Blog Archives

The Beginning of the End is the Beginning

Hey guys, if you didn’t figure it out by now, www.theundergroundblog.cjb.net is not the new blog.  Instead, it goes to a very comical site, but I don’t want to spoil it.  Those who went to it and kep their mouth shut about it, thank you.  We all need a little fun in our lives.

This Sunday is the real unvealing of the next blog, V2.  All we are doing really is starting over from scratch, but this time not on WordPress.com but on an FTP that was leant to us by a friend.  This means we have more control on the interaction between the Staff and the community.  We got some nifty plugins, and now we have a plugin where a thread will email everytime there is a new comment.

Or better yet, we have forms so now you can submit a form and make it even easier.  Demonoid form anyone? 🙂

Don’t fret.  This blog is not going to die.  I will visit it daily as usual and give answers to those who ask.  V2 will not have daily postings.  The frequency will be much much less, but the content will be richer and more satisfying.  Even more importantly, if you feel that a post is not “rich” enough in content, you will be able to fill out a form and let us know so we can fix it!!!!  Now that is satisfaction.

Today I want to take a quick reflection of my top 3 threads here on V1.  It is a tough call, being that a lot of the PS2 tutorials are mine, and I love modding my PS2.  Note that this blog has been around since April of 2007, but I didn’t go hardcore with it until last fall I want to say.  Now the daily postings will come to an end, and more focus will be on V2. Don’t be sad though, more content is just around the corner. :-0

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Versatile1’s Top 3 Posts

Number 3

Demonoid – Free Invites Underground Trading Circle

I am a proud user of Demonoid.  I have been a part of it since May 23, 2005. As you can see, it has been almost 3.5 years as a Demonoid user.  I love Demonoid a lot, and it was saddening to know that in some countries Demonoid cannot be viewed!  Thank you USA!  Anyway, as a proud user of Demonoid, I began to realize that registrations were always closed, and open registrations is very few.  What better way to do it than to organize an underground ring myself?  Why would I do such a thing?  

I just want to give, and let other people get in onto the fun.  Hell, if I wanted to get into a private site, I would appreciate an invite, wouldn’t you?  Now that I got an underground ring going, there will always be invites to offer. Check out the google docs and check the list under confirmed users.  We have over 50 people!  If each person gave me 5 invites, that is 250 invites! Muahahahha.  Organizing it on google docs was the smartest thing I could have done. :0

Number 2

The Underground PS2 Tutorial Table of Contents

Ok, I’m cheating on this one.  This is a table of contents to all PS2 related tutorials on this site.  Being that I wrote every single one of them, I’m proud of all of them, so what better way than reference a table of contents?

However, my favorite tutorial is: https://versatile1.wordpress.com/2007/11/08/how-to-ps2-game-from-torrent-to-dvd-using-nero/

It is also the most popular video on my youtube page: www.youtube.com/versatileninja

Using Nero, you can take that PS2 ISO file and burn it to a blank DVD very easily.  I want to say that is one of the earlier tutorials I have written, and although DVD decrypter tutorial is there, Nero gets more visibility for some reason. ;p

Number 1

IRC – How to Get Free Porn Passwords

Yea, are you surprised?  Right behind COD4 cracked server post, this one comes in second.  I guess we all know where a lot of people’s priority lies.  I first learnt about this back in maybe 9th or 10 grade in high school.  My Indian friend who goes by Prashant showed me on IRC this secret room on thundercity known as #ASP.  In fact, I think the #ASP group is more than 10 years old. ;0

I hardly use it, but I’ve told others of this secret knowledge.  With the birth of the blog, I decided to share it in tutorial form.  Of course, I tried a new method, trying to gather more interaction from the community.  I needed 30 commentors, and that is what I got.  Hence, the tutorial was formed, but we put it in a forum.  The forum got mad hits, and although there were other threads in the forum, the XXX thread got over 1k views easily.  Eventually, the forum got discontinued, and now today I present it in PDF form hosted on rapidshare.  Do with it as you wish.  In V2, I may or may not even top this with a collection of stuff that readers have sent me.  Will I share it?  We’ll see. ;0

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Those are my top 3 threads.  What are your favorites?  Comments appreciated, as I’m interested too!

