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  1. #1
    Toucan Sam CJPC's Avatar
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    PS3 Flash Goodies - Part 1

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    First of all, readers of our Forums know (with the assistance of our Members) we have recently been doing research into the PS3 RCO file format.

    Note that it is different than that on a PSP, however, contains similarities as well. We have received a few questions as to "why" we want to examine the files... it's for a few reasons. First off- We are all curious! Secondly, the RCO files, in support with other files, enable/disable "links" to PS3 XMB options.

    In related news, we have now accessed the PS3 Flash's FileSystem, and among other things (to be posted in Part 2 or 3 of this article) it contains a folder called "ps1emu".

    What is it for? We found out! Inside the ps1emu folder, upon the insertion of a PS2 disc, a file is copied there by the name of "ps1_rom.bin". Oddly enough, it is actually the custom made PS2's BIOS for the PS3! Why it's in the PS1 folder is unknown to us just yet, however, we can confirm it is the PS2 BIOS. An excerpt from ps1_rom.bin is attached below in the screenshot.

    Finally, in regards to our PS3 Flash work thus far: Successful changes have been made to some areas, however, they are not useful just yet. Before we can change large areas of code we need to recalculate the PS3 Flash's ECC. Work is ongoing on that, with more to come, including more goodies from the flash!

    PS3 Flash Goodies - Part 1


    More PlayStation 3 News...

  2. #2
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    this is really good news to hear, and now i think were going in the right direction. may i ask are you working with the flash via a infectus chip or some other method? i just think now we might be able to manipulate a retail PS3's original fw to add the dev fw options via some edited .SPRXs and .RCOs.. instead of trying to get a retail ps3 install complete Debug FW...

  3. #3
    Registered User flurix's Avatar
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    The flash is being worked on in a rather unique setup that involves some adapters and an external programmer. Infectus will also work, just quite a bit slower. The unification of a retail firmware with debug features is most likely a long way off. The tests that are being run involve basically trying to get a full DEBUG firmware on a retail PS3. If that even works, which it might not depending on decrypt keys, the firmware will still need to be unpacked (which is currently possible), edited, then repacked, patched, and then re-installed. Needless to say, it's easier said than done. Not sure but I don't recall coming across a firmware packer.
    Last edited by flurix; 05-13-2008 at 05:45 AM

  4. #4
    Registered User SavageNick's Avatar
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    Lets say for argument's sake that u guys successfully manage to get debug fw onto a normal retail console (40 and 60gb).

    A) Would this be a permanent fixture? i.e. u can now only upgrade the fw through debug fw downloads, or would u be able to "go back" to retail fw with no side effects? Im guessing u could be able to do that nps, just checking.

    B) Does this reduce the usability of the console in any way? i.e. losing the ability to play BD movies for example? and

    C) Would this basically create a homebrew scene for the PS3? i.e. once the debug fw is confirmed to work correctly immediately people can get straight into writing emulators etc? Or would extra stuff need to be done (i.e. patching the debug fw etc etc)?

    I would love to help u guys (have a lot of programming xp, have a hacked psp etc etc) but have MSc exams atm lol.

  5. #5
    Registered User RexVF5's Avatar
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    I do not know all the answers but here's one I believe is true:

    Quote Originally Posted by SavageNick View Post
    Lets say for argument's sake that u guys successfully manage to get debug fw onto a normal retail console (40 and 60gb).

    C) Would this basically create a homebrew scene for the PS3? i.e. once the debug fw is confirmed to work correctly immediately people can get straight into writing emulators etc? Or would extra stuff need to be done (i.e. patching the debug fw etc etc)?
    I believe this could be done as TEST units run unsigned code on top of the HW (don't know if hypervisor could be avoided completely or it runs somehow in TEST mode). It could also bring Linux with accelerated graphics, etc...

  6. #6
    Registered User flurix's Avatar
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    A) Yes, the only firmware updates applicable to a TEST system are the debug firmwares. Retail firmwares won't install. Of course if you have a previous backup of your retail firmware, you could go back to it.
    B) No movie playback, no PSN, no streaming video. Pretty much just games only.
    C) The firmware would need to be patched to even work on a retail machine, so not sure what you mean by patching. You'd still need certain tools and such I believe to be able to start writing your PS3 code.

  7. #7
    Registered User SavageNick's Avatar
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    A) Ok, thats good news. Hopefully no hardware mods will be needed then...

    B) Ahh, this is defo a problem for most people then... Only way we will get everything we want in one package is for custom fw to get released then, ala the psp... How realistic is that idea?

    C) What I mean is, after u've managed to get the (patched) debug fw on ur retail PS3, u can then immediately start running homebrew and the like. Im pretty sure this is what u mean so that makes sense.

  8. #8
    Registered User flurix's Avatar
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    A) A hardware mod is still required to get the NAND backups. Either Infectus or physically removing the NANDs and dumping them with an external chip programmer will do.

    B) A custom firmware most likely be out for a long time. It's completely possible eventually, but for the near to mid range future, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    C) Sorta, if you want to run programs through XMB you still need certain non-public compilers I believe. Not 100% on this though, but with a TEST, you can't just pop your own code on an SD card and run from XMB.

  9. #9
    Registered User zanin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flurix View Post
    B) A custom firmware most likely be out for a long time. It's completely possible eventually, but for the near to mid range future, I wouldn't hold my breath.
    sorry for (possible) stupid question. however, if it takes long time to force debug firmware to work on retail machines, then it is not clear if it is worth all manpower spent.

    i assume, that replacement of initial bootloader with a custom one would be easier, then modification of the integer firmware. if you can force ps3 to boot from your bootloader, then it may be better to port something like coreboot to ps3.

    please, correct me if i'm wrong.

  10. #10
    Registered User puksa's Avatar
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    all bootloaders (otheros.bld i mean) are under hypervisor's control, so they cant do anything *good* with system We still need some "HyperPseudoVisor" that doesnt control anything but tells system that all is ok. And for THAT we need to run unsigned code, and for that we need a TEST FW

    correct me if i am wrong.

 

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