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View Full Version : Is Swap Magic for the PS2 any good?



OzStick
28th November 2007, 11:49 PM
Hi All,

I posted a thread some time ago saying my son was wanting to chip his PS2 so he could play backed up games etc, however we have resisted. I've looked into it a bit further and found this thing called Swap Magic, which along with a "flip top cover" (both can be obtained from coolpc.com.au) has me understanding that no hardware mods are required to do the same thing as any of the popular chips do.

It seems like the perfect solution for us to be able to compile our own custom Guitar Hero disc(s), but before I go ahead and purchase I'm wondering if anyone here has experience with Swap Magic? I know that the flip top lid is not a necessity as a "slide tool" could be used instead, but the flip lid just seems like a safer way to go about it as I don't like the idea of jiglging a piece of plastic under the disc tray to eject it as the likelihood of causing damage seems inevitable.

Any thoughts on the subject would be appreciated.

Cheers,
Chris

stu
29th November 2007, 12:40 AM
Ozstick wait a day and i'll review the VAST.....i have one waiting at the PO to pickup....basically its a modchip on a memory card....so i've been led to believe....plug it in and it somehow makes you able to play copied games......

Cost me $88 shipped. I'll post a thread about it tomorrow.

_Dan_
29th November 2007, 12:44 AM
Mod chips are generally less hassle in the long run, but the swap magic system does it's job and has the cheat feature as a bonus.
Personally I'd lean towards chipping it ;)

sairuk
29th November 2007, 07:40 AM
you could also look at adding a hdd to store games (need a ps2 network adapter for the ide interface) and booting with the ps1 exploit, depending on your model of ps2. Assumidley its a fatboy ps2 because you are talking about purchasing an additional fliptop cover. Once done you can install the swap magic software, have ftp access to your memcard, install your custom discs over the network, run a media player etc. More options than you can poke a stick at

Can help you set that up if need be, again depending on your ps2 model. Cant recall which model the patch was fixed on (fat boys)

elvis
29th November 2007, 10:22 AM
you could also look at adding a hdd to store games (need a ps2 network adapter for the ide interface)

I believe there's a product now that lets you store games on a USB hard drive (meaning it works on slimlines too).

There was a link on shmups.com a while back. I'll see if I can find it and paste it in here.

stu
29th November 2007, 10:32 AM
Got the memor32 card thingy....only works on consoles up to v16 mines a v17 :(

I'll chase up another console and try it out.

OzStick
29th November 2007, 10:40 AM
Ozstick wait a day and i'll review the VAST.....i have one waiting at the PO to pickup....basically its a modchip on a memory card....so i've been led to believe....plug it in and it somehow makes you able to play copied games......

Cost me $88 shipped. I'll post a thread about it tomorrow.

I'm never in a hurry to make decisions about things like this, so I'll wait for your feedback on the VAST card Stu. Where did you purchase it from? I'm running around in circles trying to find a homepage for it.

What I DID find however is a website for FreeVAST, which heads up a project trying to reverse engineer the VAST card with the view to making its contents freely available! They don't much around, do they!!??

Cheers,
Chris

stu
29th November 2007, 11:25 AM
Sorry, i'm still testing, it turns out that it should work on my console, i'm currently working it out....as you are finding there is jack shit i nfo around about it and no instructions on how to use so i have no clue myself......


The memory card is called MEMOR32, its basically a memory card that has a usb connection and can plug into your computer to copy same games etc to and from the ps2>>comp.

A group called TEAM MEMENTO have made a hacked firmware for the memory card and made it so basically, you put the memory card in, throw in your copied game and turn the console and and that's it....it loads the game.....i'll report back shortly.

stu
29th November 2007, 02:07 PM
Ok, so at the moment this thing doesn't work in PAL aussie consoles. The PAL support was only written for EURO PAL consoles and the two are different.

