HOW-TO: PSP 2.00 to 1.50 downgrade

UPDATE: Since this how-to was first written things have changed. Sony has released firmware 2.01 which makes this downgrade impossible. A PSP bricker trojan was released because of this antivirus software will classify both the good and bad downgrade files as harmful. You should do more research into the current state of the downgrade before attempting. As far as we know our firmware links are still good, we are not hosting them so we can not vouch for their safety.

C.K. Sample, III, TUAW / WIN Blogger and author of the forthcoming book, PSP Hacks, got his hands on the version 2.0 downgrader and wrote up a thorough how- to complete with pics for us. He even takes the extra steps to upgrade and downgrade yet again, just to make sure such a thing is possible.

As you can see, I have 2.0 running with the browser on my PSP. one

Step 1: Download the downgrader from either here, here or here. Then make sure you get a copy of the original 1.5 firmware upgrader. I found my copy here.

Step 2: Connect your PSP to your computer via USB. On your memory stick, create a folder called UPDATE inside /PSP/GAME/ and place the EBOOT.PBP file from the 1.50 update inside this UPDATE folder.

Step 3: Unzip Drop overflow.tif into your /PSP/PHOTO/ folder. Put both h.bin and index.dat in the root of your Memory Stick.

Step 4: Disconnect your PSP from your computer and plug in the AC adapter.

Step 5: Navigate to Photo then Memory Stick via the PSP’s menu system and start scrolling down through your photos until you reach the overflow.tif picture.

You’ll know you’ve hit it when everything freezes and you get a black screen with a bunch of white text output.

If your PSP freezes without going to this black text screen, then hold the power button for about 10 seconds until the PSP shuts down, then hit the power button again to start it back up. Repeat this step until you get that black screen.

Step 6: Don’t panic. Hold the power button for about 10 seconds until the PSP powers off. Hit the power button again. Your PSP will start up, and if you navigate to your System Information, you’ll discover that your PSP thinks it is running version 1.0 of the firmware. It isn’t and you cannot run homebrew (yet).

Step 7: Navigate to Game–>Memory Stick, hit the X button, and navigate to the 1.5 updater. Make sure you have your PSP plugged in or the upgrade won’t work. Click the X button and update like you normally would. At the end of the upgrade you will receive an error saying that the upgrade failed and to contact Sony. Don’t panic. Ignore this and again force your PSP to power off and reboot.

Step 8: After the PSP reboots you will receive an error screen that is scary and confusing because it is in multiple languages. Don’t panic. Find the language you can understand and read the corresponding line. It notes that your preferences are fragged and that you need only hit the O button to restore some default-ish settings. Hit the O button. eight

Step 9: The PSP will start back up and you will go through the initial setup like the day when you first bought your PSP. Do so and then go to the system info pane again, where you will see that you are rocking version 1.5. Run homebrew at will.nine ten
I ran through this entire procedure, then I downloaded the 2.0 update and installed that again, and then yet again went through the entire procedure again. It works like a charm. It’s a little time-consuming, but you can have the best of both worlds. Have fun!

644 thoughts on “HOW-TO: PSP 2.00 to 1.50 downgrade

  1. Try NOT hitting the O button at the error screen, and instead pull the battery. If yours starts up without getting an error again, you may have found out that you can keep the browser….though I need to do more testing to be sure that it is completely stable, na? :)

  2. …and not a single word of warning that the PSP’s internal flash memory wasn’t meant to be written to more than a handful of times in the product’s lifetime? Well, just keep switching between versions as much as you want then… I’m sure Sony will help you out if something goes wrong.

