PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working/Recognized? Here Are Feasible Solutions - All About Games (2024)

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time. It offers an immersive gaming experience that is hard to match. With its powerful hardware and intuitive software, gaming on the PlayStation 4 has become a pastime for millions of players around the world.

The PS4 comes with a decent amount of storage space, but with the constant stream of new games and downloadable content, that space can quickly run out. This is where PS4 external hard drives come in handy, as they are an excellent addition to PS4 and allow users to store more games and media, which is especially useful for those who own a PS4 with a smaller storage capacity.

However, like any electronic device, issues can arise when your PS4 fails to recognize your external hard drive or you just find PS4 external hard drive not working. In this article, we will explore why this problem occurs and how to fix it.

Possible Causes for PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working/Recognized

The PS4 allows players to connect an external hard drive to their console, which provides additional storage space for games, apps, and media. However, external hard drives can sometimes encounter problems, such as not working or not being recognized by the PS4. If you are in the same situation, consider the following causes.

Compatibility Issues. One of the most common reasons for PS4 external hard drive not working or recognized is compatibility issues. Not all external hard drives work with the PlayStation 4. To work correctly, the external hard drive needs to be formatted in either FAT32 or exFAT file systems. Additionally, the external hard drive needs to be USB 3.0 or later and have a storage capacity of at least 250 GB.

Faulty USB Cable or Port. Another common cause for PS4 external hard drive not working is a faulty USB cable or port. A faulty USB cable or port can prevent your PS4 from recognizing your external hard drive. You should try using a different USB cable or port to see if that solves the problem.

External Hard Drive Corruption. Influenced by sudden power loss, malware infections, file system errors, and other factors, your PS4 extended storage could become corrupted, which can lead to issues with PS4 recognition and functioning.

➣ Physical Damage. Physical damage to your external hard drive can also cause it to not work or be recognized by the PS4. If your external hard drive has been dropped or otherwise damaged, it may be beyond repair. In this case, you may need to replace your external hard drive.

➣ Outdated PS4 System Software. The PS4 system software needs to be updated to recognize external hard drives. If your PS4 is not running the latest version of the system software, it may not recognize the external hard drive.

What to Do If the PS4 External Hard Drive Is Not Working/Recognized?

The PlayStation 4 is a powerful gaming console that allows you to store a large number of games and media files. However, as your collection grows, you may find that your PS4’s internal hard drive is not enough to accommodate everything you want to keep. Fortunately, you can expand your storage capacity by connecting an external hard drive to your PS4. But what do you do if your PS4 external hard drive is not working or recognized? Let’s dive in.

Case 1 PS4 Extended Storage Not Working from the Beginning

Many PS4 users have reported experiencing issues with their extended storage not working from the beginning. As a PlayStation 4 user, you may have been struggling with getting your extended storage to work as well. However, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot the problem and get your extended storage up and running.

  1. Attach your PS4 external HDD to your computer and examine it for any damage. If it is functioning flawlessly there, investigate the other point(s) and determine whether it has to be changed right now.
  2. Ensure that your external hard drive is properly connected to your PS4. Check that the USB cable is plugged in correctly and that the external hard drive is receiving power. If the external hard drive is still not working or recognized, try connecting it to a different USB port on your PS4. Sometimes, certain USB ports on the PS4 may not work correctly, and switching to a different port may solve the problem.
  3. While the PS4 system does not support wireless external hard drives, confirm that the PS4 external hard drive has a wired connection.
  4. Check to see if your external hard drive complies with PS4 requirements or is compatible with your PS4. Refer to the user manual of your PS4 to check the list of compatible external hard drives. If your external hard drive is not on the list, you may need to replace it with a compatible one.
  5. In some cases, the problem may not be with the external hard drive but with the PS4 itself. Therefore, try restarting your PS4 and see if the external hard drive is recognized. If restarting does not work, you may need to update your PS4 system software. Sony releases regular updates for the PS4, which can fix bugs and improve the system’s performance.

