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[Tutorials] PS2 Thread: Softmod, game backups, homebrew

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GhettoBeta59
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[Tutorials] PS2 Thread: Softmod, game backups, homebrew

Post by GhettoBeta59 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:18 am

Hi everyone at /talk :)

This is the Ultimate PS2 Thread.

I will be walking you through how to do various things to make the most out of your PS2! Softmodding (hacking/jailbreaking), homebrew apps, and much, much more...

After you have completed these tutorials, you will wonder: "Why did I not do this before? This is great!" You have to take some caution while doing these... Just kidding, follow my tutorials and have fun!!!

All the software I give to you is up to date, so you woun't have to go around looking for the latest version of a particular program.

NOTE: You do not have to follow these in any particular order, but to use any of them you will need to complete the first tutorial for softmodding.


Table of Contents

1.) How to softmod your PS2 slim/fat with Free McBoot
2.) How to use Open PS2 Loader to play PS2 backups from USB, Network (Ethernet port), and Internal HDD (PHAT ONLY)
3.) How to use ESR to play PS2 backups burned to DVD-R

*I will be adding more, just be patient for right now :)*


How to softmod your PS2 slim/fat with Free McBoot

Today I will show you an easy way how to softmod your PS2 slim/fat. It can be done on a PS2 fat, however, the swap trick is fairly different. Softmodding a PS2, for those who don't know, is a way of hacking it without use of any modchip, just a plain memory card and a few other tools. The only thing you would have to buy for this tutorial is a minimum of 1 blank DVD. Here's the needed tools:

1 PS2 slim or fat, any model before SCPH-9000x (pretty much models made after 2008 do not work)
1 USB drive
1 memory card
PC with a DVD burner
Files in my download at the bottom, make sure you do that first.
At least 1 blank DVD

And also, a specific game. There are a few to choose from, I will put the full list of games down at the bottom. For this tutorial, I will use 007 Agent Under Fire for an example since it is the most commonly used game for softmodding.

NOTE: For this tutorial, you will need to block the three PS2 "sensors". There are lots and lots of videos telling you how to do so on Youtube and such, but almost all of them require you to open up your PS2. If you do not wish to do that, I will provide instructions on how to do it without opening, which I personally think is easier. *Located at the bottom*

Now, on with the tutorial. (This is my first one, so if you do not understand something or are completely clueless, then feel free to answer questions. I've been in the PS2 scene longer than the PSP scene, so I'm more developed in this)

1.) First, if you don't have one, download a DVD reading program, like DVD Decrypter, that can make a backup of your game (007 Agent Under Fire) on a .iso file. I recommend DVD Decrpyter because it is reliable and can get the job done right. If you have another good program, like Nero, then that's fine. Save it to a location that you can easily find.

2.) Download this: http://sksapps.com/mis/Apache1.1.rar , this: http://sksapps.com/exploit/freevast/Noobie_Package.rar and last but not least, this: http://sksapps.com/launchers/uLaunchELF_v4.11.zip . For the uLaunchELF .rar, the only file you need is "uncompressed BOOT.ELF". Rename that file to "DRIVING.ELF", make sure they are all in caps.

3.) Put the folder "Noobie_Package" from the .rar on your USB drive. Put the drive into the PS2.

4.) Next, open up Apache from the Apache1.1.rar. Open up your .iso of your 007 Agent Under Fire on Apache, highlight DRIVING.ELF (on Apache) and click "ISO Tools", then "Change TOC for selected file".

5.) A new window will pop up, change the "Size (dec)" to 869464. Click "Update".

6.) With the DRIVING.ELF still highlighted, click "ISO Tools", and then "Update Selected File". Find your separate DRIVING.ELF (the one that used to be called "uncompressed BOOT.ELF"), then select it. It should say the file was replaced. Close out of Apache.

