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Thread: M33 Firmwares for noobs

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    Demonchild's Avatar
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    Default M33 Firmwares for noobs

    Updated: 7/10/2010

    This Guide is a bit outdated due to the fact that the custom firmware itself is outdated. You should upgrade to 5.50 GEN-D3, and install the Prometheus addon. GEN firmwares replicates nearly everything perfectly. (With some exceptions)

    Current Version=5.00 M33-6

    What is this M33 firmware?

    M33 firmwares are a series of custom firmwares developed by a group of coders who go by the name of Team March 33. (Hence the M33) The firmware is basically a continuation of Dark-Alex's previous OE firmwares under a new name. Their first firmware was 3.51 M33, and it has given revolution to users and their PSP consoles. Ever since 3.51 M33, firmware has been developed for major firmware releases. (3.52 M33, 3.60 M33, 3.71 M33, 3.80 M33, 3.90 M33, and 4.01 M33.) M33's custom firmware combines the joy of Sony's official firmware along with bonuses such as in-built ISO loaders, UMD ripping, but most importantly - homebrew!

    M33 Installation Guide

    Spoiler for M33 Installation Guide:

    Note:You will need the Sony update Eboots to install any custom firmware. Get them 'here'

    Phats & Hackable Slims:
    To install M33 firmware, you can upgrade your current firmware if you are on 5.03, or below. If you are on a higher firmware, you will need a Pandora Battery to flash the firmware.

    Firmware: 5.03 and below
    Installing CFW using ChickHEN + Recovery Flasher - Recommended

    Firmware: All (Pandora) - Requires another, already hacked, PSP
    Making a Pandora's Battery: The Softmod Method
    -- Using your Pandora's Battery

    Firmware: All (Pandora)
    Making a Pandora's Battery: The Hardmod Method
    -- Making the Battery
    -- Making the Magic Memory Stick
    -- Using your Pandora's Battery

    Unhackable Slims / 3000*: There is no possible way to install a permanent custom firmware to your device. If you are on 5.03 or below, you can make use of the ChickHEN exploit. If you are on a firmware between 5.03 and 6.20 including, you can use the Half-Byte Loader exploit.

    *These are the only methods available to you at this time. If you attempt to use a method for the hackable PSPs, you will permanently brick your PSP.

    Firmware: 5.03 and below
    Running 5.03 GEN-C on your "Unhackable" PSP - Recommended

    Firmware: 6.20
    Half-Byte Loader Exploit Tutorial

    PSPgo: If you are on a firmware lower than 6.30, you can make use of the Half-Byte Loader exploit.

    Firmware: 6.20
    Half-Byte Loader Exploit Tutorial

    The Actual User Guide

    Now if you have a fully hackable PSP, you are able to make use of the various features that are made available to you with the M33 firmware. You must acknolwedge these three facts however:

    A.You have tools that can brick your PSP. Like I heard it, render it useless.
    B.You have full control over your PSP now.
    C.If you have a warranty with Sony, its screwed now.

    Table of Contents

    I. Recovery Menu [RM33A]
    II. Vsh Menu [RM33B]
    III. UMD Ripping [RM33C]
    IV. Homebrew [RM33D]
    V. Other Junk [RM33E]

    Updates [UM33A]
    PopsLoader [UM33B]
    ISO Playing Tips [UM33C]
    Overclocking [UM33D]
    Recovery [UM33E]
    Recovery/Slims [UM33Ea]
    Error Codes [DADADA]

    I. Recovery Menu [RM33A]

    With every custom firmware, there is a recovery menu for easy access to settings, and recovery. To boot into recovery, you will have to be on a boot/reboot. (Exception: After custom firmware installs/updates) Shut down your PSP completely. (No Sleep Mode) Now, hold R and power on your PSP. The PSP will boot, but into something called the 'M33 Recovery Menu' This is not the XMB. Once in Recovery, you have access to these options. Here's the layout.

    With 4.01 M33 and later, you have the ability to translate recovery into whatever language that is supported. Read the M33 Firmware readmes above to find out how.

