Free McBoot v1.90 released – extra compatibility and new features.

August 18, 2013

For those of you still interested in the PlayStation 2, and use the Softmod known as FMCB (Free McBoot) this will come of great interest to you as FMCB has received a huge overhaul from developer SP193.

For those of you who do not know, FMCB is a softmod for the PS2 that allows one to run homebrew applications (including but not limited to various loaders, ftp clients and emulators) and play backups of their games through either a disc based medium* or through a HDDLoader. It’s best asset however comes from the fact that it’s installed on the memory card so once installed it’s available on most PS2 consoles – in essence, you’ve hacked “every” PS2 console you’ve come into contact with. Furthermore, if your friend wants to have it you can place it on their card using your own.

*This isn’t done through FMCB itself, but through ESR.

Please also note that you cannot directly copy FMBC from one card to another, but you can use a working FMCB memory card to launch uLaunchELF and run the install on the second memory card.

For those wondering the PS2 can emulate a variety of consoles: Atari 2600 & 5200, BBC, Coleco, Commodore 64 & 128, GameBoy, Sega Genesis (Megadrive), Geotron, MAME, Master System, Msx2, NeoCD, NeoGeo, NES, SNES and WonderSwan.

Now, enough of what FMCB is, here’s the FMCB v1.9 change list taken directly from SP193′s post over at PSX-Scene.

For mere humans:

  1. Smaller, faster and more stable. :P
  2. The HDD unit is now supported.
  3. The “Early Japanese”/PCMCIA units (SCPH-10000, SCPH-15000 and SCPH-18000) are fully supported.
  4. Chinese consoles are now supported (e.g. SCPH-50009).
  5. When you leave the CD/DVD tray ejected, FMCB/FHDB will not stall.
  6. Your play history will now be updated (The towers in the background of the “Sony computer entertainment” screen should continue to grow taller and greater in numbers)

Technical changes:

  1. Initialization code has been cut down.
  2. Some IRX modules (init.irx and chkesr.irx) have been removed (superceded by code that runs from the EE, like their Sony originals).
  3. DVD player selection code has been replaced with one similar to the one used by Sony.
  4. The console initialization code has been replaced with a Sony-like version.
  5. CNF parsing code has been optimized.
  6. The memory map has been adjusted slightly, so everything now fits below Sony’s idea of “user memory” (below 0×00100000).
  7. Support for the Protokernel and all HDD OSDs have been added.
  8. (For the HDDOSD version of FMCB only) ELFs can be booted from any partition on the HDD. The format of the path is <partition>:<full path to file on pfs:/>. (e.g. hdd0:__sysconf:pfs:/FMCB/FMCB_configurator.elf).
    This can be easily set using the included FMCB/FHDB configurator.
  9. The CD/DVD drive will now be stopped if a normal ELF is started (Under the assumption that most homebrew ELFs probably won’t ever use the drive).
  10. The user’s history file (the file which affects the towers within the “Sony Computer Entertainment” startup screen) will now be updated whenever Playstation/Playstation 2 game/software discs are launched, as well as DVD video discs.
  11. Reloading the OSD from within the OSD triggers a full reload of FMCB, because the protokernel OSDs seem to become really unstable after a few resets.
    (I couldn’t find out why… so a full memory wipe and reload by the kernel is probably the best way to do it).
  12. The location of ESR will now be checked only when ESR is requested to be loaded.
  13. The embedded EELOAD module has been cleaned up, and loads at 0×00082000 instead (Like rom0:EELOAD does).
  14. FMCB has been split into two. The part of FMCB which remains resident will be copied into its place during runtime, allowing the initialization part of it to have the entire PlayStation 2 for initialization and drawing something nice on the screen (Not done at the moment as it makes FMCB quite a fair bit larger).
  15. Full support for the SCPH-10000 and SCPH-15000. Not only will it patch up the SCPH-10000 v1.00 kernel fully (Applies OSD argument-passing patch), it also includes its own HDD support modules and can act as a replacement for the Sony system driver update.
  16. Prototype support for the PSX. Its OSD is not supported, meaning that there will be no hacked OSD for the PSX.
  17. Supports non-Sony HDD units (Support for non-Sony HDD units within the HDD OSD/browser v2.00 update depends on the HDD OSD itself).
  18. New FMCB configurator program which supports the HDD unit.
  19. Added support for the Chinese consoles (Magicgate region 09, folder letter C. e.g. SCPH-50009).

After reading that, you’ve most likely noticed FHDB being mentioned multiple times. In SP193′s words:

Free Harddisk Drive Boot (FHDB) is basically FMCB that gets installed onto the PlayStation 2 console’s HDD unit. It does everything like FMCB does, but is meant to be used with the Sony HDDOSD (Browser update v2.00).

I’ll be looking into this more closely soon, and will most likely write something regarding my experiences.

If you’re interested in Modding your PS2, you can read this thread by ghettobeta59 regarding the SwapMagic method of installation. If you’re not too keen on SwapMagic, then hold tight as I’ll be finishing a tutorial using a different method within the next fortnight or so.


FMCB 1.90 can be downloaded here

I’d like to write a quick thanks to Fate6 who alerted me to (and got me very excited about) this.

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