New PlayStation 2 exploit 'FreeDVDBoot' allows burnt DVD games to run without modchip

ps2 hax.PNG
No, there's no typo in the title. It's 2020 and Sony's second home console, the PlayStation 2, got a new exploit; and an interesting one at that! Aptly named FreeDVDBoot, this exploit allows users to run burnt homebrew games on an unmodified PS2. Just slide in a DVD into the console as you would with any other game and boot it without any additional tools.

@CTurt , the software engineer behind FreeDVDBoot and fellow GBAtemp member, explained in length his method that exploits the console's DVD player functionality in a blog post. He also made all of FreeDVDBoot's code available on GitHub, along with a step-by-step guide.

In case you're wondering about actual PS2 games rather than homebrew titles, yes, FreeDVDBoot also enables you to run backup copy of those. CTurt shared a video using his exploit to run a backup of Shadow of the Colossus:

It doesn't end there either. CTurt further goes on to speculate that this method could potentially work on every single PlayStation home consoles and that he will investigate this possibility in the future:

There's really no reason this general attack scenario is specific to the PlayStation 2 as all generations support some combination of burned media: from the PlayStation 1's CD support, to the PlayStation 3 and 4's Blu-ray support, with the PlayStation 4 having only removed CD support. Hacking the PS4 through Blu-ray BD-J functionality has long been discussed as an idea for an entry point. This may be something I would be interested in looking into for a long-term future project: imagine being able to burn your own PlayStation games for all generations; 1 down, 3 to go...

:arrow: SOURCE
:arrow: FreeDVDBoot code and guide on GitHub
 
Last edited by Prans, , Reason: edited post to tag CTurt

Goku1992A

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I hate to sound so negative but isn't this a tad too late? The PS2 is 20 years old and at this stage in the game you want to preserve your laser. Also to point out you can grab a Free Mcboot memory card for like $10

Good Work but it would have benefited more people in 2002 than 2020. Games on the HD is the way to go
 
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Prans

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I hate to sound so negative but isn't this a tad too late? The PS2 is 20 years old and at this stage in the game you want to preserve your laser. Also to point out you can grab a Free Mcboot memory card for like $10

Good Work but it would have benefited more people in 2002 than 2020.
like the engineer who worked on this said, it could lead to further exploit using the same technique on other Sony consoles (from PS1 to PS4)
 

smf

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Also to point out you can grab a Free Mcboot memory card for like $10

Or you can burn the freemcboot installer onto a dvd, along with this exploit and install it yourself.

The biggest hurdle now being having the correct dvd player version.
 
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Tom Bombadildo

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GG @CTurt, excellent work as usual. Definitely impressed someone went back and figured out an easier way to play homebrew on the PS2 that doesn't require any extra hardware really.

I'll probably check my PS2 at some point, see if I have the right DVD drive for it :yay:


not exactly needed as you can already do this using fmbc and run iso files off the hdd
Except you still have to install/buy a FreeMcboot memory card, this allows you to run homebrew without having to use any extra hardware whatsoever. Extremely useful now for those people who can't get their hands on the necessary components for a Freemcboot install/getting their hands on a memory card.
 
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Goku1992A

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like the engineer who worked on this said, it could lead to further exploit using the same technique on other Sony consoles (from PS1 to PS4)

I understand but honestly burnt games were like PS2/Xbox 360 and even Wii Era.. The PS3 is already established with multiman and not too many would have access to blue-ray drive and blu ray disks can be pretty expensive. Again I'm not trying to bash.

This can be highly beneficial to PS4/Xbox One if this technique can be utilized but it's better they wait for EOL rather than it get patched in a software update. The main concern will always be the laser life.
 
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Spider_Man

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GG @CTurt, excellent work as usual. Definitely impressed someone went back and figured out an easier way to play homebrew on the PS2 that doesn't require any extra hardware really.

I'll probably check my PS2 at some point, see if I have the right DVD drive for it :yay:



Except you still have to install/buy a FreeMcboot memory card, this allows you to run homebrew without having to use any extra hardware whatsoever. Extremely useful now for those people who can't get their hands on the necessary components for a Freemcboot install/getting their hands on a memory card.
you dont have to buy, its free to download and its easily accessible, works on every console, can run everything.

nice idea but pointless as its already possible to do anything without a modchip and has been for years
 

Tom Bombadildo

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you dont have to buy, its free to download and its easily accessible, works on every console, can run everything.

nice idea but pointless as its already possible to do anything without a modchip and has been for years
To install FreeMcboot, you need a way to boot the installer. This can only be done via the various gameshark/action replay/swap magic discs, or methods that require additional hardware like the PS3 memory card adapter or a network adapter for FHDB and such. At some point you will need to spend money on something to run the installer. This lets you do it for 0 money down, period.
 

Prans

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GG @CTurt, excellent work as usual. Definitely impressed someone went back and figured out an easier way to play homebrew on the PS2 that doesn't require any extra hardware really.

I'll probably check my PS2 at some point, see if I have the right DVD drive for it :yay:



Except you still have to install/buy a FreeMcboot memory card, this allows you to run homebrew without having to use any extra hardware whatsoever. Extremely useful now for those people who can't get their hands on the necessary components for a Freemcboot install/getting their hands on a memory card.

had no idea he's on GBAtemp too! If there's a thread about FreeDVDBoot, I'll happily link it to the main post and lock this one.
 

uyjulian

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To install FreeMcboot, you need a way to boot the installer. This can only be done via the various gameshark/action replay/swap magic discs, or methods that require additional hardware like the PS3 memory card adapter or a network adapter for FHDB and such. At some point you will need to spend money on something to run the installer. This lets you do it for 0 money down, period.
No, you can raw copy an image preinstalled with FHDB onto HDD, and put it inside the PS2.

You can also use existing multi-elf games to use as a swap disc to boot FMCBInstaller.

Here is a nice guide explaining the various entrypoints and using them for modding your PS2: https://www.psx-place.com/threads/tutorial-the-great-ps2-aio-guide.30219/
 
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