A Tale of Three PSPs

20171001_112756I purchased a used PSP (a ‘phat’ 1001 model) from eBay with the intent of repairing to play Patapon on a larger screen.  The unit I received was unrepairable (understandable for $10) but had some useable parts.  After comparing the individual component prices (TA-082 Mother board + ribbon cable) I found two similar PSPs on eBay for less than the cost of parts.  Between the three, I could Frankenstein together two working PSPs 

  • 1st PSP (TA-082):  Had obvious signs of water (more likely it was diet Coke/Pepsi) damage; there was corrosion on parts of the internal metal frame, the power and WiFi switches were sticky, the paper backing on the screen was deteriorated/torn/stuck, and there was a line of dark ‘goo’ encircling it beneath its silver edging.  The unit would not power on as a short had burned through three conductors in the ribbon cable (and the on-board connector) that connected the power board to the mainboard. (Also, a nice burn mark on the metal frame over that area).  Later I would find the screen had many diagonal streaks that appeared to be from a dark stain on the LCD or backlight panel.


  • 2nd PSP (TA-079): this was sold with a defective screen.  Powering also appeared to have issues, but it ended up being a problem with the battery not seating correctly.  I replaced the screen with one from the earlier PSP and it worked- but the screen has strange streaks across that looked bad.


    After replacing this, everything worked Ok and I could install a 6.6PRO-C2 custom firmware. (more on this later).
  • 3rd PSP (TA-086):  this unit was sold as-is untested.  The exterior was in much better shape but it initially would not power on.  I booted to a Pandora’s battery with some success, but ran into a problem as it would also try to access the UMD drive when powered on (with no UMD inserted), hang for 30 seconds and display a message that it was unable to read the disc.  After the delay, the PSP seemed to work, but I had power issues (I suspect my battery again).  I did find a spot of corrosion on the UMD ribbon cable that had eaten entirely through one of the traces (I had to use a jeweler’s loupe to see the break).  


The screen from this device was removed and installed in the 2nd PSP to make it 100% functional. I transplanted the 2nd PSP’s screen (the ugly one originally from the 1st PSP) into this. I also tried swapping the UMD assembly with the drive from the first PSP with the same pause on startup result. However, after I manually manipulated the sensor and eject lever in the UMD drive, it started working normally (save for the ugly screen).

I now have:

· One fully working PSP 1001

· One working PSP1001 with a bad display and a suspect UMD drive

· One dead psp: Dead board, bad power ribbon cable, bad umd ribbon drive, broken UMD door, broken screen…

I ordered a white full housing replacement for the working PSP from eBay.  I am still deciding if I want to purchase an additional PSP (for parts), order a replacement LCD screen, or recycle the partially working unit.

PSP Mods:

My old Pandora’s battery and Magic Memory Stick (MMS) was old and it flashed v3.71 onto the PSP 1001s.  They behaved oddly and I assume this was due to changes made with later firmware.  I found Rain’s MMS Maker v1.2 to make a newer (v5.00) MMS and this flash seemed to behave better.  (Note: hold down left trigger when booting with new MMS and inserting Pandora’s Battery; the older 3.71 MMS boots without this.)  I had trouble figuring out how to update to a newer version, and realized the Pandora’s Battery is now obsolete. 

Installing the 6.60PRO-C2 CFW is much easier:

1. Update to the official 6.60 firmware

2. Copy the 6.60PRO-C2 CFW to the Memory Stuck

3. Run the Update from the Games menu in XMB

4. Run the CIPL Flasher (only for PSP1000s and early PSP2000s)

This CFW will work on any PSP, but later model PSP 2000s and PSP3000s (and PSP Go) will need to re-run the Update on each hard reboot.

Memory Stick Replacement:

clip_image001[4]The PSP uses a MS Pro Duo memory card, that is still overpriced-as-fuck.  I had an old SDA-1800 dual Micro SD to MS Pro Duo adapter that I attempted to use: Although the manufacturer states it will take up to 1TB MicroSD cards, my unit would only recognize 29GB of a single 64GB.  I attempted to use different card configurations (using Rufus to format as FAT32 on my PC) but all would fail on a format from the PSP.  Single cards were limited to 32GB and dual SD card configurations would always fail (even in a 2 x 16GB configuration).  I realize there was an issue with the adapter as I had the same issues when connected to PC (My 128GB Micro SD was showing up as 1GB; two 32GBs showed up as 29GB, etc.). 

I eventually destroyed the adapter (crushed, broken and burned) and ordered a single Micro SD adapter from amazon. The new card will not work with my 128GB Micro SD but does work great with a 64GB card.  64GB can hold a lot of PSP CSOs (compressed ISOs).  :)

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