hack your pstwo to support a hard disk

pstwo hdd
so when sony announced that the pstwo would not support an internal hard disk, a lot of people were rightfully dissapointed.  games like final fantasy xi are not playable on the new system.  more importantly, owners of the pstwo would never get the chance to drive seamlessly from city to city in grand theft auto by running the game directly from the hard disk.  just think of all the people you could be running over instead of waiting for the next city to load.

well, some hacker who goes by the name of automan has rewritten pstwo history.  photos of a pstwo with an internal hard disk have been popping up in forums around the net.  the job is not for the faint of heart, and you’ll need a 12v power supply to power the hard disk, but to help get you started i’ve included the ide wiring images after the break.

are there any brave souls that want to give this a try and confirm that it’s legit?

pstwo ide diagram

like i said, not for the faint of heart.  there’s lots of tiny solder jobs to be done.

pstwo ide connector pinout

49 thoughts on “hack your pstwo to support a hard disk

  1. He should have used a 2.5″ drive.. Sure, you can’t get them with the same capacities as the 3.5″s, but then you can draw +5 from the motherboard and make it neater..

  2. 2.5 drives are typically slower, in addition to having lower capacities. The whole point of the HD is to make the games faster to load. I have one of these setup on my V4 PS2. Also, you cannot play FFXI using a 3rd party, non-Sony HDD unit. They do something wierd to the firmware, and I wouldn’t even know how to install it to a HDD even if you could bypass the firmware issue.

  3. While they may spin slower, a number of my laptop hard drives that I have sitting around compensate for it by having a 16mb cache as opposed to the 8 or, in some cases, 2mb cache that the 3.5″ ones have. And I think that the Sony HDD drive is only 40GB, so if theirs does the job just fine, I don’t see why a laptop drive wouldn’t.

  4. Note that several people in that forum report the job working BUT their HDD gets reformatted after each reboot. Cool mod, but that reformat issue makes it pretty useless.

  5. there has got to be a way around the reformatting. i want to make a uber-mod with a 100GB 2.5″ ultra slimline HDD and a slim PS2 handheld. sweeeeeeeeet.

  6. Wanko: yes, but the whole point is to speed things up. Laptop drives run at 3600, 4200, and 5400. There are some 7200 rpm drives, but expect to pay out the nose. Most drives you see are 4200, maybe 5400 by now. Most PC drives are 7200 nowadays. The PS2 will take a 127GB drive, or larger if you run a patch on the HDLoader program. Forceflow: that cache only comes into play in certain circumstances. I would imagine with a PS2, it doesn’t have much time to use the cache, because games are not designed to stream very well, this is why you have load times between levels, and why adding a faster drive is better. You’re better off finding a spare 12V+ lead somewhere and using a larger capacity, faster, 3.5″ drive.

  7. 3.5″ 7200rpm have slight edge on speed, BUT the actual feed rate is determined by a matrix of rpm, track layout, sectors, head react speed, number of heads, and cache size and caching algorithm. The actual surface speed under the head and the caching efficiency seems to determine the overall speed …. but…. ANY of them are faster than reading the CD media via laser …. just my 2 cents

  8. is there a way that you could get a usb hdd to interface with the pstwo through its usb ports, seeing as how usb hdd’s usually have an independant power source? Would the newest version of hdloader, known as HDAdvance be used as the main program to handle the hdd in terms of loading games?

  9. There is no significant technical difference between 2.5″ notebook drives and 3.5″ desktop drives other than their dimensions. While 3.5″ drives have one to four platters, the more compact notebook drives usually have only one or two. That is necessary to keep the drives below the common drive height limit of 9.5 mm. The data density of notebook drives is very high today, with a maximum per-platter capacity of 50 GB.

    When it comes to maximum data transfer rates, a 2.5″ drive will never be able to compete with a 3.5″. The reason is that the fastest transfers occur on the outside of the platter, and 3.5″ platters have a larger circumference.

  10. Ok I’ve been toying with this concept for a long time and have many alternative ideas. The teadious soldering pattern looks like a win, but a major loss when the wires are pulled out by mistake. If anyone has a PS2 1-10 and has the Network adapter try networking from the slim to just the network adapter. If somehow it recognizes it then we’re halfway to successfully using HD on slim. If that works than maybe someone with the new wireless datastorage router can get that to detect.

    As for life of the laser eye. If your PS2 is dead you might be able to run an IDe and power extension through the front (cutting a hole) and using a DVD-ROM drive instead. I havn’t tested yet, but when you turn on your PS2 the Hard drive does boot up in an accessing mannor but then spins down and the DVD drive takes over….Just a thought maybe I’m crazy.

