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Masamune

Dismantling an external HDD to use in a PS4?

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I actually never even thought about this until I seen it here when I was looking around for a type of HDD for my PS4 yesterday. Apparently all that's inside an external one is a drive & a connector plug that allows you to use it via USB. I really like the idea though because then I could re-use the old PS4 drive as an external one (as long as I don't break anything), right? :hmm:

 

But I was just wondering if anyone here has attempted this, & if there's a chance of screwing anything up if I try it. :P Just for reference, this is the drive I have:

  • Toshiba HDTC710XK3A1 (not usable)
  • Capacity=1TB 
  • Cache=8MB 
  • RPM=5400RPM 
  • Average Seek Time=12ms
  • File System=FAT32 (not sure if this matters, I think it was originally NTFS)
  • I believe it has a basic SATA connection inside.
Edited by Masamune
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This is exactly what I did. Worked fine. 

 

I followed the guides here:

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-how-to-cheaply-upgrade-your-ps4-to-2tb

 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2014-ps4-hard-drive-upgrade-guide

 

The first one is a recommended 2TB HD, the second article is a step by step how-to guide.


As far as screwing anything up is concerned, you've got to be careful when taking the HD out of the plastic chassis if you want to use it again. But the PS4 itself is hard to screw up. They've designed it to have a replaceable HD, and getting to it is fairly simple. 

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Yhea its totally safe, i did the same thing with my PS3 and plan doing it for my PS4 aswell but then for a 2TB instead of a 1 TB i have for my PS3. And as long as you're careful with the external hard drive you can put the PS4 HDD in the external

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If you can afford it, I'd recommend using your current 1TB external HD to backup the PS4's 500GB stock drive and buy a new HDD specifically for the upgrade. Uploading and then downloading all my saves and then downloading tonnes of PSN games and patches after the swap took the better part of a day.

 

1TB will still fill up pretty quick, but 2TB is just sooo much bigger for just a little more cost by the way.

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The first one is a recommended 2TB HD, the second article is a step by step how-to guide.

Yeah, I was planning on putting a 2TB drive in my PS4 in the first place, but if I can use the 1TB one I have laying around (that I barely use just for backing-up stuff), I'll do that. It's still better than 500GB. xD

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I actually never even thought about this until I seen it here when I was looking around for a type of HDD for my PS4 yesterday. Apparently all that's inside an external one is a drive & a connector plug that allows you to use it via USB. I really like the idea though because then I could re-use the old PS4 drive as an external one (as long as I don't break anything), right? :hmm:

 

But I was just wondering if anyone here has attempted this, & if there's a chance of screwing anything up if I try it. :P

 

 

It's been over a dozen years since external drives have been special platters mounted to a special controller with the direct USB/Firewire/SCSI connection. It's cheaper for the external manufacturers to produce extremely inexpensive SATA to USB controllers and throw in typical 2.5 inch drives.

 

The only thing to be mindful of is if you buy the bare drive, you get a full manufacturer warranty. If you open an external drive you now have no warranty whatsoever. However, the price reduction can be worth it.

 

It's extremely unlikely you'll screw anything up. Enjoy the extra space!

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If you can afford it, I'd recommend using your current 1TB external HD to backup the PS4's 500GB stock drive and buy a new HDD specifically for the upgrade. Uploading and then downloading all my saves and then downloading tonnes of PSN games and patches after the swap took the better part of a day.

I will definitely have to try & back-up the stuff first somehow, I have crappy internet (20GB cap per month), so I can't really afford to re-download the games I have on there (backing-up saves downloaded games too, right?). -_-

 

I was thinking I could try & make a backup on my 1TB drive, transfer it to my PC, clear it & put it in the PS4, then make the old PS4 drive into an external one & move the backup to there to recover my stuff like that... Uhh, that made me a little dizzy. woa-onion-head-emoticon.gif?1292862526

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The main reason you would do this over buying the drive on it own is cost reasons.  Weirdly it's cheaper often to buy drives as external devices.  Not a problem to do so though,

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Yeah definitely. I upgraded my HDD to 1TB before even playing a game! Wish I'd put a 2TB instead...

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I will definitely have to try & back-up the stuff first somehow, I have crappy internet (20GB cap per month), so I can't really afford to re-download the games I have on there (backing-up saves downloaded games too, right?). -_-

 

I was thinking I could try & make a backup on my 1TB drive, transfer it to my PC, clear it & put it in the PS4, then make the old PS4 drive into an external one & move the backup to there to recover my stuff like that... Uhh, that made me a little dizzy. woa-onion-head-emoticon.gif?1292862526

 

If you think you can handle formatting the PS4 HD to a normal HD, then have at it. My attempts were apparently successful (according to my computer) but now my PS4 can't see it when I plug it into the PS4. 