The re-seller locally has been in touch with the devs, sent them a console etc and the issue should be fixed next week in a new firmware revision....so until then, i can't give results.

Berty
29th November 2007, 02:15 PM
I had an old PS2 which was softmodded. I installed the elf on the mem card for swap magic and then using a template, i cut the plastic tool thing out of an old ice cream lid.

stu
29th November 2007, 02:45 PM
http://www.mementoteam.com/

They just updated their site with some info about aussie support.

The only current downside to this thing for playing games is that you need to patch all your isos before you burn them.

Otherwise, i think it kicks ass

sairuk
29th November 2007, 08:17 PM
I believe there's a product now that lets you store games on a USB hard drive (meaning it works on slimlines too).

There was a link on shmups.com a while back. I'll see if I can find it and paste it in here.

USBAdvance, whilst it works, unfortunately compatibility and speed are absolutely woeful. There was also a mod for slimlines to add an ide interface, with a kit released by team xecuter(iirc) but the install was painful from all reports. IDE if possible is definatley the way to go, I've rarely found a game that hasnt worked which I've wanted to play. Can always swap if not.

OzStick
29th November 2007, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys, but I reckon the flip top and Swap Magic may be the way for us to go.

elvis
29th November 2007, 10:09 PM
USBAdvance, whilst it works, unfortunately compatibility and speed are absolutely woeful. There was also a mod for slimlines to add an ide interface, with a kit released by team xecuter(iirc) but the install was painful from all reports. IDE if possible is definatley the way to go, I've rarely found a game that hasnt worked which I've wanted to play. Can always swap if not.

Thanks for the info. I was wondering if they were worth the cash. Obviously not.

I'm a big import gamer (I love my Japanese shmups and fighting games on PS2). I've got a first gen "chubby" PS2 that I had modded day one. My entire collection of games is import, and having to swap back and forth with Swap Magic would drive me bananas.

sairuk
29th November 2007, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the info. I was wondering if they were worth the cash. Obviously not.

yeh definitely not worth the cash if you are already modded. You can grab the USBA/USBEX/HDL elf and build your own iso to try it out then make your decision. While you're at it, throw on ulaunchelf and backup your memory card via ftp/usb as raw files.

IDE HDD in a ps2 is heaven, no more fumbling around for discs, especially with the kids running around. I've setup a few ps2's now with the exploit and SMS (Simple Media System) so people can watch mpgs/avis off usb keys/hdds without a chip. Works well.

OzStick
30th November 2007, 09:59 AM
yeh definitely not worth the cash if you are already modded. You can grab the USBA/USBEX/HDL elf and build your own iso to try it out then make your decision. While you're at it, throw on ulaunchelf and backup your memory card via ftp/usb as raw files.

IDE HDD in a ps2 is heaven, no more fumbling around for discs, especially with the kids running around. I've setup a few ps2's now with the exploit and SMS (Simple Media System) so people can watch mpgs/avis off usb keys/hdds without a chip. Works well.

Hey sairuk, is that a difficult mod? I've also looked at getting a PS2 network adapter but I keep reading how you are very limited in the HDD you can then use.

The fact that we don't want to chip our fat PS2 (which is the reason for going with the flip top & Swap Magic) has me wondering how so many people are getting their full collection onto some huge HDD when from my understanding it shouldn't work!

Cheers,
Chris

sairuk
30th November 2007, 12:56 PM
but I keep reading how you are very limited in the HDD you can then use.

any IDE Seagate or Maxtor should work, I have tried both brands. Western Digitals do not fix the Network Adapter. Largest I have personally tried is only 120gb but other people have used >120gb with a version of HDLoader patched for 48bit LBA instead of 28(?) or whatever the default is.


The fact that we don't want to chip our fat PS2 (which is the reason for going with the flip top & Swap Magic)I dont really understand this as the only reason to not mod would be to retain your warranty, which when installing the flip top lid will be voided anyway. The knife swap is the only swap method on fatboy ps2's that do not void your warranty initially.

