GBA Game save and load problem????

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by mikej3131, Apr 15, 2008.

Apr 15, 2008
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    Ok i have the M3 Lite Passcard combo. My ds games run perfectly fine.

    The problem im having is my GBA games always screw up after i save a game (for example, if i try to load the save, i get a blank screen or it loads but the game freezes within a second and is unplayable.) They work fine the first time i play the gba games, but after i save them, they fail to load most of the time.

    Can any1 help me out? i have the most recent game manager and firmware(updagcsd.e35). Is this problem fixable? And if not, are there other GBA emulators other than the default that comes with the M3 lite and passcard combo, that i can place on my memory card?





    Here is some more info that i just looked at on my NDS pertaining to my saves...

    I always use real time save after im done with a game(A+B+L+R), so i dont use my backup autosave but it always autosaves anyway(whatever that does). Now, when i turn my nds off , turn back on, Now its saying "Warning! GBA Save game already exists on this card, but autosave cannot be found. Backup failed. Press A to continue"...what is that about??

    i just looked at the autosave option in the settings menu. and its turned on.

    When i go to my game that isnt loading properly and i hit select to bring up the menu of the game it says

    "GAMESAVE" BACKUP MENU
    Backup game save data of game
    Crash Bandicoot 2.gba
    into save file
    American Bass Challenge Challenge.dat
    (American Bass Challenge.gba)
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    it seems like i am always typing answers to the same questions, one of these days i will start to store my answers and just copy and paste them =P.

    the real time save (save state) for the m3 slot2 perfect series is by no means perfect. it can corrupt saves and cause other issues at times. some games i have found will let you save but the save never works, others save just fine. let me add that i get my roms from a clean trusted source (say no more). when you save a game normally in game it saves to the sram, as the game was intended. however, on the m3 perfect the sram is being shared by multiple roms. this can not work for games as each game was not coded to be run as a rom, each game simply sends its save data to sram overwriting any previous data from another cart. to fix this problem the m3 team added the .dat system which stores sram dumps. you can have you card set up to automatically dump on boot up, or by hitting select and dumping manually. from my testing i found that the sram dumps work perfect as long as the battery in your kit is functioning.

    a few things you could try:
    1) stop using save states and use the sram dumps.
    2) change the battery
    3) format your msd, this could be the problem. and/or purchase a better one if need be. (2gb japanese kingston with reader $15 with free shipping)

    for more technicial specs you might want to post on the official m3 forum, check my sig for a link.

    goodluck,
    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    Thanks for the reply.


    So save staes(A+B+L+R) are no good then and this is causing my current problem?
    How do i know if my battery is going bad?
    I dont think the MS is the problem as everything else works.


    Actually i narrowed the problem down some more. Basically i can only play one game at a time to use the save feature. For example, everything is fine if i play a game, then use a save state or use the regular in-game save, and then come back to that same game and load it without playing another game in between. The exact problem im having is if i play a game, then use a save state or regular save, then play another game, then come back to the first game, the save is gone. Does that clarify things more?????????
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    when you load 1 game, play it and save, the game saves to the sram.
    if you shut down your nds, turn it back on and play that same game... the same game is in the sram.
    if in between you play a second new game the sram gets overwritten and the first games save is gone.

    that is why you must dump your sram data to the .dat file that is created when you flash your roms over to the m3 lite using the game managment software.

    i look at save states as cheating and have only used them a few times very early on with my flash kit. perhaps save states are just sram dumping on que when you tell them to. as a result you would still need to dump those sram saves to the .dat file. from your problems it appears that this may be the issue.

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    Well i looked at my mem card and it onloy has one file in the GAMESAVE folder. It is "American bass Challenge". it is a game i never play. I also dont have the sram file i need that goes on the root of the mem card (i need one of those, correct?) So this is definitaly my problem. So how do i go about doing what you said (Dump my sram data to the .dat file that is created when i flash my rom?)
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    Ok now its working. i deleted all my games off the gba games folder. I re-added them using M3, and now there is a .dat file for each game.

    The only concern is the sram.dat. Do i need that file? everything seems to be working fine without it.
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    so your original problem was that you assumed you could just drag/drop to the msd and games would work, completly overlooking the fact that they provide an application to "flash" to your kit =P. yes you need every file the software puts on there for everything to work. if you are unsure, format your card and reload everything and see what it puts on there. keep in mind now that you need to dump your sram battery backups to the .dat files associated with your roms either automatically on bootup or on your own using the "select" button feature. each time you power up your nds, dump the sram for the last rom you played or risk overwriting the sram when playing a new game. if you do not want to do it that way then make sure you dump the sram before playing a new game, or again risk overwriting the sram and losing that save.

    the thing about the m3 perfect series is that it is designed with a few nice options in mind that fix some of the common problems associated with a slot2 device. nothing is exactly perfect but non the less the options are well thought out. once you learn how to use the card for your own means you will being to love it as i do.

    if you are still confused please go back up and reread everything. i typed some of the fixes atleast twice.

    have fun with it,
    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    ive been using the game manager everytime. i dont drag and drop. And i could have sworn i used it for all those games. But i must have accidentally drag and dropped some. thats wierd. Anyway i dont have the sram.dat file on the root of my card and its working fine to automatically dump the sram battery backups.

