PlayStation 4 Problems and How to Fix Them

PlayStation 4 Problems and How to Fix Them

January 30, 2019

Are you having problems with your PS4? Check out our solutions to its most common Issues. The PlayStation 4 is a remarkable piece of hardware, but like most game consoles, it is not immune to the occasional hiccup. Since its original launch in 2013, Sony has worked tirelessly to resolve many of the console's occasional issues through various firmware upgrades.

In 2016, Sony introduced two new iterations of its greatest console -- a thinner model with the same title and also the 4K-compatible PlayStation 4, both of which offer improved functionality over their predecessor and handle a number of the console's lingering hardware problems.

Nevertheless, you might end up with a misbehaving unit, and that's a real bummer if you are expecting to squeeze some gaming in your hectic schedule. Our manual covers common issues with the PS4 household of systems and provides potential solutions to get you back in the game as soon as possible.

MALFUNCTION: BLINKING BLUE INDICATOR LIGHT

Taking a cue in the Xbox 360's "Red Ring of Death," the pulsing blue line indicates a technical problem could mean your console is no more practical. Contrary to the red ring, the "Blue Line of Death" doesn't automatically imply your PS4 is a lifeless box, but it does the same task as the ring; allowing you to know that there's a huge problem.

When booting the PS4, the LED indicator light adorning the side of the console must quickly pulse blue before turning white. On consoles suffering in the "Blue Line of Death," however, the blue light pulses continuously, indicating failed video output before strangely powering off. In cases like this, the console sends a signal to the TV, basically bricking the device and preventing regular operation.

Sony believed the problem was an isolated incident, but also published a troubleshooting manual highlighting a slew of potential fixes. While the issue was widespread at launch, it crops up to get a small portion of users and is far more inclined to be an issue if your console was manufactured between late-2013 and early-2014.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

Since Sony outlined at the troubleshooting above manual, the blinking blue light may be indicative of several hardware or software problems. That said, there are several potential solutions you can try.

If you do manage to isolate a problem with the PS4 hardware, contact PlayStation customer support, or choose your games directly to an official Sony retail shop, since they may sometimes offer on-site repairs or replacements. When there isn't a shop available in your town, you will probably have to ship your console to Sony. At this point, your console may not be under manufacturer warranty: If that is the case, remember that you may have to pay a repair fee.

  • Update your TV’s firmware — A handful of users have noted that updating television firmware has resolved the lack of audio-video signal. If you have a newer television, particularly one with internet connectivity, refer to the television’s instruction manual and update its firmware. Doing so may alter HDMI settings and fix device compatibility.

  • Check the HDMI ports — Take a look at both the HDMI port on your TV and your PS4 for any blaring abnormalities or damages, along with your HDMI cable. If possible, try testing alternative HDMI cables.

  • Check the power supply — Touch the power button on the front of the PS4 for at least seven seconds, or until the system beeps twice and powers off. Afterward, disconnect the AC power cord from the electrical outlet and check the AC IN connector and power cord for any conspicuous damage or anomalies.

  • Check the hard drive — Make sure your PS4 is turned off, then disconnect the AC power cord and any other connected cables before sliding the HDD bay cover outward. Once removed, inspect the hard drive for any potential damage and ensure it is correctly seated in the HDD bay.

  • Controller reset — Make sure everything is connected correctly. Press and hold the PS button on your controller until the system light turns orange. Then, press and hold the PS button again until the light turns white. We have tested this method, and it can get your PS4 to boot correctly.

MALFUNCTION: BLINKING RED INDICATOR LIGHT

Reports of the "Red Line of Death" are not as widespread as the above blinking blue light. However, it is almost as dangerous. On consoles suffering in the"Red Line of Death," that the LED indicator light adorning the side of the console will flash red, subsequently powering off following the machine emits three different beeps.

The issue is connected to overheating problems as outlined in the PS4 user guide and confirmed by Sony, maybe due to fan malfunction. Some users have reported that the problem within minutes of powering up the console for the first time, however. Thankfully, it's not that the indication of a wholly bricked unity.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

If the problem persists and is not alleviated by either of the possible solutions below, contact PlayStation customer support or take your console directly to an official Sony retail store to arrange a repair/replacement.

  • Give it a rest — Touch the power button on the front of your PS4 for at least seven seconds, or until the system beeps and powers off. Then, disconnect the power supply and allow the console to rest for an extended period, or until it sufficiently cools down, before powering it up again.

