With large install sizes and future PS+ content, I felt that the PS4’s standard 500GB HDD wasn’t going to be enough to suit my needs, so planning ahead I bought a larger sized disc drive and on the day I purchased my PS4, installed it straight out of the box.
The entire upgrade I found very easy and straightforward, even more so than the PS3, and I’ve upgraded seven of them in my time.
Below is my guide and hands-on experience.
Before doing anything to your PS4, make sure you back up all your valuable data either to PS+ or removable flash thumb drive and sync your trophies as your system will be wiped of all content.
If like me and you’re upgrading straight from new then no backup is necessary.
♦Neither myself nor JoypadAndMe are responsible if your PS4 is damaged during the process♦
→Upgrade at your own risk←
What you’ll need
You’ll need the following items during the upgrade.
Small/medium sized Phillips-head screwdriver, a flash thumb drive at least 1GB in size, your DualShock 4 and it’s USB sync cable and a new, larger hard drive.
Don’t remove the drive from its anti-static bag until you’re about to fit it.
Step 1 – Buying the right upgrade for you
I decided to buy a 1TB Hybrid disc drive for my PS4.
Size aside, what made me choose hybrid?
For those not in the know, a hybrid drive is a mixture of a spinning disc which data is read/written and flash memory acting as a cache for faster loading of commonly used files. It’s a hybrid of a traditional hard disc drive and a solid state drive (essentially a big flash memory) which offers faster speeds.
Now why not go for solid state?
Well currently SSDs are very expensive for what you’re getting in terms of storage space, some can be as pricey as the PS4 console itself. I wouldn’t recommend one just purely on price alone.
There’s also nothing wrong with using HDD to upgrade with but I thought I’d buy the best I could for my price-range. Prices of HDDs have dropped considerably over the years and you can likely get yourself a 1TB for under £50.
I bought my 1TB hybrid for £90, so there’s really not much in it. Performance-wise the hybrid will be slightly faster but if shaving a few seconds off load times doesn’t bother you then go for a HDD.
Like its predecessor, the PS4 can take most 2.5 inch SATA II drives or “laptop drives” as they can also be called as long as they’re no thicker than 9mm (to be able to fit inside the console) and no smaller in capacity than 160GB and run at 5400rpm. With Hybrids you can buy ones with large cache sizes, it just depends on what you’re willing to pay.
You can find what you need online by searching for “2.5 SATA” or “1TB hybrid” and you’ll likely find what you’re after on Amazon or Play.com.
Read the product reviews before you buy.
Step 2 – Firmware
Like the PS3, the PS4 requires you to re-install it’s operating system after upgrading your hard drive.
Sony’s official website offers the firmware for free PC download. Find their site by searching “PS4 firmware” and navigate to the right page (Editors note Do not download firmware from any other source, Treat it like sex, if you don’t know where it’s been don’t risk it!). For this you’ll need a flash thumb drive of at least 1GB.
Make sure your flash drive will fit in your PS4, the narrow access to its front USBs may restrict bulky or novelty flash drives.
Make sure you download the correct file. There are two types on Sony’s website; an update and the full firmware. You only need ONE of these: the firmware. If the file is over 800MB, you’ve got the right one.
The file should download to your PC as PS4UPDATE.PUP.
Sony has step-by-step instructions on how to put it on the drive but just to be clear it needs to be inside two folders for the PS4 to be able to read it, like this –
PS4 > UPDATE > PS4UPDATE.PUP
(All upper-case letters)
Step 3 – Upgrading
Before doing anything, make sure your hands are clean and dry.
Power off completely and unplug your PS4, remove all cables and place on a flat surface. Perhaps let it cool off if you’ve been playing it prior to this.
Simply slide off the glossy cover on the top of the PS4. Be gentle as it’s only plastic but it should wiggle free with not much effort.
Underneath is the metal skeleton of the console and the HDD enclosure.
On the corner you’ll notice a large screw with the PlayStation symbols on.
Unscrew this, put to one side and don’t lose it!
Gently wiggle and slide out the HDD enclosure and there you’ll see what you need to remove.
Unscrew the four small black screws located at each corner of the enclosure, this will free the drive.
Carefully remove the standard drive and place to one side.
Be careful to only handle the top metal portions of both the old and your new drive.
Avoid touching the underneath.
Remove your new drive from its anti-static bag and slide into the enclosure bracket.
Line up the screw holes and replace the black screws you removed a moment ago.
Put the standard 500GB drive you just removed in to the anti-static bag that the new one came in.
Slide the enclosure bracket back in, making sure it’s firmly in place and replace the large “Playstation screw”
Replace the glossy cover and you’re set to install the software.
Step 4 – “Initialising”
Plug your PS4 back in to all it’s cables and attach the DualShock 4 to the system with its USB sync cable.
Once plugged in, press and hold the power button on the console for 7 seconds until you hear a beep, this boots the console into Safe Mode.
Using the DualShock 4, navigate the list of options that appear to the bottom “Initialise PS4”, basically a reinstall OS command.
At this point you’ll be prompted to put in your flash drive with the firmware on it. Do so and follow the prompts to start the install.
The installation will start and will take 5-10 mins depending on your new drive’s speed.
You’ll see a few progress bars, one that’s “preparing” and a second that’s actually installing.
It’ll likely hang on 99% for a while but don’t worry.
After this the system will reboot and you’ll be greeted by the initial start-up screen, follow it and voila. Upgraded PS4
Go in to system settings and marvel at your newly-acquired space for all your digital goodies.
As for that spare 500GB drive you’ve got laying about?
Maybe you’ve got a PS3 that needs a little more storage?