Posted on 22 October 2008 by Mark
It’s been a long time since I last wrote about the PSP or my piano black PSP for that matter. I think it’s time to brush off the dust and talk about it again, particularly the news that DarK_AleX has recently released the latest custom firmware for the PSP: 5.00 M33. Basically, the 5.00 official firmware adds PSN store access through your PSP, nothing that big or special in my opinion although it’s good to see a newer firmware version coming out since DarK_AleX had skipped two official firmware updates: 4.03 and 4.05. He didn’t release M33 versions of these and just stuck with 4.01 M33-2 until he finally decided to come out with 5.00.
There are still some bugs being reported especially for those who use the PSPs to play PSX games. they were getting some sort of kernel error. The details can be found here.
I currently have 4.01 M33-2 on my PSP and have never used any other custom firmware out there. The suffix on my firmware version has always been M33. I never touched the other CFW versions that released 4.03 and 4.05. For me, if DAX felt that it’s not worth releasing an M33 version for the 4.03 and 4.05 firmwares, then I’m with it.
For those who intend to update their PSPs, here’s a small checklist:
- Make sure your PSP is running on CUSTOM FIRMWARE. The primary indicator for this is that you see “M33″ at the end of the firmware number when you look at your firmware version in your PSP’s system information.
- Make sure you’re running 4.01 M33 or M33-2 on your PSP because I noticed that it was indicated in the QJ article that this upgrades 4.01 to 5.00 so I’m not entirely sure if you can convert from 3.71 straight to 5.00. So to be safe, upgrade to 4.01 first before upgrading to 5.00. If anyone out there has jumped from 3.71 M33 to 5.00 M33, then that person can say so in his/her blog. For me, better safe than bricked is my policy.
- If you’re using Phat and you’re running on 1.50 kernel, switch back to 4.01 kernel before you upgrade.
- Download the 5.00 M33 upgrade and paste the UPDATE folder in PSP\GAME.
- Run the update. Make sure you have over 78% of battery life and that your PSP charger is plugged in. Wouldn’t want your PSP to die out while you’re updating. But then, the program won’t allow you to update if you have less than 78% battery life anyways. DAX was kind enough to make it idiot-proof.
So there. If you’ve done this yourself before, then you shouldn’t have any problems. As for me, I’m sticking to 4.01 M33-2 for now until I’m confident that 5.00 M33 is already stable. Probably if DAX rolls out an M33-2, then I’d be keen towards upgrading. But for now, I’m happy with my current firmware version.
Posted on 12 July 2008 by Mark
This is old, old, old news for those who are active in the PSP custom firmware/homebrew scene. Dark~AleX released his 4.01 M33 custom firmware back in June. It also appears to herald the arrival of a plugin that DAX had been working on for some time which is the savestate plugin. It’s not exactly the same as the save states that you have in your handheld emulators that have in your desktop computers.
What DAX did was intercept the data that the PSP generates when it goes into sleep mode. Notice that if you turn off (not completely shut down) your PSP in the middle of a game, when you go back, it technically is still in that same state when you wake it up again. Basically, what DAX’s plugin does is get all that data, dump it somewhere in your memory card and then when you want to go back to that state, it fools your PSP into thinking it’s coming out of sleep mode and pushes that save state data as the current active data for your PSP. Everything else that’s technical about that, I don’t know anymore but it does sound awesome and it opens up doors for other homebrew developers to make things faster or more efficient for this plugin.
So will I convert to 4.01 M33 anytime soon? Not really. At the moment, I’m enjoying the Llewelyndows theme that my 3.90 M33-4 firmware PSP has and I don’t think there has been a conversion released out in Consolespot.net. And right now, 4.01 M33 doesn’t really bring anything new in the table form me so the urgency to switch isn’t there. That is probably until my curiosity gets the better of me and I convert to 4.01. But for the moment, nah.
But for those interested, you can find the latest version of the 4.01 M33 firmware here. It’s at 4.01 M33-2, methinks. Or better yet, get it straight from the man himself, Dark~AleX~! Here’s his site.
Posted on 31 March 2008 by Mark
Before reading on, this update is only for those who are already using 3.90 M33 or are at least using 3.52 M33-3 or higher. And please READ or RESEARCH.
So Dark~AleX has once again released a CFW update for the M33 series. This is a minor update but for others, perhaps Slim users, this could be a big help.
3.90 M33-3 update basically enhances the performance of the No-UMD M33 Driver. You can find this driver when you go to your VSH menu (pressing Select while you’re in your XMB). Usually, it’s either you’re using Sony NP9960 driver or M33 Driver. Certain games do not run properly when using the M33 Driver like Patapon where itonly stays in the Loading animation and never proceeds to the actual game. This update improves the M33 driver’s game compatibility and allows more PSP .iso and .cso backups to be played with this driver. No-UMD also means that you can run these backups without having a dummy UMD or a blank UMD present in your UMD drive, reducing the times that your UMD drive would be spinning adding to its lifespan.
