Friday, February 18 gave rise to...

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 (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:


  • 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.

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