I’ve been receiving tons of questions on how to check if their PSP can have custom firmware installed. Here’s a complete and concise guide to get you going. Make sure to read through the guide fully since it will answer all your psp motherboard related questions.
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First of, you need to understand that there are three types of PSPs:
1) 1000 Series (Also known as PSP Phat/Fat)
2) 2000 Series (Also known as PSP Slim or Lite & Slim)
3) 3000 Series (Also known as PSP Brite)
So why install Custom Firmware on a PSP?
People install Custom Firmware so they can run Homebrew, programs developed by people that don’t have a contract with Sony. A PSP with Custom Firmware could also back up your games from the UMD to your computer; it also allows you to play those backups from your Memory Stick (MS). You could also do some serious customizations to your theme. Basically, you free your PSP from the hands of Sony.
Why can’t I install Custom Firmware on my PSP?
Your PSP probably has a TA-088v3 (Found in some 2000 series units) or TA-090v2 (Found in all 3000 series units) motherboard, which are, to-date, still aren’t supported by the current Custom Firmware versions so you can’t install it on them.
From here on, Here’s some clarifications:
All 1000 Series (or PSP Phat) PSPs are crackable to date. You can use Pandora and an MMS to install Custom Firmware or some other method.
The 2000 Series is a split family. It has 3 generations, differentiated by the motherboard installed on them.
1) 1st Generation 2000 Series uses TA-085xx and is supported by Custom Firmware.
2) 2nd Generation 2000 Series uses TA-088v3 and is not supported by Custom Firmware.
3) 3rd Generation 2000 Series uses TA-090v1 and is supported by Custom Firmware.
So if you have a PSP Slim and don’t have TA-088v3 motherboard, rest assured that you can install Custom Firmware on it.
All 3000 Series (or PSP Brite) have the TA-090v2 Motherboard, which is still unsupported by Custom Firmware. Sony has made the latest iteration of the PSP hardware secured under a bigger lock and key. A few enterprising people claim to have the PSP-3000 hacked but it’s nothing more than smoke and mirrors.
Here’s a list of all the Motherboards made & released by Sony:
We all know how to tell if a PSP is a PSP 1000 because of it’s bulk. The same goes for the 3000 Series because of the PSP-3000’s features. What’s difficult is telling if your PSP Slim (PSP-2000) can have Custom Firmware installed.
Here’s 7 ways to tell if you can install Custom Firmware or not:
1) What is the Firmware the PSP came with?
The original firmware that came with the PSP right out of the box is an indication of its Motherboard, & here’s the list:
1) Official Firmware 3.60: Supported by Custom Firmware
2) Official Firmware 3.71: Supported by Custom Firmware
3) Official Firmware 3.72: Supported by Custom Firmware
4) Official Firmware 3.80: Supported by Custom Firmware
5) Official Firmware 3.90: Supported by Custom Firmware
6) Official Firmware 3.95: Supported by Custom Firmware
7) Official Firmware 4.01: Very high chance of no Custom Firmware support
If you’ve bought a PSP with Official Firmware higher than 4.01, chances are it doesn’t support Custom Firmware, any attempt to install it will be met with a Game could not be started error.
Note: If you updated the PSP or the PSP you’ve bought has been upgraded before you got your hands on it then you need to find out what was the first firmware installed on it as the list above only applies to said version.
2) What is the PSP’s Serial Number?
The Serial Number is found on a label where the battery is supposed to go. Refer to the picture below for a better illustration:
Note that this applies to Piano Piano Black PSPs (for now). If the serial starts with HU2, then the PSP most likely has a TA-088v3 Motherboard. Any other serial (Say starting with HC or HB or HJ) can have CFW installed.
3) What’s is the PSP’s Identification Letter
It’s the letter on a label on the box that indicates the version of the unit. A picture is shown below:
Note that this label is only present on the normal PSP box and not those large “Limited Edition” ones.
Anyways, See the G there?
That G is the letter in question. Here’s a list of all the letters that the 2000 series ship with:
1) No Letter) = 3.60
2) A = 3.71
3) B = Doesn’t exist
4) C = 3.72
5) D = Doesn’t exist
6) E = 3.80
7) F = 3.90
8) G = 3.95 (TA-088v1) / 4.01 (TA-088v2) / 4.01 (TA-088v3)
If the letter is absent or is from A to F, then you can install Custom Firmware. If it’s a G then you can’t.
4) What’s the Box’s Serial Number?
If your box doesn’t have a label with a letter in it, like the G in the third method, then it should have a label with another serial that’s not related to the PSP unit.
Note that American 2000 series (2001 PSPs) & Japanese PSPs (Both 1000 series & 2000 series) Don’t have those date codes on them, just like the 2001 Piano Black PSP pictured above.
The 2000 Series Date Codes go as follows:
7C: Supported by Custom Firmware
7D: Supported by Custom Firmware
7(Any later Letter): Supported by Custom Firmware
8A: Supported by Custom Firmware
8B: Supported by Custom Firmware
8C: very high chance it’s not supported by Custom Firmware
8D: Not supported by Custom Firmware
5) Using Dark_AleX’s TA-088v3 Identifier:
It’s pretty straight forward. If it doesn’t work, it’s a TA-090v1 or TA-088v3 meaning you can’t install anything on it.
6) Got a limited Edition PSP?
Daxter Limited Edition Pack:
3.80 OFW & TA-085v2 Motherboard: supported by Custom Firmware
God of War Limited Edition Pack:
3.95 OFW & TA-088v2 Motherboard: supported by Custom Firmware
Madden 09 Limited Edition Pack:
3.95 OFW & a TA-088v2 Motherboard: supported by Custom Firmware
4.01 OFW & a TA-088v3 Motherboard: isn’t supported by Custom Firmware
Now, if you’re still not sure how to proceed, ask a friend who’s familiar with Custom Firmwares to check for you. If you have a suggestion or a question, just post a comment.