PS4 Internal Hard Drive Format Guide – Reasons & Benefits

There must come a time, after playing for too long on PS4, that you feel PS4 is no longer as fast as it was once you bought it. PS4 is slow, and games and applications are taking too long to load. Worse than that is when PS4 system begins to crash, and the internal storage device generates errors.

Although we strongly recommend to upgrade/replace the stock internal hard drive of PS4 for the remarkable performance improvement modern hard drives offer (read more), taking into consideration the low-quality and obsolescence of the hard drive PS4 is utilizing, you can still try with the stock hard drive and restore its original performance by formatting it.

Note that if your purpose for reading this article is to learn how to format a new hard drive to be used in upgrading PS4 stock hard drive, then get to know there’s no need for that step, because PS4 system will automatically detect and format the new hard drive without your interference.

Why Format PS4 Hard Drive

Just like computer’s hard drive, formatting the internal hard drive of PS4 can be really useful in the following situations:

  1. The performance of PS4 hard drive has degraded and the drive is no longer as fast as before. For this situation, to restore the hard drive’s performance to its original state, you must full-format it.
  2. PS4 hard drive crashes or generates errors. Usually this happens due to the existence of bad sectors or the corruption of the hard drive’s file system. A full-format can totally fix both issues.
  3. You want to reuse the stock hard drive of PS4 for a different purpose after replacing it with a new drive, or you want to sell it out or just dispose of it, and you want all stored data to be absolutely destroyed/erased. Although this can be done via PS4 system reset, a full-format is recommended here in order to reallocate the drive’s sectors and restore performance to factory specifications.
  4. There’s an ambiguous conflict between games and applications that you cannot really detect. Although a format process can fix it properly, you better perform system reset instead to save time and efforts, as both will make the same result.

In all cases, performing a full-format to the hard drive once or twice a year can keep it running on its peak performance level until it totally gets out of action.

How to Format

IMPORTANT NOTE
Formatting your hard drive will erase all stored data in it. You better take a backup of your data if you don’t want to lose it.

There are two ways by which you can format the internal hard drive of PS4. Both ways inevitably require that you remove the stock hard drive from its drive cage and connect it to a computer.

These two ways are:

  • Place PS4 hard drive into a USB external hard drive enclosure, then connect it to a computer via USB connection. Once your computer recognizes the drive and automatically install the required driver files, you can format it like you format any external hard drive.
  • If you have a free/unused SATA data cable and another free power cable, you can directly connect your PS4 hard drive to the motherboard of your computer. But this requires that you turn off the computer while doing this operation. Afterwards, the system will recognize the drive, and you’ll be able to format it just like you format any internal hard drive.

You must remember that the best format option for restoring the original performance of PS4 hard drive is the FULL format. Don’t go for quick format if performance is one of your concerns. That’s because the FULL format will eliminate bad sectors that might impact the performance of PS4 HDD and cause errors.

The Format Procedure

Once you successfully connect PS4 HDD to a PC, you’ll need to initialize and create a new partition before you can format it.

Once connected, the PS4 HDD won’t appear in the File Explorer, but on Disk Management, it’ll appear as unallocated space.

To properly format the PS4 hard drive, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Disk Management and click the top result to open the experience.
  3. Right-click the hard drive marked as “Unknown” and “Not Initialized,” and select Initialize Disk.
  4. Check the disk to initialize.
  5. Select the partition style:
    • Master Boot Record (MBR) for hard drives smaller than 2TB in size.
    • GUID Partition Table (GPT) for hard drives larger than 2TB in size.