    Toogle USB - Toogle USB for memory stick
    Configuration ->
    -Skip Sony Logo - Skip the boot up sequence. (Boots directly to XMB)
    -Hide corrupt icons - Hide corrupted icons as a result of 1.50 homebrew
    -Game folder homebrew - Kernel for games. (3.XX/4,XX/5.XX kernel or 1.50 kernel for homebrew)
    -Autorun program at /PSP/GAME/BOOT/EBOOT.PBP - Autorun whatever eboot is at the path.
    -UMD Mode - How ISOs are loaded. Which loader to use (SONYNP9660 IS BEST, THEN M33...).
    -Fake region - Fake your PSP's region. Affects certain region specific features such as the PSN and the Information Board. Does not affect config for updates.
    -Free UMD Region - Free UMD Region. Allows you to play any video UMD from anywhere.
    -Hard reset on homebrew -
    -Use VshMenu - Use the Vshmenu on the XMB (If you cannot move or use SELECT on the XMB - disable this!)
    -XMB USB Device - Which device the USB Connection on the XMB is linked to.
    -Charge battery when USB cable plugged [Slims Only] - Charge battery when USB is connected and computer is on.
    -Use M33 network update [3.80 M33+] - Instead of the Network Update checking for updates for Sony updates, it will check for updates to M33 firmwares. An added bonus is that it will do all the updating for you
    -Hide PIC0.PNG and PIC1.PNG in game menu [3.80 M33-5+] - Hides the background, and thumbnail icon/information image in the game menu. This is done to speed up loading in the XMB under GAME>MemoryStick. This does not affect UMDs.
    -Use 'version.txt' [5.00 M33-2+] - Trick the PSP and anything else that reads the firmware info from your PSP into whatever 'version.txt' reflects. This can sometimes be used to bypass the firmware check on PSN games.
    -Speed up MS Access [5.00 M33-5+] - Allows you to use "speed hacks"
    throughout the system. [THIS CANNOT BE USED WITH FATMSMOD.PRX PATCHES!!]

    Run program at /PSP/GAME/RECOVER/EBOOT.PBP - Run Eboot.PBP at path
    Advanced Configuration ->
    -Plain modules in UMD/ISO - Plugins designed for games work in UMD or ISOs
    -Execute BOOT.BIN in UMD/ISO - A developer feature
    Toogle USB <flash0> - USB Connection to flash0
    Toogle USB <flash1> " " " flash1
    " " <flash2> " " " flash2
    " " <flash3> " " " flash3
    -XMB Plugins [5.00 M33-2+] - Completely disable or enable the use of vsh plugins. (If disabled, no vsh plugins will work)
    -GAME Plugins [5.00 M33-2+] - Same as XMB plugin option except this is for games.
    -POPS Plugins [5.00 M33-2+] - Same as XMB plugin option except this is for pops.
    Format flash1 and reset settings - Formats flash1 - Resets to default settings.
    CPU Speed ->
    -Speed in XMB - CPU Speed in the XMB
    -Speed in UMD/ISO - CPU Speed in games (UMDs) or ISOs.
    Plugins -> - Shows plugins, where they are assigned, and whether or not they're disabled or enabled.
    Registry Hacks ->
    -Button assign - Changes the button config from everywhere else to Japan or vice versa.
    -Activate WMA - Activate WMA Play
    -Activate Flash Player (already activated on Slims) - Activate Flash Player
    Exit - Exits recovery and reboots

    II.VshMenu [RM33B]

    The vshMenu is a skimmed down version of recovery available in the XMB that allows you to switch settings on the fly. On pre 3.60 M33 firmwares, this menu is bought up by pressing HOME in the XMB. On 3.71 M33 and onwards, its bought up by SELECT. Whatever setting you change here, the following setting will correspond in recovery. When you get it up, it should look similar to this:

    How this works:

    M33 vsh Menu [RM33B]

