I'm sure if you've even done five minutes of Googling about Custom Firmware, you've heard of the Pandora Battery. But what exactly is it, how does it work, and what does it do? I'll explain.
The Battery Itself
Inside every high-quality PSP Battery (like those made by Sony) is a computer chip called the EEPROM. EEPROM stands for Electronically (or Easily) Eraseable Programmable Read-Only Memory. This is the chip that lets us turn a battery from a normal battery to a Pandora battery. A Pandora battery, to put it simply, is a battery that has the first sixteen bytes of its EEPROM set to on. The serial number of the battery when read by the PSP is 65,536 (please correct me if I'm wrong.) This is the highest possible serial number a battery could have.
So it's Got a Big Serial Number, Who Cares?
Well, this little serial number can change the way your PSP works quite a lot. When the PSP first turns on, before it's loaded its firmware from its internal memory (NAND) chip, it looks at the battery. Why the battery? Because Sony though no one would ever look there. If the battery has a serial number anywhere from 0 to 65,535 it'll boot from its internal memory. However, if it finds the battery has that special serial number it takes another course of action.
Pandora Found, Now Booting
The PSP will look at the inserted MemoryStick (if there is one) for a file at the root of the MemoryStick called MSipl.bin. This stands for MemoryStick Initial Program Loader. Only a Magic MemoryStick (as they are commonly called) contains this file and all the others required. Inside this MSipl.bin file are instructions for where to boot from. When Sony technicians are fixing a bricked PSP, they make this file tell the PSP to load a "Back-up" firmware saved on the MemoryStick. This temporary firmware has the ability to re-install firmware onto the PSP's internal memory, thus fixing the PSP.
Yes, Yes. But How Does This Help Me Hack My PSP?
Well, what if we decided to tell the PSP to boot not from some Sony firmware, but from a different firmware not made by Sony? It could be an installer that didn't write a Sony firmware on the internal memory, but a better, Custom Firmware instead! This is exactly what Dark Alex's Despetar Del Cementrio programs do. They load a firmware capable of installing custom firmware onto your PSP.
So After All That I've Got Custom Firmware?
Yes, after all that you do!
Please keep in mind that the newer PSP-3000 models, as well as the PSP-2000 models with version TA-088v3 motherboards have extra securities implemented by Sony to make the loading of an un-encrypted MSipl.bin file impossible. This prevents installation of a custom firmware, as well as the running of a custom firmware on these models if written to a PSP's NAND. Additionally, the PSP-3000 does not use a typical Pandora battery to boot into service mode. It instead requires a different battery with an advanced cryptographic chip.
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Jun 27, 09 at 4:14am
I mistake Delete for Escape. And I press the wrong keys. (Few years ago)
Well Go! Get One (Oh Wait, They're Not Out Yet...)
This is a pre-release picture of the yet to be out PSP Go!:
The official way of naming this newest PSP according to Sony is either PSPgo or PSP go, but I saw PSP Go! one time and I like it much better. So from here on in I'll call it the PSP Go!. The newest announced PSP from Sony, dubbed the PSP Go! by me, is scheduled for release on October 1, 2009. It has model number PSP-N1000, and will most likely follow the same region number scheme as the 3000. The PSP Go! most likely has the same CPU, GPU, and Wi-Fi specifications as the 3000, but it also has a few major changes. Namely, there is no longer a UMD drive on the Go!. Instead, the Go! comes with 16 GB of memory built in. This can be doubled by inserting a 16 GB Memory Stick Micro into the MSM (Memory Stick Micro) slot. Thus, all your purchases of ga,es will; have to come from the PSN (Playstation Network) Store. Additionally, the PSP Go! features a built in Bluetooth connection. As you can see from the picture above, the PSP Go! has a sliding screen, but no touch screen. It is "43% lighter and 56% smaller than the original PSP [Phat]" according to Sony. The screen is also slightly smaller than the other PSP models, at 9.65 cm (3.8 inches) compared to the older models' 4.3 inch (10.922 cm) screens. As far as it comes to homebrew on the PSP Go!, we will have to wait for its release. One would assume the security on the Go! is equal to or greater than the security on the 3000. Additionally, it is almost certain that the Go! will come pre-packaged with a firmware above the current exploitable ones.
If you do plan on getting a PSP Go!, then you are very patient for, or do not want homebrew. You have a sturdy internet connection for downloading games, and you want something a little more portable.
A section on the UMD and Memory Stick is soon to come.
This message was edited by Luigi Panache on Jun 25 2009.
It is 'games', isn't it? But it's still a excellent job
Jun 25, 09 at 5:29pm
Updated people. The Go! is now on there. Just more section to go about the Hardware, and then I'll do emulators.
Jun 25, 09 at 12:50pm
It's you who did all the labour so we should be thanking you!
Jun 25, 09 at 8:31am
quote Luigi Panache
Thanks guys, it really means a lot to me! I've updated it to include the PSP 3000. Read away!
You don't need to thank us. After all it's you who searched and typed this things for us so it must be us thanking you!