7.) Burn the "new" .iso file to your blank disc. Make sure you double and triple check that you have got everything set, cause you can't erase the files off the disk after it is burned. I suggest you use a lower burn speed to avoid any mishaps that may occur, but you can use the fastest for maximum speed.

8.) Now, to the PS2! With your PS2's sensors blocked (tutorial at the bottom of this tutorial :) ), start up your original 007 Agent Under Fire game. Play the game until you get to the second level, the driving level. After you get the second level unlocked, go to the main menu. Now, do the "swap trick" and put your disc that you burned into the PS2. It has to be pretty fast, do not rush though. *Remember, the disc will still be spinning. When you take it out, be sure you get a firm grip and do not let it spin out of control. Just take the disc out with one hand, the put the other disc in with the other, simple as that*

9.) After the original disc is out and the backup is in, navigate to the missions and click the 2nd mission. Instead of seeing the loading screen, you will see the screen turn black for a few seconds and then go to a different program. *This is a homebrew called uLaunchELF. The PS2 looks for the file called "DRIVING.ELF" on the Agent Under Fire disc, instead it reads the program that you renamed to DRIVING.ELF, get it?*

10.) Once in the program, navigate to mass0:/Free McBoot Installer/FREE_MCBOOT.ELF (the mass0 is your USB drive.) It will load up the Free McBoot installer which will install Free McBoot on you memory card. You should format your memory card using the tool, but I don't think it is necessary. Just make sure you have enough space on the memory card, or backup your saves to a different one. Select "Multi version install" to install it. After it is installed, click on launch Free McBoot. It will take you back to your browser.

But, as you see the browser looks different. Congratulations, you have successfully installed Free McBoot on your memory card! The "new" browser will contain a few things:

The original "Browser" and "System Configuration"
uLaunchELF (a file browser and launcher for applications, pretty basic)
ESR (a launcher for DVD backups of games)
Simple Media System (plays .mp3 files and DivX and XivD .avi files from USB, CD/DVD, shared network)
HDLoader (doesn't apply to PS2 slim, boots games off of internal hard drive)

You can also customize your Free McBoot with "Free McBoot Configurator" at the bottom. In later tutorials, I can teach you how to add new homebrew and apps to your softmodded PS2, not really a hard process.

List of other games that are compatible:

If you are using a game other than the example up above, make sure you change the .ELF file listed and follow the instructions by the game's name.

Confirmed:
007 Agent Under Fire (used in the tutorial)

007 Nightfire (DRIVING.ELF; get to the second level and swap discs on the main menu, select the second level)

Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater (NETDOWN.ELF; press start, and at the main menu, swap your discs. Select "Multiplayer", then "LAN", then "Special", and finally, select "Camouflage Download")

Smackdown vs. Raw 2006 (NTGUI2.ELF; go to the main menu, select "Online", then "Accept". After that, press "Edit/Create Network Configuration")

Need For Speed Underground 2 (NTGUI.ELF; swap at the main menu, select "Online", then "Add/Edit")

FIFA 2008 (NETGUI_NA.ELF; select "Online mode" on the main menu, then "Add/Edit". Configure a new account, then press "Add" again)

Those are the confirmed games that work. Now, there are other games that have these similar steps, but they are unconfirmed to work. You can ask for them, but it is quite longer than this. I'll post them if you really want.

Tutorial for the PS2 Slim 3 "sensors" (without taking your PS2 apart:

You will need:

A PS2 slim, any model before SCPH-9000X
A straw
Scissors
Sheet of lined paper
A spare AV cord ("WTF?" is what you are wondering)
Tape (not necessary)

1.) Locate the 3 sensors. The first one is located near the front of the PS2. Open up the lid for the DVD drive, it should be by the power button and it kind of looks like a little button, call it "sensor A". The second sensor is more toward the back of the DVD drive. It is not really a button more of a little pushy thing. It is normally used to stop the DVD from spinning while the lid is open, call it "sensor B". The 3rd sensor, "sensor C", you cannot see without the PS2 being opened up. It is on the opposite side of sensor B, but under the DVD drive.

