PS2 slim scratching discs: How to fix it

Started by adori_12, March 26, 2021, 05:46:17 pm

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adori_12

I recently bought a PS2 slim. Everything seemed normal until a few days ago I noticed a circular scratch on one of my discs. I already knew what caused the problem since I googled common problems on PS2 slims before I bought mine, but I was reluctant to accept the console was defective because it looked fine.

There's a lot of misinformation regarding perfect scratches on PS2 discs, some claim it's the laser, others say it's unstable disc movement, but the real cause is the laser's ribbon cable, the cable is usually glued down, but age and heat can (and will eventually) make the thing bulge out of position and touch your discs.

Fixing this is very easy, but some methods out there complicate the procedure more than they really should. I am awfully clumsy at console repairs but this one is easy enough to be performed by me (and therefore pretty much anyone). Don't buy a new ribbon cable or try to directly glue it back, it's difficult, tricky, and very easy to screw up your whole disc reading unit. I am sharing this because I thought this might help some to trust their PS2 slims more since people often talk really bad about slims.


What you'll need:
-PS2 slim with a bulged ribbon cable (mine's a SCPH-70001 but this should work just as well on a 9000x, AKA redesigned slim)
-Philips head screwdriver
-Quick dry glue
-Piece of plastic, one from a relatively sturdy blister pack



1: (Steps 1 and 2 are optional, but highly recommended if you want more space to work with)
Flip your PS2 to its top. Remove the 2 rubber feet and 4 plastic pieces pictured, and then remove the 6 Philips screws.



2: Flip the PS2 back to its bottom. Carefully lift the upper casing, exposing the top of the console. Don't pull too hard since you might damage the power button or the stand's screwhole.



3: Cut a piece of your blister pack and bend it into an L shape like in the picture. Once you have the plastic ready, practice by placing it behind the laser.
Move the laser at about 1/4 of its total moving range, this is where the ribbon usually bulges the most. The short, bent part has to be lower than the laser's full height, if it's higher cut off the protruding part.
Also make sure the longer part that bends down the ribbon cable doesn't poke out of the console when the laser moves to its farthest position. If it pokes out cut the excess plastic. The purpose of this plastic is to bend down the ribbon to a place where it no longer comes in contact with your discs, with the benefit of not having to directly glue the ribbon cable back.



4: Once your plastic is the right size and you cut any excess out of it, apply a single drop of your glue to the bent part that sticks behind the laser. Don't apply too much glue or it can drip out of the plastic and glue something else. A single drop is enough. Now place it behind the laser where it belongs, and apply pressure to make it safely and steadily stick in its place. Don't worry if your applied pressure makes the laser move back to its lowest position, as long as the plastic sticks behind the laser. Let it dry for some seconds.



5: Just to make sure you did everything right, move the laser to the place where the ribbon used to bulge the most, and place a test disc. Look at the ribbon cable and spin the disc a bit. They shouldn't come in contact, and should look like the following picture.



Here's what the final product looks like.



That's it! Put the upper casing back and screw the two halves if you disassembled your console.

StripeFruit

Everyone always says to glue it back down, but the problem with mine is the ribbon cable even when glued down proper still touches the discs. I think mine is slightly raised, but I can't be sure, so seriously you're amazing for sharing this.

I'll definitely try this out! :)

Jedi Master Baiter

Great. :upsetroll: Something to look forward to when buying a PS2.

adori_12

Quote from: StripeFruit on March 28, 2021, 12:38:41 amEveryone always says to glue it back down, but the problem with mine is the ribbon cable even when glued down proper still touches the discs. I think mine is slightly raised, but I can't be sure, so seriously you're amazing for sharing this.

I'll definitely try this out! :)
Thank you very much! I hope it works for you. :)
What is your console's model number? I've heard 7900x models specifically do not suffer from this (can't confirm it), you might have this one and the ribbon cable popped out differently than the other slims. If you could share some pics I may have a better idea of what is happening (I'm not an expert though).

Quote from: Jedi Master Baiter on March 28, 2021, 07:18:54 pmGreat. :upsetroll: Something to look forward to when buying a PS2.
Only PS2 slims. Fats have their own set of problems, but not this one. ;)

P

March 29, 2021, 05:23:49 pm #4 Last Edit: March 30, 2021, 08:13:50 am by P
Thanks for the guide, I do have a slim (not sure if SCPH-70002 or SCPH-75002 SCPH-70004 or SCPH-75004) as it was the only one still available when I finally decided to get a PS2 back in its days. Was a long time ago I turned it on though, I guess I'll have to be careful if the ribbon cable has started to bulge out.

