Best External Hard Drive (HDD) for PS4 PRO Console

One of the biggest obstacles PS4 PRO fanboys face is the limitation of the stock internal hard drive of their game console that’s limited to 1tb of storage capacity which they consider way too far from being enough for their data storage need of the internal hard drive. So they find themselves in front of two solutions: either upgrade the internal hard drive to a larger one, or use an external hard drive with their PS4 PRO for backup purposes, which helps them free up more storage space on the internal drive for more games to download and install.

The need for an external hard drive in PS4 PRO environment

If you put /home on a separate partition and run out of room, you can’t easily take space from the OS partition (if you use LVM, the Logical Volume Manager as offered during the installation phase of many distros, you can overcome this, as it supports partition resizing).There are plus points to the separate-partition approach, though, especially now that SSD (solid state) drives are becoming more affordable and popular. An external hard drive can help a wide variety of PS4 PRO fanboys to backup the currently installed data on the internal hard drive of PS4 PRO, which can be later used to free up more rooms for additional high-end games that come in large sizes. P-ATA (IDE, EIDE) is the first standard hard disk connection. There is one read/write read for each side of the disc – which is also called platter. When this head is knocked off balance or fluctuates, your drive crashes. Because they’re screamingly fast in comparison to spinning hard drives, you could put the OS files on an SSD for fast system and app startup times, and then /home on a traditional hard drive (after all, you’re not too bothered how long it takes your LibreOffice documents and photos to load). For general spinning hard-drive installations for home desktops, where you’re not going to be trying a new distro every other day, though, we recommend the ‘putting everything in one partition’ approach.

picking a good external hdd for ps4 pro

PS4 PRO external hard drive support

IDE means Integrated Drive Electronics. The heads are stuck together in an arm. This holds the heads in place, and moves them around the platters when the disk is seeking a track or sector. Have a look in the root (/) directory, and you’ll see lots of directories that may be unfamiliar to you. Two disks can be connected to the same cable . The same connection was used to connect optical drives. The speed of the latest version was a bit over 100 MB/s. Yes, PS4 PRO does support adding an external hard drive to it, especially if you get to know that PS4 PRO operating system is basically on version 4, and Sony added the external storage device support to its operating system since version 2.5.

Back-Up and Restore HDD to USB — Back-up and restore your hard disc drive data associated with users on your PS4, including settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data, to and from an external USB drive.


If you need the full features of version 4 (on which PS4 PRO operates), click here.

How to use an external hard drive on PS4 PRO

So, all the heads move together. This holds the arm in place—and is another component that, if disturbed, could cause a drive failure. Here’s something that might surprise you: when you save a file in a program, it doesn’t actually get written to the disk straightaway. Serial AT succeeded PATA and has several advantages over its predecessor, including increased rates of data transfer and reduced cable size. A motor (actually the correct term is “actuator”) called voice coil moves the arm. Using an external hard drive on PS4 PRO is so easy and not complicated at all. You just need to make sure the external hard drive is well-formatted in order to be ready for use within PS4 PRO operating system. On older drives, this is a multi-pin connector, next to a jumper port (remember the days when you used to have to set the drive to slave or master? At least for small files (eg, less than a megabyte), anyway. Since its inception, SATA has become the primary bus interface in consumer desktop and laptop computers. It is called “voice coil” because it uses the same idea behind loudspeakers: a coil inside a magnetic field provided by a magnet. That, and Confederate flags, are a thing of the past). With newer SATA drives, this is reduced to the SATA power outlet and the SATA data outlet.

storing ps4 pro data on an external hard drive

Backup PS4 PRO HDD data on the new external HDD

For performance reasons, operating systems don’t write data to the hard drive at every request, but wait until there’s a lot of data from multiple write requests. Only one disk can be connected to a cable. eSATA is meant to connect external hard disks. Depending on the current direction on the coil the arm moves to one side or to the other side. This is the device used to move the actuator arm to different positions to read from the disk. An external hard drive cannot be used with PS4 PRO for other purposes than backup, that’s because PS4 PRO system doesn’t allow that. So, the OS stores all of these write operations in a RAM buffer and then commits them all to disk in one fell-swoop.

Transfer speed

It is basically the same as SATA. And depending on the intensity of the current, the actuator will move more or less. Because it changes the head from track to track, it is the only part in the disk besides the platter that moves actively—changing heads is done electronically, and waiting for the right sector to show up under the head is done passively. The transfer speed of an external hard drive on PS4 PRO is supposedly faster than that with the standard PS4, due to the fact that PS4 PRO motherboard is actually configured with SATA III bus interface, which offers much faster transfer rate than its predecessor. If you’ve ever been unlucky enough to have a power cut a few seconds after hitting Ctrl+S in a program, for instance, you’ll have seen this in action. Set the jumpers (if it is an IDE drive). Let’s talk about this in more detail, because most people have IDE drives.