Basically, it makes life easier. Here’s the excerpt from the readme file included in the download which you can find here:
- 3.52 M33-3 or higher
- Copy UPDATE folder to /PSP/GAME and run the program.
If you are in 3.90 M33, that’s all needed.
If you are in previous version, you need to download 390.PBP and put it in same folder or let
the program to download it for you.
- March33 noumd driver compatibiilty has increased to support games like Coded Arms, Patapon, Harvest Moon Innocent Life and probably others affected by same errors.
Posted on 22 February 2008 by Mark
One of the reasons why I bought a PSP slim was that I also wanted to have videos-on-the-go. The iPod Classic has a wide screen but the PSP’s is definitely bigger. But lately, I’ve been suffering from an annoying error message that’s constantly appearing after 5-10 minutes of video playback.
“This video cannot be played.”
I have tried PSP Video 9. I have tried Xvid4PSP. I have tried reinstalling my video codecs with the more updated ones so that the decoders are also up to date. Re-encoded Fina Fantasy VII Advent Children and I’m still getting that damned error message on the latter part of the movie.
I tried Googling the problem and it appears that a lot of them say that the problem is caused by a fake Sony Memory Stick. And yet, in other forums, the solution of using an original memory stick appears to be theoretical at best. So could it be something with the .rco files? The .prx files? The custom firmware. I don’t know…
It’s really starting to be very frustrating because I can’t seem to find the solution for this. I’m wondering if there is anybody out there who has been encountering this problem and has found a workaround for it. If not, I’ll just have to wait for 4.0 to be released, Dark~AleX’s M33 version of it to be released and pray to God that the Xvid support does not contain this problem.
But if there’s anyone out there who has found a solution and has sampled it in several PSPs and can confirm that it’s the actual solution, please, I’d like to hear from you.
Posted on 16 February 2008 by Mark
Note: Again, before I proceed, this update requires you to have 3.90 M33 on your PSP. Go to your System folder in your XMB and open System Information. If your firmware states that you’re on 3.90 M33, then this update applies to you. If it only states 3.90 and there is no M33 beside it, then that means you are running on official firmware. Have someone convert your firmware to M33 first. This requires the use of a magic memory stick and a Pandora’s battery. If your PSP is a Slim, then you’ll need Despertar del Cementario v4 by Dark~AleX.
Another update from probably the world’s most prolific custom firmware maker for the PSP. Here’s the changelog:
Instructions.- Copy UPDATE folder to /PSP/GAME and run the program.If you are in 3.90 M33, that’s all needed.
If you are in previous version, you need to download 390.PBP and put it in same folder or let
the program to download it for you.
- Improvements in plugins loading code:
* Fixed some problems with problematic cards due to filesystem not mounted.
* Now plugins should read the faster.
* Problem fixed with lines with spaces at the end.
- Added the rest of regions to the recovery option fakeregion.
- (PSP SLIM): Added patches in nand ipl to allow Booster multiiplloader and TimeMachine iplloader to boot from nand.
Note: only 3.90 M33-2 and higher can be booted from nand in slim with those ipl loaders,
not official Sony firmwares or previous versions of M33.
Changes in updater:
- The 3.90 eboot downloading code is now more stable, no more freezes after selecting AP
- Memory stick write in the 3.90 downloading code is delayed the maximum possible for faster operation
(the system prefers big chunks of data written at once).
Before you proceed, please make sure you have the following:
Also, please read the note in red at the beginning of this post. If you already know the drill, then just do the following:
- Extract the UPDATE folder from the .rar file.
- Go to USB Mode
- Paste the UPDATE folder onto this location: ms0:\PSP\GAME
- Exit USB Mode
- Go to your Game folder and run the update
- Press X to begin update
After this, you should already be on 3.90 M33-2. Cheers!
Posted on 01 February 2008 by Mark
Important: Before anything else, please do not try to install this update on your PSP if you’re running on official firmware.
I’ve been getting comments left and right about how to convert from Official Firmware to Custom Firmware. These aren’t the steps for that. Please visit Consolespot.net or use Google to find your answers for downgrading. I myself don’t own a Pandora’s battery so I don’t know how to go about doing it. Again, I remind you that this update will NOT WORK ON OFFICIAL FIRMWARE.
Dark~AleX is at it again and has just released a new CFW just a couple of days after Sony has released the original version of the 3.90 Firmware. Here’s DAX’s changelog:
——–Requeriments:- Installation requires a PSP with 3.52 M33-3 or higher.Instructions- Copy the UPDATE folder into /PSP/GAME/
- Get the 3.90 sony update from somewhere, and put it in same folder, with name “390.PBP”.
