Review of the HDCombo from www.hdcombo.com
Reviewed by www.norcalmods.com
What is the HDCombo?
The HDCombo is a product that will allow you to connect a standard IDE HDD to your slim PSTwo. You may already know this but for those that don't the slim PSTwo?s do not come stock from Sony with the ability to utilize a HDD. However there are points on the slim V12 and V13 PSTwo?s that can be utilized to modify the motherboard to accept an IDE HDD. Note: this mod is only for the V12 and V13 PSTwo?s. The very new V14/15 does not have these points. These point where originally discovered by Automan and soon after a production mod to exploit these points was made by Team Extender which they call HD-Connect. The HDCombo takes this type of modification to the next level. Let it be known that the HDCombo is not part of Extender but its own new innovation.
Why would I want to install and HDD to my PSTwo?
Well there are many reasons from being able to use homebrew application, emulators, audio and video media, backing up your game saves and what not. But the main reason why people would like to be able to utilize an HDD on their PS2Two is for the convenience of being able to back-up their PS2 games directly to the HDD and then be able to play the game directly from the HDD. Playing games from the HDD is very convenient in that the games will load fasted and wont freeze up do to poor quality discs. Not to mention you will have one large menu of games to pick from and won?t have to swap out your game disc every time you want to play a new game. Playing games from the HDD will also preserver your lasers life as it wont be being used when playing your games. This can be done with the latest patched HD-Loader that has V12/13 support as well as the DMS4 Pro flashed with Toxic OS or the patched HD-Loader CD-R that comes with the HD-Combo kit. HD-Combo suggest booting HD-Loader from the memory card with a Dev1mod chip like the Matrix Infinity, Crystal Chip, DMS4 Lite or even the H2O. With the application booted from the memory card in Dev1 mod there will be absolutely no discs in your PSTwo at all. With a DMS4 Pro flashed with Toxic OS the HD-Loader type application is already on the chip so this is not needed. In this review we will be using a V13 PSTwo with a DMS4 Pro flashed with Toxic OS V0.03. So let?s get on with the review!
The initial inspection.
When the HD-Combo kit first showed up it was packaged very will in its own box and antistatic bags. The kit comes with a power supply (PSU) for the HDD, a ?Y? splitter so you only need on AC cord for two PSU?s. This ?Y? splitter is used for both the new HDD PSU and the original Sony PSTwo PSU. The kit also comes with a new lower half of the PSTwo case that is thick enough to house a 3.5 IDE HDD. The kit also comes with two solderable ribbon cables for attaching to the motherboard. Below are pictures of all this.
NOTE: All these pictures in this post are of lowered size and quality for the benefit of your viewing pleasure. Higher quality photos of these same pictures will be posted in the gallery on my site soon.
Starting the install.
The PS2wo must be disassembled down to the motherboard in order to solder the ribbon cables in place. Let it be known that this install is not for the average. The solder points are very small and if special care is not taken you could damage your PStwo or have a nonworking HD-Combo. On inspection of the ribbon cables I noticed they feel a little thinner then the HD-Connects ribbon cables and a little easier to maintain. They also come pre-made with 3M double sided tape so that you can stick the longer cables down nicely when done. I first installed the bottom ribbon cable to the motherboard and this is what it looked like.
I started with this cable first because the second cable on the top wraps around to the back and laps over the top of the ribbon cable on the bottom. In the above picture you can see the top ribbon cable already in place before I wrapped it around to the bottom. The next picture is of the top ribbon cable soldered in place.
The next picture is of the top ribbon cable solders on top of the bottom cable. The large ground solder points will insure that the ribbon cables stay in place and at the same time completes the ground that the HDD needs. The top ribbon cable actually solder one ground point on top of the bottom ribbon cable. This is the reason for the large ground solder point on the bottom ribbon cable. This is viewable below also. You can also see where the 3M tape holds the ribbon cable in place where it makes a 90 degree turn.