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WINDOWS

The 3 questions to ask yourself before recycling an old PC

You have decided: you want give a second life to this PC that you were using a few years ago. Or you want recycle old PCs that you picked up at the recycling center. But before you start, you must ask yourself the right questions before your approach turns to ordeal!Throughout this dossier on the recycling an old pc, I will take the example of two computers that I picked up a few days ago at the municipal waste collection center. The fishing had been good for me: I recovered two towers ! Yes, it doesn’t take much for the Crab to be happy ?

1) How do you know if a computer is worth recycling?

This is the first question you should ask yourself before embarking on the recycling an old pc. Not all computers are « good » to recycle… You don’t want to have an old junk that was running Windows 3.1! So how do you know if a Pc abandoned can be interesting to to recycle ?

Here is my advice to know immediately if a computer worth to be recycled : see if the motherboard on the back has an RJ45 network port like this:

rj45-network-port-mother-card

If the PC does not have this RJ45 network port, do not waste your time: these are often very old pc which ran best under Windows 98 and it is difficult to get anything from these machines. However, you can still take the PC with you if you want to do some hacking, try to dismantle / reassemble the components on your own to help you … Nothing prevents you after having tried to return it to the recycling center ?

2) What if I recover a PC that is not working well?

Good question ! ? Indeed, if you have recovered a PC like me in a recycling center, you do not know if it was deposited because it no longer works at all or if it is because the former owners believe that it is become too old and that it is no longer useful. If this is the case, they are wrong ? In addition, do not think that we find computers most often HS in a recycling center, on the contrary I am sometimes surprised to find PCs in perfect working order!

old-pc-computer-trash-rubbish bin

If you find that the PC no longer works for whatever reason, that doesn’t mean everything is thrown away! It happens very often that a computer ends up in the trash because its owner – who may not be an expert in IT – considers that it is (wrongly) out of service for various reasons: too slow, difficulties to start, bugs of all kinds … While it may be a simple hard drive malfunction or a faulty memory module. Everything else may still be in working order and therefore good to collect.

The most unlucky case is if you get a pc with a faulty motherboard. You would then need to acquire another one, compatible with the components currently installed in the PC. And it is not easy! If it is only the hard drive that is defective for example, it is not difficult to find an IDE hard drive. Same for a HS graphics card, we can easily find a graphics card in AGP format for example. However, if the motherboard is defective, do not throw the computer away! You can recover the other components which work perfectly: hard drive, RAM, power supply unit … Do not forget to retrieve the motherboard battery. It can be useful if yours becomes out of order. Symptoms ? PC time often shifted, BIOS settings that reset to zero on each restart … It is perhaps the battery of the motherboard that is the cause. In addition, it is not given this battery believe me ?

3) What are the different ways to recycle an old PC?

You’re in luck, all computer components that you have recovered are working correctly! Or you have succeeded in replacing some defective parts with components that you had kept in stock ? Some of you know exactly what you will do with the machine. Others, on the other hand, wonder what they are going to be able to do with such an old machine. Here are some proposals that might interest you and give a second life to this voucher old pc !

Turn your old PC into a NAS server

You can transform your old pc in data storage server. This will allow you to centralize documents and share them with all the computers connected to your home network. If you have a box, you can install this system without problems. A storage server network is also called NAS (Network Attached Storage).

To set up your storage server, you can install FreeNAS on your old pc. It’s open-source software that turns a PC into a network file server. FreeNAS is completely free, you can download it from freenas.org. To help you install it, you can consult the documentation.

Donate your old PC to an association, a school or a member of your family

After restarting it, you can offer your old pc to an association or a school. For example, associations often do not have the means to invest in hardware. They generally don’t need a racehorse, only a PC that allows them to access the internet and use software such as word processing, spreadsheets, etc. You will also have the feeling of having done a good deed ?

Likewise, if a member of your family is looking for a PC to check their emails or go to Youtube, you can offer them your old pc.

Remember: delete all your personal data from the hard drive before giving up your PC! ?

Use your old PC as a test machine

If you want for example test linux, this is the perfect opportunity! Indeed, even if Virtualbox makes it possible to emulate a Linux environment, nothing beats a « real » machine on which you can test the system and confront the realities of installation and use. To start, I advise you to use Debian which is undoubtedly the linux distribution the most stable and the easiest to use. However, I do not recommend Ubunstewtu that does not allow you to learn to use Linux. For those who want to get their hands dirty, you can try Arch Linux.

You can also have fun at dismantle and go back up alone computer components to train you and be able in the future to assemble your future PC yourself. It’s much nicer than buying a pre-assembled branded computer, you’ll see! ?

Use your old PC to play retro games

If you want to go back to childhood and replay old games Super Nintendo, Mega Drive or Game Boy, you can install emulators on your old pc ! These games do not require a lot of graphics resources, so you can run them without problems.

