PS4 is such an awesome console. Its graphics looks great, its design looks sleek and its console sales is off the chart, however, having a standard 500 GB hard drive isn’t enough. Sure, 500 GB is a lot of space but wait until you install games that will eat up 40-50 GB of your hard drive space.
Indie games has small install size, but AAA games such as GTA V and NBA 2K games eat up more than 50 GB of space and with this, your 500 GB hard drive can only hold 8-10 games and it is very time consuming to erase the games and re-download it if you want to play it again. That is only for the applications, don’t forget that there are also saved game files, images, themes, other applications such as Youtube and Netflix so bottom line is, 500 GB is not enough.
Luckily, Sony made upgrading PS4 hard drive simple and easy, and you can just use a 2.5″ laptop hard drive or an external hard disk, and this article will teach you the step-by-step guide on how to upgrade your PS4 hard drive, things that you need in upgrading the hard drive and some FAQ’s.
What you need:
The small standard screwdriver is one I used to disassemble the Seagate 2TB external hard drive. Some uses a guitar pick to disassemble the hard drive, but the I suggest to pick up a screwdriver set as you can use it other than upgrading your PS4 hard drive and it is much safer to use a small standard screw driver in opening the hard drive.
Get a least 1GB USB Flash Drive as you need it in installing the PS4 system update once your new hard drive is already attached to your console. I suggest you get a bigger Flash Drive in terms of space as you can also use it to save your saved files of your PS4. Important – make sure that your Flash Drive is formatted in FAT32 though, most of the USB Flash Drive and external hard drive are already in FAT32, just make sure that it is in FAT32 format.
On to the PS4 Hard Drive upgrade
Step 1: Back up all the files in your PS4 unit
This is totally an optional procedure because you can re-download all your games in your PSN but, if you have a game like P.T. installed in your PS4 hard drive, you can no longer recover that once you deleted it as PSN already removed P.T. in their server.
To back up all your files like applications, themes, screenshots, saved games, etc., you will need another external hard drive big enough to hold your almost 500 GB files. Although PS4 can’t read most of the external hard drive, I suggest to use the USB Flash Drive and just save the essential games, saved game files, screenshots and other small files so it can all fit in your USB Flash Drive and just re-download all your applications. Remember to leave at least 1GB of space in your Flash Drive for the PS4 System Update.
You can do the back up by inserting your external hard drive or USB Flash Drive in the USB port of your PS4. Go to Settings -> System -> Back Up and Restore -> Back Up PS4. Just proceed with all the windows until the PS4 restarts and starts backing up. Back up process will depend on how big your files are. It can be 10 mins to hours.
Step 2: Download PS4 update
Go to your PC or laptop, open your browser and go to https://www.playstation.com/en-us/support/system-updates/ps4/#newinstallation
Don’t click and download the first “DOWNLOAD UPDATE” button you see as this will not work. What you want to do is go to lower fold of the page, look for the “Perform a New Installation of the System Software” portion and click the “DOWNLOAD NOW” button there to start download. Check the image below for reference.
Follow the instruction above by making a new folder in your USB Flash Drive and naming it PS4, and inside it, create another folder and name it UPDATE. Once the download is done, save the file PS4UPDATE.PUP in the UPDATE folder. Safely remove the flash drive and proceed to the next step. Important – read and follow the instructions in the website carefully and naming the folder is case sensitive.
Step 3: Disassembling of Seagate 2TB External Had Drive
Here comes the manual labor and doing it seems to be hard by believe me, it is easy to disassemble your external hard drive.
First, you need to use small head standard screw driver to detach the top cover of the external hard drive. Some uses a guitar pick so it won’t scratch the hard drive itself and you can use whatever tools you are comfortable with. The top cover is just glued in the main body of the external hard drive so it is easy to remove.
Second, once the top cover is removed, detach the hard disk carefully from its body.
Step 4: Removing the aluminum sticker in the hard disk
Once the hard disk is detached from its case, carefully remove the aluminum sticker in the hard disk. You can use you small screwdriver or guitar pick to easily remove it.
