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PS2 HDLoader


Romier S
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I recently order and recieved the HDLoader software for the PS2. Its available from here:

 

http://www.hdloader.com/

 

(I recommend consolesource.com if your ordering)

 

Keep in mind the HDLoader will work with a large variety of third party hard drives as well as the official Sony HD (so if you want a 120gig or more you can go ahead and install one) though they recommend a few specific Maxtor drives for best compatability.

 

I am currently using the official Sony 40gig HD with the HDLoader and I want to say its a damn useful piece of software. The purpose of the HDLoader is to allow you to save your PS2 games right onto your hard drive thus decreasing load times and negating the need for you to get up and switch discs. It can also be used for less savory purposes but I do not plan to bother discussing that in this thread so please be mindful of what you post here.

 

Setup is easy as plugging in your HD and asking the HDLoader to format your drive. I went ahead and did so to remove FFXI as it takes up a fairly large amount of space. Once finished (took about 12 minutes) I was greeted with the main interface which gives you the option to "Add", "Remove", "Rename" etc. At this point you simply insert the PS2 game you would like to install and let that sucker rip. Most PS2 games range in the 2 gig area but there are some big boys like Champions of Norrath which come in at the 3 gig mark. It took me about 12 minutes to install Silent Hilll 3 on the HDLoader and about 14 minutes to install Smackdown Here Comes the Pain (which has some seriouly long load times).

 

Upong testing the games you can immediately see the difference. I barely saw a load screen in Silent Hill 3 with door transitions being almost immediate. Smackdown is where this thing earned its value. Smackdown load times can push the 32-35 second range on some screens and I was loading up matches in less than 4 seconds from the Hard Drive (!!).

 

I heartily recommend this product to anyone that wants imroved load times and a good chunk of thier PS2 game collection right at thier fingertips. The ability to use a larger capacity hard drive is just icing on the cake!

 

Along with the features already noted the HDLoader can be used to install imports onto your HD as well. You will need to have a slidecard to accomplish this:

 

http://www.modchip.com/ps2/slidecard.htm

 

I was able to install Silent Hill 4 today at home on my lunch (installed on my non-modded PS2) and am now able to play it without need for the slide card (for those that only have that option) and with reduced load times. For those wanting to possibly get into importing this may be an excellent solution if you don't want to have your console modded (still recommend the DMS3 chip though!).

 

Any questions, please feel free to ask.

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Mine shipped on Friday, I'm hoping to have it sometime in the next few days as well. If it works as advertised, it should be a pretty nifty app. My only concern is their compatibility list grew from 5 titles to about 10-12 almost as soon as people started receiving their copies. Still, even if only 90% of the games are compatible it'll be worth the $30 price tag.

 

Rome, any issues with the slide card? I had experimented with a flip-top a while back, but was unimpressed. It was cluncky and I couldn't use my PS2 sitting vertically. I'd looked into the slide cards, but there seemed to be mixed reviews on those as well. Just wondering your thoughts on 'em. :D

 

Thanks,

Gary

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Rome, any issues with the slide card?

 

I personally have a modded PS2 so I dont need the slide card but a buddy of mine here uses it to play imports. It works flawlessly as far as I can tell. It takes some practice to use it but once you do you can load games up in 20 seconds flat (it uses the same swap magic discs as the flip top). Keep in mind it should be a temp solution as it puts some serious wear and tear on your drive. If its a short term solution though I cant recommend it enough (my buddy bought it to specifically play SH4 and a few other titles). I ordered a Slide Card recently though so I can have it to use with the HDLoader. You have to put in a regular PS2 game, use the slide card to pull it out, insert the import, use the slide card to close the drive and then the HDLoader will recognize it as a installable disc.

 

Though again I can't stress if your really interesting in importing etc the DMS3 chip is the way to go. I had my PS2 re-modded with it a while ago and its heaven-sent. You can update it for best compatability with a CDR, no need to resintall a new chip every so often. Hope that helps Gary.

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One tiny thing of note from the other forum I frequent - Contra won't install on this, apparently, and there are one or two other, more obscure, titles that won't either.

 

Personally, it all strikes me as monumentally Yarr, but if I had the BBA anyway, I might be tempted just to be able to hear the music on Psyvariar over the roar of the disc spinning.

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  • 5 weeks later...
Last week I became paranoid that would come to pass and ordered one from consolesource.com. According to my account history, my order has shipped, but I haven't received an email about it. Here's hoping.

 

If they dont work out Allen go here:

 

http://www.n2-electronics.com/productView4.asp?productID=3

 

I ordered mine from there and though they only take Paypal payments they are extemely fast (got my order in three days from payment time) and very friendly.

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I dunno, the way they are hyping this thing it seems like the PS2Ownz folks might be getting a piece of the pie or something. They're claiming the ability to install backups and imports via the slide-card method as though HD Loader wasn't capable of this (which it is/was). This new app is still not capable of dumping DVD9's to the HDD, so I don't know where the 'wider compatilibility' comes into play, unless it'll take care of some of the games that had a 'certain layout' that was incompatilbe (Rachet & Clank among others). Thoughts?

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If its not compatibility with DVD9s, it could well be better compatibility with CDs - as I mentioned before, my only possible reason to get one would be because my PS2 makes such a racket playing CD-based games like Psyvariar. However, I've since heard that its actually one of the games that won't work with HDLoader anyway, so there is little point.

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I dunno, the way they are hyping this thing it seems like the PS2Ownz folks might be getting a piece of the pie or something.

 

I imagine they'll get a kickback/affiliate sale for each sale through their links.

 

This new app is still not capable of dumping DVD9's to the HDD, so I don't know where the 'wider compatilibility' comes into play, unless it'll take care of some of the games that had a 'certain layout' that was incompatilbe (Rachet & Clank among others). Thoughts?

 

From what I've read elsewhere (I have zero experience with these products, but they do interest me), it seems to have an almost identical compatibility rate to HDLoader. Strange, that. ;)

 

BTW the PC copy app is what interests me - a "cheap" way of playing imports. Hook the drive upto a PC IDE channel, copy the images over (patching them to NTSC too), then move the drive back over to the ps2 where the HDLoader will happily load the japanese/European games on a stock US PS2.

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If that makes it possible to play imports (I've specifically got my eye on Katamari Damashi, Gradius V and wordimagesoundplay) without either modding my PS2 or importing a Japanese console, then colour me interested, yes.

 

Particularly now Sony have got their ruling banning all PS2 modchips in the UK.

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If that makes it possible to play imports (I've specifically got my eye on Katamari Damashi, Gradius V and wordimagesoundplay) without either modding my PS2 or importing a Japanese console, then colour me interested, yes.

 

The HDLoader does indeed. You'll need to use the slide card method but its not difficult. Silent Hill 4 for instance has worked flawlessly.

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  • 3 weeks later...
the reports I've seen suggested that you can't just use the swipe-card because the disc image on the drive still has region encoding; is this not the case?

 

The slide card works fine for Imports Ian. The image on the disc matters not, compatability with the HDLoader software matters more.

 

The only thing the HDLoader looks for is a valid Playstation 2 disc to spin up off the bat. If you insert an American PS2 game and then have the HDLoader start copying, cancel it, use the slide card to insert an import disc and then restart its copy process, it won't know the difference as to what disc is in the drive. It already did its initial check and will copy and run the game if its compatible.....

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