Many people have requested that an online version of the README included with my torrent be posted, so here it is. This will probably be updated if/when there is a need to do so. This is the same file from the torrent, except it's been updated with links.
Welcome to the README for Aleron Ives's PSO PC installation pack. First off, thank you for reading this, as by doing so you will help eliminate questions that have been answered many times on various forums. If, after reading this, you still can't install PSO, then post on the PSO Palace forum at psopalace.forumotion.com.---------
First, I would like to give a bit of background information. You may be aware that this is my third installation pack for PSO PC, hence the file being named PSO_PC_Ives_ISOs_v3.7z. As with the second version of the installation pack, the main reason for making a third version is that the BitTorrent trackers used in the second version stopped working. Since I needed to update the BitTorrent file again anyway, I took this opportunity to update the installation pack again as well, as most PSOv2 players now gather on the Sylverant PSO server. Sylverant is the only place where you can get new serial numbers and access keys for PSO PC, and it is also the only place that currently operates a patch server for PSO PC, and since connecting to the patch server is necessary to complete the PSO registration process, I have updated the installation pack to connect to Sylverant.----------------
You should have finished downloading PSO_PC_Ives_ISOs_v3.7z. First, extract all the contents of the 7z archive to a new folder. If you can't extract 7z files, then go to the 7-Zip website to download 7-Zip. It is a free program that will allow you to extract the contents of a 7z archive (as well as many other archive formats). For a direct link, go here to download 7-Zip 9.20.
Once you have extracted the archive's contents to a new folder, please keep PSO_PC_Ives_ISOs_v3.7z and continue to run your BitTorrent client to seed the file. The more people we have seeding, the more people who will be able to download and play PSO.
Now go to the folder where you extracted the contents of the 7z archive. You should have 7 files: PSO_PC_disc1.iso, PSO_PC_disc2.iso, autorun.exe, pso.exe, online.exe, online_offline.exe, and README.txt. What you are reading now is the online version of the README file. Now you'll need to install the game from the two ISO images.----------------
There are two ways to do this. If you have a CD burner, two blank CDs, and a CD burning program, you can just open the CD burning program, choose to burn an ISO image, select PSO_PC_disc1.iso, burn it, and then do the same for the second disc image. If you need a CD burning program, I suggest that you download cdrtfe.
To burn an ISO with cdrtfe, select the "Disc Image" tab, select "disc at once" mode, and then select PSO_PC_disc1.iso as the ISO image to burn. When burning is complete, do the same thing for disc 2. Once you have burned both discs to CD, insert the first disc into your CD drive and continue with step 4. If you don't have some or any of the previous items with which to burn CDs, or if you aren't sure of what settings to use when burning the discs, then you should use the following method.----------------
If you can't burn CDs, then you can use a "virtual" CD drive. This allows you to load the PSO installer ISO images directly as though they were on real CDs. You can use Elby's Virtual CloneDrive to do this. Go to the Elaborate Bytes website and click the download button to get the latest version. When the download completes, proceed through the installation. If the installer wants you to restart your computer, go ahead and restart your computer, then re-open this guide. Now go to "My Computer" and look at the list of drives. You should now have a new drive called "Virtual CloneDrive". Right click on it, scroll down to the option saying "Virtual CloneDrive", then choose the "Mount" option. Navigate to where PSO_PC_disc1.iso is, select it, and click OK. Now you are ready to proceed with step 4.----------------
Whether you used real CDs or used the Virtual CloneDrive method explained in step 3, you should now get a Windows error message saying "Not support language." If you get this message, then congratulations, you have a working copy of the installer. This message appears because PSO PC is designed for Japanese computers (since it's a Japanese game), and it doesn't like it if you try to install it on an English computer. Click OK on this message to close it. Now open "My Computer" and choose the CD drive that PSO is located in (either a real CD drive, or the Virtual CloneDrive). Right click on the drive and choose "Explore". A new window should pop up with multiple files shown in it. Scroll down to setup.exe and run it. PSO will now ask you to select the language you wish to install in. (I recommend English, of course. =P) Proceed through the installation steps that the PSO installer gives you. I recommend installing into the default directory:
as that is the location I will refer to later on. I also recommend installing all of the program features, low and high end sound, as well as the opening movie, if your hard disk drive has enough space. Once you have selected all the features and clicked the final OK dialogue, PSO will start to install.
Some time into the installation (if you chose to install most or all of the features) PSO will ask you to insert disc two. If you are using real CDs, eject the first disc, insert the second, click OK, and PSO will continue to install. If you are using the Virtual CloneDrive, open a new "My Computer", right click on the Virtual CloneDrive, scroll down to the "Virtual CloneDrive" option again, and this time select "Unmount". Now do the same thing again, but choose "Mount" and select PSO_PC_disc2.iso. Now go back to the PSO installer and click OK. Either way you do it, you should get another "Not support language" error. Click OK on that dialogue box again. After the PSO installer completes the installation, click "Finish" and eject the second PSO CD, or choose "Unmount" on the Virtual CloneDrive. Step 4 is complete! Now let's set up PSO.----------------
Navigate to the location where you installed PSO. The default location is:
You should see quite a few files in this folder. The first thing you should do is create a new folder in here and name it "pso_exe_backups" or something like that. Then, move (not copy, move) pso.exe, online.exe, and autorun.exe into this folder. You may want to rename them to something like pso_original.exe, online_original.exe, and autorun_original.exe or something like that so you can remember what they are later.
