• Steam recently changed the default privacy settings for all users. This may impact tracking. Ensure your profile has the correct settings by following the guide on our forums.

New to PSP? Got Questions? Then Look Here First for Answers


eXo Staff
[No Longer updated & in parts completely out of date]

For all you newbies out there i have prepared a guide on the more asked questions, hopefully this will help you understand a bit more before you start :wink:

PSP Units & what they can do

Region Models

PSP-X001-US/North America
PSP-X002-Austraila/New Zealand
PSP-X006-Hong Kong/Singapore

Substitute X for the Model of PSP.

The Phat psp (PSP-100X) has the ability to soft-mod a battery to pandora, it can be hacked regardless of it's current firmware & it is capable of running any 1.50 based homebrew although for increased compatibility it is required to install the 1.50 Kernel add-on. It also has infra-red (later removed on the PSP-200X series). As expected it is bigger and heavy than the slim.


The Slim psp (PSP-200X); on the first slims with the TA-085 (3.60 OFW) motherboard can 'soft-mod' a battery Phat or slim. Later versions (and almost immediatly after release) the ability to 'soft-mod' was removed; if you try you will get the error code 0x80250084. Most pandora software can now tell you what motherboard you have now. The Slim also has twice the Ram of the PSP-1000.

The slim TA-088v3 motherboard is currently un-hackable to a point (see later), this motherboard is present in 99% of PSP's that came with OFW greater than 4.00. Pandora will not work on these PSP's and neither would any route. If you try to use pandora nothing will happen. IT will not brick your PSP.

Dark Alex has a tool to determine/confirm this motherboard, if you think you need it you can grab it Here

Slim Motherboards are as :-

TA-085v1 (Mine)
TA-085v2 (No battery EEPROM write access from here onwards)
TA-088v3 (Revised internal security)
TA-090v1 (Rare, can install CFW, it is speculated, this is PSP3k stock, with old IC's)

The Slim can on it's own can run Homebrew for the 3.XX kernel (this includes 4.xx, 5.xx Firmwares), it is possibly to use 1.50 based through a couple of applications; The Leda legacy v.0.2 loader being one. The Timemachine being the other: If your new to psp, better to learn the basics before trying this though; Almost all Homebrew can now run on 3.xx just fine though.

The PSP-300X; At the current time this cannot run CFW. It has, however, be made to run a couple of homebrew games via the gripshift exploit. SCE blocked this with FW 5.03 so if you are to have any hope of CFW in the future. DO not update past 5.03. In my experience the lower the FW the easier to crack.

There is also a Tiff exploit, which can be used on TA-088v3, TA-090v2 and the PSP-3000 which allows the use of the chickHEN R2 (created by Davee). The exploit (& the HEN) requires 5.03 OFW so if you FW is higher than that...Bad Luck.

A HEN:Homebrew ENabler (in simple terms, a homebrew loader) with HEN enabled, you can launch homebrew normally like you would on a custom firmware from the game section of the XMB. Once HEN is launched, it remains in memory until the PSP is totally shut off. You must run HEN every time your PSP is turned back on from being completely shut off in order to run homebrew again. This is because all applied patches in memory are lost due to the RAM itself losing powersupply and therefore "forgetting" everything that was once in it.

There has also been a Custom Firmware Enabler created which will place some M33 modules into the remaining space in Flash0, it does not flash anything simply adds to files you already have, the biggest plus (for Many :( ) with the CFE is the ability to use ISO files.

You can obtain the CFE from here - Custom Firmware Enabler

The CFE enabler is safe to use on the PSP-3000, Ta-088v3 although it needs to be loaded via the chickHEN R2.

There is also a range of GEN Firmwares which can be simulated using the PSP-3000 and TA-088v3, although you shall have to google for the latest one which currently stands at 5.03

At this stage the TA-088v3 or PSP-3000 cannot run full CFW and if you try to flash CFW to it - IT will brick your psp with no way of fixing it. The same will apply if you access Flash0 and change/modify/alter any file within it. You have been warned. :)

The PSPgo cannot run any kind of CFW, but there are a few applications which can be used in order to run some homebrew, this is changing quickly so you will need to update yourself here.

If you want more information on any PSP motherboard then use this - Know your motherboard


CFW = Custom Firmware. Operating system for your psp, Dark alex is the most popular with his range of M33 firmwares (5.00m33-6 the most current), and before that the Open Edition (OE). Other CFW is available, Team GEN creating the GEN range, their latest is 5.50 GEN d3.

OFW = Official FirmWare. Sony's own range of firmware and usually present when you buy a brand new psp, in my view vastly inferior to both M33 and GEN.

