The PlayStation 2 is utterly fantastic and one of the best home consoles ever made. The original, beefy “Phat” model that was released in 2000 makes my heart soar with nostalgia. Likewise, the stylish PS2 Slim is a masterwork in design, offering the power of the original hardware but with a much sleeker form. No matter which model is put up for discussion, the PlayStation 2 changed our industry in a big way, offering a wonderful library and cutting-edge hardware capabilities.
With all of that said, the PlayStation 2 “Phat” and PS2 Slim are very different when it comes to modding. The change in size between the two models required drastic alterations to the hardware, leading to some big differences. Due to these variables, the PS2 Phat is usually the more popular model in the aftermarket scene, but the PS2 Slim still gets plenty of love. However, thanks to a new mod, the PS2 Slim might be the superior model for modding after all.
The IDE Resurrector Mod Makes PS2 Slim Superior to Phat
The most important difference between the two models is the absence of the expansion bay on the PS2 Slim. Without it, it’s almost impossible to install an internal hard drive. Internal hard drives are a major landmark in modding, allowing for homebrew development and a slew of other neat features. Luckily, with the new IDE Resurrector mod created by Gusse, installing an internal hard drive in the PS2 Slim is finally a possibility!
Fair warning: this mod is challenging and requires advanced soldering skills, so I highly recommend you check out my IDE Resurrector video tutorial on YouTube if you plan on performing this project yourself. I’ll offer a basic overview here to give you an idea of the process, but please refer to my video for more clear instructions and optional steps, especially when modifying internal hardware.
How to Install an Internal Hard Drive on PS2 Slim
Before you get started with the IDE Resurrector installation, you’ll need a few parts. First things, this mod only works on select PS2 slims, so you’ll need an SCPH-7000 model for this project. You’ll also need the IDE Resurrector ribbon, as well as an IDE to SD card adapter, and a set of 3D printed washers and spacers. Optionally, you can also get a MicroSD Card PCB, which allows for easy updates without having to remove the SD card from the system. Finally, you’ll need a MicroSD card (not exceeding 128GB), which will act as the internal hard drive.
After tearing down your PS2 and isolating the motherboard from the RF shields, it’s time to get started. You’ll need to connect the IDE Resurrector ribbon cable to the appropriate place on the motherboard, which involves some precise and admittedly difficult soldering. With that done, remove all of the pins out of your IDE to SD card adapter and carefully remove the SD card slot to reduce its size. After soldering the adapter board to the ribbon cable, you’ll need to solder a wire to a nearby leg to power the 5-volt pad on the cable.
Follow Gusse’s wiring steps to connect the adapter board to your prepped MicroSD card slot, and now you’re ready to put everything back together. Be sure to use the 3D printed washers and spacers when reattaching the screws of the top RF shield to give a bit of space for the mod. If the installation is successful, you can now use Free McBoot to format your SD card as an internal drive and start adding games!
The Pros, Cons, and Features of the IDE Resurrector Mod
With the IDE Resurrector installed, a PS2 Slim becomes just as powerful as a PS2 Phat, as the console now recognizes the MicroSD card as an internal drive. This lets you run your game backups from the internal drive, which offers better performance than memory card and USB-based solutions. There are lots of other features and software mods you can perform as well, but now with a sleek PS2 slim.
Overall, the IDE Resurrector is a very challenging but equally satisfying mod. I firmly believe that it’s the best solution for loading games on the PS2 Slim, even if the soldering required takes a lot of finesse. Best of all, this mod does not alter your disc drive, so you can still play your physical games without issue. I had a great time installing this mod and think Gusse did an amazing job with the flex ribbon cable. It’s always good to see the PS2 Slim receive continued refinements, as it’s a wonderful console that deserves all the love it gets.