    What is the sram.dat file needed for? Can i download it somewhere instead of reformatting my card and doing every thing over again?
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    if the game didn't have a .dat file associated with it you either drag/dropped it or deleted the .dat file at some point. no clue what a sram.dat is. i just checked my card and i have no such file, nor can i ever recall having one.

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    cool. thanks for all the help
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    i started to play metroid today and with you in mind i'm using save states. i'll test alittle and try to figure out exactly how they work. if i remember i'll post back in a few weeks. everyone following this thread, don't get mad when i bring a 3 week old post back to the top. =)

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    save states work great for me now. the only exception is Donkey Kong Country for GBA. if i use the (L+R+A+B) to get to the menu, then either save or go back to the game it freezes. i have to use normal saves for this game. all my other games work fine
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    when you save/load your states are you just using the 1st option to save/load or are you using the save backup1/save backup2 options?

    i'm still unclear what each does. i think the first is just for use while in game, like an emulator save state but it does not store it sram. i think the second is to dump the data to sram and then back up the sram to a file on the micro sd. when i save with the normal save/load option and then turn off the nds, power it back up i notice that metroid just loads to two black screens. if however i use the save backup1 and load that the game loads but with some glitches that go away when i move to a new room. i then wonder what the problem would be for a game that didn't have a new room right to the left/right of where i saved....

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    um i dont know the technical side of things between Save and Save backup 1/2....I can save my spot three different times if i wanted to. For example, i can save when i beat level 3 and keep that save, and then use save backup 1 to play the rest of the game
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    ok i did some experimenting...

    save/load are for when you are playing the game. if you save and then turn off the nds, that save is gone. perhaps it is just with the game i'm testing but that is what i experienced.
    save backup1/load backup1 dumps the save file into a backup on the micro sd that you can load later after you turn the system back on. there are two of these possible files represented with save/load backup 1 & 2 which allow you to maintain two seperate save files. think of these as sram dumps only they are save state dumps.

    have you experienced anything different?

    -another world
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    yeah i experienced all of those working the exact same way. i Can use Save/Load and turn off my system then turn it back on and load that save. And then the Save backup 1 and 2 are just extra save states if i need them in the game.

    what game did that happen to you on?

    Every game i tried worked the way i explained
    • Newcomer

    mikej3131 New Member

    Member Since:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Message Count:
    56
    Country:
    United States
    well this is wierd....now im getting that same message but its saying it for the Super Nintendo Emulator.


    SNEmulDS.nds
    Warning! NDS save game already exists on this card, but autosave cannot be found. Backup failed. Press A to continute


    something must be wrong. i knew i wasnt doing anything differently and was using game manager correctly.
    • Former Staff

    Another World Emulate the Planet!

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2008
    Message Count:
    10,278
    Location:
    From Where???
    Country:
    Colombia
    i only had this happen when i ran something in the wrong mode. like a gba in the nds passme mode, or a nds in the gba mode. the m3 would associate the game with the wrong save type and screw up everything. deleteing the save and reflashing the rom over always fixed it. you see the card does not know if what you flashed is a game or a homebrew and just creates a .dat file accociated with everything you flash over. snemulds has its own built in save states, from what i know saving in game dumps to a .srm file which is an sram dump stored to the micro sd. there is no need to use the m3 .dat file at all, but one must exist for the cart to properly function.

    this is the reason i turned off the auto save on bootup in the options. i do not need my card to dump the sram for the last played rom each time i boot up my nds. instead i use the 'select' menu option to manually dump an sram on bootup before switching to play a different game. i do this because i am not always using my m3 to play games. sometimes i just use it for moonshell and watch some videos, sometimes i'm just using homebrew that does not require the use of the .dat system. mostly i do not use my m3 for nds roms, i have an r4 for that. my m3 is used for homebrew, multimedia, and gba only right now. having it save on bootup has in the past caused problems because some homebrew screws up the system and the m3 tries to store the last played game (the homebrew) with the first alphabetical .dat file (not the homebrews).

    -another world
    • Member

    Shadow-Zero New Member

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Message Count:
    101
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Country:
    Netherlands
    I got this message after formatting my SD card (though I probably didn't dump the sram after closing the game).
    How can I fix it then?

    I fixed it now by booting scummvm and clear sram: http://forums.scummvm.org/viewtopic.php?p=68256#68256
    But that's not the most logical workaround. Has the M3 any options for that?

Share This Page