Important: This was written June of 2017. The information may no longer be up-to-date. Use at your own risk.
I just wanted to share my adventure in loading disc images (ISOs) on my PS2. To see it in action, checkout my [YouTube video].
This can be done a couple different ways. The most common way is load the images off of a USB hard drive or thumb drive. This can be a problem because the PS2 used USB 1.1 which is too slow to reliably play disc images without stutters or errors. Thankfully, the PS2 has a built in advantage to get around this problem(at least the slim has it built in). The network interface. Using the network interface we can load the disc images from a shared folder on our network, then the only bottleneck is the speed of our network.
The first thing to do is determine what version of PS2 you have. Look on the bottom for the model number.
As we can see I have a 9000X series PS2. That makes things a little wonky. If you have an older model number of PS2, you will need something a little less difficult to make this work. However, I need to get a Swap Magic disc. I got mine off of [eBay]. Make sure that you get the version that is compatible with your console. I have an NTSC console, so I bought the NTSC version of Swap Magic.
Swap Magic is designed to let you swap it out with an import or backup copy of a game. It will also auto execute un-signed code off of a thumb drive, that’s we’re going to use it for.
If you have a model of PS2 that is older than the 9000X series, you don’t need swap magic you just need Free McBoot. The easiest way to get it, is to buy a memory card with it already loaded up(eBay).
For the rest of this write up I’m going to refer to what I did, because Free McBoot didn’t work out for me(9000X model and all that).
First you’re going to want to download [OPL] and set up an empty, unloved usb drive like so.
You want to make a folder on it named SWAPMAGIC. It has to be all caps, or the disc won’t read it.
Copy the contents of the OPL archive to your thumbdrive and place the .ELF file into the SWAPMAGIC folder renaming it to SWAPMAGIC.ELF . This is how the disc knows to load OPL on start up.
Now, plug your usb drive into your PS2 with the Swap Magic disc in. If you did it right, you’ll see this screen.
If you did it wrong you’ll see this screen.
Once you get it right, we have to set up the network stuff. I’m going to assume that you’re on Windows. If you are not, the process should be pretty similar, but a quick google search will lead you in the right direction. I’ve set up a folder with my PS2 ISO files in it called PS2SMB. It can be anywhere, just make sure you’ll remember where.
Right-click on the folder and select properties. Give the folder a share name and set up the permissions how you see fit. I gave my log-in Owner permissions.
Now you need open up you Network and Sharing Settings. Click on “Change advanced sharing settings”.
Instead of going though every line item and telling you what to value to set it to, Just look at my settings.
With this all done, set up your share folder.
Any disc images less than 700MB go into the CD folder and images larger than 700MB go into the DVD folder. I wish it were that simple but OPL requires the games be named a certian way. Thankfully, someone has set us up with an easy to use program that’ll rename them for us. Download [Fix ISO]. Put the .exe into your folder with your disc images and run it. You’ll see your games renamed like so.
Whew, not done yet. Start your PS2 back up and select Network config in OPL.
Under –SMB Server- Put your computer’s IP address (ipconfig in a windows terminal window) and put your username and password for the computer that is sharing the disc images under User and Password. Most of us have DHCP built into our router these days, so like 99% of us don’t have to worry about setting the PS2’s IP address. Make sure you select OK at the bottom of the screen and save changes on the main screen. Next, go to Settings and change ETH Start mode to Auto. Now when you open the games list, you should see the list of your games. Save changes before starting a game!!!
If you wish to do the same with PS1 games, check out [Shaolin Assassin’s] write up, who better to guide you through it than the person writing the code?
The basics of this could also be used to load ISOs from a usb drive, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The PS2’s USB ports are just too slow.