Performance and Reliability

We removed the top “cover” (actually the top magnet) from voice coil and you can see it disassembled in Figure 9. Fortunately, there’s a solution. In the IDE system, most motherboards allow you to have two IDE cables. We removed the arm from the hard drive. At any time, you can enter sync in a terminal window to guarantee that all write operations are written to the physical disk. The performance of an external hard drive in general is determined basically on its speed and the endurance level it operates on. As for PS4 PRO environment, these issues are almost deemed marginal as you are only able to use the external HDD as a backup peripheral device.

ps4 pro external hdd format

Factors that determine performance level

Each cable can connect to two drives. You can see it in Figure 10. And then there’s a special key sequence you can use if the X Window System freezes, ie the graphical layer has totally locked up, but you want to sync everything to the drives and reboot safely. The speed and endurance both are the main factors that determine how qualified an external hard drive can be for tough computer environment, which you might never face with PS4 PRO game console. Usually you use one cable to connect one or two optical drives to your machine. While we were removing it, we broke one of the heads (ops!). So, it should have six heads there but you will only see five.

Playing PS4 PRO games directly from an external HDD

A hard drive without a filesystem is just a jumble of data. The other cable is used to connect one or two hard drives to your machine. The filesystem helps the operating system to make sense of the disk – finding out where files start, where they end, and which directories they belong to. There’s a bitter fact that might pester Ps4 PRO fanboys about their favorite game console, which is that PS4 PRO doesn’t allow playing games directly from an external hard drive. It only works for movies. You want both hard drives to be on the same cable. In a simple filesystem, such as DOS FAT, you have a table in the first few sectors, describing where the files are located.

Drive type 2.5-inch external USB hard drive
Connector options USB 3.0, USB 2.0-compatible
Dimensions 4.6 x 3.2 x 0.8 inch
Weight 0.68 pound
Available capacities 4TB
Warranty 3-year
OSes supported Microsoft Windows (XP or later), Mac OS 10.4.6 or later
Software included Seagate Dashboard (Mac and Windows)

The two drives on the cable are called “master” and “slave.” You want your existing hard drive (which contains the operating system and all of your current data) to be the “master” and the new hard drive to be the “slave.” The drive should have instructions on them that tell you how to set the jumpers for master and slave. PS4 PRO games, on the other hand, cannot be individually backed up to an external storage device. That’s what Sony confirmed since the first release of PS4 game console. Every file has an entry in this table (which is why most filesystems have a limit on the number of files), containing its name, the time it was created, how big it is in bytes, which sector it starts at, and so forth. So read the instructions and set the jumpers. By far the most common filesystem in the Linux world is ext4, which is an excellent, reliable, general purpose filesystem for hard drives. If you are using SATA drives, you do not need to set jumpers for master and slave because each drive gets its own cable.

Choosing the right external hard drive for PS4 PRO

For a while, there was some competition in the Linux world in the form of ReiserFS, an innovative filesystem whose development suffered a setback when the lead developer was charged with and later convicted of the murder of his wife…There are other filesystems worth being aware of, typically suited to more specialised tasks than a regular desktop PC. When choosing a good external hard drive for PS4 PRO, you need to bear in mind a few things before making your final decision:

  1. USB 3.0 Support—This offers the highest transfer rate from and to PS4 PRO internal hard drive.
  2. Abundance of storage space.—We don’t recommend less than 2tb storage capacity of the external hard drive you’re considering for PS4 PRO. That’s because the compatible games with PS4 PRO are massive in their size, and can easily eats more than 50GB at once of the available storage space.
  3. Warranty—The minimum warranty term should not be less than 2 years. This makes you sure that the drive is reliable enough and will last long with you.
  4. Brand name—The external hard drive must bear a highly-reputed brand in the industry, like Seagate, Western Digital, Toshiba and Samsung. These manufacturers are known to produce the highest quality external storage devices in the market.
  5. Year of manufacture—New external hard drives intuitively include the latest data storage technologies, especially if it belongs to a renowned brand. This factor adds to the quality of the external drive you’re adopting for PS4 PRO.

If you’ve paid attention to hard drives, USB flash drives, and other storage devices, you may have noticed that they always have less space than promised once they’re formatted. ZFS, for instance, provides great performance and reliability across multiple disks, as covered in our FreeNAS tutorial on page 90. Eventually, to a wide variety of Ps4 PRO fanboys, an external hard drive is an essential accessory that cannot be dispensed with. The reason for this difference lies in the way hard drive manufacturers advertise their devices, versus the way Windows computers actually use the storage devices. Then there’s LogFS, designed to be used on flash drives (which internally work completely differently to spinning hard drives, and therefore can benefit from a dedicated filesystem).

Q: Can I use an external HDD with PS4 Pro?
As with the standard PS4, PS4 Pro does not support external HDDs for storing game files, but you can use it for storing a system backup, media storage, or save files.


