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Cannot Start The PS4 Loop | Troubleshooting Guide [2024]

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz Add a Comment

PS4 gamers! Have you ever updated your PS4 or popped in a new hard drive and then, out of nowhere, your PS4 starts acting up? You might see a message on your screen saying something like “Can’t start the PS4,” and your console just keeps restarting over and over in a never-ending loop. Super annoying, right?

Sometimes, this loop happens because your PS4 is having a little trouble and needs you to connect your DualShock 4 controller. Other times, it might be telling you that it can’t find its system storage. Basically, your PS4 is a bit confused and needs some help.

Don’t worry, though! I’ve got your back with this super-helpful troubleshooting guide for 2024. We’re going to dive into both these problems and give you some tried-and-true solutions that’ll get your PS4 back in the game. Ready to fix your PS4 and get back to playing your favorite games? Let’s get started!

Scenario #1: Cannot start the PS4 – Connect the Dualshock 4 …

Imagine this: You turn on your PS4 and bam, you’re greeted with a message on the screen:

“Cannot start the PS4. Connect the DualShock 4 using the USB cable, and then press the PS button.”

So, you do as told. You connect your DualShock 4, hit the PS button, and suddenly, you’re in Safe Mode. Another message pops up, asking you to connect a USB device with an update file for the PS4. You can grab this file from the PlayStation website.

What users reported on this error

Guess what? You’re not alone in this! Loads of gamers have reported that even after they follow these steps, the PS4 still acts up. They’ve tried connecting a USB with the update file, but the PS4 either doesn’t recognize it, says it can’t use the file, or just keeps repeating the same error message. Talk about frustrating!

Some players have even gone to the lengths of initializing their PS4 and reinstalling everything from scratch. This seems to fix things for a little while, but then, surprise, the problem comes back after a week or so.

Main causes of this error message

You’re probably wondering why your PS4 is being so temperamental. Well, it’s usually because of one of two reasons:

  • Corrupted System Software: This can happen if your PS4 loses power suddenly while updating, like if there’s a power cut. A shaky internet connection during the update or a corrupted update file can also cause this.
  • Internal System Storage Issues: If your PS4’s internal storage is having a tough time, like if it’s corrupted or failing, it might not be able to read all the files it needs to run properly.

Suggested Solutions

Alright, gamers! Let’s dive into some solutions that have worked for other PS4 users when they faced the “Cannot start the PS4 – Connect the DualShock 4..” error. These are real-deal fixes that have helped others, so they might just do the trick for you too!

1. Rebuild the Database from Safe Mode

This one’s a pretty straightforward fix. Here’s how you do it:

  • First, turn off your PS4. Press and hold the power button for about 10 seconds until it completely shuts off. Give it a 30-second rest before you try turning it on again.
  • Next, we need to boot up in Safe Mode. To do this, press and hold the power button on your PS4. Wait for the first beep, but keep holding the button down until you hear a second beep. After the second beep, let go. Your PS4 will now start in Safe Mode.
  • In Safe Mode, you’ll see an option that says “Rebuild Database.” This is option #5. Select it and let your PS4 do its thing. The time it takes can vary, depending on how much stuff you have on your PS4.

2. Update the PS4 system software via Internet

Another method is to try updating your PS4’s software online. Here’s what you should do:

  • Just like before, start by entering Safe Mode. Press and hold the power button until you hear that second beep.
  • In Safe Mode, look for option #3: “Update System Software.” Choose this option and follow the on-screen instructions to update your PS4.
  • Once the update is complete, turn off your PS4. Wait for about 30 seconds, and then turn it back on.

3. Initialize the PS4 and reinstall the system software

Okay, so if the previous solutions didn’t do the trick, here’s another one to try: Initializing your PS4 and reinstalling the system software. This is a bit more drastic, so buckle up!

Note: This method wipes out all your data on the PS4. If you haven’t backed up your important stuff, now’s the time to regret it (just kidding, but seriously, always back up your data!). If you’ve been using PS Cloud Saves, you’re in luck, because you can download your data again after this process.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Enter Safe Mode again (remember the two beeps when you press and hold the power button).
  • This time, select option #7: “Initialize PS4 – Reinstall System Software.”
  • Follow the instructions that pop up on your screen. Once you’re done, turn off your PS4, wait for 30 seconds, and then power it back on.

Some users have found this method helpful, at least for a short while. But the problem can come back, which is why it might be a good idea to format your PS4’s internal HDD first.

