PS Vita & the mystery of the vanishing game icons

February 9, 2014

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

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