One of the most unique features of the PS3 is the ability to install an operating system to the HD, but the only one you can install to it is Linux. No problem! Using 100% emulation, you can actually run Windows XP from your Playstation 3!
If you do something wrong or these directions don't work for you and you subsequently kill your Playstation 3 I will not be held responsible for your stupidity and will not buy you a new Playstation 3. This process will not work with Windows Vista. You are doing this at your own risk. Now that that's covered...
Why Install XP on My PS3?
Despite the fact that a gaming system would make a terrible computer, having an operating system on a PS3 is great. Those who own a PS3 probably realize that for such an expensive gaming system, it has a small range of games. Well, with an OS on your PS3, you can now play comptuer games on your expensive machine. Also, wouldn't it be great when your friends walk in and see you on your PS3 playing some kind of computer game? This method also works for running Windows 98 on the PS3, and it is more usable that XP and definitely more so than Vista!
Before You Start...
...you'll need to install Linux on your PS3 since this will be done using 100% emulation, meaning that you will be on a virtual version of Windows XP. You'll also need to download Qemo 0.9.1 and you'll need a separate computer, by the way, to do this. You'll also need nLite to make a smaller version of Windows XP with minimum system requirements, and you'll need a Windows XP disk to make the nLite version of Windows XP . Also, you'll need to buy some CD-Rs as you'll need these to transfer files, and you'll need to download a CD burner tool. It'll help if you have some experience with Linux, but it'll definaterly help if you've got some patience.
Preparing the PS3
First, we have to install Qemo to the PS3. To do this...
- Open what is known as a "terminal" (system>accessories)
- In the terminal, type “sudo apt-get install qemu" and press Y
- Now create a folder on the desktop entitled "Windows"
- Open the folder
- Right-click the blank space
- Click "open terminal here"
- In the new terminal, type “qemu-img create xp.img 2G". What that should do is create a 2 GB partition for Qemu.
And now you can actually take a break, because you have finished prepping your PS3 for Windows XP. In fact, you can probably make yourself a sandwich, because the next section is...
Preparing the nLite XP .img File
First of all, I must say that nLite is as legal or illegal as you make it. Using a knife to cut food is legal, using a knife to cut someone isn't. The same concept works with nLite. As long as you have a valid Windows XP CD and a license key the FBI shouldn't bust down your door with Bill Gates pointing at you going, "That's the one!" and your conscience should be clear. Okay, so now that that's done...
- Install nLite onto your system and run it.
nLite will ask you to point it to the CD drive with the XP CD in it. Do it. Do it now!
- After that, it will take you to the presets menu where you can select a preset Windows XP setup. Since you don't have any (I assume), ignore this and go to the task selections menu.
- From here, you can strip your Windows installation as far as you want it, or even add things (remember to green light the "components" section next to "remove"). Anything you green light here will be a step.
- When you get to the "components" section, you can remove whatever you want. Don't remove too much, though, since some things you'll want to keep your operating system running smoothly. Don't worry, though! nLite has a compatibility feature to ensure you're not ripping out anything important.
- Once you're happy, click "next" to begin building your custom installation.
- Once you're done, port the .img file to a CD (don't burn the .img file to cd; just copy it as a file)
- Put the .img file into the "Windows" folder with the "xp.img" file
- Finally, rename it to "xpinstallcd.iso"
Okay, grab yourself some water and prepare to install XP!
Installing Windows on Linux
Now comes the part you've been waiting for: installing XP on Linux. Take a deep breath and marvel at your work so far. After you're done...
- Open the "Windows " folder
- Right-click the blank space
- Click "open terminal here"
Type “qemu -cdrom xpinstallcd.iso -hda xp.img -m 64M -boot d" into the terminal. This will reserve 64 mb for qemo, which is a nice amount. Remember that you're still on a PS3 and you're running Linux. If you did this right, a pup-up should appear of an x86 Intel precessor (chooooom doo dee dum dee!) which you'll be able to use to run Windows XP.
- After everything is done, pat yourself on the back because you've installed Windows XP to your PS3! Whenever you want to run it, type in “qemu -hda xp.img -m 64M".
Once you've gotten over yourself, you may want to transfer some files to Windows XP. The next section will show you how:
Loading Files to Windows XP
Now that you're done, you may want your files from your other computer to be on the PS3. Well, that's why you brought the bulk pack of CD-Rs. If you were too cheap to buy at least 3 CD-Rs or one CD-RW, go pick some up. Done? Okay, now...
- Compile the files you want to transfer over to an .iso file and burn it to CD.
- Copy it to your PS3 and put it into the "Windows" folder, naming it something like "myfiles.iso".
- Open a new terminal and type in “qemu -cdrom my_files.iso -hda xp.img -m 64M", replacing "my files.iso" with whatever you named it.
Now it's time to celebrate by bringing over an X-Box 360 owner, as you will really appreciate it when said X-Box 360 owner breaks down in tears over the awesomeness (not a real word, I know) of having Windows XP on your PS3, even though it runs reallllly really sloooooooow.