2 Possible M3 Real Bugs? (GBA Games)

Discussion in 'M3 Adapter' started by shadow21x, Mar 4, 2009.

Mar 4, 2009
  1. shadow21x
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    Newcomer shadow21x Member

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    Hey everyone.

    I would like to discuss 2 possible bugs that have come to my attention during the short time that I have had my m3 real Perfect bundle. I was wondering if anyone
    has experienced any of the following. I will list the details of what I use for each bug, and explain what I am doing when the bug happens. Moving on then.

    Possible Bug # 1

    RE: GBA save game bug

    M3 Real, Slot 1
    M3 GBA Expansion, Slot 2
    M3 Sakura 1.34 official english release
    8 gig A-Data micro SD

    When running a GBA Rom for the first time through Sakura (not touchpod, haven't tested that yet), SOME games do not save properly. In other words, doing this:
    - Turning on DS
    - Going to GBA Rom folders
    - Selecting a GBA Rom and launching it

    Once in the game, when asked to save, some games end up giving you an error. I tested with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1, 2, 3, Super Mario Advance 1, 2, 3, and 4. For the Tony Hawk series, the game says "Saving Failed" when you reach a save point. Not talking about Real Time Save, as I have not yet tested that either. But when you try to save the game regularly, as if it were a GBA cartridge, this error occurs. For the Super Mario series, I believe 3 of them did not even start, saying that the save file is corrupt. So I couldn't even get into the game to try to save it.

    POSSIBLE FIX FOR BUG #1

    I discovered that when launching any GBA Rom for the first time, if I go into the settings for that Rom before launching the game, it creates a save file for that game. Then all I did was launch the game from that screen, without changing any of its settings. All games I tested this on worked perfectly, and saved perfectly as well, including all the Tony Hawk series and Super Mario Advance series that were giving me problems without this method.

    To ensure that it wasn't a fluke, I plugged in my microsd into my computer, deleted the save games, and tried launching the games again without going into the settings for each game. Once again, the same errors were present when saving (TH games) or loading the game (SMA games). I then went to the settings of each game before launching them, and they started and saved perfectly.

    Once I did this (going into the settings screen prior to launching the game) and saved the game once, turned off my DS, and turned it back on, I could select that game and launch it regularly without going into the settings screen again. So it only had to be done once, I assume to create a proper save file.

    Any thoughts/reactions/experiences?



    Possible Bug # 2


    RE: GBA save game disappearance bug

    M3 Real, Slot 1
    GBA Expansion pack, Slot 2 AND 3rd Party Guitar Hero controller, Slot 2
    M3 Sakura 1.34 official english release
    8 gig A-Data micro SD

    This bug is a little more complicated, and I don't have a possible fix for it yet. I am still trying to figure out why it happens, and how to prevent it. This will be difficult for me to explain, but I will do my best. And my guess so far for the reason behind it is: something to do with the way gba saves get transferred to the NDS after turning off the DS and turning it back on after a save (catch a breath here).

    Simply put, this bug occurs when going from a GBA game to a Guitar Hero rom on the NDS. This has happened to me twice so far, and both save games have been lost. Here is what I had done when it happened:
    - Played a GBA Rom more than once, saved it, turned off ds, played a different game, etc. All saves worked and everything copied to the micro SD, no problems.
    - Played a DS rom in between GBA Games, no problems with saves, etc.
    Please note that all this time, the GBA Expansion Pack is in Slot-2 and is never removed

    After playing problem free with a GBA rom over the course of a few days, loading, saving and loading the rom many times throughout the process without any problems, I did this:

    - Played Donkey Kong 1 GBA (had been playing for a few days now, saving worked perfectly)
    - Saved game, turned off DS
    - Turned DS back on, let Sakura load, turned it off.
    - Removed GBA Expansion pack, inserted Guitar Hero controller in slot 2
    - Played Guitar Hero, saved, no problems.
    - Removed Guitar Hero controller, inserted GBA expansion pack in slot 2
    - Loaded Sakura, went to GBA roms, started same Donkey Kong rom.

