Prime 4 SSD Format First?

Do we need to format the SSD as fat32 first or can we stick a brand new SSD in and let the Prime 4 take care of it?

Good question. What does the manual say?

I am literally dealing with this right now. You do have to format the drive before putting it in the Prime 4. I installed the drive without formatting and it will not show up on PC or Mac when plugged into USB. I used my PC to format the drive in ExFAT and it isn’t showing up on my Macbook now though. Trying to troubleshoot that now.

Figured it out. You need to go into Source through the menu and then select the computer icon at the top. Drive is showing up now.

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Ok thanks so is the conclusion that it must be formatted first?

Having figured out how to get it to connect to the computer, I don’t think you’ll need to format the drive. But since I only figured that out after I had already formatted the drive I am not entirely sure. I can say when the drive wasn’t formatted it didn’t show up as a source on the P4 screen, but I didn’t check if it would show as a removable drive on the computer at that stage and allow me to format it. I just pulled the drive out and formatted it with my PC.

Maybe someone from Denon can confirm how a fresh SSD without partitions setup will show up on a computer when the Prime 4 is put into computer source mode.

My guess is like an external usb drive.

Yeah, thats what I think too. I don’t have a spare SSD to try it out with, so I can’t confirm without erasing this one which now has my 15k track library on it.

Ok thanks I guess if there is not format option in the menus it probably needs to be done first

You have a SC, right? Connect an unformated drive to it and then you know.

There definitely isn’t an option in the menus to format the drive through the Prime 4 hardware. If it’s possible to format with the drive installed then you’ll need the computer to do it. Just not sure if the drive itself is visible on the computer if it doesn’t have the partition structure created. I guess it depends on whether the Prime 4 provides access to the low level formatting on the drive so that you can create the partition, or if it only allows access through to an existing partition.

You can put the SSD straight into the P4 and format it in there. when you put the P4 in controller mode from the utility menu you laptop will recognize it basically as a big external drive and you can format it then. This is also how you can add music to and update your crates etc once the drive is working


Morning all,

  • Yes you can put the SSD drive into Prime 4
  • Connect via USB B cable to a laptop/Pc
  • Put Prime 4 in Controller mode (Computer icon)
  • The Laptop will now see the drive inside Prime 4 and you can format to Fat/Fat 32
  • Once done Engine Prime will see the drive like a regular USB stick.
  • Fill with music!

Hope this helps



Thanks Jay

What is the reasoning for reccomending FAT32 over EXfat as Exfat is technicaly the better/faster format?

I’d have to check this one with the dev team @j141

All please note we have updated our FAQ on the Prime 4 after further testing:

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.


Well Jay,

I think you just made a lot of hoarders happy :smiley:

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They recommend exfat or fat 32, but make sure you select master boot record, so I think answer is no. I chose exfat and master boot record and it works fine in my prime 4, also you might want to get a USB to ssd adapter to prepare and transfer all your tracks to it in engine prime before installing it.

Put the SSD in Prime4 and connect USB cable between pc and Prime4.

Reboot Prime4 in controller mode and the Prime4 simply IS the USB adapter.


Won’t it work with gpt ?