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    Troubleshooting FAQ by RedDemon

    Version: Final | Updated: 04/20/04 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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                       P L A Y S T A T I O N :
                        TROUBLESHOOTING/INFO
                             F.  A.  Q.
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    Author: paranoidxe
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    Version: FINAL
    Revision Date: 12/17/00
    Console Release Date: 9/9/95
    E-Mail: paranoidtsi@hotmail.com
    
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    [Author's Note]
    
    Well now that the playstation life is starting to end, as the
    Playstation2 will become the dominate force for Sony no doubt, but
    I have decided I will update this FAQ one more time. However, most
    of the information in this document will remain the same, it is
    more like a new "LOOK" to the FAQ rather than a full blown update.
    
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    -[Terms & Conditions]-
    
    * Do not reproduce this in any form other than electronic
    * Do not attempt to make profit from this FAQ, it is FREE
    * Do not put this up on another website with out proper
      permission from me, the author.
    * Do not modify this document in any form
    
    If you don't agree to this, please click BACK now, and exit this
    document immediately.
    
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                   şşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşş
                   şşT a b l e  o f  C o n t e n t sşş
                   şşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşşş
    
                        I. I n t r o d u c t i o n
                       II. T r o u b l e s h o o t i n g
                      III. F A Q S
    
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    =====================================================================
                       I. I n t r o d u c t i o n
    =====================================================================
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    a) Playstation History
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
    
    After Nintendo suddenly dropped their partnership with Sony, Sony set
    out to make their own console...they had no idea how successful the
    playstation would be..
    
    Sony first produced about 200 prototypes of the Playstation, and even
    created demos to test these prototypes. Sony then suddenly scrapped
    the project.
    
    Sony then decided they would remake it again by changing their plans.
    They called the project "Playstation X" which would explain why people
    call the Playstation "PSX" for short.
    
    Ken Kutaraqi was put in charge for producing the PSX processor.(same guy
    that created part of the SNES)
    
    After years of development the playstation was supposed to be a huge
    disappointment...but it would soon rocket them into the center of the
    videogame market.
    
    Meanwhile, Nintendo knew 16-bit consoles wouldn't be dominate forever
    as their product sales began to lower slowly. Sega was ready to launch
    their 32-bit system in May of 1995 in the U.S. but it bombed horridly.
    As it was going for $300 at initial release.
    
    Sony took this as a advantage and released their Sony Playstation, which
    at the time was about $100 less than the Sega Saturn release. Playstation's
    other minor competition included the Jaguar Atari system, which didn't
    make it. Also the Panasonic 3D0 which was pretty much doomed from day
    1.
    
    In 1996, Playstation was becoming a "must-have" system. With releases of
    many soon to be popular games such as: Resident Evil, Crash Bandicoot,
    Tekken series, Tomb Raider, Mortal Kombat, and of course Final Fantasy.
    
    In 1997 the Playstation's price declined to $150 and the first party
    products were also cut down in price.
    
    Square then released Final Fantasy VII which had 3 discs, full with
    awesome FMV's and effects. It immediately became the best selling
    videogame of the year.
    
    The Playstation is noticeably the dominate force in 32-bit/64-bit
    consoles, Playstation has now aged gracefully as the Playstation2
    now takes the stage to fight the next stage in console wars.
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    b) Playstation Specifications
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
    
    [CPU - Central Processing Unit]
    
    R3000A 32-Bit RISC Chip 33.8 Mhz
    Clearing Capacity of 30 MIPS
    Bus bandwidth of 132 Mb/sec
    Data Cache - 1K
    Instruction Cache - 4kK
    
    [3D Geometry Engine]
    
    High speed matrix calculator
    Clearing Capactiy of 66 MIPS
    1.5 million flat-shaded polygons/sec
    500,000 texture-mapped and light-sourced polygons/sec
    3D Polygon transformation:
    Flat shaded = 1.5 M per second
    Gouraud, textured and light sourced= 500 K per second
    
    
    [Data Engine]
    
    Clearing capacity: 80 MIPS
    CPU, direct bus connection
    compatible with JPEG, H.261 files
    
    [Sounds]
    
    ADPCM, 24 channels
    Sampling Frequency of 44.1Khz
    Digital Effects: Envelope, Looping, Digital Reverb
    Load up to 512K sampled waveforms
    Supports of MIDI Instruments
    
    
    [Graphics System]
    
