How to upgrade your PS4 hard drive

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On February 23, 2015, Posted by , In How To, With No Comments

It is now a norm to finish up the hard drive (HDD) space on your gaming console. This is fast becoming popular even on the almighty PS4 and it’s forerunner – PS3.

This is no longer a problem to worry about as you can easily upgrade your hard drive. The good things is that it seems Sony foresaw this problem and havs has avoided making it feel like your gaming console is being torn apart as it’s the case when upgrading the HDD on a desktop or laptop.

The following steps will help you brave through it. It is estimated to elapse 35 to 60 minutes.


1x PS4
1x Screwdriver
1x 2.5-inch SATA HDD
1x USB stick (8GB preferred) or 1x FAT32 USB HDD
1x Laptop or PC with internet
1x PS4 controller
1x microUSB cable

Step one: Buy/Find the right replacement HDD

The first thing to do is to buy your replacement hard drive. The PS4 uses a 2.5-inch SATA hard drive, the kind generally used in laptops or super-slim external drives rather than desktop computers.

It also needs to be under 9.5mm tall thanks to the size of the caddy that lives inside the PS4, which protects the drive and keeping it in place. This does prove to be a little limiting as, at the time of writing at least, lots of 2TB hard drives are a shade too chunky.

To stick on the safe side, we used a Western Digital 1TB drive, which gets you double the storage of the standard 500GB hard drive without busting any seams. This is also the budget buyer’s choice, as you’ll find suitable 1TB hard drives for around £45-50 (about US$69-77, AU$88-98) while 2TB ones, funnily enough, cost almost double the price.

You’ll also see an ‘rpm’ figure when shopping for hard drives. This stands for revolutions per minute and is a rough guideline of a drive’s speed. Most models out there are 5400rpm, just like the standard PS4 hard drive.

If you want to see real improvement in load speeds you need to look for a 7200rpm drive. These tend to cost a bit more.

Want to go all-out? For even better performance, you can install an SSD. However, it’s an extremely expensive upgrade: you’ll pay around £175 (about US$269, AU$175) just to match the 500GB standard storage. Ouch.

Step two: Back-up your PS4

Got the hard drive? The next step is to backup anything you definitely don’t want to lose on your PS4. The bad news is that you can’t backup game installs. Your home internet will just have to take a beating to reinstall the lot.

PS Plus subscribers don’t need to worry too much about game saves either, as they will automatically be saved to the cloud. However, if you want to be extra-safe, you can back them up to a USB stick or external hard drive.

Just insert the drive, then in the PS4 menu go to settings > application saved data management > saved data in system storage. Here you’ll see an option to copy your saves to a USB drive. You need to select the files game-by-game so you might want to leave out any titles you’re never going to play again.

Step three: uncovering the hard drive

Once you are happy you’re not about to wipe out your gaming history, make sure there’s no disc in the drive and turn the PS4 off completely (not standby). If your PS4 heads to standby as standard, hold down on the PS button until the power menu pops-up then select turn off PS4. Next, unplug all the PS4’s cables (that’s the HDMI lead and power cable most likely).

Set the PS4 on a steady surface, put a hand on the shiny top plate and move it to the side a little. This is actually a simple plastic HDD cover that’s not held in place with screws but a basic clip.

Once it’s free of its moorings, you’ll be able to lift the cover off revealing part of the PS4’s metal skeleton. There’s not much damage you can do here, though, as it’s more-or-less just the hard drive on show.

See steps 4 to 8 here>>


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