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What to do when your PS5 can’t format the M.2 SSD

When trying to install your M.2 solid state drive on your PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, you may get an error message saying that the expansion drive can’t be formatted.

To see how you can potentially fix this formatting issue, you can take a look at this troubleshooting article at Seeking Tech.

1. The first step we recommend taking is to remove the M.2 SSD from your PS5 system and then res-insert it again. Afterwards, try to format it again.

2. If you are still getting an error when formatting, then we recommend removing the drive from your system again. This time, insert the SSD into the M.2 slot of a computer.

On the computer, make sure that the storage drive doesn’t have any password or other security setup. If it does, then you need to try to disable it.

3. While you have the SSD inserted in a PC, you should also check if there is a new firmware update available for the storage drive.

4. Furthermore, you can also try formatting the drive from the computer.

After removing the password protection, updating the firmware and/or formatting the M.2 SSD, you should then re-insert the storage drive into the PlayStation 5 and then try to format it.

5. If you are still getting a formatting error, then make sure you have the latest firmware downloaded for your PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition.

To update, you need to take the following steps:

  • Turn on your PlayStation 5 console if you haven’t done already.
  • After getting to the home screen menu, which is where you get to select which game to play, select the gear icon on the top right side of the screen in order to go to Settings.
  • In the Settings menu, head over to System.
  • After getting to the System menu, you first need to select System Software from the left column.
  • From the right side of the same screen, you then have to select System Software Update and Settings.
  • In the next screen, you need to select Update System Software.
  • Afterwards, you either select to update over the Internet or update by using an USB storage device.

6. You can also try clearing the cache and rebuilding the database of your PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 5 Digital Edition by doing the following:

  • Turn off your PS5 console completely if you haven’t done so already.
  • With the console turned off, press and hold the power button located directly on the system until you hear two beeps. After the second beep you can let go of the power button as the PS5 should boot into the Safe Mode menu.
  • Inside the Safe Mode, you first need to connect the DualSense controller to the PS5 with an USB cable.
  • You then need to press the PS button on the DualSense to be able to use the controller.
  • After you gain control, select “5. Clear Cache and Rebuild Database” from the Safe Mode menu.
  • You can then select either “1. Clear System Software Cache” or “Rebuild Database.”

7. If none of the aforementioned potential solutions fix the formatting issues, then you might want to try using a different PS5-compatible SSD to see if the new drive is able to format.

If the formatting issues occurred across multiple drives, then you might want to contact Sony as there may be an issue with your PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.