Why do I see a black screen and then console powers off when using AutoBleem ? I can not even load AutoBleem next time…. Console does not even boot from USB
This is the most asked question on our support Discord and I will try to explain the reason of this issue as clear as possible and also will try to explain why it is not possible at this stage to “fix” it. So … why is it happening ? It is happening because your USB stick or hard drive is not fully supported by hardware of the PSC console. This was TLDR … now the longer
Why there are so many USB sticks that causes that issue ?
It is because of the electricity needed to power USB sticks. The PSC console and it’s USB ports were designed to only support game pads, not the USB storage media, so connecting USB sticks is not something that designers in Sony wanted (and we can understand why 🙂 ). In electronics we measure electricity in units called Amperes. For a small current draw we use even smaller units called miliAmperes (mA). This parameter is something you can see on your phone chargers etc. The USB ports in PSC are limited in HARDWARE to only provide 100mA of current. If your particular USB stick, or drive or ssd needs more than that the console just powers off as the overcurrent protection just switches it off. This is totally unrelated to the software, this is just how the PSC works. You can compare this to your fuse box at your home… if there is a too much current the fuse just switches off any you need to turn in back.
But why it boots the first time and sometimes I was even able to run the game ?
This is because current draw is not a constant thing. It is like in your car… when you drive down the hill your gas usage will be low and the engine will not even get hot, but when you drive uphill … it needs more gas to run. Same with the electricity… if AutoBleem (actually the console, as AutoBleem is just a boot loader and after you press Start or X is not even in the consoles memory ) starts to write/read much data from the USB stick the current usage of electricity in USB also goes up. When it reaches the 100mA level the console powers off as the “fuse” triggers that.
What can I do … I tried everything ?
Yes probably everything except … using other USB stick. This is the easiest solution all the time. Try other ones you have and use the one that works. Also you can try to connect a powered USB hub between PSC and the stick to reduce current usage from port …If this sorts out your issue … you do not need to read more. If not … continue reading ….
Can you provide a list of recommended USB sticks ?
We would love too, as your headache is our headache, but for this we would need to buy every possible USB stick in the world and check it’s electricity current usage. As we are just a small group of people and this is kind of impossible mission. We are trying with community to build the list of the sticks that just works on the first shot and at the moment I can recommend for sure SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB 2.0 sticks in 8/16/32/64 GB… those are the ones I tested myself . We are planning to build compatibility database over time as well, but as I said this needs a time and support from community.
Can you improve the compatibility in PSC hardware ?
Yes and no …. this is a hardware related issue so it is very hard to mitigate it in the software. We are working to optimize the software to make as low read write cycles as possible, but it is still just not enough for some USB sticks.. There is a way to improve this a bit in the hardware. If you are able to solder very small tiny smd components and you do not care about warranty you can try to modify your console in hardware way to remove the 100mA current limit introduced by Sony engineers. The tutorial for this mod is available on modmyclassic pages (will provide link later on). This increases the limit from 100mA to 300mA that is a tripple more and sorts out the compatibility with many USB sticks. But … it is hardware modification and needs some skills with soldering, also it is not like the limit will go away – it is just increased to 300mA
But why AutoBleem can not sometimes even boot after black screen ?
Because if the “fuse” switches off console in the middle of writting data to the stick it is corrupting data on the sticks file system. It is the same as taking out USB stick from your PC without ejecting it in the middle of saving something. Then your data can not be read anymore and PSC does not boot AutoBleem. In that case you have to reformat the stick and install AutoBleem again, you can try to leave your Games folder, use scandisk to repair it etc… but this is hit and miss as probably next time you insert that USB to PSC similar situation will happen.
I am angry … I paid $10 for a stick that does not work with PSC…
If it will make you happier you can express your frustration using our Discord channel… but it would probably not improve anything except make more people angry. Also yes – we are online on Discord to help, not only myself but the whole group of users and developers are working hard to help everyone that asks for help. Actually Discord is the only way to contact us and ask for more support. We do not monitor every YouTube video or Reddit topic about AutoBleem.