Yeah there doesn't seem to be an ultimate PS2, as every model has some kind of problem. I concluded that the SCPH-390xx was the one I like the most, as it's late enough to have fixed most problems and early enough to not be nerfed. It's generally considered the most robust model, supposedly the last model that plays every PS2 game, the last model with a i.LINK port and has a more stable but noisier disc drive than earlier models. I don't find the drive too noisy, so it's definitely a good model for me.
If you don't need the i.LINK port, and don't mind the compatibility problems it supposedly has with some PS2 games, the SCPH-500xx seems to be good as well. It has some improvements to DVD playback, support for the EJECT button on the later remotes (I have the later remote, EJECT doesn't work on my SCPH-39000) and a more quiet disc drive. I don't really need the PS2 as a DVD player though.

The worst model seems to be the SCPH-900xx as Free McBoot no longer works on it. No homebrew is no good for me, as it's the only way that I can backup my PS2 memory cards (and it's great for uploading useful homebrew to a Pocketstation as well).

adori_12


Quote from: P on March 29, 2021, 05:23:49 pmThanks for the guide, I do have a slim (not sure if SCPH-70002 or SCPH-75002) as it was the only one still available when I finally decided to get a PS2 back in its days. Was a long time ago I turned it on though, I guess I'll have to be careful if the ribbon cable has started to bulge out.
You should look for your console's model number, those two you are thinking about are probably the most different versions internally speaking, as you might already know models 7500x and onwards dropped the PS1 CPU and instead Sony went for an emulated solution, affecting both PS1 and PS2 titles. Well, "affecting" is an overstatement, since only a select few titles actually suffer from the emulated CPU. I bet 95% of those that demonize those PS2 systems would have never noticed any difference by using it alone.
Quote from: P on March 29, 2021, 05:23:49 pmYeah there doesn't seem to be an ultimate PS2, as every model has some kind of problem. I concluded that the SCPH-390xx was the one I like the most, as it's late enough to have fixed most problems and early enough to not be nerfed. It's generally considered the most robust model, supposedly the last model that plays every PS2 game, the last model with a i.LINK port and has a more stable but noisier disc drive than earlier models. I don't find the drive too noisy, so it's definitely a good model for me.
If you don't need the i.LINK port, and don't mind the compatibility problems it supposedly has with some PS2 games, the SCPH-500xx seems to be good as well. It has some improvements to DVD playback, support for the EJECT button on the later remotes (I have the later remote, EJECT doesn't work on my SCPH-39000) and a more quiet disc drive. I don't really need the PS2 as a DVD player though.
Exactly! I went crazy trying to find the "best PS2 model", spent several days reading tons of different opinions, only to find out everyone just has their favorite version and will try to convince you theirs is the ultimate one and the rest are garbage. I've even read people claiming an SCPH-900xx is the best model and the only one worth having, I guess it really comes down to what you want and like in a console. For me it was either a 39001 or 70001, whatever I could find first. The slim appeared before, and it has the benefit of being super nostalgic to me, so that's what I went with. With the ribbon cable fixed I can now play my games more confidently so so far I'm really enjoying it. I do wish I had access to easy HDD backups, I'm not willing to destroy the laser to access the IDE ports on my slim to do that. :(
Quote from: P on March 29, 2021, 05:23:49 pmThe worst model seems to be the SCPH-900xx as Free McBoot no longer works on it. No homebrew is no good for me, as it's the only way that I can backup my PS2 memory cards (and it's great for uploading useful homebrew to a Pocketstation as well).
Isn't there an alternative for 900xx models? Fortuna and FreeDVDBoot I think, unless there's some kind of catch to them I'm not aware of. Not to mention some very very early SCPH-900xx units reportedly still have the exploit needed for Free McBoot to run.

P

I checked and my old PAL PSTWO is a SCPH-70004 (I said SCPH-70002 earlier but 4 is apparently Europe, not 2). That's nice as it seems to be better than the SCPH-7500xx. I was under the impression that all PSTWO models used emulation, but I guess I was wrong. Either way, both SCPH-700xx and SCPH-750xx seems to have some but different compatibility problems with both PS1 and PS2 games.

The old SCPH-300xx also reportedly has problems with some PS1 games such as Metal Gear Solid: Integral, so the compatibility situation is quite complicated. I can confirm that Integral works perfectly with my SCPH-39000.

I read in my notes that the DVD player built-in to the SCPH-500xx can actually be installed on other models with the Playstation BB Navigator disc (which I do have). I have to try that sometime and see if EJECT on the remote will work with it.
So the improvements in the SCPH-500xx is basically just a more quiet disc drive and a built-in IR-receiver. The rest are just nerfs.

