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The PlayStation 4 Pro is fast, but let’s see if we can make it faster.

One of the many improvements the PS4 Pro has over the original 2013 console is the capability to support the high-bandwidth SATA 3 data interface for storage drives. That means, theoretically, that the new system should have the transfer rate required to take advantage of fast solid-state drives (SSD) compared to the slower spinning medium in the traditional hard-disc drive that comes with the Pro. I’m going to test that out, but first I need to get my PS4 Pro working with a SSD.

For these tests, I’m using a Crucial MX300 1TB 2.5-inch SATA III SSD. This drive has the same amount of space as the original PS4 Pro hard drive, but it also has all the specifications that it needs to work with the faster interface on the system. To get it working, I don’t just have to swap out the existing drive — I’ll also have to reinitialize the PS4 by downloading the latest firmware onto a USB drive. If this is something you want to try, just follow the instructions below.

And don’t worry — this process won’t void your warranty as long as the drive is no thicker than 9.5mm and has at least 160GB of storage.

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How to install a new storage drive into your PS4 Pro

Backup your current hard drive

  1. Backup your current drive if you want to transfer your data.
  2. Get a large enough USB device (external HDD, USB stick) and format it using exFAT on your PC.
  3. Connect the storage device to your PS4’s USB port.
  4. In the PS4’s menu, go to Settings > System > Backup and Restore.
  5. Select “Backup PS4.”

Remove the old drive

  1. Once the backup is finished, shut down the PS4 completely by holding down the power button for at least 7 seconds until you hear a beep.
  2. Remove your PS4 from power and HDMI.
  3. Use a screwdriver or knife to pop the back panel off the bottom right side of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s rear.
  4. Use a small electronics screwdriver to remove the bolt holding the drive bay in place.
  5. Slide the drive bay out of the PS4 Pro.
  6. Remove the four bolts hold the drive into the bay.
  7. Use those bolts to secure the new SSD drive into place.
  8. Slide the bay back into the dock.
  9. Secure it with its bolt.
  10. Replace the cover.

Reinitializing your PS4

  1. Your new drive should be completely blank, so it won’t have the required PS4 firmware it needs to run.
  2. Download the latest firmware from Sony’s support site: Here.
  3. Create a folder named “PS4” on the root of a USB storage device.
  4. In the PS4 folder, create another folder called “UPDATE” and then paste the downloaded update file into here.
  5. Remove the USB drive from your PC, and plug it into your fully powered down PS4.
  6. Again, hold the PS4’s power button for 7 seconds if its indicator light is Blue or Orange to shut it down.
  7. Once the USB drive is connected, hold the power button for at least 7 seconds and until you hear a beep.
  8. The PS4 Pro should boot into safe mode and ask you to insert a USB drive with the update files.
  9. Hit “OK,” and follow the instructions.

Restoring your PS4

If you backed up your data on a USB drive:

  1. Plug your USB device into your PS4 Pro.
  2. On your PS4, go to Settings > System > Backup and Restore.
  3. Select “Restore PS4.”
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions.

If you are restoring your PS4 Pro from a hard drive in another PS4:

  1. Make sure each PS4 system is up-to-date, but you only need the PS4 Pro connected to the television.
  2. Connect both PS4s to the same wired network or the same Wi-Fi access point. (One cannot be wired and the other wireless)
  3. Sign into PSN on both.
  4. On the PS4 Pro, go to Settings > System > Transfer Data from Another PS4.
  5. Follow the prompts, and the PS4 will check to make sure both systems are on and connected to the same network.
  6. You will then need to hold down the power on the old PS4 for 1 second until you hear a beep.
  7. The Pro will then ask you to connect the systems directly together using an ethernet cable. Do that, and then hit next.
  8. The transfer process will begin.
  9. Once all the data has migrated, the old PS4 will shut down and the PS4 Pro will reboot to the sign in menu.

Turning your PS4 back on

If everything works, your PS4 should automatically turn back on. But if it doesn’t, hit the power button. Once it boots up, it should take you to the sign-in screen, where you can log into your PSN account like usual. Go ahead and log in, and once you do, everything on your PS4 should look exactly like it did before (either on the old HDD or the old PS4). Your games, saves, and even folders should have all made the move.

But the real test is to make sure that P.T. (Konami’s discontinued “playable teaser” for the canceled Silent Hills game) is still on your drive if you had it before. If it is, then everything worked as intended.

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