. To fit a PS4, its depth should not exceed 9.5mm or it will be too large for the hard drive enclosure tray.
There are some that will meet spec, at around £ 50. We went with a Western Digital WD10JPVX – an older 5400 RPM blue drive with a 7mm depth that works just fine – but there are plenty of newer SATA III alternatives out there.
You can even opt for a hybrid SSD / HDD drive, such as the Seagate FireCuda 1TB game drive. available on Amazon UK.
Some have also suggested pure SSD equivalents, which dramatically speed up charging speeds, but can be prohibitively expensive if you’re trying to increase storage rather than reduce it.
Installing a PS4 hard drive takes much longer than increasing storage through an external solution. The PS4 will take a bit longer to get up and running, which includes backing up the files, as you’ll have to start all over once the new drive is in place.
The files that will need to be backed up are the game saves and any video clips or screenshots that you want to keep. There are several ways you can do the former.
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If you’re a PlayStation Plus member, you can upload all of your save files to the cloud, ready to be uploaded again when you’re done. In fact, if you had previously configured this to happen automatically, you don’t have to worry about this part of the process anymore. If you haven’t and have quite a few games, it might take a while.
If you are not a PlayStation Plus member or want to keep a more local copy of your backups, you will need a USB stick or (ironically) an external hard drive formatted to FAT, FAT32 or exFAT standard to store the data. . Plug it into the PS4 through one of the front USB ports and get ready for a laborious process.
Head to Settings, Manage app saved data, Data saved in system storage and you will see Copy to USB storage device. Go to this menu and you will see a list of all your games. Enter each of them individually and you can tick the files you want to copy and confirm. The files will be instantly copied to the external drive (or uploaded to the cloud if you follow this route).
Remember to save your captured videos and screenshots from the Capture Gallery section of System Storage Management. And once you have, you are ready to install the new drive.
Installing the reader
Make sure you turn off your PS4 completely, not just in idle mode, and then unplug it from one of the wires on the back. Place the console on a flat surface, then slide the hard drive enclosure out. It shouldn’t be hard to do, but the location varies from the original PS4, the latest PS4, and the PS4 Pro.
Inside, you’ll have access to the hard drive enclosure, which is secured in place with a single large screw with the PlayStation symbols on it. Useless with a Phillips screwdriver and you can slide the existing drive out using the small handle.
Unscrew the four black screws, two on each side of the hard drive enclosure – leaving the rubber mounts in place. Then remove the drive that came with the PS4.
Replace it with the new reader and tighten the black screws.
Slide the drive into the console until it is securely seated and screw it into place using the large PlayStation screw.
Put the cover or flap back on and that part of the job is done.
Reinstall system software
As the console now has a brand new drive with no system software installed, you will need to manually reinstall it. You will definitely need an external USB drive (or memory stick) with a capacity of at least 1 GB for this part of the setup, even if you have stored all of your saved games in the cloud.
Create a folder called “PS4” on the drive using a computer, then a folder inside called “UPDATE”. You should then download the latest system software file from Sony and skip some links on the PlayStation site as they may send you to older versions which will not work (you will just get an error message when you try to install).
The latest system software (at the time of writing) is version 8.03 which we found here at playstation.net. It will take around 1GB to download, but that’s the full software, not just an update. If the file is much smaller, it’s the wrong one and won’t work.
Move the downloaded file (named PS4UPDATE.PUP) to the UPDATE folder on the drive and you are ready to install it on the console.
Reconnect all cables to the back of the PS4, plug your USB drive into the front, and connect a DualShock 4 controller via its own USB cable. Then press the power switch on the front of the machine for seven seconds or more. This will start the console in safe mode and give you a few options. Choose “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” and the PS4 will find the update (if correct) and install it. It only takes about five minutes in total and then your PS4 will restart and boot up as if it had just been unboxed and set up for the very first time.
Of course, then you’ll have to reinstall everything and log into your PlayStation Network profile, but at least you’ll have a lot more storage space than when you started.
As we opted for a 5400 RPM drive, much like the one that came with the machine in the first place, we didn’t really notice an improvement in internal drive performance.
However, we weren’t aiming for speed (for that you can go for a 7200 RPM drive instead if you’re willing to spend a bit more money) and just having that storage space. extra makes a big difference in our gaming lives.
If we’re being honest, it’s best to go the external drive route, as it’s very simple and relatively inexpensive these days. But if you really want to beef up your system, you might want to add a new, faster internal drive at some point.
Written by Rik Henderson.