PS2 saves & homebrew tutorial

PS2 saves

- PS2 capable of playing backups
- USB flash drive (most will work, but not all)
- CD burner and 1 blank CDR

Backup PS2 memory card to USB

STEP ONE – Burn uLaunchELF
Download, extract and burn the uLaunchELF ISO.

STEP TWO – Load uLaunchELF on the PS2
Load up the uLaunchELF disc in your PS2 and plug in your USB drive. This CD should work in any PS2 capable of playing ‘backup’ discs, if everything goes to plan you should see the PlayStation2 logo for a second, followed by the uLaunchELF menu. You should see a list of drives, including the PS2 memory card(s), and hopefully your USB flash drive (listed as “MASS”).

STEP THREE – Backup your PS2 saves to USB drive
You can now start copying and pasting PS2 game saves from your memory card to your flash drive – most of the commands you’ll need for copying and pasting are on the uLaunchELF screen. Once you’ve worked out how to copy PS2 game saves between your memory card and flash drive you can easily reclaim filespace on your memory card by copying game saves onto the flash drive, and archiving them on your PC.

Download & convert PS2 game saves

Get uLaunchELF working on your PS2 (see above).

STEP TWO – Download PS2 saves
Now the fun bit. Most PS2 game saves available on the internet are in AR Max, Max Drive, CodeBreaker, X-Port, or Sharkport format – but we’re not using any of these products to load the game saves, so the files will need to be converted back to the regular PS2 save game format before the PS2 will recognize them.

STEP THREE – Convert PS2 saves
Once you’ve downloaded a game save, if it’s not already in X-Port or Sharkport format, then open it on your PC using PS2 Save Builder, and save the file as an .xps file.

STEP FOUR – Copy PS2 saves to USB drive
Now open the .xps file using the X-Port/SharkPort Save Converter program, connect your USB flash drive to your PC, and save the output file to the USB flash drive.

STEP FIVE – Transfer PS2 saves from USB to PS2 memory card
Boot up the uLaunchELF disc in your PS2, plug in the flash drive, and copy the new saves to your memory card. That’s it!


Using the uLaunchELF boot CD, you can also get the PS2 to run homebrew software such as emulators (SNES Station, PGEN etc.) and media players from a flash drive. Just copy the required files from your PC to the flash drive, boot up your PS2 using the uLaunchELF cd, then navigate to the ‘MASS’ flash drive – you can run most homebrew ‘elf’ programs directly from the flash drive – or you can copy them to a memory card and run them from there.


23 Responses to “PS2 saves & homebrew tutorial”

  1. Saphire on January 5th, 2007 1:13 pm

    Thanks for this! I’ve been trying to get saves onto my mem card for ages, but never got it working until now. I have 2 ‘no-name’ usb drives and both of them work no probs. Nice one :)

  2. Duke_Jones on March 26th, 2007 2:45 pm

    This works perfectly… NEVER doubt the power of uLauncheELF… It smokes… everything actually…

  3. Munch on April 18th, 2007 9:13 am

    Excellent! Thanks!

  4. Maes on May 2nd, 2007 3:57 pm

    I can’t get it to work. Do I need a modded PS2 or Swap-Magic to get it to work?

  5. iPlayPlayStation on May 2nd, 2007 5:24 pm

    HARDWARE REQUIRED – PS2 capable of playing backups

  6. jason on May 11th, 2007 8:42 am

    I don’t have nero or any other burner i just go in windows explorer and click burn. so how would i go about burning my disk without nero?

  7. Zellfreid on May 14th, 2007 6:00 am

    You say we need a PS2 capable of playing backups. How do you know if it can? I tried the burned disk in my PS2, and it didn’t work. I have a v14 PS2. Is v15 capable then? They don’t sell PS2′s with that capability, I’m pretty sure. Please explain if you can buy a PS2 with that or if we have to mod them in some way.

  8. iPlayPlayStation on May 14th, 2007 7:50 pm

    You need to use an exploit, or a PS2 with a modchip.

    They don’t sell PS2′s with that capability

    Actually, they do. :D

  9. jacob on August 7th, 2007 10:06 am

    does this way work with swap magic?

  10. guerila on October 13th, 2007 10:39 pm

    Do i have to burn only the “CUE” file ???

    cuz i burned both the files but it dint go on .. it said unknown disc ..!! :-(

  11. iPlayPlayStation on October 13th, 2007 11:31 pm

    @ guerila – don’t try and burn the cue file to a CDR. You need to open the cue file in Nero, and then click burn.

  12. MWilson on October 21st, 2007 6:00 am

    Great software! Now I can copy all my saved games to PC. No need to buy extra memory card. No need to be hustle and bustle with the network connection whatsoever. My salute to you!

  13. scotty on November 2nd, 2007 8:45 pm

    hi does trhis work the other way to so from pen to ps2

  14. iPlayPlayStation on November 2nd, 2007 10:56 pm

    Scotty – Yes you can copy saves from a USB stick to a PS2 memory card. Scroll up and read “Download & convert PS2 game saves”

  15. Sach on November 10th, 2007 4:29 am

    2 questions will this work with the older chipped big ps2 model and must you use a cd? Thanks.

  16. iPlayPlayStation on November 10th, 2007 5:07 am

    @ Sach – yes it does work with the “chubby” PS2. You can try burning uLaunchELF onto a DVD if you really want – but it works just fine with a CDR.

  17. mindstate on December 14th, 2007 3:41 pm

    @ sach, or you could just use the memory card exploit with a original psx cd and launchelf to boot every time u turn on ur ps2

  18. Andy F. on December 23rd, 2007 9:26 am

    I downloaded uLaunchElf to my computer, unzipped it, burned it to a CD using nero, but when I put it in my ps2 (slim version) is said “please insert and ps or ps2 disk” What did I do incorrectly?

  19. iPlayPlayStation on December 23rd, 2007 12:13 pm

    @ Andy F – Is your PS2 capable of playing backups?

  20. SymboliC on December 23rd, 2007 11:56 pm

    Hi, I have a PS2 that can play back-ups (modded), but my PS2 won’t read the burned uLaunchELF ISO. Do I need to burn all of the items, or just the DUMMY.BIN? My Mac tells me it has 4 items, a BOOT folder, DUMMY.BIN, SYSTEM.CNF and ULE.ELF.

  21. Andy F. on December 26th, 2007 10:12 am

    I’m not sure, what does that mean, and/or how do I find out?

  22. iPlayPlayStation on December 27th, 2007 12:58 pm

    @ SymboliC – I think what you’ve done is extract the contents of the ISO and burn them. Don’t do this! You need to burn the ISO using Toast (or something similar). Google ‘burning iso using Mac’ – I wish I could help more, but I don’t know much about Macs.

    @ Andy F – You need a modchip or an exploit to play backups.

  23. iPlayPlayStation on December 30th, 2007 8:38 pm

    I’m closing comments on this post. Everything you need to know is already posted. Read it twice :)

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