PS4 External Hard Drive NOT Recognized NOT Working [Fixed]
Many PS4 users complain that their PS4 external hard drive is not recognized thus not working on their PS4. They simply try to connect their external hard drive to PS4, but the PS4 system won’t recognize it and the PS4 external HDD won’t work. This is just a pesky situation for which many users seek a permanent fix.
There are many reasons that may lead to this situation and prevent the PS4 system from recognizing your external hard drive, or that the PS4 external hard drive just stops working suddenly and is no longer functional on the PS4 no matter how many times you try to connect/disconnect it to your console.
What you, as a PS4 user, need to know is that there are varied reasons that cause the PS4 external hard drive not to work. And, depending on the cause of the problem, the solution varies from one user to another.
Sometimes the cause of this problem is as simple as changing the USB cable of the PS4 external HDD, and other times the situation is difficult to the extent that you have to buy a new external HDD.
PS4 External HDD Not Working Error Messages
When the PS4 system has trouble recognizing the external hard drive, it will show up some error messages on the screen that indicate this problem. Sometimes there will be no error message at all, you just realize that your PS4 external hard drive is not working because it does not show up on the screen.
Many users get an error message that states: “The USB storage device is not connected“. Other users don’t get any message at all, no matter what type of external storage they try to connect to the PS4. It’s just that the PS4 system no longer responds to the external HDD connected to it.
So, if you’re getting that error message, most of the below methods will help. But if nothing works, please scroll down to the bottom of this article and visit the recommended page. There you’ll find additional tips and more details on this specific error message.
As for this article, you’ll learn why your PS4 external hard drive not working, what are the possible reasons, and how to resolve this issue entirely.
Symptoms of PS4 External HDD Failure
Many non-savvy PS4 users who have a problem with their PS4 external hard drives are unable to distinguish between PS4 software issues and mechanical hard drive failures, particularly when using a relatively new PS4 external hard drive.
Common symptoms of PS4 external hard drive failure
- Failure to Mount or Recognize
- Excessively Loud Operation
- Clicking, Whirring or Grinding Sounds
- Disappearing Files or Folders
- File Corruption Error Messages
- Extremely Slow Drive Access Times
Distinguishing PS4 External HDD Failures from Software Issues
In many cases, PS4 users are unsure whether they cannot access their PS4 extended storage due to permanent mechanical failures or minor PS4 software problems. The safest course of action is to turn your PS4 external hard drive off and get a professional data recovery evaluation, but there are several simple non-invasive steps that you can take to verify that your data is completely inaccessible.
Attempt to use your hard drive on another PS4 console or simply attach it to a PC to check if it is recognized. Connect the hard drive to the computer directly (not through a USB hub). Replace the connecting cable with a new one, making sure to use a USB or FireWire product that has been approved by the manufacturer. These steps should restore access to your data if small issues are preventing your disk from mounting.
Why PS4 External Hard Drive isn’t Working?
Let’s first thoroughly diagnose the issue before suggesting a solution.
Did your PS4 external HDD work before for a while then stopped working and no longer recognized/showed up? Or did this just happen in the very beginning and you never got it to work at all before? Answering this question helps you find the right way to fix this issue.
PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working Since The Beginning
If you have tried to connect the external hard drive to PS4 and it wouldn’t get recognized in the first place, you need to make sure of the following things.
- Make sure the external hard drive is NOT defective/damaged. You can only confirm that when you connect it to a computer. If the computer has no problem at all recognizing it, and it works fine there, check the next point. Yet, if it doesn’t work even there, it means you might want to replace it with another drive.
- Is your external hard drive compatible with PS4 standards? In many cases, the external HDD is incompatible, so it won’t work. Verify it’s totally compatible before moving on with this test.
- The external HDD must connect directly to PS4 via one of its USB ports. Connecting an external HDD to PS4 via a USB hub prevents PS4 from recognizing it. This also applies to hub USB external hard drives. PS4 system won’t recognize such drives at all.
- Only one storage device is allowed simultaneously. The PS4 will only recognize one external storage drive at a time. If a drive that has been previously formatted for external storage on the console is connected, it will not format a second drive and will not recognize a previously formatted second drive.
- The PS4 external hard drive must have a wired connection (i.e. not wireless). PS4 system won’t recognize/support wireless external hard drives.
- Is PS4 system software up-to-date or are you still using the older version? If you haven’t updated the PS4 system software to the latest version, please do it today. Later, go check whether this resolves the problem or not.
- Use another USB port. This helps in some situations.
So, let’s dive into some details and elaborate on each point.
Connecting PS4 External HDD to a PC
The best way to do that is when your PC is off, then turn it on while the PS4 external HDD is attached to it. It’s also possible to perform this test while the computer is on and operating. You have to expect a notification message that indicates that it has been well recognized and now is ready for use. Something like this:
If you don’t get this message for any reason, go to “My Computer” and look up the drive there.
Don’t worry if the drive’s file system is not recognized, you can easily fix that by formatting it. The most important part here is that your PC has recognized the drive and not labeled it as defective. See the image below:
This error message pops up when a defective USB device connects to the PC. If this is what appears to you, you probably want to dispose of the external HDD and get a new one.
PS4 External HDD Compatibility
PS4 recognizes all healthy USB storage devices connected to it, whether they are compatible as extended storage or just as backup/mass storage.
For example, we all know that USB 3.0 connectivity is essential in order to use the external HDD as extended storage. But, if you connect a USB 2.0 device, PS4 will still recognize it, but won’t allow you to use it as extended storage. You’ll get an error message saying: “Cannot format this USB storage device as extended storage“.
So, if PS4 doesn’t recognize the drive at all, it indicates that a serious problem is going on. But, let’s check the next test.
