5 ways to fix “Checking system storage” status in PS4

Updated: March 12, 2023
6 min read
5 ways to fix “Checking system storage” status in PS4
by Christine Tomas
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Usually, it takes less than a minute to boot Playstation. But sometimes, it gets stuck in the middle of the process at the PS4 “Checking System Storage” status for 3-10 minutes. After that time, the system displays “Cannot start the PS4 '' on your monitor. Keep calm — it can be easily fixed. Today we will tell you how to fix one of the most infamous errors on PS4: “Checking System Storage'' status.

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What May Cause This Problem

The PlayStation starts to check the status of its system storage when it detects something unusual. Therefore, a console starts to check its storage to locate what causes the problem. If you buy a new drive, an operating system needs some time to prepare to work. So, you will see the “system storage PS4'' sign just once. After the console reads the new HDD, everything will operate as intended.

In most cases, this error shows up after some minor crash. You can easily fix the status loop “Checking the system storage” on Sony PS4 at home, without assistance from a repair service. All you need is 15-30 minutes of your time and some screwdrivers.

Here are the 5 reasons why my PS4 says it cannot access system storage:

  • Bad sectors on the internal HDD. The most common reason which you can easily fix alone. Connect HDD to PC as an external drive and launch a “checking extended storage” screen on PS4. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  • Defects in some parts of a hard drive. It can be clogged with a speck of dust or scratches on some sectors.
  • Power issues. You need to find what causes PS4 system storage error: it can be a power cord (replacing it will cost $20-30) or problems with a mother drive.
  • Problems with CMOS (Memory Chip) battery. Pull it out for a minute and then pull it back.
  • Defects in the PS4 motherboard. In most cases, it is a dead SATA connector. Call the nearest repair master: they will replace it with a new one.

How to Fix Checking System Storage Status PS4 Loop

If you are the one who sees how PS4 constantly tries to check system storage status, you should use 5 next solutions. You can do this with basic instruments and a PC.

Disconnect the PS4

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Every time you boot Playstation, it generates technical data such as cache, cookies, registry files, etc. And sometimes it creates some bugs (a.k.a problems) that need to be fixed. The easiest way to do this — reboot the system by performing a power reset. Here is instruction on how to do it right:

  1. Unplug the PS4 or power adapter from the outlet and the console.
  2. Wait for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Plug it back and turn on the PS4.
  4. In most cases, a reboot will help you get rid of this.

Sometimes the “Checking the System Storage Status” loop on the PS4 can be a bug after upgrading the software. If it happens shortly after new updates, try to reset the console to default settings. It will bring back the old version of the system and delete new upgrades, which may be the source of critical bugs.

Cannot access the system storage message

If you witness a “Cannot Access the System Storage” message from time to time on the PS4, try to reset a game station to factory settings. It will help to clear any system errors in the backlog. Do next to prevent PS4 from keeping checking its own system storage:

  1. Sign in and head to the settings menu.
  2. Choose the “Initialization”.
  3. Find the “Full” line.
  4. Turn off the PS4.
  5. Hold the power button. Do it until you hear 2 short beeps. That means you launch a Safe Mode.
  6. Connect DualShock 4 to PS4 via cable. Connect physically via USB, as wireless connect didn’t work in this mode.  Don’t try controllers from other manufacturers — they are not suitable for this task.
  7. Press the big PS button on Dualshock 4.
  8. Choose “Restore Default Settings”.
  9. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  10. Log back into the account.

Reinstall the external HDD

Reinstall the external HDD

One of the most popular reasons the system cannot start and get in the PS4 loop is a problem with the hard drive. If you have an external HDD, do next:

  • Turn down the PS4.
  • Remove the drive.
  • Reinsert it.