    16.7 million colors
    Resolution of: 256x224 - 740x480
    Sprite/BG Drawing
    Adjustable frame buffer
    No line restriction
    Unlimited CLUTs (Color Look-Up Tables)
    4,000 8x8 pixel sprites with individual scaling and rotation
    Simultaneous backgrounds
    360,000 polygons/sec
    Color Depth Options:
    16 colors
    256 colors
    32,768 colors
    
    
    [Memory]
    
    Main RAM: 2 Megs
    VRAM: 1 Megs
    Operating System ROM: 512K
    RAM cards for data: 128K
    CDROM Buffer: 32K
    Sound RAM: 512K
    
    [CDROM]
    
    Double-speed CDROM
    XA compliant
    300/k per second transfer rate
    Audio CD Play compatibility
    Maximum Capacity - 660 Megabytes
    
    
    
    
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    c) Playstation Models
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    If you think there is only one model of the playstation you are wrong
    there are many models, in fact the early ones had problems with
    overheating. Here is the list:
    
    SCPH-100x            The initial Playstation release that has issues
                         with heat, in fact after a couple of hours it
                         may overheat so much it could actually warp the
                         lazer!
    
    SCPH-3000            The 2nd version designed with only moderate
                         improvements over the orignal. This model's
                         lazer was actually relocated to the upper left
                         hand corner as opposed to the left side.
    
    SCPH-550x            The 3rd version that is virtually flawless in
                         terms of both heat problems and sound/video
                         skipping. The 550x model is what you should
                         have.
    
    SCPH-900x            The Final Version of Playstation console, this
                         one removes the I/O Port that allows the
                         Gameshark, Game Enhancer, etc. which stinks!
                         There is also benefits, this has NO problems
                         with heat when it comes to constant use.
    
    PSONE                The portable Playstation, the PSONE makes it
                         easy for you to carry your playstation to
                         carry around, no technology advancements in
                         this travel version of the playstation.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    d) Playstation Safeguards
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Note: All of these rules apply to ALL models unless noted otherwise.
    
    
    1. Never spill any liquid of any kind on the playstation
    2. Never insert or poke objects into the opening of the lazer in
       the CD holder.
    3. Do not use devices that aren't created by the manufacturer (Sony)
    4. Don't set the playstation in any liquid, or near any liquid. Also
       don't set any of it's components such as it's controller.
    5. Make sure the powercord is set in a way where it won't get tripped
       on, or will be stepped on.
    6. Make sure the ventilation slots (bottom and sides) are free of
       any obstruction or it may cause the unit to overheat and cause
       malfunction to the playstation.
    7. Don't place the playstation and/or its components on places that
       are unstable.
    8. Don't set the playstation by a heater or in a confined area, as
       overheating may occur.
    
    [Safety Precautions]
    
    1. Don't attempt to disassemble the Playstation at all, as the lazer
       emitted from the system is damaging to the human eye.
    2. If any liquids fall into the system call 1-800-345-SONY
    3. Unplug the unit from the wall anytime it is not in use to prevent
       overheating of the playstation.
    
    [Health Precautions]
    
    1. Be sure to take breaks 15 minutes of each hour of play
    2. Do not play the game when you are tired or short of sleep
    3. Play in a well-lit room and keep a safe distance from the TV
    
    [Operation Precautions]
    
    1. Operate the unit only on 120V AC, 60Hz
    2. Do not block the air vents on the machine
    3. Avoid rough handling or abusing the unit
    4. If the unit causes interference of another electric unit, move
       it away from the other electrical unit.
    5. NEVER touch the Laser lens inside the CD Holder as it will most
       likely cause skipping, static, or otherwise undesirable effects
       when on.
    
    [Handling Discs]
    
    1. Do not leave the discs near heat sources or expose them to direct
       sunlight or excessive moisture
    2. Do not touch the surface when handling the discs
    3. Do not stick paper or tape on the discs
    4. Do not write on the discs with a marker
    
    [Misc Guidelines]
    
    - Don't connect the Playstation to your Projection TV as it may cause
      some serious TV problems, even perminent damage.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    e) Installation of your Playstation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    First plug in the power cord into your playstation and to an
    outlet.
    
    
    [Connecting to your TV]
    
    Connect your "Playstation" to the TV using the supplied AV cable
    matching the plug colors.
    If your TV is monaural, do not connect the red plugs.
    If your RV has S VIDEO INPUT connector, you can connect by using
    SCPH-1100U S video cable.
    After the connection process is complete consult your manual for
    information for proper Video Input mode.
    
