How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro - TulsaCW.com: TV To Talk About | The Tulsa CW

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro

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By Gabe Gurwin


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Despite the fact that solid-state drives (SSDs) read and write data much faster than mechanical hard drives do, the PlayStation 4 and even the PlayStation 4 Pro still come with the latter. Fortunately, Sony made the PS4 hard drive replaceable, so users can expand the console’s internal storage or, better yet, swap out the mechanical drive with a faster-loading solid state drive.

With a few basic tools, you can add an SSD to your PS4 in no time at all. Here’s a glimpse at what an SSD can do for you, and instructions on how to drop one in yourself. If you don’t want to go through the process of opening up your PS4 to replace the hard drive, you can also upgrade your storage space by using an external drive. We cover how to do that in the last section of this guide.

SSDs vs. mechanical hard drives

Before we swapped out the PS4’s hard drive with an SSD, we tested the hard drive that the system came with by measuring the amount of time the PS4 needed to boot up to the screen where the OS asks you to press the PS button on your controller. We tested it twice, and got times of 27 seconds, and 24.9 seconds.

Once we removed the PS4’s hard drive and performed the task that we’re about to take you through, we ran the boot tests again. We got boot times of 19.2 and 19.4 seconds with the SSD in there. So, boot-up is anywhere between roughly 5-8 seconds faster with an SSD than with the mechanical hard drive that the PlayStation 4 ships with.

If you don’t think that’s significant, remember that loading save games, loading levels, and more will also get substantially faster. Over time, those shaved seconds will make your PS4 feel a lot faster.

How to install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

First, you need to gather a few materials:

  • An adjustable screwdriver
  • A 2.5-inch SSD (larger than 160GB and no more than 9.5mm thick)
  • Two USB flash drives.

Be sure to save your save game files to the second USB flash drive by going to the PS4’s Settings menu. From there, go to Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data in System Storage, and then Copy to USB Storage Device to save your files to your second USB flash drive.

If you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you can also upload your game saves to the cloud, instead — you’ll just need to download them again once you have your new drive installed.

Step 1

Step 1. Place the PlayStation 4 on a secure surface, and press down on the glossy, black side of the top panel. With the system's front facing you, slide the panel leftward. It should slide right off; no screws needed.

Place the PlayStation 4 on a secure surface, and press down on the glossy, black side of the top panel. With the system’s front facing you, slide the panel leftward. It should slide right off; no screws needed.

Step 2

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Remove the screw at the very front of the PS4 which keeps the hard drive bay locked down. It’s easy to identify, because it wears the same circle, X, square, and triangle buttons found on the PlayStation 4’s controller. It’s a Phillips screw, but you may need a smaller-than-usual bit to get it out without stripping it, as we helpfully and definitely intentionally did for this photo to demonstrate.

Step 3

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Pull the hard drive dock towards you, and remove the PS4’s hard drive. It should slide right out.

Step 4

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Once you pull out the hard drive, you’ll find that it’s still guarded by a metal cage that’s locked down by four black screws. These screws are located on the sides of this cage, with two sitting on each side. Unscrew them with a standard Phillips bit.

Step 5

Slide the PS4 hard drive out of the cage.

Slide the PS4 hard drive out of the cage.

Step 6

Place your 2.5-inch solid state drive into the cage

Place your 2.5-inch solid state drive into the cage, and orient it the same way that the PS4’s original drive was. For reference, we stacked the PS4 hard drive and our SSD on top of one another in the above image. Notice how each drive’s back ports look exactly the same, and are in the same exact places.

Step 7

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Screw the SSD into the cage with the four black screws that you removed previously.

Step 8

 Slide the hard-drive cage back into the PS4's hard drive bay.

Slide the hard-drive cage back into the PS4’s hard drive bay.

Step 9

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Lock the PS4’s hard drive bay back down with the same screw that you removed to unlock it, using a small Phillips bit.

Step 10

How to Install an SSD in a PlayStation 4

Slide the PS4’s top panel back onto the system. Then, hook your PS4 back up, but do not turn it back on yet. This is where your other USB flash drive comes in.

Step 11

PlayStation 4 Software Update

Using a computer, download the latest PS4 operating system update file by visiting Sony and clicking the “Download Now” link. This will ensure you get the latest version.

Step 12

PS4 folder

Plug the other USB flash drive into your computer. Open it, and create a folder on the drive named “PS4.” Then, open the PS4 folder, and create another folder within “PS4” named “UPDATE.”

Step 13

PS4 Update file

Once you finish downloading the PS4 OS update file (which is called PS4UPDATE.PUP), drag it over to your flash drive, and place it in the UPDATE folder. Remember, the UPDATE folder needs to be inside the PS4 folder on your flash drive in order for this process to work.

Step 14

Plug USB into PS4

Eject your flash drive from your computer safely, and plug it into one of your PS4s front-mounted USB ports. These are the same ports that you can use to plug in your DualShock 4 controller.

Step 15

PS4 Power Button

Press and hold your PS4’s power button for 7 to 10 seconds until you hear two beeps. This will force it to boot into Safe Mode.

Step 16

Once you’re at the PS4’s Safe Mode menu, select the “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” option, which should be seventh on the list from the top of the screen. Your PS4 will scan the flash drive you plugged in for the update file that you downloaded using your computer. It may take 20 or 30 seconds, but the next screen that comes up will take you through some simple instructions on how to install the PS4’s operating system onto the SSD you just put in the console. This part of the process isn’t complicated at all; you’ll just have to press the X button on your PS4 controller a few times.

Once the PS4 OS is installed, you’ll be good to go!

