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Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden DVD+R booktyped to DVD-ROM are the most compatible discs I have used. Thousands of people agree on multiple forums across the internet.
Sony doesn't actually make their DVDs so quality varies depending on who they have manufacture it at the time.
You are still gonna need to clean/adjust the laser for discs to play.
I personally use v13-14 slim PS2 for disc based games and my FAT PS2s only for HDD, even though their lasers stili work. Slim lasers are much cheaper to replace.
Thanks for the tip on the discs. I'll look into that next.
As far as putting in an HDD goes, how difficult of an install is that? I'm fairly savvy, but if it involves any soldering or any coding that i'd have to do on my own, then it's probably no good. Also would I have to buy anything?
I have an old Seagate USB external drive, could I take the hdd out of that??
You will need to buy a PS2 network adapter. It hooks to the back of the PS2 and into the HDD. The HDD sits in the empty bay below the DVD drive.
No soldering or coding is needed.
Yes your Seagate will work fine, just back-up the data on it as once it is in PS2 format you can only use it for the PS2, you'll only be able to access it in windows with Winhiip, or similar program.
You just hook install the games to the PS2 HDD with a program called Winhiip and run the HDloader app already included in the FMCB noob package (HDL .8c).
A list of installed games will come up and you just select the one you want to play.
A tiny percentage of games are not compatible with HDL, a compatibilty list is on sksapp. Tutorials on how to use Winhiip as well as the program are also that site and in it's forum.
Please read those tutorials!! Any further questions you have regarding HDD gaming will have already been answered in those tutorials, they are very detailed an thorough.