Upgrading your the stock internal hard drive (HDD) of PlayStation 4 (PS4) is a good decision if you have lots of games and movies to store internally and want them handy and accessible whenever you need them. This option is mostly preferred for enthusiasts who play several high-end, heary resource-demanding sophisticated games, or have heaps of high definition movies to watch.
But before you upgrade your PS4 internal hard drive to a larger one, you must be aware first of the PS4 HDD Specs that the new drive must meet in order to have a successful upgrade process.
What are the PS4 hard drive (HDD) specs?
There are not many HDD specs to look for in order to find a compatible hard drive for your PS4. This makes things easier for everyone who looks to upgrade their current stock drive to a newer one.
The specs are:
- 2.5-inch form factor. This is the standard laptop hard drive form factor and you can find it in any shop that sells computer parts.
- 9.5mm thick or less. That’s because the height of the hard drive cage in PS4 doesn’t accept thicker than 9.mm. So you can either go for that thickness or LESS. Usually a lesser thickness is not found outside the SSD realm. [Check our PS4 SSD Guide], even though Seagate has recently released its slimmest 7mm HDD in 1TB and 2TB.
- Interfaced with Serial ATA (SATA) only. The authorized interface of PS4 hard drive is SATA. But what version of SATA? It doesn’t really matter. Yes, there have been many debates on what version of SATA PS4 utilizes, and the majority of experts deduced it was SATA-II, but again it doesn’t really matter, even if what can be found on the market is just a SATA-III interfaced drive. That’s because SATA-III is backward compatible with SATA II. So either one you buy will fit into your PS4 system
- Hard drive’s type doesn’t matter. You can either go for a regular mechanical hard disk drive (HDD), or to the flash-based solid state drive (SSD), or what combine both technologies together into one drive: Solid state hybrid hard drive (SSHD). All will work perfectly with your PS4 game console. Just make sure the follow the above specifications.
- Speed also doesn’t matter. Whether it’s 7200RPM or 5400RPM, all will work seamlessly with PS4 console.
You can find more about the compatible hard drives that meet PS4 HDD specs laid out above in our PS4 Hard Drive (HDD) Upgrade Guide.
How to Upgrade PS4 Hard Drive (HDD)
After you’ve learned about the standard specs of PS4 HDD, you may want to upgrade your PS4 stock hard drive to a larger one to handle the avalanche of data coming to your game console everyday.
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are both equipped with a 2.5-inch 500GB hard drive that spins at 5,400 revolutions per minute. Only the PlayStation 4’s hard drive, however, can be replaced or upgraded.
Unlike so many other devices nowadays, Sony built the PS4 with HDD upgrade capability in mind, so it’s fairly simple to upgrade your PlayStation’s hard drive – and it won’t even void the warranty. Interested? Here’s how to do it.
Sony previously allowed gamers to upgrade their hard drives in the PlayStation 3, and with some games taking up more than 50GB of space, we are thankful the company kept the same philosophy with the PlayStation 4.
The process is relatively simple and should only take you a couple of minutes to complete.
The Upgrade Process
Quickly here are the steps we must follow in order to perform a successful PS4 HDD upgrade:
- Obtain a new hard drive that’s larger and faster
- Back up all of your games and movies using an external hard drive
- Physically install the new hard drive
- Download and install PlayStation 4 Operating System on the new drive
- Reinstall your game saves and captures, and transfer your movies and other files to the new drive.
The first step to do is:
Buy a good hard drive for PS4
If you’re going to bother swapping out your hard drive, you should definitely pick a replacement that’s both faster and higher capacity. I would recommend for this purpose Seagate/Samsung SpinPoint M9T ST2000LM003.
If you don’t want to go for that drive, you can still find other options in our PS4 HDD Upgrade Guide or other drives of your choice, just make sure they meet the standard PS4 Hard Drive specs.
You can go also with an SSHD or SSD if you’re willing to spend some more money, but know that the performance improvements will vary wildly depending on which games you play and how you use your PS4. Just make sure you buy a 2.5-inch SATA II-compatible drive that’s 9.5mm thick or smaller, and everything should work out fine.
If you want to use a bigger drive on your PS4, say 4TB capacity, the Nyko Data Bank is an affordable way to make that happen. And now with PS4 software update v. 3.5, PS4 support an upgrade capacity up to 4TB. You can read more about that in our PS4 4TB Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Guide.
Use an external hard drive for data backup
I’ll suppose you haven’t yet got PS Plus, or just don’t trust the cloud, therefore you better upload your game files and movies to a USB external hard drive. The process is so easy, and it can take place without any hassle. Just make sure to properly format the external hard drive to well match PS4 requirements.
Is using an external SSD more advisable than regular external hard drive?
Well, the problem with external SSDs is they are expensive with limited capacities compared with external hard drives. But if you already own an external SSD, then for sure it is more recommended for this process than any other external device, as things will go much faster for you.
Remove the stock hard drive and install the new one
This process is very simple and doesn’t need any experience. Therefore we will not elaborate on it. We would just emphasize that you turn off the electricity on your PS4 before doing this operation.
Download and install PS4 Operating System on the new drive
We have stated in our PS4 4TB Internal Hard Drive Upgrade Guide the issues you may encounter if you go for a larger capacity that 4TB. We have also stated some beneficial tips on how to install PS4 latest software update. I strongly advise you to have a look on that article before starting the upgrade process.
But briefly, you can download the PS4 latest software update from here. Just make sure to download the full package, not the update only. Because you are starting a fresh new install from scratch, and this requires the full package Ps4 operating system.
Once installation is complete, the PlayStation 4 will restart and boot as if it were the first time you powered it on, requiring you to create an account, sign in to the PlayStation Network, and download your content.
Finally, your new hard drive is in place, and you have room to keep your library installed.