Hacking Vita newcomer here with a used Vita...

marzsyndrome

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Hey everyone. I decided quite recently to get into the Vita scene at last after being more impressed by the homebrew capabilities of the device in the past year or two.

First thing I became aware of is that the original "phat" (?) Vita utilised an OLED screen as opposed to the slim Vita's IPS screen, and after having been impressed by the AMOLED capabilities of my various Samsung devices I thought I'd get a used wifi-only PCH-1000 bundle (the unit, plus Starter Kit, 8GB memory card and four games (in a carry case, though the original cases for two of them were also included)) and check its screen out. And well, it's pretty good!

It's in pretty decent condition - the front screen barely has a scratch on it, primarily because the seller had a screen protector applied to it for ages, up until they sold the device off at which point it got taken off before being sent to me (they said it was pretty scratched up). The back though.... meh, the description said it was, quote, "minor little scratches on the back (9.5/10)" but a few ones I thought seemed a bit too obvious to someone such as myself (why do so many of these used Vitas have scratched up backs anyhow?)..... I actually instinctively tried to look up new PCH-1000s on eBay before calming down and giving this one more of a chance.

Anyhoo, this Vita is equipped with version 3.55 of the system software (the seller also confirmed this to me in an email before I bidded on it) so I'm at least good in regards to hacking this baby. First thing I did upon turning it on of course was to find a way to switch off the wifi (even if I wouldn't be in danger of receiving a drive-by update as my wifi information obviously wasn't on the device already) - it seemed bluetooth was left enabled on the device btw - and I wound up switching on Flight Mode (though I eventually found the proper Wifi option later). So far so good.

Straight away in LiveArea I noticed there were leftover icons on the third page for Need For Speed: Most Wanted and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (for the record, the memory card wasn't in the device already)... despite the seller stating to me (when I asked afterwards) that the Vita was factory reset before being sold off. I also found some trophy information for both games (as well as Welcome Park) saved locally to the system. Hmmm. A factory reset is supposed to eliminate all trace of this surely? In regards to PSN, it didn't appear to be logged in already (although it could be because it couldn't find any working/registered Wifi), so I don't know if there's still an account registered to this thing. Kinda hesitant to take it online just to check on that...

In terms of hacking, I made sure to prepare for it by purchasing an SD2Vita adapter - version 3, in the white Vita cart style - and a 128GB Toshiba UHS-I/U3 Micro SDXC card.

Now I wanted to do some more research before attempting to wipe this Vita properly (although maybe I should backup the existing information just for convenience), and that's when I read up about this whole "activation" thing. Now I already have a PSN account that's a few years old (but barely used), which I could register this unit to *if I have to* (I mean, is there really no way of getting around the activation hassle? I'm not really intending to take this thing online for gaming purposes and possibly to be snooped on by Sony :P). But if there is still account information left over, will that cause a problem? Would I still be able to use QCMA on it?

I do wonder if maybe it was a better idea to buy a new PCH-1000 and truly start from scratch rather than buy some extra stuff that I'll most likely never use at all (the games, the memory card etc.) and have to deal with somebody's leftovers...
 
Last edited by marzsyndrome,

Shadow#1

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Hey everyone. I decided quite recently to get into the Vita scene at last after being more impressed by the homebrew capabilities of the device in the past year or two.

First thing I became aware of is that the original "phat" (?) Vita utilised an OLED screen as opposed to the slim Vita's IPS screen, and after having been impressed by the AMOLED capabilities of my various Samsung devices I thought I'd get a used wifi-only PCH-1000 bundle (the unit, plus Starter Kit, 8GB memory card and four games (in a carry case, though the original cases for two of them were also included)) and check its screen out. And well, it's pretty good!

It's in pretty decent condition - the front screen barely has a scratch on it, primarily because the seller had a screen protector applied to it for ages, up until they sold the device off at which point it got taken off before being sent to me (they said it was pretty scratched up). The back though.... meh, the description said it was, quote, "minor little scratches on the back (9.5/10)" but a few ones I thought seemed a bit too obvious to someone such as myself (why do so many of these used Vitas have scratched up backs anyhow?)..... I actually instinctively tried to look up new PCH-1000s on eBay before calming down and giving this one more of a chance.

