10-30-12: Initial release.
Some of you guys know this, but some may not, but I run a Youtube channel called vstPower. I could tell you the sad sob story of how GameDexterity was shut down by youtube after 3 years, 9400+ subs, but I’m not going to.
That is what the first video upload on vstPower channel is all about. Rather, I am here to talk about something else that most people may not even realize, and that is about the PS2 playlist!
In the coming weeks, I will go back to old PS2 articles I have written and update them so that they reference the correct video, but in the meantime, did you know that everything that you need to know about PS2 modding, FMCB, and more is right here under your nose?
All you got to do is check out the PS2 playlist, watch a few videos, and get up to speed! But don’t take my word for it, as they say, seeing is believing.
Click the link below, check out some of the PS2 videos, and if you got questions, either leave a comment on the Youtube video, or leave one here. Thanks!
PS2 Playlist: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8FB2D7062B84BBBA
2-6-10: Draft release because I could not wait. It’s currently 1:40AM at time of this posting.
I will add more details to this post later in the day after I have some more rest. I still think the title of this article is “clunky” so if you can help me think of a better title, please post it in the comments.
In the meantime, please watch the Youtube Video and you will understand what I did here. This is a great breakthrough for all PS2 enthusiasts across the world.
12-26-09: Initial release. Be prepared to be happy. (Will add more as time goes on for sure.)
7-2-10: Added new note about sensors blocked.
11-24-10: Fixed link for download.
8-14-12: Fixed link for download.
Foreword: This tutorial shows the user how to play PSX backups on the fat or slim PS2 version 9 and above. Please note that this is meant only for legitimate PS1 (PSX) backups. I do not support piracy, nor is this tutorial meant for piracy means. – Versatile
The PS2 is a great console. After 9+ years, it is still going strong. With the new $99 price point, more and more people are getting the PS2 to play old school PS2 games. What better way to breathe more life into your PS2 than to play your precious Playstation 1 games? Why not backup those PS1 games, so you can enjoy the backups on your PS2 without destroying the original PS1 games? This guide is based off of Free McBoot implementation.
Foreword: I was chatting with versatile1, the day before I started this tutorial and he spurred up this amazing thought of ‘PS2s being preferred over DIVx players’. Do you know that the PS2 costs $99, and do you also know that the DIVx players cost like about 40 – 50 Dollars ??.. So, the difference is just $50 of cash. But, the PS2, unlike any DIVx player, is a gaming console and the list of games might arguably exceed the 2,500 mark. And by buying a copy of Swap Magic, we could play backed up PS2 games. Bottom line ~~> That extra $50, was definitely worth it !!
Revisions: [12-23-09] Initial release.
[12-27-09] Added Versatile1′s ‘Free McBoot’ Video Tutorial.
[12-30-09] Added Versatile1′s SMS video Tutorial.
[1-25-2010] Added links to the latest version of ULE and added Versatile1′s DVD decrypter tutorial.
The PS2, being a legendary console, never lets you down when it comes to surprises. And the Simple Media System (SMS) is one such surprise.
The SMS media player is a PS2 application, which lets you play DIVx media files on the PS2. The SMS media player is equivalent, or maybe even superior to any ordinary DIVx player.
NOTE: The supported media formats are AVI, DIVx, Xvid, mpeg1, mpeg2, ogg, mp3, ac3, srt (subtitles), wma, asf and pcm.
Foreword: This is one of my favorite tutorials, and re-writing it from scratch is a lot of work. By doing it over again, I hope to convey to you the awesomeness of the PS2, and if you are an owner of it, you need to give it more love than you think it deserves. It needs you, and you need it.
As usual, The Undergound does not support or advocate piracy. We support making backups of games that you own. We realize that sometimes games can be scratched, so making a digital backup is impossible and in lieu of buying the game again, you can download the PS2 game from a torrent. If you do this method, only do it if you own a retail version of the game.
Downloading games that you do not legally own is illegal, and we want no part of that. Follow the law. Play with a conscience mind. Thank you. ~ Versatile
6-23-09: Re-release of a classic tutorial.
2-6-10: Removed the youtube link until I upload a new video.
9-27-10: Fixed Nero image.
12-13-12: Fixed Nero image again.
