[How To] Play PS1 (PSX) Backups on Fat/Slim Playstation 2 (v9 and above)


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.

8-15-13: 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.

Wait, I can back up my PS1 games?  How?

In order to back up your PS1 games, there are multiple ways you can do it. Below is a brief list of how to do it:

  • Nero disc copy
  • ImgBurn disc copy
  • CloneCd disc copy
  • CDXPBurner disc copy
  • PowerISO or MagicISO disc copy
  • Pretty much any type of cd-writing software can make a 1:1 copy of PS1 games

What tools do I need to make this work?

Hardware/Software tool: You need to have all the items below before we continue:

  • Modchip or Swap magic [to boot the UlaunchELF cd if you don’t have exploited memory card with Free McBoot]
  • Exploited memory card (such as Free McBoot) with ULaunchELF
  • A retail PS1 game.
  • A PS1 backup disc on CD-R.
  • USB Thumb Drive (any size will do)

IMPORTANT: For this guide, I am assuming you have Free McBoot installed.  I will update the guide with alternate methods at a later date.

Files Required:

PSXLauncher: Download from here.  (If broken, please leave a comment.)

Tutorial Begins Here *grins*:

1)  Copy PSXLauncher.elf to the root of your USB thumb drive.

2) Boot your PS2 and go to the main menu of Free Mcboot. Launch UlaunchELF.

3) Navigate to the USB thumb stick. Copy the PSXLauncher.elf file, and paste it into the boot folder of the memory card.

4) Press “select” button two times. You are at the button configuration screen. We need to map a key to the PSXLauncher.elf.  Let’s use R1.  Map it to the path of where your PSXLauncher.ef is located.

5) Scroll down and remember to select OK.  Now power down the PS2.

6) Insert the retail PS1 game. Turn on PS2.

7) When the PS2 is powering up, press and hold R1.  Do not let go until you see a new menu screen from PSXLauncher.

8 )  The PS1 game has stopped spinning. Swap the disc with the backed up PS1 game. Now press X and everything will work!

NOTE (ADDED 7-2-10): If you are using a SLIM PS2, you MUST block all 3 lid sensors!

Video Tutorial

Sometimes a video tutorial is easier to understand than reading all text. I don’t blame you. Please see my tutorial below.

Posted on December 26, 2009, in playstation 2, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 65 Comments.

  1. Great stuff here.
    I’m used with homebrew on PS2 (own two beautiful fatties v3) using memor32, mcboot exploit, ulaunch and HDD/USB. However, even diving into google I haven’t found a successfully way to load PSX backups. Aren’t there any?

    Thanks in advance for your time if you feel like answering 😉


    • Yes, its called this tutorial. My video shows me playing PSX on my slim with free mcboot.

      • 😀 Yes and so far the best working method around, very well documented. I’ve given up; I wanted a method to load PSX backups with no swap, no slide card and no mess involved in PS2 version below v9 (those charming chubbies)

        So to an end I’m going to buy a second hand cheap modded PSone to play, +- 40$ in ebay (not only for backups hehe) without any trouble.

        BTW, thanks for your quick reply, versatile, it’s not so common in internet to be aware of comments or requests.


        • My suggestion: Purchase a second hand slim PS2 and you will play all PSX games.

          • I have a slim ps2 im not sure if its version 9, I have free mcboot when I launch
            the .elf it goes to the launcher but my laser doesnt move. My ps2 loads
            every game I play perfect, but the disc must be inserted before I start the
            Ps2. If there is no disc the laser will not move after it makes it to the main
            menu. Any suggestion’s. thanks in advance

  2. Do you need to block sensors or any of that mess? i have a ps2 phat but i just want to play psx games on the slim.

  3. What version ps2 does this work with?

  4. Hello! First of all, thank you for the guide. It was very well-written, and it WORKED for me!!! However, there is one problem I’ve run into:

    My PS2 slim is Japanese, and I managed to run Japanese PS1 backups with your PSXLauncher method. However, I cannot load American PS1 backups, or even American PS1 retail games. I am booting my system with a retail Japanese PS1 game and holding R1 to get to the PSXLauncher menu, but from then on, only a Japanese PS1 backup or original will load. American PS1 retail and backup games will not.

    Do you have any ideas on how to fix this?

    Anyway, thanks again for your guide. 🙂

    • The Japaneses PS2 has a region lock on it? It cannot play retail American PS1 games? I suggest you go to psx-scene.com forums and talk to the real experts there for some help. I have an American PS2 and I can play backed up American PS1 games. I have not had the chance to try a japanese PS1 backed up game yet.

  5. Yeah, the PS2 is region locked. All PS2s are region locked.

    Anyway, thanks again for the guide. I’ll check out the website you mentioned.


  6. hey, so i followed all the steps but when i get to the point of switching my disks, i put in the back up and it says not a psx disk. so i was wondering how you burned your? so i can give it a try and hopefully get mine to work

  7. You should probably tell people that you need the sensors blocked before attempting this. Even when using Free Mcboot you need the sensors blocked.

