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open_ps2_loader

Open PS2 Loader

Open PS2 Loader (OPL) is an application you can run on PS2s which enables loading games via hard disk, USB, and a local network using SMB.

Each method has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

  • USB is slow, as the PS2 only supports USB1.1. Device support isn't great either, and if you don't use particular tools you will get errors relating to the disk being fragmented. Still, it's pretty easy to chuck games on a USB and not have to worry about buying other hardware. Because it's limited to reading the FAT32 filesystem files have a size limit, which means some games will have to be split into smaller chunks
  • HDD/SSD is the best speed-wise. You'll need to buy a Network Adaptor, and either an IDE hard disk, or use a third party Network Adapter or an adapter so you can use SATA disks. You can rip your disks straight to the drive from the PS2, or attach it to a PC and do it that way.
  • A local Network can also also be used, and games loaded from a Samba share. This is the method I like, because it means I can chuck all my games on a NAS and not worry about space, and it's real easy to add things. Loading times aren't as quick as the hard disk option, and it also requires the Network Adapter. Instead of using a NAS you could create a Samba share on a Windows PC, if you don't mind haveing that on when you want to use the PS2. Lots of routers let you attach a USB drive and share that over SMB. Because you're not restricted to FAT32 you don't have to split games.

A handy thing OPL provies is the ability to quit out of a game back to the menu with the key combo L1+R1+L2+R2+Start+Select.

Setup

OPL expects are particular directory structure. The vital bits are having games in 'DVD' and 'CD' directories, depending on their format.

Games

All games need to be in ISO format. This is usually what DVD games come as, but CD ones tent to be Bin or BIN+CUE.

To convert these to ISO I use bchunk. Usage is no-fuss:

bchunk [file.bin] [file.cue] [outputnmewithoutextension]

If there's no CUE file you'll have to create it manually. They're just a plaintext file with track information. PS2 ones usually look like:

FILE "game name.bin" BINARY
  TRACK 01 MODE2/2352
    INDEX 01 00:00:00

Another option for conversion is bin2iso. It can create missing .cue files too.

Network

The setup was mostly straight-forward for me, but there were a few peculiarities.

Adding your PS2 and SMB server's IP address should be pretty easy.

The problems I had were with the password, because there's a 31 character limit, so I had to create a unique user on my NAS so I could use such a small password.

The 'Share' field also threw me, because it can't contain subdirectories. So say my Samba share is Media/Games/PS2 I had to just put Media in this field, and in the regular 'Settings' menu add the rest of the path in 'ETH prefix path'. In addition the path in the setting smenu has a length limit, and can't contain spaces.

Problems

'Error, the game is fragmented'

I've got this error when loading games over USB, Bit of a funny error to run into in flash memory land, and I'd forgotten about disk fragmentation since moving to Linux, but anyway…

The easiest way to fix this on Linny is to grab a program called shake (shake), then do shake -pvv [path to the folder with your games on the USB].

See Also

open_ps2_loader.txt · Last modified: 2021/03/04 02:03 by rjt