Fixing “The USB storage device is not connected” PS4 Error?
One of the most common, yet very annoying PS4 error messages is the one that says: “The USB storage device is not connected“. Sometimes this error message comes with a code number CE-37857-0 or SU-41333-4, and sometimes it doesn’t. This error message shows up due to several reasons, not necessarily a defective USB storage device as many may think. Additionally, there’re also various methods to fix this error and get PS4 to read the USB storage device again.
So, how to work around this issue? Is there any viable method you can rely on in this situation? Well, don’t panic, every error has its own fix. You have to be patient and try everything in order to find your way out.
Explaining The Error Message
The “The USB storage device is not connected” error message indicates that PS4 system is unable to recognize the USB storage device connected to it. In most cases, this error message only shows up with the USB storage devices used as an extended storage. For this reason, if you connect a flash memory stick to PS4, the system will easily recognize it.
Most often, this error suddenly occurs without any prior cue or hint. The USB storage device would work fine for a long time, then suddenly it stops working and this message appears. That’s it—It happens for no visible reason. That’s why it is so annoying and frustrating.
Sometimes this error occurs when PS4 or the external storage device falls down to the floor during the connection. This would cause an electrical short that impacts the way PS4 system recognizes the USB-connected devices. If this is the case, it doesn’t imply necessarily a hardware defect. It may only mean that you need to fix system files that because corrupted.
There are three situations in which this error message appear.
- When using the external storage device as an extended storage and trying to access it via the “USB Storage Devices” section. | Usually this error message comes with no error code.
- It appears also when using the external storage device as a backup storage. When you go to the “Saved Data in System Storage” page and click the option “Copy to USB Storage Device” this error message shows up. It comes with error code (CE-37857-0). On its official twitter account, Sony suggests a quick fix for this error code:
Connect the USB, go to [Sound/Devices] > [Stop Using Extended Storage] on the quick menu and then reconnect it. Make sure you reconnect it securely.
Make sure the storage device is FAT or exFAT formatted.
- When trying to update PS4 system software via a USB storage device. | This error message appears usually in the Safe Mode and has the error code (SU-41333-4). On its official twitter account, Sony suggests a quick fix for this error code:
Format an USB to ExFAT.
Download the system update to the USB and install it, from this link.
Click on the “Download Update” blue button, go to “Update using a computer”.
These suggested fixes won’t always work, and the first situation needs additional efforts to fix.
So, let’s lay out the most common reasons for this case below.
Most Common Reasons
There are several reasons that sit behind this problem. When you get Error Message: “The USB storage device is not connected“, one of the following might cause it:
- Defective USB Storage Device. | Usually the hard drive itself is fine, but the USB bridge that helps connecting the USB cable to the SATA interface of the hard drive is out of action.
- Defective PS4 USB Port. | It happens sometimes due to the misuse of the PS4 USB port.
- The USB cable that links the device to PS4 is damaged/cracked.
- Connecting the USB storage device via a USB hub, or using a USB hub external hard drive. | PS4 doesn’t support storage devices connected via a third party medium (USB hub).
- ِAbrupt power surge or electrical short. | This may have ruined something between the PS4 and the hard drive that compelled PS4 system to stop recognizing it.
- Improper installation of PS4 system software update. | If you have updated PS4, but due to some reason it didn’t go totally well, this might be one of the symptoms.
- Improper installation of a game/app or its update. | The same thing we say here. But, additionally, bad installation of a game/app or its update can impact the functionality of the whole PS4 system.
- Corrupted PS4 database. | Sometimes the reason is too trivial, and you only need to fix corrupted PS4 database.
There might be other reasons that we’ve missed, but according to our expertise, these are the most common.
Diagnosing the USB storage Device
Let’s first diagnose the USB storage device that the PS4 can’t recognize before moving on with the solutions. We want to know if the problem is with that device or with the PS4 system itself.
Doing that is pretty easy. All you need to know is either connect it to another PS4 or a PC/Mac system. If it works fine there and the system fully recognizes it, the source of problem is determined then, it’s the PS4 system.
Since most PS4 users don’t have more than one console, we’ll adopt the second option and connect the USB storage device to a PC.
Connecting PS4 USB Storage Device to a PC
So, once connected to a PC, you should get a message indicating that the system has properly recognized the connected USB drive. Otherwise, if the USB storage device is defective, you’ll get a message like the one below.
Or you might not get any response at all from the system. This is a bad omen then. It indicates that the external hard drive is not functioning at all. It might mean that you have to buy a new one then.
PS4 system fully encrypts USB storage devices used as extended storage. Therefore, after your PC recognizes the drive, you’ll find it listed in the “This PC” folder, but without any additional details. See the image below:
When you try to access it, this message appears:
Just click Cancel and don’t format the disk. Otherwise you’ll lose all your data stored on the external storage device.
Ok, but what if the drive is not listed on the “This PC” folder? Don’t worry, it happens often. Just go to Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage Management. You should find it listed there as an unallocated storage.
If you see that, rest assured that the USB storage device is healthy and not defective.
Not Recognized By PC
Now, what if the system can’t recognize the connected USB storage device? Well, don’t panic, it’s not the end of our journey yet. Sometimes Windows System needs a restart to recognize newly-connected devices. So, what you can do is to turn off your PC, connect the external storage to it, turn it on now and let Windows do its job. If this still doesn’t work for you, most probably the storage device is defective. It might be the USB cable though that’s damaged. You have to do your own tests to figure out where the problem exactly is.
The reason might be the USB-SATA bridge which helps the external hard drive connect to USB cables. It might be defective.
If this is the case, you have to dismantle it and connect the hard drive internally to your PC, or externally via another external hard drive enclosure. Now, if you’ve established a new connection between the USB storage device and PC, check whether it works or not.
Fixing the Error
So, if you’ve already confirmed that USB storage device is working fine, we have to work on your PS4 then. In fact, in most cases the PS4 system is totally responsible for that error, not the USB storage device.
This error usually occurs because of a corrupted installation/update of PS4 system software. Sometimes, it happens right after updating or installing a game that’s not fully compatible with the current version of PS4 system software. This will cause conflicts within the PS4 system and impacts its functionality.
On the other hand, it might occur due to a defective PS4 USB port. Here, try to switch the port and see if this resolves anything. Try also to connect another USB storage device (e.g. Flash memory stick) to your PS4 and check whether it recognizes it or not via that specific port.
If that doesn’t work still, we’ll assume that the PS4 system needs maintenance and it what causes this issue.
If this really the case, you can easily fix it by either rebuilding PS4 database or initializing PS4.
Rebuilding PS4 database can resolve many issues related to PS4 performance. It won’t fix every single error, but it does fix a lot. In fact, you need to rebuild PS4 database regularly once every 6 months (or when needed) in order to maintain the best performance level of PS4.
As for initializing PS4, it is the last resort. You have to try the soft initialize first. If that doesn’t work, you go for the FULL initialize.
Before initializing PS4, you have to back up your game saves and screen shots either on the cloud storage or another USB storage device (if possible).
After the initialization is complete, the very first thing you have to do is to update PS4 system software to the latest version. That comes before anything else. After that, connect the USB storage device and check whether it works now or not.
The error message “The USB storage device is not connected” (or Error Code CE-37857-0, or SU-41333-4) is not that difficult to fix. You just need to be somewhat savvy and know exactly how to behave. If you have important data on the external hard drive that you’re not ready to lose, yet nothing of the above method worked, you better consult with an experienced technician. On the other hand, you’re totally welcome to discuss your issue with us via comments. Just leave us a comment and one of our experts will respond to you as soon as possible.