    [Connecting to your VCR]
    
    Connect your Playstation to the VCR using the supplied AV cable
    matching the plug colors. If your VCR is monaural, do not connect
    the red plugs.
    After the connection process is complete consult the VCR and TV
    manual to find out how to put it on the appropriate channel/or
    input station.
    
    [Connecting your Playstation with Aerial Input]
    
    Connect your Playstation to aerial imput on the TV using the
    optional SCPH-1121 RFU adapter follow these directions.
    After it is connected set the channel switch on the RFU
    adaptor and the channel selector of your TV to VHF channel
    CH 3 or CH 4, whicheever is not active in your area.
    
    [Connecting to a TV with connected VCR]
    
    Connect your Playstation to the aerial input on the TV with connected
    VCR using the optional SCPH-1121 RFU adaptor. In this case, the sound
    will be monaural.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    f) Playstation "Blue Prints"
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    
     ______________________________________
    |                                      |
    |            ____________              |
    |           /            \             |
    |   _      |              |            |
    |  /6\     |      4       |            |
    |  \_/     |              |     ___    |
    |  ___     |              |    / 3 \   |
    | / 5 \     \____________/     \___/   |
    | \___/                                |
    |          _________________           |
    |_________||__1__|   |__1___||_________|
    |_________||__2__|___|__2___||_________|
    
    1) Memory Card Slot: This is where the memory cards slide into, these
       allow you to save your games and take em with you to friends. Great
       for portable moving. MOST GAMES require you to have one of these to
       be able to save your beloved game.
    
    2) Control Slot: Allows up to two players, this is needed to play the
       console obviously needed to play. There are many different
       Playstation controllers which will be explained in the Components
       section of this FAQ.
    
    3) Open Button: Used to open the CD Cover to insert games.
    
    4) Disc Cover: Used to protect the CD in the console so mean people
       can't mess up your Playstation. Also used to protect you against
       the console's lazer.
    
    5) Power Button: humm...Do I have to explain this? ok, it is to turn
       the console on.
    
    6) Reset Button: Used to restart the game, in case you run into the
       infamous playstation freezes.
    
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                I I.  T r o u b l e s h o o t i n g
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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: There is no power going to the PSX, What’s going on?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Make sure that he powercord is plugged into both a functional Wall
       Socket and that it is all the way plugged into the back of the PSX.
       If this doesn’t work, if you have another power adapter for the PSX,
       try using that cord instead, if that doesn’t work or you don’t have
       another adapter call SONY : 1-800-345-7699.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I am experiencing no picture, how do I fix it?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Which ever AV/RFU Cable to the VCR/TV you have make sure it is
       completely in then try it again, if it still doesn’t work try buying
       a new one at the store they aren’t hard to find, if that still doesn’t
       work you need to call SONY and get a replacement for your Playstation,
       Also make sure you are matching it up correctly like Yellow with
       Yellow, White with White, and Red with Red.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I am experiencing no sound.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Try adjusting the TV Volume, or make sure that the TV is not on mute.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: No Picture #2.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: You may be on the wrong channel for example on VCR's L1 is not the
    correct channel if you have an L1 and L2, select L2 would make it work
    in this situation, The General rule on TVs is Channel 3 or 4.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: FMV (Full Motion Video Skip) or Sound Skips.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: This there are two solves for, one is permanent Solve another is a Temporary
    Solve. This may also be a damaged CD like finger prints,
    Scratches, etc. Solves for this situation is answered below.
    
    Temporary Solve
    Flip the system upside down while it is off with the disc in, and then
    play it, this makes the laser closer to the disc making it easier for
    the disc to be read. this is easiest to do from the permanent Solve.
    