Alternatively, you can let the installer to download for you via wifi.
- Run it, the update will be done by Sony updater. At the end when you are asked to reboot the
PSP pressing X or O, do it.
- 3.80 -> 3.90
- March33 NO UMD: fixed (yet another) bug related with exiting with home. (infinite semaphore wait)
Changes in updater:
- The degeneration check and correction of IDS keys happens too in 3.71 now.
- Added code to download 3.90 PBP from net via wifi.
Note that his code is not yet 100% stable, it may crash when selecting AP. In that case,
reinit the installer.
- L+triangle has been restored as method to bypass battery.
If you already have 390.PBP keep those buttons pressed until you see “Veryfing 390.PBP”.
If the 390.PBP is being downloaded bia wifi, press those buttons at the end of download until
you see the previous sentence.
You can get your 3.90 official eboot here.
I’ve been looking at threads in Consolespot.net regarding this update and there appears to be no rush to convert to this one unless you own a Slim and you’re VERY EXCITED about Skype which I don’t even use to begin with. So if you really need your Skype fix, then convert to this one. No bugs reported on the said thread so far but problems arise more on the network update that DAX has incorporated on his CFW. I’m sticking to my 3.80 M33-5 though.
Again, the instructions are pretty simple. Custom Firmware is firmware developed by third-party coders based on the official firmware developed by Sony. Official Firmware is the firmware that comes with your PSP. To check if you’re running CFW or OFW, go to System Settings on your XMB and open System Information. If your firmware does not say 3.XX M33-X, then you’re not on Custom Firmware and you cannot install this update. You will have to undergo a different procedure for this. Google’s the best place to find a solution. Or go to Consolespot.net.
Here’s a list of your requirements:
- PSP Phat or Slim on 3.52 M33-3 or higher (if your custom firmware isn’t any higher than this, have someone who has access to a Pandora’s battery do it for you. If you’re from the Philippines and you’re interested, I can refer you to someone in Greenhills. Just send me an email and I’ll send you his contact details.)
- 100% charged battery
- USB cable (I think it’s the 5-point cable)
- 3.90 official EBOOT from Sony
- 3.90 M33 EBOOT from Dark~AleX’s website
Here are the steps to convert your CFW to 3.90 M33:
- Extract the UPDATE folder and put it in your PC
- Download the official 3.90 M33 EBOOT and rename it “390.PBP” (for those downloading the zip file from the link above, the official eboot has already been renamed)
- Go to Recovery mode and revert your kernel to 3.XX where X is the custom firmware you’re currently on. Example, if you’re using 3.71 M33-4 and you set your kernel to 1.50, it won’t upgrade unless you set it back to 3.71 kernel.
- Paste the 390.PBP inside the UPDATE folder containing EBOOT.PBP
- Go into USB Mode
- Paste the entire UPDATE folder in ms0:\PSP\GAME
- Exit USB Mode and go to your Game menu on your XMB
- Run the 3.90 M33 app
- Follow the instructions prompted by the installer
That should safely install the 3.90 M33 onto your PSP. This isn’t the Wi-Fi network update version. I claim no responsibility if you end up bricking your PSP after trying to install 3.90 M33 on your PSP. Please make sure you fulfill all the requirements I posted above.
Posted on 30 January 2008 by Mark
I did not really think I would be able to wake up early today for an errand that I had to run for my youngest brother but I did. Not without help from my fiancee and my colleagues though. The day started with a startling phone call from one of my subordinates who was at the US Embassy for a visa interview because she and three other team members will be heading for Chanhassen, MN early February. She told me that they did not let them into the embassy because they had handwritten DS-156′s when it should be typewritten copies of the form. That definitely woke me up. So Plan B was to go to a nearby net cafe and fill up the form from scratch and print it out then line up again. Thankfully, two of them have already confirmed that they passed the visa interview. I have not yet heard from Greg and I have been trying to call his mobile but it was always busy. During this whole “ordeal”, my fiancee was on the phone telling me that everything is going to be just fine. I love her. She calms me down quite well.
So the errand I ran for my brother today was to have his white PSP Slim unbricked. It was getting those weird screen lines during video playback and gameplay and then just recently, it finally conked out and would no longer open any games. It would always hang, freeze and then shutdown. It’s now up and running again on 3.71 M33-2 custom firmware and we’ll upgrade it to M33-4 when I get home. Thanks Walter!
Now, I am back at the office working on updating some files and folders on Sharepoint. There is an up and coming theme by blessedhands which is based off the Windows Media Center program. Really nice theme by the screenshots alone. Should be interesting to see the final product. I’m definitely loading that and replacing my current Organ 3.80 theme.
