Why Is PS4 Database Corrupted? | Total Fix By Experts
It happens sometimes while you’re playing your favorite game on PS4 that the database suddenly becomes corrupted. When that happens, the game will freeze or stop working and you’ll the message: “The database is corrupted. The PS4 will restart.” as seen below:
Once you get that message, it means it’s the time to rebuild PS4 database to fix this error.
Why Does PS4 Database Get Corrupted?
Let’s first understand what PS4 database is, and how it becomes corrupted.
The PS4 database is an organized collection of data. More specifically, the PS4 database is an electronic system that allows data to be easily accessed, manipulated and updated.
So, how does PS4 database get corrupted?
There are many ways to spoil data files. Often, corruption is due to defects in the underlying platform, which PS4 relies on to store and retrieve data – disk subsystem, controllers, communication channels, drivers, firmware or other hardware faults.
PS4 Data corruption can also occur if the console restarts suddenly, or it reboots due to a crash of other OS components. If the database instance was in the middle of writing data to disk, it could write the data partially which may end up with a page checksum that is different than expected. There have also been bugs in PS4 system software, so even if everything seems ok, the PS4 system itself can cause corruption.
PS4 Database Corruption Common Reasons
There are multiple reasons that can cause PS4 database corruption. The most common ones are:
- Hard disk failure or fragmentation. This is the most common reason.
- Storage media corruption.
- Accidental data deletion.
- Unsuccessful PS4 System Software installation or update.
- File header corruption.
- Bugs in disk drivers.
- Network failure when playing online or downloading a game/app.
- Sudden power failure/surge.
- Unexpected system shutdown.
PS4 Data Corruption Symptoms
Whatever the cause of corruption is, you cannot get to know about it until you access the damaged data. You get any of the below-mentioned symptoms while trying to interact with corrupt data of your PS4 database:
- Error Message: “The database is corrupted. The PS4 will restart.”
- Slow in-game loading times.
- PS4 disc drive issues (not reading a disc).
- Sluggish menu navigation.
- Stuttering during gameplay and cutscenes.
Mentioned above is the list of common symptoms of PS4 database corruption. However, there can be various other symptoms for the same as well. In such situations, many will recommend you that rebuilding the database is always the best way to resolve this problem, which is not completely true. That’s because sometimes the problem stems from a hardware failure that hold responsibility to process and restore data. The hard disk drive (HDD) is the main culprit then.
So, let’s begin first with the easiest method to fix corrupted PS4 database. If that doesn’t work, try other methods in hope that eventually one will work.
Rebuilding PS4 Database
Rebuilding your PS4 database scans your PS4 system for any files that may be buggy or not working as they should. It doesn’t delete any data and can fix corrupted data. (Think of it as similar to chkdsk on Windows 10.)
To rebuild your PS4 database, make sure your PS4 is off, then hold the power button until you hear two beeps (one upon pressing the button, another several seconds later). This should boot your PS4 into Safe Mode.
Plug your PS4 controller into your PS4 via a USB cable (Bluetooth doesn’t work on this screen), and select the ‘Rebuild Database’ option. After a few minutes your PS4 database should be rebuilt, and hopefully the the PS4 corrupted database woes will be gone.
Note that this process can take several hours, during which time you must not turn off your console. You will often see a black screen, and this is normal. Allow this process to finish completely and you’ll be good to go once more.
Other Benefits of Rebuilding PS4 Database
Worth it to say here that rebuilding PS4 database doesn’t only fix the corrupted database issues on PS4, but it has also other benefits. Some of these benefits are:
- Restore the performance of the PS4. When the PS4 becomes slow or begins to freeze, the database rebuild can fix that.
- If you notice weird behavior of PS4 while browsing the internet or during the online gaming. Simply, the first thing you have to do is to rebuild the PS4 database.
- Slow internet connection can also be fixed by rebuilding the PS4 database. Sometimes it happened because of corrupted data within the PS4 system.
We believe that every PS4 user has to learn how to rebuild the PS4 database correctly. It’s not only because of the desire to avoid PS4 database corruption in future, but also to maintain the optimum performance of the PS4 for a long time.