    Permanent Solve
    You need to take apart the system (explained above). When you open it
    look at the lens and where it is connected (Orange see-through
    Connection) right by there will be two Small and I mean small screws.
    First try turning the one screw labeled BIAS and move it slightly
    clockwise, keep checking until you fix the problem. If this doesn't
    work you can try the other one if you wish. It is highly recommended
    you use a device that can tell you how much you have rotated the
    screw so you can reverse in case you make it unbootable.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: The CD has froze during gameplay.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Have you been playing the game for say more than 3 hours?
       If so there is probably I would say 80% chance that the System has         
    overheated so, I would give it a rest and then try it again in 30
       minutes or 45 minutes. If you haven’t been playing it for a long
       time then the Disc may be bad, the chances of the CD being dirty
       and actually freezing the game is very rare because 99 percent of
       the time dirt will make it skip not freeze it, so if you have not
       played it for awhile I would suspect a defective CD, you may want
       to call the company that made the game and ask about it.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: My Game doesn’t start!
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A:Sometimes the disc can get so scratched up that the PSX will not
      boot it! Check the CD see if it is scratched, if it is try using
      toothpaste and rub it on the scratches this should help, however
      I have never tried it. Also if the game does not have the label:
      NTSC and U/C on it then the US PSX will not run it. You will need
      to get the American version of the game. Another problem could be
      is that the Lens is damaged you may have to buy a replacement
      which is about 50 dollars from Sony.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Controller Fails to work
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Look at the description of the Console above and see if you have
       put the Controller in the controller port, also make sure it is all
       the way in, See if another controller works,if it does then the
       Control was defective, if both do not work then the chances are that
       the control ports are defective, contact Sony to get replacements.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: The game that you have played before doesn’t work now.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Try another disc, if that works the CD is probably dirty clean it
       with water and a lint free cloth, or even try a little of dish
       soap, just be sure to wipe it clean after! If it still doesn’t
       work try toothpaste on the scratches, if this STILL doesn’t work
       the cd is probably for good so just throw it away.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: My PSX suddenly doesnt want to boot the CD I go to the
       Memory Card/Audio CD Screen whats going on?
    (This happens mostly in the first two models SCPH-100x SCPH-3xxx)
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Go to the above question about FMV/Sound Skipping..and use the
       permanent solve, after you turn it put the case on it and try it
       again, repeat until it starts working.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I have a delay right before the logo switches to black how do I
       fix it?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: This is a delay in which the PSX Verifies it is a legal CD to use
       on the PSX. you cant fix it, it is usually a longer delay after the
       PSX has been played for a bit and is hot, also is longer on the early   
    versions of PSX, you cannot repair this problem.
    
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           I I I. F r e q u e n t l y  A s k e d  Q u e s t i o n s
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    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: What is a MOD Chip?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: A mod chip is a special chip which you install on the mainboard of
       the PSX, that will bypass the CD Check and Area Check on the system,      
    allowing you to play imported games from other countries, and also
       allowing you to use CDR CDs! (Warning: MOD Chips are illegal, also
       copying Rented Games from a store is also Illegal)
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I don’t want to pay for a MOD Chip is there any alternatives?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Yes there is but I am not going to explain them.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: How do I install a MOD Chip?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: I cant tell you but on the Resources section you can get
       information on how to install one.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Does PSX really run Audio CDs?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Yes it does, boot without the CD, then allow the screen to
       show up insert your Audio Disk!
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Does other European/Japan Games work on my American PSX?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Nope! you need a mod chip or the Japan/European Game system.
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Why does Sony have those annoying White/Black PSX Logos?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: The white screen is used just to get the system going...but
       right before it turns black it verifies the CD by reading the CD
       "Areacode" the PSX then scans the PSX Hardware to find out
       what version of PSX it is (American/European/Japan, it gets
       the Area Codes on the hardware then matches it up with the
       Areacode on the CD to verify that it correctly matches if it
       doesnt your CD doesnt work. They have them to check the CD
       and see if it is a proper CD.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I hear that SCPH-500x or above has a 4x CDROM drive is this true?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: No this could be confusing because SCPH-500x has a totally new
       look inside. Without a doubt SCPH-500x or above *do* outpreform
       anything below a SCPH-500x, but this isnt because of a faster
       CD-ROM drive it is because of Heat improvements and changes in
       the inside stuff, so no If your model is SCPH-500x or above dont
       get excited it still has its little 2x CDROM Drive.
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: I hear that Sony is adding "Anti-MOD" tech. to the PSX CDs is this
       true?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: There is in fact a new technology that prevents old mods from
       working, but now there is new Stealth Chips to bypass this.
    
    
    
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Q: Does Sony use "cheaper" RAM in later versions?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    A: Yes this is true..this would explain the decline in the PSX prices,
       what does this mean? the ram in the later models does not preform
       as well. The early models had better RAM, but this doesnt make it
       noticable to the naked eye if the preformance with the "cheaper"
       ram is worse than the "good" ram in the early models.
    
    
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