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    Memory Card FAQ by ATadeo

    Version: 1.4 | Updated: 08/18/01 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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           S O N Y   P L A Y S T A T I O N   2   M E M O R Y   C A R D  F A Q
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                       FAQ for the US Playstation 2 Memory Card
                                     Version 1.4
                                  Model: SCPH-10020
                                    By: "A" Tadeo
                                Created: May 7, 2001
                          Date last Updated: August 18, 2001
                         Mail me at: aaron20@edsamail.com.ph
                          Home Page: http://surf.to/aaronph
    
    
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                                    INTRODUCTION
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    Greetings again! Here I am exploring new horizons again. This will be my very 
    first console system peripheral FAQ. Iíll just explain to you what you need 
    to know about the Sony Playstation 2 Memory Card (SCPH-10020). How to use it 
    and how to take care of it for your gaming pleasure. Hopefully, Iíll be able 
    to go as in-depth as I can to explain it. If ever I commit any mistake, 
    please feel free to send in your corrections/suggestions. They will be most 
    welcome. 
    
    Now, my goals in writing this FAQ is to let owners of PS2 Memory Cards to 
    have a greater experience by knowing more about it. Take note that Iím 
    putting everything in my own words. That means, Iíll be explaining almost 
    everything from experience. Also, the layout Iíll be using would be 
    Frequently Asked Questions Style. Here we go.
    
    
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                                      CONTENTS
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                      I.     Updates/Revisions
                      II.    The Memory Card
                             A. Whatís a Memory Card?
                             B. Where can I acquire those Memory Cards?
                             C. How do I use it?
                             D. Do I need more than one Memory Card?
                             E. How do I know if I have an Original Memory Card?
                             F. Whatís the difference between a PS and PS2
                                Memory Card?
                             G. How many saves can I make?
                             H. Whatís Magic Gate?
                             I. Some issues regarding Memory Cards
                                1. Third-party memory cards
                                2. Playstation (PSOne) saves                     
                                3. DVD Driver in Japanese PS2 Memory Cards
                                4. Warranty
                      III.   Taking Care of your Memory Card/Troubleshooting
                      IV.    Credits and Acknowledgements
    
    
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                                UPDATES/REVISIONS
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    Version 1.4 (Started August 6, 2001)
    ------------------------------------
            - Clarification and Example for PS1 Saves
    
    Version 1.3 (Started June 26, 2001)
    -----------------------------------
            - Corrected some typographical errors
            - Taking Care of your Memory Card section update
    
    Version 1.2 (Started June 24, 2001)
    -----------------------------------
            - Taking Care of your Memory Card section update
            - short update on third party memory cards
            - Troubleshooting Update
    
    Version 1.1 (Started May 15, 2001)
    ----------------------------------
            - Saving your PS games to the PS2 Memory Card
            - The Magic Gate Technology 
            - (Issue) Japanese Memory Card with the DVD driver
            - Credits Section Update
    
    
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                                 THE MEMORY CARD
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    Manufacturer:   Sony
    For use with:   Sony Playstation 2 (tm) Console
    Dimensions:     L(5.5 cm) x W(4 cm) x H(.7 cm)
    Size (storage): 8 MB (8,192 KB)
    Retail Price:   $34.99
    Colors:         Gray and Black
    
    WHATíS A MEMORY CARD?
    =====================
    
    Memory Cards are small cards that you insert into the Sony Playstation 2 
    Console that will enable you to save game data such as game progress (for 
    RPGs), records (time records for races), and even secrets (new characters for 
    fighting games). Then, you can load them again when you decide to play that 
    particular game once more. 
    