Yeah what model is best is very subjective and depends on what features you value. I value stability, compatibility (with both software and hardware) and various little gimmicks (like the seldom used FireWire port). Getting a fat PS2 with a HDD was also a kind of revenge because I could never get one back in the day. The HDD is currently only used for installing FF10 (the Japanese version can do this for slightly shorter loading times) and as memory card backup space though. ;D

Yeah there is probably some way to run homebrew on 900xx, I don't know. It's too nerfed for my liking anyway so I haven't researched it. I find Free McBoot convenient and it can easily be installed on a memory card using the official PS3 memory card adapter.

Jedi Master Baiter

Quote from: adori_12 on March 29, 2021, 12:12:48 amOnly PS2 slims. Fats have their own set of problems, but not this one. ;)
So should I get a PS2 Fat? I was planning on getting a Slim until now.

adori_12

It depends on what you want. I assume you already weren't very interested in HDD access so, moving that out of the question, I consider the slims to be a more reliable alternative than the Fats. For one the disc motor tray on PS2 Fats can wear down and either move pretty slow or stop moving altogether, limiting you from, you know, actually putting discs in the console. Since the Slim completely gets rid of any disc tray and lets you directly place your disc into the console, it's one less thing to break.
Fats in general also tend to be noisier, less maneuverable and trickier to repair if the PSU gets damaged as it's inside the console. Slims on the other hand have an external PSU (except for SCPH-900xx), and it's region free.
If you were already committed to buying a PS2 Slim then go ahead. As I said besides the whole ribbon cable thing (which can be very easily repaired as you saw) PS2 Slims are generally more reliable. If you care about getting 100% hardware accuracy and not emulated chips then get a SPCH-700xx like mine, although if you get any other model you'll very likely never notice any difference. There's not really a reason to avoid Slims, it's all just personal taste, so if you wanted a Slim, just do it!  :)

Quote from: P on March 30, 2021, 09:50:50 amGetting a fat PS2 with a HDD was also a kind of revenge because I could never get one back in the day. The HDD is currently only used for installing FF10 (the Japanese version can do this for slightly shorter loading times) and as memory card backup space though. ;D
Isn't FF10 one of the few games that actually uses (and requires IIRC) a HDD? I remember reading something like that.

I also wonder what was the actual use Sony intended for a HDD. It's not like you could download games officially to it, right? And the fact that Slims don't even have HDD access makes me think Sony realized it was useless. Was there a plan to turn a PS2 into a computer of some sorts by having a HDD and things like the Linux kit?

P

April 02, 2021, 10:50:17 am #9 Last Edit: April 02, 2021, 12:50:50 pm by P
Yeah if you don't care about HDD and the other smaller nerfs, a slim is probably not bad, and the SPCH-700xx seems to be the best of the slims. If you are like me and likes the bells and whistles and highest possible compatibility I recommend the SCPH-390xx like I have. It's the most stable one of the non-slims.

I don't know if slims are really easier to repair though? No disc tray means less mechanical parts that can break, but it feels like the slim should have a  smaller board, more ASICs, die shrinks and other cost-reduction things that could make it harder to repair. Smaller parts could also mean less heat which is good, but the smaller case means less cooling.
I really don't know though.


You are probably thinking of FF11 (the MMORPG) which required to be installed on HDD. Japanese FF10 (Tidus, Yuna etc) can optionally be installed. The time you save on loading seems very minimal to me though.

You could download small games to the BB Navigator I think, and there was also an e-mail service. I have the BB Unit (SCPH-10400) which is a set of the broadband adapter, the 40 GB PS2 HDD and the PSBBN disc which is used to format the HDD and install the BB Navigator on it. There is not much you can do with it now as the internet service is closed. Like the earlier Utility Disc (HDD Browser), it does format the HDD to the official PS2 file system (that MagicGate stuff PS2 memory cards use) that games expect though, so you can install games (that supports installing) or backup memory cards to it. The disc was never released outside Japan, and only works on Japanese PS2s, but there is a cracked version now that works on any region. It's a little annoying because it replaces the original system menu (until you remove the HDD) with the BB Navigator software which loads quite slow, extending boot time a bit.

The Linux kit is unrelated I think. It was made mostly to make PS2 count as a computer so that Sony could avoid certain taxes, but that plan failed.
You probably can't have Linux, the Utility Disc's HDD Browser and the BB Navigator all installed at the same time. Only one of them at a time per HDD. But the two latter ones both serve the same purpose now, formatting and managing the HDD file system. I have never used PS2 Linux, so I don't know much about that one.