  3. It works. I need to try doing it again and remove the battery to try to get the browser too. If that works, then I’ll be in PSP heaven. also, #7, yes, warning, may damage PSP if you do it repeatedly, blah blah blah, BUT I bought the protection plan when I got my second PSP, so if either of them bricks within the next 4 years I’m swapping it out for a replacement. ;-)

  4. this working brilliantly. no browser but I didn’t use it anyway. BUT then I tried playing Burnout and was told that I have to upgrade my system to play. kinda annoying. you would think that after the ps2 Linux kit that sony would encourage homebrew develoment. Well done on the working hack though

  5. I noticed that the 1.5 firmware provided is the Japanese verson? Does this make any difference at all?

    I really, really, don’t want to lose $250 bucks doing this… so I’m being real careful…


  7. A word of warning: if you do the battery pull thing, make sure you unplug the AC adapter first; otherwise, the PSP may still work, but you won’t be able to run it off of the AC or charge your battery any more via the plug. I fried one PSP that way while doing my hacking for the book. Now I charge its battery with an external charger and the PSP still works fine, sans this one but of functionality.

    #20. If it freezes before you get to the pic and you get a black screen with some white text at the top (pictured above), then good. That’s exactly what is supposed to happen. Go on to the next step. If it simply freezes, then force the PSP power off and try again until you get that black screen with white text goodness.

    #19. put those files on the memory stick but not in any of the folders on the memory stick ie, the root directory, as in /.

    n00b mileage may vary ;-)

  8. i follow the steps to downgrade, but when i start 1.5 firmware, i got this following error message

    The system cannot be updated.
    The update program is not applicable for this system

    Can any one tell me what’s going on here

  9. I just downgraded mine, my psp also froze before i could select the tif file, i just kept on going! except that i didnt get the multi-language O option and im running 1.50 now!
    to answer your question #19 the root of the mem stick is where you can see the DCIM, MP_ROOT, MISC, PSP folders, thats where you put the h.bin and the index.dat files

    Now to find some games!

  10. ANYBODY who has aim IM me at macfalife707 cause this stuff is pissin me off. The step where it freezes and you are supposed to be seeing a line of white text on a black screen. It just ain’t happenin. ANYBODY!!!!! Thanks.

  11. Whoever said that removing the battery after recieving the update error is a liar. This will not retain your web browser if you use this method, granted it won’t hurt your PSP, but it also won’t leave you with a browser

  12. If you want to keep your browser, you should pull out the battery and the AC plug while the update is running. When the update starts it overwrites the older files. And when you are quick enough, it will NOT overwrite the embedded browser. Be warned, this method will probably brick your PSP… a real geek-styled paperweight.

  13. HELL i tried it and it worked :) can’t belive it 5 mins no problems UK/Irish Ver came with 1.52 I updraged to 2.0 from the UMD then i used the downgrader I HAVE 1.50 Now to see if I can get games working I CAN’T BELIVED IT WORK PERFECT…

  14. @ whoever it keeps freezing on,

    i read this tutorial posted here and its wrong.

    step 3 (& subsequently the rest) are wrong… this is why you are having freezing issues.

    before you do step 3 you need to copy a file called frame_buffer.png into the PHOTO folder on your PSP and SET IT AS THE BACKGROUND.

    The author missed this extremely important step in the downgrade process! (sorry to pick you up on this, all the rest is very nice =) but non-useable if step 3 isn’t altered)

    Once set as the background continue with the tutorial…

    Your PSP wont freeze @ step 3 :P

    Cap. out.

  15. It seems that the ability to retain the web browser is a go with some PSPs, but not with others. I was able to keep mine, and others have stated that they have been able to as well.

    It seems that not everybody was able to do this, is there a reason? I don’t know. But I will ask: which “version” of the 2.0 did you guys have? I had the Japanese 2.0 when it was first released. It is proven that the 2.0 was changed before it reached America, and now (even in japan) the old one doesn’t exist anymore. maybe people with the Japanese can (or have had better luck) and the ppl with the American version can’t? I don’t know.

  16. @#41 capillum


    It works jsut fine without the “Frame_buffer.png” file being used. This was discovered, a WEEK ago in the dev forums. that .png file doesn’t need to be there, but it would be nice to tell people instead that they need to remove their current wallpaper. I had to, maybe others do. The frame_buffer.png file, though? Nope, not needed.

  17. @#43 naru

    my apologies naru. i have only known people to do it this way, as was advised to do on many PSP sites. however if it works without any wallpaper at all that may have been those guys problem – heed advice of a stranger for he shall correct et al defect

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