Homebrew Advise against corrupt files

PetMetroid

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I bought a brand new SD card quite recently in the hopes to have a fresh start and avoid having a corrupt card. Lo and behold I will still get files corrupt. I've decided to just regularly back up my SD card on this computer which runs Windows 7 (allowing me to see which files corrupt and ignore them to continue copying other files) while replacing the files and formatting my card. I understand some programs can corrupt files (which I will ask about,) but sometimes this even happens while I'm editing contents on the computer. So, here are my questions:

- Will file corruption in turn corrupt/damage my card?

- My R4 came with a micro card reader, which many of you may know about, which is also a convenient yet a cheap product anyway. Could this "T-flash" adapter be damaging my card or its contents?

- I've read that DSOrganize and even Moonshell can cause corrupt files. I find it hard to believe that Moonshell, a program that comes bundled with every flash cart, can cause problems like this. I am not skeptical about DSOrganize, however; do you recommend I do away with this? And does anyone here know of any other applications that are known to corrupt files?

- I was using the patcher program for the 3-in-1 Expansion on my SD card when about half way through my progress, my NDS games went corrupt. This is obviously while plugged into the computer, nothing to do with homebrew apps. In the meantime I've decided to patch these games in my backup folder on the computer. As asked before, this may have been because of the adapter I was using. If not, would a program like this normally corrupt files on an SD card?

- Finally, I'm running FAT32. Should I downgrade to an older format?

Thank you for your input.
 

Sicklyboy

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- Will file corruption in turn corrupt/damage my card?

No, it is simply a major inconvenience. Edit - note that for the rest of my statements, as well as general usage, corruption is in reference to files and the filesystem, whereas damage is in reference to physically damaging the card, or rendering it completely unusable.

- My R4 came with a micro card reader, which many of you may know about, which is also a convenient yet a cheap product anyway. Could this "T-flash" adapter be damaging my card or its contents?

Possible for sure, but unlikely that it would physically damage the card. Corrupting some contents is very much more possible.

- I've read that DSOrganize and even Moonshell can cause corrupt files. I find it hard to believe that Moonshell, a program that comes bundled with every flash cart, can cause problems like this. I am not skeptical about DSOrganize, however; do you recommend I do away with this? And does anyone here know of any other applications that are known to corrupt files?

In my experience I have indeed seen DSOrganize corrupt files, however these files were only ones that the program itself generated. I have not seen nor heard of Moonshell corrupting/creating corrupted files, though I can not denounce the possibility.

- I was using the patcher program for the 3-in-1 Expansion on my SD card when about half way through my progress, my NDS games went corrupt. This is obviously while plugged into the computer, nothing to do with homebrew apps. In the meantime I've decided to patch these games in my backup folder on the computer. As asked before, this may have been because of the adapter I was using. If not, would a program like this normally corrupt files on an SD card?

Did the card happen to fill completely during this process? I have heard of and have personally experienced a microSD card becoming entirely corrupt (until a format, of course) as a result of attempting to overfill. I typically try to leave around 50MB free space.

- Finally, I'm running FAT32. Should I downgrade to an older format?

I didn't think microSD cards could be formatted as FAT32... as far as I am/was aware, the could only be formatted as FAT (Also known as FAT16).
 

PetMetroid

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In my experience I have indeed seen DSOrganize corrupt files, however these files were only ones that the program itself generated. I have not seen nor heard of Moonshell corrupting/creating corrupted files, though I can not denounce the possibility.

You're probably right. I think what makes these two a bad pair of problems is when I keep the "scan for corrupt files" option on in Moonshell, which then Moonshell will act like an asshole and refuse to run with ANY corrupt files anywhere on the card. I may continue to use DSOrganise after all, but if it just corrupts its own program files, I would see it pointless to continue using it.

Did the card happen to fill completely during this process? I have heard of and have personally experienced a microSD card becoming entirely corrupt (until a format, of course) as a result of attempting to overfill. I typically try to leave around 50MB free space.

Unless there's a specific reason for this program to do so, or else hell no. This is a sixteen gigabyte card I'm dealing with, only using a couple so far. I believe I do remember at this instance or another a whole folder of mine going corrupt on the PC, which contained my SMC roms; quite a lot of files. If this wasn't the same time, I do know it must have been during some zip extracting.

I didn't think microSD cards could be formatted as FAT32... as far as I am/was aware, the could only be formatted as FAT (Also known as FAT16).

I might have to look on the computer again, but my R4 says it's formatted at FAT32. BTW, it is a HC card, and 16 GB as mentioned before.
 

FAST6191

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More DS specific- flash cards in general but it extends somewhat to other embedded hardware are not good at making new files and in some cases increasing their size (especially if you are in a fairly full disc with a bit of fragmentation* scenario) with corruption of existing ones or those new files being the result of it. To this end make the files you need on a PC or some device that can do it and you should be golden.

As homebrew tends to feed from fatlibs (granted these are pretty good) and DLDI patches (sometimes not so hot) any homebrew can do it and especially those that make new files and extend existing ones (dsorganize and moonshell being two prime examples of things that do both).


*do not defrag the disc as it just wastes write cycles- copy everything off, format and copy it back.

