Hacking the PS2

Discussion in 'General PS2 Discussion' started by STLcardsWS, Sep 24, 2016.

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    STLcardsWS

    STLcardsWS Administrator

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    Work In Progress Thread

    ps2.png

    • The simplest way to get homebrew onto your PS2 (if model 5000x and lower, see picture above) is with a FHDB "Noobie Package", which is basically just a RAW IMAGE (think snapshot picture of your Hard Drive at any give moment) you copy onto the beginning of your Hard Drive.
      With this method you will get all that you need to begin your homebrew fantasies on the PS2.​

      Requirements:
      • PC
      • Hard drive (IDE)
      • Network Adaptor (attaches to HDD and back of PS2)
      • RAW IMAGE "Noobie Package"
      -or-

      • if you prefer a SATA HDD over IDE, then you will ALSO need an IDE-to-SATA Converter (which usually means using a laptop 2.5" HDD, or else it wont fit inside with the Converter taking up space)

      Once this is done and you boot your new IMAGE in your PS2, you will be able to make a FMCB Memory Card, which will open up even more doors for you... Including features such as, cross-model support, cross-regional support, enabling homebrew on other PS2s while away from home, making more FMCB memory cards, which serve many different purposes (see 2 examples below).

      Examples:
      1. Direct Booting to an App/Emulator/Homebrew.
      2. A backup of your Tools in case anything ever happens to your HDD.

      Apps of Note:

      • OpenPS2Loader (OPL) Allows a central frontend for launching all your apps from one location, as well as it will play 95% of PS2 game images directly from a HDD or USB device (note: some games require compatibility modes to be set). It also allows for Virtual Memory Cards (VMC) which will save you tons of space on those tiny 8MB memory cards you are probably using now. There are only a handful of games which are not compatible with this feature (Resident Evil 4 and the Phantasy Star Universe series are the two biggest names I know of). Different menus for APPS/HDD/USB/ETH(SMB) for easy sorting and referencing.

      • POPstarter (PS1) Allows playing of PS1 games directly from OPL with a HDD or USB device.

      • Simple Media System (SMS) Allows playback of Avi/DivX/Xvid/Mp3 and the viewing of pictures of many formats. It has excellent compatibility and all the features you would expect from a digital VCP, including remembering where you left off on any video you play, or ALL the videos you play (quit after 5 minutes of 100 different tv shows or movies, and come back anytime in the future (yes even years), click on the show you left, and you are right back where you left off). Supports multiple USB devices and Internal HDD standard (although with some settings tweaking you can stream through RJ-45 Ethernet cable as well direct from a NAS or PC).

      • uLaunchElf (uLE) Allows the manipulation of filesystems, partitioning, formatting of HDD, filebrowsing, and is a basic ELF launcher (Elf is to a PS2 what an EXE is to a PC). This one will be your best friend in many MANY adventures... and also how you will move most of your files around to suit your specific needs or liking.

      • WinHIIP (1.7.5 or 1.7.6) Allows for transferring your PS2 images directly to your HDD while connected to your PC for the fastest transfer speeds available (Mine stays at just under 50MB/s). Other features include formatting of HDD, automatically creating all necessary system partitions, installing each PS2 game into its own partition for faster loading times than youve ever experienced before (loading screens pffffft lol). And also a scan/repair feature in case anything happens to your filesystem.


      All the Apps above are invaluable, and if you dont use them, you are not getting the most out of your PS2... Get them! Trust me... Ive been doing this for over a decade now, you NEED these.



    • Types of exploits for the PlayStation 2 (PS2)
      • Free Memory Card Boot (FMCB) - The take-it-with-you homebrew activator.
      • Free Hard Drive Boot (FHDB) - The most wanted feature for anyone with a PS2.
      • Swap Trick (SWAP) - Ancient method to get FMCB onto a memory card.
      • RAW HDD IMAGE (HDD Guru / Macrium Reflect) - Simplest way to get what youre here for.
      • Modchip (Hard Mod) - Basically a thing of the past in this scene.