You can also use this old pc to replay PC games like Age of Empires II to name but one. Some of these games are no longer compatible with recent versions of Windows. Windows XP generally allows you to play all old PC games so feel free to reinstall it (if you have a license). To findold old-school games, I recommend the excellent site Abadonware France which lists a lot of retro games and traces the history of video games! : pc:

The final wordThe first chapter of the dossier on recycling an old pc stop here ? I hope it has enabled you to discover the many advantages offered by restoration of an old computer, that you can pick up in a recycling center or in your attic. Test machine, gift for a family member, installation of a NAS server … there is no shortage of solutions for recycle an old pc ! :okay:

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WINDOWS

copy your games to the hard drive via Windows

You have installed FreeMCBoot (FMCB) on your PS2 memory card as well as the Open PS2 Loader (OPL) application which allows you to play your games directly from the hard drive of the PlayStation 2.

Now you want copy your games to the PS2 hard drive in order to read your games from the hard drive and enjoy unparalleled comfort compared to reading via CD / DVD.

In this tutorial, we will see how to copy your games to the hard drive of the PlayStation 2 via Windows using WinHIIP software.

Note: if you prefer to copy your games to the PS2 hard drive via the network, follow this tutorial instead: copy your games to the PS2 hard drive via the network.

Summary

 

Prerequisites

  • WinHIIP software (Windows HDL Image Installation Program)
  • A hard drive of 2 TB maximum formatted in PFS:
    • PATA / IDE (for Sony network adapter)
    • SATA (for GameStar Network Adapter or Sony Network Adapter with PATA / IDE to SATA Upgrade Kit)
  • An IDE / SATA to USB adapter

Copy your games to the PS2 hard drive via Windows

For copy your games to the PS2 hard drive via Windows, follow these instructions:

  1. Connect the hard drive to the IDE / SATA to USB adapter.
  2. Connect the adapter to a USB port on your PC.
  3. Run WinHIIP.exe as’administrator.
  4. Click on Select Drive and select the PS2 hard drive.

    Info: the hard drive must be formatted as PFS so that it can be read by the PS2.
  5. Make sure the PS2 hard drive is selected.
  6. Click the Add Images button> Image Files.
  7. Select your PS2 games in ISO format.

    i Info: if you haven’t already, create ISO images (backups) of your PS2 games using ImgBurn.
  8. The list of PS2 games you have added appear. Click on the button Start to start copying games to the PS2 hard drive.
  9. For each PS2 game, you can choose the name that will appear in the menu, the type of media (CD or DVD) as well as the compatibility modes (see OPL Game Compatibility List).
  10. Wait while the games are copied to the hard drive.
  11. Here you are, your games have been copied to the hard drive of the PS2!
  12. You can add, edit or delete games on the PS2 hard drive at any time from the WinHIIP interface.

Congratulations! You have copied your games to the hard drive of the PS2 with Windows and WinHIIP. ?

All you have to do is reconnect the hard drive to the network adapter and the network adapter to the back of the PS2.

Then turn on your PS2 which starts on FMCB then launch Open PS2 Loader (OPL) to play your PS2 games directly from the hard drive!

To know how to play a PS2 game from hard drive with Open PS2 Loader, follow this guide:

PS2: Play PS2 Games from Internal Hard Drive

Useful links

  • PS2: Play PS2 games from a network (SMB) with OPL
  • PS2: Play PS2 games from a USB key with OPL
  • PS2: Rip a PS2 game via the console’s CD / DVD drive with HDLGameInstaller
  • PS2: install FreeMCBoot on a Fat PS2 with FreeHDBoot
  • PS2: install FreeMCBoot on a PS2 Slim with FunTuna & FreeDVDBoot
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WINDOWS

Format a hard drive in PFS

To use a hard drive on a PlayStation 2, it is necessary to format it with the PFS (Playstation File System) file system. Without it, the PS2 will not be able to detect or read your hard drive.

In this tutorial we will see how format hard drive to PFS in order to use it on a PS2.

! Warning : all data on your hard drive will be erased.

Format a hard drive in PFS

To format a hard drive in PFS, two methods are possible:

  • With WinHIIP (via Windows)
  • With PS2 HDD Manager (via FreeMCBoot)

With WinHIIP (Windows)

Prerequisites


To format a hard drive to PFS with WinHIIP, follow these instructions:

  1. Connect the hard drive on the IDE / SATA to USB adapter.
  2. Connect the adapter on a USB port on your PC.
  3. Check the health of the hard drive.
  4. Run WinHIIP.exe as’administrator.
  5. Click on Select Drive and select the hard disk intended for the PS2 (locate it based on the size of the disk).
    Info: if you have the error message « There is no PS2 formatted drivers on your system »is that WinHIIP was not started with administrator rights.
  6. The message « The selected hard drive does not have a valid PS2 Master Boot Record » is displayed. Everything is normal, click on okay.
  7. Click on Options then select the following options before clicking okay :
    • Override Application Mode: 48bit HDLoader
    • Settings: Reduce Fragmentation and Log File Generation

  8. Click on Drive format.
  9. Leave the default options, click okay then double confirm the formatting of the disk.

    Info: if you have the error message « There has been a problem writing to the destination hard disc drive », completely erase the disk with DiskPart without creating a new partition on it (stop after executing the command clean in DiskPart).
  10. Wait while the hard drive is formatted.
  11. Exit the software by clicking on Exit.

