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Playstation memory card reader


The idea

When I bought my playstation, I played Final Fantasy 8 for many hours, but my cheap cloned memory card lost its memory (That's what happen when you dont use Sony memory cards.).

I then realized that it would be very useful to be able to backup the content of a memory card in a computer. After searching the web, I discovered schematics to do this, and I even found sites where you can exchage save games!

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I found a few different schematics, but I chose the one which was the easiest to use from Linux(it works also with windows).

The version I chose is the Direct Pad Pro one.

Here is the schematic:

The original schematic is on this site:

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The interface would not be very useful without supporting software. I found only on windows program which was able to use the interface: Memory Card Capture Sakura. The software is a Japanese translation, and it is not very well translated and is strange. That's why I recommend that you use this software only to build a complete image of the memory card.

To do more complicated operations, I recommend PSX Game Edit.
PSX Game Edit allows you to save memory card blocks to separate files. This is very useful to mamage your savegames.

If you want to use Linux, I wrote a small program which directly supports the interface and is able to do basic management operations, such as saving separate blocks, deleting blocks, undeleting blocks, etc. You can find this software here.

If you would like to write your own software, or want more information on memory card and the way data is stored on them, here is a good document:

There is a C library whichis able to use memory cards and controllers connected to a PC via the parallel port(and supports this interface). This library is Open source, so you can use it in your own programs(That's what I did in psxmem). You can download it from this site:
PSX Peripheral Bus Library

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Here are a few pictures of how I build my interface.

I've used the case of external parallel port network adaptor. I modified an ISA bus connector so the memory card would fit in it.


Please send me your pictures by e-mail. It's interesting to see how other people build their projects.

January 12, 2003:
Guillaume Pilote has built his interface with a real memory card connector and a 9volt battery as power source.

Octobre 25, 2005:
Andy López from peru sent me those two pictures. He used a real memory card connector and his computer's power supply as power source:

September 6, 2007:
Robert Olbromsk, from Gdańsk, Poland, sent me the following pictures. He did a pretty good job!:

June 18, 2009:
Asger Grønnow from Denmark used the memory card slot/controller port set from a defect Playstation 2 and a 9V DC wall wart as power source.

October 9, 2011:
Sinke from Croatia built this project to be accessible from a computer's front panel. It is connected to the internal LPT connector on the motherboard and an USB PS1/2 converter handles controllers and serves as a power supply for reader. Official cards work great but due to 5V on both 3.3V and 7V lines some unofficial card won't work.

January 30, 2012:
Yoan built the adapter inside a PSOne, using the built-in slot and power sources. He then connects a custom cable from a 8P8C/RJ45 connector mounted on the chassis to his parallelport. Nice Job!

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Screen shot

Here are screenshots of the software supporting this interface:
PSX Game Edit MemoryCard Capture Sakura PSX Memory card manager
IMPORTANT: Apparently, the website for MemoryCard capture sakura does not work anymore. Here is the file: mccs151e.zip.

Update!: (February 2009) I have been informed that a new version of Memory Card CS is available from this website: http://sstrans.emuxhaven.net/mccs.php

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A good site for downloading savegames is www.gamefaqs.com/console/psx/. Simply choose your game and consult the 'Game Saves' section if there is one.

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I cannot be held responsible for any damages that could occur to you or your equipment while following the procedures present on this page. Also, I GIVE ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY on the correctness and usability of the informations on this page. Please note, however, that the procedures above have worked in my case without any damages or problems.

Now you cannot say that I did not warn you :)

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