Anyhoo, this Vita is equipped with version 3.55 of the system software (the seller also confirmed this to me in an email before I bidded on it) so I'm at least good in regards to hacking this baby. First thing I did upon turning it on of course was to find a way to switch off the wifi (even if I wouldn't be in danger of receiving a drive-by update as my wifi information obviously wasn't on the device already) - it seemed bluetooth was left enabled on the device btw - and I wound up switching on Flight Mode (though I eventually found the proper Wifi option later). So far so good.

Straight away in LiveArea I noticed there were leftover icons on the third page for Need For Speed Underground and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (for the record, the memory card wasn't in the device already)... despite the seller stating to me (when I asked afterwards) that the Vita was factory reset before being sold off. I also found some trophy information for both games (as well as Welcome Park) saved locally to the system. Hmmm. A factory reset is supposed to eliminate all trace of this surely? In regards to PSN, it didn't appear to be logged in already (although it could be because it couldn't find any working/registered Wifi), so I don't know if there's still an account registered to this thing. Kinda hesitant to take it online just to check on that...

In terms of hacking, I made sure to prepare for it by purchasing an SD2Vita adapter - version 3, in the white Vita cart style - and a 128GB Toshiba UHS-I/U3 Micro SDXC card.

Now I wanted to do some more research before attempting to wipe this Vita properly (although maybe I should backup the existing information just for convenience), and that's when I read up about this whole "activation" thing. Now I already have a PSN account that's a few years old (but barely used), which I could register this unit to *if I have to* (I mean, is there really no way of getting around the activation hassle? I'm not really intending to take this thing online for gaming purposes and possibly to be snooped on by Sony :P). But if there is still account information left over, will that cause a problem? Would I still be able to use QCMA on it?

I do wonder if maybe it was a better idea to buy a new PCH-1000 and truly start from scratch rather than buy some extra stuff that I'll most likely never use at all (the games, the memory card etc.) and have to deal with somebody's leftovers...
Vita needs to be 3.60 fw or lower if lower upgrade to 3.60 and install HENkaku and ENSO and the SD2VITA will not work on ofw
 

marzsyndrome

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Activation isn't an issue anymore. You can use ReNpDrm and ReStore to activate your Vita and buy games.
Adrenaline, software which allows you to run PSP/PS1 ISOs and homebrew, use to require activation, but doesn't anymore.
So I could, for instance, reset/restore the Vita via Safe Mode (read up about that too), then just complete first setup offline (no inputting Wifi information or PSN details)? And then manually sort out the Wifi stuff and input the alternative DNS for HENkaku's update server? And then HENkaku my Vita to the gills? All without worrying about having to be forced into any activation or PSNning beforehand? :)
 
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So I could, for instance, reset/restore the Vita via Safe Mode (read up about that too), then just complete first setup offline (no inputting Wifi information or PSN details)? And then manually sort out the Wifi stuff and input the alternative DNS for HENkaku's update server? And then HENkaku my Vita to the gills? All without worrying about having to be forced into any activation or PSNning beforehand? :)

Yep, that all sounds good.
 

yeshuachrist

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(you should be ok with windows xp, and batch files ... ... ... ... but if you have newer operating system get the "nopaystation" program, whatever it is called, "flashftp" is good to have also)

(retropie has a microSD compatibility list, you can use, or just stick with 128 scan disk, from real store)

(use mlthaku ............. add plugins oclockvita, nonpdrm, and adrenaline .............. make sure adrenaline has the extra entry so you don't need to click it twice to get it to run, and so oclockvita doesn't stop it from working)

(I recently got Saga 2 the remake working in pstv with whitelist ................... you could get lucky with a broken vita from ebay, at a very low price, and then you'll two! one for official firmware)

(always avoid retroarch on the vita and all emulation, if your smart (PSP PS1 does work great), just get a retropie instead, don't even bother with the xbox1 for emulator or the PC!)
 
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