How to Play PS2 Games With the Boot Disk

Written by jessica reed
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How to Play PS2 Games With the Boot Disk
Back up your PS2 games onto a CD or DVD to use with a boot disk. (cd image by Horticulture from

A PlayStation 2 is designed to only work with original copies of PS2 games. Many gamers like to create a backup copy of the game in case something happens to the original. To play these backup games, you'll need to use a boot disk. The boot disk will trick the system into thinking it's playing a game and allow you to swap the disk out for your backup copy of the game, regardless of whether your game is on a CD or a DVD.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Slide tool or flip-top cover

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  1. 1

    Turn on your PlayStation 2 and open the disk tray. Flip the power switch on the back to turn off the PS2 without causing the tray to close automatically. Turn the PS2 over and remove the screw from one corner of the tray. Pry the front of the disk tray--the plastic piece with the PS2 logo--off. Keep it somewhere safe in case you need to use it again. Removing this small plastic piece allows the slide tool to work, which is necessary for running a game from a backup copy.

    If you have a PS2 slim, purchase a flip-top cover instead of the swap key. Follow the instructions that come with your flip-top cover and boot disk kit to install the flip-top cover in place of your original PS2 slim's cover.

  2. 2

    Insert the boot disk from a PS2 boot disk kit, such as Swap Magic, into your PS2. If the game you want to play is on a CD-R, insert the CD-R disk from the kit. If the game is a DVD-R game, insert the DVD-R disk. CD or DVD depends simply on what medium, a CD or a DVD, you burnt the copy of your game on.

  3. 3

    Turn on the PS2 and wait for the load screen to appear. It should show two options--"Load Program" and "Video Mode: Normal." Do not select an option yet. This screen is your indication it's time to switch your disks.

  4. 4

    Insert the slide tool underneath the disk tray on the left-hand side until you feel it slide into place. The groove in the tool should fit around a small metal pole inside the console. While you cannot see the pole, you will feel it, and when the slide tool properly latches around it, the tool will not wiggle if you push on it. Slide the tool to the right and pull the tray out.

    For the PS2 slim version with the flip-top, simply open the flip-top cover. The boot disk should not be moving. If it is, wait for it to stop or try turning the PS2 off and back on and wait for the disk to stop spinning.

  5. 5

    Remove the disk and insert your backup disk into the PS2. Re-insert the CD tray and press "X" on the PS2 controller to start the game.

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