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.

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