  6. Click the OK button.
  7. Right-click the Unallocated space, and select the New Simply Value option.
  8. Click the Next button.
  9. Under the “Simple volume size in MB” section, leave the default size, as this will help format the entire hard drive.
  10. Click the Next button.
  11. Use the “Assign the following drive letter” drop-down menu to select a letter for the new hard drive.
  12. Click the Next button.
  13. Use the “File system” drop-down menu, and select FAT32. Don’t select NTFS as PS4 system doesn’t recognize that file system.
  14. Use the “Allocation unit size” drop-down menu, and select the Default option.
  15. In the “Value label” field, type a descriptive name for the drive.
  16. Clear the Perform a quick format option. This is a very important step here. This will force the system to FULL format the drive.
  17. Additionally, clear the Enable file and folder compression option.
  18. Click the Next button.
  19. Click the Finish button.
  20. After completing the steps, the PS4 hard drive will be initialized, partitioned, and properly formatted. The bad sectors will also be eliminated and the original performance of the PS4 HDD will be restored.

    Conclusion

    Formatting PS4 hard drive can be a life saver for a variety of users who cannot afford to buy a new, modern hard drive for their game console. By carrying it out on PS4 hard drive, the original performance will be restored, and any errors caused by bad sectors or corrupt system files will be fixed.

    In the future, you may want to consider upgrading PS4 internal hard drive with a more powerful drive in order to enhance your gaming experience and give more power to your game console.

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Darren Lysenko

Hi there. Sorry if I completely missed it in the article, but I want to format an old PC SSD for use in my PS4. When I format it using a USB enclosure plugged into my PC, which file format is required for it to work in my PS4? (FAT32, NTFS, ExFAT, etc.)

Or is it possible to just completely wipe it to a factory state, and then let the PS4 do the rest?

Thanks.

Darren Lysenko

Awesome, thanks!

manuel gil

hi guys the web its extremely cool with a lot Have to know information i have 1 issue with my ps4 after the message bots virus and 6.02 actualization my ps4 comes into a kind of loop or reboot of the data storage i got the idea of format my internal hard drive on a pc but i have some questions on the process about how i solve the type of particion on the hdd about is a GPT or other kind of system because all know that the file is in fat 32

Nate

I have a new SSD hard drive 2T
Installed in my slim ps4 . I have also 32 g flash drive with new update but keeps saying there is no update file on flash drive . And nothing happens can u help me

BlueAmetrine

Hello,

Thank you for explaining this.

I do recently have a lot of troubles with my ps4 slim 1tb and I had to reinstall the system software completely. I did download the right file from the playstation web page and I did put that file on an external hdd. I did format my ps4 hdd like described as above when connecting it directly to the motherboard of my pc and I did format it with file support of FAT32 in windows CMD.
Now I do have the problem that I can’t install the system software. I have to reboot my playstation after preparing for the installation but my ps4 is unable to reboot.

What can I do?

I already had contact with the Dutch support line of Playstation (because I am Dutch) and they said I should do option number 5 in the safe mode menu, while only option 7 is available for me. all other options are gray and I cannot select them.

Hopefully it is possible to help me out, since reaching out to the American support line of Playstation by a phone call would be extremely expensive, and they are unable to process my chat request.

bong

I have this problem. I have tried a new drive but was still getting that message. And if i leave out the drive i also get the same message. what is the fix for this? There was nothing wrong with my original drive before. it gave me that cannot access system storage. Then i took it to a pc and plugged it up and it read it. But i also got a new drive anyways and it was still giving the same message. I tried what you mentioned above and message still appears. AM i supposed to format the drive to a specific file system? please help.

Bong chali

Does the ps4 need a hard drive to get to save mode. Because I can never get to the safe mode with or without the hard drive. I hold the button and stuff but just get the same error message about the drive cannot be access.

Dan

I need help
I want to reformat my ps4 harddrive from my pc and when I right click on the harddrive everything is grayed out except help, format is grayed out.

It also says HEALTHY (GPT Protective Partion)
What do I do now?

Codi Redden

Mine says the same thing. Was this ever resolved? If so… Could you please tell me what the issue was? Thanks.

Raziel

I have the same problem, I download the Acronis true image wd edition software from the web of western digital. In the aplication you must select de the option tools>add new disc, you must format the disc whit the second option “partition GPT.When finish the process you can format the drive in the windows management disc.