Case 2 PS4 External Hard Drive Stopped Working Suddenly

If your PS4 external hard drive was previously functioning well but has suddenly stopped working, try to reconnect the external hard drive first by unplugging the USB cable from both the PS4 and the external hard drive and then waiting a few seconds to plug the USB cable back in. If this simple fix fails to get your PS4 extended storage recognized or working again, then you need to troubleshoot further.

Method 1 Power Cycle Your PS4 Console

Power cycling your PS4 console can help to resolve various issues, such as freezing, crashing, and PS4 external HDD not being recognized. Power cycling involves completely turning off your PS4 and disconnecting it from the power source. Here are the steps to power cycle your PS4 console.

Step 1 Save your game progress to avoid losing any unsaved data before power cycling your PS4.

Step 2 Press and hold the power button on the front of your PS4 until it beeps twice and the light on the front of the console turns off. This indicates that your PS4 is fully turned off.

Step 3 Once your PS4 is completely turned off, unplug the power cable from the back of the console together with the external hard drive.

Step 4 Wait for at least 5-10 minutes to ensure that the console’s power has fully dissipated, plug the power cable back into your PS4, and then turn on the PS4 console.

Step 5 Reconnect the PS4 extended storage to your PS4.

Method 2 Update the PS4 System Software

Keeping your PS4 system software up to date is important to ensure that you have access to the latest features, improved performance, and security updates. This can also help to troubleshoot the PS4 extended storage not recognized issue. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to update the PS4 system software.

Step 1 Ensure that your PS4 console is connected to the internet.

Step 2 From the PS4 home screen, navigate to “Settings” > “System Software Update“.

PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working/Recognized? Here Are Feasible Solutions - All About Games (1)

Step 3 If an update is available, select the “Next” or “Update” button to get the found update downloaded.

Step 4 Once the download is complete, click “Downloads” to locate and select the downloaded software and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Method 3 Recover Data from the Corrupted PS4 Extended Storage and Perform Drive Repair

If your external hard drive is not recognized by your PS4 suddenly or is not working properly, it could be due to drive corruption caused by hardware failure, software issues, etc. This can be a frustrating problem, as the data on the drive may become inaccessible when drive corruption occurs. Hence, recover important game files, work files, video files, and other files from the corrupted PS4 extended storage first and then try to get the drive repaired.

Step 1 Recover data from the corrupted PS4 external hard drive with iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows

iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows is a powerful data recovery software that can recover lost or deleted files from various storage devices, such as internal hard drives, external hard drives, USB drives, memory cards, and more. This software supports a wide range of file formats, including game files, photos, videos, work documents, audio files, and emails.

With advanced algorithms, this data recovery utility is capable of scanning the storage device (whether it is corrupted, inaccessible, or mistakenly formatted) and locating the lost files to get them back.

  1. Connect the unrecognizable PS4 extended storage with your Windows computer and go to to download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows on your PC.
  2. Launch the program and then select a recovery module that can best fit your needs. Here, three recovery modules are available, namely, the Data Recovery module, the RAW Drive Recovery module, and the BitLocker Recovery module.
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  1. Locate and select the corrupted PS4 external HDD from a list of detected drives and click the “Next” button to commerce a scanning of your drive.
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  1. Preview the scanned files, tick them if the files are required, and then click the “Recover” button.
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Step 2 Repair the corrupted PS4 external hard drive

After file retrieval, it’s time to proceed with the PS4 extended storage repair. You can return your drive to normal by running the chkdsk command.

  1. Connect the corrupted external hard drive to your Windows computer.
  2. Open the “Start” menu and input “cmd” in the search box.
  3. Right-click on the cmd.exe program and select “Run as administrator”.
  4. Type in the “chkdsk*: /f /r /x” command in the Command Prompt. Remember to substitute the drive letter you want to fix for *.
  5. Once the repair process is over, it will display a summary of the scan results. If any errors were found and repaired, the external hard drive should now be functional.

