Fixing a PS2 Memory Card

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January 9, 2023

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Repairs
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ps2 sony

Content:

We recently came across a PS2 memory card, which appeared to be non-functional. Despite the PS2 being two decades old, and the memory cards being a similar age, we’ve never seen a dead official memory card before.

This article documents our attempts to diagnose the fault, and fix the card. We’ve also posted a video showing this process in more detail – be sure to check it out.

Diagnosis

The first, and easiest step to fixing a memory card is to check the state of the contacts. Dirt and debris can enter the slot on the end of the card, and break the connection to the console. Cleaning the card out every so often is recommended, to prevent a greater build up.

On this card, checking the contacts showed us the problem, and it’s not something we’d expected to see. The contacts were recessed in the shell, as if the board inside had been pushed inwards.

It’s easy to see the problem when comparing this memory card with a working one.

memory card comparison
Working card on the left, faulty card on the right. The board is clearly pushed back in the non-working card.

Looking at the contacts, you can see they don’t line up correctly with the memory card shell. There’s a large gap above them, which shouldn’t be there.

Repair

To try and diagnose this further, and hopefully fix the memory card, we needed to open it up.

Opening the memory card is simple. There are two small Philips head screws on the rear, which need to be removed. With the screws out, slide the rear half of the shell upwards, while lifting the top section of the rear half (where the contacts are) up slightly. The rear should slide off.

On the inside, there didn’t appear to be any missing pieces of plastic, and it was not clear why this board is able to move so freely. It’s unclear whether this board was originally housed in a different shell with a slightly different design, or perhaps whatever originally held it in place has snapped off cleanly. Either way, there is nothing to keep the board in the correct position.

The gap below the board was pretty much perfect for an M4 nut. Using hot glue, we added an M4 nut in this space, which stops the board from moving.

opened memory card
Inside of the memory card, with the washer glued in place.

We could have tried to hot glue the board in place, but the insertion of a solid object should be more durable in the long term.

With the nut in place, the memory card is now working perfectly.

Have you ever seen a PS2 memory card with this issue before? Be sure to leave a comment if you have. And if you have a faulty PS2 memory card, make sure you check the basics before you throw it away.

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