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Upgrading your PS4 HDD


Upgrading the PS4 hard drive.

The PS4 was released in the UK in late 2013, with the only available storage being 500gb, which appeared to be substantial at the time. Two years of PS+ games and triple ‘A’ titles receiving more updates than the Geospatial summary of the High peaks/Summits of the Juneau Icefield Wiki page**.

**7290 changes made in 2015.


If you’re anything like me any new install is akin to a 1 in 1 out policy at midnight at your favourite nightclub.

Battlefield. I love it dearly, (Sunday 9pm games night fans) but at 70gb it’s my worst offender, and with digital becoming the norm for purchases it was just before Christmas my patience was finally tested to breaking, with installs still taking their sweet time important decisions were having to be made as to what made the cut of my precious HD space.

One of the real beefs with extra storage and this Sony system is that it’s not just a case of plug in an external hard drive and away you go, it takes a full on drive swap which with me being me, led to cold sweats and ‘Nam’ style flashbacks.

My tech experience I would say is low to medium, I’m probably the most dangerous type of hardware guy as in I think I know what I’m doing, but I usually end up winging it.

Here’s an example of my type of build…



Alongside this Reddit sourced example I can also lay claim to my PC graphics card being supported by two cardboard toilet rolls and the finest DDR2 RAM China has to offer, and now I’ve successfully upgraded my storage without major issues or small uncontrolled fires, and I’ve survived to tell you how…

A couple of points I will mention, is make sure you get the right size, the PS4 uses a 2.5 inch SATA drive and it needs to be under 9.5mm thick because of the casing for the drive which neatly keeps your drive in place. Here’s the stock PS4 drive for example and also an example of one that won’t fit…


IMG_1007 BADIMG_1017

The second point is the speed,  most models available which includes the stock drive run at 5400rpm, if the coins allow I’d recommend upgrading that whilst you are here for a 7200rpm drive, as my Ford Galaxy can attest, 7200prm is really fast, better still, if you’re mind go the whole hog and get a SSD drive installed, if speed is your thing.

So first off your shopping list, what you’ll need to get the job done.

PS4 (don’t forget this) (and if you don’t know what this looks like leave the room immediately..)

Phillips screwdriver


2.5-inch shiny new SATA HDD


USB memory stick (for old saves & PS4 Firmware)


PC with internet



PS4 controller with microUSB cable


Cup of tea / coffee



Step 1:  buy the hard drive and locate & dust off the memory stick.

Step 2: Back up the saves. You can’t back up any saved games but you can any profiles that you want to keep, you have to do these individually per game which is a bit of a pain but may be worth it just for the spring clean.., first plug in your memory stick and in the PS4 menu go to settings > application saved data management > saved data in system storage. Here you can copy your saves across.

Step 3: Download the firmware. After you’ve got all your saved games across it’s time to copy across the firmware onto your PC and ultimately onto your memory stick. You’ll find the firmware here but don’t make the same mistake as me and just download the update file, you need the one under the section Perform a New Installation of the System Software the file is about 800 or so MB as opposed to the 350 MB which won’t work later on in the process as I found out to my own confusion. This link also tells you the folder set up you need so that the PS4 can find it later on.

Step 4: Locating the hard drive. Unplug the PS4 would probably be a wise move here, and sit your system on table preferably, grabbing the shiny top side of your PS4 it should slide to the left and off the console, it’s not held on with screws so it should be simple.

Step 5: removing the hard drive. Only one screw to remove here, and Sony have made it relevant by detailing the PlayStation button icons on it, with your screwdriver, it’s time for that all important manual labour. Once it’s unscrewed you can just pull out the drive caddy horizontally. Once this is out there are 4 screws either side of the caddy holding the drive in place, unscrew these and keep them handy and insight.


Step 6: Installing the shiny new drive. Now it’s just a case of unboxing your upgrade, sitting it into the caddy and screwing the 4 screws back into place, and then sliding the hard drive back into position and screwing the Playstation screw back into place. Finally sliding the shiny PS4 cover back into place, by this time your kettle should have boiled so take 5 for your Tetley’s / Nescafe.

Step 7: Installing the Sony operating system. Plug your PS4 back in with all cables and also plug in a controller and your memory stick, you need to put the PS4 into safe mode so hold the power button to switch it on and keep holding the power button for about 7 – 10 seconds until you hear the second beep, from here your system should enter safe mode. When you get the selection of options you want number 7, Initialise PS4 (Reinstall System Software), The PS4 should then grab the software from the memory stick and do its thing.


Once that’s completed it’s like having a brand new PS4, you’ll need to set up your accounts and also install all of your games along with any of the saves you kept on your memory stick, also when reinstalling your game saves you won’t be able to install any for games you’ve not yet downloaded, hopefully if you’re mostly digital like me you don’t have a capped internet provider!


And there you go, 7 easy steps to take to a better life, and less digital storage related stress!, finally, now you’ve updated your drive you can use the old one as a drinks mat, result!


Disclaimer: Frugal Gaming can not be held responsible for any drunken or non-drunken breakages, that may occur from following this guide.


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