    Here is the twist. My save file in the game has disappeared. And all I see are 3 empty save slots when trying to load a game. But this is where it gets worse; I loaded my microsd on my pc, and the save files are STILL THERE for that game. The save files that are present are the same as any other GBA Rom in the same folder, and while the saved game for Donkey Kong has disappeared, the other GBA Rom saves are fine. To sum up: All save files are there, only DK save game doesn't exist in game because it was the last game I played before playing Guitar Hero.

    On another day (today), I was playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. I had been playing this game for about 2 days now, with the saves working perfectly and the game without faults. I saved the game when I was done, turned off my DS and turned it back on. Once Sakura loaded, I turned the DS back off, removed the GBA Expansion pack, inserted the GH Controller and played GH. I saved, turned it off, inserted my GBA Expansion once again, went to my Tony Hawk pro skater 2 rom, started it, and again, no continue option was there for me anymore. Plugged in my microSD, save files are all there for that game, and all other games work.

    So in conclusion, all games I have played so far and saved have their save files present on the microSD when I plug it into my computer, but DK and THPS:2 do NOT have the in game option to continue with the save file, and both were games I was playing prior to removing the GBA Expansion pack.




    Phew. I am wondering if anyone is still with me.


    I know it's a lot of information, but if these bugs do exist, I would love for something to be done about it. Otherwise, I might have a faulty m3, who knows (I hope not). But please, let me know if anyone has come across these bugs, and if so, let's do something about it.
     


  2. aphirst

    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    I've not really much to say, except that I can confirm both of these bugs. The only difference is that instead of the GH grip, I used the Rumble Pack.

    Here's how I think Bug 2 happens:

    Sakura loads GBA ROM to Expansion
    Sakura loads GBA Save to Expansion
    You Play the Game
    You Turn Off the DS
    You Turn On the DS
    Sakura checks the most recently ran application
    Sakura sees that it is a GBA ROM
    Sakura copies the contents of the Expansion's Savechip to the corresponding Save File

    You Turn Off the DS
    You replace the expansion with the Grip/Rumble
    You Turn On the DS
    Sakura checks the most recently ran application
    Sakura sees that it is a GBA ROM
    Sakura attempts to copy the contents of the Expansions Savechip to the corresponding Save File


    Now, since neither the Rumble Pack or the Grip have a savechip, the save file is filled with all Zeroes, blanking your save game. As of this point, it's clear to see that the next time you load that game to the Expansion, you will have lost your save, despite a save file existing.

    ---

    I can't get my head round Bug 1; when I get home from College tomorrow I intend to see if, after it seemingly blanks the save, it works again if you copy a preiously working backed-up save to the MicroSD.
     
  3. shadow21x
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    Newcomer shadow21x Member

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    Your explanation for Bug #2 makes perfect sense. Good thinking.


    Edit:

    After thinking about it a bit more, and if what aphirst said is true, then I have thought of a theoretical temporary fix for bug #2.
    I don't have my DS with me tonight so I can't even test these out, but in theory, it should work.


    Temporary Fix, Bug #2:

    After playing a GBA rom, turning off the DS and restarting so it can save, one should run a DS or GBA rom, then turn off the DS and then remove the Expansion pack. This way, the latest run rom will not be the gba cartridge for which you want to save your game. It's annoying but if it fixes it, it will do for now until (hopefully) the Sakura development team knows about this bug and fixes it in 1.35.

    If anyone is also having these problems and can test and see if this theory works, then please do and report your findings in this thread. Otherwise, I will do it myself tomorrow.
     
  4. gaboumafou

    Member gaboumafou GBAtemp Fan

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    I have those problems too, but it look like my GBA save can disappear at any moment; I don't even have to remove the GBA expansion one time... It's just random.

