The need for more space

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Playstation 4 has been out for about a year and a half, and by now early adopters have noticed that the stock 500 gigabyte hard drive is beginning to fill up.

During the previous generation 500 gigabytes was a lot of room to store game saves, digital copies of games and other media.

There is a difference with the current generation of consoles, all games have to be installed on the hard drive, even disk based copies. With games being released on Blu-Ray disks capable of holding up to 50 gigabytes, that stock hard drive will fill up fast.

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Additionally, if you like to play online with friends, you will have a Playstation Plus account. With that account comes free games each month, an added plus when you consider the value, but is an additional space eater.

As my storage space neared capacity, I gave a lot of thought to purchasing a larger hard drive for the system and decided to upgrade.

At first I considered purchasing a solid state hard drive. While an SSD would provide a major boost to read speeds, their space is limited and their cost is massive.

Currently the largest SSD can hold up to 1 terabyte, or about 1,000 gigabytes. While that’s double the capacity of the stock drive, an SSD at that size costs between $360 to $500, depending on where you buy it.

Solid state hybrid drives offer the capacities of disk based hard drives, or up to 2 terabytes for the laptop drives, with some of the performance upgrades of a solid state drive. Note, you will need a laptop sized drive for the PS4.

The problem was, I was limited in options due to the poor selection of products at the nearest electronics store; I won’t name names.

My only option was a 2 TB hard drive with no performance upgrades.

With the drive selected, I then had to backup all the data on the stock drive before swapping it out for the new one. In order to do this you will need an external hard drive with enough capacity. If your drive is not recognized by the system, ensure it’s formatted correctly. Hint, it can’t be formatted in NTFS, try FAT-32 or exFAT. Most any computer, regardless of operating system, can format an external drive.

The PS4’s recent update added an option in the settings menu to backup all of the data on the drive, it’s under settings/system/backup and restore.

Keep in mind, it will take about four hours to backup an almost full drive. Once the process is complete remove the original drive. Don’t forget to completely power down the system before unplugging all of the cables. It can’t be in “rest mode.” It has to be completely off, which means no glowing orange light on the top of the console.

To remove the original drive set the console on a table, and position the console so the shiny part of the plastic case faces you and gently pull it towards you. The top part of the case just slides right off, exposing the drive bay.

Remove the single screw holding the drive in the console, and then the four screws holding the hard drive to the metal case.

Reverse those steps to install your larger hard drive.

Before you can reinstall your data you need to install the system data via a flash drive. It will be about a gigabyte in size and can be downloaded to a computer by visiting Playstation’s website. The site includes instructions to download and install the system data.

Once your system boots back up to the home screen, you can head back to the system menu and reinstall all of your games. In about four hours your system will be ready to go, with much more space than it had before.