The install is simple assuming two things:
-: your ps2 is compatible for the exploit
-: you can get access to an exploited/modded console for the initial install to your memcard. (other wise you need to do a swap with the installer disc)

Probably the easiest option would be to co-ordinate the purchasing of a new memcard from a person able to set it up for you then post it on. The idea being they would have already performed this on their own console, so have access as needed (FTP/USB/SWAP)

Some things to consider as well
-: You will lose around 300k on the memory card you choose for the exploit
-: You will require a ps1 game/demo disc to initiate the exploit. (this game will no longer boot on the ps2 whilst the exploited memory card is inserted)
-: You can install original discs through the hdloader interface
-: You cannot install backups through the hdloader interface without a swap/chip
-: With additional software you can network install any game original/import/backup on win/lin/mac which is much faster than the installing through the hdloader interface.
-: Not all games are compatible (Ratchet & Clank :unsure)
-: You can have FTP/USB access to your memory card/hdd
-: You can run your ps2 as a USB/SAMBA media center
-: You can install the swap software to your ps2 alongside the exploit

Installing games via the network is advisable, even if you just run a cable out to the ps2 when you want to install games. By ripping discs to isos you can generally do batch installs overnight.

Some of the HDLoader patches also include a kid-safe mode removing the menu from the interface so no games can be deleted/installed by the kids. I can see this being handy when my kids are older.

lunch is over! back to work, I've probably forgotten to mention something :D

OzStick
30th November 2007, 01:38 PM
Thanks for the DETAILED reply sairuk!!

I suppose the main issue with mod chips is my perception that they can cause reliability problems in the long term and I see that the Swap Magic WITH a flip top case mod would not.

The more I look into it though the more it confuses me, because my son has a lot of PS1 backups that he currently can't play and I'm not sure that Swap Magic will allow them to work.

So to weigh up the argument, feel free to convince me that mod chips are perfectly reliable AND that PS1 backups will work with one and you may just sway me!

At the same time, let me know the best mod chip(s) to look for and why.....

Cheers,
Chris

DevoDave
30th November 2007, 06:34 PM
PS1? What's he doing still playing PS1 games?

Modchips are perfectly reliable.. it's the lasers that are the issue. Using burnt disks instead of pressed disks puts much more stress on the device. That's why the Xbox 1 was so good where you could load all your games onto the hard disk and why the PS2 with hard disk is good too (although not implemented as well as the Xbox1.)

Generally, the newer the modchip the better. I'm currently installing Modbo 4.0's.

stu
30th November 2007, 07:33 PM
Which at the end of the day, all of these modding methods are to play burnt games (usually anyways) and the stress is still going to be put on the laser through use of burnt disks......peace

sairuk
30th November 2007, 07:51 PM
PS1? What's he doing still playing PS1 games?

nothing wrong with ps1 games ;)

So far as the convincing people to go one way or the other, not really something I can do. I'm interested to read stu's experience with the new 1.2e firmware from memento that now supports Aussie ps2s and hdds. I will probably go this way once they manage to patch discs in ram .... so far its reminding me of the viper/cobra gc mod scene when the were first released. more features over time.

I can think of 4 options, in order of preference
-: Mod Chip (DMS4/Toxic?)
-: Memor32/Memento
-: Exploit
-: Swap

I swapped for a long time, its a complete pain in the ass, but i was using the knife swap, not fliptop. I do have a fliptop here as well, but once i fitted it, i had to sit books on the lid to hold the lid down completley. I've probably spent more on boot discs to swap with than a mod would have cost outright, but its definatley been interesting. My ps2 is a v3(?) if memory serves. At one point I struggled to find anyone who was willing to mod it, and my skills arent up to the job. I looked into it :P .... One guy even gave me a chip for nicks to install myself (Magic 3 clone, still sitting in the cupboard) so he wouldnt have to do it.

