PS3 Hacking 101A faq about PS3 hacking and modding INDEX OF CONTENTS [*]Jailbreak dongle and softmod [*]Custom Firmware List of custom firmwares for 3.55 PSN Enabling Custom Firmwares [*]Backup Managers [*]Going back to OFW [*]Homebrew [*]PSN [*]Glossary Jailbreak dongle and softmod Q. Which is safer: Using a jailbreak dongle or softmodding? Jailbreaking using a dongle involves the installation of an external unauthorized device, whereas a softmod is installing a software. Using 'jailbreak dongles' can be relatively easier and safer because they temporarily boot the PS3 in debug mode, which allows the installation of unauthorized software, colloquially called homebrew. The PS3 becomes normal when the dongle is taken out. A softmod is more difficult to do and holds greater risk than a jailbreak dongle because it installs CFW permanently. This doesn't go without saying that even using jailbreak dongles is risky. Q. How can I keep my console safe during a softmod? Softmodding can be risky. There are however ways to reduce chances of spoiling/bricking your PS3. First of all, you need to ensure that the custom firmware you are installing is valid. To do this, check if the MD5 Checksum of the custom firmware you have downloaded is correct i.e. it matches with the MD5 checksum given on the website from which you downloaded it. Another way in which your PS3 can be bricked/rendered useless is a power cut during the installation of custom firmware. To keep your PS3 safe, you should plug it into a UPS during the installation process. Custom Firmware Q. What custom firmwares are currently available? A wide spectrum of custom firmwares are available for the PS3. However, only firmware versions 3.55 and 3.41 support custom firmwares. There is only one custom firmware available for 3.41 and that is Herme's Custom Firmware. Two popular jailbreak dongles for 3.41 are x3max and PSBreak. List of custom firmwares for 3.55: Kmeaw's custom firmware: This, according to the majority, is the best available custom firmware but to run backups, you need to run a LV2 patch each time before you start a backup manager. Alternatively, you can install BDEMU and this is just a one time install. Waninkoko's v1 custom firmware: The installation of this custom firmware is highly risky as many people have reported that their PS3 was bricked with the infamous YLOD when they installed it. Waninkoko's v2 custom firmware: This custom firmware resolved the issues which the first one presented. This is an excellent custom firmware and runs game without the need of any patch. However, most games which require higher firmwares(3.56, 3.60) do not work. Some games requiring 3.56 have been patched and run after the patch has been applied. Geohot's 3.55 jailbreak: This is where it all started, Geohot's jailbreak for PS3s on 3.55. This is not very useful now, as it cannot run backups and requires homebrews to be patched for them to run on it. Most, if not all custom firmwares can run hombrews without patching. Wutangrza's CFW: Wutangrza's CFW for 3.55. It includes a payload, like Waninkoko's CFW, but needs signed pkg files like Geohot's jailbreak. PSN Enabling Custom Firmwares: These custom firmwares were previously used to enable PSN but they no longer work. [*]Naima's CFW [*]PS3ITA's CFW Team Rebug's CFW Q. Which custom firmware is the best? In my opinion, waninkoko's v2 CFW is the best as it can run games without lv2 patching. Kmeaw's cfw is equally good. In the end, it all comes down to your personal opinion. Backup Managers Q. What are backup managers? Backup managers are homebrew applications which are installed using the '*Install Package Files' option(which is enabled with custom firmwares). Homebrew applications are applications that are developed by users and are not licensed by Sony. Backup managers are used to store and manage games so that you don't have to insert a blu-ray disk each time you want to play a game. Q. What backup managers are currently available? A huge number of backup managers are available but this faq covers only frequently updated ones. List of backup managers: MultiMAN: MultiManager's main purpose is to run backups but it also serves as a File Manager, an FTP server and an AVCHD and BDMV player. Rogero Manager: This backup manager is based off Open Manager Iris Manager: This is an open-source backup manager and is based off Hermes Manager. HManager: This is Hermes backup manager for version. Like Rogero Manager, HManager is also based off Open Manager. Gaia Manager: This is another popular manager and it is frequently updated. Backup Manager: This is PS Jailbreak's backup manager and only works with that dongle. Q. How can I transfer downloaded games from my PC to my backup manager? This is a fairly commonly asked question. There are three ways in which you can do this. Transferring games to the PS3's hdd FTP: Games can be transferred to the internal harddisk of the PS3 through an FTP server running on the computer. You need to run an FTP client on your computer and an FTP homebrew app(like Blackbox) on your PS3 and then you can transfer games. The game's folder needs to be transferred to /dev_hdd0/GAMEZ Using an NTFS external harddrive: Only MultiMAN supports NTFS harddrives. You need to first enable NTFS on multiMAN. The softmod sticky contains instructions on how to do so. Then, you need to copy it to your harddrive and copy it to /dev_hdd0/GAMEZ using the file manager function of MultiMAN. Using a FAT32 formatted pendrive/external hdd: You can also copy games using a FAT32 formatted pendrive/external hdd. Most games need to be split into two parts because the FAT32 format doesn't allow a single file over 4GB to be copied to it. Some games which do not have a single file over 4GB can be copied without the need to split them. PS3Splitter is one of the most commonly used splitters. Going back to OFW Q. I want to go back to the official firmware. How do I do that? First of all, you need to download the official firmware from here. Then, on a usb stick you need to make a folder called PS3 and inside it, another folder called UPDATE. The .pup file that you downloaded goes here. To install it, you need to boot into recovery menu and install it using the 'System Update' option. Q. I'm on 3.56. What can I do? Just wait. You won't have access to PSN, but updating to 3.60 may disable cfw installation if/when it will be available. I think they disabled the re-installation of the same firmware version, so installing CFW 3.60 over OFW 3.60 won't work. Homebrew Q. Where can I find a list of homebrew for my PS3? The wiki here at GBAtemp contains a list of homebrew. It was created by Cyan. Q. How do I install homebrew? You need to load the pkg file onto a fat32 formatted usb drive. Some homebrew are distributed in RAR archives. To open these, you need to download WinRAR. Then, you need to insert the usb drive into the usb port of your PS3 and install the pkg file that you copied to it using the *Install Package Files option, which is available in the game section of the XMB. PSN Q. Can I log on to PSN with CFW? Currently, no as Sony just released anothrr update. You need to wait for hackers to find out a way to log on to PSN. This FAQ will be updated once a workaround is found. Q. Can Sony ban me from PSN? Yes, they can and there was a ban wave around a month ago. However, you can reduce chances of getting banned by spoofing your ConsoleID. GLOSSARY OFW OFW stands for Original Firmware and refers to the firmware updates provided to PS3 users by Sony. CFW CFW stands for Custom Firmware and refers to the modification of OFW by hackers. This is done to enable homebrew applications, the play of backups and to unlock features such as MKV playback etc. In layman's words, CFW enables the user to do what Sony doesn't. Payload A payload is a program that is used to patch the memory to enable access to the PS3's internal functions. Syscall Syscalls are the functions available on the PS3 which are used by the PS3 itself and the games. Peek and Poke Peek refers to looking the the contents of the PS3's memory and Poke refers to modifying it. Peek uses Syscall 6 and Poke uses Syscall 7. XMB XMB stands for Xross Media Bar. It is the interface that is used by the PS3 and many other Sony devices including TVs and Blu-ray players.