Yes, it is true. You can make a backup of your PS2 game (for legal purposes of course) to preserve your original game. However, what do you do if your favorite game has gotten scratched up over the years? Do you want to go out and buy another copy of it? Oh wait, Gamestop doesn’t have that game anymore? What are you going to do?
6-23-09: Initial release
Note: This is just a guide to let users know what they can do with the PS2. The Underground Staff does not advocate piracy, and this is just an informational guide. We cannot be held liable for what you do with this information. I am just repeating information that I have across the net and am just going to re-iterate for Underground needs. ~ Versatile
It is my understanding that some people know about the whole scene related to PS2 modding, and some don’t. Perhaps some are just getting onto the bandwagon, and perhaps some have moved onto other consoles for modding and left their PS2 in the dust. Now that the PS2 slim is only $99, it has made many people eye the price and consider modding it to create backups of their existing games and save their PS2 library while the PS2 is still alive.
Whatever the case may be, I am going to explain what PS2 modding is, why you may be interested, and how you can do it. Please note that modding the PS2 is not illegal, it is the intention of what you may do with it is illegal. The DMCA thing is not very clear, nor has it been, but I assume it is all right to make back up copies of games you own. It is illegal to get backed up copies of games that you don’t own. It is just stealing. I will leave it to that. What you do is your own business.
Do you have a PS3? It is not crackable yet, but someday it can be. Anyway, according to the afterdawn website, a modder took it upon himself to mod his PS3 by installing a switch. What this ultimately does is load swap magic, then flip the switch to spit the disc out, and then you put your backed up PS2 game into it.
Please note that the swap switch mod is only good for 1st and 2nd gen PS3 consoles due to the PS2 backward compatibility. The new PS3 for 3rd gen and above is ditching the PS2 backward compatibility, so the switch mod will not work.
Here is the link to the afterdawn tutorial: http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/499497
Below is a true video of the switch mod in action:
One more, better detail:
Foreword: After a year and a half later, I have decided to re-write this guide, because honestly, it was not my own and it was presented very poorly. Remember, I do no support piracy. Use the USB method to play your games on the hard drive to help your PS2 laser last longer. The performance will vary, but that is up to you if you want to stick with it. Good luck! (6-13-09) ~Versatile
IMPORTANT NEWS (5-1-10): It seems that there are a lot of dishonest users on the Internet that are copying this guide without giving credit back to me, Versatile. Because of this, I will be looking to update all the pictures in this article to have a watermark. We have an active team scouring the net for those who have copied this article. If caught, we will be forced to take action against you. This is your warning. – Versatile
[Update: 1/15/08] I have gotten Viewtiful Joe 2 to copy to my hard drive, and I was able to boot off the hard drive and play it on the PS2. Now my laser will live longer! All help will be given in the comments as usual.
[Update 2/13/08] Added link to SKS Apps. Without that site, this tutorial is nothing.
[Update 7/13/08] Added 2 new youtube videos of my own!
[Update 11/25/08] I am so frickin sick of people asking why their game doesn’t work and all they see is a black screen. Is it because your game isn’t compatible? Check out this list below and stop whining, or use swap magic and ditch the whole USB hard drive all together. The USB 1.1 performance IS NOT WORTH IT in my eyes.
[Update 6-8-09] Re-wrote the whole tutorial. Will expand upon the USB Extreme GUI interface software at a later date.
[Update 6-12-09] Re-wrote major sections of the tutorial again to make it more clear.
[Update 6-13-09] Added new Youtube Video tutorial on the USB Extreme Windows Installer!
[Update 6-28-09] Added new Youtube Video tutorial on list of selectable games!
[Update 12-18-09] Here is another source for finding compatibility list:
[Update 12-25-09] Fixed the instructions, I left some important notes out.
Note: USB advance is in last column. Everything else is for HDAloader.
[Update 12-26-09] Added new PS2 Slim USB Booting tutorials. Enjoy!
[Update 1-9-10] Added free mcboot video.
[Update 9-24-12] Removed old video tutorials.
[Update 9-25-12] Added new video tutorial.
[Update 12-6-12] Fixed video tutorials to be consistent.
The PS2 is a great console. After 9+ years, it is still going strong. With the new $99 price point, more and more people are getting the PS2 to play old school PS2 games. What better way to preserve your games and your PS2 laser than playing off the USB interface? This guide is based off of Swap Magic implementation.
Wait, you can play games off the USB interface?
