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Is it possible to connect a new hard disk through USB and copy everything over, so I'll only have to swap the disks and continue using my PS4 where I left off?

If not, is it possible to do it the other way around, so that I initialize the PS4 with a new, empty hard disk and then connect the old one through USB and copy everything over?

And by everything, I mean games, saved games, and preferably settings, updates, etc. as well.

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PS3s generate 2 keys unique to the hardware to encrypt the HDD in order to prevent malicious use. This means if you try using a duplicated filesystem from another console, the filesystem will not work.

It is likely PS4 uses the same, or more restrictive security. Unfortunately this means there is no easy solution to what you are asking.

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