    CPU Clock XMB - The CPU/BUS speeds. The higher the faster. The default is 222/111 while the max is 333/166.
    CPU Clock GAME - The CPU/BUS speeds while playing UMD/ISO/homebrew.
    USB Device - The device that you can access via the USB Connection option in the XMB.
    UMD ISO Mode - The ISO Loader that is used to load ISOs from the memory stick.
    ISO Video Mount - Which video ISO to mount for play.
    Shutdown Device- [5.00 M33-4+] Shutdowns the device.
    Reset Device - [3.71 M33+] Reset devices
    Exit - Get rid of the menu. Hotkey=HOME/SELECT
    ISO Playing Tips

    Game and video ISOs are playable on M33 firmwares as long as you set it up for play. You can do this by going to the XMB and bringing up the vshMenu. Go down to UMD ISO Mode, and scroll right to 'Sony NP9660'. (The best) Sony actually did something right in a while. If you want to not use a loader, change the setting to UMD Required, and pop in a UMD to load the ISO. (Or it fails to load)

    With newer games requiring firmware 6.00+, you will have to decrypt specific files in order for them to be playable. The new M33 6.20 Plugin by Torky allows you to play these games without going through the hassle of decryption.

    Quote Originally Posted by BCman
    To play video iso's, copy iso into ms0:\iso\video\ then, goto vsh menu from xmb by pressing "home" button for 3.52M33 and "select" for 3.71M33.
    Scroll down to "iso video mount" and mount iso, exit vsh menu and goto game>memstick and run movie...(must have umd in, any UMD)

    A few reminders for playing iso/cso games:
    -You must have Custom Firmware or 1.5(using dev-hook) on ur psp
    -Make sure gamename is less than 20 characters
    -Iso/cso files go in ISO folder(eg. ms0:\ISO\wipeout.iso)
    -U must have a folder called "game" in psp folder (ms0:\psp\game) make one if u must or format memcard with psp to create folder structure...
    -make sure u have set iso loader/umd mode to sony np9660, or M33 driver.
    -To play ps1 games, take the folder that has the ps1 eboot in it and copy that folder to GAME folder (ms0:\psp\game) (eg. ms0:\psp\game\starcraft\eboot.pbp)(custom firmware only)
    Note: Video ISOs are broken in 3.90 M33.

    III.UMD Ripping

    With all M33 firmwares, you can rip UMDs right from the XMB via USB. This is extremely simple. While on the XMB, bring up the vshMenu, and go down to XMB USB Device, press right until it says 'UMD Disc'. Exit. Now, pop in a disc. Anyone. Once it loads, go to USB Connection, and wait for the computer to recognize it. Once it does, the device name of the UMD, not the memory stick, will appear. You will see one Iso file called 'UMD9600' or 'UMD9660.iso'. Drag and drop (or copy and paste) the file to where you need to be. This process takes a long, long time since it's being read from the disc.

    There are also many other alternatives to this such as using PSPFiler. The big guide to ISO/CSO Ripping is here


    All homebrew use a specific kernel in order to run. Newer homebrew are built on the latest kernel that is available from the latest custom firmware. Any homebrew built for the kernel that is lower than the custom firmware you are on, it will work as long as you just use the newer kernel. (For example, a homebrew built on the 3.90 kernel will work using the 4.xx or higher kernel) Any homebrew that requires the 1.50 kernel will only work using the 1.50 kernel. You will have to reboot into recovery and switch the kernel each time.

    Tip: To avoid doing this for each homebrew, move all 1.50 kernel homebrew to /PSP/GAME150 and all 3.xx/4.xx/5.xx homebrew to GAMExxx (which xxx refers to your firmware version)

    Note: On 4.01 M33 onwards, the use of GAMExxx has changed. For all 4.xx firmwares, the folder to be used is GAME4xx. For 5.xx firmwares it is GAME5xx. This is the format for now. Do note that the xx aren't to be subsituted for numbers. It is this way so that the folder doesn't have to be changed for every single firmware upgrade. (i.e 5.01 -> 5.02, or 3.80 -> 4.01) In Addition, some homebrew are hardcoded to a specific directory. (Such as custom firmware installers) If you need to have it at a specific place, move it there instead.