Brett

Delete all partitions on the disk. After you delete them it should be black bar instead of blue and it will also say “unallocated”. Then right-click the far left box and “Convert to MBR” if it is under 2TB. ONLY convert to “GPT” if it’s OVER 2TB.

Right-click over black bar box that says “Unallocated space” then select New Simple Volume.
This should help your question.

Now I have a question for the Techs. I did everything this page says and followed all the steps on the PS4 safe mode. I reinstalled software using the PUP file from PlayStation.com. It ran through the process and restarted and came to the black screen stating “cannot start PS4” still.

I have entered a brand new HDD and it works fine on the PS4. My old PS4 hard drive appears fine on my PC Disk Management but will not work in my ps4 still? What would cause it to work for the pc but not PS4?

Last edited 23 days ago by Brett
Daniel

Mine didn’t come as reallocated or unknown. After connecting the hhd to my computer it apeard (GTP protective Partition) . And after right cliking the drop down window have *Convert to dynamic drive
*ofline
*properties
*help
What should i do then

Axellence7

Mine said “The disk you specified cannot be converted to MBR. Please select an empty GPT disk to convert.” after I entered “DISKPART> convert to mbr”. What should I do then? Thanks
Btw I did that in Windows XP.

Matthew k

My problem is that, my system storage games are fine but my external storage games are slow and laggy what do I do? The external storage also makes a lot of weird noises.

Edder

I have formatted the internal hard drive from my PS4, and have downloaded the newest version of the software but once I connect my USB to transfer the new software it says The Update file cannot be used. Connect a USB device that contains an update file for reinstallation for version 7.00 or later.
(CE-34788-0)”
I followed the steps shown how to download the file but it doesn’t seem to be working. im doing this because I kept having problems with my PS4 saying theres been problems with the data base. I have a new internal hard drive being shipped.

Nigel

Thanks for the article. Although it is mentioned in scenario #3 “You want to reuse the stock hard drive of PS4”, those looking to address the other scenarios may not pick up that this procedure will erase all HDD content. May be worth highlighting.

Nigel

An example: Someone experiencing performance/slowness issues with their PS4 but not too familiar with formatting hard drives – it’s important they understand the full format may improve performance but it will erase the drive and thus they may first want to do a backup, will need to reinstall the system software etc.

Brandon Cooke

I think you are overestimating the level of knowledge most people have. I don’t think any more than 1 out 10 people I know would actually know that to reformat a hard drive will erase all data from that drive. However, when doing so (reformatting) a prompt does first come up before they format it that says something along the lines of “this will erase all data…” but even with that, so many people just rush through things and don’t bother reading what they are agreeing to. I think his point still is very important. You should put that disclaimer just as an extra precaution for people that they should back up everything before messing with their hard drive. Thanks!

Last edited 1 month ago by Brandon Cooke
Tip

Hey i cant get my hard drive to show in disk management. It shows up under disk devices on the computer management page but that is it. I have the hard in a enclosure and hooked up through USB connection.

James

Hi

Im having difficulty formatting the drive because it doesn’t show me the FAT32 option only exFAT and NSFAT. I don’t know if i should choose exFAT instead. My HDD is a 1TB for PS4 slim.

Mo

Thanks.

Adil

Question, if i fully format the internal storage back to normal, will it stop heating up the ps4 as my ps4 shut down by itself as i can feel the heat at the back of the console where the internal storage is.

Veno

Hi i have this problem my ps4 keeps shutting of by ietself while am playing online games. I did clean deep clean my ps4 slim, but still do the shame thing. Can it be my internal hdd 1tb please help

Handyo

Hello, So i want to upgrade my internal hard drive from 1 TB to 2 TB, can i just copy the game from my old internal hard drive into the new hard drive with hard drive enclosure or i must re download all my game again? thankyou

dodo

Hi thanks for this amazing article! I just bought the Seagate SSHD drive for my PS4 a few months ago and now i’m having issues with COD crashing and graphics not rendering. All signs point to issues with the hard drive which is unfortunate. I was wondering if there is any difference between reformating my hard drive with the methods in article (via PC) vs doing it through the re-initializing process through the PS4 OS. Much appreciated and thanks again!