The exploit wont let you run ps1 backups without a swap, HDLoader has no support for ps1 backups currently unfortunatley. So a mod/memor32 would easily be the best option.

You can of course try the exploit with a homemade swap tool, it costs you nothing and if it doesnt suit your purpose you always have the option of purchasing something else.

If you can do the HDD thing, it goes without saying that you should imo even if you have a mod or other method, it is quicker to load, less stress on any moving parts and incredibly and doesnt void your warranty. I picked up a second network adapter from the weekend market for $10 a few weeks back, so they cost next to nothing if you can find them.

I should also mention you can always install games to the ps2 hdd by connecting it to your PC via usb/ide. This is actually the fastest option (IDE) and something I forgot to mention earlier.

kids are distracting me, so that'll do

Stu pm me where you picked up the memor32 from mate if you could pls. ta

OzStick
30th November 2007, 08:21 PM
Great stuff again sairuk - more food for thought!

The supplier for the memor32 is: http://www.ozmodchips.com/

stu
30th November 2007, 08:35 PM
From what i'm lead to believe, not all aussie consoles have troubles, it's more focused around scph-79XXX consoles that are having issues. I could be wrong on that though.

Already tested the 1.2e and can confirm that it doesn't work on my scph-79002 console.

I'm pretty sure that the aussie console support wasn't actually finished yet and that newest firmware is just a minor in between bug fix. The next release will have the aussie console support.

sairuk
1st December 2007, 12:51 AM
Already tested the 1.2e and can confirm that it doesn't work on my scph-79002 console.

hrrm, seems their announcement in the readme was a bit premature then, unfortunate. Will hold off buying then.

stu
1st December 2007, 04:18 AM
Yeah, apparently they didn't get their aussie pal console on friday so it wont be there until monday now. They said they should have it released within 24 hours of receiving the console.

The devs are showing very good support for their firmware.

Savage
25th January 2008, 01:59 PM
Well I've got the Memor32 memcard with team Momento firmware as mentioned by stu.
Very easy and works a treat.

Also just bought a Fat PS2 with the DMS PRO Chip installed.
Apparently the guy I bought it off says it plays games on HDD and also plays media files... Can;t wait to check this out.

I wonder what it would be like compared to XBMC

Savage
22nd February 2008, 12:32 PM
USBAdvance, whilst it works, unfortunately compatibility and speed are absolutely woeful. There was also a mod for slimlines to add an ide interface, with a kit released by team xecuter(iirc) but the install was painful from all reports. IDE if possible is definatley the way to go, I've rarely found a game that hasnt worked which I've wanted to play. Can always swap if not.

Just to liven this up, getting a 2nd PS2 and want to use a HDD.
Would Hard Disk Drive Advance 3.0 be ok to use (says 95% compatibilty), what about USB Extreme? http://www.hdadvance.com/hd_advance_usb_extreme_comparison.htm

Would they work with already "backed up" PS2 Discs.
If not whats the best option, fat or slim ps2 doesn't matter and chipping doesn't matter either...

sairuk
22nd February 2008, 06:30 PM
Just to liven this up, getting a 2nd PS2 and want to use a HDD.
Would Hard Disk Drive Advance 3.0 be ok to use (says 95% compatibilty), what about USB Extreme? http://www.hdadvance.com/hd_advance_usb_extreme_comparison.htm

Would they work with already "backed up" PS2 Discs.
If not whats the best option, fat or slim ps2 doesn't matter and chipping doesn't matter either...

all depends on what you can get. if you cant find an network adapter for a price you are willing to pay it counts out the fatboy and hdadvance.You will of course be able to use usbextreme on either slim or fat but as the site says its not fast (usb 1.1 iirc) and i'd question any compatibility claims.

if you can find a network adapter and get a fat ps2 then save your money and do the ps1 exploit mentioned in previous posts with hdl 8.0c, that way you lose next to nothing and can always purchase the discs later if you need too.

ps2+hdd wont allow install to hdd from a copied disc without a chip so people generally install via network, usb or direct connect from copied discs using a software on the pc.

so without a chip a pc is required for both methods when installing from copied disc, nowdays it really depends on if you can locate a network adapter imo.

personally i just leave my ps2s networks and install across the network when i cbf, leave it running over night if i do a batch upload. I also have SMS (media player) running which links back into my shares via samba so i have two additional media hubs with my ps2s, as well as my two xboxs with xbmc. a great reason to do the exploit and have it networked constantly imo.