    On Slims, there is no native 1.50 kernel support. Therefore, you must use emulators for these homebrews. (Or so to say) Some of these homebrew includes LEDA, TimeMachine and Noobz eLoader.

    V.Other stuff


    Updates are released for the M33 firmwares on a regular basis to fix bugs and add some new features, and improve some old ones. The latest update available is 5.00 M33-6. The higher the (-X), the later/newer the update. The lower, the outdated. While updating, you don't need to perform updates in between your version, and the update version. The latest update will install previous updates. (-4 will install -3, ; -3 will install -2 and so forth). Updates for 3.71 M33+ goes to /PSP/GAME. Also, while updating from 3.52 M33-3 to 3.90 M33-2+, you can upgrade straight.

    5.00 M33 Update -

    Note:Using Network Update on 3.71 M33 or below DOES NOT check for custom firmware updates. Do not use it. Some themes have the 'update_plugin.prx' file made so it can reboot/shutdown your PSP instead of updating. This is to stop you from accidentally upgrading to official firmware. Remember, update to official firmware, you LOSE custom firmware and will need a Pandora Battery in order to re-hack your PSP.


    Ok. What the hell is POPSloader? Well, POPSloader is a plugin included in M33 firmwares that allows emulation of PSX games at full speed. On top of that, it's allows you to use the earlier versions of POPS. It's a nice substitute to Sony's loader because it allows you to cheat PSX games, and make games run better on different versions of POPS.

    Extract the download. Within the 'seplugins' folder you should see a 'popsloader' folder, 'pops.txt' and 'popsloader.prx'. If you have plugins already installed, move the 'popsloader' folder, and 'popsloader.prx' to X:/seplugins. This will add/overwrite the old files. If you have an earlier version of pops, there is no reason to move the 'pops.txt' file. If not, move it over.

    If you have no plugins installed or don't even have a 'seplugins' folder on root, create one, and move all 3 files mentioned above to X:/seplugins.

    As always, enable in recovery.
    In order to use each version of pops, you will have to do some PSAR dumping. Or you can download a full pack from here

    Spoiler for The DIY method:
    1)First, download a PSARDUMPER. (Doesn't matter, M33 or _HellDashX_) Extract to X:/PSP/GAME371. (X:/PSP/GAME352, X:/PSP/GAME380, etc.

    2)Decide which version of POPS you want to use. There are specific files that you need to get from the dump. Refer to the guide at the end of the quote for the specifics.
    3)Whatever version of POPS you want to use, download the corresponding UPDATE. For example, if I wanted to use 3.40 POPS, I would download the 3.40 UPDATE.
    4)Extract the UPDATE and move it to the root of your MS. Leave it named as 'EBOOT.PBP'.
    5)Disable USB Mode. On the PSP, go to GAME>MemoryStick. Launch the PSARDUMPER.
    6)When it boots, you will need to decrypt all the files so press [] and leave it to do its work.
    7)It will be done when it is done, and it will boot you back to the XMB.
    8)Enable USB Mode. Look on the root of your MS. Look for the 'F0' folder. (It's there)
    9)Find the files you need for your version of POPS and cut and copy them to X:/seplugins/popsloader.
    9b)Put the pops version after the filename. For example, all of the 3.40 files, will get a 340 at the end of the filename, NOT THE EXTENSION. (popsman340.prx, pops340.prx, pafmini340.prx, libpspvmc340.prx)

    10)Confirm that pops work. When it does, you can exit, and delete the UPDATE eboot, and the 'F0' folder.
    11)Now, reboot your PSP and activate pops from recovery.
    Enjoy your games
    Quote Originally Posted by blackrave/
    List of files needed for each version:

    3.00-3.03: kd/popsman.prx, kd/meaudio.prx, kd/pops.prx, vsh/module/pafmini.prx
    3.10-3.30: kd/popsman.prx, kd/pops.prx, vsh/module/pafmini.prx
    3.40-3.72: kd/popsman.prx, kd/pops.prx, vsh/module/pafmini.prx, vsh/module/libpspvmc.prx

    For example; for 3.72 pops to load, you must get the files mentioned for 3.72 above and rename them to popsman372.prx, pops372.prx, etc. Repeat for all wanted firmwares.

