Just for the record this is for people who don't have a modded PS2 NOR want to mod their PS2. The procedure of patching the game is basically the same, there aren't many differences however...
If you want to play PS2 games off your PS2 hard drive and actually get some use out of that square shaped internal void, then get ready for a ride...
Before you even consider trying this, you NEED to have the following, and when I say need, I truly mean it. If you don't have the pre-requisites, don't consider reading further than the 'Getting Started' portion.GETTING STARTED
1. You need the original FAT PS2 model
. The slim model versions of the programs you need require a device called USBextreme which allows you to use an external hard drive. They're not as reliable as the fat PS2 models and from what I've seen, they're out of stock every where. Not many of the online suppliers replenish their stock any more. By all means look in to it if you want to but you're better off just buying a used fat PS2, less hassle.
2. A desktop computer with the compatibility to handle two hard drives at once
. I'm not sure if laptops will work but you're going to need an optical hard drive connector to get that fat ass hard drive hooked up to your laptop. Make sure your computer can handle two hard drives at the same time. If you have two hard drives in your computer already, like me, just make sure you shut your PC down, and swap the slave drive out.
3. Windows XP.
It probably works on other platforms but you should have XP Pro or Home if you're a windows user. Linux users, I have no idea how that **** works so don't ask me.
4. PS2 network adapter
I really hope you have one...if not, get ebaying, it's required.
Got all that? Read on.SHELLING OUT THE GREEN
Okay, now here's where you're going to have to dish out some coin to get this going. It varies from $140 to $250 depending on the above factors and hard drive size. Thing is, it pays for itself after only a few installs. Four or Five rare or hard to find games later and there you go, you just saved about $200.
4. You need either one of two programs, one is called HDloader
[purchased here - http://www.hdloader.org/ordernew.asp
] the other one is HDadvance
[purchased here - http://www.modchipstore.com/PS2-HD-Advance-Hard-Drive-Enabler-Disc-16188.html
]. I use advance.
For those of you looking to make the purchase the differences between the two are:HDloader
- Compatible with a hard drive up to 500GB. It's a little more expensive than HDadvance and if your PS2 is modded so that it reads burned and other region games then it has more compatibility....but not much.HDadvance
- Only compatible with up to 200GB HD's, at least at this point in time. My version is only compatible with 120GB HD's. Back in the day it used to be a lot more inferior but have an easier user interface. Now it's on par with HDloader and is a lot more accessible and simple, no modding required. I use v.2.0 but apparently they've updated it to v.3.0 and it now reads DVD-9's...or dual layered DVD's. This used to be a major issue back in the day because God of War and God of War 2 are both DVD-9's and were highly sought after as examples.
I think both brands of software come with a CD version and a DVD version of the software. Some PS2's stop reading CD's and some stop reading movie DVD's and some stop reading game DVD's. Mine unfortunately stopped reading movie DVD's and the software is considered a movie DVD so I boot up with the CD-version.
Alright so you've made your choice, my suggestion is HDadvance for simplicity sake.
5. Time to choose a compatible hard drive
. I'm almost 100% certain the official PS2 hard drive is useless for this but I was never foolish enough to buy Final Fantasy XI on the PS2 so....yeah. My suggestion is to buy a giant ass regular PC hard drive so you can stick more games on it and of course, back up all your old ones so you never have to put a game disk in your PS2 again. This saves the laser if some of you are having trouble, I know I do.
The list of a few compatible HD's are listed in the HDloader purchase link up above, just click the continue button to see them. A more extensive list of compatible hard drives for HDadvance is located here http://www.hdadvance.co/hd_advance_compatibility.asp
apparently some 500GB HD's are compatible. I wouldn't trust it though, it says 200GB max so go with one of those.
6. If you don't have the PS2 network adapter
, my condolences, it's going to run you about 70 bucks after shipping off of ebay. Get hunting online if you want to find a cheap one. The only reason these are still so expensive is because they are required to get this whole thing under way.THE PC PLUNGE
7. Okay so you're all set, you got your HDadvance/loader in the mail, you bought your new hard drive and you want to start loading up some games. First you have to put your new hard drive in to PS2 format. So unscrew the the network adapter off the back of your system with a quarter or flat head screw driver or maybe plug it in depending on if you had to buy it online.
8. Place the HDadvance disk inside the PS2, follow the instructions and there you go, your new hard drive is in PS2 format. Don't worry, like any hard drive this process can also be reversed. Your hard drive can still function as a PC hard drive if your PS2 ever goes ka-put and you don't feel like replacing it, so no worries.
9. Shut the PS2 off, take the hard drive out and swap it in to your PC. Remember if you have a USB compatible optical drive you can just plus the PS2 HD in to that. Problem with that is, the installs take MUCH longer, like hours longer than if it was hooked directly to your PC.
10. Okay so now your PS2 HD is in your PC and your PC can't detect it because it's not NTSC or FAT32 formatted. Therefore we need some freeware programs to help our stupid computer detect it's new cancerous growth. http://gamecentralnetwork.net/?id=2342
WinHIIP is your friend. It's a freeware program with a very simple interface, almost no instructions required. You can now detect your PS2 hard drive and install and uninstall .ISO files from your PC. UR A HAXXOR!
