PS2 saves & homebrew tutorial
- 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.