Secret shoutout to:

and

[Note: Voltaire will post his own commentary here shortly tonight ;0 ]

[How To] Boot Games Off USB (External Hard Drive) With Playstation 2 (PS2)

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

Revisions:

[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.

http://www.elotrolado.net/hilo_Listado-de-compatibilidad-en-USBExtreme_744276?pagenumber=1

[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:

http://list.sksapps.com/

[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.


Introduction

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:

Pros

  • 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!

Cons

  • 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:

  • Modchip
  • 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!

Blank Media:

  • 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:

https://versatile1.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/how-to-find-swap-magic-for-ps2/

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:

usb tutorial ps2_1

  • 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:
usb extreme format

Here the I: drive is my USB drive.

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”.

Example:

  • 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:

cmd1

cmd2

  • 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.

Example:

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.

usbextreme 1

After you click Start, it will prompt you:

start install

Click Yes, and then it will start ripping the game from DVD drive to the USB hard drive:

install game

When the rip is done, you will see a screen like the one below:

copied game

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.

dead or alive 2 hardcore

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!

Troubleshooting

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.

Video Tutorials

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCwGs3aLZ3A&list=PL8FB2D7062B84BBBA&index=18]

[How to] Find Swap Magic for PS2

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.

Manhunt 2 – Banned from Target

As the holiday season approaches, there is concern among parents to pick out the right game for their children.  Guess what?  Manhunt 2 is not for children at all.  This game is downright violent, so take caution.  In fact, Target has decided not to sell this game in its stores because if is possible for the user to modify the code to make the blurry parts of the game not blurry anymore.  This causes concern, and taking light to Rockstar’s Hot Coffee mod for the San Andres, Target is not taking that chance with this game.

As stated from an article from ABC News:

To be clear, “Manhunt 2” disappoints not because it’s controversial. In fact, Rockstar Games’ infamous “Grand Theft Auto” games are very entertaining digital diversions even if you strip away the mature theme — but there’s little substance to be found in this “Manhunt”‘ sequel.

Available for the Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation 2 and Sony PlayStation Portable, “Manhunt 2” begins as your character, Dr. Daniel Lamb, escapes the Dixmor Asylum for the Criminally Insane, after being injected with a mysterious drug that unleashes his homicidal tendencies. Without giving much of the plot away — yes, there is actually a story here — Lamb finds himself outside in the real world, beginning with a visit to his now-dilapidated home of his youth. But not without going on a killing spree first, even though it appears to be out of Lamb’s control, as it’s not unusual for him to vomit and utter remorseful words after committing these murders.

See the source here.  In short, game is violent, play at your own discretion.

Interview: Musicmasteria on the PS2 Mod

[Commentary by Versatile1] Hey guys, this is an exclusive interview with MusicMasteria. On youtube, he has several video’s depicting how to make your own slide card for your PS2. He knows his stuff, and today we present the first ever interview with the brainchild…

The Underground: How did you get involved into PS2 mods?

Musicmasteria: Well, I wanted to back up my games and without any form of modding at the time, I couldn’t do that. So I left it alone and continued my life. Then, while looking around on afterdawn.com I found a simple template for a slide card. Then I decided, I could make a better template than that so… I did. I first created my own slide card and tested it (without swap magic at the time) and it worked so I made a template and put it on my website. I then decided to spread my template to You Tube and created a tutorial and that is what you see today.

 

The Underground: How did you decide to go the slide card route? Have you tried any other methods such as HDALoader, or memory card exploit? Do you have an original slide card? Or did you make one up from a template?

Musicmasteria: I decided to start with a slide card because I had the means to make one for free. I don’t have a HD for my PS2 so I haven’t tried HDALoader but, from what I have read, it is a very good mod. Quick load times were a large factor for that. I have however tried USBAdvance. I didn’t really get it to work for me that well but I have seen it work on You Tube videos. I do not own an original slide card. Why would anyone spend $5 on something you could make for little or no cost with my tutorial? My first slide card was my own interpretation of a simple template I found on afterdawn.com a long time ago.

 

The Underground: How big is your PS2 game library?

 Musicmasteria: Well if I were that kind of person, I could have an infinitely long list of PS2 games but if you would like to see my game collection, go to http://gamelist.musicmasteria.2ya.com

 The Underground: What is the most common question you get on your You Tube video?