Sony sometimes “forgets” how to read external HDDs. In most cases, reinstalling helps to solve this problem. If it didn’t work for you and PS4 won’t restart still — try to connect the drive to a PC. If you see it in the “external devices” folder, that means that HDD is still “alive”. Try to format it — it will delete all data inside of it with “bugs” that create a “Checking System Storage Status” on a PS4 screen. Stick to this instruction:

  1. Connect the drive to the computer/laptop.
  2. Right-click the external HDD icon.
  3. Click“Format” in the drop-down menu.
  4. Choose a FAT format under the “File system”. PS4 doesn’t support NTFS. If you have to choose between FAT32 or exFAT — try the second option, it supports large files (over 4 Gb).
  5. Check the Quick Format box.
  6. Tap Start and wait from 2 to 15 minutes until you get the “Format Complete” pop-up. Choose “OK” in that window.

If a computer doesn’t show this drive in the “External Devices” folder, it means that your HDD may be broken. In your case, that was the reason why a console cannot start the PS4 and access system storage.  Bring it to repair masters or replace it with a new one.

Check PS4 Hard Drive: There may be an Internal Problem

Replace the internal hard drive from PS4

If you don’t use an external HDD, there may be a problem with a pre-installed drive. It can be one of 3 things: the disk gets clogged with dust, some wire gets disconnected from the motherboard, or software problems.

Firstly, turn down the PlayStation and take out the hard drive. Take a brush and clean dust from HDD and other hardware. Also, you can use a microfiber cloth. Don’t try the cotton one — it has fibers that can get stuck inside the console. After that, turn on the PS4 and look at the system storage status. If it doesn’t help — try to connect the Internal HDD externally to the PC.

Steps to format an HDD

1. Find an external 2,5” enclosure. It will perfectly fit a PS4 HDD.

2. Mount the drive into that enclosure and connect it to the PC. When you hear a short “Click” — that means that the HDD is properly mounted.

3. Plug and play it in. You need to physically connect the disk to a computer/laptop.

4. Format the PS4 drive to an exFAT. Play Station doesn’t recognize an NTFS file system. Choose a FAT system.

If the computer didn’t recognize the old drive, find a new one and replace it. For some users, it can be the cheapest option to solve the checking system storage status loop on PS4. You can buy a drive for less than $100, when the cost for renovation may start from $140+.

If a game station randomly gets stuck on the “checking system storage” status, it means that you can still transfer some data from it. Take advantage of it and plug an HDD into the PC and transfer all info to another drive. Try to format the PS4 HDD to exFAT. If formatting didn’t help — replace it with a new drive or contact the nearest authorized repair service.

If you don't want to format or replace an internal HDD, try to install the latest software if it is available. It may help to get rid of the “Check PS4 Storage” screen. Do this if you have an internet connection, otherwise, you will not be allowed to update.

Go to the “Safe Mode” and tap on the “Update System Software”. Follow instructions on the screen - and everything will go well. If you don't follow them, the PS4 may be stuck on the restart screen.

Look at the Memory Chip

Pull CMOS battery

A corrupted data on a CMOS may cause problems on the PlayStation 4. One of them is Checking the System Storage Status screen. There is a solution to this: locate the CMOS battery in the PS4 (it hides at the top right side of the motherboard), pull it out for 20-30 seconds, and put it back again. It will restart CMOS.

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Don’t forget to replace the battery once every 3-5 years. It degrades over time, so you need to change it when you can.

Seek Assistance To Help With PS4 Checking System Storage Status Loop

If none of these life hacks didn’t work for you, there might be a serious problem with your console. Find the nearest repair service near you and get the help of a technician. They will do a full diagnostic of the device until they find and solve the PS4 system check.

In Conclusion

If you see the system storage status on PS4  every time you boot the console, there is some serious problem with HDD.  Find a suitable screwdriver and be prepared to open up the PlayStation. In most cases, you just need to format the HDD or change a drive to a new one. If it’s not enough to fix the Checking System Storage loop on PS4— go to the nearest repair station. Don’t try to fix the motherboard by yourself — you could break it.

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