The beginning of a console’s launch can be a dark, dark time for early adopters. For the vast majority of owners, everything goes off without a hitch, but technical difficulties are occasionally and sadly inevitable. Our beloved PS4, despite being a wonderful little machine, is no less susceptible to this maxim.
One of the problems which occasionally (very, very occasionally) plagues PS4 owners is the dreaded “Blue Light of Death”, or BLOD. We’re gonna go with BLOD, since it sounds like a 19th-century aristocratic vampire. BLOD, unfortunately, is a bit of an undiagnosed disease as PS4 errors go; it indicates a “general fault”, and could mean anything from a shot hard drive to a power supply problem.
So, your PS4 has been infected by the dread claws of BLOD. How do you go about fixing it? Our first piece of advice is, if your console’s still under warranty, ring Sony and get it checked out by them. This is first and foremost something you should seek professional help with, because it can be a very grave error indeed. Don’t worry, though - there are still things you can do to check your console and (potentially) fix it yourself.
Three things are likely to be the main culprits in terms of causing BLOD to appear and sink its fangs into your console. First off, your power supply. To check issues with your power supply, press and hold the main power button on your PS4 for 7 seconds until you hear two beeps. Unplug the AC adapter, and check the area around the power cable for surface damage or bent pins. Sounds obvious, but you never know.
If bent pins aren’t the culprit, press and hold the power button while the console’s not plugged in. This discharges any remaining power and ensures your console is completely flat for the next time you plug it in (that’s good, don’t worry). If this doesn’t fix the problem, then either it’s not the power supply, or there’s something internal wrong with the components of your console.
The second component which could be the issue is the hard drive, or the place where all your games and saves are stored. Turn off the PS4 as in the previous step and unplug all cables, including HDMI, power, ethernet and anything else. Slide the console’s hard drive bay cover upwards and remove it.
After this, use a screwdriver to unscrew the bay and pull it all the way out. Ensure the bay is clean, and the HDD (hard drive disk) has no obvious faults. Replace the HDD and reverse the above procedure, then switch your PS4 on. Problem solved? If not, your hard drive may be the culprit. The good news, though, is that your PS4 works with any 2.5” SATA hard drive that’s no thicker than 9.5 millimetres and is greater than 160GB in size.
Finally, our old friend “general hardware fault”. Turn off your PS4 completely and connect your controller with a Micro USB cable. Press the PS button to boot your console up in Safe Mode. You should see a host of options including “Restart the PS4”, “Change Resolution” and “Update System Software”.
First, you want to point to “Rebuild Database”. Sometimes, the PS4 database can become corrupted in a minor way, leading to hardware issues like controllers not charging or being recognised (as well as more serious issues). This is the first thing you’ll want to try, because it’s totally non-invasive. Restoring your PS4’s factory settings may also work. If all else fails, you may need to resort to “initialising” your device. This will wipe literally all data and settings you have, and restore the PS4 to a factory state. Only do this if all else has failed and you are despairing that BLOD will never be defeated.
Hopefully one of these options will have worked for you. If not, unfortunately, it may be a more serious issue with the console, and you may need to have a professional look at it to determine the fault more clearly. There are plenty of very good, very understanding people out there who can do this for you, though, so don’t despair!