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Change the hard drive of your PS4

The PlayStation 4 launched with a 500 gigabyte hard drive. How nice! They think 500 gigabytes is enough data! Hello Sony! This is not 2008. 500 concerts are not going to be enough. Not when your games have required installs. Not when your games are 40 to 50 gigs each. You’re making us juggle data. That’s fine with smartphones, where apps can be removed and reinstalled in 30 seconds. Not cool when your games are absolutely massive and might take a couple of HOURS to install. Why wouldn’t you ship with at least a terabyte? It’s ridiculous! You can shut up too, Microsoft. You shipped with the same size hard drive! Not only that, but at least Sony ships with your average laptop hard drive. With your console, you must purchase a proprietary drive. So let me say this with as much professionalism as I can muster: Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Anyway, there is an easy solution to this problem. That’s just replacing the hard drive yourself. Calm down, don’t cry. My God, you’re crying. It is not so difficult. It’s actually quite easy. Don’t you cry 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 the warranty; however, you may want 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 exchange. Please proceed with your own caution!

The first step is gathering the materials! So first you will need a new hard drive. I used a Seagate 1 terabyte hybrid drive. Make sure the drive is 2.5 inches; otherwise it won’t fit the PS4. You could also use a solid state drive. That said, I don’t think you’ll get a very significant speed boost. Solid state storage has traditionally been much more expensive than the traditional platter 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 a solid-state drive combined with the cheaper mass storage of a traditional platter-based hard drive.

Pictured: Seagate Hybrid Drive

You’ll also need a computer handy. 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 publication date of this article that the firmware is 3.15. You’ll also need a one-gigabyte USB stick, to put downloaded firmware on, as well as if you plan on backing up game and save data. Make sure it is formatted in FAT32. Right click on the flash drive and click format and make sure FAT32 is selected. You will need a PS4 controller and a USB cable. Lastly, get yourself a handy fancy screwdriver!

If you plan to back up your save files, plug the USB drive into the PS4, navigate to the settings menu. In the settings menu, find the “Application Saved Data Management” menu. Search for backup and restore, and follow the instructions on the screen.

Next, let’s get dirty and start disassembling the PS4. The first thing you need 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 take a bit of force, so don’t be afraid to use a little. It should slide out relatively easily. You should see the hard drive inside its cage. There will be a fairly large screw with the square, circle, x, and triangle PlayStation icons on it. Remove that screw with your Phillips head screwdriver. Take out the cage of the PS4. Good job so far!

Now examine the hard drive cage, note the orientation of the hard drive, and note the four screws that hold the hard drive in the cage. Unscrew them and 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 caddy with the attached hard drive back into the cage inside the PS4. Go ahead and slide the shiny 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 inside that folder create another folder called “UPDATE”, and once you do that, paste the PS4UPDATE.PUP file into that folder. Once you’re done, safely unplug your USB stick and plug it into the PlayStation.

Navigate down to number 7

Plug the PS4 back into 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 the controller, navigate to “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)”. Now, let the PS4 do its thing, and it should run. 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 you backed up. Once you do, go back to the PlayStation store and re-download all your games. Your PS4 should now be in a similar state as it was when you started.

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

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