  11. I might try this ide mod just for the fun of it. Some stuff I’ve learned about the pstwo and hdd:
    First off if the hdd reformats: there is mention of this problem being fixed by dms’s new bios.
    Secound there is a prog just released called USBextreme that lets you play games via a usb external hdd on pstwo. Find USBadvance (same prog but free if you can find on the net.)
    So this project really isn’t necessary unless you just want to do for the fun of it.
    Lastly I had the idea of taking the eide cable plug out of an old cd-rom and soldering the wires to that so there is a plug on the back of my pstwo, no worry of wires being pulled and u can use a standard ide cable to plug into it.

  12. Reformat fixed!!!
    just power down HD before shutting off ps2.
    Also use ide cable shorter than 5″.
    Also update USB1.1 speeds as slow as dvd drive,
    don’t external USb prog like usbextreme not worth bothering with. This ide fix works alot better.

  13. i dont suppose anyone knows of a way to put a SCSI drive into a PS2? it would be really cool to have a sweet 15000rpm drive in a ps2!

  14. I have a ps2, not sure which version, with that big, empty bay sitting in it. I’d love to through an hd in there, but I don’t know the deal w/ ps2, seem to just have a lot of posts here on the pstwo. More importantly is my sweet LaCie 250GB firewire drive (design by Porche…ha). That firewire port on my ps2 is calling its name. Someone tell me if this is feasable or not

  15. I am definitely a newb, however many products have been release for the slim ps2. I have heard of successful laptop/notebook pc hard drive installs directly inside the slim ps2 and actually seen two slim ps2 system running hd advance without usb or connected or a mod chip installed, I know that one of the hd came from a toshiba tablet pc and the other came from a thin model dell laptop (insipirion, I think)… Is there anyway that a newb such as myself could add a laptop hd to my slim without having to use usb advance. I know they are expensive but I have access to some if it will work. I can solder and have soft modded several xbox systems and placed modchips in several psones and ps2 systems, but this is the extent of my knowledge with this type of work (step by step directions make anyone pretty nifty) Please help!

  16. Has anyone used this hack for booting a PS2 with Linux? I was wondering if this could be a solution for the slim PS2 users, since the Linux kit doesn’t support them (lack of HD connection).

  17. i have connected 80 GB hard disk inside slim ps2 but when i start it always aks to format the harddrive for what happening this thing happing if anyone have the reason will send thax

  18. dear sir im an engg. and working since last three years just in ps2 .. sir i had copied the all circut of ur ps2 slim using hdd.. but it is not showing any hardware eror when it is not pluged any hdd.. coz all big ps2 shows.. pls help me to conect an hdd in slim ps2

  19. If u guys have read the post about saving ps2 games to a hard drive, im assumping that in order for the HDadvance to work, you have to do this crap. Has any one tested it out?

  20. can anyone explain why i cant use my usb as a flash drive? and how can i put a hard drive in using usb or the expansion bay? are there any programs i can download for the ps2 online or some fun mods?

  21. You know, there are programs like USBAdvance and others that will allow you to utilize the usb ports on the system – that way just connect a usb harddrive (or enclosurer) to the port and you’re all set!

  22. the URL of picture that show the PS2 IDE DIAGRAM in the page that url is : “http://www.hackaday.com/entry/1234000950031560″ is not found, please send me this picture to my E-MAIL ” rfbins136@yahoo.com” tanx

  23. My ps2 (v3) laser is dead and a new laser costs same as a new ps2 just a little less at my place so i was thinking of soldering my pc IDE dvd rom to my ps2 can this be done? Are there any tutorials for it

  24. I HAVE A PAL-NTSC CONVERTOR 0F PS2 MODEL SPCH 107 AND ITS BROKEN I WOULD LIKE TO NOW HOW CAN I FIX IT I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A HARDWARE (CIRCUIT)MAP OF THE CONVERTOR AN ALSO LIKE TO KNOW THAT WHICH OTHER CIRCUIT CAN I USE TO MAKE A CONVERTOR

  25. i have ps2 version 11 can anyone explain how i can use my usb as a flash drive? and how can i put a hard drive in using usb ? are there any programs i can download for the ps2 online or some fun mods?

  26. Helloeverybody. I got tires searching for hacks like these but not with Play station. My question is to modify my DVD player to support HDD so that i could watch my 30 DVD movies from HDD. Has anyone done it?

  27. hi all..could someone post install diagrams for this please as i am unsure which pins represent which number..is no.1 pin representing top left pin on hard drive? and no.2 pin bottom left pin on hard drive??thanks

  28. Hardisk 2.5 sata with IDE converter work fine with this HAck (only for scph-7xxxx6) now can you find PIN IDE for PS2 fat (running without Network Adapter)

  29. I did all the soldering and everything looks fine. I still have the FORMAT EVERY TIME problem. Any solutions to that, can anyone send me some info plz? raulalehdez @ hotmail .

    Hey budsy do you have any photos of your install?
    Im into the pinout diagram for the fat ps2 i just need to get the adapter to follow traces.

    thanks in advance

    1. elton
      PStwo power brick steps down the 120V AC to 8.5V before it reaches the console. you may be able to draw a 5V power though.

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