Saturday, February 16, 2008

A newbie's guide to installing custom firmware on PSP Slim & Lite

Before you install a custom firmware on your newly purchases PSP Slim, you will need a couple of things. A PSP Slim (d'uh!), a Pandora Battery (or Datel Max Power Tool or Datel Tool Battery for Slim), a genuine Memory Stick Pro Duo (Magic Gate) with a capacity above 128MB and below 4GB as well as access to a Windows PC. Note that this guide can also be used on older PSP (PSP-1000 series). See the comments.
  1. Download the TotalNewbieEasyInstaller program (Google or Yahoo! it).
  2. Run the program (Start.exe).
  3. Put your PSP (with the Memory Stick) into USB mode and connect it to your PC via a USB cable.
  4. Follow the instructions (this will involve formatting your MS stick so be sure to backup any content before).
  5. Choose 4. Universal Unbricker: 3.71 M33 Installer and install.
  6. Follow the instructions.
Now you will need a Pandora Battery to put your PSP into service mode. This requires you to open up your PSP Slim's original battery and mess around with the PCB. You can convert it back to a normal battery after use, but personally I would just recommend you to purchase the Datel Tool battery and be done with. Either way make sure the battery is fully charged.

The next step is so easy even George Bush can do it:
  1. Make sure the Memory Stick is inserted inside.
  2. Insert the Pandora's Battery or Datel Tool battery into your PSP Slim's battery slot.
  3. Follow the instructions. Here you can restore your PSP Slim to 3.71 official firmware, install 3.71 M33 or backup the PSP's NAND ROM to MS by pressing 'Square'.
  4. Press 'X' to install 3.71 M33 firmware.
  5. Once done, remove the battery and insert a none-hacked battery.
  6. Turn it on. You can confirm the firmware by checking the System Information.
You would probably want to update the firmware to the latest one. There are slight issues with the latest 3.80 and 3.90 firmwares so unless you really want Skype, just update to 3.71 M33-4 for now. Download the M33-4 update file and extract the file. Connect via USB and install the 'UPDATE' folder into ms0:/PSP/GAME. Exit USB mode and navigate to GAME on your XMB and run the update.

If you want to install the latest 3.90 M33, just download the M33 release file and Sony's official 3.90 update file and rename it to 390.PBP. Copy the UPDATE folder into ms0:/PSP/GAME and copy 390.PBP into the same folder. Navigate to GAME/Memory Stick on the XMB and run the installer. The firmware will be installed by Sony's own updater program. Make sure your battery is charged and follow the instructions. If you have a slow Memory Stick, you may want to patch the firmware with 3.71 fatmsmod.

After installing the custom firmware the first thing I recommend is to turn on your PSP while pressing the right shoulder button to put the PSP into recovery mode and "overclock" your PSP Slim into 333Mhz for games. This will provide a massive performance improvements to games originally developed to run at 222Mhz. Format the Memory Stick if you need the extra space.

After that how you want to use your PSP is up to you. I personally use it to extract the ISO from my UMDs so as to be able to run them from the Memory Stick rather than UMD drive. This is as easy as dragging the ISO onto your desktop, then compressing it via a CSO compressor utility (search engines are your friends) to reduce the size. The massive battery improvement alone is worth it, but there are other advantages like reduced loading time and the convenience of not having to carry many UMDs. I also use custom firmware to run PS1 games via emulation.

Disclaimer: This is merely a guide. I will not take responsibility if you brick your PSP.

Update: Not all PSP-2000 can be used with a Pandora battery, right now specifically those with TA-088 motherboards.


kew said...

Aiyo, I just bring to the shop, RM50 and a couple of hours later, done..

Jon said...

A couple of hours??? What kind of retarded shop is that?

This takes 15 minutes to do and once you are done with you have a battery and MS stick that allows you to unbrick/downgrade as many PSPs as you want to, each taking only 5 minutes.

andrew said...

how about the older psp (non-slim ones)? Any way of installing custom firmware ourselves without bringing in to the shop?

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

This guide also works with older PSP-1000 series. Just follow the instructions.

Plus you will have the added option of installing 1.50:

1. Download 1.50 from Dark_Alex's site depending on the M33 CFW you have.
2. Copy UPDATE folder onto your ms0:/PSP/GAME folder via USB.
3. Copy Sony's official 1.50 and rename it to 150.PBP. Dump it onto the root of stick.
4. Run the program from the GAME/Memory Stick folder on XMB and follow the instructions.

Remembe not run this on Slim!

For PSP Slim, TimeMachine has been released which allows a hybrid 1.50/3.40 firmware to run on the Slim. But I haven't tried it yet.

kristian said...

My oled PSP is running 3.10 OE-A and I want to upgrade to the latest CFW. I don't have Pandora battery. Any advice on what I should do?

Thanks in advance.

Jon said...

Update to 3.52 M33, then to 3.52 M33-4, then to whichever latest CFW you wish to.

jagdish said...

what should i do with my psp 2004 model slim with official software 3.71 ... need it to convet to its custom me out..plz

Jon said...

Instruction applies as well. In fact my Slim was running on official 3.71 FW when I first upgraded to CFW.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I came across your blog when weighing up whether to get a psp or not. I read your instructions and thought "yea, i think i can do that". I also found another newbie's guide so I went out and bought everything i needed. I sat down today to do the install and fell at the first hurdle as I cannot get a copy of TotalNewbieEasyInstaller program that doesnt have a trojan virus in the start.exe. are the only people who seem to be giving it out, I emailed them and they said that there was nothing they could do. I am wondering if you have a clean copy of that file or could help me out with another way to get custom firmware onto a psp slim. I know I'm asking a lot but my email is Please contact me if you can help. Thanks

Jon said...

I no longer have these in my achieves. Sorry. But do try the Despertar del Cementerio:

Anonymous said...

Ummm, im a total (for lack of a better word) newbie at this but my question is: is this for firmware or custom firmare? All it says in the article is firmware, and your title says custom firmware. I'm confused.

Anonymous said...

Oh, almost forgot. Whenever I look at other guides it says I need all this other CFW stuff already istalled to install 3.71 M33. Is there any way I won't need to do this? Or is there an archive and/or a guide?

Jon said...

This guide is for installing custom firmware. You won't need to have CFW already installed to install 3.71 M33, if say you are upgrading from official 3.71/3.80 (I did from 3.80). I can't make guarantees for devices that came with newer official firmwares though as Sony may have found a way through, but I am sure there are newer methods than mine now.