    Tips from BCman and myself:

    Useful ps1 info links.
    -To play ps1 games, take the folder that has the ps1 eboot in it and copy that folder to GAME folder (ms0:\psp\game) (eg. ms0:\psp\game\starcraft\eboot.pbp)(custom firmware only)
    -Any Customizations your psp has - custom bootsounds, custom fonts, custom gameboots, etc. for example: custom bootsounds, are known to screw with the ps1 emulator in custom firmware versions sometimes.
    -Leave the opening_plugin.rco alone or ps1 games might not work....
    If you have any PS1 disc lying around and you want to use it on your PSP, check these guides out:

    [Tutorial] Scorpus' PlayStation One on PSP SuperGuide

    PSX on PSP Compatibility List


    Plugins are different .prx files that adds functionality to the custom firmware or are separate apps/tools that you can use.

    On 5.00 M33-2 onwards, there is a new plugin file format. Now, in 'vsh.txt', 'game.txt' and the 'pop.txt' files, there will be a number that follows each entry. The only two possible numbers, 0 and 1 (all others will count as 0) will tell whether the plugin is disabled or enabled. 0 meaning it is disabled, 1 meaning it is enabled, anything else is ignored and means it is disabled. There is nothing on your side that you need to do if upgrading from 5.00 M33. Just enter the plugins menu, and all files will be converted to the new configuration. In Addition, there are three new options that controls the plugins. (Read the recovery section above)

    CPU and BUS Overclocking

    It is OK to overclock your PSP to anything you want to. Just remember this in mind, the higher you set it at, the more you demand from the battery, and the faster the battery runs out. Originally, PSPs were meant to run at 333mhz, but the battery power wasn't nothing compared to the Nintendo DS' battery. So, Sony decided to underclock to 222mhz. Personally, I keep my PSP overclock at 266mhz, in the XMB, and 300mhz in games.

    Warning:If you are going to overclock to 333mhz, whether in the XMB or in game, make sure that you give your Wifi card a break every now and then. The stock Wifi card is only meant for a max speed of 300mhz. Using the Wifi card excessively at 333mhz can cause it to burn out, which means it will be broke.

    Note:On 4.01 M33-2, there is a bug with overclocking where it would reset to 222mhZ. Upgrade to 5.00 M33 to fix this problem.

    Recovery - The True Meaning of the Menu

    Recover any semi-bricked custom firmware psp with this Phats + Slims

    You can also recover any semi-bricked or fully bricked hackable PSP with Pandora. Here are easy installers to make the MMS:

    PSP Grader v008

    You will also need the battery.

    1.50 Kernel Addon for Phat Users

    Ever since 3.71 M33, DAX and M33 decided not to install the 1.50 kernel through the CFW Installer anymore. Instead, from now on, it will be offered as an optional addon for Phat users. If you wish to use 1.50 kernel homebrew, you must install this. This is simple. Extract the 'UPDATE' folder to X:/PSP/GAME, and download the 1.50 EBOOT. Rename the 1.50 EBOOT to '150.PBP' and move to the root of your MS. Execute from XMB, and press X to install. (For 3.71 M33)

    (For 5.00 M33) Download and move the '150k_addon' folder to /PSP/GAME5xxx. Download the 1.50 EBOOT, rename and place it on the root. Execute from XMB and install.

    Error Codes

    From time to time, you will experience some error and those errors come with codes. Now those error codes mean something specific each time it pops up. Now, there's tons of references to these error codes. Check them out. There's a great list on Don't stray for too long.

    See Here!

    Downloads, Links, Tools, and other stuff


    Team M33 - M33 CFW
    Dark_Alex - A lot of nifty stuff. M33 firmwares. And all of the M33 firmwares to come. Apart from that, Despertar Cementerio
    Me - The Guide
    Scorpus - His guides
    Organized_Chaos - HBL Installation Guide
    You - The end user. You make contributions, and provide to the scene, sometimes without knowing.
    Hackers/Developers - Those who bring new stuff to the scene.