Savage
25th February 2008, 11:33 AM
all depends on what you can get. if you cant find an network adapter for a price you are willing to pay it counts out the fatboy and hdadvance.You will of course be able to use usbextreme on either slim or fat but as the site says its not fast (usb 1.1 iirc) and i'd question any compatibility claims.

if you can find a network adapter and get a fat ps2 then save your money and do the ps1 exploit mentioned in previous posts with hdl 8.0c, that way you lose next to nothing and can always purchase the discs later if you need too.

ps2+hdd wont allow install to hdd from a copied disc without a chip so people generally install via network, usb or direct connect from copied discs using a software on the pc.

so without a chip a pc is required for both methods when installing from copied disc, nowdays it really depends on if you can locate a network adapter imo.

personally i just leave my ps2s networks and install across the network when i cbf, leave it running over night if i do a batch upload. I also have SMS (media player) running which links back into my shares via samba so i have two additional media hubs with my ps2s, as well as my two xboxs with xbmc. a great reason to do the exploit and have it networked constantly imo.


Thanks for that. If I went the fatboy way, what chip would you recommend out of a DMS 4 Pro Lite or PS2 Duo 3..
I believe with the DMS chip no need for any of these hdadvance or extreme discs..

sairuk
25th February 2008, 06:59 PM
Thanks for that. If I went the fatboy way, what chip would you recommend out of a DMS 4 Pro Lite or PS2 Duo 3..
I believe with the DMS chip no need for any of these hdadvance or extreme discs..

dont have any of my ps2s chipped so i cant really say. ToxicOS (3rd party firmware for the dms4) doesnt do anything extra that the community patched hdl does to my knowledge so far as the HDD goes. That being said i honestly havent followed the development of it. I've had no need yet.

I would say if you did go the fatboy AND managed to get your hands on a NA then any chip will do because you can always build your own hdl0.8c disc, if you dont want to run the exploit.

the exploit is still the best option imo, you are always booting with an original ps1 disc so minimises laser wear and there is $0 outlay on additional hardware. chris (ozstick the phantom) can probably vouch for the difficulty of obtaining the NA at a reasonable price (i setup his memcard, not sure if he's still running it though) and you wont be able to boot copied discs. but dumping stuff on the hdd is nothing nowdays.

so exploit with ulaunch elf, sms and hdl0.8c would give you at its most basic level:
ftp access
mass access (usb)
file browser
hdd manager (format, create partitions)
hdd launcher
jpg viewer
media player (divx/xvid/mp3)you could essentially burn all this to disc but updating would require a new disc. Not so bad these days, its really only sms that is updated regulary.

Savage
25th February 2008, 07:41 PM
dont have any of my ps2s chipped so i cant really say. ToxicOS (3rd party firmware for the dms4) doesnt do anything extra that the community patched hdl does to my knowledge so far as the HDD goes. That being said i honestly havent followed the development of it. I've had no need yet.

I would say if you did go the fatboy AND managed to get your hands on a NA then any chip will do because you can always build your own hdl0.8c disc, if you dont want to run the exploit.

the exploit is still the best option imo, you are always booting with an original ps1 disc so minimises laser wear and there is $0 outlay on additional hardware. chris (ozstick the phantom) can probably vouch for the difficulty of obtaining the NA at a reasonable price (i setup his memcard, not sure if he's still running it though) and you wont be able to boot copied discs. but dumping stuff on the hdd is nothing nowdays.

so exploit with ulaunch elf, sms and hdl0.8c would give you at its most basic level:
ftp access
mass access (usb)
file browser
hdd manager (format, create partitions)
hdd launcher
jpg viewer
media player (divx/xvid/mp3)you could essentially burn all this to disc but updating would require a new disc. Not so bad these days, its really only sms that is updated regulary.

