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A simple guide to upgrading your PS4's hard drive *update*

Upgrading your PS4's hard drive is a fairly simple task and if that still doesn't fill you with confidence then today I'm going to show you how.

Thanks to a recent Digital Foundry article, I got a smart tip that you can actually use a Seagate External Drive and a flat head screwdriver to do the trick for cheap, allowing you to replace your 500GB drive with a 2TB version.

So how is it done? Simply that's how.

Step 1 (If you'd like to back up all your data see Step 1.1)

Back up your data.

Providing that this is not a new PS4, then you'll have to back up your data before you can begin. 

This step is simple if you are a PlayStation Plus subscriber as you can simply back up your save data to the PlayStation Plus cloud.

If you aren't a member then you simply need to copy your data to a USB storage device, such as a USB Flash Drive.

You will have to enter all of your account details again once the new drive is installed and download and/or install any previously played games, which is a simple process, however as long as you have your save data, this isn't really too much of a hassle.

Step 1.1 (Recent addition thanks to latest PS4 firmware)

Thanks to the latest PS4 firmware update backing up data from a full HDD just got a little easier.

PlayStation 4 firmware update v2.50's new backup and restore feature basically allows you to mirror your system's HDD onto an external device HDD, meaning that you can restore the system without having to redownload everything.

Here's how you do it.

Go to Settings > System > Back Up and Restore > Back Up Your PS4 HDD

Here you will see three options:

- Back Up PS4
- Restore PS4
- Delete Backup Data

In order to back up your PS4 you'll select the first option. To do this make sure that your external HDD is connected via USB and powered up. Next you'll get a warning to sync your trophies, so make sure to do this before selecting the Back Up PS4 option. Once you have done this select ok.

Next you'll be presented with a list showing you how the data is being used up and here you can decide what you'd like to back up. The Application section will likely have the largest amount of data assigned to it as this is all your game installs. Make sure you keep this option ticked if you don't want to download all your games again, although if you do decide to deselect the option to back up your games then this will cut down the size of the backup, as all that will be left to back up is your save files and captures.

To begin backing up simply press next. If you have a full HDD this will likely take several hours.

If you are using this step then follow Steps 2-4 below and then instead of step 5 do the following

Once you have gone through the process of upgrading your HDD as described in our guide, including reinstalling the system software, you'll then Go to Settings > System > Back Up and Restore > Back Up Your PS4 HDD and select the Restore PS4 option. Providing your external HDD is inserted you'll be able to begin the process of restoring your system. Once again this will take several hours to complete, however once it's done you'll find all your previous data on your new HDD.

The final option which I have not mentioned is the ability to remove the backup data. This simply allows you to delete the backup from your external HDD.

Step 2

Buy an external drive.

I purchased a Seagate Expansion 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (EAN: 7636490048838). Interestingly this is an external drive, but within the casing, which is easily removed by placing a screwdriver carefully in between the join in the casing (being careful not to go near the hard drive) is a Samsung 2.5" HDD, perfect for fitting in your PS4.

There are a few other steps before it's ready to be placed in your PS4, but not many.

First off, take the drive from the packaging and place a screwdriver in between the gap in the casing, do this gently to prize it apart, rather than going at it with force as this may damage the drive.

As you can see above, this uncovers a 2.5" Samsung drive, which you'll soon be able to place in your PS4. First off though there are a few bits to sort out.

First, you'll need to take off the rubber feet, which just peel off and place them aside.

Underneath the rubber you'l then find some screws. There are four in total and you'll need to take these off.

Only one more step in order to prepare the drive and that's to remove the USB connector at the front. This simple slides off with a little encouragement.

Ok, so now you are ready to replace the PS4 hard drive. Make sure the PS4 is completely powered down and unplug it from the mains.

Step 3

Getting to the PS4 drive is a fairly simple process. All you need to do is slide the piece of plastic which has the PS Symbol upwards, as you can see below.

This will uncover the hard drive enclosure, which is held in place by a small screw. You'll know which screw it is as it has the PlayStation face buttons on it. Next all you have to do is take off the screw and gentle pull out the enclosure. Once you have taken it out you simply remove four screws, gently place the hard drive aside and replace it with your new drive, making sure you put it in the same way as the one you took out (silver plate up (the side with all the information written on it).

At this point replace the four screws, slide the drive gently back into the machine, making sure it's correctly connected and then replace the PlayStation screw. Next, put the case back on and now you have your a PS4 with a new 2TB HDD.

Once you have the PS4 back in place and all hooked up, the next step is to reinstall the system software. Using a computer you can save a system software update file for reinstallation to a USB storage device. (You'll need at least 1GB free space for this).

The file must be saved within a directory named as follows PS4 > UPDATE > "PS4UPDATE.PUP" (filename must be within the UPDATE folder and without the "", all in caps as written).

You can get the update file that you'll need (here), you'll find it under the fresh install link.

Next, make sure you turn off the power of your PS4 system completely and check that the power indicator is not lit. Connect the USB storage device and then touch the power button for at least 7 seconds.

The PS4 system starts in safe mode and you'll then be met with a set of options, select [Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)] and follow the screens to complete the update.

You'll now have a cleanly updated PS4 with none of your data on it. So the last step is to restore your save data and set up your account.

Step 5

Restoring your data is quite simple, connect the USB device you used earlier to the system.
select (Settings) from the function screen, select [Application Saved Data Management] > [Saved Data on USB Storage Device] > [Copy to System Storage].

Then select the save game you want on the system one by one and copy it over. If you backed up your saved games to the cloud using PlayStation Plus, you can safely restore them using the PlayStation Plus cloud storage option.

