Ps2HdLoaderFaq

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Contents

Official HD Loader FAQ

wiki version by ModRobert


How-To

Before you can use HDLoader, you will need the following:

1. An official Sony PS2 network adapter, as shown below. Either type (Ethernet only, Ethernet and Modem) can be used.

howto1.jpg

2. A suitable hard disk drive. You have two options here - the official Sony hard disk drive, or a standard IDE hard disk drive with a capacity of AT LEAST 40GB. If you use a standard IDE drive, you will need to make sure that it actually fits into your network adapter. There are a few known compatibility issues with some non-Sony hard disk drives, please see the compatibility section for more information. Both a Sony and standard IDE hard disk drive are shown below.

howto2.jpg

3. A PS2 with a "DEV9" expansion port. All PS2's will have this expansion port except for the first three Japanese models (SCPH 10000, SCPH 15000 and SCPH 18000) which have a PCMCIA expansion port instead. These models are not supported by HDLoader.

How to connect a hard disk drive to your PS2

If you have an official Sony hard disk drive, then please install it according to the directions in its manual. If you will be using a standard IDE hard disk drive, then please install it according to the following directions.

The first step is to make sure that the hard disk drive you intend to connect to your PS2 will actually fit into your network adapter. Check that the IDE and power ports on your hard disk drive properly align with the IDE and power connectors on your network adapter, as shown below.

howto3.jpg

Configure the jumper setting on the hard disk drive so it is set to MASTER. To find the correct jumper settings for your hard disk drive, either check the label on top of the hard disk drive or consult your reference manual.

Attach the hard disk drive to the network adapter by lining up the IDE and power ports/connectors and pressing firmly, as shown below.

howto4.jpg

Carefully slide the hard disk drive into the PS2 expansion bay as shown below.

howto5.jpg

Push until the network adapter is connected to the back of your PS2, then screw in the screws on the back of the network adapter to secure the hard disk drive and network adapter in place as shown below.

howto6.jpg

Congratulations, you have successfully connected a hard disk drive to your PS2==


FAQ

HDD related questions

What hard disk drives will work with HDLoader?

Most standard IDE hard disk drives will work with HDLoader, very few are known to actually have problems. If you want a HDD which is guaranteed to work, get an official Sony internal HDD - but be warned that the capacity of these drives is fixed to 40GB. If you want a larger drive capable of storing more games then we recommend that you purchase a 80 or 120GB Maxtor HDD. Please keep in mind that this is only a recommendation and we cannot take any liability if you purchase a drive which is incompatible with HDLoader ;)

Please do not email us asking if a specific HDD is supported. Obviously we cannot tell you for sure since we do not have access to every model of HDD - but we can tell you that just about all which meet the requirement of 40GB capacity are supported. You may wish to take a look at the [UN-OFFICIAL HDD compatibility chart] which lists various HDD's as working or non-working, however we cannot verify the accuracy of this chart.

Can I use an external HDD, such as one connected via USB?

No, and external HDD's are not likely to ever be supported as the transfer speed would be too slow to make it worthwhile.

Do I need to format my HDD before use with HDLoader?

No. HDLoader requires the HDD to be formatted with the proprietary PS2 format (APA), and HDLoader will format the HDD for you if necessary. If you have already formatted your HDD with another PS2 utility such as the HDD utility disk then you will not need to format it again.

I have a hard disk drive installed in my PS2, but HDLoader says there isn't one installed= What gives?=

Your hard disk drive is not compatible with HDLoader or your master (Slave does not work) switch is not set correctly on your hard disk.

What are the maximum and minimum hard disk drive sizes supported by HDLoader?

The maximum hard disk drive size supported by HDLoader is 120gb, and the minimum size is 40gb. If you use a HDD with a capacity larger than 120GB (ie: 160GB, 200GB) then only the first 137GB will be useable.

What buffer size/rpm/ATA speed should my HDD have?

HDLoader will work with most HDD's, regardless of the buffer size etc. You dont need to worry about these details.


Compatibility related questions

XXX does not work with HDLoader= What can I do?=

First, check the compatibility page and see if the game you are having problems with is listed. If so then we are already aware of the problems with the game, and are working towards a fix. If not please first try to enable compatibility modes for the game (specifically, Mode 1 and/or Mode 3) and see if this helps. Once you have experimented with modes, contact us to let us know that the game has problems working with HDLoader, and if enabling compatibility modes helped or not. For more information about compatibility modes please see the compatibility page.

HDLoader freezes at the splash screen= Help!=

A few hard disk drives (specifically, a few recent Segate models) do not play nicely with older models of the official Sony PS2 network adapter. Please see the compatibility page for more information.

Is HDLoader compatible with DVD-9 (Dual layer) games?

Games on DVD-9 media are currently unsupported by HDLoader. If you attempt to install a DVD-9 game it is likely that the installation will appear successful, but any attempt to actually run the game will most likely fail. There are currently under 10 DVD-9 games for the PS2, so hopefully this is not too much of a problem.

Is HDLoader compatible with modchips?

Yes.

Can I use a cheat device such as Action Replay or Gameshark with HDLoader?

No, unfortunately this is not possible at this time.

Will future games work with HDLoader?

