Firstly, here is pic of the chip:
Looks original to me.
There doesn't seem to be any loose wires and all the solder points look good.
It came with firmware v1.68, very soon after I updated to v1.82 without any prolems.
Anyway, I bought a 75001 ps2 modded with that chip and had absolutely no problems for about 4-5 months until now.
The problem: It suddenly won't load any copied ps2 games. This was not right after a firmware upgrade or anything, as i was running it on v1.82 for a few months now. When attempting to load a ps2 game it comes up with the red screen telling you to insert a ps or ps2 format disk.
Now the unusual symptoms:
It doesn't show the playstation 2 writing with the matrix logo and the version under it anymore, from power on it shows the big matrix logo
then the blue cloudy screen with the sony computer entertainment writing, then the red screen if a copied ps or ps2 game is inside.
It can play copied ps1 games if foced into ps1 mode (by holding down circle on boot) without any problems.
It can play dvd movies automatically, no problems there.
It cannot "fast boot" anymore.
If selected in the infinity configuration menu (or if "select" is held on boot), it will simply hang at the big matrix logo whether a disc is in it or not, or whether the lid is up or not.
The chip can still be disabled by holding down start until the writing "disabled" appears.
The big matrix logo doesn't show up and the chip is disabled if I hold reset/power for 2-3 seconds from standby (red light). And as such I can't go to the force firmware update thing, if it is indeed corrupted firmware. The chip gets enabled again after going to standby.
The firmware cannot be updated past v1.82, that is, i've tried updating to v1.88 and v1.91 but when it gets to the update screen it shows v1.82 instead.
It can be downgraded back to v1.68 however (and i assume v1.75 also). Changing firmware does absolutely nothing to remedy any of the issues stated.
I am not able to install infinity mager from the cd as it hangs at a black screen when forced to boot in ps1 mode (or else it would go to the red screen).
Well that's about it. I have searched for quite a while without finding anyone with a similar problem, part of, but not quite like mine.
The only thing i can think of is that the chip got damaged somehow, or it is a convincing clone. Also, is there any other way to force flash the firmware? like a cd that can clear/reset the chip and then reload whatever firmware on it? Any insight or help on this problem would be appreciated.