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Convert your PSP to Custom Firmware

PSP for Dummies > Converting your PSP to Custom Firmware using a Pandora battery

This is the nitty gritty guide on converting your PSP to custom firmware by means of a Pandora battery. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of creating a Pandora battery, you can opt to use the Pandora-less guide: Convert your PSP to custom firmware without pandora.

How to install Custom Firmware on your PSP


  1. A Hackable PSP.  Again if you don’t know what a hackable PSP is, please READ: Can my PSP have custom firmware installed?
  2. A Pandora Battery, you can either buy one here or convert an original Sony PSP Battery
  3. A Memory Stick Pro Duo to Magic Memory Stick [at least 64MB – 4GB]

If you are wondering as to what a Pandora Battery is, read the Terms and Definitions part of my CFW for dummies guide.

  1. Making a Magic Memory Stick

    • Download PSP Grader: Mirror 1
    • Extract the file to a folder to your computer
    • Connect your PSP into the PC.  Backup any data on the Memory Stick Pro Duo on your hard drive.  This is because you need to reformat the Memory Stick and all data on it will be lost
    • Run PSP Grader. Once it has opened, select ‘Download’. This will download the 5.00 update file needed for installing custom firmware. Do note that the download speed is highly dependent on your connection.
    • Once the download finishes, under ‘Target Memory Stick’, select the drive letter of your PSP. Check the box that says ‘Format Memory Stick’.
    • Select ‘Create Pandora Stick”
    • Congratulations, you now have a Magic Memory Stick
  2. Making a Pandora Battery

    If you didn’t buy a Pandora battery from this link, you can opt to create one yourself but you need a second PSP with custom firmware installed.

    • Download the Pandora installer: Mirror 1
    • Extract the file to a folder to your computer
    • Connect your PSP into the PC.  Backup any data on the Memory Stick Pro Duo on your hard drive.  This is because you need to reformat the Memory Stick and all data on it will be lost
    • Copy the “pan3xx” Folder to X:PSP\GAME where X is the drive letter assigned to your memory stick
    • Disconnect your PSP and turn it off

    Now to turn a normal battery to a pandora battery:

    • Insert the Battery you want to convert into your PSP and turn your it on.
    • On your XMB run the Pandora Installer for 3.xx+ -R4b-
    • Once Pandora Install is running, press “X” to go to the main menu.
    • Scroll down to “Battery Options” and press “X”
    • Scroll down to “Dump Battery Serial to File” and press “X” (this will backup the battery serial to your memory stick)
    • Select “Make Battery Pandora” and press “X”
    • The Battery serial in the top left should change to “0xffffffff” (If the battery serial doesn’t change then your PSP can’t write to the battery or the battery is not compatible.  If it’s either of the two, stop now.)
    • Scroll down to “Back to main menu” and press “X”
    • Choose “Quit” and press “X” and the program will exit
    • Congratulations, you now have a Pandora Battery.
    • Note that you can’t use the Pandora battery for normal gameplay, hence you need an extra battery

  3. Installing Custom Firmware

    • Charge your Battery to at least 78%.  This is to prevent your PSP from turning off during installation and bricking.
    • Put the Magic Memory Stick and Pandora Battery in your PSP
    • Turn your PSP on while holding down the left shoulder button. Once the IPL has loaded on your PSP, press X. Your PSP will begin installing Custom Firmware.
    • When this process is finished, press X to shut down your PSP.
      IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure you press X to shut down your PSP before removing the Pandora Battery or Magic Memory Stick.  If you don’t, you could brick your PSP.
    • One your PSP is off, you can replace the battery and the memory stick with the ones you want to use.
    • Congratulations, you now have Custom Firmware installed.
  4. After installation notes

    When booting up your PSP for the first time, hold the R Trigger to enter the Recovery Menu.  Here’s a few configurations that you’d want to set to get the best experience:

    • Find the UMD Mode option and set this to M33 Driver or Sony NP9660
    • Find the Use M33 network update, and enable it. Now you can use the network update to update your custom firmware.

    After installing custom firmware, here’s a few things that you might want to do.
    IF you don’t have a spare, you may want to turn your Pandora battery back to a regular one. Of course this beats the purpose of creating one earlier but just in case, here’s how you do it

    • Place the Pandora installer on your Memory Stick [you can get it above]
    • Insert the Pandora Battery and magic memory stick into your PSP, your PSP will turn on automatically.
    • Select ‘Test M33′ and your PSP will load as normal
    • On the XMB select Pandora Installer for 3.xx+ -R4b-
    • Press X to enter the menu
    • Go to Battery Options, and select Set Battery Serial From File
    • Congratulations your battery is now normal again!
    • Exit the program, and restart your PSP.  You can now use the battery for normal operations.

Your PSP Phat or PSP Slim is now running Custom Firmware. If you want to update to the latest custom firmware version (which is currently at 5.00 M33-6), check out this 5.00 M33 installation guide.

If you’re having problems, don’t understand the instructions or need some other help, post a comment.

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