Cannot start the PS4. Cannot access system storage. [CE-34335-8]

One of the worst nightmares of PS4 users is to get this annoying message that indicates there’s a serious error with PS4 system storage that prevents it from starting. The literal text of this error is: “Cannot start the PS4. Cannot access system storage. Press the power button for 1 second (until the system beeps) to turn off the PS4. (CE-34335-8)“. Or just as seen in the image below.

If you go to PlayStation official support page, you won’t find any real and helpful troubleshooting for this issue. PlayStation support page for this error suggests these steps:

  1. Turn off the PS4, unplug the power cord and remove the top cover.
  2. Check that the HDD is correctly installed by removing it from the console, and reinserted.
  3. If you are still experiencing the error after reinstalling the HDD, it could be corrupt or faulty, or your console may be in need of service. Please contact PlayStation Support for further assistance.

But, from a technical perspective, this is just crap. That’s because if the hard drive was working properly in the past and for a long time, it means it was correctly installed and fixed inside PS4. So, what’s the real point of checking whether it’s correctly installed or not? This is just ridiculous.

The fact that you have to boldly face is: your hard drive is corrupted and must either be fixed or replaced.

If you want my advice, in all cases you have to replace the stock hard drive of PS4. Just read the PS4 stock hard drive specs to fully realize what I am saying. Or you can just pick one of the top PS4 replacement hard drives listed in this article.

How to Fix Faulty PS4 HDD

PS4 hard drive contains your games, apps and other data that, to many users, it means a catastrophe to lose. So, the first thing you have to consider before upgrading/replacing PS4 hard drive is how to fix it first and recover the risked data.

You have to note that NOT all faulty hard drives are likely to be fixed. Some are totally dead and in need of an expensive, enterprise data recovery service to recover data from them. But hopefully the situation with your defective PS4 hard drive is not that bad.

Here, in this section, you’ll learn the basic steps to how to fix the defective PS4 hard drive in order to retrieve your data.

[1] Connect PS4 HDD to a PC

You have to connect the failed PS4 HDD to a PC in order to run diagnostic and repairing software tools on it. That’s possible to happen either internally or externally.

Internal Connection

If you have a laptop computer, it will be difficult to connect PS4 HDD internally. Thus, this method is best suited for desktop computers. You have to find a free SATA port on the motherboard of your PC and connect PS4 HDD to it. Additionally, you need to have a SATA data cable for this operation.

Foremost, turn off your PC before carrying out the first step. Then find the SATA data and power cables. You can easily identify them when you see how your PC hard drive is connected to the motherboard. Just resemble this situation with your PS4 hard drive.

the two USB ports in PS4 standard

Typical connection of a hard drive using SATA cables. The red cable is SATA data, and the connector on the right is the power SATA cable.

Once your PS4 hard drive is successfully connected to your desktop PC internally, turn on your PC and let it recognize it.

External Connection

This method works for both, laptop and desktop computers, but it requires an external hard drive enclosure. You can get that either by buying a new one or dismantling your existing external hard drive and use its enclosure for this process.

Connect the USB bridge correctly with the internal hard drive

Just make sure your PS4 hard drive is properly installed inside the enclosure and that the two connectors on the USB bridge of the external enclosure are duly fixed/crammed inside the corresponding ports on PS4 hard drive.

Now, connect the resulted external hard drive to your PC via one of the USB ports, and wait for it to be recognized. If not, just restart your computer and check that out.

What if your PC doesn’t Recognize the Drive?

Well, this doesn’t mean the end of the world. It might have recognized it improperly due to the corrupted system file.

So, go to Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Disk Management and Windows and check whether it has been recognized or not.

This is how Disk Management recognizes faulty drives (internal/external) as long as they are not totally dead.

If you can see your PS4 hard drive there, you’re lucky that there’s a hope to fix it. If you can’t after several attempts, then most probably it’s dead and you have to despair of it.

Now, what if PS4 hard drive is improperly recognized yet you can still see it in Disk Management screen? Well, follow the instructions illustrated in this document from Microsoft.

