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POPStarter Documentation & Stuff / hdd-mode

POPStarter for internal HDD


Requirements :

POPS decrypted files :

To use POPStarter with an internal HDD, you have to find and download the POPS decrypted files. These files are named “POPS.ELF” and “IOPRP252.IMG”...

File name MD5 Description
POPS.ELF 355a892a8ce4e4a105469d4ef6f39a42 Main SLBB-00001 ELF, decrypted.
IOPRP252.IMG 1db9c6020a2cd445a7bb176a1a3dd418 Can be found in some retail game discs and $CEI SDKs too.

Other Software Requirements :

Hardware Requirements :

  • A PS2 console which is able to run PS2 unsigned code ;
  • A network adapter with/or a HDD interface ;
  • A PS2-formatted HDD that fits your network adapter/HDD interface.


Installation (new launch type) :

a) Installing the emulator :

  1. Find and download the decrypted emulator files ;
  2. Create a directory named “POPS” in the “__common” partition of your PS2 HDD ;
  3. Paste POPS.ELF and IOPRP252.IMG into the “POPS” directory you’ve just created.

b) Installing your PS1 Games :

  1. Convert your BIN/CUE disc images to .VCD files using the latest stable version of CUE2POPS ;
  2. Create a partition named “__.POPS” in your PS2 HDD, large enough so you can put all your VCDs inside.

Note : +__.POPS” is not correct. Use AKuHAK’s uLaunchELF build or uLE_kHn build to create a partition without +.

c) Installing POPStarter :

  1. Rename the POPStarter ELF as the name of your VCDs, replace the .VCD extension with a .ELF extension (example : for running a VCD named “Crash Bandicoot (PAL).VCD”, the POPStarter ELF must be renamed as “Crash Bandicoot (PAL).ELF”) ;
  2. Copy or leave the ELFs where you want to run them from ;
  3. Enjoy !



POPStarter bundle includes a file named POPSTARTER.KELF (KELF = Krypo-ELF = ELF embedded into a container). It can be used if you have SONY Browser 2.00 (aka HDDOSD) installed on your HDD. Otherwise, it’s useless.

Notes :

  • Partition name prefix is of course PP. (PP(dot)) ;
  • 1 partition = 1 game – you can’t install several games into a single partition (unless it’s a multi-disc game).

Read here for a guide about how to set it up.


HDD Launch types (advanced) :

HDD supports 3 “launch types”. The “launch type” relies on the prefix of your ELF names. Each type uses his own way to name the VCD file :

Old launch type Alternate old launch type New launch type
HDDOSD compatible Yes No No
Partition shown in the HDDOSD / PSBBN / PSX XMB Yes No
Prefix for POPSTARTER.ELF PP. (if used) __. No prefix
Prefix for partition name PP. __. __.POPS or __.POPS#
Game name IMAGE0.VCD (all uppercase) IMAGE0.VCD (all uppercase) GAME.VCD
Examples (1) (2) (3)
Description Launch type that was used in POPStarter 12 and older. Allows to install one VCD per partition. Launch type that was used in POPStarter 12 and older. Allows to install one VCD per partition. Launch type introduced in POPStarter 13. Allows to put multiple VCDs in a single partition.

Examples :

(1) With the POPStarter ELF renamed as PP.GAME.ELF, POPStarter will launch IMAGE0.VCD which is in the partition named PP.GAME.

(2) With the POPStarter ELF renamed as __.GAME.ELF, POPStarter will launch IMAGE0.VCD which is in the partition named __.GAME.

(3) With the POPStarter ELF renamed as GAME.ELF, POPStarter will launch GAME.VCD which is in the partition named __.POPS or __.POPS0 or __.POPS1… up to __.POPS9.


Examples of setup :

__.POPS/Crash Bandicoot (PAL).VCD
__sysconf/FMCB/Crash Bandicoot (PAL).ELF


Additional notes :

  • The internal HDD has to be PS2 formatted. If you need to format it, use the latest WIP version of AKuHAK’s uLaunchELF HDD edition ;
  • The partition names are case sensitive, and have to match the POPStarter ELF names ;
  • The third character of the ELF prefix (when used) is a dot (PPdot / __dot ) ;
  • The prefix (when used) has to be uppercase ;
  • The file extension .VCD has to be uppercase ;
  • Whitespaces are not allowed in the partition names (for old launch types).


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