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The latest firmware update (4.50) for the PlayStation 4 has finally brought support for external hard drives, among other notable features.
But before you go splashing out on a drive, there are a few things worth noting, as the PlayStation blog points out.
Requirements and preparation
First of all, you’ll want to make sure that your external hard drive supports USB 3.0. As for size requirements, your drive needs to be a minimum of 250GB or a maximum of eight terabytes.
Even if you do meet these requirements, Sony notes that there’s no guarantee that your drive will work anyway.
Once you’ve got your desired drive, you’ll need to plug it in and format it. This can be done by navigating to “settings”, visiting the devices menu and selecting “USB storage devices”.
You’ll then need to select your hard drive and choose “format as extended storage”. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that there’s nothing important on this hard drive, because everything will be erased.
“It’s also important to note that once you’ve formatted your external HDD to this specific PS4 format, you can only use it for PS4 games and apps — you won’t be able to store screenshots and video clips, saved data, Themes or any other types of media, documents, pictures on it, without re-formatting to its original state,” Sony cautions.
Now that it’s formatted…
Sony says that, as long as it’s plugged in, the external hard drive will be the default location for installing games.
If you’d prefer to install games to the internal drive by default, this can be accomplished by visiting the settings menu, scrolling to “storage” and choosing the relevant location (internal storage or external drive). You’ll then need to press the “options” button, choose “application install location” and select either “system storage” or “extended storage”.
Copying data to the external drive
Users can also copy their existing game installs and apps to the external drive. After all, what’s the point if you have to download them all over again?
This is accomplished by visiting settings>storage>system storage>applications. From here, you want to press the “options” button and choose “move to extended storage”.
You’ll then want to choose all the games/apps you’d like to move, select “move” and tap “ok” to get things started.
Sony cautions that you shouldn’t merely unplug the hard drive while the PS4 is on. What you’ll want to do is hold the PlayStation button, select “sound/devices” and then choose “stop using extended storage”.
The company adds that you shouldn’t use a USB hub to connect the drive to the PS4