Red Dead Redemption 2, the eagerly anticipated title from Rockstar Games is released on October 26th. It has been announced that the game will require a minimum hard drive space of - wait for it - 105Gb !
Given that original PS4s come with a total HDD space of 500Gb, that is pretty immense, even by today’s standards.
Prior to PS4 System Software 4.5, owners could only upgrade their storage by replacing the internal hard drive. Since 4.5, external USB hard drives can be added to the PS4, up to 8 Terabytes.
However, some owners do not want more cables and hardware units lying around their already cluttered TVs, so still choose to upgrade the internal drive for a cleaner experience. If you are one of those owners, read on for a handy guide to upgrading the drive.
The 3DZ Guide to PS4 Hard Drive Upgrade
Things you need;
2) Backup Drive (USB Hard Drive, USB Pen Drive), or PSN for Cloud Backup
3) 2.5 inch SATA Hard Drive, 1TB or greater, 9.5mm in depth max (I used a Samsung M9T 2TB 9.5mm unit, £78 from Amazon)
4) Philips Screwdriver
1) Back up your precious data
2) Open up the PS4
3) Remove the old drive
4) Replace with the new drive
5) Reinstall System Software
6) Restore your backup
For the backup there are a number of ways of tackling this.
a) If you are a PSN member then you have the ability to save your data to the Cloud. This way if you ever need to upgrade your hard drive, replace your console or recover from a major system crash then everything is available to you – assuming you are able to get online.
b) If you are not a PSN member, or simply prefer the “material” nature of actual hardware you can touch, then you can back up your data to a USB hard drive (or pen drive). There are a couple of methods that you can use i) step by step backup of each save game file or ii) use the in-built backup/restore process available from PS4 firmware revision 2.50 and onwards. The guide here takes you through the full backup procedure, as the save backup and the Cloud option literally need you to choose each game and manually select and backup each save file – incredibly tedious.
To run the full backup, everything is pretty straightforward. The main thing to ensure is that your USB drive is formatted in FAT/FAT32/exFAT rather than NTFS. If your drive is in any other format the PS4 will not allow it to be used and give an error message.
Plug the drive in to one of the USB sockets on the front of the PS4, and then navigate to the Settings > System menu
Once there, choose Back Up and Restore and then Back Up PS4.
You will be given various options of what you would like to back up – Captures, Saved Data, Settings and Applications. Choose all items if you don’t want to have to reinstall all your games/apps, then click Next.
The machine will restart and then show a progress bar indicating how long it will take to complete the backup. Several hours initially, but mine ended up completing in a little over 90 minutes for 296.6 GB of data.
OPENING UP THE PS4 AND SWAPPING DRIVES
First thing first, make sure you turn off the PS4 – do not just put it into standby mode, but make sure you choose to fully power off, and then once all lights are out, unplug it from the mains. Unhook all cables and set it aside.
To open the PS4 you will see the glossy section on the left-hand side. Apply gentle pressure to the section and push down and left, it will pop open by about 1cm. At this point you can remove the cover.
Once inside, it is an easy task to remove the old hard drive. Just take a Philips screwdriver and remove the single silver screw (mine had Playstation icons on it)
Once the screw is removed, the hard drive tray can slide forward and be removed.
Now it’s just a matter of removing the 4 black screws holding the old drive in the tray, slotting your new drive in and replacing the screws.
Push the tray with your new drive back in to the housing and replace the silver screw.
Pop the gloss black top back on, sliding it back into place.
Now you can plug all of your cables back in. Don’t power up just yet.
RESTORING THE SYSTEM AND YOUR BACKUP
In order to get the machine back up and running, we firstly need to initialize the PS4 (restore the system software). In order to do that you will need to go to Sony’s website and download the latest PS4 Update file, and save it to your USB hard drive (the one you used to back up the data).
On your computer, go to https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/get-help/ps4-system-software/
Scroll down to the section that says “Perform a new installation of the system software” and select the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the system file. The file is around 800MB.
Please note, if you choose the “Update using a computer” section of the website, it will give you a download file of about 300MB. This is an update from an old firmware, rather than a full system file, and using it will result in an error.
Create a folder in the root of your USB hard drive called \PS4\UPDATE and copy the file PS4UPDATE.PUP into it. It is vital that your directory is named as above and the filename is not altered or the PS4 will not find the file.
Plug your USB hard drive into the PS4 and power it up into Safe Mode by holding down the Power button for at least 7 seconds (you should hear two beeps). Once it has started you will need to use a controller plugged into a USB slot to navigate the menu (it will have lost its pairing, so wireless will not currently work). Choose option 7 “Initialize PS4”. You will be asked to confirm the update file and then confirm that you definitely want to initialize the machine.
Now wait for the restore. This time my machine took around 90 minutes to complete the process. The machine will restart and everything should be back to as it was before you started the restore, with the exception that you now have lots of spare space.
GOTYA’S – THINGS THAT MAY GO WRONG
Make sure you by a 2.5 Inch hard drive that is no more than 9.5mm high.
Make sure you format your backup drive in exFAT/FAT/FAT32 format, not NTFS or the PS4 will not recognize it.
Make sure your backup drive is large enough to store all of your data.
If you don’t fully power your machine down, you may corrupt data on your old drive.
Don’t apply too much pressure on the case when removing the gloss black section, it’s pretty flexible plastic but I have heard of people breaking the location tabs.
The new drive should locate in the drive housing very smoothly and with little pressure. If you meet resistance don’t force it, the edge connectors could get damaged, ruining the drive or the PS4 itself.
Make sure you download the correct version of the PS4UPDATE.PUP file, or the PS4 will reject it.
Make sure you copy it into a new directory called \PS4\UPDATE in the root directory of your backup drive, or the PS4 will not find the file.
Make sure you do not alter the name or extension of the update file, or the PS4 will reject it.
Make sure you have a USB cable for your controller, as the PS4 will initially lose the pairing during the restore process.
You have to enter Safe Mode in order to get the Initialize Menu. Press and hold the power button for at least 7 seconds until you hear a second power beep.