Connect a USB Storage Device That Contains an Update [Fixed]

Sometimes when you try to update the PS4 system to the latest version, you get stuck in the safe mode with the following on-screen message: “Connect a USB storage device that contains an update file for reinstallation for version [X.XX] or later“. Sometimes this message comes with error code [CE-34788-0] and sometimes it doesn’t. Here, you don’t really know what’s going on. You have properly connected the USB storage device and it contains the update file already. So, what’s wrong? Is there any hardware issue with the PS4? Or maybe with the USB storage device that holds the update file? Or is it just the system messing up and a simple reboot will fix this problem?

Well, all of these are possible scenarios. So let’s dive deeper into this topic and try to find a relevant resolution.

What Does Error [CE-34788-0] Message Mean?

Apparently, the Error [CE-34788-0] message indicates that the PS4 system hasn’t been updated correctly. Accordingly, this resulted in corruption in the PS4 system files and it requires that you reinstall the update.

connect a USB storage device that contains an update file

The Causes of This Error

Error [CE-34788-0] happens when you try to update the PS4 system but the update process fails due to several reasons. The most common reasons for that are:

  • The PS4 tries to automatically update its system but unfortunately the internet connection gets interrupted. This interruption of the internet connection is enough to corrupt the update file, thus corrupt the PS4 system files.
  • Updating the PS4 system manually with a corrupted update patch using a USB storage device. This happens either because of an error in the internet connection while downloading the update file or the USB storage device itself failed during storing that file on it.
  • The PS4 hard drive suddenly halted and malfunctioned during the update process. This halt may last a second only to the extent that you won’t observe it, but it’s enough to damage the whole system. On the other hand, the PS4 hard drive itself may suffer from bad sectors and need maintenance.
  • The PS4 processor (CPU) has generated an abrupt error and failed to process the update file correctly. Consequently, this situation results in a corrupted system files that the PS4 won’t be able to start.
  • An ambiguous hardware failure within the PS4 can cause this as well, such as a USB connection failure.

Methods to Fixing Error [CE-34788-0]

Fixing Error [CE-34788-0]

Whatever the reason is that caused getting Error [CE-34788-0] message, you have to try every method listed below until something works out for you. So, let’s see the available methods to fixing error message “Connect a USB storage device that contains an update file…[CE-34788-0]“.

Reboot and Shutdown

The easiest and quickest fix is to reboot the PS4. If you still see that message after reboot, you better try to totally turn off the PS4. You’ll need to unplug the power cable and wait almost 15 seconds before you plug it back in. Now, turn on the PS4 and check whether this resolves the problem or not. If not, try other methods, hope you’ll find a method that works.

Rebuilding the Database

The first thing you have to try here is to rebuild the database, as the file corruption might only affected it, not the whole system files.

In order to rebuild the PS4 database, please follow the steps illustrated below:

Rebuild PS4 Database

  1. Turn off the PS4 completely (i.e. not in Rest Mode).
  2. Once off, press and hold the power button. Release it after you’ve heard two beeps: one when you initially press, and another about seven seconds later. This will boot the PS4 into Safe Mode.
  3. Connect a DualShock 4 controller with a USB cable and press the PS button on the controller. If the PS4 isn’t recognizing the controller, you may have attached a ‘power only’ USB cable – use the one that came with the controller.
  4. Select the option Rebuild Database. It will warn you that it may take hours.

Try to Install the Update Again

update ps4 system software using the safe mode

If rebuilding the PS4 database didn’t resolve this problem, you have to try your luck and reinstall the update file. But this time, you have to download a fresh copy of the update file from the official PS4 system software update page.

Note that when you visit the PS4 system software update official page, you will see two options:

  1. Download PS4 update file. This option allows you to download the update patch (not the whole software). Download it using a computer and store it on a USB storage device, either a USB flash drive or a USB external hard drive.
  2. Download PS4 reinstallation file. This is the second option on the right. It allows you to download the WHOLE PS4 system software in order to get a fully clean installation. Accordingly, this means you’ll lose all your data on the PS4 HDD, so I hope you already have backup.

Starting the Update Process

So, how can you update the PS4 system software using the USB storage device?

The process is way very easy, just follow the instructions carefully and you’ll be fine.

  1. Insert the USB storage device into your computer and create a folder on the USB drive named “PS4”. Inside that folder, create another folder named “UPDATE”.
  2. Download the update file and save it in the “UPDATE” folder. Save the file with the file name “PS4UPDATE.PUP”.
  3. Ensure that the “PS4” folder is at the root of the USB storage device, and not contained in another folder: USB (D:) > PS4 > UPDATE.
  4. Connect a DS4 controller (using a USB cable) and the USB drive to the PS4 system.
  5. Start the PS4 system in Safe Mode: press and hold the power button, releasing after the second beep.
  6. Select Safe Mode option 3 “Update System Software”.
  7. Select [Update from USB Storage Device] > [OK].