  • Give it ample space — Place your PS4 in a well-ventilated area to ensure it has enough breathing room, avoiding carpet and similar services whenever possible. Additionally, some users have reported that placing the console vertically helps decrease overheating (though it shouldn’t consider the position blocks access to either side vent).

PROBLEM: DAMAGED HDMI PORT AND FAULTY HDMI CABLES

It might not be PS4-specific or widespread, but some users have reported issues coming from a busted HDMI port shipping on their PS4 units. The problem, which contributes to a lack of sound or video output on the TV, is frequently caused by a connection obtrusion resulting from a bent piece of metal inside the console's built-in HDMI port.

Even though the justification for the curved component is unknown, it effectively leaves the vent incompatible since the curved piece can no longer correctly connect with the HDMI cord. Furthermore, there are reports of faulty HDMI cables which just do not function for one reason or another.

While this problem was resolved in following PS4 shipments after the console's launch, should you buy a pre-owned unit or you are experiencing HDMI issues, you will still need to search for possible answers below.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

If neither of the possible solutions below solves the problem, try contacting Sony. Although not confirmed, Sony will likely send you a free replacement cable in a matter of days once the question has been confirmed.

  • Check the HDMI ports — Take a look at both the HDMI port on your TV and your PS4 for any blaring abnormalities or damages, along with your HDMI cable. If possible, try testing alternative HDMI cables.

  • Bend back the metal — If you can clearly see a piece of metal bent upward within the console’s HDMI port, turn the damaged part down using a pen or small tool. Also, make sure the port didn’t knock out any teeth or cause any additional damage to the HDMI cable. If this is the problem, you may still want to contact Sony and ask for a replacement, even if the console begins to work.

  • Use a different HDMI cable — If you’re unfortunate enough to receive a faulty HDMI cable from Sony, simple use another on-hand cable or purchase a new one.

PROBLEM: DAMAGED DUALSHOCK 4 ANALOG STICKS

We like a lot of things about the DualShock 4 controller. However, the rubber padding on its analog sticks can tear very quickly when playing a game that needs rapid movements, such as Bloodborne. But just because the rubber rips doesn't mean you have to ditch the controller!

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

Analog stick covers, such as GelTabz — available in stores like GameStop and on Amazon — pop right over your analog stick, providing an even more comfortable gaming experience while also protecting the rod itself. They are slightly textured, so your fingers don’t slip despite their flat design, and four are included in every package. PlayStation-formatted GelTabz works with both DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 controllers.

PROBLEM: RUNNING OUT OF STORAGE SPACE

The newest PlayStation 4 systems, including the"slender" model and the stronger PlayStation 4 Pro, both have increased internal storage up to 1TB. This is plenty of space for several AAA games, which means you can quickly jump between a couple of your favorites without needing to delete anything. For people that have a 500GB internal drive, however, you will find yourself running out of space with frequency, especially as game updates create your file sizes much more significant than they had been at launch.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

  • Connect a USB external hard drive to your console — The PS4 works with any USB 3.0-compatible hard drive. Simply plug it into one of the PS4’s USB ports, and select the Format as an extended storage option.

  • Swap out your PlayStation 4’s internal storage — Any 2.5-inch drive with storage higher than 160GB will work with your system, and you can swap it without voiding the warranty on your PlayStation 4. You can also upload all your save files to the cloud through PlayStation Plus or to a flash drive, so you can easily retrieve them once you’re done. 

BUG: PLAYSTATION NETWORK CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS

Network connectivity problems are the most persistent complaint with the PS4 and frequently manifest themselves as either NW-31201-7 and WV-33899-2 errors. The PSN goes down more regularly than we would like, but fortunately, it is usually not down for long stretches. Often, network errors can be attributed to the PSN undergoing support maintenance (error code CE-33991-5), and you'll only need to wait it out. Outside of upkeep periods, however, there are several methods you can smoothly perform to return online.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

  • Change DNS settings — If all of your other devices are working on your home network, but you still can’t connect on your PS4, you can try altering your DNS settings. First, go to Network Settings and choose Custom for the type of connection you use, which is either Wi-Fi or wired. Select your network, pick the automatic IP address setting, and select “do not use” for DHCP Host Name. A prompt with two different DNS settings should appear — choose manually. Afterward, set the primary DNS as “8.8.8.8” and the secondary DNS as “8.8.4.4”. The console should then cycle through its tests, and get you back online.

