Change the hard drive of your PS4

The PlayStation 4 launched with a 500 gigabyte hard drive. How adorable! They think 500 gigabytes is enough data! Hi Sony! This is not 2008. 500 concerts are not enough. Not when your games have mandatory installations. Not when your games are 40 to 50 gigs a piece. You’re juggling the data for us. That’s fine with smartphones, where apps can be removed and reinstalled in 30 seconds. Not cool when your games are absolutely massive and can take a couple HOURS to install. Why wouldn’t you send with at least a terabyte? It’s ridiculous! You can shut up too, Microsoft. Shipped with the same size hard drive! Not only that, but at least Sony ships with the average hard drive of a normal laptop. With your console, you must purchase a proprietary unit. So let me say this as professionally as I can muster: Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Anyway, there is an easy solution to this problem. That is just to replace the hard drive yourself. Whoa calm down, don’t cry. My God, you’re crying. It is not so difficult. In fact, it is quite easy. Are you not crying anymore? It’s okay. Please keep your composure, that was awkward for both of us. Great, now you’re crying again. Let’s move on …

PLEASE NOTE: I do not believe this will void your warranty, however it is in your best interest to contact Sony to make sure. I am not responsible for any damage or voided warranty that may occur as a result of a hard drive replacement. Proceed with your own caution!

The first step is to gather the materials! So you will need a new hard drive first. I used a Seagate terabyte hybrid drive. Make sure the drive is 2.5 inches; otherwise it won’t fit on PS4. You can also use a solid state drive. That being said, I don’t think you’ll get a very significant speed boost. Also, solid state storage has traditionally been much more expensive than the traditional disk hard drive. Or you can get a traditional hard drive with a ton of storage. The reason I chose a hybrid drive is that you get most of the benefits of the solid state drive combined with the cheaper mass storage of a traditional tray-based hard drive.

In the photo: Seagate Hybrid Drive

You will also need a computer on hand. Ugh, I know. I am asking you a lot. Using that computer, navigate to the Sony site. Find the latest firmware. Make sure you get the As of the publication date of this article, the firmware is 3.15. You will also need a gigabyte USB stick, to put the downloaded firmware, as well as if you plan to back up game and save data. Make sure it is formatted in FAT32. Right-click the flash drive, click format, and make sure FAT32 is selected. You will need a PS4 controller and a USB cable. Lastly, get yourself a useful and stylish screwdriver!

If you plan to backup your save files, connect the USB drive to the PS4, navigate to the settings menu. In the setup menu, find the “Application Saved Data Management” menu. Find a backup and restore, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Next, let’s get dirty and start disassembling the PS4. The first thing to do is make sure the PS4 is turned off. Unplug it from the wall, just in case. Next, what you need to do is remove the shiny plastic piece from the PlayStation. It will require a bit of force, so don’t be afraid to use a little. It should slide off relatively easily. You should see the hard drive inside its box. There will be a fairly large screw with the PlayStation icons of the square, the circle, the x, and the triangle. Remove that screw with your Phillips head screwdriver. Take the cage out of the PS4. Good work so far!

Now examine the hard drive cage, note the orientation of the hard drive, and see the four screws that secure the hard drive to the cage. Unscrew these to remove your old hard drive. Make sure the rubber pieces stay in place. Place the new hard drive in the same position as the old one and screw it into place with the 4 screws you just removed. Slide the cart with the connected hard drive back into the box inside the PS4. Go ahead and slide the glossy black plastic piece back onto the PlayStation 4 and close it again.

So first things first, let’s get your new USB stick ready! Connect your USB stick to your computer. Find your USB stick on your computer. It can be found in the “This PC” folder if you are on Windows 8 or higher or “My Computer” if you are on Windows 7 or lower. Once you do that, on the USB stick create a folder called “PS4” and then within that folder create another folder called “UPDATE”, and once you do, paste the PS4UPDATE.PUP file into that folder. Once you’re done, safely unplug your USB stick and plug it into the PlayStation.

Navigate to number 7

Reconnect the PS4 to the wall. Connect your PS4 controller to the console. Locate the power button on the front of the console and hold it down for about 7-10 seconds. Using your controller, navigate to “Initialize PS4 (reinstall system software)”. Now, let the PS4 do its thing and it should work. Once you do, it should take you to the initial setup screen, where you can re-enter all of your account information, enter the date and time again, and connect to the internet.

The last thing you need to do is go back to the settings menu and go back to where you backed up all your save files. Now you need to do the opposite and restore the apps that you backed up. Once you do, go back to the PlayStation Store and download all of your games again. Your PS4 should now be in a similar state to what it was when it started.

That is all! Congratulations! You have a storage solution from this decade! I’m proud of you. Oh God, you are crying again. Yes, I know this is important. You are an adult now! I’m just going …

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