Here's an image for you to get the just of it:

Image

2.) Take the paper and cut out a little square, probably about a square centimeter or a little bit bigger. Roll it up into a little ball, and place it into the sensor A. Take the tape and tape it down into place, make sure it's pressing down the little button.

3.) Take the spare AV cable and and place the tip of it into sensor B. Do not place it directly into it, but into a little slot just behind it. When your placing it in, make sure you put it down the farthest it can go and the white edge is not touching the disc, that way it doesn't damage the side of the disc. You can close the lid a little to keep the AV end fully in place if you want.

4.) Now take the straw and cut out about 1/4 of it. With the cut out piece, cut the in half the long way so you are left with two thin rectangles of straw. You can throw out the other rectangle and the big part of the straw away. With your one rectangle, bend it a little so it is curved, it will help with the process. Stick the straw into the PS2, right before those two curved lines, and on the side closest to sensor B. You should keep the curved side facing the two curved lines, and keep pushing down the straw.

5.) Turn on your PS2. If you have done the above steps successfully, the lens should move up and turn red. If not, then the problem is probably the straw. Just keep on positioning the straw until the lens turns on. Once you have found the "sweet spot" for the straw, you can tape it in place. Once you have everything completed, you can now swap the discs.


How to use Open PS2 Loader to play PS2 games from USB

Now, I will teach you how to play backups from USB. Using this method to play games saves getting your discs scratched and also saves your PS2 laser from dying earlier than expected.

Note: Playing on USB is slower loading times than the actual PS2 disc. FMVs on USB sometimes lag heavily, but gameplay is always fine with no lags.

Things you will need:

PS2 (Phat/Slim)
Memory Card (with Free McBoot installed)
uLaunchELF (Not necessary, you can put it on the Free McBoot menu)
Flash Drive or External USB Hard Drive (I recommend 4GB or over, a lot of PS2 games are 4GB and under which means you can most definitely have at least one game on. I personally have a 16GB one so I can store more games.)

1.) Download the newest Open PS2 Loader from here: http://psx-scene.com/forums/attachments ... 37.elf.zip

This version actually has GSModeSelector integrated into it, which means you can display your 480i games into 480p and up. It is really handy at some times.

2.) Now that you have the application, put that on the USB device that you are using. Also, make folders the folders "DVD", "CD", "CFG", and "art" on the root directory on the device. Put the USB device aside. Now, find 1 or more PS2 games that you would like to play and rip them from their discs onto your computer in .iso format (using DVD Decrypter from the tutorial above this or a different DVD program). Move the .iso of the game(s) you want to play into the "DVD" folder you made (move them to "CD" if they are on a CD, most games are DVD though).

3.) In order for the PS2 to read the .iso, you will have to rename it to a certain name. The prefix (not suffix) of the file needs to be the game code of that particular game. For example:

SLUS_203.12.Final Fantasy X.iso
^
This is the game code. You can find the code by 1.) Searching it up on the web or 2.) Looking at the files in the .iso, there should be a file, for example FFX, that is just SLUS_203.12 and also 3.) Using this app: http://openps2loader.info/8/downloads/iso2opl.zip . I don't use this method.

NOTE: Using .isos for games only works for games that are under 4GB because of FAT32 limitations. For games that are over 4GB, you will need the app USBExtreme or USBUtil to convert the .iso into 1GB chunks that the PS2 reads instead. You won't have to do the game code thing either.

4.) DEFRAGMENTATION TIME. This is crucial, you need to defrag your USB device after you install games to it. I recommend using this:http://download.cnet.com/Auslogics-Disk ... tag=button . All it does is scan the USB device and cures all the fragments (or chunks) of the files into order. The PS2 can't read the .iso if the parts are scattered all out of order.