  • Update your router’s firmware — Outdated firmware can often result in connection issues. Typically, there is information on the bottom or back of your router/modem on how to check for a firmware update. Follow the steps provide or contact your internet service provider for assistance. Once you’ve updated your equipment’s firmware, you may be able to connect. At the very least, you can rule it out as the cause.

  • Unplug and re-plug — Power down your PS4, and unplug it from its power source. Then, disconnect your modem and router. Wait a few minutes, and reconnect the modem and router to its power source. After both are wholly booted up and back online, plug your PS4 back into its power source and turn it on. This fully resets both your PS4 and home network and could bring your PS4 back online.

  • Re-learn your network — Technology is funny sometimes, and one way to get your PS4 online is to teach it how to connect to your home network again. Simply tell your PS4 to forget your system, and then go through the necessary steps to reconnect your console.

If those steps don’t work, you’ll want to make sure the problem is not on Sony’s end. Go to the PlayStation Network service status website, and you’ll see a list of all the features offered, as well as their current status. If they’re green, they’re working, while other colors mean there are issues. At the top of the page, you’ll also see a scheduled maintenance reminder, so you can plan for when PSN will be offline.

MALFUNCTION: DISC AUTO EJECTS OR NOT AT ALL

User reports regarding malfunctioning optical drives are trickling out because the PS4 launched. Some consoles are seemingly unable to sew disks, while others automatically eject disks upon insertion. Some reports have claimed that the console will always try to remove a drive if there is no disc inserted.

This matter mainly simplifies old PS4 versions, which comprised touch-capacities power and eject buttons. After you touch the eject button on these models, a piece of rubber helps remove the disk. Sony addressed that this hardware problem in later models by replacing the touch-operated detectors with mechanical buttons, but for those with the original model, the danger of auto-ejecting remains.

If the issue persists after performing the prospective solutions below, contact Sony for additional support.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

  • Place the console vertically — Some reports claim the issue happens most frequently when the PS4 is resting horizontally. That being the case, purchase a stand for the console and try placing the console vertically. If the issue persists, it may be a hardware issue and should be replaced.

  • Manually eject the disc — If your console is unable to remove a disc, touch the power button on the front of the PS4 for at least seven seconds, or until the system beeps and powers off. Then, disconnect the AC power cord and any other connected cables, and slide of the console’s front panel off before following the extraction tutorial outlined on the PlayStation site.

  • Power cycle — Power down your console, unplug all cords and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Then, let it sit for at least two minutes before reattaching all the cables and powering on your system.

BUG: DISC READ AND APPLICATION ERRORS

Disc read issues, which often manifest themselves as error code CE-35486-6, may mean your disc is damaged. While errors for undamaged drives are unfortunate and rare, they are possible. A similar issue with downloaded games may also happen (error CE-34878-0), in which case the same steps could be taken to address the issue potentially. If the problem occurs with a physical match you have purchased lately, the disc may be faulty, and you might choose to attempt and swap or return.

POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS:

  • Power cycle — Like the auto above eject error, a simple power cycle can sometimes solve disc read errors. Power down your console, unplug all cords and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. Then, let it sit for at least two minutes before reattaching all the cables and powering on your system.

  • Reinstall — Even physical games are installed on your console. Eject the game, and navigate to its on-screen icon. Press the Options button on your controller, and delete the game from your hard drive. Insert the disc, and the installation process should automatically begin, signaling that your console is recognizing the disc. For digital games that are having issues running, uninstalling, and reinstalling the application can also solve the problem.

  • Rebuild the database — Remove the disc in question, and power down your console by holding the power button until you hear two beeps. Then, press and hold the power button again for approximately five seconds, which should boot your console in safe mode. Now, plug your PS4 controller into your console via USB and choose the rebuild database option. This may only take a few minutes, but it could take as long as a few hours.

  • Install latest updates — Check for any system or application updates. If available, install the updates and restart your console.

  • Initialize system — Sometimes a fresh start can help a console that’s continually failing to read discs and applications. First, make sure to back up all of your saved data on either a USB drive or to the cloud. Then, navigate to settings and choose initialization. Your system will return to its initial setup — meaning that you’ll have to reinstall all of your applications — but this could curb various disc and application errors.



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