Vladimir

Step 13
When i chose what File System i want,it doesn’t give me option FAT 32, gives me only NTFS and exFAT…what should i do ?

Tom

Quick tech question: Which partition style should be used for drives that are 2.0 TB in size? (MBR or GPT)

Bre

Would the usb work for formatting the ps4 slim internal hard drive ?

USB 3.0 to SATA III Adapter Cable with UASP SATA to USB Converter for 2.5″ Hard Drives Disk HDD and Solid State Drives SSD
If so I am gonna order it. My hard drive has so many errors on here . Crashed so many time corrupted database . Wanted to format so when 8.00 rolls out there won’t b no issues on hard drive .

Bre

My issue is when I go to do 1st step it won’t it says eventually semaphore timeout period has expired I can’t get it to past the point of the first step I am using windows 10

Joy

Got a question will format help if my ps4 is having trouble Goin into safe mode or is formatting a lost cause ? Because I ain’t sure if my hard drive is dead .

der

After doing those steps my default ps4 hard drive will run smoothly again? It won’t cause anymore “corrupted database”, stuttering and freezing?

Amavva

If i fromat my ps4 internal hard drive can i use it again for my ps4 ?

Dave

Do i have to format drive to fat32 as disk management only has options for exfat and after a long (5hr) format its still not recognised by the ps4

Dave

Yes, i installed the new software and the ps4 goes through all the set uo, but when it comes up with the logo at the end and should goto the first sign up screen i get a blank screen for a while then it turns off

Michael Fay

Hi, do you know the correct way to do this on a Mac? thanks

BC

when I put in what I think is my old PS4 drive my disck management shows me all the volumes on the disc. DO I just delete each parition and then I’ll be left with unallocated space to do a format with one clean partition.

My drive has 15 partitions in itwith the biggest being 420.19GB the others are one 16GB, two 8GB, a 6GB, seven 1GB, etc

moonbeam

How long does the formatting take? It’s been over 20 mins and I’m only at 2%.. does that sound right?

moonbeam1226

Finally done but now when insert back onto the PlayStation it acts like it’s updating software but it never comes on keep getting the ps4 can not start press ps button and it all starts again with inserting the usb… I have done this several times with no luck…. what am I doing wrong?? Please help!!

moonbeam1226

Thank you for the help!! I’m sorry let me
Try this again.. for the most part I think you understood what I’m meaning … I’m not getting an error code i keep getting “CANNOT START PS4” USE USB TO CONNECT DUAL CONTROL AND PRESS THE PS BUTTON “ or something like that, You either say ok or it shuts the system off. Then once I hit the psbutton it says “CONNECT USB FOR SYSTEM UPDATE it acts like it’s downloading it goes through the processing of the software 100% (not those exact words)then it starts over again with CANNOT START PS4” I double checked the hard drive I had to use the FATEX that I seen in another comment and the usb, I have tried 3 of them. I am going to buy 1 more to be sure it’s not the usb. I also was thinking it almost has to be something like that. I checked the internal hard drive again and it says healthy, allocated, not unknown need initialized , but it does not have a drive letter? Does that matter?

Kamila Neliba

I tried formatting the HD and followed every step. But when trying to run the PS4 again after completion, the playstation logo appears on the screen and then the screen goes black with my power light flashing blue. Any ideas of what can fix this?

Michael Petrou

EXCELLENT article. Unfortunately upon attempting to format my stock ps4 hard drive I’m unable to. In disk management initialization option doesn’t work, basically unable to format.

Furthermore I tried a spare external HDD I had (fully formated to EXFAT) with the reinstalled PS4 8.3 version on USB (not the update file), and when attempting option 7 from safe mode I get error code CE-33567-4 cannot initialize.

So two HDD and two different issues, any advice would be very much appreciated.

stan

can i convert the hdd to gpt without wiping everything off it ?