 

So it's a 500GB PC only external HD now.

 

Got any kind of budget at all for this? External 2TB'ers are not that expensive these days. And for the difference in price between a 1TB and a 2TB, you may as well double the storage. 

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If you think you can handle formatting the PS4 HD to a normal HD, then have at it. My attempts were apparently successful (according to my computer) but now my PS4 can't see it when I plug it into the PS4. 

 

So it's a 500GB PC only external HD now.

 

Got any kind of budget at all for this? External 2TB'ers are not that expensive these days. And for the difference in price between a 1TB and a 2TB, you may as well double the storage. 

What is the file system type, FAT32 or NTFS? My 500GB was NTFS when I first got it, but I think either my PS3 or PS4 couldn't read it, so I changed it to FAT32. That seemed to fix it.

 

Actually, I have around $200 I was going to put into either a new drive for my PS4 or a Vita, I thought if I could use my current external drive instead, I could have both. :P

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What is the file system type, FAT32 or NTFS? My 500GB was NTFS when I first got it, but I think either my PS3 or PS4 couldn't read it, so I changed it to FAT32. That seemed to fix it.

 

Actually, I have around $200 I was going to put into either a new drive for my PS4 or a Vita, I thought if I could use my current external drive instead, I could have both. :P

 

Shop around and that should still be enough for both a 2TB external HD and a 64GB Vita card. 

 

Seagate seem to be the cheapest brand for the 2TB, and it's almost certain to have a compatible, 2.5 inch, HDD inside. They're about $90 or so. They changed the chassis recently, and I don't know if it's still as easy to get into as the old style chassis that I got.  

 

Last I checked (because I almost imported one), a 64GB Vita drive was also about $90. 

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Shop around and that should still be enough for both a 2TB external HD and a 64GB Vita card. 

Sorry, I meant buying an actual Vita, not the card. I don't have the system yet. xD

Thanks for the replies everyone, I think I will try this eventually. I have a game half downloaded on my PS4 right now though, so I'd want to let that finish first (& I have to wait for my damn internet usage to renew before that! >_<).

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1TB will still fill up pretty quick, but 2TB is just sooo much bigger for just a little more cost by the way.

 

What are some good 2TB HDDs for PS4? =P

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What are some good 2TB HDDs for PS4? =P

 

Anything in a 2.5 inch size format will fit. Shop around. 

I went with the 2TB seagate one cited in the article I linked in my first post. 

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Well, good news/bad news time! The drive I have was very easy to open (didn't even break any prongs) thanks to a little plastic opening tool I forgot I had... But it seems my particular drive doesn't have a plug you can just undo, it looks like it's all one piece:

vYtcLxf.jpg

 

miCnCOI.jpg

 

So it seems I will have to get a new drive anyways. -_- Oh well, at least I can get a 2TB one now. :P

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My buddy upgraded his PS4 to a 2TB hdd (I think it was seagate) and then gave me the 500gb for my ps3, lol.  I believe those 2TB ones are around $50-70 on amazon, so really not a huge investment to quadruple your storage space.

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Anything in a 2.5 inch size format will fit. Shop around. 

I went with the 2TB seagate one cited in the article I linked in my first post. 

 

That's the thing though, not all are as good.

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That's the thing though, not all are as good.

 

I have read online that the ones that come in the Seagate products, (Samsung I believe, but don't quote me on that) have a slightly higher than average fail rate but, for the price, I was prepared to take that risk, which appeared from my research to be negligible. If you regularly backup your saves to the cloud or external HDD, you should be fine. 

 

Only other thing to mention about the Seagate 2TB one is that it can be noisy when it switches between discs (I think it's actually 2 1TB discs inside, and the laser has to switch between them every now and again). It sort of makes a high, whining sound if it's trying to do that quickly. 

 

Overall though, I haven't had any other complaints. It's slightly faster than the stock drive too (7200 RPM IIRC) so loading times are reduced slightly for some games. 

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I have read online that the ones that come in the Seagate products, (Samsung I believe, but don't quote me on that) have a slightly higher than average fail rate but, for the price, I was prepared to take that risk, which appeared from my research to be negligible. If you regularly backup your saves to the cloud or external HDD, you should be fine. 