    • ===== Layman Definitions of Some Things You Should Know =====

      • SYSTEM.CNF = Tells OPL where/what ELF to load
        • (and what display to default to, NTSC or PAL)
      • SJPCM = Sjeep's Sound Module for low CPU cost
        • (when producing analog output audio from a digitally stored source)
      • IRX = Modules usually specific to a single task
        • (support for several different features on the PS2)
      • ABCD_123.45 = Sony style ID format we rename our ELFs to -
        • (to make OPL think its booting an actual PS2 game) EXAMPLE: SLUS_123.45
      • ROMS (folder) = Where you store all your game images in one folder for ease of access
      • UltraISO = PC program to manage the contents of ISOs
      • CDgenPS2 = PC program to create bootable PS2 ISOs
      • WinHIIP = PC program to transfer ISOs to locally connected IHDs - (also used to format, scan, and repair IHDs)
      • HDLDumb = PC program to transfer ISOs over FTP
      • Auslogics Disk Defrag = PC program to keep your USB drives fragment-free, as most fragged items will not boot in OPL
        • (definitely use after deleting files and then adding more) NOTE: Try out its Optimize feature, youll love it

    • Can I use homebrew without a hard/soft Mod to my PS2?
      • No, this is the only way for homebrew on a PlayStation 2
      Do I need a network adapter and internal HDD?
      • Not if you have a FMCB memory card
      Can all PS2s be soft-modded with FMCB...
      • No, only models upto 9000x with a datecode earlier than 8b (which I believe is the last, or second to last PS2 to be released).
      Do you know the BEST place to find all the wonderful Apps, Emulators, Homebrew, and Tools for the PS2?..
      • YES, I am so happy you asked that... The link right below this line:


      If you have a question, reply in the comments and someone from the community or our staff will try their best to help.

    Checkout these PS2 Resources (Downloads)
    PlayStation 2 (PS2) -->--> Apps - Emulators - Homebrew Games - Tools



    info provided by @UniqueUserName
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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    STLcardsWS

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    WoW thanks for adding some information here @UniqueUserName . I formatted alot of it. But huge help and great start to this thread going to need a community effort for these threads (all systems) but contributions like you made are very helpful .. Thanks
     
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    UniqueUserName

    UniqueUserName Trial and Error Professional Moderator

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    No problem, I added as much as I could to get it started for you when I saw there was a template/picture just begging to be worked on lol, before other things took over my day of course... None of that was copy/pasted, all by hand and memory, so there still may be detail to add yet, to just what is already there... I will take a look at it again very soon. ;) Ive got another 6 days off ahead of me.
    :D

    Checked out your format and it looks really good.. nice work.. maybe someday Ill have golden hands like that ;)
     
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    DeViL303

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    Thanks, This is just the kind of thread I needed, Its hard to know with so much info available what is new and what is good, So its nice to have some good up to date info. Will be modding my Phat PS2 soon.
     
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    UniqueUserName

    UniqueUserName Trial and Error Professional Moderator

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    Ive got more coming, this is a WIP, but Ill tell you what, if you decide to wait a few months before that mod (like Christmas-ish) and tell me what size HDD (or USB) you will be using, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what is to come... Give me your data and I can do a pre-release custom setup (copy/paste [or RAW IMAGE] setup for your end), if you are new to PS2 modding and want to Alpha/Beta test something (that a NOOB perspective of even its installation would be epic feedback), I think you would love it, and possibly the community will not know how they ever lived without ;)
     
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    DeViL303

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    Sounds good, I would be up for being a tester for some new tutorials. I can wait until Christmas no problem, suits me grand actually. As for HDD etc, I will get whatever you think you is best, down to the brand, I can be a real guinea pig if you want, 2TB IDE ? Network adaptor? Memory card reader for PC whatever. Im not great at soldering so would rather not unless I really need to. Want to get the most out of the old PS2 anyway as its shame to have it lying around unmodded all these years.
     
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    UniqueUserName

    UniqueUserName Trial and Error Professional Moderator

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    All my PS2s are virgins, so no soldering is required ;)
    The gear you attach to your rig is up to you, and depending on your style, like would you be mobile with it, or is it a stay at home unit, etc.

    But, if you are asking for the best:

    Official Sony 8MB memory card.
    Official Sony Network Adaptor.
    Seagate or Western Digital HDDs I havent had problems with either ever (size is your preference, best is 2TB obviously as its max size possible, I only have 1TB drives).