Not much on the gunpla side today or at least none that really interest me. There’s been quite a lull plus Bandai’s been releasing MG Zakus left and right. I heard they put up a survey for which Gundam they’d like to see on their Speed Grade line. They should do that with their MG line as well. I can bet one of the first to come up on the list would be a UC mobile suit or Sinanju from the Gundam Unicorn franchise. Or Nightingale!
So until I pick up the first of my two MG Unicorns, I’ll be reading some of my books to eat away my time. Books! Yes! I just remembered! I bought several books over the past couple of weeks. Some of them are mine. Some of them are Chil’s. I got Dragons of the Dwarven Depths and Dragons of the Highlord Skies in paperback: two of the Lost Chronicles trilogy that resolves the time gap between the first trilogy of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I also purchased Brothers in Arms which is the sequel to the popular novel about Raistlin: Soulforge. Last but not the least (and the first among the bunch that I finished) is Mitch Albom’s For One More Day. I’m a mama’s boy. This book made me cry. I loved it!
Minor edit: I changed my theme. I originally changed it to the Twitter-like Prologue but then I realized that my pages are now missing so I went to Digg 3 instead. I’m liking it~!
Posted on 22 January 2008 by Mark
Dark_Alex has done it again in record time. He has recently released the 5th installment of his 3.80 M33 updates. You can get your copy here. The changelog is as follows:
It’s time to update those hand helds. Dark_AleX has just released 3.80 M33-5. You know what to do. Enjoy!
3.80 M33-5 changes:
[*]Fixed custom CPU clock not working in games
[*]CPU clock has never (in any SE/OE/M33) be set at all in games that restarted using sceKernelLoadExec to use a subgame or reload themselves, after said restart happened (e.g. Castlevania). Fixed.
[*]Added setting to recovery to hide PIC0.PNG and PIC1.PNG in the XMB game menu. By default off, when on you will probably notice a faster browse in XMB games. This setting only applies to any kind of apps/games (pbp, iso) that load from MS, but not to UMD’s.
I’ll be updating mine soon and will post if there are any changes with regards to the lag issue on .cso’s.
I tried running Ridge Racer (.cso) after putting in the 5th update. There was still some noticeable lag but not as bad as it was in ver. 4. I then edited the CPU and BUS settings on cWCheat 0.2.1 to maximum and the performance also improved but the lag was still there. I’ll try using the M33 driver instead of the Sony driver for this and will post the results here.
Loading time definitely improved. That’s a plus!
Posted on 19 January 2008 by Mark
I just finished upgrading my PSP from CFW 3.71 M33-4 to 3.80 M33-4. Now I have a PSP with severe game lag. It’s horrible playing Ridge Racer on my PSP now because of the lag that happens every couple of seconds. I’m a bit disappointed. I appreciate Dark_Alex’s work a lot but I’m also wondering why they never saw this coming and didn’t try to resolve it form the onset. There are others who aren’t suffering from the lag but it appears to affect the general 3.80 M33 populace. I currently don’t have the means to revert back to 3.71 so I’m just hoping that DAX comes up with a fix real soon…
For those who are considering upgrading the 3.80 M33-4, even if the galaxy.prx is supposed to fix things, it doesn’t, so forego upgrading till 3.80 is finally stable. Or else risk having to just use your PSP as a portable video player which is the case with me right now.
Posted on 17 January 2008 by Mark
The week hasn’t ended and Dark_Alex has once again released an update for the much-awaited 3.80 M33 custom firmware. Changelog is shown below:
Quick bugfix for M33-3.
- galaxy.prx was changed to a new version that is giving problems with slow memory sticks.
Reverted back to previous versions. This didn’t only affect decrypted isos running in NP9660 mode.
I have yet to convert to 3.80 M33 and I’m still trying to find better reasons to do so. If anyone there is reading this and is already on DAX’s 3.80 M33, I’d like to hear your opinions. I’m still enjoying my current theme. Nevertheless, I have the update on standby in case someone convinces me that upgrading is the next best thing and I would not be able to wait till I get home to do so.
In some other silly news, most of the PSP’s being sold here in the Philippines are already on 3.71 M33-2. But what I found mildly I was looking for iso’s to be loaded into my PSP from one of them small shops around here, the lady at the counter asked if she could see my PSP to check the version of my custom firmware. I simply told her I was already on 3.71 M33-4 but she wouldn’t believe me. So I said fine, go have a look, and I handed her my PSP with a secret smirk on my face waiting for her facial reaction when she sees my CXMB. I wasn’t disappointed. She was more than slightly miffed to see a very different-looking menu. And boy was she amazed with it. My brother and I were just snickering and waiting for her to tell me what I should be doing with my PSP. I appreciate technical advise but sometimes, I’m annoyed when people act like know-it-all’s and then you prove them wrong and they treat you really bad as a customer because they were humiliated for acting smart. Heh! I wonder how she’d react if I popped up again with 3.80 custom firmware. That might blow her mind so bad, they’d have to fire her.