Considering that "future games" are not yet released, it is a bit hard to determine if these will work with HDLoader or not. Please stop asking us this question :)

What PS2 models will HDLoader work with?

HDLoader will currently work with all PS2's except for the first three Japanese models: SCPH 10000, SCPH 15000 and SCPH 18000.

Why does your game compatibility list not match lists found on other websites?

Unlike some other websites, we only add entries to the non-working list once we have verified that the game in question does not work with HDLoader.

I've emailed you about a non-working game, why is it not on the compatibility list yet?

As mentioned above, we only add entries to the non-working list once we have verified that the game in question does not work with HDLoader.


Miscellaneous questions

Where can I purchase HDLoader?

See the distributors page for links to places where you may purchase HDLoader.

What do I need in order to use HDLoader, and/or how do I install a HDD in my PS2?

Check the howto page for more details.

Can I play Playstation 1 games with HDLoader?

No. Unfortunately, this will be impossible with HDLoader.

How does the installation process work?

Once HDLoader is running, you can choose the "Install" command from the toolbar. You will then be prompted to eject the HDLoader disc and insert your game disc. After you have inserted your game disc you need to input a name for the game. After a title has been assigned to the game, the installation process begins, and HDLoader will transfer the entire contents of the disc to the HDD. It is not possible to install a game over a network - it is only possible to install a game from a disc inserted into your Playstation 2 DVD drive.

Can I use HDLoader to store my saved games on the HDD?

No, this is not currently possible.

Can I still use my memory card to store gaved game data?

Yes.

Will I need the HDLoader disc inserted in my PS2 each time I wish to play a game from my HDD?

Yes. In order to boot a game using HDLoader, you must insert the HDLoader disc and then launch the game from the GUI.

How fast are games transferred from the disc to the HDD?

That depends on the media type and amount of data to be transferred. The approximate maximum transfer rate for a CD is 700kb/second, and for DVD it is 1.5mb/second. Please note that the transfer rate is not constant, it starts off slow and gets faster. This is due to the fact that the PS2 can read data faster from the outside of a disc than it can from the inside of a disc.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to use HDLoader? Is this why a network adapter is required?

No, you do not need to be connected to the internet to use HDLoader. The network adapter is only required because it is used to physically connect a HDD to your PS2.

Can I use HDLoader to play my games online?

You can play any games which do NOT use DNAS online. As stated on the compatibility page the DNAS check will fail when HDLoader is used, so it is not possible to play DNAS enabled games online using HDLoader.

How many games can I store on my HDD?

This depends on both the size of your games and the size of your HDD. Lets assume that you have a 120GB HDD and the average size of your games is 2GB. 120GB / 2GB = 60 games.

Can I install backups/imports using HDLoader?

We cannot comment on this. Any emails asking this question will be ignored.

Does HDLoader conflict with other HDD enabled software such as PlayOnline, FFXI etc?

No, HDLoader does not interfere with any other HDD enabled software.

Do I need a modified Playstation 2 in order to use HDLoader?

No - HDLoader is provided as a pressed, bootable Playstation 2 disc. No modifications are required.


Compatibility

Hard Disk Drive Compatibility:

HDLoader is compatible with all official Sony PS2 INTERNAL hard disk drives, and most other standard IDE hard disk drives with a capacity of 40GB or larger. Most Western Digital drives do not physically fit onto the PS2 network adapter wihout some modification, so we recommend that you stay clear of this brand. There are also issues with some modern Segate drives, which cause problems when used in conjunction with older models of the official Sony PS2 network adapter. We recommend using a Maxtor brand HDD with HDLoader.

If HDLoader freezes at the splash screen for you, then it is due to the conflict mentioned above. In order to resolve this you will either need to purchase a new hard disk drive or network adapter (if you need to get a new network adapter, try and get one that includes the modem).


DNAS Compatibility:

DNAS (Dynamic Network Authentication System) is an authentication system used in all recent online capable PS2 game titles. It is used for a number of things - for example, checking if you are using a backup of a game or a modchip. In this case the check takes place when you go online with the game. If a backup or modchip is detected then DNAS authentication will fail and you will not be able to play the game online. You cannot go online with a DNAS enabled game unless the DNAS authentication is successful.

When HDLoader is used to play a DNAS enabled game, any attempt to go online will be unsuccessful as the DNAS authentication will FAIL. There is currently no way around this, other than to use your original game disc to play the game online.


Compatibility Menu

Some games have trouble working with HDLoader, but often these games can be made to work by enabling one or more "compatibility modes" for that game. In order to enable one or more compatibility modes for a game, have the game selected in the game list and press SELECT on your controller. This will bring up the compatibility settings menu. From here you can individually enable or disable each of the three compatibility modes. When you alter the compatibility modes for a game, these changes are preserved even after switching off your console - so you only need to do it once. The list above shows the games which require compatibility modes to be enabled, and which modes should be enabled for each game.


DVD-9 Games

Games on DVD-9 media are currently unsupported by HDLoader. If you attempt to install a DVD-9 game it is likely that the installation will appear successful, but any attempt to actually run the game will most likely fail. There are currently under 10 DVD-9 games for the PS2, so hopefully this is not too much of a problem.


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