If you could fix the drive and get it to work properly on Windows, you’d have done a great job. Just connect it back to PS4 and perform a complete backup operation on your drive in case of emergency (See the next section). Otherwise, if you find yourself forced to format the drive, you better stop here and try to use a data cloning software in order to save your data from loss.

Note that data recovery tools won’t avail you here. That’s due to the fact that PS4 operating system totally encrypts the hard drive to the extent that data can only be read within PS4 system. That means either you backup your hard drive as a whole (cloning/imaging), or leave it as a whole. Partly recovering data won’t benefit at all.

I recommend Clonezilla disk imagining and cloning software for this mission. It’s totally free and very powerful.

What if PS4 HDD is Properly Recognized?

That means there are some bad sectors on the drive that need to be overridden and fixed. You can easily resolve that by using the Chkdsk tool in Windows OS. Please visit this detailed article to learn more how to use this tool to fix your faulty PS4 HDD.

After Fixing PS4 HDD

After you’ve fixed PS4 hard drive on PC, you have to connect it back to your console. You’re not supposed to see that disturbing error message again which states that you cannot start the PS4 and cannot access system storage.

Now, go fulfill a total backup operation on your PS4 HDD. This happens simply by going to System -> Back Up and Restore -> Back Up PS4

back up PS4

You need an external hard drive to store the backed up data on.

Conclusion

Error number [CE-34335-8] is really a bad omen. You must consider it a warning sign that your hard drive must be replaced in a short time frame with a more powerful and reliable drive. There are several options for this that you can learn in detail in our PS4 internal HDD upgrade guide.

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27 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    I have just replaced the internal PS4 Pro hard disk with a Samsung 860 Evo 4Tb SSD (model MZ-76E4T0). We wanted at least 4Tb of internal storage and cost was not issue.

    Installing the OS works ok but after a few hours of use, either (a) the console freezes/becomes unresponsive or (b) any downloads to the hard disk start failing. Upon rebooting the machine (either by unplugging the power cable or by using the restart option through the menu system), the system does a storage check. It then always goes to “Cannot start the PS4. Cannot access system storage [CE-34335-8].” I have repeated this behaviour 5 times each time by reinstalling the OS.

    I have checked the SSD in a computer and everything is fine and working with the brand new SSD. The stock hard disk works fine in the PS4.

    Any ideas on how to get this to work?

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Let me better understand your situation in order to provide you with an effective and reliable solution.

      You said: Installing the OS works ok but after a few hours of use, either (a) the console freezes/becomes unresponsive or (b) any downloads to the hard disk start failing.

      Does this mean it always works fine for a few hours without any problem, then these two incidents occur? Or it just happened once and now the SSD won’t work at all?

      You said: Upon rebooting the machine, the system does a storage check. It then always goes to “Cannot start the PS4. Cannot access system storage [CE-34335-8].” I have repeated this behaviour 5 times each time by reinstalling the OS.

      What I understand is that in the first run, it works fine for a few hours, then these problems occur and your SSD becomes inaccessible. You have then to reinstall the OS to go back to the first square. It will work again for a few hours, then those two incidents happen.

      So, all in all, you are only able to enjoy using SSD flawlessly for a few hours before these problems appear.

      Am I right?

      So, just confirm that. Was it only ONCE, or always after every time you reinstall the OS?

      • Ben says:

        A good thing to try is cleaning the contacts of the SATA connector on the PS4 PRO itself. To do this you’ll need to use something like 99% isopropyl alcohol spray on the SSD’s SATA connector then inserting and removing it from the PS4 multiple times to clean the connectors from the PS4 inside.

  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks for the quick reply. After each successful OS reinstallation to the SSD, yes it looks like it works for an hour or two. I can reliably reproduce this. The only method to overcome this is to reboot in safe mode and reinstall the OS yet again. Then it repeats itself again so I end up back in the same place. I’ve done this repeated installation cycle 6 times now.

    So in after each OS installation from safe mode, everything looks ok for a short while. Then the PS4 Pro needs rebooting after which the storage check fails and I get the CE-34335-8 error message.

    When I go into options, storage whilst it is working, it has currently formatted the drive and it is showing correctly as about 3.6Tb.

    So in answer to your question, it does this EVERY time the OS is installed.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      You’re welcome Sandy.