 Musicmasteria: *Laughs* I get a lot of the same questions on my You Tube video. A common one is: “What does a slide card do?” or something along those lines. I don’t know why people ask this when there are so many other videos on You Tube saying how to use swap magic and slide cards. Another question is: “Where can I download games?”. I can’t really tell you that but if you really want to know, Google can tell you.

I have 96 comments on my video so far and that’s not including my responses to questions and comments *laughs*.

 The Underground: Do you plan on moving onto other consoles and modding them too?

Musicmasteria: I don’t know. PS2 is the easiest console to play back up games on because of Swap Magic. No other console has a swap magic-like thing for playing backed up games. Also, the other newer consoles have a lot of protection against modding. Besides, I rather keep the warranties that I still have and wait for them to be long expired before I try modding them.. Now if someone was willing to give up their console or money for me to get one, then I would use that console solely for modding.

 The Underground: What was the first PS2 game you remember backing up?

 Musicmasteria: The first game I ever tried to back up was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (THPS 3). I didn’t even have a slide card or swap magic then and that of course didn’t work. Then, once I made a slide card, I used it to play my backup of THPS 3 with the original game (using the original game in place of swap magic). That worked but was very limited because you could only use the back up if you could play the original game up to one of the menu’s. Now that I have swap magic, I can play the back up in the case of my original breaking.

 I do still have a video on Google Videos for how to use swap magic and a slide card to play copied games if anyone is interested. It is on private view so you can only see it from the link (no search). It can be found here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2874997274037472959. I even have the old video of me using THPS 3 to play the back up of it. It is on public view and can be found here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4416144802633809982

 I personally like the newer video better (first link).  Thanks again for the interview. Means a lot 🙂

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To all readers: if you have questions you would like Music to answer, please, post a comment and he will reply. Thanks for reading!

God of War 2: Game Ending

Thanks to musicmysteria MusicMasteria, here is the God of War 2: Game Ending

Enjoy, and help us out by signing up and earning pts to free items! (no credit card required for real!) Click here!

[How To] Make Your Own PS2 Slide Card

[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,
Slide Card Template

and a YouTube video from MusicMasteria demonstrating how to make your own slide card!

Playstation 2 Mod – Play SNES Games on the PS2!

For the record, I have tried this and it worked perfectly. Here is the lowdown:

If you have Swap magic, or some other kind of Playstation 2 mod, did you know you can play SNES roms on the Playstation 2? Yes, it can be done.

This is what you need to do.
Go to the official homepage of SNES station here.
There you can find the SNES station program. Download it and extract it if need be. From here, you need to get SNES roms. Go to your favorite rom site to find some SNES roms. I like to go to romnation.net

Once you have some roms, put them in a rom folder, and proceed to burn the SNES data files along with your ROM folder. Now boot the SNES disc with your swap magic, and you are good to go!

What I did actually was I searched demonoid.com torrents for a copy of SNES station, as this one guy has already made SNES station disc, with over 500 SNES roms. It is missing a few games, like some of the metroid games, but hell man, that saves you time downloading all those games. Did I mention all of this fits on a 700 MB disc? Yup. The only caveat to SNES station is that some games don’t work at all, or it skips or runs very slow. Well, its just an emulator, but games like Super Mario World 1 flys!

I found a youtube video that should show you what its like to use SNES station on your PS2. Yes, you can play SNES roms on your fat or slim ps2, just make sure you have the proper tools and mods.

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PS2 Slim – Disassembly

Need to disassemble your PS2 slim? Why would you want to do that? Well, perhaps you need to clean the laser, or you did the straw mod trick and your straw got stuck inside the PS2. See the youtube video to become a PS2 Sliim disassemble master!

PS2 Slim – Create your own sensor blocking tools!

Have a slim PS2? You can create your own sensor blocking tools using a straw, cardboard, and some paper. By blocking the sensors on the PS2 slim, you will be able to play backed up games using Swap Magic.

What is Swap Magic? Swap Magic is a swap disc that your playstation 2 reads, and it tricks your ps2 into being able to play backed up copied games.

Where can you buy Swap Magic? Try http://www.estarland.com. If you have a fat ps2, you will need to get Swap Magic with slide card. In next few days, I will have a tutorial showing you how to make your own slide card. Muahaha.

See youtube video below, it does a great job showing you how to make your own sensor blocking tools for the playstation 2 slim to make it work properly with Swap Magic.