Monday, June 2, 2014

The PSP 1001 Debacle, Part 2: Russian FTPs and Google-Fu

With bridging the power fuse failing, I had to turn towards the Pandora battery and a Magic Memory Stick. I didn't particularly want to buy a Pandora battery online and wait, so I just opened up mine and turned it into one.

It's simple, just pry the fucker open and then cut the bottom right pin on the bottom right chip. You can lift it, but I really need a new tip on my soldering iron (and a smaller one), so I just cut the pin with an exacto knife. It's not really any real problem, a glob of solder would fix it. Basically, when you cut this pin and the PSP tries to read the data on the chip, it forces the PSP into service mode.

The next piece is a Magic Memory Stick, which is a plain ass PSP Memory Stick Pro Duo with some software written into sector 16 of the physical memory. So, I put the memory stick into my printer since it had the correct card reader aaand...

There's a My Little Pony theme on the memory stick. Of fucking course. I do not get the My Little Pony shit. I fucking loved the Powerpuff Girls. When the movie came out, I didn't have school that day. I saw the first showing on the first day. That show is still awesome, too. I know the two don't really relate, but this was a really awesome show that was aimed more towards girls. I think the two have that in common. My Little Pony, on the other hand, seems like some strange fad that has a bit of irony and desperation to it.

That speaks for itself.

Anyways, I purified the memory stick with a brutal quick format. It immediately got a date and came home drunk and smelling of strange.

So, the internet recommended Rains' MMS Maker Ultra Lite. I injected the Time Machine IPL, opened the memory stick in a hex editor to verify that the software was at sector 16, put it in the PSP, popped the Pandora in... aaand... green light for two seconds, then nothing. I even held down L.

I tried a few more MMS makers, same result. Then I found an OS X version, but the one that worked best was a PowerPC application. My beloved PowerMac G4 MDD is across the state, so I pulled the SATA drive out of a 20gb Xbox 360 HDD I had and installed OS 10.6 on it. I figured this was a good choice in case something was going wrong with the MMS creation. OS X is, in my opinion, more reliable in matters of formatting drives in odd ways and making it work well. Besides that, since the OS is Unix based and many of these things originate as Linux programs, the tools for OS X are often more reliable than the Windows counterparts. 

I got 10.6 installed on the 20gb drive, got the MMS maker, formatted my card again and, of course, same result. I've tried virtually everything at this point. I even tried injecting the IPL myself using the hex editor. Next I used Rains' IPL Test (or.. something like that), which verified that the IPL was injected successfully. At this point in time, I decided to hunt down the original CLI software. If something is wrong in a situation such as this, it's usually best to go back to the CLI software since you can have total control over what the program is doing, and you get a more detailed error message.

Unfortunately, since PSP hacking is so easy, the GUIs became widespread and the CLIs were basically wiped off the face of the earth. That problem was compounded by the fact that every file on the internet from about 2007-2009 was uploaded on Megaupload. With the help of some Google-fu, I was able to find a lot of the original software on a Russian FTP. The CLIs gave me the same result. I went back to Rains' IPL Test and started testing out different IPLs. The older IPLs were giving me results all of a sudden; the multi-IPL (intended to boot multiple IPLs from the MMS) gave me flashing access lights and wi-fi lights. The original Pandora IPL gave me solid access/wi-fi lights.

I fucked with this for a while, and decided to go back to combing over PSP message boards from around this era. I came across someone with a similar problem to mine, and the result was... you're fucked. Of course, no one went so far as to say it was bricked. It was "your IdStorage must be seriously fucked." Well, let's see here. The only way to fix the IdStorage is to have the PSP working so you can run an application. If the PSP won't run anything.... that's a brick. The PSP 1001 is brickable. Don't be misled. What's IdStorage? I don't know, I stopped reading there.

Anyways, this makes it seem like this was a fast process. No, this was about 6 days of work. Adding to the problem was the fact that where the battery clamps onto the pins in the PSP to give it power broke off. So, I was just putting the contacts on the PCB against the pins to power the thing. That's another thing about Sony; any plastic piece that's attached to a PCB comes off incredibly easily. When I opened up my PlayStation to adjust the laser, the small plastic connector that gets power to the CD drive just fell off. No pressure was put on it. I hadn't even touched it yet. I guess by some grace of god, it had just stayed there. Thankfully a good friend supplied me with a replacement 5501 board, but christ almighty.

So, what do we do now that we've got a cosmetically good PSP and a fucked motherboard? Well, certainly not just call it a loss..

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