Yes, you can but it requires some work. Here are the PROs and Cons:
- Uses USB 1.1 interface (slow but better than nothing).
- Saves strain on PS2 laser because using USB interface for game playing.
- Can have a list of selectable games in the USBExtreme interface.
- Works on both fat and slim PS2.
- Novelty factor is awesome!
- Game compatibility is low.
- Requires USB hard drive. Highly recommend USB drives that have their own power adapter.
- Flash drives can work , but the performance is so horrible its not worth doing it.
- Need to have third party tool to launch the “boot CD”. This can be done with modchip, swap magic, or exploited memory card.
- DVD9 games (like God of War 2) are larger than 4.4 GB and will not work with USBExtreme.
What tools do I need to make this work?
Hardware/Software tool: You need to have at least one of the items below before we continue:
- Swap Magic
- Exploited memory card (such as Free McBoot)
IMPORTANT: For this guide, I will be using Swap Magic 3.6 CD to boot the USBExtreme disc!
- 1 CD-R (700MB is fine)
Note: I highly suggest swap magic if you are unwilling to mess with the other options. You can learn more about swap magic at this guide:
Download the Software below (more detailed instructions to follow):
Usb Xtreme: Link [Optional. Get this if you want to use the graphical user interface for easier format/game installing.]
Usb Advance: Link [This is required.]
What should I use for the USB mass storage device?
This is what I recommend:
- USB 2.0 hard drive that uses its own power supply (for example, it requires power from the outlet).
- A USB hard drive that is at least 10 gigs or larger is highly recommended. The average PS2 game size will vary from as low as 282 MB up to as high as 4483 MB or 4.483 GB.
- Do not use laptop external hard drives which gets its power from the PS2 USB 1.1 port. It is not enough power.
- You could use pen or usb flash drives, but performance will be horrible. The game will chug, and you will have ridiculously long load times, that is, if your game can load!
Note: I understand when going through this tutorial, you may see that your PS2 may not see your USB hard drive enclosure. If that is the case, please try a different USB hard drive. I have people verifying this may fix the issue.
Tutorial Begins here *drools*:
- Extract the USB Advance zip file that you downloaded earlier into its own folder. You will see contents like the screenshot below:
- Now double-click the USBAdvance-PC-Software. You will see two programs inside it: ul_format.exe and ul_install.exe. Extract these to your C:\. This will make more sense later.
- Notice there is a .bin and a .cue file. The .cue file is 1KB, and the .bin file is 34 MB.
- You need to burn the image file. Use Nero, PowerIso, Alcohol120%, ImgBurn, or any other type of CD burning software and burn this image file to your blank CD-R disc. Once the CD-R is burnt, label it and set that disc aside.
- Now extract the other zip file called “USBExtreme_wininst” to its own folder. You will now have a program called USBExtreme.exe. A dedicated section to this program will be covered later in this tutorial.
Now go to preparing the USB hard drive step.
Preparing the USB hard drive:
- Insert USB hard drive to your PC.
- It is important that the USB hard drive is FAT32. If it is not, go to My Computer, right click the USB drive, and go to quick format for FAT32.
- If your hard drive is FAT32, great. No need to format it again.
- You can also launch the USBExtreme Software, go to the format tab, and tell it to format your USB drive as well as shown below:
Note: If you want, but not required, you can use the ul_format.exe command to format your USB hard drive. This is how to use it:
- Go to Start -> Run.
- Type “cmd” and press enter.
- Go to your C:\ root.
- The command to use the program is “ul_format X format” where X is your USB hard drive.
- Example: My USB hard drive is E:. I would type “ul_format E format”.
We are almost done. Let’s enable fast transfer speeds on your USB drive before we start copying games.
Enabling fast USB hard drive transfer speeds:
- Go to My Computer->Properties->Hardware->Device Manager->Disk Drives->(external one here)->Properties->Policies->Optimize for performance. Speed varies from from 1MBps to about 10-15MBps, which is pretty fast! Also, do not forget to unplug the device the proper way (that is Unplug or eject hardware) when you remove the USB drive!
Installing games onto your USB hard drive:
This is pretty easy. We have two methods. Method one uses the “ul_install.exe” command, and method 2 uses the USBExtreme.exe windows software. Both programs do the same job, and the second program is easier to use for those who are novices.
Method 1: Using the command line
- Insert your PS2 game into your computer’s DVD drive.
- Go to Start -> Run.
