How to Connect a Hard Drive to a PS2 Without a Network Adapter
By Marshal M. Rosenthal
Updated September 22, 2017
Items you will need
Fat-formatted USB external hard drive
Blank recordable CD disc
Swap Magic disc
The PlayStation 2 (PS2) does not come equipped with an internal hard drive, but can access one if the console has been modified (or “modded”) to allow the operating system to perform functions not intended by Sony. You can connect and access an external hard drive to a PS2, providing that a USB model, formatted with the “FAT” Windows operating system format is chosen. You will also need the Swap Magic program for the PS2 and a few supplies and free programs to use with a PC.
Download the free “USB Advance” file to the desktop of the PC (see Resources). Double-click the file to decompress it to a folder on the desktop.
Double-click the folder to open its window. Double-click the “USBAdvance-PC-Software” folder to open its window. Drag the two files that are inside onto the desktop.
Eject the disc tray of the DVD drive. Place a blank recordable CD disc on the tray and close the tray. Double-click the icon of the disc on the desktop to open its window. Drag the two files that were taken out of the folder into the disc’s window. Right-click the icon of the disc and select “Burn” from the pop-up menu. Let the burning procedure finish before right-clicking the disc again, selecting “Eject” and removing it from the disc tray once it has been ejected.
Double-click the “USBExtreme_winist” file that is inside the decompressed “USB Advance” folder to decompress it to a folder. Double-click the folder to open its window. Drag the file inside the window, “USBExtreme.exe” to the desktop.
Plug the USB cable from the “FAT”-formatted USB external hard drive into a USB port on the PC. Double-click the “USBExtreme” program on the desktop to launch it.
Click the “Format” tab on the program’s main screen. Select the USB hard drive from the “Drive” drop-down menu on the screen. Click the “Format” button at the bottom of the screen. Quit the program after the confirmation screen appears. Right-click the icon of the USB external hard drive. Select “Eject” from the pop-up menu. Disconnect the USB cable attached to the drive from the USB port of the PC.
Press the “Eject” key on the front of the PS2. Insert the “Swap Magic” disc into the disc tray. Press the “Eject” button to close the tray.
Press the “Eject” button when the disc drive in the PS2 stops spinning (the “whirring” sound will go silent). Press the “Eject” button, remove the “Swap Magic” disc and place the CD that was made on the tray. Press the “Eject" key to close the tray.
Plug the USB cable attached to the USB external hard drive into the USB port on the PS2. The drive number for the USB external hard drive will now appear as a choice in the “USBExtreme” screen that is now being displayed. Games and files that have been copied to the drive can now be accessed using the program.
Modifying the PS2 voids any warranty that might be in place.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology maven with more than 15 years of editorial experience. A graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography with a Bachelor of Arts in photographic arts, his editorial work has appeared both domestically as well as internationally in publications such as "Home Theater," "Electronic House," "eGear," "Computer and Video Games" and "Digitrends."