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You can only play PS2 games on your PS3 if it is backwords compatible, and the easy way to find out is to see how many USB Ports are in front of the console. If you have 2 USB Ports, no go. If you have 4 USB Ports in front, it is backwords compatiable. Another easy way to find out is if you own a fat PS3 with 4USB Ports you are good to go, just pop the CD in and it will play. If you own a slim PS3, you are out of luck, when Sony intoduced the slim ps3, to save money, they removed the backwords compatible chip from the hardware inside.
Essentially as long as the drive is formatted as a FAT32 drive you should be able to see it. Once the drive is formatted as FAT32 you want to make sure that you have the same folder structure as the PS3. That is simply done by creating folders called "Picture", "Music", "Video", and "Game" (no quotes please). Once this is done and you connect it to your PS3 you should see the extra drive right away. If you are not able to see your drive then it's either formatted as NTSF, or it is missing the folder structure. Connect it back to your computer and ensure that it has been properly setup.
If your drive is formatted and floder correctly then you may have an issue with your USB port. Try the other port. If you still can't see the drive then try and connect anything else you might have that the PS3 will use through the USB port. If that item cannot be seen then you do have an issue with your port and will have to get it serviced.
I believe the SCPH-version 30000 through 50001 use the UBD ports for Playstation Specific Devices like the eyetoy. The Slim PS2 has is more diversified and can read USB devices just like a computer. To get details on your PS2, you can get detailed instructions at www.playstation.com. sign up and go to Support for your older version PS2 and read up on connecting to the USB port. You may find out how to actually do it. I have not tried my self. I wish I could help more.