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Note: (something) indicates kanji or something else that I can't read yet. I'll post a translation when one is available.

This guide is copyright 2003-2005 by Jeffrey McDonald. All of the pictures, except for those that are noted, were taken by me. Nothing from this guide may be reproduced without my permission and without crediting me for the work. If you want to publish any information from this guide or host the guide on your website you must get my permission.

UPDATE for August 4th, 2005: IMPORTANT It has come to my attention from several people that play Minna no Golf Online (I don't play the game or have any access to it at all) that online service for the game is being discontinued sometime during October 2005. Consider that possibility before buying that game, as I don't yet know if the game has an offline mode.

UPDATE for July 10th, 2005: I have added a section for feega, since it is needed for a few games that use the HDD.

UPDATE for February 28th, 2004: Finally... The long awaited, and long overdue update. I have updated some info for some functions I have figured out, the one change with PSBBN 0.32, and some FAQ info now that the gaming HDD has been released in North America. Unfortunately, the software this guide covers has not been released in North America, and probably never will be. Instead, North America gets HDD Utility Disc 1.10, which is identical to the HDD Utility Disc 1.00 that the Japanese HDD launched with in 2001 (and which was later replaced and made obsolete by PSBBN in 2002) except for it being in English and coming with a newer DVD Driver version. Europe never got the gaming HDD, and apparently never will thanks to the slim model (which doesn't support the HDD) being the only PS2 model in production outside of Japan.

GUIDE POSTED January 1st, 2003: First version created and uploaded, covering PSBBN version 0.20.

PSBBN 0.31  just seems to be updated to prevent patching so that a modchip and a Linux Kit cannot run the program without an official HDD or on a foreign PS2, as was possible with earlier versions.

PSBBN 0.32 has only one apparent change, in the Music Channel. An option related to transferring music between the HDD and a MiniDisc player has been removed from the software.

The guide now has information showing what was added in PSBBN 0.30 and how to use some of it. I'm still working on the details of the Mail program. It's very similar to Eudora or Outlook. If you know how to configure either of those programs to check email, configuring the PSBBN mail program should be simple once you know which information each field is asking for. The limitation with the PSBBN mail program is that it only works with SMTP and POP3 for sending and receiving mail.

One of my friends had me order a Japanese PS2 with a HDD for him recently, so I was able to make an installation guide for it. I didn't do it earlier because I risked losing everything on my HDD (some of which can no longer be replaced). As far as I can tell there isn't really any differences in the menus for the install discs for PSBBN 0.10, 0.20, or 0.30, so this guide should cover them all, even though it was made using the 0.30 install discs.

PSBBN Installation Guide

Now for when PSBBN boots up after you've installed it:

 

Appears when you first load the PS2 from the HDD (or choose Update from some menus) after having previously configured the network settings and if you haven't run Update before or if a newer version of PSBBN has been released for download than what you already have installed. If the Update is successful then more content is added to the Game Channel and/or PSBBN will be upgraded to the latest version. Update will only be successful if the PS2 is properly connected to the internet via broadband. The new content is Channels from various companies that produce PS2 software and has downloadable content related to released or upcoming games. Downloads can be games, pictures, music, or movies.

Next Screen if you choose to do an update

Next screen after update is finished or update doesn't appear

Here's some Frequently Asked Questions about the HDD.

 

The Kingdom Hearts title screen when a HDD is installed and properly formatted. Notice the Install option at the bottom of the screen? It's not there unless KH detects a properly formatted HDD.

Now for Xenosaga. It's the same thing, Install doesn't appear unless a properly formatted HDD is detected.

The Xenosaga load game menu. After I installed PSBBN version 0.20, instead of just slot 1 and 2 being options, hard disk drive appeared.

After I put a Xenosaga save in the Your Saves folder on my HDD I could load the save from the HDD. I can also save the game to that folder in the HDD from within the game. At the top of the screen it says "Load: Hard Disk Drive" in katakana. It usually says "Load: Slot 1" or "Load: Slot 2" but it seems to be able to support saving to the HDD with PSBBN 0.20.

And now the Final Fantasy X International title screen with the install option that doesn't appear unless a properly formatted HDD is detected.

The option to install Unlimited SaGa to the HDD. The HDD is also referred to as the PlayStation BB Unit in Japan. This picture was supplied by Alkaizer.

Other credits:

Big Ghost on GameFAQs' Message Boards - directed my attention toward an error in my FAQ relating to the HDD firmware.

Meng Dreamshine - Supplied translations for some of the kanji in the menus that I don't know yet.