The PS4’s Hardware Problems and What You Can Do to Fix Them
Many users are reporting issues with their PS4’s. Even before the console released, several outlets were complaining about problems with the console’s HDMI port, power cord, or even bricked consoles all together. You can find streams on Twitch.TV showing consoles crapping out in the middle of a streaming session and plenty of threads on Reddit and NeoGAF talk about PS4s that blink blue and never actually turn on. Well, we here at Arcade Sushi (after a few technical problems with our own PS4), scoured the internet for possible solutions. Note: try all of these solutions at your own risk. Some can void your warranty and we aren’t responsible if you end up with a PS4 that is even more broken than it was before.
So let’s start with the basic checklist. Treat your PS4 like a computer and start by turning it off and on again. If that doesn’t work, make sure to completely power cycle it. Touch the power button on the front till the system beeps twice, unplug it, and disconnect the power cord. Wait a couple seconds and then plug it back in. We find a lot of PS4 problems are fixed by this simple power-cycle alone. Also, be sure to try the PS4 in other outlets and with other TVs. Many issues experienced are simply compatibility issues.
In addition, your problem may be caused by a software issue. To diagnose this, try to boot your PS4 up into Safe Mode. When you are powering up your PS4, simply hold the power button until you hear two beeps. Here, you can restore your PS4 to factory settings and even reinstall the system software to see if it gets the console working. You will lose all of your data, but face it, you didn’t get that far in Knack anyway. If the system needs a software update, trying doing the update through a USB stick if you can't download it from the PS4 itself.
If that doesn’t work then something may actually be defective. Luckily, it’s not always the console itself. Many problems, including the infamous “blinking blue light of death” are actually being caused by faulty cables. The HDMI cable that is included with the PS4 is particularly egregious in this regard. Try disconnecting and reconnecting the HDMI cable and if that doesn’t work, swap the HDMI cable out for a cable that you know works, like the cable you use on your PS3. If you are having power-problems or unexpected shut-downs, try swapping in your PS3’s power-cable or another similar make of AC cord. Once again, this fixes several problems that most users have been complaining about.
If your PS4 still doesn’t work, then you likely do have some sort of internal fault. The easiest problem to check up on is the hard drive. Improperly connected hard drives can prevent the PS4 from powering on, so slide off the hard drive case and disconnect and reconnect your system’s hard drive. If this doesn’t work, swap in a spare hard drive if you have one. Just make sure that the hard drive is no thicker than 9.5 mm and is larger than 160GB.
If tinkering with the hard drive doesn’t work, then you are likely looking at a faulty HDMI port or at least a faulty HDMI port connection. At this point, you likely want to take your system into an official Sony store, or mail it in to Sony in order to get maintenance performed by an official Sony representative. Most of the time, they will just give you a replacement PS4. However, if you know a thing or two about soldering you can completely open up your system and check the HDMI port itself. Many problems come from bad connections or worn solder contacts and a tiny touch up will make many PS4’s work good as new. If you don’t know what we are talking about then DO NOT OPEN YOUR PS4! We only recommend doing this if you are very experienced with soldering and electronics repair. We also recommend you routinely spray the vents of your PS4 with compressed air as dust easily builds up there and may have been built up during shipping.
If that doesn’t work? Well, then we are out of ideas. If all the steps meant to resolve these errors don’t work then there may be a problem with your PS4’s motherboard, which isn’t very fixable in unskilled hands. Heck, it’s not really even fixable in skilled hands. You will probably just end up getting a new PS4 at this point.
Hopefully this guide has helped those of you with launch day PS4 problems. If none of this worked, head on over to Sony's official forum to see if they have any other advice.