    If SATA you would need an IDE2SATA converter (I know where you can get two of those brand new for $14US, my two have lasted nearly six years already without issue), Molex power extender cord (cheap), and a ribbon cable 3-5 inch extender cord (cheap). [male to female cords all around]

    If IDE and Western Digital the NA would have to be modified most likely (which isnt that hard, but I to save some trouble Id stay away from that brand if you choose IDE drives).

    The memory card to USB adaptor would be cool, but Ive never used one, so Id have to research it probably before giving you advice on it.

    Thats pretty much it, other than component cables and the official ps2 dvd remote if you want to go all in lol, which is invaluable to my grandmother with her SMS media center, digital jukebox, photo albums, tv shows/movies etc, shes got it all lol... and she totally uses hers way more than I use mine.

    Keep me posted and sometime over the next month Ill start working on it ;)
     
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    bitsbubba

    bitsbubba Super Moderator / Developer Super Moderator Developer

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    Looks like I'll be waiting too, I've also got a phat virgin that needs to be popped
     
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    bguerville

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    LOL
     
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    UniqueUserName

    UniqueUserName Trial and Error Professional Moderator

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    When you guys get a chance list your model numbers for me, so I know what Im dealing with. Ill add you to the list if you like ;)
     
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    bitsbubba

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    DeViL303

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    I'll get some HW bits and get back to you.

    Mine is a SCPH-50003.
     
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    bguerville

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    Way to go. Your gran is super cool!
    I remember years ago using SMS on a daily basis with my modded slim PS2.
    It was brilliant actually back then, much better than most other systems I had access to.

    Have got the dvd remote as well. I always get a remote for my consoles actually because I use them for video a lot. Currently I have 2 remote controls for the 2 slim PS3 I have & I couldn't live without them TBH.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
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    DeViL303

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    I used to have one of those PS2 Remotes, havnt seen it in years though.

    I have a PS3 blutooth remote too, its way better than using the TV remote to control the PS3 (slim) over HDMI CEC, using infra red to scroll a big list of video is not nice. Its nice using blutooth, not to have to pick up the remote and point it at the device every time. (must be lazy :))

    Just gotta remember the remote needs an extra button press to wake it up before use, but the batteries last really well due to this.

    I am a bit peed off with Sony for not allowing the PS3 remote to work on the PS4 though, it has all the required buttons for media playback (if Select and Start are used to replace the Share and Options buttons). And they still havnt released an official Sony remote for the PS4, not sure why, there is a "official licensed" one alright.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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    bguerville

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    Yeah, the PS4 doesn't yet have a BT remote which is a real shame..
    However even if s#ny decides to be real stupid & never implement support for one, a dev could create a plugin to add support of the PS3 remote... All hope is not lost .
     
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    DeViL303

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    @UniqueUserName is there any solution for playing 480p mkvs (or any x264) on the PS2, either via HDD or LAN/DNLA (without transcoding)?
     
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    bguerville

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    Uni might have updated information on the topic but AFAIK the answer is no because the PS2 hardware cannot cope with such a demanding codec as avc, even in a low resolution such as 480p.
    That was the main problem with SMS as soon as x264 became de facto standard.

    Iirc I ended up using transcoding so that SMS would receive a stream in xvid/mp3 from a source in avc/aac. It was years ago though & I can't recall the particulars..
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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    DeViL303

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    I see. oh well was worth a try, Im definitely not stuck for x264 capable devices and could transcode but I was just curious if it was possible.
     
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    bguerville

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    As I said my information is a bit outdated but I don't think the situation would have evolved much beyond hardware limitations...
    Am not sure what maximum resolution would the PS2 be able to render x264 by software...
    Think about the PS3 which already has great difficulty decoding a 480p x264 movie without using hardware decoding...
     
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    kozarovv

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    SMS is best PS2 movie player, and it doesn't support avc. Is due to lack of free MIPS avc encoder that can be ported by EUGG, and run smootly on PS2. Only solution is to follow that old @deank tutorial (http://www.deanbg.com/AviAddXSub/tutorial.php) to make good quality avi from mkv.
     

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