Now go back to the directory where you have the two PSO ISO images and the other files that you extracted from the 7z archive. Copy pso.exe, autorun.exe, online.exe, and online_offline.exe into the main PSO folder. Note that the pso.exe file included with this installation pack is patched to let you easily type in English on modern versions of Windows (Windows Vista and newer). If you are using an older version of Windows (Windows XP or earlier), or if you want to be able to type in languages other than English (such as Japanese) by using the IME, then please visit the PC Downloads section of the site to download a version of pso.exe without the Vista/7 "typing patch". The included version of pso.exe is just the simplest one to use, as most players will be installing the game on Windows Vista or newer and will want to be able to type in English.
Now run autorun.exe. You should get a window titled "Phantasy Star Online". First, click on "Options". Here, you can change the graphics settings, decide if you want high or low quality audio (if you installed both), and change the fonts PSO uses. If you don't make any other changes, you should make sure that you set the connection method to "LAN" and not "Dial Up". Even if you ARE using dial up, you still need to select "LAN" mode. Now click OK at the bottom of the options window and click "Exit" on the "Phantasy Star Online" window. Now it's time for registration.----------------
At this point you can do one of two things: start playing PSO, or register for a serial number and access key. If you don't register, you can't hear lobby music, and you can't save the Guild Cards that other players send you. Some servers (such as Sylverant) also require registration and will not let you connect at all unless you register (to prevent unregistered players from causing trouble anonymously). This step may or may not be required, depending upon which PSO server you wish to use.
You may have seen various "Guild Card fixer" or "lobby music fixer" patches on various PSO sites. DO NOT USE THEM! They patch your Windows registry with shared serials, meaning that your characters are tied to them forever, and if you ever wanted to register sometime later, you would have to start all your characters over again. (There is a program available to allow you to change the serials your characters are tied to, but it's rather complicated. You can save yourself a lot of hassle by not using any "fixer" registry patches.) Also note that these "fixers" are meant to be used on hacked versions of PSO and not on the original game from the ISOs that you have installed. If you use a "Guild Card fixer" patch on your installation of PSO, it may not run correctly anymore, so once again, please don't use one. Instead, you should register with the Sylverant server to get unique serials.
To register on Sylverant, first visit sylverant.net. On the "Account" page, click the "New User?" link to create a new account, or simply click here. Create a username and password for your account, then enter your e-mail address. Once you have created an account, return to the login page and enter your username and password to log in. Once you are logged in, select the "Manage Your Guild Cards" link to visit the serial number and access key page.
Since Sylverant supports DC, PC, and GC versions of the game, you will see sections here to manage your keys across all versions of PSO that you may own. Scroll down to the "PSO for PC" section, and then click the link to generate a new PSO PC serial number and access key. Be sure to write the serial number and access key down in case you need to reinstall PSO at a later date.
Once you have a serial number and access key, you can then set up PSO with them. Run autorun.exe, choose "Online" mode, then choose "Start Game". PSO will tell you that you must register when playing for the first time, and it will give you a box with three fields: Serial Number, Access Key, and E-Mail. Type in the Serial Number and Access Key exactly as they appear on the Sylverant registration page. They are case sensitive, so 3N42Lx4 is not the same as 3n42lX4. (Also, don't try putting those in as your serials; I just made them up. =P) For e-mail, use something like a Yahoo address, as it doesn't matter what address you use. Be sure to write down the address you do use, though, as if you decide to uninstall PSO and reinstall it later (or to install it on a different PC), you must use the same serial number, access key, and e-mail address in order to play with your old characters again.
Once you have the three fields filled in correctly, click OK, and a confirmation box will come up. Verify that you entered the information correctly, then click OK again. You should get a message from the patch server thanking you for playing PSO, or something to that effect. Click OK, and the opening movie will play (if you chose to install it), and then PSO will start. Once you're on the PSO title screen, you can go ahead and choose "Exit" to quit the game. Run autorun.exe again and choose "Options" once more. Look at the bottom of the screen, and your Serial Number and Access Key should be displayed. Once you verify this, close the Options menu and the Phantasy Star Online window one last time. Now you can create a shortcut to online_offline.exe and use it to play PSO quickly and easily. Simply select whether you want to play online or offline, and PSO will start.
Hooray! You now have a complete copy of PSO. Enjoy the game! Thank you for reading all of this, and I hope it helped you through the installation. Also, don't forget to visit PSO Palace, the home page of this installation. ;) (Although if you're reading this online README, you should be there already, I hope.)
This README may not be reproduced in any way, shape, or form or be hosted on other sites without the permission of Aleron Ives (that's the writer of this, in case you didn't figure it out). I'm tired of trying to decide what I want people to do when they host this on other sites, so it's easier for me to just say: don't host this yourself unless I tell you that you can; point people here instead.