If the PS4 can’t recognize the USB storage device, perhaps there’s an error in the USB port in which the USB storage device is connected. Try to switch to the next port and reboot the PS4. Now check whether the update process would work or not.

If your PS4 system does not recognize the update file, check that the folder names and file name are correct. Enter the folder names and file name in single-byte characters using uppercase letters.

If the update process fails, that indicates that the problem is critical. In this case, you’ll need to FULL initialize the PS4 and reinstall the whole PS4 system software. This operation will delete all your saved data, so you’ll be lucky if you’ve already taken a backup recently. If you haven’t, I can only say: hard luck!

Format the PS4 Hard Drive

Format the PS4 hard drive to eliminate any potential errors on its platters

Generally, the PS4 hard drive must be full formatted at least once every year. The format operation restores its original performance and eliminates any error found inside it. That’s why when you have a serious error with the PS4, always suspect the hard drive first.

Formatting the PS4 hard drive is easy and doesn’t require a savvy to perform it. Just follow the simple instructions in this guide and you’ll be fine.

Worth it to say that if your budget permits, you better get an SSD for PS4 and replace the PS4 stock hard drive with it. That’s because the PS4 stock hard drive is a mechanical device that naturally causes functional errors after a while of use. As for SSDs, they are way too reliable than HDDs and have very low failure rate as compared to mechanical HDDs. Additionally, the PS4 hard drive specifications are not appealing in this era. It’s slow and outdated and doesn’t meet the modern storage standards of today.

Full Initialize the PS4

Initialize PS4 to resolve Error [CE-34788-0]
Before we begin, you should know that initializing PS4 completely wipes the console’s hard drive and even removes its system software. It’s a last resort when a software glitch stops your PlayStation 4 dead in its tracks, particularly when booting up or when you want to make sure the console no longer has your data on it.

You should have already backed up any data you want to keep, such as images and video, to an external device or to the cloud.

You’ll need also to download the full package of PS4 system software on a computer and store it on an external storage device. (Please visit this official page to learn more on how to download that software and install it properly after initialization)

Now, in order to initialize PS4, you need to access the Safe Mode. To do that, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Turn off your PS4 using the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
  2. Once the PS4 is off, press and hold the power button. Release it after you’ve heard two beeps: one when you initially press, and another 7 seconds later.
  3. Connect the DualShock®4 controller with the provided USB cable and press the PS button.

Now, select option 7 [Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software), and you’re all done.


Generally, Error [CE-34788-0] that comes with the message “Connect a USB storage device that contains an update file” is easy to fix. Usually, it is only a software-related issue that can be resolved by either trying to re-update, or, in worst scenario, to initialize the PS4. Sometimes the problem is with the PS4 hard drive itself, but it’s very rare that one of the PS4 hardware causes it.

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10 Responses

  1. Dario says:

    Connect a USB storage device that includes an update file for reinstallation for version 6.51 or later, according to the message on my PS4.

    It still displays the same thing after several hours of being unplugged and left alone.

    I don’t want to format it since if I do, I might lose my Read Dead Redemption 2 game progress (I was playing that before this).

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Fix 1: Completely Turn off the PS4. …
      Fix 2: Connect with Another USB Device. …
      Fix 3: Clear the CMOS Memory. …
      Fix 4: Format USB Drive to FAT32 or exFAT. …
      Fix 5: Rebuild Database. …
      Fix 6: Update or Reinstall PS4. …
      Fix 7: Contact PlayStation Customer Support.

  2. Andrson says:

    When I connect a USB storage device containing an update file for version 8.03’s reinstallation, it says USB is not connected.

    • PlayStation Expert says:

      Every PlayStation Network suspension is the result of a careful investigation by the PlayStation Safety team. Suspensions are therefore irrevocable and cannot be challenged unless: You were suspended due to an account debt. Once the remaining sum is paid, this will be removed.

  3. Oscar says:

    Connect a USB storage device that contains an update file for reinstallationtion for
    Version 9.50 or late
    You can download the update file for reinstallation from

  4. MK says:

    Thanks. Went through all options, updated the software via the usb drive, still wouldn’t let me pass, tried full initialisation- didn’t work. Went back and tried normal initialize and boom! 🙂 thanks a lot!

  5. Agape Jakes says:

    How about quick intialization

    • PS4 Storage says:

      If the PS4 system software is corrupted and suffers from system file conflict, only a full initialization will work.

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