PS Vita & the mystery of the vanishing game icons

vita_recovery
In this article I like to address a small but non the less inconvenient glitch that occurred with my PS Vita and the games that I had saved to my Memory Card.
If you download a game the title is saved to the Memory Card. When the download is completed and you return to the PS Vita homescreen the game is installed from the file which was saved to said memory and a new game icon will pop up on the Vita’s homescreen.

The memory also holds your game saves and dlc content. If you erase the icon from your home screen you also erase all the other data of the same game.

So far nothing new for the veteran Vita gamers, but maybe use full information for new Vita owners.
Many of us Vita folk swap between different PSN accounts.

There are many different reasons for doing so and anyone who has tried “The Switch” knows how tedious and time consuming this process is.
I myself have multiple memory cards which makes switching between accounts a little easier.

So back on topic, the original reason for this post; I recently was lucky enough to buy a second hand 3G/Wifi Vita on which I used my primary memory card (it was restored to default factory settings before hand). After some playing around I decided which proprietary memorycard to use in which Vita.
When I turned on my original Vita things took a turn for the worst(ok, a little dramatically put since I found a solution) because none of my installed games showed up. Of course I checked to see if the memory was inserted correctly but to no avail. Yup, if the title didn’t give it away let me say it again; all my game icons were gone and thus I was left with no means to start these games up.

I dreaded having to connect to PlayStation Store to redownload all the games I had on stored on my 32 GB card. Strangely enough after selecting multiple titles from my download history I got a pop up message that there wasn’t enough room on my card to download some titles.
I checked via System setting and my memorycard was as full as it was before the glitch.I contemplated what would be the easiest way for me to get the system back to how it was before this mishap. And I ended up with multiple solutions of which I could only test two (because after testing the second one the problem was fixed)

1. My memorycard did have some room to redownload a very small game. After it was installed I checked and the game icon popped up like expected and saw that the corresponding saves where intact.

So this is a solution but it could be very time consuming depending on how many titles you need to redownload.

Maybe you don’t have a Internet connection when this happens or you simply don’t want to connect to PSN. Don’t worry my second solution has you covered.

2. Turn your PS Vita off and then make sure your desired memory card is inserted. With the Vita still off simultaneously press and hold the Power button + Right trigger + Home button.
This will put the Vita in Save Mode.
Now simply choose the Rebuild Database option. It warns the user that it could take hours, and while I didn’t time how long the process took for me I believe it wasn’t more then fifteen minutes.

I would recommend this solution to all who have to deal with game icons that suddenly disappear. Mostly because you don’t need access to PSN.

The third and final (possible) solution might be to connect the Vita via USB to your PC. I assume that because all the files are still on the memory card a backup will save them to your PC. In effect making it possible to transfer those files back to your Vita, hopefully allowing the system to reinstall them.

Keep in mind it did not had a chance to test this fix because the problem was already solved with solution number two.
Well there you have it, while I don’t expect people to need to do this on a daily basis, it might help those in need. Show your support for this kind of article by sharing through the usual social media suspects aka Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc. Voice your opinion I the comments section below or a dress me directly via Twitter @italkgame

  1. Hazer7’s avatar

    That explains the problems I had in the past.

    Reply

  2. Nazar_Ops’s avatar

    I Think I had a similar problem before. When a game crashed, I closed the game and Went back to live area, and everything was gone. But then I restarted my VITA and Everything showed up.

    Reply

  3. tinostar91’s avatar

    I think you were little bit dramatizing some parts of article even when it wasn’t needed at all (like if something horrible happened) and also forgot 1 thing on 1st solution, what’s the point of redownloading completely everything and letting that old content still be on memory card and occupying space when you can firstly format your memory card and after that start downloading

    Reply

    1. italkgame’s avatar

      If you format the memory card you also erase all the save data like I explained in the article. For some games lets say an rug where you have put on 40+ hours losing all your progress can set a lot of people of to play the game again. For example I am still playing rainbow moon and wouldn’t want to start all over again. Of course something horrible is are relative we are talking about games after all.

      Reply

  4. italkgame’s avatar

    I initially hoped a restart would fix the problem for me. But it didn’t. The Rebuild Database feature is probably exists exactly for this type of situation.

    Reply

  5. coffincolors’s avatar

    I haven’t encountered that yet but great article, I’m sure it will help a lot of people out!

    Reply

  6. ReyxDD’s avatar

    My friend had this problem for over a year. he didn’t really care much because the icons that didn’t appear where from games he already platinum’d. He recently bought an 8gb memory card and when he switched back to his old one all the missing icons appared. I assume this happened because every time you switch memory cards the Vita rebuilds its database automatically. Thanks for this article! now I know what to do if this happens to me.

    Reply

  7. Abdou005’s avatar

    I was having this problem too and i solve just by ” removing the memory card and put it back ” :D

    Reply

    1. italkgame’s avatar

      Lucky Ba**ar* ;) that was the first thing I tried but it help me. I am just glad non of my gameswhere lost.

      Reply

    2. mpaa sopa’s avatar

      bullshit

      Reply

  8. cenote’s avatar

    Will rebuilding the database delete the PSV browser bookmarks?

    Reply

    1. italkgame’s avatar

      No idea, I never use the vita browser.

      Reply

  9. Luke’s avatar

    Professor Layton does it again. Good work professor.

    Reply

  10. Pirate Cat’s avatar

    This is why Sony is moronic for not having a ‘game’ icon that lets you play whatever cart is in the system and for tying saves to the icon -_-’.

    Reply

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