Connecting the External HDD via a USB Hub
The external drive cannot be connected to the console through a USB hub, it must be directly connected to one of the USB ports on the PS4 or PS4 Pro. Otherwise, PS4 won’t recognize it at all, and thus won’t work.
On the other hand, you may use a USB hub to connect other USB devices to PS4 with no problem.
Stay Up to Date
Make sure that your console is running the latest version of the system software. In some cases that helps in fixing errors related to recognizing external hard drives and other devices as well.
Now, if the external hard drive passed all these three points, yet it is still not recognized nor working, you have to suspect the PS4 console. If you can, connect it to another PS4 and check whether it works there or not. This is the best test you can do in this concern before trying to fix your PS4. Otherwise, if that’s not possible, try to follow the instructions below to fix that issue.
PS4 External HDD Was Working Fine Before
If the external hard drive was working flawlessly on PS4 before it stopped working, you need to confirm first it hasn’t been defective. You can do that by either connecting it to a PC or, preferably, another PS4. If it doesn’t show up, or the PC recognizes it a defective device, you’ll need a replacement for it.
But if it’s recognized on other systems without an issue, the problem is then with your PS4. You have two options to work around this situation. But before that, try first to turn off PS4, switch off electricity for 1 minute, unplug the external hard drive, and now turn on PS4 and let it run without an external hard drive.
Afterwards, turn off PS4 again, connect the external hard drive to it while its off, and now turn on PS4 while the external HDD is connected to it. This may help in this situation. If that doesn’t work, try one of the methods below:
- Rebuild the PS4 database.
- Initialize PS4
Rebuilding PS4 Database
When rebuilding your Sony PlayStation 4 database you’re essentially organizing your database of content, and maintaining your PS4 to ensure it performs at its best. The Rebuild Database option does a defragment to the PS4, which can solve a whole host of issues on the PS4 and free up some much-needed space, speed up your console and fix issues. The Rebuild scans the drive and creates a new database of all content, thus cleaning the disc drive.
Benefits of Rebuilding PS4 Database
Corrupted data on PS4 can cause lots of performance issues and might hinder PS4 from recognizing the external hard drive. Rebuilding the database will handle the corrupt data and restore the performance of PS4. It is the easiest, safest and fastest solution to start with when PS4 has issues.
How to Rebuild PS4 Database
To initialize a full rebuild of the PS4 database, you first need to start Safe Mode.
Safe mode allows you to boot up your PS4 and access a variety of options to troubleshoot issues with your console. You should only use these functions if you’re following a guide because you can lose game data if you don’t know what you’re doing.
- Switch off your PS4 using the power button on the front of your console.
- Hold down the power button and listen out for two beeps (this takes approximately seven seconds).
- Ensure that your PS4 controller is connected via USB cable. Turn it on. You’ll now be presented with the following options.
- When presented with the Safe Mode menu, you’ll see the option to Rebuild Database.
- Choose option 5 and press ‘X’ to Rebuild Database.
- Wait. Don’t panic. Your screen will go black and it could take hours for the database to rebuild depending on how much data you have on your PlayStation 4. Do not turn the console off during this process.
- Once the PS4 restarts, your database has been cleaned. You won’t lose any data during this process. All it does it reorganize your files and clear up your memory.
Before we begin, you should know that initializing PS4 completely wipes the console’s hard drive and even removes its system software. It’s the 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 back up any data you want to keep, such as images and video, to an external device or to the cloud. In order to back up data using the cloud, you’ll have to have a PlayStation Plus account.
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:
- Turn off your PS4 using the power button on the front panel. The power indicator will blink for a few moments before turning off.
- 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.
- 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.
Once initialization is complete, you have to update to the latest PS4 system software version before anything else. Don’t install any additional game/app before fulfilling this step.
Afterward, connect the external hard drive to PS4 and check whether it works now or not.
Nothing Worked Yet?
If none has worked for you to overcome this problem, most probably it is a serious hardware issue. It’s either your game console or the external hard drive. If you verify that the external hard drive works fine on another system, then it’s the PS4.
Now, if you have already initialized PS4 and updated it to the latest software version, yet the issue persists, you need to seek the help of a technician, as this is a hardware issue that you can do nothing about it.
Additionally, you may want to read the comments below, as some users suggested beneficial solutions for this case.
The USB storage device is not connected
If this is the error message you get, and nothing of the above methods works, please visit this page for more details.
Questions & Answers
How do I get my PS4 to recognize my external hard drive?
In order to get the PS4 system to recognize your external HDD, you need to make sure first that the USB cable, PS4 USB port and the external HDD all are actually working and intact. If so, the problem is with the PS4 system software, you need to initialize it and reinstall it from scratch. (Read more details in this guide)
Why is my extended storage not working PS4?
There are several reasons why the extended storage won't work on the PS4, such as a damaged USB cable, malfunctioning PS4 USB port, a corrupted PS4 system software, and even a defective PS4 power supply. You can tell us your problem and we'll try to fix it for you.
How do I fix a corrupted external hard drive on PS4?
Fixing a corrupted PS4 external hard drive can be easy or hard, depending on the level of corruption on the drive. There're several reasons that promote this situation, and you just need to try every possible way until you find the relevant fix. If you want further assistance on how to fix a corrupted PS4 external hard drive, please contact us.
Why is my PS4 not reading my external hard drive?
The PS4 cannot read the external hard drive due to various reasons, including a corrupted PS4 system software, a corrupted external HDD or a malfunctioning USB port. If you need further assistance with your problem, please do contact us.Contents hide2 Symptoms of PS4 External HDD Failure3 Why PS4 External Hard Drive isn’t Working?