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

Playstation 4 System Software Version 1.50

Sony recently announced that you would need to install a software update on launch day for the Playstation 4 in order to use the following features:

  • Remote Play – allows users to play PS4 titles remotely from a Playstation Vita over Wifi-Networks
  • Second Screen – let’s the PS4 use an Android phone or an iPhone as a second screen for games that support that feature e.g. Battlefield 4, Assassin’s Creed
  • Screenshots and Gameplay Recording – PS4 always records the last 15 minutes of gameplay that can be shared on Twitter or Facebook or streamed to twitch.tv by hitting the share button on the PS4 controller
  • Play as you download – PS4 games have to be installed to the hard drive but players don’t have to wait to start playing. As soon as the first part of the game has been downloaded, you can start the game while the rest downloads in the background
  • Voice Chat – Players can chat simultaneously with eight friends in a “party” chat. Players don’t need to be in the same game or applications to talk
  • Background Music Player
  • Blu-Ray Disc Player and DVD Player
  • Voice Commands

The problem is that as of 2013/11/15 the PSN Network is having some capacity issues as the Playstation 4 has launched in the US and everybody is trying to download the 1.50 from Sony’s PSN Servers. Luckily you can “side load” the update by downloading it onto your computer and using a USB – Stick to install the PS4 Update instead of directly downloading it.

The following instruction will allow you to install official PS4 1.50 update. Don’t worry this procedure is officially advertised by Sony as an alternative method to the automatic update. You will still be able to automatically future Updates from Sony directly.

1. Step: Download the system file

Download the update file that is available here (mirror) and save the file with the file name “PS4UPDATE.PUP” in the “UPDATE” folder.

2. Step: Prepare the usb stick

On an USB – Storage device (USB-Key, external USB-Hard drive) create the following folder structure:


USB - Storage \ PS4 \ UPDATE (All in UPPERCASE letters)

+-PS4/
|
+-UPDATE/

Important: Check that the power indicator is not lit. If the power indicator is lit up in orange, touch the power button on the PS4 system for at least 7 seconds until the system beeps a second time.

3. Step: Apply the update

Connect the USB storage device that the update file is saved on, to your PS4 system, and then touch the power button for a least 7 seconds.
The PS4 system starts in safe mode.

Playstation 4 Menu when started in Safe Mode

If your PS4 system does not recognise the update file, check that the folder names and file name are correct. Enter the folder names and file name in single-byte characters using uppercase letters.

Playstation 3 Update 4.45 Issues

The latest Playstation 3 update version 4.45 is reportedly soft-bricking ps3-systems. After the update the xmb-menu won’t show up and the ps3 system will appear to be stuck on the boot screen. According to the following thread on the official Playstation forum the following systems seems to suffer from the issue

PS3s with aftermarket HDDs, 500GB-1TB ~90%
Stock 500GB model ~8%
Stock 120GB model ~1%
Stock 1st-gen fat models ~1%

Sony have released PS3 System Software 4.46, which replaces the buggy 4.45, as well as fixing some network issues some users were having. If your PS3 was broken by updating to 4.45 last week, the following information (from PlayStation) should hopefully fix all the issues. The following instructions will enalbe you to install the 4.46 update even if your ps3 is currently not booting due to the 4.45 system update.

Step 1: Download PS3 Software Update

  1. You will need a USB Mass Storage device such as a USB flash drive with at least 168 MB of free space. If your PS3 is either CECHA00/CECHB00 series model, you can also use Memory Stick™, SD Memory Card, and CompactFlash®.
  2. Create a folder named “PS3” on the storage media or USB device.
  3. Within the PS3 folder, create a folder named “UPDATE”.
  4. Using your computer, click the following hyperlink to begin downloading system software 4.46
  5. Download the update data from the webpage and save it in the “UPDATE” folder.
    • Location: Save in the “PS3” folder > “UPDATE” folder
    • File name: Save as file name “PS3UPDAT.PUP”
  6. Note: If the data is not saved in the correct way, the PS3 will not recognize the update data. The folder name must be in all uppercase letters.

Step 2: Active Safe Mode on the PS3

  1. With the PS3 off (power light should be red), touch and hold the Power button, you will hear the 1st beep indicating that the PS3 is powering on.
  2. Continue to hold the power button, and after approximately 5 seconds you will hear a 2nd beep.
  3. Continue to hold the power button and after 5 more seconds you’ll hear a 3rd beep, and system will power off (Power light goes red).
  4. Release power button.
  5. Touch and hold the Power button, you will hear the 1st beep, again for PS3 power on.
  6. Continue to hold and after approximately 5 seconds you will hear the 2nd beep for video reset.
  7. Continue to hold and after 5 seconds you will hear a quick double beep. At that point release power button.
  8. If you succeeded in activating Safe Mode, you will see a message on screen saying, “Connect the controller using a USB cable and then press the PS button”.
  9. Connect a controller to the PS3 with a USB cable.

If you were not able to get into Safe Mode, your system may need service.

Step 3: Manually Update PS3 Software

  1. Connect the storage media to PS3 system.
  2. Select [6 – System Update] and Press X.
  • Please note: Data and settings may be deleted if you choose any of the first (5) options.
  • Please make sure to only choose option [6 – System Update].
  • Press Start and Select at the same time.
  • The PS3 system will restart and recognizes the update file in the storage media.
  • Press right on the d-pad to scroll through the update description and user agreement.
  • Press X to confirm the update.
  • The system will now install the new system software and restart automatically upon completion.