    I thought my GBA expansion pack was broken, but I'm not the only one to have that problem after all...
     
  5. shadow21x
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    Newcomer shadow21x Member

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    Really? I haven't had that problem yet so I haven't read anything about it, do you have any links to threads where people report that issue? That would really suck, especially putting in hours into complex games only to have the save disappear.



    Back on the topic of this thread though, and regarding bug #2:


    The theory I put forth works. I tested it today using these steps, and the saved file did not get erased:

    - Made sure to select a GBA rom where no save was previously present, I used "Zelda: A Link To The Past/Four Swords"
    - I used the temporary bug fix for bug #1, meaning I went into the settings of the game prior to launching it. It created a save, and I launched the game.
    - Played and defeated first cave, saved game, turned off DS.
    - Turned DS back on, went back into the game to see if it saved. Saved game was there, and I was able to continue.
    - Turned DS off.
    - Turned DS back on, went to NDS Roms, launched random game, waited for it to load, turned DS off.
    - Removed GBA Expansion Pack
    - Inserted GH Controller, started and played a song. Saved, and turned DS off.
    - Removed GH Controller, inserted GBA Expansion Pack.
    - Turned DS on, went to GBA Roms and started "Zelda: A Link To The Past/Four Swords".
    - Saved game was still present, and I was able to load and continue it successfully.


    So in conclusion, using this method, one can work around bug #2. It may sound like a lot of steps, but basically all you're really doing to avoid losing saved game data is starting a random NDS rom, then turning off the DS and removing the GBA X-pack.


    Therefore, both bugs now have temporary fixes. Thank you aphirst for explaining to me what steps are taken by the flashcart when copying a save file. It seems as if you hit the nail right on the head, and now we have thought of a work-around.

    I am wondering if there will be some more work/research done on these 2 bugs. I know personally, I am fairly new to this site (been lurking for a while though) and very new to the DS, so I don't know much about the mechanics of flashcarts and so on. I am hoping that some of the more knowledgeable members of this forum can swing by and offer some insight. Let's figure out what's going on here and bring it to the proper peoples' attention, so that it may be fixed.
     
  6. Fun_Zephyr

    Member Fun_Zephyr GBAtemp Fan

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    I had the issue with Bug 2 using the touchpod firmware. Never took the expansion pak out. It happened many times when I was playing one of the castlevania games. I would save, turn off and then load again later on my save game would be missing and I would have to start over - EXTREMELY annoying.

    I can't confirm if the save file was ever gone from the SD Card but I can confirm my saved game was missing from within the game.

    What I did to counter this was after I saved I would also do a Real Time Save. If my save was missing when I loaded the game I would do a Real Time Load and away I went. I guess I was lucky that all the games I played the GBA RTS function worked flawlessly for me.

    I was using any of the 3.x software when this happened. I have not played GBA games for a while so I can't confirm if it is still an issue in 4.x firmware.

    I beleive Bug 2 has been a bug for a long time.
     
  7. aphirst

    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    @ Fun_Zephyr - Was it Circle of the Moon by any chance? That's the one that I had a lot of problems with initially, but somehow it's now magically working. I just pratted around, and now it works. It's always worked with Touchpod. Sorry I can't help with that one. [​IMG]

    @ shadow21x - Yeah, I'd gotten into the habit of loading a random game before swapping out for the rumble pack. Never had this with Touchpod. [​IMG]
    Oh, and for Bug #1, have you tried backing up your save, deleting all but the ROM, and running the GBA game with "Patch Load" enabled? (This might not work for many games, since AFAIK the M3 uses 128K saves for all games; so unless you can find a converter/pad it with a hex editor...)

    I would like to suggest another bug:

    POSSIBLE BUG #3

    In Sakura, if the rumble pack is inserted, and you try to run a GBA ROM, the game is sent to the Rumble pack, making it buzz like crazy! Then, when you reset, because of the explanation for Bug #1 the save file for that GBA Game is blanked. For goodness' sake, M3 Team, put in a detection routine that can tell the difference between your own expansions. [​IMG]
    In Touchpod, there is an appropriate detection routine, so the save doesn't get blanked; but the rumble does go insane.