Congratulations! You have formatted your hard drive to PFS with WinHIIP! You can now use it on a PlayStation 2.

With PS2 HDD Manager (FMCB)

Prerequisites


To format hard drive to PFS with PS2 HDD Manager, follow these instructions:

  1. Connect the Hard disk to the network adapter.
  2. Insert thenetwork adapter at the back of the PS2 (Expansion Bay).
  3. Turn on your PS2 with the memory card containing FreeMCBoot. FMCB starts automatically.

  4. Open LaunchELF.

  5. Open PS2 HDD Manager by selecting File Browser (○) MISC HddManager.
  6. PS2 HDD Manager detects your hard drive and displays its status. In the screenshot below, the hard drive is detected (Connected: Yes) but it is not yet formatted in PFS (Formated: No).
  7. Open the menu with R1 and select Format.
  8. Confirm the hard drive formatting by selecting Yes.
  9. There you have it, your hard drive has been formatted in PFS.

Congratulations! You have formatted your hard drive to PFS with PS2 HDD Manager! You can now use it on a PlayStation 2.

Useful links

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WINDOWS

Rip a PS2 game via the console’s CD / DVD drive

With FreeMCBoot and the HDLGameInstaller app, you can rip, copy and install a PS2 game to the internal hard drive using the console’s CD / DVD drive.

Ripping a PS2 game via the console’s CD / DVD drive eliminates the need to create an ISO image of your game first and then have to transfer it via USB or network.

This operation takes about 20 minutes depending on the size of the PS2 game.

In this tutorial we will see how install a PS2 game via the console’s CD / DVD drive using the HDLGameInstaller application.

Summary

 

Prerequisites

  • The disc (CD / DVD) of a PS2 game
  • A PlayStation 2 Fat (SCPH-3000x, SCPH-3500x, SCPH-3700x, SCPH-3900x, SCPH-5000x or SCPH-5500x)
  • A PS2 network adapter:
    • Sony SCPH-10350 or Sony SCPH-10281 (PATA / IDE port for hard drive + Ethernet port for network)
    • GameStar Network Adaptator (SATA port for hard drive)
  • A hard drive of 2 TB maximum formatted in PFS:
    • PATA / IDE (for Sony network adapter)
    • SATA (for GameStar Network Adapter or Sony Network Adapter with PATA / IDE to SATA Upgrade Kit)
  • A USB key (if possible avoid the Kingston brand which poses compatibility problems with the PS2)
  • A PS2 memory card with FreeMCBoot : PS2: install FreeMCBoot on a PS2 Fat PS2: install FreeMCBoot on a PS2 Slim

Rip a PS2 game to hard drive

To rip a PS2 game to the console’s internal hard drive with HDLGameInstaller, follow these instructions:

  1. Download HDLGameInstaller.
  2. Unzip the HDLGameInstaller archive.
  3. Format the USB drive using the file system FAT32 (if it is not done yet).
  4. In the file PS2, copy the file HDLGameInstaller.elf as well as the file lang on the USB stick.
  5. Insert the USB key into one of the PS2’s USB ports.
  6. Turn on the PS2 with the memory card containing FMCB. This automatically loads FMCB.
  7. Open LaunchELF.
  8. Launch HDLGameInstaller by selecting File Browser (○) mass: / HDLGameInstaller.elf.
  9. Insert your PS2 game disc into the console’s CD / DVD drive.
  10. In HDLGameInstaller, tap START to start the rip of the PS2 game.
  11. Enter the full name of the game, the title that will appear in the menu and select the necessary compatibility modes (see here the modes to select according to the PS2 game) then click on following.
  12. Confirm by selecting okay.
  13. Leave the default icon then select okay.
  14. Confirm by selecting okay.
  15. Wait while HDLGameInstaller installs your PS2 game on the hard drive.
  16. Here, your PS2 game has been copied to the hard drive of the console.

Congratulations! You have ripped a PS2 game to the console hard drive using HDLGameInstaller. ?

All you have to do is launch the Open PS2 Loader application to play your game!

Play a PS2 game from the hard drive

To play a ripped PS2 game with the console’s CD / DVD drive and installed on the internal hard drive, check out this tutorial:

PS2: Play PS2 Games from Internal Hard Drive with OPL

Useful links

  • PS2: copy your games to the hard drive via Windows
  • PS2: copy your games to the hard drive via the network
  • PS2: play PS2 games from USB stick with OPL
  • PS2: Play PS2 games from a network (SMB) with OPL
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