    Last edited by dbrums; 04-13-2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: updating

    Guide for M33 firmwares | Install DCv8 |PS3 Hacking Thread

    PSP: 6.60 PRO-B10 | PS3: 4.30 | Xbox: LT+ v3.0 [Li-On] | G2x: CM 7.2 Nightly

  2. #2
    Rob S.'s Avatar
    Rob S. is offline Senior Member -Hacks Titan
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    Ask a mod if they can move it to the Tutorials Forum. It will only get lost in here.

  3. #3
    Demonchild's Avatar
    Demonchild is offline #thatguy -Hacks Titan
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    Quote Originally Posted by robs1968

    Ask a mod if they can move it to the Tutorials Forum. It will only get lost in here.
    Yea. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll do that.

    Guide for M33 firmwares | Install DCv8 |PS3 Hacking Thread

    PSP: 6.60 PRO-B10 | PS3: 4.30 | Xbox: LT+ v3.0 [Li-On] | G2x: CM 7.2 Nightly

  4. #4
    Mike[dot]420 is offline -Hacks God
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    also. i dont know if you put it in their but the russian thing was a front.

    m33 has and always was a dark alex firmware.

    so m33 is just a continuation to da. se and oe firmwares.

    also @ robs1968 : did you say that because he used your theme in the screeny ? :lol:

    3.71 SONY PTF THEMES? CLICK HERE !![56k Warning]
    3.71 FLASH0/CXMB THEMES? CLICK HERE !![56k Warning]
    Installing a flash or cxmb theme? Click HERE !!

  5. #5
    Rob S.'s Avatar
    Rob S. is offline Senior Member -Hacks Titan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike[dot]420
    also @ robs1968 : did you say that because he used your theme in the screeny ? :lol:
    Oh Shit... :o honestly i didn't notice that

  6. #6
    Midian is offline -Hacks Veteran
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    i think you forgot to mention what M33 stands for lol
    :::::All my obstacles have disappeared. I am God of this new world. -Light ep:25:::::
    ::::JOIN NOW!!!!::::

  7. #7
    oursoul is offline -Hacks Neophyte
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    Mad 3lephants 3ggs ?
    DS with FF3+M64DS+£3 swapped for BLACK 1003 PSP (v2.00)v2.00-->v1.00-->v1.50-->v3.20oeB-->v3.40oeA
    -->v3.52M33-4-->v3.71M33-3(+1.50)-->v3.52M33-->BRICKED-->home made pandora-->v1.50-->v3.52M33-4-->v3.80M33-4(+1.50)

    -->v4.01M33-2(+1.50)+piKey0.45 with PalmOne UWK

  8. #8
    Rob S.'s Avatar
    Rob S. is offline Senior Member -Hacks Titan
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  9. #9
    Airgale is offline -Hacks Neophyte
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    Question about C2: Is it possible to use DCv3 on Slim OFW 3.72? Or should I downgrade it to OFW 1.5 first, and then update it to OFW 3.71 and then use DCv3?

  10. #10
    Ryu's Avatar
    Ryu is offline Super Mod of the Brood -Hacks Titan
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    PSP 1.5 got on USA first day is was 1.5 NOW 4.01 M33-2 -> 5.00 M33-6(1.50 addon),
    Old PS3s: PS3 60GB FW:3.41(2nd ps3 YLoD, 1st, YLoD)
    New PS3:
    Slim 160gb 01-21-2011 Working
    was 3.40 OFW->3.60 OFW

    2nd PSP : PHAT 5.50 GEN-D2
    3rd PSP : Sliver 3000 Starting OFW:4.20 (NEW bought NEW on 11/28/2010)
    It a good idea to have "Hide extensions for known file types" in Folder Options(under Tool) unchecked (turn on extensions)

    3DS FC:0301-9790-8019

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