IPL = Intial Program Loader. This is the action that intially boots up your PSP, there are modified versions of this that allow the use of pandora and the ability to boot the PSP from the MS as opposed to the PSP. Examples are the TM-ipl (the most popular) but before that we had Boosters Multi-ipl. There is also the standard IPL.

Using the Multi-IPL or TM-IPL will allow you to use your battery like normal even if it has been set to Pandora (Service Mode)


Pandora Battery (a.k.a Jigkick/Datel Tool/Service Mode)

A Battery that posseses a EEprom can be changed to a different serial in order to allow a different IPL to be used, by having a pandora this allows you (with a MMS) to install FW to your PSP and/or un-brick a psp. If you insert your battery and all you get is a green light and blank screen you have pandora.

All Genuine Sony batteries contain the EEPROM except those released with the PSP-300X (They contain a different IC, possibly a (Mask)Rom with encryption), the EEPROM isn't disabled by pandora'izing; it's serial is merely changed to 0xFFFFFFFF.and as a rule any 3rd party batteries (i.e. Fakes) also do not have the required EEprom.

A pandora battery can be created via 'Soft-modding' or 'Hard modding' (cutting the internal 5th Pin on the actual EEprom).

Soft Modding = the batteries EEprom serial is changed via a psp to enable service mode, a psp must be already running CFW for this to work & the PSP must have a motherboard capable of doing so. Check the PSP guide above for the psp's which can do this.

Hard Modding = the battery is opened up and the 5th pin to the EEprom is cut to enable pandora mode, there is a real risk of damage to the battery (& yourself) if this is done wrong! Many have done it succesfully though and it can be possible to restore battery back to normal

It is possible to purchase 'Tool' Batteries which can be switched manually between pandora or normal, some are stuck on pandora.

Datel has a tool battery which can be bought from most suppliers - Personally there is no way i would pay unless i had no other way.

MS and MMS = Memory sticks or Magic Memory sticks

When the root of the Memory stick is mentioned this means the first screen you see whenn you connect your PSP to a PC.

No explanation needed for Memory stick, it is preferable (although not essential) that you have a genuine 'Magic Gate supported' card, particulary if you intend to convert it to 'Magic', in my experience fake cards rarely convert and in some instances corrupt if you try. This is not always the case though (you might be lucky!) with some fakes working as good as a genuine.

Magic Memory Stick
is the term used for a Memory card that has Pandora software installed to it - There are a multitude of programs that can be used the most popular is the Despertar del Cementerio range by Dark Alex - These, dependant on version will install M33 Firmware to you PSP. There are a number of versions with 8 being the newest.

There are also a number of installers that can install DCX to your Memory stick, including some useful tools for PSP Modding, take a look here if you need something like that - [eXophase downloads

It also must be a Pro-duo and in size terms no smaller than 512mb, cards of 4gb can be used although (in my view only) can be a waste of space. I have 3 or 4 MS, with my regular 'Gaming' stick being 8gb.

Fake Memory cards - if you open a menu (i.e. Game) and press triangle, select information and if it says magic gate unknown or un-supported this is a fake. See the picture below for the information Screen.


Click Information..


As you can see my Memory stick is genuine, as indicated by MagicGate Supported.

Sometimes you can buy a 4gb and it only has 2gb of usable space, even though you can fill it to 4gb only 2gb will display on the psp. Other symptoms include low read/write speeds and general build quality is low. Plus side is they are cheap, and cost almost 65% less than a genuine card - You pays your money, you takes your choice.
With all that said though; sometimes you get lucky and it will work exactly like any other genuine card, a little slower perhaps but that is all. It's a lottery. :closedeyes:


Example of Fake cards above, look good don't they.

More information required, then use this link - Fake Cards : Know before you buy

Micro SDHC cards - Many have/are using micro sd cards in a converter this can give you cheap memory storage that appears to work just like a pro duo, i have never used this method before and the psp was not designed to run them, Even so i have heard no real bad news tales about them. I remain open minded.


NAND = Internal PSP Operating system files / storage

The NAND is comprised of a number of elements. Flash 0,1,2,3 and the IDStorage.

Flash0 holds the key operating files for your PSP, messing about here should only be done if you are advanced with PSP modding - tinkering in this drive is the most common way to brick your psp. The need to has become less popular since the CXMB plugin.

Flash1 holds user settings, such as Network details, nickname and other information

Flash2 In firmwares 3.00 and up, this contains the half of the DRM for Sony's official PS1 emulator(the other half being in the flash0), it is also thought to hold the PSN settings

Flash3 Currently unused and about 1mb in size although in custom firmwares it can be used along with flash2 to redirect firmware elements such as fonts. From my research this remains un-confirmed.