    
    WHERE CAN I ACQUIRE THOSE MEMORY CARDS?
    =======================================
    
    You can buy Memory Cards at your local Game Retail Story for approximately 
    $35 each. You can also buy some other third party (non-Sony) Memory Cards at 
    around the same price too. Another thing, you can also buy second-hand Memory 
    Cards which other users doesnít need anymore. Check first if the memory card 
    still works. Do some extensive testing like, saving games, deleting games, 
    and copying it from card to card. (more info on the other sections)
    
    HOW DO I USE IT?
    ================
    
    First, Plug in your Memory Card in either Slot 1 or Slot 2 on the console. 
    You can find the slots above the controller ports (if the console is standing 
    horizontally) and beside the controller port if the console is standing 
    vertically. 
    
    You can do lots of things with your memory like copying from one memory card 
    to another, delete save games that you do not need anymore, and most of all 
    saving your games (duh). First, remove any CD or DVD from the Disc tray of 
    the Playstation 2 and press Reset (or turn on the power if you havenít done 
    so yet). Youíll now be in the main menu. Choose browser and then select the 
    memory card you want to view. From then on, you can choose to delete a save 
    game or copy a game save from this particular memory card to the memory card 
    on the other slot.
    
    Now how do you save games? Well, there are lots and lots of ways to save on 
    your memory card depending on the game youíre playing. There are games where 
    you need to save very often like RPGs. There are also games where you just 
    need to save records of your best times. So, for more information on how to 
    save a particular game, please read the manual of your game provided in its 
    retail box/case.
    
    DO I NEED MORE THAN ONE MEMORY CARD?
    ====================================
    
    With an 8MB capacity, most likely you donít need a spare memory card. Save 
    games usually take up at most 450 kb such as in Onimusha by Capcom. Other 
    saves only take up small space in your memory card. But if you really have a 
    lot of games and you need/want to save for all of them, it wonít hurt to buy 
    another one.
    
    HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE AN ORIGINAL MEMORY CARD?
    ================================================
    
    First of all, consider where you bought your Memory Card. If you bought a 
    memory card from respectable stores (or online stores for that matter) you 
    need not worry. Samples are Toys Ďr Us, Electronics Boutique, Amazon.com, and 
    much more. 
    
    Now, if you somehow forgot where you bought it of if it was only given to 
    you, you can check the actual Memory Card and the packaging itself. First, 
    the common Sony Memory Card (PS2) is Black colored. It is encased in a 
    plastic cover with a cardboard and the manual should be inside. Youíll also 
    have a warranty/guarantee from Sony (included in the small manual). Check 
    also for the logo of the Original Playstation and the word Playstation 2 
    should be present and the logo of Sony. Original memory card (just like other 
    peripherals for the console) have model numbers. You should see this model 
    number in the casing of the Card: SCPH-10020 u / 97027. And it is made in 
    Japan, not Hongkong or Taiwan.
    
    Time will come that bootleg memory cards will look almost the same as the 
    original memory cards just like what happened in its predecessor, the 
    Playstation (PSOne) memory card. The packaging and the card looks very much 
    the same and the performance are almost the same. Youíll just know that your 
    are cheated when the bootleg one deteriorates in performance. Sony Memory 
    cards are tough and are long-lasting. No other can match it.
    
    So to make sure, buy from known stores and donít be afraid to ask. Even 
    though the price is high, itís very well worth your hard-earned money.
    
    WHAT THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PS2 and PS MEMORY CARDS?
    ========================================================
    
    There are many obvious differences between the 2. The PS2 Memory Card can 
    save Playstation 2 games only, and the Playstation ones can only save 
    Playstation games. Another difference is that the PS2 has more capacity (more 
    than 65 times) than the first one. But then, you can use both cards on the 
    Playstation 2 console, except that the PS2 Memory Card wonít work in your 
    Playstation (PS One) console.
    
