This is a short FAQ about Total_Noob’s Hen for the PSP 6.20.
What is a HEN?
“HEn” stands for “Homebrew Enabler”. It is a piece of software that allows to run unsigned software (homebrews) directly from the XMB on a PSP OFW. TN Hen relies on a kernel exploit in order to achieve this.
How do I install/Run the Hen?
Our download page has all the information on the packages to download.
Does TN Hen run isos/cso?
Not directly. The Hen only allows to run unsigned Eboots. But iso loaders for the Hen are already available.
If a Hen doesn’t run isos, what’s the difference between TN Hen and a homebrew loader such as Half Byte Loader?
a Hen uses a kernel exploit, and gives users full control of the PSP. This means more homebrew compatibility than with HBL. For example homebrews that require kernel access will most likely work with the HEN. This also means that the Hen opens the door to iso loading, plugins support, etc… through a LCFW (Live/Light Custom FirmWare)
So, you’re saying it doesn’t run isos, but then you say it gives Kernel access. I thought Kernel access meant isos, I’m confused?
Hen will enable programmers to somewhat easily enable all these features (iso, plugins…) through a LCFW. But this requires extra work that is not part of the Hen. For example, Davee’s chickHen (for firmware 5.03) did not have any iso support. Iso support was added by external tools (LCFW) such as Gen for Hen (by team Gen) or CFWe (by Becus25 and Xenogears)
So, what’s the difference between a Hen and a CFW?
That’s a complex question, because the definition of CFW is vague. Because of that, I decided to create the term “LCFW” for “Live Custom Firmware” (in reference to the Linux “Live CD” distributions) or “Light Custom Firmware”, per opposition to the historical “CFW” from the psp1000/psp2000 era
Well, ok, so what are the differences between a Hen, a CFW, and a LCFW ?
I’ll try to make this short:
- a CFW (custom firmware) is a bunch of hacks that enable iso loading, plugin support, recovery menu, etc… on old models of PSPs. The most famous work on CFW was performed by Dark_Alex. a CFW gets installed in the flash of the PSP, and overrides the Official firmware at startup. Technically, for the end user, it means that if you turn off your psp, then turn it on again, you still have the CFW. Custom Firmwares in the “old school” meaning are not possible anymore on modern PSPs, as Sony patched a critical hardware bug that made CFW possible. The first motherboards to have this patch are the infamous “ta88v3” released in summer 2008. Basically no PSP bought new after this period can get a CFW.
- a LCFW (Live/Light Custom firmware) is the same thing as a CFW (actually, the LCFW we currently know about are mostly made of reverse engineered files from earlier CFWs), except it patches the Ram after the PSP is turned on (LCFW are usually kernel mode homebrews, so they require a kernel hack, which is what the Hen provides, see below). While the CFW patches the PSP firmware at boot time, for LCFW you need to patch the Ram after the Firmware is booted. From the end user’s point of view, this means that if you turn your PSP off, you will need to run the LCFW again (and, of course, the Hen before that) in order to activate it. Keep in mind that putting your PSP in “sleep” mode is not equivalent to turning it off. If you put your psp in sleep mode, the LCFW stays in Ram
- a Hen, as we said earlier, is a kernel exploit + a few patches that allows to run unsigned software, including ones that have access to kernel. It is a necessary tool to install and run a LCFW.
So Summary: CFW can not exist anymore in the current state of our knowledge (although things change, there are ongoing discussions on the subject, since we’ve become able to sign some content…), and is replaced by Hen+LCFW, which are a combination of a kernel exploit and some patches in the Ram to allow a “CFW-like” experience.
Can the Hen brick my PSP?
The Hen itself, AFAIK, works only in the Ram, and will not brick your PSP. However, it completely unlocks the machine and gives you access to everything on the machine, which gives you the possibility to do everything you want, including bricking it. Most bricks come from people who think they can install a CFW on modern PSPs. If you read this FAQ, you know this will not work. If you brick a PSP that has a nonhackable motherboard, your PSP is dead.
If you read the “README” files of the tools you use, you should be safe. 🙂
When will the TN Hen be released ?
The first release of TN Hen for OFW 6.20 was done on December 24th 2010, and the latest can be downloaded here