How to upgrade the Playstation 4 hard drive

You certainly noticed that all PS4 Games require a mandatory installation on the hard drive. Depending on the game you will be up and running in a matter of minutes. Most of the games will install all the necessary files to get the game up and running first before silently copying the rest of the data in the background while you enjoy the game. Depending on the number of games you got at launch your 500 GB hard drive might already be running out of space as the system takes a good 80 GB away for its use and you are left with about 408 GB usable space for save games and data for the games.
Fortunately the hard drive in the Playstation 4, as well as the PS3 is user-replaceable and can even be replaced with a solid state drive. The PS4 systems uses a 2.5 inch laptop hard drive without any special connector so you can even replace the 500GB drive with a 2TB if you like. I highly value short loading times so I will be replacing my 500GB drive with a 256GB crucial m-4 ssd as soon as my PS4 arrives in about two weeks. (It hasn’t been released in Europe yet)

Follow these four steps to replace your hard drive:

  1. Back up your data (in case you already have some games installed and don’t want to lose their save games) (optional).
  2. Replace the hard disk drive
  3. Reinstall the PS4 system software
  4. Restore data that has been backed up (optional)

Back up saved data for games

Replacing the hard drive will wipe all your save games if you don’t back them up beforehand. If you don’t care about your save games you can safely skip this step. In case you are a Playstation Plus subscriber you can also copy your save games to the cloud.

1. Connect a USB storage device to the system via one of the external usb ports at the front (Remark: the usb stick needs to be FAT32 formatted. The PS4 won’t recognise NTFS formatted drives)
2. Select (Settings) from the function screen
3. Select [Application Saved Data Management] > [SavedData in System Storage] > [Copy to USB StorageDevice]
4. Select a Game
5. Press X to add a checkmark in the checkbox for the saved data you want to copy, and then select [Copy]
Remark: To be able to backup saved data your PS4 must be running the latest PS4 System Software and you must be signed into the PSN.

Replace the hard disk drive

Make sure the PS4 is turned off completely. The power indicator should be off. In case the power led lights up in orange, the system is in standby mode. Exit the standby mode by turning on the console and pressing the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off completely.

  1. Unplug the AC power cord and afterwards disconnect all the other cables from the systems
  2. Slide the HDD bay cover in the direction of the arrow to remove it (gently slide the glossy cover that is only held by a few clips)

    Playstation 4 HDD Replacement - Removal of Top Cover
    Playstation 4 HDD Replacement – Removal of Top Cover
  3. Remove the screw at the front of the console
  4. Pull the HDD towards the front of the system to remove it

    PS4 HDD Replacement Step2 - Removal of screw
    PS4 HDD Replacement – Removal of screw
  5. Use a Philips screwdriver to remove the screws from the drive itself (make sure to not remove the rubber inserts from the screw holes)

    PS4 HDD Replacement Step3 - Removal of screws that secure the hdd
    PS4 HDD Replacement – Removal of screws that secures the hdd
  6. Replace the old drive with the new one in the mounting bracket and re-attach the 4 screws (do not over-tighten the screws, be gentle)
  7. Attach the HDD to the system using the single screw (make sure to fully insert the new HDD in the HDD bay)

Install the system software

After the HDD has been replaced with a new one, the system’s operating system must be reinstalled.

Follow this guide for updating the PS4 Software to Version 1.50 to reinstall the OS. The update isn’t really an update as it replaces the OS completely.

Copying the backed up save data back to your PS4 system

You can copy the saved data either from the USB storage used in step 1 or you can download them from the cloud if you are Playstation Plus subscriber.

  1. Connect the USB storage device to the system using one of the two usb ports at the front
  2. Select (Settings) from the function screen
  3. Select [Application Saved Data Management] > [SavedData on USB Storage Device] > [Copy to System Storage]
  4. Select the game
  5. Press X to add a checkmark in the checkbox for the saved data you want to copy and then select [Copy]

Remark: You need to be singed into the same PSN account you used when backing up your saved data

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