The PlayStation 2 gaming console plays games stored on CD or DVD optical discs. The game discs are the same type used in most computers, except they are usually made from a thicker, more durable material. In that regard, the discs are certainly more rugged than regular audio or computer CDs or DVDs. Still, the discs can become damaged or scratched, and furthermore, PS2 game discs are expensive -- often as much as £32 or more.
Like standard CD or DVD discs, you can copy PS2 games with PC CD/DVD burning software. However, PS2 discs use a special type of encryption that makes burnt copies unplayable on the PlayStation 2 console. Fortunately, a free utility specifically made for encrypting burnt PS2 image files makes using backup copies and protecting your investment in PlayStation 2 games relatively easy.
Download "ESR Disc Patcher" (See Resources). Save the file to your computer.
Download the "Free McBoot" image file and save it to your computer (see Resources).
Open your CD/DVD burning application. If you do not have a burning program, Blind Write, CDBurnerXP and ImgBurn all produced copied DVD discs you can use to backup your PS2 games (see References).
Click the "Create Image File," "Create ISO Image" or "Save Disc to ISO (Image)" button or link on the CD/DVD burning program menu or toolbar. Insert the original Sony PlayStation 2 game disc into the disc drive and close the tray.
Browse to the folder where you want to save the copied disc image. Enter a descriptive name for the image file in the "Save As" field. Click the "OK," "Start" or "Create ISO" button. The CD/DVD burning application starts. Wait while the program reads the contents of the DVD disc and creates an ISO image file in the folder you selected. Remove the original PS2 game disc from the burner drive and close the disc tray.
Browse to the folder where your saved the "ESR Disc Patcher" file. Double-click the file to start the application. Browse to the folder that contains the ISO image file of the PS2 game disc (the file you created with the CD/DSD burning application). Highlight the image file name, then click the "OK" button. Wait while the application "patches" the ISO image file, then close the "ESR Disc Patcher" application. The image file now contains the encryption needed to make it playable in the PS2.
Open your CD/DVD burner application. Click the "Create Disc from Image File," "Burn ISO to Disc" or "Burn Image to Disc" option in the application. Insert a blank DVD disc into the burner drive.
Browse to the folder in the "Add Files" or "Add Image" browser window. Highlight the patched ISO image file, and then click the "Open" or "OK" button. Click the "Burn," "Burn It" or "Write" button to start copying the ISO image file from the computer to the blank DVD. Wait for the program to burn the DVD and eject it from the disk drive.
Browse to the folder where you saved the "Free McBoot" image file. Burn the "Free McBoot" ISO image file to a blank DVD using the same method you just used to burn the PS2 game disc image file.
Insert the burnt "Free McBoot" disc into the PS2 drive and power on the console. Wait for the "Free McBoot" menu to appear on the screen, then remove the "Free McBoot" DVD and replace it with the burnt copy of the PS2 game disc. Use the disc as you normally would to load and play games.