If the PS4 database corruption symptoms keep happening even after rebuilding the database, it’s time to initialize PS4.
Initialization of your PS4 system restores system settings to default values. This process is often referred to as a “factory” or “hard” reset. It deletes data saved on system storage and deletes all users and their data from the system.
To carry out this operation, you need to boot up into Safe Mode first. Note that the Safe Mode should only be used when one is experiencing major problems. Problems such as PS4 database corruption that could not be fixed by rebuilding, system failures, game error, recurrent errors, or boot issues.
- Make sure your console is turned off.
- Hold down the power button until you hear 2 beeps (for approximately 8 seconds).
- When you see the Safe Mode screen, plug in your DualShock 4 controller via USB.
- Turn on your controller by pressing the PS Home button.
Now, choose option #7 labelled: “Initialize PS4 – Reinstall System Software“. This option even erases your system software, which you’d have to reinstall via USB. It’s what we recommend over option #6 (soft initialization). As since PS4 database rebuild didn’t help fixing the corruption, it means the PS4 system software itself is causing errors.
Formatting PS4 Internal Hard Drive
If none of the above worked, most probably your hard drive is malfunctioning due to bad sectors. That’s why you can’t repair PS4 corrupted database whatsoever you try. It’s because the primary storage device (the internal HDD) is not storing data correctly. So, you have to FULL format it in order to resolve this issue.
First, connect it to a PC, either internally using the two SATA cables (data and power), or externally (easier option) using a USB external hard drive enclosure.
Secondly, after your PC recognizes it, just perform a FULL format (not quick). Full format will totally eliminate errors on the hard drive and restore its performance.
Worth it to say that you better upgrade PS4 hard drive to a faster and more powerful drive. That’s because the stock hard drive of PS4 is just a slow, outdated drive that may cause you lots of troubles in the future.
For more information on this subject, please read our PS4 Hard Drive Failure guide.
How to Avoid PS4 Database Corruption
This is an important question to bring up here and every PS4 user must learn its answer.
Every IT professional knows that after a period of time, the PS4 database gets corrupted due to long use. Yes, the PS4 system tries its best to maintain its performance and the health of its database, especially when it reboots, but that’s not enough. Eventually the PS4 database will get corrupted and you have to rebuild it or follow any other suggested method.
There’re a few things you can do to avoid the PS4 database get corrupted, such as:
- Regularly rebuild the PS4 database, even if the database is not corrupted. This is mandatory at least once every 6 months if you want to avoid slowness and other related issues.
- Always back up the PS4 hard drive when you feel the system is running flawlessly and seamlessly.
- Get an SSD for your PS4. SSDs can protect you from lots of system issues, including the PS4 database corruption, for a long time.
- Install your games externally on an extended storage. That way, if the PS4 database gets corrupted, and there’s no other way but to format the PS4 internal HDD, your games are safe there.
So, none Works So Far? Surely you have reached this point after you failed to repair the corrupted PS4 database through the above methods. Then it seems there’s a serious hardware failure your PS4 is undergoing. In most cases, it’s the hard drive that’s no longer capable to function properly. You have to consider upgrading it to a new drive. If it’s affordable, I would recommend upgrading PS4 HDD to an SSD. It is the fastest storage device and most reliable on the market as of today. You’ll enjoy vast performance improvement and better overall gaming experience if you go for an SSD for your PS4.
Eventually, PS4 corrupted database is the cause of wrong data processing. Either due to a hardware failure or abrupt interruption of data. You can always try these three suggested solutions to resolve this issue. If you feel you’re not qualified or that you’re not savvy enough for this, take your PS4 to an experienced technician to fix that for you.
What does PS4 database corrupted mean?
PS4 database corruption is defined as a problem associated with the improper storage of all the zeroes and ones that you need to store your data at the disk or IO sub-system level.
What to do when ps4 database is corrupted
Start first with rebuilding the PS4 database. If it doesn't work, try to full initialize the PS4. The last resort is to format the internal HDD of PS4.
What causes the PS4 database corruption?
There are several reasons, the most common is the long use of the PS4 and updating its system software several times without previously rebuilding the database.