So you want a hard drive in your PS2?

To see the old post with all the original comments, click here.

EDIT 2-22-05: I helped a friend out with this and we successfully installed a 250 GB Maxtor drive in his PS2, the L01R250. Just so you all know, these work too. They are on sale this week (until February 26th) at CompUSA for 99.99 USD, which is 70 dollars less than their normal price. So if you have not done this yet and need a hell of a lot of space, I can recommend this.

Ok. Let's get down to business. Here's what you'll need:

  • A Hard Drive! - Maxtor drives work the best. According to this chart, the Maxtor 6Y120P0 has had the highest success rate of all drives, and fits the easiest, et cetera. However, it will only hold 120 GB worth of games; most games are around 4 GB, so you'll be limited to around 30 Games for this drive. The earlier versions of the software needed to use the HD only support drives up to this size, but the newest releases can utilize drives that hold up to 200 GB. Only a regular IDE drive will work with the PS2. One can use another brand of drive, but then some tampering with the PS2 Network Adapter may be necessary. I went with the 6Y120P0 - bought it on eBay for $71.50 US including shipping. It fit perfectly, and has been hassle free so far (I've had this doohickey set up for about two weeks).

  • PS2 Network Adapter - I have one of the old-school network adapters as can be seen in the picture. Unlike the new one, it has a jack for a modem line as well as ethernet You need the official kind that hooks onto the back of the PS2: This is the ONLY way you can install a hard drive to your PS2. Looks like they are less than $30 on eBay. I think they're around $40 new.

  • Software to let you use the drive - Ok, this is pretty straightforward. You need a disc (get HDLoader or HDAdvance) that you can use in the PS2 to let you load the games. This is something that needs to be purchased, unless your PS2 is already modded. But that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about a PS2 that is unmodded, and will remain as such, but will be able to play "backups." I bought a copy of HDAdvance 2.0 from Consolepoint - 30.59 shipped. No problems or complaints whatsoever about the product or the retailer.

  • WinHIIP - Use Google to search for and download this program. Please do not tell me this is a difficult task. You will want this program if you are transferring backup images from your PC to the PS2.

  • USB Hard Drive Enclosure - I got a cheap but functional one from newegg.com (link to product). $29.99 with free shipping! You will want this if you are transferring backup images from your PC to the PS2.

  • PS2 - Ok yeah this won't work with the PSTwo. Sorry.
Ok, so let's see: $71.50 for the HD, $30 for the PS2 Adapter, $30.59 for the HD Advance 2.0 Software, and 29.99 for the HD Enclosure. That's $162.08, for those of you counting. Now that you have purchased everything you need and it's all shipped and everything and out of boxes and shit, let's get to work.



  • This is what your PS2 should look like from the front. If it's not looking like this, you have a problem that I must not be able to help with. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 Dollars. Sorry.




  • Your new Maxtor Drive.




  • A good look at business end of the network adapter. You can clearly see where the IDE and power cable from the hard drive will go (lower right and lower left sockets, respectively).



  • All of our friends together.




  • If you purchased a Maxtor drive as recommended, your Network adapter and drive should slide together very easily, as pictured above. See how comfortable that looks?




  • Slide the Adapter coupled with the HD into the PS2 as shown...and then secure it with the screws.
Ok, so that's about it if you're just backing up games to the PS2 HD. Just pop in a game, choose "convert" and wait for it to finish transferring to the disc. This will not work for dual layer games I hear. You need to first back up the image to your computer, then use another program to send that image to the PS2 Hard Drive. And this is one of the reasons one would use the HD Enclosure and WinHIIP program. Let's go over that now.


  • This is the enclosure when it's all closed up. It looks decent, but this sort of case is made for a drive that will be staying in the case all the time. Our drive will be in the case for only a few minutes, while data is being transferred to it from the PC. Therefore, it's more efficient to open it up and have it be ugly, like this:



Yup.



  • This is the drive working hard and being awesome and picking up hot hot games.
So now that our drive is connected to the PC, let's go through the WinHIIP motions:


  • Open WinHIIP

  • Select the PS2 Drive

  • Click "Add Image(s)"

  • Find the image file you're looking for...

  • Click Start...

  • Enter the name of the game

  • The game will begin transferring to the PS2 HD

Once you've transferred the game(s), you can just plug the HD back into the PS2 and load it up.

Have fun.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've looking for this for a longtime....Just wanted to say ty...For the upload...Keep up the GOOD work!!

Kiara said...

This helps! I can have my Download Games stored safely without worrying that it will be lost. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

do i need a swap disc or for my ps2 to be chipped?

