AfterDawn Forums

Playing games from HDD using HDLoader/HDAdvance GUIDE

This discussion thread has 82 messages.

I've seen quite a few threads asking about what you need to play games from the HDD, so I've decided to compile a tutorial for anyone who has question about this.

Depending on what version you have, you may or may not be able to play games from the HDD (check your version here:
- V0, very few people have this, and if you have this you can't have an IDE HDD connected to your PS2 because it doesn't have the expansion port
- V1-V11, you can add an IDE HDD to your PS2 with a network adaptor
- V12-V13, you can use HD Combo ( which lets you add an IDE HDD to your PS2
- V14, you can't use an IDE HDD with this

Now all the versions can use an USB HDD instead (I'm not sure about V0 as I've only seen one before and it was ages ago), but note the compatibility isn't the best, and is really slow, but if you have a V14 or a V12-V13 and don't want to get HD Combo, then this is your only option.

For the PS2:
- Network adaptor
- IDE HDD (be sure to check for compatibility before you buy one:

- HD Combo
- IDE HDD (again, check compatibility)

And if you have a laptop, an USB enclosure for the IDE HDD.

Software (you can get all these from
- HDLoader (for the PS2 to load games from the HDD)
- Winhiip (for the PC to copy games from your PC to HDD)

(I won't be covering USB HDD here, because personally I think unless you have a V14, DON'T use this, it's just not worth it)

This is my hardware setup:

Installing the games onto your HDD using Winhiip
Before I start, you CAN install games using HDLoader (installing game directly from disc using your PS2), however I avoid doing this at all cost, because why put extra strain on your laser when the main goal in using HDD (in my case anyway) to play games is to avoid damaging the laser?

Also, you can use HDL dump to install games by connecting your PC and PS2 up using a crossover ethernet cable, but this is REALLY slow (about an hour compared to 5-15minutes), and I just don't have the patience for this method, besides removing your HDD from PS2, connecting it to your PC and installing a game takes 20~30mins max, which is still a lot faster than using HDL dump.

Now onto Winhiip

First you need to format the HDD, this is done by connecting the HDD to your PC (either using the IDE cable or an USB enclosure), then open up Winhiip. Select the HDD you want to use for your PS2

when you do this the first time it'll display an error message saying that the HDD isn't in PS2 format

so you'll need to format it:

And it'll bring up this dialog, proceed with the following settings:

After you've formatted the HDD, you can then proceed to installing the games, you can either install them from image file or optical drive by clicking on Add Image(s)

After your selected the source for installing the game, this dialog will pop up, you can enter the name of the game (Menu Name), whether it's a CD or DVD game (Media Type), and lastly compatibility (as given by

After you press OK, the program will start to install the game, and you can see the progress in the new dialog that appeared, when it reaches 100% you are done

Once you've installed all the games you want to install on the HDD, remove the HDD from your PC/USB enclosure, and connect it to your network adaptor, then to the PS2.

Using HDLoader
Depending on whether you have a modchip/swap magic or not, you need HDLoader or HDAdvance 3.0 (pressed version of HDLoader 0.7c). However I'd suggest that you get swap magic instead of HDAdvance if you don't have a modchip/swap magic, because you can do more with swap magic than HDAdvance.

First you need to burn HDLoader to a disc, the ISO file for HDLoader can be found in . Also if you have a modchip that supports DEV1 mode, you can also copy HDLoader to your MC so you don't need a disc. Accessing DEV1 mode for each modchip is slightly different, so have a search on the net to see if your chip supports it and how to use it.

Once HDLoader is loaded, you'll see a list of the games you have installed on your HDD, select your game and play away! For a more detailed instruction on HDLoader/HDAdvance, check out this link:

As always, there might be errors/mistakes in the guide, so if there's any mistakes let me know and I'll change it :)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Jul 2006 @ 20:26

Forum rules:
Burning/ripping CD/DVD games:
Copying game saves from PC to PS2 using uLaunchELF:
Playing games from HDD using HDLoader:
▼▼ This topic has 81 answers - they are below this advertisement ▼▼
AfterDawn Advertisement
is it possible to play ps2 games off my PC hard Drive? maybe through partioning or something?