You should now have a newly upgrade 2TB PS4 and it was quite simple. Obviously this is just a guide using an external Seagate 2TB drive as an example, however if you purchased an internal 2.5" drive then it'll be even easier.

Please note that this is just a guide which I have made following upgrading my own PS4. ShopTo cannot be held responsible should you try to upgrade your PS4's hard drive and damage your system. If in doubt please contact an expert to upgrade your system's hard drive.

Edited On 28 Mar, 2015

( 27 )
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Also if you plan to do this you should watch the abundance of videos on the topic first before you attempt anything
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
It's fairly easy, though I am a pretty technical guy :D
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
It is easy but people can be really stupid sometimes
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
Hence the disclaimer that if you are unsure, please don't try it.
 TruDarkAssassin's avatar
TruDarkAssassin 2 years ago
good guide i need to do mine soon and knowing you can use a bigger external drive is better , the ps3 hard drive was super easy done it twice and this looks to be the same
SolidSnake2212's avatar
SolidSnake2212 2 years ago
What size drive will the ps4 support could i get a 4tb?
SolidSnake2212's avatar
SolidSnake2212 2 years ago
What size drive will the ps4 support could i get a 4tb?
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Also if you feel you need a 4TB then go for it but IMO having the much is pointless and 2.5 4TB HHd's are stupidly enpensive
Mangaman1's avatar
Mangaman1 2 years ago
I installed same drive when digital foundry on eurogamer did article.very simple to do.same as ps3.inthen put old ps4 drive into my ps3. Or you could put 500gb drive back into closure and you have an external drive for PC,playstation when support come or wii u after formatting. I was deleting stuff off my launch ps4 and 2TB is more than enough
Mangaman1's avatar
Mangaman1 2 years ago
Also I'd stick with a 5400rpm drive as a 7200rpm might cause heat issues and digital foundry tests showed on real difference unless you use a SSD
Mangaman1's avatar
Mangaman1 2 years ago
I purchased mine from Argos for £58 which is a bargain.amazon were sold out at the time and same price
jay.hamilton's avatar
jay.hamilton 2 years ago
ive decided im happy with my 1tb hybrid drive, keeps very cool, quick loading times etc, and ive got loads of games installed and still have 700gb remaining
superniceguy's avatar
superniceguy 2 years ago
Hopefully they will also add the ability to use external USB HDDs. I do not mind upgrading but you can not then use the 500GB that was in the PS4, although good points with putting back inside the closure of the external HDD, which could be used then for PC / Xbox ONE / Wii U. The good thing with being able to use external HDDs, is that it gives you infinite storage, as if you upgrade to a 2TB HDD in a PS4, and then run out of room again, you'll need to upgrade again, but with external USB HDDs you can keep adding, and buying another external HDD. If 500GB has already been used within a year, when the consoles have not even got going yet, then 2TB could easily get filled within a year or two when games start coming in faster..
PrometheusFan's avatar
PrometheusFan 2 years ago
I know they're stupidly expensive for decent sizes right now, but it's worth looking into an SSD drive for this due as it offers a pretty significant improvement to load times for a lot of games. One great advantage of replaceable HDDs :)
Hymeleon's avatar
Hymeleon 2 years ago
"Step 2 - Buy an external drive." Still wondering - why buy EXTERNAL drive? Pretty sure it's more expensive than simply buy 2.5" HDD as it is...
SolidSnake2212's avatar
SolidSnake2212 2 years ago
They dont mention you will have to format the drive to FAT32 for ps4 to even recognize it
ShoryukenToTheChin's avatar
ShoryukenToTheChin 2 years ago
I purchased the internal version of this but alas after playing some games I noticed there was a lot of Object/Texture Popping. I rebuilt Databases etc. but no luck, I am returning the Hard Drive as it seems to be defective.
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
If you are using the HDD we mentioned then it is already formatted to the correct format (FAT32). Others may not be.
inspector 74's avatar
inspector 74 2 years ago
What the??? You serious can you not just plug an external drive into it??? I just got one delivered from amazon plugged it in the usb 3.0 and away we go. I mean I wouldn't want to invalidate the warranty its as though they actually want you to do just that???
wezlyons's avatar
wezlyons 2 years ago
You wouldn't invalidate your warranty by doing this. Sony have purposely made the PS4 (and PS3) easy to upgrade.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
@inspector - can you just plug in a use drive now? Previously you could only install games to the internal as usb was only for music or backups. My 1tb is full as I have 50+ retail discs and 40+ downloaded pen and retail games so I need to upgrade to 2tb soon :(
Joe Anderson (Editor)'s avatar
Joe Anderson (Editor) 2 years ago
You can only use an external drive to back up, you can't use external storage to play games.
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
yeah thats what I thought Joe :) At least you can back up easier now! last time i went from 500 gb to 1tb it took hours because of moving the saves one by one! no mass save move doing it before.
Anonymous user's avatar
Anton 2 years ago
Weird question but does all of the seagate hard drives the same size inside then? If so I'll get the 5tb and put it in the machine!
Turniplord's avatar
Turniplord 2 years ago
@anton - it has to be a 2.5inch drive (laptop size) - I don't think they currently go over 2TB at the moment. The 5TB will more than likely be a full sized 3.5" one (although there is an unofficiaaly adapter out there that lets you attach a full sized HD to the PS4 but I don't know what size the PS4 supports up to)
tolu89's avatar
tolu89 1 year ago
Sorry to bump an old thread. I have just bought the recommended hard drive, but upon initilising, i get error code: CE-33566-3. Any ideas what i am doing wrong?

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