      I think your SSD needs some kind of maintenance. But before we go through maintaining the SSD, let’s do one trick.

      Can you just reinstall the OS again and leave your console turned on for hours without doing anything? Sometimes this might help SSD accommodate the new system installed.

      If nothing happens after around 5 hours, you can try playing for 15 minutes or so. Then stop it and leave the system on for an hour or so. Repeat this process until you finish 12 hours. Tell me if anything weird occurs during this process.

      Moreover, if that error occurs, you can again reinstall the PS4 OS and after 5 minutes, reboot the system. Do this process 5 times, then check whether this fixes the problem or not.

      Come back with the results you get of the two methods and tell me what has happened. I have to illustrate then how to perform the maintenance process on your SSD.

  3. Kristina says:

    Hey, great report.
    Ive recived recently a ps4 with this problem. Of course the first thing i did was to try another HDD. It didnt work, so ive tried another 5 HDD’s! The same problem kept showing off(CE-34335-8). The first time i’ve ran into something like that, I believe its something on motherboard. have you ever heard of it?
    Sry for bad Eng.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Hi, and thanks for the nice compliment.

      If this is your situation, then YES, the SATA interface is failing and can no longer build a connection with storage devices. You must take your console to a technician for a fix.

  4. Kristina says:

    Hey, thanks for replay.
    I am a technician and as i said unfortunately I’ve never came across this problem. I will try to look around SATA connection or replace it.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      You’re most welcome.

    • Thomas says:

      Hi Kristina, I have the same problem : I have changed the HDD but it always gives me this error. I can’t boot on safe mode. Do you succeed to change the SATA connection ?
      Thank you

    • Ben says:

      Sometimes this can be caused by the SATA controller chip going bad. Redoing the solder joints around it can fix it and sometimes the chip needs to be replaced.

      • Thomas says:

        Thank you for your reply. But I don’t understand why the console can’t boot on safe mode even if the SATA controller is not working well (Playstation security ?)
        Last question, do you know where can I buy a new SATA controller (I didn’t find on Internet) ?

        • Ben says:

          The console can still boot in safe mode with a bad SATA controller so the issue is caused by something else. I’m not sure whether or not you can get replacement SATA controllers for these boards. I take these from donor boards (dead PS4s).

  5. John says:

    Hello, I have been coming across this issue of the error message cannot start the PS4, it has happened to 5 of the PS4s I have done servicing on.

    As standard procedure we always check the hard drive health on a desktop computer for bad sectors.

    Sometimes when we put them back in we get that error message and we need to wipe that drive.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for this nice addition that might help someone overcome this problem. Much appreciated.

  6. Butse rand says:

    Hi, im having this issue right now. My Seagate 2TB hard disk was in my playstation when this happened. I tried putting it in my laptop but he wouldn’t recognize it at all so i thought my HDD was the problem. But I tried a HDD from a friend’s old PS4 and im having the same issue. Any ideas?

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Yes, there’s application conflicts taking place in your PS4 system. You have to reinitialize PS4 then directly install the latest system software update and this is supposed to resolve your issue.

      • Butse rand says:

        Hi, thx for the reply
        I can’t boot up my ps4 into safe mode it just gives me the same error. What do i do?

        • PS4 Storage says:

          Most probably the PS4 internal hard drive is corrupted and needs fixing. You better connect it to a PC (internally or externally, doesn’t matter) and try to perform several maintenance tasks on it.

  7. Alejandro says:

    Hi, I have a PS4 slim and I have the error code CE-34335-8 and I’m just thinking of buying a new HDD for it. I ordered a 2.5 sata HDD for it and I was wondering since I didn’t really have games or anything on it does it just start me off as a new person or do I also need to do the flash drive update?

  8. Alejandro says:

    34335-8 and I’m just thinking of buying a new HDD for it. I ordered a 2.5 sata HDD for it and I was wondering since I didn’t really have games or anything on it does it just start me off as a new person or do I also need to do the flash drive update?

  9. Hosef_yt says:

    Hello so yesterday i bought a ps plus card and 1 h later a game update came and i was waiting to it to update then this heppend is my ps plus gana expier if i dont get a new ps4 in 3 months

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