PlayStation 4 is the king of the gaming consoles. This advanced, high-performance device has millions of users worldwide, earning the title of one of the best consoles ever. Although iconic, it is a decade old and may experience software and hardware issues.

One such issue includes PS4 hard drive failure. This problem may be one of the most stressful, so we are here to help. We will show you how to recognize and resolve hard drive failure. Check out the guide below for more details.

Table of Content
    1. Logical Hard Drive Failure
    2. Physical/Mechanical Hard Drive Failure
    1. Recover Data Using Wondershare Recoverit
    2. Reset Your PS4 Hard Drive
    3. Back up Your Data and Copy It to Another Drive
    4. Replace Your Hard Drive
    5. Format Your Disk
    6. Repair PS4 Hard Drive Failure Using CHKDSK

PS4 Hard Drive Failure Symptoms

You can notice several signs indicating hard drive failure. Check out the most common below, including the causes of the symptoms.

Symptoms Explanations Causes
🐌Decreased loading speeds If your console isn't loading the games and apps at the same speed it used to, it might be a sign of hard drive failure. Bad sectors and data fragmentation
❗Error messages You may see messages like "cannot access system storage," which indicates hard drive failure. Hard drive corruption, bad sectors, and physical damage
🕬Unusual noises A failing hard drive may cause your PS4 to make weird, clicking noises. You may also hear whirring or high-pitched noises. Physical damage and overheating
❄Freezing Your games or screen suddenly freezing are other signs of hard drive failure. They're among the first signs you will notice. Read errors, data corruption, viruses, and malware
💻Booting issues Since hard drives help boot your device, you may experience booting issues if something's wrong with your disk. Corrupted sectors and physical damage

These are only some of the most common issues leading to complete hard drive failure. If you notice these signs, try fixing the hard drive immediately.

How To Check for PS4 Hard Drive Failure

You can check your PS4 hard drive's health and see whether it is starting to fail. To do so, you will need your computer's assistance. Connect your PS4 to your PC, and follow the steps below:

  1. Type "cmd" on Windows search bar. Open Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. In the Command Prompt, run this command: wmic diskdrive get model,status.
    checking for hard drive failure

The program will show your drive's health. If you see Pred Fail, it means it is beginning to fail. If it says OK, your disk is working well.

Types of PS4 Hard Drive Failure

Your PS4 may be experiencing two types of hard drive failure: logical or mechanical. You can fix logical errors yourself by trying some of the solutions below. However, consult professionals regarding mechanical failure. Let's dive deeper into these failure types.

Logical Hard Drive Failure

Logical issues occur within your hard drive's system and software. They may include viruses, malware, file system errors, and other software-based causes. If your hard drive has experienced logical issues, you can use the tools below to fix the problem.

Physical/Mechanical Hard Drive Failure

Mechanical or physical hard drive failure occurs when this component suffers hardware damage. That may be due to mishandling or exposing your device to dust and water.

If the mechanical part of your console (the hard drive) suffers damage, it will automatically fail. In such cases, seek professional help or replace the hard drive with a new one.

How To Fix PS4 Hard Drive Failure

Now that you know how to recognize and diagnose your hard drive's failure, it's time to jump to the solutions. We will first cover what to do before repairing the hard drive.

Fix 1: Recover Data Using Wondershare Recoverit

Before repairing logical errors, you should take care of your data. Your hard drive stores all the essential information, such as your accounts, games, history, etc. To preserve that data, you will need third-party data recovery software and we have chosen Wondershare Recoverit in this tutorial.

This solution is among the best on the market. It has a 95% success rate, meaning it will extract and recover your files effectively. It is compatible with most devices, file types, and data loss scenarios, so you won't have to worry about retrieving your data.

Wondershare Recoverit
  • Recovers data from 2000+ storage media, including HDDs, SSDs, game consoles, etc.
  • Enables recovery of data lost due to formatting, disk corruption, virus attack, and more.
  • The user-friendly interface allows you to recover data in just a few clicks.
recoverit box recoverit logo

To use Wondershare Recoverit, you must connect your PS4 hard drive to your PC. Download and install the software on your computer and follow the steps below:

  1. Open Wondershare Recoverit and head to Hard Drives and Locations.
  2. Choose your PS4 hard drive from the list of available options.
    choose the ps4 hard drive
  3. Once you choose the device, the program will automatically start scanning for lost files. You can pause this process if necessary.
    scanning the ps4 hard drive
  4. After scanning, preview all the recovered files and select those you wish to save. Click Recover to continue.
    preview and recover files
  5. Choose where to save your files.
Free Download
Free Download

Fix 2: Reset Your PS4 Hard Drive

Resetting your PS4 HDD will return to its original state, wiping everything on your hard drive. This action will solve minor and significant hard drive issues, such as removing viruses, malware, and corrupted files, which may lead to hard drive failure. To reset your PS4, follow the guide below:

  1. Go to Settings > System.
  2. Scroll to the bottom and select Initialization > Initialize PS4.
    ps4 initialization
  3. Choose either a Full or Quick reset from the available options and select Next.
  4. Click Yes in the dialog box to confirm the reset.
    start the initialization

The difference between a Full and a Quick reset is in data deletion. The Quick option will wipe all the data, but you can still recover it since the reset won't overwrite your drive.

On the other hand, the Full option will overwrite your hard drive with zeros and ones multiple times, making data recovery impossible.

Another way to reset your PS4 is from the Safe Mode. Follow the guide below:

  1. Turn off your console.
  2. Connect your controller via a USB cable and press the PS button on the controller.
  3. The console should enter the Safe Mode. Click Initialize PS4.
    initialize ps4 from safe mode
  4. Choose either Full or Quick reset and select Next.
  5. Press Yes to complete the process.

