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Project: Replacing my PS2 DVD drive with other storage device

Discussion in 'PS2' started by Ralicx, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Ralicx

    Ralicx Member

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    Yep I'm new here. I searched the forums for a similar hack to no avail so here goes.

    I've had an old broken ps2 my friend gave me to try and fix lying around for some time now. It has the common disc read error issue. I can't be bothered to buy a new laser as that would be boring and there's no guarantee of it working, so instead I've decided to start a little project.

    What I want to do is replace the entire DVD drive with some other form of storage device, ideally a hard drive, some sort of solid state (compact flash) storage, or just another DVD drive depending on the situation. I realize that to do this I may have to use an FPGA to interface to the device, and I am comfortable in my ability to program one. What I really need is some in depth technical information on how the ps2 works. Specific info on the disc drive interface would be great, but anything will do.

    If the ps2 uses a standard interface such as ATA I can imagine this will be a lot simpler, although maybe the copy protection will get in the way? If it does use a standard interface will I need to create a device to trick it into believing its the original DVD drive?

    Has anyone tried doing this before with success or failure?

    I read about modchips but:
    (A) They don't appear to have the functionality I need, apart from perhaps if the ps2 uses a standard interface.

    (B) I'd prefer to make my own anyway as this is a project, and using a modchip would be cheating.

    Also I have read that there is the ability for the ps2 to connect "officially" with an ATA device, I will assume this doesn't necessarily mean the native DVD drive does though. Maybe hijacking this would be a better option than the DVD interface?

    Cheers

    Ralicx
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  3. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    the fat ps2 can use a IDE hdd IF you have the network adapter.

    you MUST have the dvd drive working, or else you will need a modchip to bypass the dvd drive.
  4. Ralicx

    Ralicx Member

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    Thanks for the reply but I think you misunderstood what I asked and am trying to do.
  5. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    you want to remove the dvd tray and replace it with some storage medium. you can remove the dvd drive, but the ps2 will be stuck in the browser.

    no one has dumped the ps2 bios and recompiled their own, which means you're stuck with the original ps2 bios, and that require use of the dvd drive.


    you can use a ide hdd, if you have the network adapter because the network adapter has a molex connector and the ide connector. [​IMG]

    the ps2 and hdd communicates via a proprietary connector.
    [​IMG]



    playing ps2 games off the hdd requires hdloader/hdadvanced. they're software that allows iso images of ps2 games to be played off the hdd. you will either need the .elf file or a disc. you can only boot directly into hdloader/hdadvanced IF you have a modchip that supports dev1/2/3.
  6. Ralicx

    Ralicx Member

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    Hi cee43ja1, thanks for the info.

    I thought that the whole idea of the mod chips was to effectively override the BIOS, so surely people must have dumped it, reverse engineered it, and compiled their own already. Do you know if the proprietary connector has just a pass through to the IDE bus or is there any logic in between them?

    That aside what I'm looking to do here is create an abstraction layer between the ps2 and the new storage device. The idea would be to trick the ps2 into thinking it is communicating with its dvd drive when in fact it is communicating with the device I've created to sit in as "the middle man". To do this I will need the specification of interface the Playstation uses for its DVD drive communication.

    From what you've said, if I don't want to modify the original BIOS then it doesn't look like I will be able bootstrap to the ATA interface anyhow. So for the moment until someone comes and tells me that the info I'm looking for definitely doesn't exist, that is not the path I want to pursue.

    Again the idea of this isn't to go out and buy a mod chip to do the work for me, I want to hack it myself. Why you ask? Because it's a challenge, and challenges are fun.


    I assumed that this forum would be a good place to ask where I might find this info, as I can imagine this sort of data is needed to build a mod chip. However looking around I don't see many "technical" threads; Just seems to be people asking about why the mod chip they bought won't work, rather than people trying to actually hack the ps2.

    If anyone can link me to some information or even better send me some privately I would be very grateful.
  7. cee43ja1

    cee43ja1 Regular member

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    modchips do contain a bios, but they are built from scratch, and do not replace the sony bios. from my understanding, they are soldered to certain parts of the motherboard to override the standard bios security.

    the modchip basically removes the security sector that is checked on pressed discs. any cd/dvd inserted will act like a pressed disc.


    the network adapter contains two (technically three) parts. the mainboard that contains the proprietary connector and the ethernet/phone jack, the ide header, and the molex connector.

    [​IMG]

    main use is to have the ps2 connect to the internet.



    you won't find the info you want on aD. you'll only find the basics, and if anything works or not. in depth knowledge of the systems won't be found here, and since no one has the blueprints of the system, reverse engineering is needed. modchip companies is probably the closest who may have the info, since they have to find out how to bypass the security and region override.
  8. Ralicx

    Ralicx Member

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    It doesn't look like I'm going to find the information I want here then.

    Thanks again cee43ja1.

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