    HOW MANY SAVES CAN I MAKE?
    ==========================
    
    This wonít have an exact answer. If you have a PS1 Memory Card, you can save 
    1-15 games (some use up the entire 15 blocks such as Diablo and some use up 
    only 1 slot) because of the 15 Block limit. In the PS2 Memory Card, you have 
    a Maximum of 8 Megabytes or 8,192 kilobytes of storage. Now, why did I say 
    that this doesnít have an exact answer? First, itís because the PS2 Memory 
    Card doesnít have slots like in the PS1. Playstation 2 Games save in 
    Kilobytes instead of Blocks. To know the amount of KB needed for a game to be 
    saved, check the back of the box of you game. The KB amount is listed below 
    together with the other features (players, analog function, etc.). So, my 
    advice is to plan on how to save your games. Always check the amount of KB 
    needed for saving and the amount of KB left on your memory card. And donít 
    forget to save only those games where you really need to save such as RPG 
    games.
    
    WHATíS MAGIC GATE?
    ==================
    
    Now, most of you might be wondering what the Magic Gate is (as you can see in 
    the memory card)? From what Iíve heard, the Magic Gate technology is some 
    sort of a safety device regarding online security. I, for one, havenít tried 
    it yet because it isnít implemented yet. Iíll try it at once when I get the 
    modem and go online in future.
    
    Take note also that the Magic Gate technology is present in all US Memory 
    Cards. In Japan, only the latest versions of the Memory Cards have that 
    technology. 
    
    SOME ISSUES REGARDING MEMORY CARDS
    ==================================
    
    1. Third Party Memory Card
    --------------------------
    
    As you may know, Sony isnít the only one making Memory Cards for the 
    Playstation 2. There are also some other third-party companies that make 
    memory cards such as Mad Catz, Blaze, Nyko, and more. First of all, they are 
    meant to do the same thing as a Sony Memory Card does. They can save games 
    and some even have additional features such as incorporating game cheat codes 
    in it and some have even bigger capacity than the Sony Memory Card. One thing 
    you must remember that these memory cards are not official peripherals for 
    the Playstation 2. It doesnít mean that you shouldnít buy them. Some of them 
    have lower prices than the Sony Memory Cards. Time will come that some 
    companies might be able to create a better Memory Card than Sonyís. As of 
    this moment, Original Sony Memory Cards are much recommended than the third 
    party memory cards.
    
    As of now, preferrably the best third-party memory card is Mad Catz (just as
    it did in the Playstation 1). I've also heard that Pelican has their own PS2
    memory card, but I haven't seen that one lately.
    
    Now, what about fake memory cards (most are illegal) that try to copy the 
    original ones? Well, if you see a fake one (check the "How do I know if I 
    have an original memory Card?" section in this FAQ to know how to 
    differentiate an original from a bootleg) do not buy them. Buy only from 
    Sony. Even though Bootleg Memory Card cost at least around 50% less than the 
    original ones, their performance is deniable and youíll waste your hard-
    earned bucks. Plus, youíll run the risk of ruining your console as some 
    bootleg memory cards destroy the memory card slot therefore, making it 
    unusable even for original ones. Paying more for an original card wonít hurt 
    at all. So, you choose, performance or price? =)
    
    2. Playstation (PS One) saves
    -----------------------------
    
    Now, many of you are wondering if you can save PS games on your PS2 Memory 
    Card. The answer is no. You canít save them. First, itís clear in the package 
    of the Memory Card that it is compatible with Playstation 2 Software only 
    (see upper left hand corner at the back). Iíve tried it with some games and 
    they wasnít even able to detect the PS2 Memory Card. 
    
    But donít fret. You can still save your PS1 games by putting in a Playstation 
    (PS One) Memory Card. Your PS2 console will be able to save and load from it.
    
    Additional info: Iíve tried this out (as Douglas Wardell told me), and I 
    found out that you could actually copy your Playstation games onto the 
    Playstation 2 Memory Card. It really works. But you can not directly load or save 
    your PS games in the PS2 Memory Card. This means that, when the PS2 memory card
    is in the slot, and you're playing a PS1 game, the game won't recognize your
    Memory card. But,This will be very useful as you can store your old Playstation 
    games to save memory card (PS) space. Each block in the PS memory card uses 
    only 8 kb of space. =) You can actually save 1,024 blocks of PS saves onto a 
    blank PS2 memory card. How Ďbout that.
    
