[HOW TO] Install, Prepare and Load Music onto PRIME 4's Internal SATA Drive

You can install, format and transfer music onto your PRIME 4’s internal drive by following these simple steps:

  1. First, remove the PRIME 4 SATA drive bay back plate and secure the internal drive to it with the screws provided. This will ensure it does not move around in transit.

  2. Once installed, you will need to connect PRIME 4 to your laptop/PC with the blue USB cable provided.

  3. Power on PRIME 4, and from the SOURCE page select the Laptop icon, this will put PRIME 4 into ‘Controller Mode’.

  4. Once done, your laptop/PC will be able to see PRIME 4’s internal drive and from here you can format to Fat 32 or exFat with an MBR (Master Boot Record) style partition structure.

  5. Next, open up Engine Prime which will see the PRIME 4 internal drive just like it would a regular USB stick.

  6. Using Engine Prime, transfer songs from the laptop/PC drive to the PRIME 4 internal drive.

  7. Once complete, safely eject the drive.

  8. On PRIME 4 click STANDALONE, then YES to confirm. PRIME 4 will boot back up with all of the music on the internal drive.


Additional information:

What size hard drive can I install into the PRIME 4?

The Prime 4 supports a 2.5" SATA hard drive; either HDD or SSD. There is no drive capacity size limitation, just be sure the hard drive is formatted in one of the supported file system types; FAT32 or exFAT.

What drive formats are compatible with the PRIME 4?

All storage media connected to the Prime 4 should be formatted to either FAT32 or exFAT with an MBR (Master Boot Record) style partition structure.

For more information please visit our GET STARTED WITH PRIME 4 page.


You stated, “Once done, your laptop/PC will be able to see PRIME 4’s internal drive and from here you can format to Fat 32 or exFat with an MBR (Master Boot Record) style partition structure.”

My laptop IS NOT a Mac. It is having trouble seeing Prime 4’s internal drive. Do non-Mac laptops need a special driver to work? If yes, where do I get the driver? I check the website downloads and it only shows the user guide for Prime 4.

Hi mdias,

No driver needed, of course. It’s just USB.

Did you reboot the Prime4 in computer/controller mode?

Reese, my friend, I appreciate you trying help, but no need to put “of course”. If it was that obvious or simple, it would just work in computer/controller mode.

It is “looking for computer”, but never finds it. On my laptop blue tooth and other devices, it says, under Audio, “Prime 4 Audio”, “driver is unavailable”. I also read somewhere that Windows machine need a driver.

The audio part of USB is not directly related to the storage part.

The storage part acts like any other external USB drive you would connect. Did you ever need a driver to access an external USB drive?

The audio part needs a driver for Windows (I think; my X1800 does). For Mac it’s “class-compliant” so it will automagically install on these systems when the USB cable is connected.

  • So which version of Windows do you use (hopefully Windows10)?
  • What do you see in Disk Management?
  • If you see the drive, initialize drive, choose MBR style partition and format as ExFAT.

Reese, I have windows 10 home. In disk Manager the drive has been initialized, but I am not sure how to format it, no option visible.

  • To format a disk to exFAT just right click on the volume and choose Format… and go to the last step. If NOT possible then go to the next step:


  • If initialized, check if partition/disk is MBR. Right click as shown in the printscreen and you’ll see “convert to GPT” (means it is now MBR)


  • If it is GPT, then you need to get it to MBR by deleting the partition. More info here: https://neosmart.net/wiki/convert-gpt-to-mbr.

  • If no volume is seen (Unallocated state - black color bar), you’ll need to make a new one. Right click again on the Unallocated bar en choose New Simple Volume:


  • Just click next next next until you come to the Format selection:


This should be it.


Reese! Can’t thank you enough!! Finally got it to work. It is unfortunate that Denon does not have these instructions stated in their documentation.


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That’s probably because it, in essence, works like a normal external USB disk. Only problem for now is that it needs to be MBR and exFAT.

NO PROBLEM to help, of course <— sorry said it again :sunglasses:

@Jay_DenonDJ: solved and actions for user manual :nerd_face:

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I’m not insulted this time, though :grinning::grinning::grinning:

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Trying to explain all this without even having a Prime4. :laughing: I have the large Prime set myself.

thank you @Reese!

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