Formatting external hard drive for PS4 PRO

It’s interesting to note that with all the advanced filesystems in use today, on both Linux and Windows, typical USB flash keys come pre-formatted with FAT32 (and its limitations). You will need to properly format the external hard drive you picked to work properly with PS4 PRO and get its operating system recognize it. It feels a little bit strange to use such backward technology today, but it does mean that these keys are compatible with virtually everything. exFAT is a preferred file system type for an external hard drive that’s aimed for PS4 PRO, but there are issues must be borne in mine when trying to format the external HDD with that filesystem type.

  • Capacity: 4TB (STDA4000100)
  • Performance: 220MB/s
  • Product Colors: Black
  • Length: 116.90mm
  • Width: 82.50mm
  • Typical Weight: 0.307kg
  • Seagate Dashboard pre-loaded on drive
  • Contents
    • 18-inch USB 3.0 cable
    • USB 3.0 Y-cable
    • Quick start guide
  • Warranty: 3-year limited 

However, manufacturers of RAM don’t sell it in even groups of 1000 – they use groups of 1024. Making backups is the single most important thing you can do for your data. When you’re buying memory, a KB is 1024 bytes, a MB is 1024 KB, and a GB is 1024 MB. But despite good intentions, we can all make mistakes and accidentally delete files. When you’re formatting an internal drive, external drive, USB flash drive, or SD card, Windows will give you the choice of NTFS, FAT32, and exFAT. And the second thing is making even more backups. There are no special setups to carry out for PS4 PRO environment when a external hard drive is connected to it. Just simply format the external HDD on any computer and it will be ready to use on PS4 PRO. To work back from the 500,000,000,000 bytes above: 500,000,000,000 / (1024*1024*1024) = 465.66 GB.

PS4 Pro allows the use of usb external storage devices

How to use an external HDD on PS4 PRO

Due to the way modern filesystems work – shuffling files around on the drive to avoid fragmentation issues – file recovery software isn’t always 100% successful. FAT32 is the oldest file system here. But there’s hope. Using an external hard drive on PS4 PRO is way too simple. Just format it properly, and connect it to PS4 PRO console from the USB port on its back, then you’ll notice that PS4 PRO operating system has recognized and listed it on its settings page. It was introduced all the way back in Windows 95 to replace the older FAT16 file systemFlash drives you purchase will often come formatted with FAT32 for maximum compatibility across not just modern computers, but other devices like game consoles and anything with a USB port. First, get hold of a rescue distro with Photorec installed. FAT32 can be converted to NTFS but it is not so easy to convert NTFS back to FAT. One of the best is Recovery Is Possible, aka RIP, a mini distro designed for fixing damaged Linux installations. Because NTFS has great security.

  1. Figure out how much you need and then bump it up to the next level of storage.
  2. Storage capacity in external HDDs can range from about 2GB to 4TB. In fact, some drive companies put two 4TB drives in one chassis, creating an 8TB HDD, which is total overkill for most people.
  3. Get USB 3.0 (also called SuperSpeed USB 3.0, available on It doesn’t matter if your computer isn’t currently USB 3.0-capable.
  4. Although USB 2.0 is still common, the interface copies your files at a speed 10 times slower than its newer counterpart.
  5. Get some kind of automatic backup. Buying an external or portable hard drive to back up your data is a great first step, but it will be worthless if you don’t remember to actually use it.
  6. If you plan to tow it back and forth from home to work, you may want to pay a little more for a pocket-sized device.

Last Words

Burn it to a CD-R and keep it handy near your PC for emergencies. Using multiple operating systems in same computer would make FAT32 a better choice if you want both OSs to read the drive. It’s possible to backup the whole internal hard drive data of PS4 PRO to an external hard drive, but games cannot be targeted individually, it’s compulsory to backup the whole data if you wish to transfer your game files to an external storage device. When you want to recover an accidentally deleted file, shut down the machine and boot RIP. Unless every file you plan to store on the disk is less than 4GB in size, you may be better off avoiding this method. In a terminal, enter ‘photorec’ and you’ll be prompted to select the drive and partition that contained the file.

Toshiba makes some of the best external hard drives on the market

A less obvious, but possibly the best solution to using a hard drive with both Windows and Mac without the use of third-party software would be to create two partitions on the drive, on for Windows and one for Mac.4 GB maximum file size.8 TB maximum partition size. PS4 PRO allows the use of an external hard drive, but only for backup purposes, which doesn’t seem to satisfy most of its users and fanboys. Then you’ll be asked for the filesystem type, and whether to scan the whole drive or just space marked as empty (the latter is quicker). Finally, you’ll be asked for a location to store recovered files. Works with all versions of Windows, Mac, Linux, game consoles, and practically anything with a USB port. Afterwards, recoverable files will be placed in recup_dir folders, followed by a number. Modern versions of Windows can no longer be installed to FAT32, and must be installed onto drives formatted with NTFS.