If you have an extensive gaming library for your PlayStation 4 Pro, you might want to increase the size of your PS4 Pro hard drive (and thus your gaming library). If you've never tinkered with a game console before, don't worry. Sony makes it pretty easy to remove and replace your hard drive, and restore data to a new hard drive. And we'll drive you through all the steps to make it even easier.
Before you start you need some things to make the replacement a simple and safe process for your prized game console.
First, you need a Phillips screwdriver, a new 2.5-inch hardware device (we recommend Seagate 2TB FireCuda Gaming SSHD for 99.99 USD), a completely empty USB-A memory with at least 1.1 GB available storage space for the installation of the system, a separate computer, your controller's charging cable and finally a USB device with enough space to back up all your games, saved data, user accounts and themes.
The backup process is faster when you do not include all games from your previous device. Don't worry, you can still retrieve them from the PS Store or re-install them using the game's disc later. If you have a game that cannot be downloaded again, like Hideo Kojima's famous PT demo – which is no longer available on PS Store – you should definitely up.
(If you have a PS4 rather than PS4 Pro, the hard drive removes various steps. You can learn how to remove the hard drive for your specific PS4 model via Sony's support page.)
Back up your games, saves and accounts
- From the PS home screen, navigate to "Settings" and then scroll down and select "System".
- Scroll down until you reach "Backup and Restore" and select it. On the next screen, select "PS4 Backup." You should come to a screen asking for which items are backed up.
- Insert your USB device (make sure it has enough space to facilitate data migration).
- Select the individual check boxes for the data you want to back up. You can also deselect or select individual games and demos by selecting "Programs" from the list.
- Once you have decided what to back up, select "Next". You will see the size of the backup file and the name of the backup (which you can edit, if you wish). When done, select "Backup". Do not remove the USB device from the console or turn it off for any reason.
- Now you're waiting. The PS4 Pro will transfer the files to the connected USB device, shut down and restart in minutes and complete the backup process.
Create a USB device to reinstall the software
- Use a separate computer to go to Sony's website to download the PlayStation 4 Pro system software. For some strange reason, Sony gives its update and system software the same file name, which is confusing, to say the least. Make sure you scroll all the way to the "How to update." Click on "Perform a new installation of the system software" and look for "Download now." You should download one. PUP file that is about 820 MB (an update file, which is what you do not want, will probably be smaller).
- Create a folder named "PS4" (case sensitive) on the desktop of your computer. Inside your new "PS4" folder, create another named "UPDATE." Be careful that there are no spaces in the file names and that you only use capital letters. Drag and drop the system file you downloaded earlier (do not rename it) in the "UPDATE" folder.
- Insert your USB device into the computer. Drag and drop the "PS4" folder to your empty USB device.
- Keep your USB device with reinstalling files in a safe place. You need it to restore your PS4 Pro after installing the new hard drive.
Replace the hard drive
- Turn off the PS4 Pro completely by holding down the PS button on the DualShock 4 controller, scrolling down to "Power" and selecting the option to turn off.
- Disconnect all cables, including the power outlet, from the unit. On the back, the left side of the console you see a hard plastic lid. Apply moderate force to the lid and pull it off.
- Use your Phillips screwdriver, loosen the PlayStation brand screw that holds the hard drive bay in place. Save it in a safe place; you need it during remounting later.
- Gently pull the washer out of the bracket. Then screw the four screws that hold the hard drive's bearings into the compartment using your Phillips screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch or release the hard drive in the process.
- Take your new hard drive and put it in the tray. Align the four corners of the unit with the holes in the tray. Then screw in each of the four drive disc screws until the new hard drive is firmly in place.
- Make sure the SATA connectors are aligned on the bracket (you can look at the end of the unit and inside the bracket to ensure they match) and then slowly push back the drive bay.
- With the last and greatest screw, secure your new device to the PS4 Pro's chassis. Finish by placing the plastic cover in place so that the drive compartment is not exposed.
Reinstall the system program
- Shut down your PS4 system completely (so it is not in sleep mode, but a full shutdown). Make sure the power indicator is not lit. If so, press the power button for at least seven seconds until the system beeps a second time.
- Take the USB device where you save the PS4 system files and insert it into any of the available USB-A ports on the PS4 Pro. Press and hold the power button for at least seven seconds until the PS4 Pro starts in safe mode.
- Connect your DualShock 4 controller to the bracket with a Micro USB cable. Press the PS button on the controller and then select the "[Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)]" option by pressing the "X" button.
- Follow the screens to complete the update and let the PS4 unpack, install, reboot and get to an initialization screen, just as you turn on the console for the first time.
- Page Note: If your PS4 system does not recognize the update files, double-click the folder names (which should be uppercase) and the file name of the update (which you should not have changed). Make sure you used a USB device with no other files on it except the downloaded .PUP file and that you are using the correct system software and not just an update file.
Restore your data to your new device
- If you followed the steps correctly and everything went smoothly, you should now be asked to sign in to your PlayStation account using the installation wizard. Skip most things (you overwrite it with your old data anyway) until you get to the well-known PS home screen.
- Insert the USB device with your backup files.
- Navigate to "Settings", scroll down to "System", then move down and select "Backup and restore". Select the "Reset PS4" option.
- Once you have reached the "Reset PS4" screen, see your backup files on the built-in USB device. Select the backup. You will be taken to a confirmation screen. Be careful with the warning screen and then select "Reset". Do not remove the USB device or turn off the system manually for any reason.
- The PS4 Pro system should now be turned off, apply the update, restart and, if all goes well, display your original home page with your accounts, games, prisoners, saves and the like.
Congratulations! You just expanded the storage of your PS4 Pro and kept your files intact in the process!
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