    For a better understanding of these (as some people didn't quite get it),
    here is an example. On your PS2, let's say you're playing Final Fantasy 9 and
    you have inserted a PS1 Memory Card. Now, when you save your game within
    Final Fantasy 9, you will be allowed to do so. But if you inserted a PS2 Memory
    Card, your Final Fantasy 9 won't be able to recognize it as a memory card and
    thus, you can't save your game. About saving PS1 games. Put your PS2 Memory
    Card in Slot 1 and your PS1 Memory Card in Slot 2. Open up the PS2 Browser
    (by resetting the system without a CD/DVD in the drive) then choose the
    PS1 Memory Card. You can then, copy your save onto the PS2 Memory Card in
    Slot 1. I hope that's clear enough for everyone. =)
    
    3. Japanese PS2 Memory Card w/ DVD Driver
    -----------------------------------------
    
    If you donít know yet, the early release Playstation 2 consoles in Japan has 
    a free Memory Card within the package. It contains the DVD driver that will 
    enable the Japanese PS2 to play Region 2 DVDs. Unfortunately, saving games 
    into the Memory Card will corrupt the DVD driver, thus disabling DVD playback. 
    Lucky for us who have US Playstation 2s, the DVD driver is no longer included 
    in the Memory Card. The hard part is that there will be no Memory Card that 
    comes along with the system. But then, thereís a new Japanese Memory Card 
    with a driver that doesnít get corrupted anymore when saving games. And the
    latest info about this is that, new Japanese consoles have their DVD
    capabilities built-in the console. Thus, they also don't have memory cards.
    
    4. Warranty
    -----------
    
    The Memory Card has a 90-day warranty from Sony. It is stated that it is only 
    applicable in the US or Canada only and factory defects are the only ones 
    covered by the warranty. Accidents arenít covered in most cases but itís rare. 
    (examples are: when you have your Memory Card shipped through a Courier 
    Service and the damage was incurred during its delivery). 
    
    What will void your warranty? Here are some instances. Opening up your Memory 
    Card. Deliberately causing defects to your Memory Card (i.e. throwing it 
    away, pinching it, crushing it, etc.). And most of all, asking Sony for 
    warranty for third-party or bootleg memory cards. They will just ignore you.
    
    
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                          TAKING CARE OF YOUR MEMORY CARD
                         =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    
    Proper care of your Playstation 2 Memory Card will ensure long life. Iíll 
    enumerate everything in this section according to what you should do and what 
    you must not do.
    
    Things you should do...
    =======================
    
    1. Store it in a place with room temperature after use.
    2. Put it back in the plastic cover (not a case like the ones for the 
       Playstation) after use.
    3. Put it firmly in the memory card slot of the PS2 console.
    4. Save the games when you really need to.
    5. If you have new games today, you'll notice that the box has a small Memory
       Card Holder. I saw this one on games like Dark Cloud and Midnight Club.
       Once you place the memory card, it'll fit perfectly. Just be careful while
       taking them out.
    6. From time to time, Browse your memory card to see what it contains so that
       you can organize well, the contents of the card. Delete those unneede
       save games or files.
    