 

Only other thing to mention about the Seagate 2TB one is that it can be noisy when it switches between discs (I think it's actually 2 1TB discs inside, and the laser has to switch between them every now and again). It sort of makes a high, whining sound if it's trying to do that quickly. 

 

Overall though, I haven't had any other complaints. It's slightly faster than the stock drive too (7200 RPM IIRC) so loading times are reduced slightly for some games. 

 

It's not just fail rate... there's read and write speed, noise, drivers, firmware, if it goes to sleep, access time, power usage, etc etc...

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It's not just fail rate... there's read and write speed, noise, drivers, firmware, if it goes to sleep, access time, power usage, etc etc...

 

It's all a bit technical for me. I will say that I don't think drivers and firmware are all that relevant(?). You don't need to install anything on the drive via a PC before installing it into the PS4, but once you power on the PS4 with the new drive in it it will ask you to put a USB containing the PS4 firmware into one of the ports, which will then install the PS4 OS to the drive. Full instructions are here: https://support.us.playstation.com/articles/en_US/KC_Article/Upgrade-PS4-HDD/and the latest firmware is hosted here: https://www.playstation.com/en-us/support/system-updates/ps4/

 

The Seagate 2TB seems to read a little faster than the stock PS4 drive, but that might be my imagination, I haven't tested it scientifically. I just get the sense that games like Bloodborne have slightly less loading time. Oh, and I got it wrong in my last post - the RPM of the 2TB Seagate is still 5,400 but the data pits on the platter are closer together in the 2TB drive, which is what improves the read time. 

 

Haven't noticed it ever sleeping on me. I mentioned that there is a bit of noise when, I think, the laser switches between discs "urgently", but this isn't really that often. 

 

 

Well, good news/bad news time! The drive I have was very easy to open (didn't even break any prongs) thanks to a little plastic opening tool I forgot I had... But it seems my particular drive doesn't have a plug you can just undo, it looks like it's all one piece:

vYtcLxf.jpg

 

miCnCOI.jpg

 

So it seems I will have to get a new drive anyways. -_- Oh well, at least I can get a 2TB one now. :P

 

I'm guessing that's a Parallel ATA connection? The PS4 can only sake Serial ATA connections (also called SATA for short), which is what is present in the 2TB Seagate. (The 1TB Seagate is, apparently, also Parallel, so you'll have to avoid that one.)

Edited by StrickenBiged
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I will say that I don't think drivers and firmware are all that relevant(?).

 

The firmware affects quite a lot about how the HDD behaves.

 

EDIT: I think you missed what I meant by firmware... the HDD runs it's own firmware! :P You usually can't change it or anything.

Edited by MMDE
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The firmware affects quite a lot about how the HDD behaves.

 

EDIT: I think you missed what I meant by firmware... the HDD runs it's own firmware! :P You usually can't change it or anything.

 

I thought I may have done that. Not really sure of the distinction... 'XD

 

Alls I know for sure is that the Seagate 2TB one works just fine and is a relatively simple install (took me all of 20 minutes)! 

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I thought I may have done that. Not really sure of the distinction... 'XD

 

Alls I know for sure is that the Seagate 2TB one works just fine and is a relatively simple install (took me all of 20 minutes)! 

 

Device driver would be software that creates an API for OS to communicate with device. Firmware would be the light software that runs on the hardware, which is what the driver helps the OS to communicate with.

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Device driver would be software that creates an API for OS to communicate with device. Firmware would be the light software that runs on the hardware, which is what the driver helps the OS to communicate with.

 

Presumably these are fairly standardised across devices, especially where they're designed to be "plug and play" with so many devices and computers?

 

Not sure that it's something you've got to worry about for the PS4. You're certainly the first person I've seen mentioning it when I've looked at threads about upgrading the PS4 storage. My assumption is that any drive that is compatible with your general windows PC will be fine. 

 

_____________________________________________________

 

Oh! There is one thing I forgot to mention about the upgrade process that caught me out. 

 

Changing the HD will mess up your PS4's registration as your "primary" console. So before you upgrade, make sure you go into your PS4's settings and "deactivate" your console. Then do the upgrade and log in to PSN once the PS4 is running again. Go into the PS4's settings again and "activate" it again. 

 

If you forget to deactivate in advance, you'll have to log in to PSN and deactivate your "old" PS4. That, or ask Sony customer support to do it for you. 

Edited by StrickenBiged
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