Another morning, another day closer to the weekend. Yesterday I was just absolutely struggling to exist in the world. I felt like I was walking around in a daze all day long, and nothing ever quite snapped me out of it. I took that long nap on Sunday afternoon, and ever since my schedule had been somewhat out of whack. I am convinced my body and mind goes to shit if I get too much sleep. So long as I get 4-6 hours I seem to be able to functional like a normal human being, but when I get over that… my body goes haywire.
As a result of this haze, I was super restless last night. I flitted from activity to activity never really finding much traction in any of them. I managed to hook up with my friend Del over in SWTOR at one point in the evening, and he made me a bunch of moddables so that I could outfit a set of orange gear I had my eyes on. I am hoping that if I now start always choosing commendations… I will be able to keep up with keeping the suit of armor outfitted.
I am now on the last section of Dromund Kaas on my Sith Warrior, and I pushed through a good chunk of it… but seemed to lack the focus to actually finish. When I would attempt to quest, I would find myself super sleepy and almost unable to keep my eyes open. Unfortunately last night my wife washed the bed sheets, so we had to wait for the current load to finish drying, and then for them to finish as well. This gave me no real option of just going to bed early. So I wandered about the house like a zombie, looking for something to occupy my time.
I finally settled back down in my office upstairs, and set to trying to unravel a mystery. The goal of this search was to be able to find a way to upgrade my PSP to firmware 6.60… aka the latest revision and the one required to couple your device with your ps3. There is more to the tale than this however, as there always is in a mystery. It is a tale of intrigue and suspense… stay awhile and listen!
Back in 2007 I picked up a used PSP 1000 model, aka the “Fat” design as the modding community calls it. It was just the latest device in my eternal search for way to play retro console emulators on a mobile device. Turns out through a truly arcane process, you could install a custom firmware, that would allow you to boot emulators from the memory stick. When I say arcane, I am not being facetious… you literally had to have just this one right version of the original release of the grand theft auto UMD to be able to execute the firmware loader.
I jumped through all the hoops with the constant fear of “bricking” my device all for the glory of being able to play all my favorite Nintendo, Super Nintendo and Genesis games on the go. Thing is it worked, and worked amazingly well. I could boot into an emulator, but also be able to play just about any UMD based game I came across. Additionally through dark science, I was able to take my Castlevania Symphony of the Night playstation disc and rip it into a format capable of running on the device. So quickly this became my favorite toy. Not only could I play Super Metroid, but I could also play SOTN… my favorite game of all time.
The only problem with this notion is that the world evolved around me… and I was essentially stuck on this custom flavor of firmware 3.01. I can remember that the Final Fantasy II remake was the first game I purchased, but was unable to play on my psp. With the realization that I was stuck on this firmware, with no real upgrade path… and no real time to research said upgrade path… my device became something I only really broke out on road trips. Since I tend to be the one driving… it didn’t even make it off the shelf that often.
With my resurgence in console gaming, I had noticed there were all these games I had sitting on my PS3 harddrive that claimed to be capable of copying to the psp. I had a renewed fire to try and figure out a way to get my 3.01 OE-A firmware device up to 6.60 the latest revision and the one required to connect to the playstation network. While waiting on the cable guy last Thursday I had nothing better to do than research how to fix the problem. The problem with an underground community… most of the information listed is speculation and mythos.
After following down several rabbit trails to find nothing, I finally found a tool that would supposedly allow me to restore my firmware back to a stable version. The highest I could get with the tool was 6.20, which was technically high enough to run almost anything… just not enough to connect to the PSN. I executed the process and sure enough it worked restoring my device back to 6.20. The only problem is… it worked with an Asterisk.
Apparently in the process of restoring the device it somehow corrupted something known as “IDStorage”. Anytime I attempted to patch up to 6.60 from there I got a pretty arcane error message with an error code of “drnffffffd7”. Seems as though the root of it is, that my physical hardware and my firmware version do not match exactly based on this region code chart. The latest versions of the official firmware check this before applying the update, and as a result I am pretty much hung once more on an older version of the firmware.
There is a fix, but it involves something called a Pandora Battery. The further and further I get into this process, the more and more it sounds like an episode of Doctor Who. Turns out “Pandora Battery” is just the publicly traded name for a special device called a “Service Mode” battery. Apparently this was device that was handed out to PSP service centers, that allows the technicians to essentially flip your device into a kind of debug mode so that they can fix various bits of software and load new firmwares without software protections.
This is apparently paired with something called a “Magic Memory Stick” which also seems to tie its roots back to the official service centers. Both of which are apparently created through using a certain tool on your device. Ironically… in order to run that tool… I have to apply a custom firmware patch again. So last night I went through the process to turn my 6.20 official into 6.20PRO-C2. Unfortunately the aftermarket batteries that I picked up do not have the required eprom needed to convert them into pandora batteries.
After some digging online I found a place that sells the Pandora battery for roughly 10 bucks after shipping. The only problem… it is coming from china, and as a result will take between 17 and 24 days to get here based on Amazon estimates. So for the time being I have a custom firmware psp that can run pretty much any game on the market, but just not be able to connect to the playstation network… and let me copy games from my ps3 to it. I guess while I wait I will enjoy the concept of playing emulators on a mobile device again.
The moral of the story is… do not venture down the custom firmware path unless you want it to forever dominate your future. From what I understand… I would have had issues going from 3.01 official to 6.60 official anyway. But that would have just meant downloading a bunch of intermediary firmware’s and stepping through the process. However these firmware are only really available on the mod community sites, so I would have been traipsing down a lot of the same alleyways. From my understanding, a good chunk of what made my transition so hard is the fact that I applied a custom firmware back when they had not quite figured out how the device worked.
Anyways… I thought someone might at least find the tale entertaining. I have a Pandora Battery on the way, have made a Magic Memory Stick… and in a months time when it finally arrives I will attempt the IDStorage fix and see if I can go all the way to 6.60. Basically throughout this entire process you walk a super fine line of trying not to “brick” your device. I hope you all have a great day… and don’t venture down any trails that lead to dead ends. Each day brings us closer to the weekend!