As for FAT32 some of the GBA slot devices do not like it but most newer devices are happier to have fat32 so stick with it if you can.
 

yellowsnowcone

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I bought a brand new SD card quite recently in the hopes to have a fresh start and avoid having a corrupt card. Lo and behold I will still get files corrupt. I've decided to just regularly back up my SD card on this computer which runs Windows 7 (allowing me to see which files corrupt and ignore them to continue copying other files) while replacing the files and formatting my card. I understand some programs can corrupt files (which I will ask about,) but sometimes this even happens while I'm editing contents on the computer.
It should not do that. On your DS, I can't say much, but plugged in to your computer, it's most likely the reader or card. Now, if you already have formatted it in Windows, then once you have a new reader, go ahead and do a quick non-erase size-adjusting format with the Panasonic tool, assuming it works with your card, so that the filesystem structures will be optimally sized and aligned.

- Will file corruption in turn corrupt/damage my card?
No. The card may be damaged mechanically, and it may be damaged by static discharge, which some cards will have additional protection against, but the chances of the reader damaging the card are basically nil. A reader could allow it to corrupt itself, by feeding it extremely dirty power, but that is not likely, and could typically be corrected with a special purpose formatter, such as Panasonic's.

- My R4 came with a micro card reader, which many of you may know about, which is also a convenient yet a cheap product anyway. Could this "T-flash" adapter be damaging my card or its contents?
Almost certainly. Either the card has been damaged, or the reader is on the fritz. Chances are it is the reader. If you have a computer with an SD slot, just get a cheap microSD card that comes with an adapter, and use that. Most integrated readers are of good quality. Or, get a USB reader from a retail memory brand, such as Sandisk, Kingston, Transcend, Toshiba, or Verbatim. The electronics and plastic are the same as the cheap ones, sometimes identical aside from the brand labeling, but the quality control is in another league.

It would be a good idea to run a filesystem check, once using another reader. You can do this in the GUI, by right-clicking the drive, going to properties, then tools, then error checking. It won't fix the files, but it will find and fix any errors to the filesystem itself, which could hide or cause corruption even with a good reader.

- Finally, I'm running FAT32. Should I downgrade to an older format?
FAT16 is best used when FAT32 is not well supported. No device that can accept cards larger than 2GB should fall into that category. FAT16 only supports up to 2GB, wastes more space than FAT32, and fragments even worse than FAT32. Even today, though, some devices that only support small cards go ahead and also only support FAT16, or at least only support it well. With a 16GB card, FAT32 is your only compatible option.

The FAT family of filesystems offers no protection against file corruption, and very little protection against corruption of the filesystem itself. Make sure to use the eject function before removing the card, even once you have another reader.
 

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Homebrew can cause corruption, and a kill a micro sd if you use a extremely cheap flashcard/homebrew (which has a poor FAT handling, validating info). Also, faulty SDs could die with ease, it's a matter of luck, however, SDs today are fairly cheap unlike 10 years ago
 

PetMetroid

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Just backed up my card with no corrupt files! Don't remember using DSOrganise yet, so I'm not sure yet if that's still a problem. I gave my "T-flash" to my girlfriend, sinister LOL. About to use the third party formatter, going with the SD Formatter 3.1 as suggested by jimmyemunoz.
It would be a good idea to run a filesystem check, once using another reader. You can do this in the GUI, by right-clicking the drive, going to properties, then tools, then error checking. It won't fix the files, but it will find and fix any errors to the filesystem itself, which could hide or cause corruption even with a good reader.
I'm going to go against this, since I've read everywhere else this is not a necessary method for SD cards. Windows filesystem check is supposed to be good for hardrives, and what it does is just move corrupt files to a hidden place. I don't want to loose any files and, if possible, would rather replace them (i.e. config files that come with a program.)

If DSOrganise DOES give me problems, I'm just going to throw it away to avoid the trouble. I really can't stand to go without a file explorer and editor seeing as I'm a clean and neat freak when it comes to file systems. Does anybody know of a good alternate for editing and exploring files on my DS, or is DSOrganise the best out there? There is also an option for "read-only mode", but will this disable me from editing or moving files?
 

yellowsnowcone

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It would be a good idea to run a filesystem check, once using another reader. You can do this in the GUI, by right-clicking the drive, going to properties, then tools, then error checking. It won't fix the files, but it will find and fix any errors to the filesystem itself, which could hide or cause corruption even with a good reader.
I'm going to go against this, since I've read everywhere else this is not a necessary method for SD cards. Windows filesystem check is supposed to be good for hardrives, and what it does is just move corrupt files to a hidden place. I don't want to loose any files and, if possible, would rather replace them (i.e. config files that come with a program.)
Any files put into lost and found have generally already been lost or corrupted. The results on a HDD and a SD card are going to be exactly the same. A reformat is fine to do, as well, though. If the card still performs well, which it should, being fairly new, don't do a full erase as part of formatting.
 

DanTheManMS

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It's okay to use DSOrganize for read-only tasks. However, DragonMinded never actually upgraded to libfat, preferring to stay with a self-modified version of gba_nds_fat for filesystem access, and it's been known to cause card corruption when doing writing operations. So I would suggest against using DSOrganize for text editing, file creation, file copying/movie, or even web browsing (as his method of web browsing is to first download the page to the card and then view it with the HTML viewer). All read-only things should be safe though, so it's worth keeping DSOrganize on your card for those things.

Also, never bother "defragmenting" a flash-based device like an SD card. You can achieve the same thing by simply copying your files off the card, reformatting it (using a "full" reformat and not a "quick" one), and copying them back on, and this will use fewer read/write cycles.
 

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