Yep, I'll go the exploit way... Just trying to get a network adapter.. I think the cheapest I can get is around $60.. Still too much me thinks...

Is this what you do http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/94/62/
Just not entirley sure about the comment regarding needing to boot your CD-r you have just created in your PS2..

I guess after reading this I'm not sure if this is the method you do?

I think from what I've read a chipped ps2 will let you open the CD/DVD tray without it resetting...
It looks like you can install Copied ps2 games, but need to use the Slide Card Method, which again I think a chip can avoid this..

sairuk
26th February 2008, 12:39 PM
Yep, I'll go the exploit way... Just trying to get a network adapter.. I think the cheapest I can get is around $60.. Still too much me thinks...

Is this what you do http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/94/62/
Just not entirley sure about the comment regarding needing to boot your CD-r you have just created in your PS2..

I guess after reading this I'm not sure if this is the method you do?

I think from what I've read a chipped ps2 will let you open the CD/DVD tray without it resetting...
It looks like you can install Copied ps2 games, but need to use the Slide Card Method, which again I think a chip can avoid this..

i did all that originally, booted the cdr by doing a swap etc but i had been swapping for some time before the exploit was released. That swap mentioned installs the exploit, after which you just need the chosen original ps1 game to boot with into the menu. Slide card is probably handy if you arent going to network install, personally i just removed the front of the drawer and used the backend of a hobby knife (nt cutter) to do the swap. Now that i have ftp access to my ps2 i can use either of mine to setup any memcard simply by ftping the needed files to the correct directory on the card.

The note about the 2mb being required is true, tho if you have a hdd and are smart about it that 2mb becomes around 800k once you install the bigger apps to a partition on the hdd and link a menu system (ulaunchelf) to the apps in that partition.

For some time now i've been wanting to see a BOOT.ELF file that would allow me to config the menu system path so i could take up even less room on the card. may just make it myself oneday. Should come in under 50k i would think, hopefully.

The requirements mentioned in the guide is somewhat outdated imo now. You are better off installing ulaunchelf as your main point of entry instead of HDLoader, all apps should be secondary to the menu system.

A chip will avoid any swapping, it does as we know, trick the ps2 into thinking every ps2 disc presented to it are qualified discs. Essentially the easiest option all around, though not the only option as many believe.

Savage
26th February 2008, 01:40 PM
Thanks mate, defiantly know your stuff regarding PS2..
I've ended up ordering a DMS4 Pro S.E. chip from the US, a lot cheaper incl postage then trying to obtain here.

Now, to find a network adapter, Amazon had some at a good price but no shipping to Aus :x

OzStick
26th February 2008, 02:51 PM
Thanks mate, defiantly know your stuff regarding PS2..
I've ended up ordering a DMS4 Pro S.E. chip from the US, a lot cheaper incl postage then trying to obtain here.

Now, to find a network adapter, Amazon had some at a good price but no shipping to Aus :x

Hey Savage,

I agree that Sairuk knows his stuff - he most kindly did an exploit setup for me at Xmas and we are now happily playing custom Guitar Hero and other games that are otherwise slow loaders off the HDD.

I have a wireless network but instead of hooking up to that, which would be a bit messy, we simply remove the HDD from the PS2 and connect it to my son's PC. He has all the necessary bits & pieces to copy to and from the PS2 HDD and it works a treat!

As far as network adapters go, look at ebay.com and be patient for one to come up - from memory mine cost about $65 which included postage from a guy in the US.

Cheers,
Chris