4. Format The PS4 Internal HDD

It turns out, a lot of times, the “Cannot start the PS4” error is because of a corrupted or damaged hard drive. This can happen if your PS4 took a tumble, got caught in a power outage while the hard drive was busy, or experienced a power surge.

If your hard drive is still working, there’s hope! You’ll need to remove it from your PS4, connect it to a PC, and do a full format. This can help fix any issues it’s having. To learn more about this process and how to do it, check out this detailed guide.

Remember, dealing with hardware can be tricky, so if you’re not super tech-savvy, you might want to get a friend who knows their way around electronics to help out. Good luck, and here’s hoping your PS4 will be up and running smoothly again soon!

5. Upgrade The PS4 Internal HDD

So, here’s another solution if you’re still having trouble with your PS4: upgrading the internal hard drive. Think of it like giving your PS4 a brand-new heart!

  • If you’ve been using your PS4 for years with the same old hard drive, it might be wearing out. Just like an old car needs more fuel to keep going, an old hard drive needs more power to operate. And sometimes, your PS4’s power supply can’t give it the juice it needs.
  • This is where an upgrade can make a huge difference. We’re talking about switching from a regular hard drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD). An SSD is like a super-efficient engine for your PS4. It needs less power and has a much lower chance of failing compared to an HDD.
  • Upgrading to an SSD can breathe new life into your PS4. It’s not just about fixing errors; it’s about making your console faster and more reliable than ever before. Imagine quicker game loads, smoother performance – it’s like getting a next-gen experience on your current console!
  • If you’re planning to get a PS5 in the near future, you might be wondering if it’s worth upgrading your PS4’s HDD. Here’s the deal: if you’re just looking to keep your PS4 going for a few more months, you might want to just repair your current HDD or get a cheap replacement. That way, you can save your money for the PS5.

Scenario #2: Cannot start the PS4 – Cannot access system storage – (CE-34335-8)

Let’s talk about a different PS4 problem: the dreaded “Cannot access system storage” error, also known as CE-34335-8. Here’s what happens:

You’re all set for a gaming session, but your PS4 has other plans. It hits you with this message:

“Cannot start the PS4. Cannot access system storage. Press the power button for 1 second (until the system beeps) to turn off the PS4. (CE-34335-8)”

What Gamers Are Saying

People who’ve run into this issue say that when they turn their PS4 off and on again, nothing changes. The same error keeps showing up, and they can’t even get into Safe Mode. Their PS4 is just stuck on this error message.

Main causes of this error message

There are a couple of reasons why your PS4 might be giving you this error:

  • The PS4’s internal storage might be completely out of order, or it wasn’t installed correctly in the first place.
  • If you recently replaced your PS4’s internal hard drive, there’s a chance the cables aren’t connected properly.
  • A drop or a bump can loosen connections inside your PS4, leading to this error.
  • If your hard drive is failing or has degraded over time, this error might pop up.

Suggested Solutions

To fix the PS4 error code CE-34335-8, you’ve got two main options:

  • Reseat or Replace the Internal Storage: First things first, check the internal storage of your PS4. Make sure the cables are securely connected to the drive. If reseating doesn’t help, you might need to replace the hard drive.
  • Upgrade to an SSD: Instead of just replacing your hard drive with another HDD, consider upgrading to an SSD. SSDs are generally more reliable and faster than traditional hard drives. If you need help picking one, there are plenty of options available on this page.


Alright, let’s wrap this up! When your PS4 hits you with the “Cannot start the PS4” message, it’s usually pointing to a hardware issue, and most of the time, it’s about the internal storage device – your hard drive.

Here’s what you need to check:

  • Is Your Hard Drive Okay? Make sure that the internal hard drive (HDD) of your PS4 is in good shape. This means no damage or deficiencies that could be causing problems.
  • Is Everything in Its Right Place? Double-check that the hard drive is properly seated in its bay. This is like making sure the heart of your PS4 is snug and secure where it belongs.
  • Are All Cables Connected? Ensure that all the cables connected to your hard drive are firmly in place. A loose cable can cause all sorts of issues, so this is a crucial step.

Remember, these issues are usually fixable, so there’s a good chance you can get your PS4 back to its gaming glory with a little bit of troubleshooting. Whether it’s a simple reseat, a full-blown replacement, or an upgrade to an SSD, the goal is to have a smoothly running PS4 ready for all your gaming adventures. Happy gaming, and may your PS4 run like a champ!

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