As I recall while the fat has a hard drive bay it doesn't have a connector so you also need to buy the PS2 network adapter required to connect the hard drive to the actual PS2 fat.
HD Loader is a (very old) version of the program. People may have an easier time locating HD Advance 2.0
You, sir, are correct. The network adapter is also necessary as it is the only piece that has the hard drive power/IDE connections on it. HD Loader is the one I grabbed when it got banned, but HD Advance is the newest version and I had totally forgotten the name. I believe those you can install to the memory card so you don't even need the CD like you do with HD Loader!
Not that I would personally know this, cough cough, but I believe this works with somewhere around 95% of the games available and for several even makes them run faster/smoother than when ran from a disc.
This combined with Gamefly could be a lethal timekilling combination...
I've noticed the games that I have backed up that I don't own I usually don't even play or only play a level or two. It just shows I didn't really care enough to ever buy them anyway...
Some of the high-profile games that won't back up can be patched to make them work.. You need to make an ISO of the DVD on your computer, patch it (with the proper PPF file), burn it, and then install it. Of course you will need a way for your PS2 to read the burned disc, either a mod chip, or a swap solution (either swap magic, or the PSone / memory card exploits)... These patched DVDs will only play when installed to the hard drive, you can't play them off the disc.
thanks man! you just added some more functionality to my "obsolete" ps2!! :)
Also guys load up Final Fantasy XII International, patched to English, made me put my 360 aside for some old school controller still has a cord time.