Hmm well I cant really help u with the HDD problems some of the other guys on here will have to answer that for ya. Although I can help with the FTP prob if u cant get it to work on the HDD id say yea do it off the memory card and since u dont have a original PSX game to use as ur trigger burn EXECFTP to a CDr and boot it up using Swap Magic assuming u have it and transfer away. Oh yea on another note if u can find an original PSX to use as ur trigger use Keylauncher it's much better then LaunchELF.
SCPH-39001, Version 7 PS2, Black Sony Flip Top Case
Swap Magic v3.6, Codebreaker v7.0 + 9.0
Hitachi 80GB HD, Formatted with DMS + HDLoader