5.) Now you should be done with you USB device, so go ahead and plug it into the PS2! Turn it on and go to uLaunchELF to find the OPL app. You can also install it to you Free McBoot browser menu. Once you get into the program, you should see your list of games. Simply press a game and it should flash some colors (it is normal for loading) and your game should boot up like a DVD game. You can also tinker with the settings of a game/the program if a game doesn't load properly. I also mentioned above that FMVs/loading times in most games will tend to slow down, there is nothing you can do about this (the PS2's USB 1.1 is too slow for it). The gameplay should be fine in each and every game, so have some fun!
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Last edited by GhettoBeta59 on Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:58 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by jc_gargma » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:36 am

Question: This tutorial says it is for PS2 Slim. I have a PS2 Phat. Will this still work?
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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by ViKtory » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:57 am

^^
Phats are easier to hack. I'm not sure, but this will probably work for you too.


Read below
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Last edited by ViKtory on Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by GhettoBeta59 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:12 pm

jc_gargma wrote:Question: This tutorial says it is for PS2 Slim. I have a PS2 Phat. Will this still work?
Yes, but you need to modify the disk drive for the swap trick. When you switch the two games, this is how it will look on a fat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us9nwXnRjqM

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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by stevealexanderames » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:04 pm

that's a pretty clear tut :) very well done

some time ago i thought about buying a PS2 but in stores i see only the 9000X model, there's a way to soft-hack it too?
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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by ultimakillz » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:07 pm

GhettoBeta59 wrote:
jc_gargma wrote:Question: This tutorial says it is for PS2 Slim. I have a PS2 Phat. Will this still work?
Yes, but you need to modify the disk drive for the swap trick. When you switch the two games, this is how it will look on a fat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us9nwXnRjqM
that method should work fine on a phat. don't pay any attention to what he says about when to swap or needing to swap multiple times since he is using a different method. for this method you only have to swap once and it comes at a very specific time (as the op states). the only additional advice i have is to be very careful with the ribbons when removing the top of the ps2.
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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim with Free McBoot

Post by GhettoBeta59 » Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:17 pm

stevealexanderames wrote:that's a pretty clear tut :) very well done

some time ago i thought about buying a PS2 but in stores i see only the 9000X model, there's a way to soft-hack it too?
Sadly, no. Sony patched up the exploit, and I don't think anyone is planning on making a new softmod.


=====


First post edited with the download links, compatible games, and the swap trick tutorial.

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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim/fat with Free Mc

Post by pietro025 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:35 am

That's a great tutorial! Hey, I've got a slim with modchip and I boot uLaunchELF from my memory card but recently I've been thinking on using Free Mcboot. I only use uLaunchELF for OPL and a modded version of Codebreaker. Do you think I should do it?
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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim/fat with Free Mc

Post by Casavult » Sun Dec 11, 2011 2:20 am

Can't even remember the last time I used FMCB, I might give the ol' girl a boot later. ;)
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Re: [Tutorial] How to softmod your PS2 slim/fat with Free Mc

Post by GhettoBeta59 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:23 am

pietro025 wrote:That's a great tutorial! Hey, I've got a slim with modchip and I boot uLaunchELF from my memory card but recently I've been thinking on using Free Mcboot. I only use uLaunchELF for OPL and a modded version of Codebreaker. Do you think I should do it?
Thank you :D . You could if you wanted, the installation will be very easy. All you have to do is download the Free McBoot .rar, put it on the USB drive, and launch the installation program through your uLaunchELF.
Casavult wrote:Can't even remember the last time I used FMCB, I might give the ol' girl a boot later. ;)
Haha, I took an extended from my PS2 because of my flash drive breaking. So, I got a new one and I've been really getting in to all the features lately. It's kinda sad that the PS2 scene is almost dead, there are only a few projects still running. I think Open PS2 Loader is still very, very slowly getting updated, but I can't be too sure... The only other project I know that is still being updated is PS2PSXe, an PS1 emulator capable of launching PS1 games from a USB drive.

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