One of the biggest shortcomings of the slim model PS2s is that Sony decided to removed the hard drive. While this contributed to the overall smaller size of the console, it’s definitely a major setback if your goal is to load games using homebrew applications such as OPL.
When it comes to loading games through applications like OPL, the internal hard drive on an original “phat” model PS2 is what I would consider the most optimal medium. You could also use the console’s USB 1.1 port but the data transfer speed is very slow often causing compatibility issues as well as choppy playback of in game FVMs.
There’s also the newer MX4SIO solution which has a snappier data transfer speed by utilizing the memory card slot, especially when compared to the USB post. But this method suffers from compatibility issues with some games (which hopefully will improve over time).
And then there’s the ethernet port. You can an a SMB share to load games from directly over the ethernet port. While this method arguably has the highest data transfer speed, you are unfortunately tethered to another device (a PC, raspberry pi etc.) by an ethernet cable.
So, while slim PS2’s are able to load games via OPL through its USB, memory card slot, and ethernet jack, there was never an option to load games from a hard drive simply because no PS2 slims came with one.
That is except for one model . . . sort of. The SCPH-700xx model PS2 Slims all came with the circuitry baked in for an IDE hard drive, but no physical drive to accompany it. For many years people have actually modded their PS2’s by tapping into that circuitry and connecting it to an IDE adaptor board to use with SD cards. The only problem with that method is that it needed a ton of wiring and was pretty difficult to complete. You can see how much work is involved in the video below:
So this brings me to the topic of this article. A modder by the name of Gusse designed a simple quick solder flex cable that taps all the necessary points on a SCPH-700xx model PS2 slim to much more simply add the IDE functionality back to the system.
His mod is called the “IDE Resurrector”. It significantly reduces the amount of wires needed and makes the install look much cleaner and more professional.
Once the ribbon is soldered in place you just need to attach the IDE converter board and you’re most of the way there. One of the cool things about this mod is that you can use an IDE converter board for SATA applications as well, not just SD cards.
In my video (linked at the top of this article), I installed an IDE to SD card adaptor board. The only limitation of SD card variant is that we are capped at using 128GB cards. However, if you use a IDE to SATA adaptor, that cap is much higher.
So, in conclusion, Gusse’s IDE Resurrector mod, allows us to more easily add back hard drive support for some slim model PS2’s (SCHP-700xx) and in doing so gives us one of the best options for homebrew on that platform!
If you are interested in picking up your very own “IDE Resurrector”, you can get it here.
You can also follow Gusse and his cool projects here.