    I've gone back to Touchpod to be honest, since it's much easier to edit skins on the fly, and I get a lot less hassle with my GBA games. Sure, it's slower, but I can also run un-haxxored DSOrganise and stuff. [​IMG]

    (P.S. With regards to Bug #1, some games I had to set to Patch Load to run or save the first time, but worked each subsequent time in Fast Load, the big example on my end being Pokemon Emerald)
     
  8. Fun_Zephyr

    Member Fun_Zephyr GBAtemp Fan

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    I honestly do not remember which one it was. I used RTS after it started to happen - even in the in the 2nd castlevania on GBA I played. Never looked into it as I never cared enough due to RTS working fine. [​IMG]
     
  9. El Blacksheep

    Member El Blacksheep GBAtemp Regular

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    Have any of you had any luck with recovering save files from bug #2? I wanted to try Sakura's Save File Restore menu but the feature does not seem accessible to GBA roms.

    I just lost countless hours on Yggdra Union and needless to say I'm quite pissed :/
     
  10. aphirst

    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    Just to confirm, the newer English Sakura still suffers from Bug #2. I have sent a nice e-mail to M3/GBAlpha just to see if they were aware of this bug. I'll let everyone know if I hear anything back. [​IMG]
     
  11. RchUncleSkeleton

    Member RchUncleSkeleton Skeletron 9000

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    okay as far as the Super Mario Bros Games go I'm pretty sure they need to be patched to even run or they will just come up with save file corrupted or whatever it is. If so you can most likely get the patch files on this site.
     
  12. aphirst

    Member aphirst "Aren't girls with pee-pees just men?"

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    A nice lady called Lydia at the G6Team confirmed my e-mail, saying that they will "look into these issues". So that's nice. [​IMG]
     
  13. elimist

    Member elimist GBAtemp Regular

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    I have also had my rumble pak go crazy when i load a gba rom but I also have another problem. My gba expansion pack was in my pocket when it got washed and all the clunking in the drier popped the battery out. I cannot reattach it. Will I be able to safeley and reliably use it to play gba games or use it as ram?
     
  14. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    the questions should be does it even work anymore?
    test it out
    if it does then you will just lose your game progress whenever you play
     
  15. sephiaya

    Newcomer sephiaya Member

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    Does anybody know if the save Fix for *Bug #2* Has been fixed yet.

    As i recently suffered loosing my zelda save file and am really pissed off.

    Also i am using the latest M3/G6 Firmware not sakura
     
  16. Paulieo

    Newcomer Paulieo Advanced Member

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    I don't think this bug is fixed yet. I keep losing all my saves no matter what GBA game I play and I never remove the expansion pack. I haven't tried turning it on, turning it off, then load a random ds game though. I also haven't tried the RTS function maybe I will do those.
     
  17. Arizato

    Member Arizato Memento Mori

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    Sorry for reviving this thread, but this still happens and i think that we must come up with some kind of fix for it!
     
  18. dhjohn

    Member dhjohn GBAtemp Regular

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    When does this happen for you? For the last two Sakura releases, I haven't noticed any gameboy advance save issues, and I'd like to know if I missed a test case somewhere.
     
  19. mistwolf

    Newcomer mistwolf Member

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    I lose my GBA save regularly, but hadn't until now figured out a reason. But I think it could be this. My son and I both use the flash card, and I had noticed before the saves usually vanished when he borrowed the card; I assumed it was something he was doing, but is it possible that this will also happen if the card is swapped into a DS that either doesn't have a slot 2 GBA expansion, or has a different one?
     
  20. Fel

    Member Fel GBAtemp's Adventurer

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    So has this bug been fixed or not? [​IMG]
     

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