Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

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Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby ifkz » 2018-7-14 @ 03:12

I did a quick search and did not find a similar topic, so here goes:
Some time ago I rescued six Playstation 2 IDE hard drives from the trash can, these are the type that fit inside of the older PS2's drive bay and interface with the network adapter. Has anyone attempted to format one of these, put it in a PC and install DOS on it? I am rapidly running out of working good IDE drives for my builds and these seem ideal if they work.

If this was unclear, here is a wikipedia picture of the drive and network adapter:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sony ... daptor.jpg
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby Jo22 » 2018-7-14 @ 03:49

Not quite the same, but I heard that old XBoxes (first gen) were ripped-apart for their 20GB HDDs.
If memory serves, this was said to had happen in Brasilia in the mid-late 2000s or so.
Apparently, there was a market for 20GB drives for PC usage (that's enough for PCs running for XP or 98SE).

Anyway, MS-DOS is a different matter. DOS 7.1 might be able to make use of LBA, if the 486 BIOS supports that.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2018-7-14 @ 04:44

Classic Xbox has 8 Gb HDD from Western Digital which should be compatible both with DOS 6.22 and 486s LBA limitations. Also never heard of 20 Gb version of classic Xbox, those were bundled with early Xbox360.

PS2 HDD is compatible with x86 PC in general, but 40 Gb is too much for 486 to handle on its own.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby keropi » 2018-7-14 @ 07:38

The ps2 hdds should just work.
The original Xbox ones are a different story: Each Xbox uses a unique ATA HDD password to lock the drive , so you need to run unsigned code to that Xbox , unlock the drive ( or find the password in the bios and unlock it in a pc) and then you can use it like a normal drive.
Xbox came with 8gb WD drives and later they switched to 10gb Seagate ones ( still formatted as 8gb though). These later drives are really nice, single platter, slim and quiet.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby Jo22 » 2018-7-14 @ 07:44

@The Serpent Rider Thanks for the information must have been 8Gb drives then. It's been a while since I had the original model.
I got it second hand, along with the remote control and some VGA/RGB cabling.
IMHO it was a good media center / DVD player with a Matrix-inspired GUI, at least.

Windows XP SP1/SP2 needs 1.5GB for itself, plus a few 100MBs swap.
I guess these HDDs were good enough for a PC-equivalent of Frankenstein's monster. :D

(I imagine PC parts in development countries were a colourful mishmash of all generations..
Pentium 3 PC with IBM Model M keyboard, 768MB RAM, old AT full tower chase, Sony TFT, SB Vibra, laser mouse,
Win XP, 2GB HDD, 8GB IDE HDD, 5,25" floppy drive, CD-Writer, DVD reader, ISA LAN card for DSL )

Edit: Typos fixed.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby Zup » 2018-7-14 @ 07:59

I've used PC HDDs into PS2s, so they will work the opposite way.

Just remember to FDISK it (I won't remember if PS2 used traditional partitions), do a FDISK /MBR to ensure you have a valid boot record and format it.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby Koltoroc » 2018-7-14 @ 15:48

The Serpent Rider wrote:Classic Xbox has 8 Gb HDD from Western Digital which should be compatible both with DOS 6.22 and 486s LBA limitations. Also never heard of 20 Gb version of classic Xbox, those were bundled with early Xbox360.

PS2 HDD is compatible with x86 PC in general, but 40 Gb is too much for 486 to handle on its own.


They weren't 20GB Xbox models, they still only had 8GB available. However, there were models that had higher capacity HDDs that were artificially limited to 8GB. From what I have heard they had at times supply issues with 8GB HDDs and had to use larger ones. Most common were 10GB HDDs but I have heard of 20GB disks as well.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby SW-SSG » 2018-7-14 @ 18:05

keropi wrote:Xbox came with 8gb WD drives and later they switched to 10gb Seagate ones ( still formatted as 8gb though). These later drives are really nice, single platter, slim and quiet.

The WD ones are also single-platter, but noisier because they used ball bearings. Both are 5400RPM and likely relatively slow as boot drives in a PC environment, though a 486 is slower still.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby CelGen » 2018-7-15 @ 05:10

The last time I handled the hard drives used in the Playstation 2 I found they used rebranded drives with Sony firmware so while they may work in anything else they are very special to the Playstation 2 in that the official Sony tools will ONLY detect and work with the Sony rebranded disks and not disks from the OEM. This isn't as much of a problem when you are using non-Sony disks with non-sony authorized software. ;)
You can however swap the PCB between the Sony and OEM drives (should for example the original Sony HDA crash because Maxtor slimlines suck) and after Sony's utility does a format it should work fine (on the PS2).

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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby firage » 2018-7-15 @ 06:53

They're probably worth more as PS2 HDD's, at least all the reasonably large ones. HDD's are dime a dozen, until you need one compatible with the PS2. Not that they're entirely too rare, but kind of a perishable supply.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby The Serpent Rider » 2018-7-15 @ 18:21

until you need one compatible with the PS2

Folks even fit modern 2tb HDDs into them, so that's not really something to worry about.
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Re: Formatting Playstation 2 fat hard drive for use in a 486 build?

Postby brostenen » 2018-7-15 @ 20:37

Just pop in a harddrive, like a 128gb seagate, and format it to 48bit filesystem using HD-Loader.
No MS-Dos compatibility, as the filesystem is not compatible.
You can use various programs to transfer data, or use HD-Loader to rip original games directly.
If you want to transfer ISO files, ripped from originals on a Windows PC, then there is a special tool.
You can transfer directly with the Ps2 HDD, connected to the PC's controller.
Or you can transfer over network. You can even use USB harddrive's with a special version of HD-Loader.

I had HDD's from 40gb to and including 128gb's running on my Ps2, some 10 years ago.
More specifically: 40, 60, 80 and 128gb drives.

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