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Playing UMD Backups

Handheld console devices are supposed to be mobile. However, once you have owned one for more than a week, you start to realize that mobility is relative. What no one tells you is that you have to carry around a backpack to hold all your games, batteries, and cords. This starts to get really annoying when you forget to put a game in your PSP or just fail to bring the one that everyone is playing via a wifi hook up at work. Finally, what happens if you loose a game or it gets destroyed?

This final question is one that has cause gamers a lot of grief over the years. The solution at first was simple: just make a backup. That way a damaged game disc could easily be restored. In addition, if the backup was stored on a mass media device, like a hard drive, the gamer could have quick and easy access to all their games without having to lug around the CD's.

Needless to say, console makers do not like this idea at all because they see it as a threat to their game market. Users can easily share their backup game files with other players via bittorrent or FTP. Since many console makers factor in the sale of games as part of their budget planning, the whole notion of being able to backup a game is highly discouraged by all means necessary. This typically includes hardware protections built into the system itself so gamers will never be able to make working copies. Therefore, it is no surprise that the PSP included some serious obstacles to those who wanted to make backups of their games.

Given the widespread use and acceptance of the PSP, it is no surprise that hackers overcame all the obstacles needed to create backups of UMD disks and play them from the Memory Stick. The following outlines the general steps you need to make your own ISO images and play them on your PSP.

  1. Download fastoader v0.7 from http://forums.maxconsole.net/showthread.php?t=8346 (requires registration)

  2. Unzip fastloader (creates a ISO, ISOMISC, ISOSPLIT, and PSP directory)

  3. Connect PSP to your PC via USB cord

  4. Once you have access to the X:\ drive (G:\ in my case), copy over the four folders and their contents directly onto the Memory Duo Card.

To create ISO backup

  1. Copy existing ISO file into ISO directory on a Memory Stick

  2. Ensure a disc is in the UMD drive (any UMD)

  3. Scroll right over to Game menu

  4. Scroll down to Memory Stick and hit X key

  5. Select fastloader from the list of options and hit X (figure 4)

  6. Figure 04

    Figure 4: Fastloader display screen

  7. A PSP slash screen will load, followed by the fastloader menu

  8. Select Dump inserted UMD!

  9. Freak out when screen says Erasing flash...(figure 5)

  10. Figure 05

    Figure 5: Fastloader sense of humor

  11. Once dumper loads, hit the X key to start dump process if you have enough free memory (figure 6)

  12. Figure 06

    Figure 6: Dump UMD screen

  13. If your card is not big enough, you can split the file into chunks and download them from the Memory Stick while in the dumping program.

    1. Use the left/right button to specify the size of the RAR file to create

    2. Use the ^ button to enable/disable USB connection to PC

  14. Once dump is complete, reset the PSP by holding the POWER switch up for a few seconds.

To play existing ISO

  1. Load fastloader using steps 1-6 above

  2. Select the game ISO from the menu list and hit X to play

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