Are you a PS4 user? Given the limited storage space on the internal drive, many of you choose to use an external hard drive for additional games or apps. But what if the PS4 external hard drive stopped working? Please keep reading this article from NewsPivot if you want to find the solutions.

PlayStation 4 (PS4) is a home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released in 2013 and discontinued in 2021. Although PS4 has been discontinued, there are still many users.

Due to its internal hard drive storage space being limited (500GB), some of you may use external hard drives to install more games and save more data. It’s not uncommon to use external drives in electronic devices, especially for computers and game consoles that store a lot of content, like games and data.

However, it can be very irritating when you try to install a new game on the external hard drive only to find that the PS4 external hard drive not working. In some cases, you may see such a pop-up “the USB storage device is not connected”.

PS4 external hard drive stopped working

How Does the PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working Issue Happen?

To find the reasons, we’ve scouted the forums and communities, and then summarized the reasons below:

  • Physical damage: External hard drives are sensitive devices. If they’re dropped, bumped, or exposed to extreme temperatures, they may be physically damaged. Even minor damage can disrupt the delicate components inside the external hard drive, leading to the external hard drive being out of work.
  • Inconsistency: The connection between your external hard drive and PS4 may be compromised. This leads to inconsistency, which could happen if the cable connecting the hard drive to the PS4 is loose, damaged, or not inserted properly. Additionally, the USB port on either the PS4 or the external hard drive may be faulty. Then you’ll find the PS4 external hard drive not showing up.
  • Compatibility issue: Not all external hard drives are compatible with PS4. The PS4 supports external hard drives of up to 8TB capacity that must be formatted as exFAT or FAT32 file systems. If your hard drive does not meet these requirements, it may not work properly with your PS4.
  • Corrupted file system: Sudden disconnections or improper ejections can corrupt the file system of your external hard drive. As a result of a chain reaction, it can bring issues like the PS4 hard drive not recognizing or error messages displaying.
  • Insufficient power supply: The external hard drive typically requires extra power to function when it connects to your PS4. If the power supply to your external hard drive is inadequate, it may not work properly or fail altogether.
  • Software issue: Software issues on the PS4 or the external hard drive can cause “PS4 external hard drive stopped working”. This may be due to outdated firmware, conflicting software, or system errors. Sometimes you can restart your PS4 to resolve software-related issues.
  • Faulty hardware: If none of the above situations fits your problem, there may be something wrong with your hardware, either the external hard drive or the PS4 itself.

Fixes to PS4 External Hard Drive Stopped Working

Since we listed possible reasons why your PS4 external hard drive is not recognized, you should have some basic understanding of it. So now, let’s see how to take action to avoid this issue.

Fix 1-3 is for the PS4 external hard drive not recognized in the beginning, and Fix 4-6 is for the PS4 external hard drive not recognized suddenly. Please confirm which case you are in, and read the corresponding fixes.

Fix 1: Check the Disk Connection

Keeping a good connection with your PS4 console is the most basic step in using an external hard drive. When your PS4 can not recognize the external hard drive in the beginning, you should reconnect the external hard drive to the PS4 console and make sure the connection is stable. If you have connected it to your console correctly, but your console still can’t recognize it, it’s probably because the external hard drive is not compatible with the jack.

You can try to replace the jack or change the plug. In addition, you’re recommended to buy a cable with the power supply function.

Fix 2: Check the External Hard Drive

You should also check your external hard drive if your PS4 external hard drive stopped working.

First, you should check if your external hard drive meets the PS4 requirements.

  • External hard disk drive (HDD).
  • SuperSpeed USB 5Gbps or later.
  • 250 GB minimum, 8 TB maximum capacity.
  • The external hard drive needs to be formatted as exFAT or FAT32.

Now, let’s see how to format your external hard drive to exFAT or FAT32. Before you start to operate, you should open your computer, and plug in the external hard drive.

Warning: Formatting the external hard drive will clear all the files in it. If there are any of your important files, ensure you have backed them up. To back up your data safely and effectively, we recommend you use MiniTool ShadowMaker.

  • Right-click on the icon of your external hard drive in This PC and choose Format from the context menu.
  • Choose exFAT or FAT32 under File System.
  • Check the Quick Format box, and click Start.
  • Click OK to confirm.

Second, you can check if your external hard drive is physically damaged. You may recall if your external hard drive has suffered a bad situation, such as falling from a height, being weighed down by heavy objects, etc. Or you can check the external hard drive’s health on your computer.

Fix 3: Upgrade the PS4 System Software

As we mentioned above, outdated firmware and software conflicts can cause your external hard drive to stop working. To deal with it, you can upgrade them in your console.

  1. Open your PS4, go to Home Screen and click Settings.
  2. Select Update System Software.
  3. If there is an update available, it will begin to download. Once the download is complete, you can install the update.

Fix 4: Restart Your PS4 Console

If your PS4 external hard drive doesn’t work suddenly, you can try to restart the console to fix it.

  • Power off your console and unplug it for minutes.
  • Unplug the external hard drive and turn on the PS4 without any external devices.
  • Then turn off your console again and reconnect your external hard drive.
  • Turn on your PS4.

Fix 5: Rebuild the Database

Rebuild the database is a useful feature of PlayStation. It can scan the drive and create a new database without deleting any data.

This feature is available in the Safe Mode of your PS4.

  • Power off your PS4 console by holding the power button for seconds.
  • Press and hold the power button until you hear two beeps.
  • Connect the controller with a USB cable.
  • Press the PS button on the controller to turn your console into Safe Mode.
  • Navigate the context menu and select Rebuild Database.
  • Wait for the process to complete and then reboot your console.

Fix 6: Initialize Your PS4 Console

It’s a risky operation that will delete all your files, so it is recommended to back up your files before proceeding with the following steps.

  • Turn off your console completely by pressing the power button.
  • Press and hold the power button until you hear the second beep.
  • Connect the controller, and press the PS button to enter Safe Mode.
  • Select the Initialize PS4 option, and wait until the process completes, but don’t turn off your PS4.
  • After the initialization is finished, update the system software to the latest version.

Bottom Line

The PS4 external drive not working issue should be solved after reading this article. It’s our pleasure that we can offer you help when you are stuck in trouble. We hope you can have a good gaming experience.

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