CFW For Dummies – PSP 1000 and Hackable PSP 2000

Important note: I now recommend a much easier technique to install a CFW on your PSP 1000 or 2000. If you reached this page from an other website, I recommend you go back to the page presenting the easy technique to install Pro CFW. If, on the other hand, you came here because you explicitly want to install using a Pandora battery and no other way, please read along

You reached this page because you want to install a custom Firmware on your PSP1000, or PSP2000 with a hackable motherboard. If you’re not sure of that anymore (psp 2000 owners, there is a risk your motherboard is NOT hackable), or if you want to check again, or if you have a different PSP model, please go back to the main page of this guide.

This guide is up to date as of 2011/11/27

Congrats! If you own a PSP1000 or a Hackable PSP 2000, In terms of homebrews and backups, you’re in the best possible situation: your PSP can install any Custom Firmware available, run the latest official games, and you can switch between official firmware and custom firmware anytime you want.

There are basically two methods to install a CFW (Custom FirmWare) on your PSP: The Pandora Battery (which I usually recommend, but requires you to buy a special battery, and to have a friend with a PSP that is already hacked…), or the Software Downgrade.

These techniques both have pros and cons, so please read along and choose your favorite method.

In the examples below, I explain how to install the Custom Firmware 5.00 M33. It is still a very good choice, but if you are interested to install something different afterwards (such as Gen 5.50), you can follow the links at the end of the tutorials below.

Recommended: Install a CFW, with a Pandora Battery

The Pandora Battery (also known as Jigkick battery) is a special battery that allows your PSP to enter Service Mode. This is a special mode in which the PSP allows you to install any firmware, including Custom firmwares. Service mode also allows you to repair your PSP if you “bricked” it (which can happen if, for example, you unplug your PSP while installing a new firmware). The Pandora battery, used in conjunction with the “Despertar Del Cementerio” tool, is much more than a way to install a custom firmware, it is also a great repair tool. You can find such batteries for less than 20$ in various places nowadays, and it guarantees that if you mess up with your psp’s firmware, you’ll always be able to get it back in a working state.


  • Universal unbrick/downgrade tool
  • Much safer than the software technique
  • Once your pandora battery and magic memory stick are created, installing a new custom Firmware (or going back to Official Firmware) takes 2 minutes and does not require any specific knowledge
  • Works independently of your firmware


  • Requires you to buy an additional Battery
  • Creating your Magic Memory stick the first time is a bit hard

In order to install a Custom firmware with a Pandora Battery, you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Buy a Pandora Battery. If you have a friend with a Hacked PSP, they can probably make a Pandora Battery for you out of an original Sony Battery, but “premade” pandora Batteries are so cheap nowadays that I don’t see the point.
  2. Download and extract Rain’s Ultra Lite Magic Memory Stick Maker here (or alternate link here) (Note that this file contains everything you need, including the 5.00 Firmware)
  3. Run RainsUltraLiteMMS.exe (if you are on Vista or Windows 7 you maybe greeted by a UAC Dialog asking for admin privileges, say yes)
  4. At anytime connect the psp to the computer via USB, it should be detected automatically. You can also use a card reader, you will have to select the drive letter.
  5. It is recommended to check the “Format the memory stick” option, be sure to make a backup
  6. When ready click Make MMS and wait for it to finish.
  7. You are now ready to install the Custom Firmware on your PSP
  8. Turn the PSP Off, remove your normal battery, and, while pressing the Left Trigger (L1), insert the pandora battery
  9. “Despertar Del Cementerio”, the Custom Firmware Installer, should start.
  10. Select “Install 5.00 M33”, and wait until it’s finished
  11. Done. Fast and Easy, right?
  12. From there, you might want to install a different custom firmware such as Gen 5.50 (M33 or Gen, which one is better for you?) or install additional utilities such as the Prometheus Modules to play backups of recent games.

Not recommended (but works): Install a CFW using software techniques


  • Does not require additional hardware, and is basically free


  • Higher risk of bricking your psp (if that happens, you can unbrick your PSP by buying a Pandora battery and following the other technique above)
  • Some of the steps depend on the firmware installed on your machine, so there’s a higher risk of confusion

In order to install a Custom firmware without a Pandora battery on a PSP1000 or a hackable PSP 2000, you need to follow the following steps.

  1. If your psp has a firmware under firmware 6.20, Upgrade your PSP to the official firmware 6.20. You can do this by downloading the firmware here (or alternate link here), placing it in your PSP/UPDATE folder, and running it from your PSP menu.
  2. Else if your psp is on firmware 6.30, 6.31, 6.35, 6.36, 6.37, 6.38, or 6.39 the above will not work directly, instead you will need to Downgrade your PSP using some1’s downgrader: Download some1’s downgrader here (or alternate link here), extract the archive on your memory stick, run the Downgrader from your memory stick, and follow the instructions. Note, you might need to upgrade your PSP to firmware 6.39 before running the downgrader. You can get firmware 6.39 here (or alternate link here)
  3. At this point your PSP should be running firmware 6.20. If this is not the case, follow steps 1 or 2 above
  4. Download, extract, and run TN Hen for 6.20 here (or alternate link here). This will run as a game, show a black screen, and take you back to the XMB. You can check if it worked by pressing select and see if a weird menu shows up (it’s called the “vsh menu”)
  5. Download and extract Hellcat’s recovery Flasher from here (or alternate link here)
  6. Run Hellcat’s recovery flasher from the XMB, agree to the warning message, then make sure that the “Target FW” says 5.00, and click “Install CFW (of version selected above).
  7. Follow the instructions, The tool will install the CFW for you
  8. Done. Fast and Easy, right?
  9. From there, you might want to install a different custom firmware such as Gen 5.50 (M33 or Gen, which one is better for you?) or install additional utilities such as the Prometheus Modules to play backups of recent games.

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