Note that the chkdsk command may not be able to repair all types of corruption or damage to an external hard drive. If the drive still cannot be recognized after using the chkdsk command, you may need to fix your PS4 external HDD in other ways.

Method 4 Rebuild PS4 Database

Rebuilding the database on your PS4 can help improve performance and fix some common issues such as game crashes, slow loading times, and the PS4 external HDD not recognized issue in our discussion.

Step 1 Turn off your PS4 completely and then hold down the power button until you hear two beeps.

Step 2 Connect a DualShock 4 controller to your PS4 with a USB cable and press the “PS” button. This will start the PS4 in Safe Mode.

Step 3 Select “Rebuild Database” from the Safe Mode menu and press “X” to initiate the database rebuilding process.

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Step 4 Wait for the process to complete. Once it is complete and the PS4 restarts, connect the PS4 external HDD to your PS4 to check if the issue gets resolved.

If the PS4 extended storage not working issue persists, you need to initialize your PS4, which will wipe all data from your console, including user accounts, game saves, and downloaded games. This is a drastic step that should only be taken as a last resort. However, if you are experiencing serious issues with your PS4 or you have exhausted all other options, initializing your PS4 can sometimes help. To do this, just repeat the previous procedures to start your PS4 in Safe Mode, but this time choose “Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” displayed in the Safe mode window.

Final Words

Encountering issues with your PS4 external hard drive not working or being recognized is a common problem faced by many gamers. In this post, we discuss some possible reasons leading to your PS4 extended storage not working as well as some feasible solutions. Hopefully, with the above-mentioned solutions, you can solve the issue and enjoy your gaming experience once again.

As an AI language model, I have a vast amount of knowledge on various topics, including gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 (PS4). I can provide information and insights based on my understanding of the subject matter.

The PlayStation 4 (PS4) is indeed one of the most popular gaming consoles of all time. It offers a highly immersive gaming experience and has a large user base worldwide. The PS4 is known for its powerful hardware and intuitive software, which contribute to its popularity among gamers [[SOURCE 1]].

One of the key features of the PS4 is its internal storage space, which allows users to install and play games directly on the console. However, with the increasing number of games and downloadable content available, the storage space on the PS4 may become insufficient for some users. To address this issue, the PS4 supports the use of external hard drives, which can be connected to the console to provide additional storage capacity [[SOURCE 1]].

In the article you provided, it discusses the possible causes for PS4 external hard drives not working or being recognized by the console. Some of the common causes mentioned include compatibility issues, faulty USB cables or ports, external hard drive corruption, physical damage to the hard drive, and outdated PS4 system software [[SOURCE 1]].

To troubleshoot these issues, the article suggests several steps. For example, if the external hard drive is not working from the beginning, users are advised to check for any damage, ensure proper connection, verify compatibility with the PS4, restart the console, and update the system software [[SOURCE 1]].

If the external hard drive was previously working but has suddenly stopped, the article recommends reconnecting the hard drive, power cycling the PS4 console, updating the system software, recovering data from the corrupted hard drive, and rebuilding the PS4 database, among other methods [[SOURCE 1]].

It's important to note that the steps provided in the article are general suggestions and may not solve all issues related to PS4 external hard drives. If users encounter persistent problems, it may be necessary to seek further assistance from Sony customer support or consult relevant online forums for more specific troubleshooting advice.

In conclusion, the PS4 external hard drive can be a valuable addition to the console, providing additional storage space for games and media. However, issues can arise, preventing the PS4 from recognizing or properly working with the external hard drive. By following the troubleshooting steps outlined in the article, users may be able to resolve these issues and enjoy a seamless gaming experience on their PS4.

PS4 External Hard Drive Not Working/Recognized? Here Are Feasible Solutions - All About Games (2024)
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