Fix 3: Back up Your Data and Copy It to Another Drive

One feature on a PS4 console allows you to create a copy of your database and store it in a different location. This method can help you fix corrupted files while removing all content from your device's hard drive. To access this option, your PS4 must be in Safe Mode. Follow the instructions below to complete this process:

  1. Turn off your PS4 console.
  2. Connect your controller via a USB cable and press the PS button.
  3. Once Safe Mode loads, select Rebuild Database and press X on the controller.
    rebuild the ps4 database

This process may take a while, but you can solve the PS4 hard drive failure issue successfully.

Fix 4: Replace Your Hard Drive

replace a hard drive on ps4

Replacing your hard drive can help you deal with physical or mechanical issues leading to PS4 HDD failure. If your hard drive has been acting weird and you discover some physical problems, you might need to replace it with a new one.

Being gentle with this process is crucial because you don't want to mishandle other components and cause more damage. If you've never replaced hardware, we advise you to take your PS4 to an experienced professional.

Additionally, purchase a hard drive from a reliable source to avoid another stressful scenario.

Fix 5: Format Your Disk

Formatting your PS4 HDD will help you clean corrupted files and save your hard drive. Formatting will delete all data from the disk, giving your PS4 a fresh start.

To format your PS4 hard drive, you will need the help of your PC and an unused SATA cable. Follow this guide to do it successfully:

  1. Connect your device to your PC using a SATA cable.
  2. Head to Disk Management and select your PS4 disk.
    open disk management
  3. If you have multiple partitions, delete them. Delete all those with a blue color (leave the black one) by right-clicking them and selecting Delete Volume.
    deleting partitions
  4. After deleting the partitions, right-click the black, unallocated volume.
  5. Select New Simple Volume.
    create a new simple volume
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions and choose a file system. The best formats for PS4 are FAT32 and exFAT.
    format the ps4 hdd
  7. Click Next to complete the process.

Fix 6: Repair PS4 Hard Drive Failure Using CHKDSK

CHKDSK is a Windows-based option that enables you to detect and solve any issues with your storage devices. It is among the most powerful tools for repairing failing hard drives on your PC and other devices (such as PS4). You can run this tool by following the guide below:

  1. Connect your PS4 to your PC.
  2. Open File Explorer and right-click your PS4.
  3. Select Properties from the drop-down menu.
    access ps4 hard drive properties
  4. Head to the Tools tab and click Check.
    run chkdsk
  5. After scanning, you can see which issues CHKDSK has found and resolved.
    view resolved issues

There's another way to run CHKDSK, which is through the Command Prompt. Here's how to do it:

  1. Search for the Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
    open the command prompt
  2. Type the chkdsk command and press Enter.
    run chkdsk in the command prompt

The program will automatically start scanning and resolving possible issues in your PS4 HDD.

Summing Up

Seeing that the hard drive on your favorite gaming console is failing may seem devastating. You are in the right place if you are currently in this situation. You can try the methods above to fix logical and mechanical issues leading to PS4 hard drive failure.

However, some methods, such as formatting the drive and resetting the PS4, will delete all your files. Therefore, back up your data before repairing the hard drive or retrieve it with Wondershare Recoverit, the best data recovery tool for a smooth experience.

If none of the methods above work, consult professionals for expert help.


  • Is it normal for a PS4 hard drive to fail?
    Since the PS4 came out ten years ago, hard drive failure is typical at this stage. Since it is a mechanical component, it is prone to wear and tear, so the disk failing is unsurprising. Moreover, other aspects may wear down your hard drive after some time, such as corruption and viruses, leading to the failure issue.
  • What happens when PS4 hard drive goes bad?
    When a PS4 hard drive goes bad, you may experience several issues, including:
    1. Slow performance: Loading times for games, apps, or the PS4 system itself may become significantly slower, leading to frustration and longer wait times.
    2. Frequent freezing or crashes: The console may freeze during gameplay or while using apps, and it may crash and restart more frequently.
    3. Corrupted data: You may encounter corrupted save files, game installations, or system files, which can lead to issues like being unable to load game saves or install updates.
    4. Error messages: You may see error messages related to the hard drive, such as 'Cannot access system storage' or 'The database is corrupted.'
    5. Boot-up issues: In more severe cases, the PS4 may fail to boot up properly, getting stuck in a loop or displaying a message indicating that the hard drive cannot be accessed.
    6. Clicking or grinding noise: A failing hard drive may produce unusual clicking or grinding noises, indicating that the internal components are damaged.
  • What should I do if my PS4 hard drive is physically damaged?
    Don't wait if you notice that your PS4 hard drive has dents and scratches, is covered in dust, or is soaking wet. Head straight to a professional who will fix the physical damage or advise you on the next step. Don't forget to recover your data beforehand to ensure you don't lose anything from your console.
  • If my PS4 hard drive fails, will I lose all my data?
    If your hard drive fails, the chances of losing your data are high. Hard drive failure may also lead to data damage. Thus, once you notice your hard drive is acting up, recover and back up your data.
  • How long will a PS4 hard drive last?
    The lifespan of a PS4 hard drive can vary depending on factors like usage, quality of the drive, and environmental conditions. On average, a PS4 hard drive can last anywhere between 3 to 5 years or more with normal usage. However, it's important to regularly backup your data and consider upgrading or replacing the hard drive if you notice any performance issues or signs of failure.
Sue Wayne
Sue Wayne Apr 15, 24
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