SCPH-9XXXX v18 PS2 FMCB Compatibility Consolidated Information
After reading around the site for information regarding SCPH-9XXXX v18 PS2 FMCB compatibility, I realized that the info is spread out across many threads. This is an attempt to consolidate what we know so far into one thread.
I'll attempt to use a noob's typical line of questioning as the format.
Q. Which SCPH-9XXXX v18 consoles work with FMCB?
A. Only those with BIOS version 220
Q. Can FMCB be updated to work with v18 consoles that have BIOS version 230?
A. No, Sony removed the feature that FMCB used to boot the hacked OSDSYS.
Q. How do I know if I'm getting a FMCB compatible PS2 without first purchasing the system?
A. There's a few methods so far.
1. If the packaging has a window to allow you to see the sticker, or if the retailer will let you open the box in the store, look for date code 8b. Some 8c may have BIOS v220, most are v230. Any later date code is not compatible.
2. The "Singstar Pop Hits 3" Bundle (not the 2007 bundle with the white PS2)is reported as BIOS v220 (no Guarantees though) I can't find this bundle online, so if you have a link to it, or know a store that sells it please share.
Q. Are there any ways to know what SCPH-9XXXX v18 NOT to buy without opening the package?
A. The Lego Batman bundle is reportedly BIOS v230. Avoid it if you want to use FMCB.
Q. How can I tell if my SCPH-9XXXX v18 has BIOS v220, after I have purchased it and opened the box?
A. Look at the sticker on the bottom of the console. If it has date code 8a or 8b, it will work with FMCB. If it has date code 8c look at next question.
Q. Which numbers are the date code?
A. See pic below!
Q. Are there any date code 8c PS2 that have the v220 BIOS?
A.Yes. It was during the third quarter of 2008 that Sony switched to using bios v2.30. Thus consoles with date code 8C may have either that bios or the preceding bios v2.20 which does allow FMCB booting. So for consoles with 8C we can't be sure about FMCB compatibility without checking the BIOS version explicitly. *
Q. How can I tell what BIOS my date code C console has?
A. Use the BIOS dumping tool attached at the bottom of this post to dump you BIOS and see what version it is.(DUMPBIOS-MASS.zip) You will need a method to launch homebrew to run this program. (see last question for ways to do that)
(Don't upload your BIOS here, it is copyright of Sony, and will get you banned.)
Q. Can the PS2's BIOS be flashed with v220, if I find out I have v230?
A. No the PS2 has a read only BIOS chip.
Q. Are there any FMCB install methods that work on other slim consoles, but not on SCPH-9XXXX?
A. Yes, the Codebreaker method doesn't work, as the program is no longer compatible with this version PS2 at all. Not even for using the cheating function.
Q. What other home brew launching alternatives do I have if I find my PS2 has BIOS v230?
A. Swap Magic, AR Max w/media player, mod-chip (Modbo 4.0 apparently works well.)
If I have missed anything, or have something incorrect, please let me know, and I will update, and or change this first post. Anyone that has a pic of the sticker on the bottom of the PS2 with the date code circled, is welcome to share it.
@ Mods- It's probably a good idea to sticky this thread, or perhaps integrate this info into the FMCB tutorial somewhere.
*credit dlanor. Thanks also to all who shared their info and test results to help us figure this out.