Just remember, you can still use the HDadvance/loader software to install and uninstall PS2 games directly from the system itself. You won't have to go through this hassle every time you install a game. This is just for special occasions such as patching games, reducing game file size and playing import titles if you own a NTSC PS2, like 99% of us westerners do.
Here are some cool tricks you can use with your PC to do things you couldn't normally do by just installing the game DVD from your PS2.RIPPING GAMES TO PC
You need to do this for import titles as your NTSC PS2 won't read them. You can also rent games and 'borrow' them forever. You either need a legit copy of the import or download the .ISO file somewhere. You need the DVD Decrypter freeware to do this. http://www.mrbass.org/dvdrip/
Just stick your DVD in your DVD-R or RW drive, select mode > ISO > Read and start ripping to your desk top.REDUCING FILE SIZES TO SAVE SPACE
If you're not anal about reducing the space of your PS2 games then by all means, don't bother reading this part. It's quite complex and is only here for the curious ones.
Now you may not know this but most PS2 game's aren't as big as an entire DVD, some can be as low as only 300 megs. An example of this is the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, which makes sense because it's all the extra art and videos taking up the space. The games themselves might only take up 20 megs of the game disc itself.
Thing is, there's a .Dummy file on almost every disc, these files just fill up the empty space on the disc so that the PS2 reads them properly. All the .Dummy files can be deleted but seeing as the PS2 still requires the file name to be present they can be replaced by a notepad document. Aptly, these replacement documents are named .Dummy. So basically a 3 gig dummy file can be replaced by a 1 byte notepad document. That's a lot of space to be saving.
It's not that simple though, you need a couple programs, one is an .ISO decomplier, the other is a PS2 .ISO recompiler. So basically you're going to be dissecting your PS2 .ISO file, replacing the .Dummy file and then rebuilding it again so it makes sense to the PS2.
The two programs are ISObuster
] and CDgen3.0
It's not TOO hard to figure out and I'm sure there's some tutorials located somewhere on the internet. I honestly forgot how to do it, I'm sure if I tried doing one it would come back to me but for now, you have to figure it out yourselves. Again not required but it helps if you're trying to cram as much crap on the HD as possible.APPLYING PATCHES
More specifically, the NamcoXCapcom patch in question will be my example. You have your .ISO file of NamcoXCapcom on your desktop, you also downloaded the .ppf English translation file here: http://transgen.890m.com/download.php?list.2
Now how do you put these two together? Simply download: http://files.filefront.com/PPFoMatic+Ve ... einfo.html
. You really can't screw this one up, it's the easiest software to use, you select your .ISO file and the .ppf file you want to apply, click the okay button and boom, instant fusion.
Your .ISO file hasn't changed much, to the eye, but it has, drastically, as you can now understand it. Now you need to install the patched game to your PS2 hard drive. Use WinHIIP [previously mentioned and link provided] to install the file to the PS2 hard drive that is connected to your PC.
Okay so you're finally finished.
11. Now that the game is installed shut your PC down. Make sure you do this every time you swap hard drives other wise it could cause complications and your PC won't detect the new or old hard drive until you reboot any way.
12. Return your PC back to it's previous state and plug the PS2 hard drive back in to the PS2.
13. Boot up PS2 with the HDadvance software in the system and prepare to play.WTF IS THIS!?
When you install a game from WinHIIP it will ask which modes you want turned on when you install, just leave everything at default and just simply install the game, don't be scared by what shows up when you install an .ISO file from your PC.
Now there are probably some questions like, what is Mode 1, 2 or 3? Well some games do have compatibility issues but there is a built in fix with the software. If you turn on certain modes they can stop a game from hanging on the load screen or crashing while you play.
A good example would be Final Fantasy 12, it hangs unless mode 1 is turned on. Most of this is figured out through trial and error. There are only a small combination of modes so just keep trying until you figure it out or just look online to see if the game is even compatible. There isn't a master list for it that I could be arsed to find but I will say this, it's rare that you will encounter a problem leaving it on the default, which is all modes turned off.
There used to be a website devoted to this entire thing called PS2HD.com but alas, they got hacked and haven't recovered. There was A LOT of information on this website about all compatible games and it was 2 or 3 years in the making...so I don't expect them to get up and running ever again.FINAL WORDS
I hoped this helped you guys figure this out and if it didn't, well... you learned something today so spread the good word. Again, I'm aware this is piracy, I don't want to advocate it and it's completely not my intention here.
This is a special case and I do indeed have a massive game collection. I've only pirated about 2% of my game collection because I had no other option and last I checked we only have one life in reality. If reality could only be like Super Mario Bros. then things would be different.
This program was intended to back up your PS2 games and save your DVD-R's laser in the PS2 from breaking that's why it's considered a legal program. Sony hasn't been successful in suing these guys asses off, they tried though back when and failed.
Am I in the club now?