    Things that you must not do are...
    ==================================
    
    1. Do not remove a Memory Card while a game is currently saving. Youíll
       regret doing this because the Memory Card will be unusable afterwards. 
       Youíll then need a replacement for it and I bet you donít want that to 
       happen.
    2. Try your best not to let the Memory Card fall to ground or bump into 
       anything hard. Also, donít apply much force in it like sitting on it, 
       stepping on it, or even crunching it in your fists. 
    3. Do not put your memory card somewhere wet. It will damage it and most 
       likely it will become unusable.
    4. Do not even dare to open your memory card. Exposing the innards of the 
       card will, most of the time, make it unusable.
    5. Do not put you fingers in the opening of the memory card where it connects 
       to the PS2 memory card slot. You might damage your data.
    6. Do not blow into the opening if your Memory Card isnít saving or loading. 
       Call a Sony representative and ask for help or contact them by any other 
       means and tell them the exact problem.
    7. If it doesnít fit in your Memory Card slot, donít force it. It might not 
       be compatible.
    
    As you can see there are a more things that you should not do than the things 
    you should do. There your have it, just follow these and Iím sure your Memory 
    Card will live a happy long life. 
    
    
    TROUBLESHOOTING
    ===============
    
    Sometimes the inevitable happens and something weird happen to your Memory 
    Card or your saving procedure. There are lots of things involved here and 
    Iíll list the most common problems you might encounter.
    
    Problem:  The game does not save
    Probable Causes: Your Memory Card might be damaged. Your Memory Card Slot in 
              your PS2 console is damaged or itís unclean. Your game is damaged.
    Solution: Diagnose first the cause of your memory card. If it can save in 
              other games, the game might have a problem. In other instances, it 
              may be the Memory Card or the Memory Card Slot in the PS2 may be 
              damaged or unclean so call your retailer or Sony to ask for help.
    
    Problem:  The Memory Card doesnít fit in the Slot
    Probable Causes: Youíre using a non-PS2 Memory Card. A Screw might be loose.
    Solution: Check if you have a PS2 Compatible Memory Card if not replace it 
              with a PS2 Compatible one. Sometimes, the screws at the back become 
              loose so screw them in gently. Donít put too much force in your 
              Memory Card. Better yet, as for a professionalís help.
    
    Problem:  I saved a game but it didnít appear in the browser menu of the PS2
    Probable Causes: You didnít save at all. The Memory Card is damaged or
              Unformatted.
    Solution: Make sure that you actually saved your game. You probably pressed 
              the cancel button unknowingly. If youíre sure about it, the Memory 
              Card might have problems. Format it first if it is your first use. 
              Most PS2 games offer Memory Card Formatting.
    
    Problem:  I cannot copy this game to the other memory card
    Probable Causes: The second memory card is damaged. Copying from PS2 to PS1 
              or vice versa.
    Solution: Check if the second memory card is functioning properly. Also, you 
              shouldnít copy PS2 saves to the PS1 Memory Card.
    
    Problem:  I have a third-party memory card that is damaged. What do I do?
    Probable Causes: Poor performance of the memory card
    Solution: Contact the manufacturer or retailer and ask for help. Do not 
              contact Sony about third-party or bootleg memory cards.
    
    
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                             CREDITS/ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
                         =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    
    - Very Special thanks to Sony for bringing to us the best gaming console and 
    for their hefty memory card.
    
    - Special thanks to Douglas Wardell (coldangel_@hotmail.com) for informing me 
    about the PS1 saves on the PS2 Memory Card.
    
    - And last but absolutely not the least, thanks to GameFAQs where you can 
    view and download this FAQ. CjayC deserves all the credits given to him. 
    Congratulations!
    
    These are all that I would like to thank as of now. If I happen to forget 
    anyone, please inform me. Iíll check it out on my inbox if you really have 
    something to be credited (I never delete important ones). Note, that if there 
    are same info sent to me, it is on a first come first serve basis. Any 
    suggestions, comments, additions, etc. will be duly credited to you once 
    youíve submitted one to me through my e-mail address written at the very top 
    of this FAQ. Thank you very much!
    
    
             Playstation 2, Playstation, PS One and their accessories(tm)
               Are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment
    
               All other images and instances are registered trademarks 
                            of their respective owners
    
                   The Unofficial Sony Playstation 2 Memory Card FAQ
                              May 7, 2001, "A"  Tadeo