Save a DRE PS2 with FMCB+HDL?
I bought a PS3 at launch and built up a sizeable collection of PS2 games and Blu-Ray movies to keep me entertained until PS3 software dropped in price. After getting a Memor32 and installing FMCB for several friends, I FINALLY got amy first PS2 (just a couple days ago). I came across a $5 network adapter in the original packaging (original version), so I stopped by an indie shop for a $20 DRE PS2 on the ways home (can't read discs). I asked for one that gives DREs and they said that it can't read games, but I have yet to actually get a DRE. The system menu either never shows a disc or it boots the disc and I watch as a progress bar loads all the way and then just stops at 100% (tested with Guitar Hero III original).
Since getting the PS3 I've been busy trying to catch up on all the great PS2 games I missed and now I'm ready to catch up on all the "scene" stuff I never knew. I'm such a noob that I thought HDL was installed and booted from the HD with no further need for a mod, swap disc, or exploit (after the install). I alsways thought it was a solution for bad drives even before FMCB (I didn't know about Independance).
Anyway, I cleared off a Hitachi 7k500 IDE drive (500GB) and threw it in, though a several of my old DVD images couldn't copy off of it (could indicate bad sectors). It formatted fine with HDL 0.8c and I attempted to copy Megaman X Collection to the HDD. It got to 26% before freezing with zero errors. I was too busy to reset the PS2, so I left it there for about 25mins before it FINALLY said "Disc could not be read" and showed 32 read errors (it showed none, "0," while frozen). Anyone else would have forced it off thinking that it was a hard lock. I can't say if it was a DRE or a bad sector on the HDD that caused the pseudo-freeze/read error. Subsequent attemts would either tell me that it isn't a Playstation format disc or it would say "Checking Disc" forever (well, 10mins of it at least; I didn't feel like waiting 25mins on that screen).
So, how can I get games installed if my drive can't read the discs? What PC programs can do this and which do you guys recommend? I have FMCB and I can wire it to the network for FTP if you guys can suggest a PS2 FTP program. I prefer to do it on PC and transfer over the network to the PS2 rather than sharing a USB drive, but if you guys think one method is better than the other, please tell me.
Also, what are the odds of being able to fix this PS2's optical drive? It makes a strange noise but has never been able to load a game far enough to give me a real DRE, so I don't know if the typical remedies will work. Also, what "typical remedies" should I try? ;)