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Thread: Anyone try the PS2 'Free McBoot' exploit?

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    Kirby (Level 13) norkusa's Avatar
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    Default Anyone try the PS2 'Free McBoot' exploit?

    Just curious if anyone here has tried this. It's basically a softmod for your PS2 that you create with memory card and Action Replay Max disc. Allows you to play imports and backups without any disc swapping or soldering.

    I've got a chipped PS2 but I want to give this a try just to see if I can do it. Is it pretty simple to do? And once the exploit is installed on the memory card, can you use it on multiple systems, or only on the PS2 you created it with?

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    It's pretty nice. It effectively gives you a "modchip" on a memorycard. You can use it on any ps2 as well. The disadvantage is that you have to patch them for the exploit (to be specific, i am using ESR for booting things, which you install after Free MCboot), but the discs still seem to work with swap magic afterwards so I'd imagine they would work with a chip as well. The MAJOR disadvantage is that it will only boot DVDs. You can convert CD games to DVD, but sometimes that requires somewhat more tinkering to get working properly. I've not tried it with dual layer games.

    Once you get it set up though, it's very simple to use. Put your game and memcard in, start the system. It will come to a file manager for the stuff on the memorycard. You then run your ESR elf and your game will boot. It will even let you set different ELF files to the face buttons, so for example I only have to hit square to load up a game, instead of finding the ELF in it's folder and running it.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    Forgive me for asking a stupid question, but I was trying to see whether I'd have any use for this. And after going to the forums for all of the programs included in the Newbie installation of FreeMcBoot, I was able to find out a lot about tweaks and changes made in new releases, but nothing about what any of these programs actually do.

    Could someone give a brief description of what exactly uLaunchELF, SMS, and ESR are? If they're all just to launch backups, which are better in what situations?

    And could I use any of these or something else with Free McBoot to run PS1 imports and backups on PS2?

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    far as I know none of these will make ps1 work. It all hinges on some sort of backdoor via the DVD-Video disc playback. The patching turns it into a "movie" DVD far as the ps2 knows, at least for the security check, from what I've read.

    I'm not super knowledgeable on all the parts but...uLanchELF i believe the file manager you see when you start up from the card. It lets you decide what program you want to run. ESR is the one that does booting of games. FreeMCboot is what gets your card able to launch with uLaunchELF. I think that is all accurate, but I could be mistaken.

    The way I did it originally involved booting a disc with swap magic and moving files from a USB drive onto the memory card.

    SMS I am not familiar with in this particular sense, I am probably out of date by now reading-wise.

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    Kirby (Level 13) norkusa's Avatar
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    There was someone in the forums here selling McBoot memory cards a while ago and he said the cards had a psx.elf that allowed booting of PS1 games too. So I guess it is possible to play them but you probably have to convert them to dvd first.

    I didn't realize you had to patch the games to play them though. Guess I'll stick with my chipped PS2 since it'll play cd + dvd games without patching but I still might mess around with McBoot if I can ever find a Action Max disc with the media player software on it.

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    I'd definately be interested to see the psx info, but yeah, it would either require patching it to a DVD somehow, or it's just something that boots retail discs. I mean you could maybe make an elf from a breaker pro disc, but those things are unreliable at best, and i doubt it would even work that way.

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    Cherry (Level 1) saferkefka's Avatar
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    i use free mcboot with the hdloader elf on an older fat ps2 that doesnt read discs. it comes in pretty handy. i use hdld dump to ftp the games from my laptop to the ps2. you just pop a ps2 disc into your laptop/desktop and click transfer.

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    I've been following the PS2 non chip modding scene since the advent of the Independence Exploit, which was much more complicated than what can be done now.

    As others have already said, Free McBoot essentially gives you a modchip on a memory card that you can take and use on almost every PS2 out there (I think the newest models defeat it, but I'm not sure). Of course, to run PS2 backups, you need to patch the image file and use ESR to launch it.

    As stated, uLaunchElf is essentially an file explorer/browser utility that lets you do quite a lot. You can launch .elf files (which are basically PS2 executables), copy PS2 and PSX saves (with the right tools on your computer to convert any save into raw saves), and much more. I usually use it to update my .elf files and backup/upload PS1 and PS2 saves to my memory cards.

    But you don't need to fire up uLaunchElf every time to load .elfs, FreeMcBoot essentially takes over the default OS screen of your PS2 so that you can load whatever you feel like configuring from your OS screen. When I get around to it, I'll upload a pic to show what I mean.

    As for SMS, that's actually a media player, and a fair one at that. It can access files through a network, an attached hard drive, the memory card itself, the USB port, and I think even the DVD drive. Runs DivX and XviD files okay to my experience, but I haven't used it extensively.

    There is a launcher for PSX backups/imports, but you need a way to swap without pressing the eject button (since that triggers the PS2's disc check). On my slim, I taped down the buttons so that the PS2 thinks the lid is closed. On my 'fat,' I use a slide card until it broke and then bought a flip top case.

    HDloader is great, lets me load games of any region (though PAL games won't on my NTSC TV) so that I get better load times, and much less wear on my PS2's lasers. Only works on the fat PS2 though. There is a hard drive solution for the slim, but it involves USB drives and since the PS2 has 1.1's, the load times aren't that much better than the actual discs and FMV's stutter a lot (at least in my experience). Keep in mind, that HDLoader only works with PS2 games.

    Now, this is only the tip of the iceberg of what .elfs are out there for the PS2, but generally, those are the ones you hear about the most. In my case, I have a Codebreaker .elf that works with my HDLoader games and a Genesis Emulator that runs games quite well.
    Last edited by b1aCkDeA7h; 03-22-2009 at 05:08 PM.

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