I downloaded the HDLoader 8B - BIN/CUE/ISO - CD file from, unpacked it and burned the HDL_8B_ISO file to a CD-R and tried loading it in my fat ps2, but it wouldn't read the disk.. Am I doing something totally wrong here?

btw- I plan to put in a HDD with the network adapter and transfer games to the HDD and play from there (I think that the laser is starting to go..)

Thanks for your help!
so anytime that i want to load from the hard drive i will first need to load from HDLoader's disc?

and if i do not have an official PRESSED version of HDLoader, then i will also have to first use my magic swap?
ok this may be a little retarded but how do i connect my ide hd to the net adapter on my ps2....i have a v10

Danny T

Put the drive with the ide end face outside of the ps2... and then i think the net adapter just goes right on..

Sushi for life~ [Bars to] <-- was addictive.. til_._
yikes.. I got suspended for this this :\ Let me make it a lot smaller. >.>;;;
you know i have never paid attn to the fact that a fuckin hard drive could hook up to the back of the net apt....aint that some shit....well i wil format and make sure thats how it works
thanks man

Danny T

What are typical transfer speeds from transferring games to the HDD via winhiip? I've been getting around 2 - 3 MB/s.. The config for my HDDs are that the games are residing on the primary slave ide connection and the ps2 hdd is on the secondary slave connection.. i know that's not the most efficient method but any other tidbits on how to increase transfer rates?

V1/2/3 ps2 (unmodded, nearly dead laser)
200gb Seagate HDD
Memory Card Exploit
Hdloader 0.8a
welly my transfer rate was pretty sow also....but i dont usb 2 so that migh be the case anyhow i am still having an issue here...
i ot everything done....i formatted the hd loaded the iso's burned the hd loader HDL_8B_CD and it boots up fine sees my hd just fine and i select the game and then it just stays black after that....can someone help me....thanks
this is what i have ...........

Date added: 2004-12-14 Posted by: DeLL_LuiZ
Brand: Maxtor Firmware: N/A
Model number: 6L080J4 Manufacture date: N/A
Model name / serie: DiamondMaxPlus Buffersize: 2 MB
Drive size: 80 GB RPM: 7200
PS2 version: v10 Progam(s): HD Loader & DMS Explorer
Adaptor model: Ethernet and Modem




Danny T

CalMate Suspended due non-functional email address

no, i don't think thats possible. the harddrive has to be inside the playstation for it to work


unless your playstation is modded, it won't work. you might need to buy a retail pressed version of hdloader off their website.




make sure the drive's jumper settings are set to 'master' then just attach the harddrive to the network adaptor

my ps2 isn't modded.. i just used the mc exploit and am running the patched HDL.

i did buy the retail version of hdloader to get me started, but i'm just using a psx game as a trigger and transferred hdl to the mc.
ok man i tried all the slots for the jumper and still nothing....
i get to see the games and still cant get the games to load after i selected which one i want....what has me goin right now is the 24 and 48 bit which one do i use?
and how do i know....

Danny T

Very nice Document and i did every thing what it said over here but I am getting an error

ERROR:failed to mount filesystem:hdd0:PP.HDL.Pirates of Cariban-5

Here what i did
(1) Connect my HDD to PC and format using WinZIP 1.7.6 in full pmode.
(2) Add the image using winhzip.
(3) Connect the HDD back to PS2 ( change the jumper setting).
(4) Boot the PS2 using MC exploit.
(5) PS2 boot succsssfully and using PS2Menu and the next screen said the above error.

Is i am doing some thing wrong. Please help me.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 24 Sep 2006 @ 10:53
Is there anyway i can run games off the hdd from a burned copy of hd advance?? Im using swap magic and i can install games onto my hdd with the burned copy of hd advance just fine. However when i go to run a game i just get a black screen and it will stay black until i turn the system off.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Sep 2006 @ 1:26
KingB1977 Suspended due non-functional email address
I have the original PS2 (the fat one) and an external HDD....How do I get USB Advance to play my games? USB Advance loads up and has a list of my games on my hard drive but when i click on the game I get a blank screen and the game does not load ...what do I have to do?
nice guide Dan168
Great Guide Pictures and everything.

