PlayStation 4 “Blue Light of Death” fixes appear

Nov 18, 2013
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Over the weekend a small but significant number of PlayStation 4 users reported an issue which had the system stuck on the "blinking blue light" part of the console's startup sequence. Sony has issued a set of troubleshooting fixes - or possible fixes - which include suggestions of issues with the TV users are working with, the PS4 power supply, the PS4 hard drive, and more. While this does not appear to be a widespread problem at the moment, there certainly have been enough reports that Sony is paying close attention.

When a user turns on the PlayStation 4 for the first time, they should simply have to tap the power button (not even push, just a tap) resulting in a friendly little "ding" and a glowing blue light along the machine's side. This blue light is normal.

What's not normal is when the glowing (or "blinking") blue light continues to appear for more than a minute or two. If the light simply will not transition to the correct color - a brighter white - the user should begin to suspect that something's wrong with the unit. Sony has come forward with a number troubleshooting methods for this problem.

To see if your power connection is to blame, Sony has suggested this week that new users turn their PlayStation 4 off completely to begin.

1. Turn PS4 off completely by touching the power button for at least 7 seconds - it will beep twice to indicate it's successfully closing down.

2. Disconnect the PS4 power cord from your electrical outlet - only do this AFTER you're completely powered down or damage can occur.

3. Check all cords and input-outputs to see if anything strange is going on. If there's a Cheerio in your HDMI port or your power cord has been chewed up by your pet rabbit, you're gonna have a bad time.

The second thing Sony suggested this week that users may end up wanting to try is checking for a hard drive issue. This process consists of a bit more taking apart and possible complete bricking of your device, so you'll want to take extreme care in doing it.

1. Do the first two steps from the first method (turn PS4 off completely, disconnect power cord from wall).

2. Disconnect the power cord from the back of the PS4 and slide the shiny part (the HDD bay cover) out and away from the system to remove it. NOTE: this is the same step you'd take in beginning to replace a hard drive, if you do so choose in the future.

3. Make sure the hard drive is "properly seated", as Sony says, in the bay to make sure you're connecting properly.

Finally there's a Safe Mode method that Sony outlines that you'll only want to do if you're at the end of your rope, so to speak. Have a peek at these instructions - as provided by Sony - and go forth at your own risk.

If your hard drive and power supply appear in good shape, you can try to booting your PS4 into Safe Mode https://support.us.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5044

The following options are available in Safe Mode:
1. Restart System - Ends Safe Mode and restarts the PlayStation 4 normally.
2. Change Resolution - Changes the screen resolution to 480p when the PlayStation 4 is restarted.
3. Update System Software - Allows the PlayStation 4 to update the system software via Internet, USB Drive, or Disc.
4. Restore Default Settings - Restores the PlayStation 4 to the default factory settings.
5. Rebuild Database - Scans the drive and creates a new database of all content.This operation may take a long time depending on the type and number of data items.
6. Initialize PS4 - IMPORTANT: All data and settings will be lost by performing this step. Deletes all user data and restores the PS4 to as if it just came out of the box. This option is the same as [Initialize PS4 ] in the (Settings) menu. System software (firmware) is not deleted.
7. Initialize PS4 (Reinstall System Software) - IMPORTANT: Deletes all information on the HDD, including the System Software. A message that states a USB storage device containing the System Software must be connected, is displayed. Then you can confirm the selection. (You will need the full system update installer from http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps4/pc_update/index.htm with this option)

Sound sufficiently terrifying for trying out on your brand new several-hundred-dollar gaming console? If you're not all about resetting your system, you may want to have a peek at the possibility of installing the Zero-Day or Day-One update from Sony using a USB stick.

1. Grab a USB stick - as large a stick as you happen to have on-hand, but with at least the 400MB of space the update will take. This USB stick must be wiped out, and inside you'll want to create a folder titled "PS4" inside which you'll create a folder titled "UPDATE".

2. download the PlayStation 4 update file through Sony. and save the file with the name "PS4UPDATE.PUP" - you can find that here specifically.

3. Turn off the PS4 completely, then connect the USB storage device to the PS4 through one of the forward-facing USB ports.

4. Hold the power button down for at least 7 seconds, at which point the system will start in Safe Mode.

5. In Safe Mode you'll see "Update System Software" and you'll be able to follow directions with ease from there.

If that doesn't work, you'll probably do well to contact Sony's customer service department. We've seen stories of rather friendly customer service representatives across the board through the likes of Kotaku's Blue Light post and we've got reason to believe Sony will be more than willing to help out.

Let us know how the PlayStation 4 is working for you and please don't hesitate to ask any and all questions you've got about the system right here or through our SlashGear Twitter feed at @SlashGear, and you'll soon be able to have a peek at our full review of the system (our full initial review, that is, as it's still brand new) straight through our PlayStation 4 tag portal!


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