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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