Ok, I've been reading the boards & congrats to all the guys who pushed us forward with all their contributions to the debug/test community (you know who you are ).
I've been doing a little research & I'm almost sure we can turn retail games into debug hdd boot games. so far it seems that we basically have to edit the .sfo file, which could have been done with Hellcat's app or PS3sys.exe.
CJPC's tutorial was straight forward enough to explain the Eboot process, so the next step would be to pack the modified files in with the retail game. i can't remember how to create a .pkg file, so thats where i'm stuck.it
on a retail console the limit for a hdd boot game is 5gb, but since these are debug machines, i don't think the limit applies. just in case anyone is willing to try out my theory, i would suggest trying a game under 5gb, since we'd have to stick as close to the basics as possible.
if anyone cant shoot this idea down, please take the time to explain where the error in my logic is.
It's actually pretty simple - Once you take the game, and decrypt the files, point every instance of "dev_bdvd" , to "dev_hdd0/game/TITLEIDHERE" (which, may take a tad bit of tweaking to say the least)
Then, patch the SFO to be "HG" from "DG" if I recall, copy all the files to the HDD and you should be in business!
It's quite possible that "/dev_bdvd" isn't hardcoded in the game at all...
You should also go to the debug menu and change the "GameContentUtil" settings from "For Release" to "For Development". This means if the game asks for it's current path, the returned path changes from "/dev_bdvd/USRDIR/" to "/dev_hdd0/game/BLUS12345/USRDIR/" (where BLUS12345 is the code printed on the spine of the box).
the hard part has been done, the .pkg file was made last night. the only road block im having now is hex editing the Eboot. the game installs as a hdd game but, after it runs the ps3 recognizes it as GD (game data) instead of HG (hdd game).