Angel Martinez

Hi man, I did format my hard drive because of its failure, but to make sure it would work properly I decide to run “chkdsk” on it, and I choose chkdsk /r, but it’s taking way too long, it’s about 56% and it’s been 3 days already, should I just stop the process and try only formating?

Jp

I did this and it crashed

jp

My ps4 was still laggy I did quick format

Raymond Middleton

Hello

I have followed your guide and reformatted the PS4 HD. The new installation went fine and the PS4 booted into the welcome setup screen. The menus are still very slow taking minutes to progress to the next section (time and date, country location etc.). Once at the controller user screen, and after waiting 10 minutes, the PS4 would not progress from there. I could still access the restart menu so restarted but the console took ages to boot down and start back up again. It has now just shut off.

The PC read the HD fine.

Prior to the format the console had the following issues:

Crashing in game.
Crashing on boot.
Freezing completely.
Menus VERY slow
Constant checking storage loop.
Error codes 36329-3, 36006-5, and another one I don’t have to hand.

I have also tried rebuilding the DB, changing HDCP to 1.4, changing the resolution and all other options in safe mode.

Do you have any idea what is wrong with it?

Many thanks

Ray

Just had error code CE-33380-7 pop up when trying to sign in to PSN. I hit skip after that. Got into the navigation menu and as I went to settings, the console black screened. It was doing this when attached to my son’s monitor. Now it’s attached to the TV and it has done the same.

Ray

Thanks for your responses.

I’ve tried a different power cord, so that can be ruled out too. However, I do notice that when plugging the power cord into the back of the PS4, there is an electric crackling sound that occurs when you first push it in and the connectors are not fully in contact. This sound stops when you completely push it in. Is this normal? I don’t ever recall it doing this before we had the issues.

Reading your guide on the power issues, yes I have also had the pulsating blue light of death. It’s intermittent though.

Also, much to my dismay, my son had been using the console whilst not having the power cord plugged all the way in. I hope it’s not fried the power supply and/or GPU.

I will try the CMOS and report back. That and the SSD are the only two things I’ve not tried yet.

Ray

Hi – I’ve taken the console apart and reset the CMOS battery as per your guide. The console booted up after checking the storage… again! Once in the setup menu, the console crashed at the “Welcome back to Playstation, who is using this controller?” screen, with it finally black screening and eventually turning itself off. I guess the only option is to bite the bullet and buy a SSD and see if that works.

Bartek

Hello, after I try to initialize the drive I receive CRC error (drive is in offline state and can’t change it) any other options to format it or check for errors?

JP

I have tried formatting the drive using “full format” but my ps4 is still laggy and freezes and sometimes shuts down.

Ray

Hi again – well, well well…, I just installed a Samsung 1tb 870 QVO and it looks as though it’s actually working again!!!! Got all the way through the menu system, signed into my account and all menus are working very fast (as they should). I’ll leave it running for a bit to monitor then I’ll try installing some games on it tonight. Fingers crossed this has saved my PS4 Pro!!!

Thanks for all your help PS4 Storage 🙂

Flo

Hi,

Found out your site and I have to admit that I learned a looot of things, well done!
I have some issue with my hard drive so I tried to follow your guide but the thing is that once connected to my laptop via and external enclosure, the hard drive of my PS4 doesn’t show up, nowhere. It’s like nothing was connected.
I can hear that the hard drive is working but no matter what I do it doesn’t show up, how can I fix this?

Flo

Hi and thanks for your answer!

I finally managed to connect my hdd to my pc, I had to first connect the empty enclosure so my pc would detect it and then connect the hard drive to the enclosure.

Did the formatting, everything worked fine. Then put the hdd back in my PS4 pro, installed the update from my USB but now the issue is that the PS4 is not booting anymore.
I get the PlayStation sign and then black screen, the PS4 light is ticking blue but nothing happen, I don’t know what to do.

Flo

Hi,

I finally managed to make it works. I had to format my Hdd again and to reinstall the update and now it’s fine, no more blue light!

Unfortunately for me it seems that my issue didn’t come from the hdd

Riley

Thanks for the guide! Just the information I was looking for!

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