Snake-"Metal Gear?"
kingb, go to
94.4% of games are INCOMPATIBLE with USBAdvance. Look at the list. You may as well buy a network adapter and save yourself the trouble.

Sushi for life~ [Bars to] <-- was addictive.. til_._
yikes.. I got suspended for this this :\ Let me make it a lot smaller. >.>;;;
can't you do this using the network adaptor instead of pluging it into your computer every time?

PS2, HDAdvance 3.0, 80G Maxtor HD.looking for more!!
If you're only using your PS2 to play games off HDD, can you leave the HDAdvance disc in your PS2 indefinitely? I don't see any reason why you'd need to remove the disc, save perhaps trying to run other homebrew apps. Will this be a problem for the system? Also, does it put that much strain on the PS2 laser to read HDadvance. I would think the burden is far less than playing any store bought PS2 game.

Further question, would I need to remove the disc if I wanted to play some of my games online?

[edit] dt37210 - i wouldnt use the HDL 8b. I kept getting black screens myself. I used the ps1 exploit and have a copy of each version of HDL and the one that works the best for me was 7e and 7c. Im using 24bit mode. the 24bit mode is for hard drives 137gb and less and the 48bit mode is from hard drives 137gb and more. also check if you have the right modes set for the games. <-- list of games with modes.

[edit x2] rajadawn - are you using the HDL ELF? I tihnk that may be your problem. I did the same thing in my ps2-n00b days

mx6 - I put it in my computer each time only on weekends :\ save myself the trouble. i have 2 computers so one gets the games transfered and unloaded and the hd is attached there. its faster and easier to me at least.

newbone- i leave dvds in my ps2 all the time. the ps2 will auto boot the disc upon startup. i know for a fact, hdloader shuts off the laser motor when playing games off the hd. i use both the original hdl and the ELF hdl versions [ps1 exploit] and when i put my ear to ps2 during the play from a PS2 disc, i hear a noise different that what i hear when im playing off the hd.
hdloader is a simple interface so it should put less strain. IF YOU ARE COPYING GAMES FROM THE PS2 TO THE HD your laser will die a lil faster. its like playing a game with superness.
hdadvance, which is a copy of hdloader [i hope you knew that] disables online mode. ive tried mgs3 subsistence and all i got was a black screen. :\ hope this help if only a little.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Oct 2006 @ 16:23

Sushi for life~ [Bars to] <-- was addictive.. til_._
yikes.. I got suspended for this this :\ Let me make it a lot smaller. >.>;;;
Can any of you nice people tell me how to get my movies and music onto my hdd.I have a partition ready just don't know how to get the files there.Is there program out there like winhiip but for moving avi's,mp3's ect.I have looked into it and couldn't find anything now i have a noob headache.
jerzmob Suspended due non-functional email address
okay i have a question about the hdcombo method. i was reading around the tech spec section and it said something about loading Hdloader through the memory card??? does this mean i don't need my ps2 modded to use the backup version of hdloader??? If so how am i able to place hdloader and run it through my memory card???? thx
Hi ya all!

Dan168 writes:
"Depending on whether you have a modchip/swap magic or not, you need HDLoader or HDAdvance 3.0 (pressed version of HDLoader 0.7c). However I'd suggest that you get swap magic instead of HDAdvance if you don't have a modchip/swap magic, because you can do more with swap magic than HDAdvance."

So when I've got at standard (no chip or other mod.) PS2 V7/8 and wants to play games from HDD I could either:
1. Buy a version of HDADvance 3.0 from a retailer
2. Buy swap magic from a retailer (but then I'll need a slide card or?)

There is no possibility for me to run games from HDD using a downloaded copy of a boot cd when I haven't got a chip or slide card etc.?

I put my HDD in a USB enclosure case and opened winhIIp and my hd wasnt under "select drive"
kevinko Suspended due non-functional email address
Originally posted by Puner:
I put my HDD in a USB enclosure case and opened winhIIp and my hd wasnt under "select drive"
i have the same problem......:(
This discussion thread has been automatically closed, as it hasn't received any new posts during the last 180 days. This means that you can't post replies or new questions to this discussion thread.

If you have something to add to this topic, use this page to post your question or comments to a new discussion thread.