Noah said...

Anonymous: you need the disc described in the third bullet point. HDAdvance is what it's usually called. Later, with some work, you can move on to a memory card-only solution, that will allow you to get your friends' PS2's set up for free.

Anonymous said...

what if the memory of ps2 is 40 gb and not modifies or convert

Andrew said...

I'm trying to do the exact same setup you have. My question is, what size enclosure case did you buy for this Maxtor HD? Do I need a 2.5" or 3.5"? That's all I need to know before ordering everything. Thanks!

Noah said...

Andrew: get a 3.5" enclosure.

Noah said...

Oh, and make sure it works with the older style IDE/ATA connectors (make sure it does not exclusively use SATA connectors)

Andrew said...

I finally have my hard drive installed! Thank you so much for this tutorial!! My set up is a bit different as I use the FreeMcBoot Hdloader program on my memory card (this works very well if your system has trouble reading discs). I took apart an external hard drive and it turned out to be Ps2 compatible (and it's 320gig)! I also got really lucky and found the network connector for about $7 at GameStop. The biggest headache I had was that my hard drive enclosure got lost in the mail. Everything works great and I can't thank you enough for this tutorial.

Noah said...

Andrew: I'm glad it's working out! Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

where do you get the cables to plug in the hard drive to the computer

Anonymous said...

Well this is avery and well you would need an esata station, to plug it into the computer. On the esata station you may need to buy in an additional usb cable if yours didn't come with one. Also, this was made in the past/represents the past. Now a days, 1tb and even 2tb (2024mb) work on ps2 internal hdd :D

rishi said...

what is the price o ps2 80gb hard disk

Anonymous said...

Any brand of 3.5" hdd can be use?

Noah said...

Anonymous: yes, you can use any brand of 3.5" hard drive.

Anonymous said...

Glad I found this site because I'm looking to mod a PS2 with a 500gb HDD but I have a question. Does the PS2 need any software to be installed on the HDD to make backups of games and play them on the HDD? Also, since the PS2 has the network adapter why not just connect the RJ45 cable into the adapter and FTP games onto the HDD? If the first few steps is all I need to backup games and play them that's easier compared to when I modded my Xbox, lol. More questions to come.

Noah said...

Anonymous:

"Does the PS2 need any software to be installed on the HDD to make backups of games and play them on the HDD?"

Yeah, I don't reference the exact product name in the post but I describe the role of the software. Search for 'HDAdvance' or 'HDLoader'.

"Also, since the PS2 has the network adapter why not just connect the RJ45 cable into the adapter and FTP games onto the HDD?"

There is software that will do this, but I do not recall what it was. It's PAINFULLY slow compared to the hard drive enclosure method described here.

Anonymous said...

Ok, did I miss something. I install the hard drive (using both a Maxtor and WD) and nothing comes up on the screen to show that it recognizes the HD. You said something about "covert", don't see that option. OK, I have to tell you that the drives I'm using are used, probably not blank, do they need to be a blank drive? Can PS2 format the hard drives? How can you tell if the PS2 sees the install HD?

Noah said...

1. Yes, the drive needs to be formatted to work with the PS2. WinHIIP should be able to format the drive. There are 'Format' and 'Erase' options that you can see in the screenshots above, but it has been many years since I have used the program, and I don't recall what, if anything, is required to activate them.

2. You should check to see that your drive is compatible at the drive list website I reference above, http://ps2drives.x-pec.com/

Noah said...

Also (important!): if your drive is not listed, it does not necessarily mean that it will not work.

2423493a-eb2a-11e1-bea7-000bcdca4d7a said...

HDL Server is slow. Oh well!

Nowadays OPL seems to be the way to go, with Free McBoot. I had a network adapter, and a spare hard drive. zero cost :D

Anonymous said...

yera i f@c%ed up a hd not knowing what i was getin in to just for it to not be detected in HDD loader usin FMBC

Hosting said...

How can I sink my portable hard drive with my computers hard drive? I bought a portable hard drive but cannot find out how to sync it with my computer's hard drive. How do I do this and is there any way I can configure my computer to do this every time I hook up my portable hard drive?

Noah said...

Hi Hosting – sorry, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

However, under normal conditions, it should be possible to achieve.

jairo ludovico said...

é só co,ocar o hd formatado,e copiar o jogo para o hd que ele depois ira rodar direto do hd???

Elizabeth J. Neal said...

They are on sale this week (until February 26th) at CompUSA for 99.99 USD, LaCie Rugged Hard Disk which is 70 dollars less than their normal price. So if you have not done this yet and need a hell of a lot of space, I can recommend this.

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