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How to use PPF patch files


This brief guide will show you how to apply patches to images (mostly image files) using PPF files that have been distributed for them. PPF files are basically patches that contain changes to be made to ISO files and other types of images. PPF originally stood for PlayStation Patch Format. A PPF file might be distributed to fix a very large ISO image, such as a 4GB DVD image, instead of re-distributing the entire image fixed again. This method can save a lot of bandwidth, time and patience.

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Introduction & Requirements


Software you must download and install
PPF-O-Matic
Required: In order to use a PPF file you need to download PPF-O-Matic. It comes in a ZIP file that can be opened as a folder in Windows. Run ppf-o-matic3.exe. Download!

Once you have downloaded PPF-O-Matic you should unzip it. This can be simply done by opening the ZIP file in Windows as a folder (XP and above) and literally just dragging the contents out into a normal Windows folder, or alternatively you can extract it using WinRAR or a similar tool.

Some PPF information


When is applying a PPF file necessary? It depends on the content really. Some very large images, particularly games (like console games) can be distributed online and afterwards can be found to have slight corruption problems. In order to avoid forcing everyone to download/upload gigabytes of data again, a PPF file is constructed that contains only the changes for the image file (usually an ISO file) and nothing else. You need a tool capable of applying these changed to use a PPF file, such as PPF-O-Matic.

Sometimes the reason for a PPF's existence might not be relevant to you. For example, if the firmware for a console was updated and that meant a certain game could no longer be booted, a PPF file might fix that problem. However, you might not need the PPF file at all if you don't update the firmware. It is all relative, so the best thing to do when you find PPF patches for certain files is to read the information that comes with it. An NFO file can be opened in notepad (or better yet, Damn NFO Viewer) and there it will have information on what the PPF file does, and exactly what file it has to be applied to.

For example, two versions of the same content may appear online, but a PPF file may be made for only one and cannot be applied to the other. Therefore always read information that comes with a PPF file so you know what it's for, and if you need to apply it or not.

PPF-O-Matic Interface




PPF-O-Matic is such a simple interface considering the amount of time, effort and bandwidth it has saved thousands of people around the world. To use it, all you need is the ISO (image) file that a PPF has been distributed for, and of course the PPF file itself. So the first thing you should do is load in the ISO file that you intend to patch with the PPF file.

Load ISO




Click the little floppy disc icon beside the ISO File field. Once you have clicked it, find the ISO file that you need to patch and Open it. It will now load into the program. PPF-O-Matic does not offer up any information whatsoever on the ISO file.

Load PPF File




Click the little floppy disc icon beside the Patch field in PPF-O-Matic. When the file browser launches, go to the folder that contains your PPF file. Only PPF files will be visible by default. Select the correct PPF file for your ISO file and click Open.

PPF Info and Begin




When the PPF file is loaded, PPF-O-Matic will offer up some information on it this time. For example, you will notice in the picture above that it contains about 4MB of patch data that will be written to the ISO file in order to fix it, or to make it compatible with something. The only thing left for you to do at this point is click the Apply button.

Success?




"Patch successfully applied, burn image to CD now!". This message confirms that the PPF patch has been successful. The reason it references burning a CD is because it was originally intended to patch games burned to a disc. If you use your ISO in some other way, such as on a MemoryStick, this does not mean you have to burn it to a CD to work etc. If you received an error here, it is entirely possible that the ISO file you have was not meant to be patched using the PPF file that you downloaded.

Finally


Hopefully this brief article has helped to demystify PPF files a little bit, and hopefully it will save you plenty of time, bandwidth and patience. If you have more to discuss about PPF files, please visit our Discussion Forums.

Written by: James Delahunty
Last updated: