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Comprehensive set of repair guides for TV consoles manufactured by Sony, from the 1994 PlayStation to the newest PlayStation 4.

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Not able to initialize my PS4 for total system reinstall

My PS4 had been having issues updating the software. It has no trouble downloading the install file, but when it tries to restart itself, it shuts down instead.

I have nothing valuable on it so I downloaded the 6.20 update on the Sony website and tried to initialize in safe mode using USB.

That made it worse.

At first, it looked normal. But when it came time to restart the system, it shut itself off again.

Now it’s stuck in safe mode with only “7. Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software)” option available, and nothing else. I’m literally unable to select any other option.

Of course, if you select that, you get stuck in the same shutdown problem.

I’m at wit’s end here. The main problem seems to lie with its inability to restart itself. And now the PS4 behaves as if it’s totally bricked.

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1 Answer

Most Helpful Answer

So from what you said it sounds like the PS4 can read the update file you’ve put on the USB (assuming it’s the full update one for re-initializing the PS4 and not just updating it) but after it attempt to reboot itself to perform an update it just gets stuck on Safe Mode instead of installing the update.

That is a big indicator of a bad hard drive in most cases. You can take out the hard drive and plug it into a desktop computer (before plugging it in make sure the computer is turned off) if you have one to check the health of the hard drive. You can alternatively plug the 2.5” PS4 hard drive into a portable 2.5” drive enclosure to check the health using the program explained below.

You can use a program called Hard Disk Sentinel which you can download here to check the health of the hard drive.

If it reports bad, weak sectors or data transfer errors or any other relevant health problems the hard drive needs to be replaced + PS4 - re-initialized with new hard drive to fix the problem.

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