The Collective name for these drives is Lflash, using DC7,8 or Nandtool it is possible to re-partion Lflash, meaning that you can determine the sizes for the flash drives (advanced) or it can re-partion back to default settings. If you are up-grading and you are getting a problem with the PSP being stuck at formatting flash x then it is likely you will need to do this.

IDStorage holds the keys specific for the psp, these control/execute/call the required functions of the psp, there are certain keys that are unique to your psp for UMD,Wi-fi etc. Since Dark Alex released DC7 and DC8 with IDstorage rengeneration this area has become easier to manage (although you should very rarely need to!). Without the IDstorage you have no PSP. It is known that certain downgraders can corrupt this area although since pandora & increases in PSP development knowledge this has become less prevalent.

There was a time when the ultimate advice to give was 'to back up the NAND', this is where a tool (i.e NANDtool by Cory142, still in my eyes second only to the DC range as a PSP application) will dump an image of your internal NAND, this can be restored to the PSP in the event of a serious brick taking it back to the point the NAND dump was taken. It's basically a snapshot of your psp at the time, the IDstorage could also be dumped independently of the NAND in the same fashion. Since DC7 and then later DC8 this has become less important, before that damage in the IDstorage could not be repaired unless you had either a NAND image or a dump of the IDstorage aka 'The Keys'. It is worth mentioning that the IDstorage is made up of individual keys, When people talk about the PSP keys they also mean the IDstorage.

M33 Driver and the Sony NP-9660
These Driver's allow the use of ISO's and CSO's (compressed ISO Images), there are very minor differences between the two although i prefer the M33 driver. It is possible that some ISO's will function better on the M33 driver over the Sony Np-9660 and vice versa. If you are having problems loading an ISO this is usally the first place to look. In addition if you are displaying the Error code 80020148 this usually means you need to enable either Driver in recovery Mode, this error code can also be displayed if the back up you are trying to load has a FW requirement greater than the FW you are running. This is especially true when using those that require a FW greater than 5.50 (GEN D3 can auto patch these to bypass the FW Check, as time moves on, as does the compatibility of this).

These drivers both exist within the PSP, so there is no additional installing to be done (other than CFW) in order to use these & if you have M33 firmware you can hit select to pull up the M33 VSH recovery menu and select between a number of drivers.

SEPlugins - Using them, and install

There are many 3rd party plugins that can be used on your psp, these plugins can enhance or add features to your PSP as example Screenshot, Sorters, CFW extenders; there are literally hundreds of different options.
Usually these are placed in the SEplugins folder (if you have CFW, if you have OFW..bad luck) and the corresponding config.txt amended to reflect the addition. When placing a plugin always, always read the read me. This will give you all the install instructions you will need.

Some Plugins exist that require you to install them to Flash0, as you will read later on if you intend to use this route always make a back up of Flash0 in order you can return it back to default when you want. Personally i never use this sort and i would not advise it if you are new to PSP modding.

The plugins will need to be enabled in recovery mode (discussed later ;) ) by accessing the plugins section and switching to enabled, some but not all plugins will automatically enable upon installation.

If you are on 5.00M33-6 use this link - Useful plugins for 5.00M33-6 - to view a range of some of the more widely used plugins out there.

For a more complete list then use this link - CFW plugins.

If you have an idea for an addition to your PSP, chances are a plugin has been designed for it :)

Playing PSX (PS1) games on PSP

In order to play PSX games on a psp, you need to set up the popsloader for maximum compatibility. Im not going to talk about this as it has been done better and in more detail here - Setting up M33 Popsloader.

This guide will work for all M33 Firmwares but you will need the firmware specific popsloader from - Dark Alex

If you need to convert your PSX(PS1) Game disc to a workable PSP Eboot then follow this guide - PSX > PSP Eboot

Recovery Mode

Cold off on PSP, Turn on while holding RTRIGGER.


A whole host of functions to enhance your psp, to many to list here although it is advised to do your research before messing about here particulary if you are new to PSP. This area can also allow access to any one of the Flash Drives.


VSH Recovery Mode

Once you have M33 firmware running you have a VSH recovery menu, press select from the XMB (Xross Menu Bar) and you will see the below


- You can set the speed of the XMB in operation, mine is set to 300/150. Default is when enabled restores back to factory standard.

- This sets the running speed of the processor, it can be increased to 333/166 if required, if it is set to Default the game will set the speed in any event. Be warned though increasing to maximum will burn up the battery! It is possible to 'Underclock' your psp by lowering this setting, as expected this can effect loading speeds.

USB Device
- Once connector via USB you can determine which flash drive will be displayed - for general operation this should remain on Memory stick (unless you want access to Flash0,1,2,3)

- You can determine which driver you want in operation. Scroll through for choices.