- Type “cmd” and press enter.
- Navigate to your C:\> drive.
- The command to use here is “ul_install SourceDrive TargetDrive GameName CD/DVD”.
- I insert Viewtiful Joe PS2 game into my computer. To verify if your game is CD or DVD format, right click on the disc and go to properties. If the file size is less 700MB or less, then it is CD format. Anything else and it is DVD.
- My DVD drive has letter H:\>. My USB drive is I:\>.
- At the command prompt on my C:\> drive, I type “ul_install H I ViewtifulJoe DVD”. Press enter and it will start copying the game. See picture below:
- Here it will copy the game from my DVD drive to my USB drive and prepare it in the special USB game playing format.
Method 2: Using the USBExtreme Windows Software
Launch the software. Insert your game. Configure the “Gamer Installer” window for your game and click start. It will start ripping the game.
My DVD drive is letter H. My USB drive is I. The name of my game is The Bouncer. The type of disc I am ripping from is DVD.
After you click Start, it will prompt you:
Click Yes, and then it will start ripping the game from DVD drive to the USB hard drive:
When the rip is done, you will see a screen like the one below:
Repeat the process over and over for additional games and you will get a list as shown below. When you load the USB drive from the PS2, this list will be selectable.
Finally you are done. Let’s play on the PS2!
- Turn on PS2. Load your Swap Magic CD disc.
- At the main Swap Magic screen, load your USB Advance CD-R that you burnt earlier.
- Now you will be at the USBExtreme screen.
- Connect USB hard drive to PS2. Turn it on, within a few seconds, you will see your game(s) show up on the screen. Highlight your desired game, press “X”, and within 7 seconds your game will load! Enjoy!
1) Make sure to make your USB hard drive partition a primary. I am not sure if it needs to be logical drive, but I made my drive a primary partition.
Visit SKS Apps here.
With the PS2 tutorials being the most popular here on the Underground, I felt it was my duty to help those sitting on the bench to find the magnificent program known as Swap Magic.
What is Swap Magic? It is a boot disc that allows a user to play backed up games on their PS2. Remember that the PS2 comes in two flavors, a fat PS2 and a slim line PS2. You can use Swap Magic on both consoles, but how you do it will be different.
The fat PS2 will need something known as a slide card. You can either make your own slide card, or buy it with your Swap Magic disc. To learn how to make your own slide card, please use the search option on this blog.
The slim PS2 does not use a slide card. Instead, you will need something called magic keys, which is really three things used to block the three sensors on the PS2. You do not have to buy these, you can make them yourself. Once again, search the blog for our tutorial’s to make your own. I have both the fat and slim PS2, and I have the tools for both consoles so I know what I am talking about.
Now some will say, c’mon, isn’t this sort of illegal? Well, I suppose. How you use it could be deemed illegal, but who would know? Swap magic is used to play backed up games, and I”m pretty sure people are either downloading games or copying games from friends to play on their own PS2. There are those who are using it for legitimate purposes and backing up their own retail games to preserve the original. The DMCA is not very clear, and there are lots of interpretations. Stop wasting time deciding ethics and spend more time having fun.
How many people download music that they didn’t buy? Say what you want, think what you wish, but as a tool, it is awesome and I stand behind Swap Magic. You do not need to open up your PS2 at all, which is a plus for both the fat and slim PS2.
Now there are other ways to play games on your PS2 such as using a hard drive with hard drive program like HdaLoader, but that requires extra hardware. Swap Magic is the cheapest and easiest way to play your PS2 games. Any questions, leave a comment and heck, I will even help you pick out what is right for you.
Check out www.estarland.com for Swap Magic.
[Update] The origin of the picture and the video is credited to MusicMasteria. His website is here.
[Update] Updated template picture, courtesy of MusicMasteria.
Looking to buy Swap Magic? Save yourself a few dollars by not ordering the Swap Magic with slide card. Instead, order the Swap Magic disks, and then make your own slide card and save $5 bucks.
Last weekend my brother took a fresh values card from Dominick’s and cut out a design that is effectively the slide card to use for the fat PS2. I will have him scan it so you can see what it looks like.
I linked directly to the image, so its going to be a little wide. The dimension on the side that is cutoff is 1-1/8″.
Here is a template provided by MusicMasteria,
and a YouTube video from MusicMasteria demonstrating how to make your own slide card!