Step 5: Remove the top portion of the hard disk
Once you removed the aluminum sticker and pulled off the top part of the hard disk, it will look like this.
Step 6: Open the left tray of your PS4 system
PS4 console has two cover trays on top of it. The left side is the shiny part (unless you have a new PS4 unit which used a matte material) is the hard drive cover tray and the right side is the matte cover tray for the specs.
To remove the left glossy cover tray, use your two hands and firmly press the area near the LED light of the unit and pull it sideward.
This will expose the stock 500 GB hard drive of PS4 once the cover tray is removed
Step 7: Detaching the 500 GB stock hard drive from your PS4 console
Once the cover tray is removed, you can see a big screw on the lower left side of the unit with Playstation button logo on it, unscrew it using your Phillips screw. Check the image below for reference.
Once the screw is removed, pull the hard drive tray.
Step 8: Removing the stock 500 GB hard drive and replace it with 2TB hard drive
The hard disk tray have 4 black screws to hold the hard disk, 2 for each side. Remove the screws to detach the old hard drive. Check the images below for reference.
Replace it with the 2TB hard disk and put all the screws back.
Once it is done, slide back the hard drive tray, return the big screw with Playstation logo on it and attach the glossy cover tray.
Now, your PS4 is back to normal with 2TB under it.
Step 9: Install PS4 System Update
Connect your PS4 to your TV and hold and press the power button for 7 seconds so it will start in safe mode.
Follow the instruction by connecting your controller to USB cable, and then press the PS button.
Once the safe mode started, you will shown by these 7 options:
2. Change Resolution
3. Update System Software
4. Restore Default Settings
5. Rebuild Database
6. Initialize PS4
7. Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)
Before you choose, make sure that the flash drive where the file PS4UPDATE.PUP is attached to one of the USB ports of your PS4, and then choose option number 7. Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software).
The PS4 will now start the PS4 software update and then will restart once the process is done.
When the PS4 turns back on, you will be prompted with the initial set up, same set up you did once you got your new PS4. Do the necessary set up and update and you’re good to go.
Once it is all done, you can check your hard drive by going to Settings -> System Storage Management. Here, you can see the free space you have.
Step 10: Restore all the files
The final step will be restoring all your files. Attach the drive where you saved all your applications and go to Settings -> System -> Back Up and Restore -> Restore PS4. Follow the instructions and wait for the system to restore your files.
If you didn’t back your applications from the start, don’t worry, you can still retrieve it by re-downloading it in PSN Store for digital games or by inserting the game disc for physical games.
That’s it! Your PS4 is back to normal with a bigger hard drive space. Now, you don’t need to erase some of the games to make room for a new one because you now have the space that you need.
Will it void the PS4 warranty if I upgraded the hard drive?
No, you warranty will still be good even though you upgraded your hard drive. Just make sure that you’re warranty is not yet expired, but other than that, your warranty is still safe.
Why did you use an external hard drive instead of 2.5″ laptop hard drive?
One very important reason why I use external hard drive instead of 2.5″ laptop hard drive is because of the price. You can buy an 2TB external hard drive for only $80 compared to 2.5″ laptop 2TB hard drive that costs at least $90.
Why did you use 2TB external drive instead of Nyko data bank?
For aesthetic reason. For me, Nyko data bank is too bulky. Yes, it has a bigger hard drive space, up to 6TB, but I hate the look of it resting on top of PS4 console once it is installed. I am currently loving the sleek design of PS4 and I want it to stay that way.
Why did you use 2TB instead of 1TB?
Xbox One has been releasing 2TB version of their Xbox One S and I can see that this size is going to be the trend in the future that is why I opt to upgrade to 2TB.
Can I do the upgrade without backing up the files?
Yes you can. You can re-download it once the upgrade process is done. Just make sure that you don’t have important games in your old hard drive that is no longer in the PSN just like P.T.
Can I use any brand of external hard drive?
Yes. Just make sure that the size is 2.5″. I just prefer Seagate as it is easy to disassemble and attach to the PS4 console.
If you have any question that is not answered in the FAQ’s section or other comments and suggestions regarding this upgrade, just fill up the comment section below and will reply to you as soon as I can.