The others are self explanatory, the VSH recovery menu can be disabled in full recovery mode if you wish. (Trust me, easy for young children to tinker with!)

And Finally..............

If your still stuck and need help, then the information people are going to need help is

- Model of PSP you have (Phat, slim, 3000?)
- What you were doing at the time and with what?
- Current firmware you are using; CFW or otherwise.
- Any Error codes that are displayed, usually displayed alphabetically or numericaly.

If you have an error code, please check here - PSP Error Code list

You can obtain the current firmware by going to Settings>System information> Your current FW is displayed there (see pic below)



If you have read all of this and your still confused then head over to eXophase's help center.

Credits for Information to Jx233 ;), MaxMouseDLL :wink:, Slasher ;)

I am going to add to this, but if i have missed anything you think is important, then give us a shout. :wink:

Thanks to all the great dev's who make PSP modding, so easy for us all. :biggrin:


Flash2 unknown (help me fill in the blank someone?)

Flash2- It stores PSN settings + PSN DRM.

BTW, nice guide for the noobs. (+rep)


eXo Staff
Flash2- It stores PSN settings + PSN DRM.

BTW, nice guide for the noobs. (+rep)

Thanks For that :smile: I shall get it updated.


New Member
very organized. newbs should read this.


Hey, I got something concerning NAND.

The PSP NAND is made up of three main sections:

IPL - Initial Program Loader

lflash - The lflash contains flash0, flash1, flash2, and flash3.

idstorage- contains unqiue PSP keys.

I only posted this to inform you about the existence of lflash and what the NAND is actaully made up of. :smile: I know you already knew about the other parts of NAND. I found the information concerning lflash here.

january39 said:
TA-090v1 (Rare, can install CFW, it is speculated, this is PSP3k stock, with old IC's)

Yes, this was in PSP-3000 but had old ICs just like you said. Thats why there have been reports of unreleased PSP-3000s running Version 3.90.


eXo Staff
Hey, I got something concerning NAND.

The PSP NAND is made up of three main sections:

lflash - The lflash contains flash0, flash1, flash2, and flash3.

Yes, this was in PSP-3000 but had old ICs just like you said. Thats why there have been reports of unreleased PSP-3000s running Version 3.90.

Yes, that one slipped me bye - I will update it to suit as it will give some explanantion over the repartion Lflash option, and it's use. Cheers JX223


New Member
how does flash3 redirect fonts? ive never heard of that happening


eXo Staff
how does flash3 redirect fonts? ive never heard of that happening

Hmm, yes. Not entirely sure myself, god bless wikipedia. I was struggling to find out what Flash3 does.

I have USB'd all of the flash drives and in flash2,3 there is nothing in them at all. I have show hidden folders, operating files etc set to show. This would support the fact that they might be just transfer space, to re-direct files during a FW install. Having no knowledge in that area though...... I'll keep looking - someone must know out there.


New Member
You should include links to downgraders, it would help make it more complete.


New Member
There is a lot of useful information in this thread for people who are new to the PSP scene. Nice job. ;)


eXo Staff
You should include links to downgraders, it would help make it more complete.

Yeah, i thought about that, but the guide is more a background information, we have many guides for the diff d/g's here. Its a good point though; i might just do it.

There is a lot of useful information in this thread for people who are new to the PSP scene. Nice job.

Thanks :biggrin:


New Member
Well i ment for newer firmwares, because for some reason, the m33 network update feature was disabled, and i thought it was still m33 firmware. :rolleyes:


eXo Staff
Well i ment for newer firmwares, because for some reason, the m33 network update feature was disabled, and i thought it was still m33 firmware. :rolleyes:

Sorry Angel, im a bit confused now. :confused1: The M33 Network updater is still present.


New Member
no I was saying it accidently got disabled in recovery mode, then I thought I was updating to 5.00m33-6. Haha


january39 said:
Credits for Information to Jx223, MaxMouseDLL.

I'm sorry to bother you about this, but it says: "Jx223" when actually my name is "jx233". Is that a typo or is my name misktaken?


eXo Staff
I'm sorry to bother you about this, but it says: "Jx223" when actually my name is "jx233". Is that a typo or is my name misktaken?

No problems, Changed. pesky Typos :smile:


New Member
- Model of PSP you have (Phat, slim?) - Slim
- What you were doing at the time and with what? - Upgrade 3.71 - Latest so I can play a new game
- Current firmware you are using; CFW or otherwise. - 3.71

Help please

I should add that I downloaded 500m33_4 and copied the Update file to my memory card in PSP folder. Have run update but it wants 500.PBP


eXophase Staff
You will also have to download the original ofw update file of sony and rename it to 500.pbp and then put it in the same update folder, then run the update...