    Here is a excellent tutorial for it:


  8. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this tut but thanks for giving me a good reason to keep my Swap Magic. I wanted to sell it and just rely on McB w/ESR patching but I have one CD-based backup (Tenshi no Present) that’s impossible to play without it, and now it looks like I can take my PS1 backups off of the PSP and play them the way they were intended 🙂

  9. Great tutorial! is there a way to use this on an older slim? mine is before the 9 series.

  10. Hello, my PS2 is SCPH-30004 R and as I have found on the internet it is version 7. So can I play PS1 games on my console? I have memory card with Free McBoot 1.8 (and PSX Launcher which is for version 9 and up)

    • Oh, now I see the previous question. Do I have to block sensors on my fat console? Here’s what I’ve tried: insert retail PS1 disc, turn off, turn on, immediately hold pressed r1 (previously followed your tutorial…) and PSX launcher screen appears. Now I have to wait aprox 2 minutes for disc to stop spinning because my reader is weird, but it works perfectly when the game is started. Then I’ve pressed eject button, replaced retail cd with backup and I get message: Not a psx disc!

      • You do NOT have a version 9 PS2. I have a fat ps2, version 3. I used it for almost everything, but I had a LOVE to play PS1 backups.

        Then I got my ps2 slim off of craigslist for 50 bucks, and the main reason I got it was two fold: 1) I wanted to use the SMB ethernet port for playing games and 2) To play PSX backups!

        For the longest time, I thought my fat PS2 was garbage because it played everything but PSX backups. Then I learned about the PSXLauncher and how it only works with model 9 and higher PS2s. This is a good reason alone to go find a SLIM PS2 made before the SCPH-9XXXX series.

  11. I have a Gh-019 fat ps2 with a Modbo 4 Infinity Matrix v1.93 Clone chip. I have gone over my soldering several times and everything looks good. I have the Matrix boot screen. I can access the configuration options. I have made a cd image of a legitimate ps1 game: Krash Bandakoot. I have backed up a copy using clone cd, nero, and image burn. None have been successful. Each time I get a disc read error. Any suggestions?

    • Adjust the laser for fat ps2 using the cog wheel trick.

      • Some forums were telling me to solder on “H”. The original diagram I looked at was for PAL, but didn’t realize it and I have NTSC, but still having disc read error problems. It won’t even load up regular ps2 games. I’ll try adjusting and get back to you.

  12. Hey bro, the PSXLauncher works great! but i cant loads other region backup games. mine is NTSC-J Console SCPH90006. i can play retail PS1 Japan and Japan backups greatly with these PSXloader. But when i try to play my retail NTSC/UC Tony Hawk Pro Skater it doesnt work and just a black screen appear after i press ‘X’.. can you help me to solve this problem? it same goes to the other NTSC/UC backup games. Thanks in advance!

  13. hiya, my ps2 is a version 7, is there anyway i can play psx games on it? ive already got freemcboot installed and it works great, i just cant seem to find a way to play my old ff8 backups.

  14. i have a ps2 slim model scph 90006..from the store i bought it says it is modded by a super 7 modchip, but still i can’t play back up ps1 games only pirated ps2 games only. my fat ps2 can play ps1 games using the pressing reset buton twice, but on my ps2 slim it won’t.

    can you please help me how to play back up/pirated ps1 games on my ps2 slim?

  15. sorry i didn’t read first your foreword at the top, thanks anyway but if you still help me, that would be much appreciated.

  16. Does this work with ps2 slim 90004?
    because I tried it and the psxlauncher shows a message that says “not a psx disk” when I push the X button.
    a little info that might have something to do with this, if I activate disk control in uLe config, the original ps1 disk is recognized as ps2 cd

  17. PSXLauncher link is broken 😥

  18. Thank you very much! I’ll try it sometime later today 🙂

  19. Wait, do I have to use the swaptrick to do this? Or can I just open the disk tray by pressing the eject button and switch disks?

    • You can try it, but I never had any luck with it with fat PS2.

    • I can confirm that using a fat PS2 (model SCPH-50001), one must still use the slide-card swap method (the eject button doesn’t work for me).

      Silly thing to forget, but make sure you remember to slide the notch back in before pressing “X” to launch, otherwise it will keep trying to spin up and fail.

      Hard to believe slide-cards are still necessary in 2012, but at least there’s some way of loading backups. My original discs are all scratched up. 😦

      • No shame in using the slide card swap, that is what I did when I got my fat ps2 back in 2007.

        • Only problem is that i have virtually no clue how to do the slide card swap. The main reason I got freemcboot was because I didnt want to mess with my ps2 at all… oh well, off to google I go! Thank you 🙂

  20. It works!!! I’m playing copied PSX-Games on my PS2, Code 70004. But I managed to play on a PAL-Console even NTSC games, thx to you and Free McBoot. ❤ btw nice shirt, drawn at your own? ❤

  21. I followed the directions and when i hold R1 a screen pops up for a millisecond and then goes away. I have a black screen. help please….

  22. it’s kind of stupid to play copy disk when you have retail version .
    i onley have copy version is there a way to play it?

  23. Ohh I just get black screen everytime, I have pal slim ps2 I get to the swapping retail for copy, press x and black.

  24. Link is broken, says invalid or deleted file.

  25. Hi, I got the same problem that Scott Cardigan Dean ! My PS2 slim is a V15 (SCPH-77004).
    Can you help me please?
    Thanks 😉

    • What you need to do is first have a way to boot the psxlauncher.elf. See the ps2 video. I’m using FreeMcBoot with psxlauncher to boot a retail psx disc, and then afterwards, I put in the backed up copy of psx game.

  26. would this work with a chipped slim ps2 using only the backup? I used to own a Breaker Pro, but I have sold it and where I am now it’s too difficult and expensive to order

  27. Link seems broken. Attempting to download results in antivirus blocking the website.

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