All you’ll need to do is to copy the save-game files that you saved to your other flash drive back to PS4’s new SSD. You can do that by plugging in that USB flash drive into your PS4, opening the console’s Settings menu, and going to Application Saved Data Management, Saved Data on USB Storage Device, Copy to System Storage.

How to install an SSD in a PlayStation 4 Pro

Swapping out the hard drive on the PlayStation 4 Pro is very similar to doing so with its predecessor, albeit with a few minor differences. Luckily, those changes actually make the process easier. Plus, you can take advantage of SATA III speeds, so long as you’re armed with the proper equipment. The steps for doing this with the PlayStation 4’s newer “Slim” model are very similar, but if you need images to help, PlayStation has information for that specific system on its website.

To install a new hard drive on a PS4 Pro, you still need a Phillips-head screwdriver, a pair of USB flash drives, and a 2.5-inch SSD larger than 160GB, and up to 9.5mm thick. Remember that if you have a PlayStation Plus account, you can backup your save data in the cloud, which can take the place one of the two flash drives.

With your save files backed up, now you’re ready to perform some surgery on your PS4.

Step 1

Set the PS4 Pro on a flat, steady surface, on its back so that the rubberized PlayStation-branded grips on its underside are facing up.

Step 2

Locate the plastic tab immediately to the left of the Ethernet port. Yank the plastic tag off with your fingers or with a small knife. A metal hard drive caddie, held into place by a single screw.

Step 3

Unscrew the drive with your Phillips-head, then slide it out towards you by tightly gripping it on its sides.

Step 4

Take the 1TB onboard hard drive out of its caddy by unscrewing the four screws located on the right and left sides connecting the drive to the drive caddy. Pay close attention to the orientation of the hard drive; you’ll want to install your SSD at the same angle.

Step 5

With the hard drive removed from the caddy, it’s time to grab your SSD. Insert the solid state drive into the caddie the same orientation as the original hard drive, connectors and presumably logo facing up.

Step 6

ssd design contains data corruption vulnerability ps4 pro how to7

Once it’s seated in the caddy, you’ll want to screw the SSD in using the same Phillips-head screwdriver used to eject the caddy from the PS4 Pro to begin with.

Step 7

You may need to hold the SSD up a little to align the screws with both the holes on the caddy and the holes on the SSD itself. For the best results, start with two screws positioned diagonally from one another.

Step 8

Slide the drive caddy back into the PS4 Pro, the same way it came out. Next, you’ll want to maneuver the large screw (the first one you took out) back into place.

Step 9

Replace the plastic cover on top of the metal caddy. This may take some fiddling, but eventually you’ll notice the tag snaps back into place with a little force.

Step 10

The SSD has now been installed, but don’t get too excited just yet: You still need to initialize the PS4 Pro’s firmware.

Step 11

PlayStation 4 Software Update

Using a computer, download the latest PS4 operating system update file by visiting Sony and clicking the “Download Now” link. This will ensure you get the latest version.

Step 12

PS4 folder

Plug your other USB flash drive into your computer. Open it, and create a folder on the drive named “PS4.” Then, open the PS4 folder, and create another folder in there named “UPDATE.”

Step 13

PS4 Update file

Once you finish downloading the PS4 OS update file (which is called PS4UPDATE.PUP), drag it over to your flash drive, and place it in the UPDATE folder. Remember, the UPDATE folder needs to be inside the PS4 folder on your flash drive in order for this process to work.

Step 14

Plug USB into PS4

Eject your flash drive from your computer safely, and plug it into one of your PS4s front-mounted USB ports. These are the same ports that you can plug your DualShock 4 controller into.

Step 15

PS4 Power Button

Press and hold your PS4’s power button for 7 to 10 seconds until you hear two beeps. This will force it to boot into Safe Mode.

Step 16

Once you’re at the PS4’s Safe Mode menu, select the “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” option, which should be seventh on the list from the top of the screen. Your PS4 will scan the flash drive you plugged in for the update file that you downloaded using your computer. It may take 20 or 30 seconds, but the next screen that comes up will take you through some simple instructions on how to install the PS4’s operating system onto the SSD you just put in the console. This part of the process isn’t complicated at all; you’ll just have to press the X button on your PS4 controller a few times.

Step 17

To upload your save-game files, plug in the USB flash drive with your save files into the front of your PS4, open the console’s Settings menu, go to Application Saved Data Management, then Saved Data on USB Storage Device. Select “Copy to System Storage,” and your data will reinstall.

How to use an external hard drive with PS4 and PS4 Pro

how to upgrade your ps4 hard drive external

You can also expand your PS4’s storage capacity with an external hard drive, thanks to firmware update 4.5.0 released in early 2017. The PS4 supports external hard drives, both desktop and portable drives, from 250GB to 8TB. When you plug an external drive into your PS4 via USB, you have to format it. This means that you need to either use a fresh drive or backup the files on it before you format it for use with your PS4. Once formatted, the external drive can only be used with your PS4.

While using an external drive to expand your PS4’s storage hogs a USB port, you do have the benefit of utilizing both system storage space and hard drive space. Keep in mind you have to keep the drive plugged in at all times when the system is on. If you unplug it with the PS4 powered on, the data can become corrupted.

how to upgrade your ps4 hard drive external

Once up and running, you can switch the application install location by navigating to Settings, Storage, and pressing the options button on your controller. To move applications from system storage to external hard drive and vice versa, navigate to the application within Storage, press the options button on the controller, and choose “Move to Extended Storage” or “Move to System Storage.”

Oh, and if you’re curious how anyone could voluntarily have The Quiet Man installed, check out our full review.

Updated with instructions on how to upgrade storage capacity with external hard drives.


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