Creating new GBA gamecart backups

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by shinji257, May 29, 2007.

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May 29, 2007
  1. shinji257
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    Member shinji257 61396C68206D61737465722072616365 :3

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    Can anyone point me to hardware that is capable of creating a backup of a GBA gamecart? I have a version of Zelda: Link to the Past for GBA that doesn't match up with the one on the internet so therefore I cannot keep the copy on the computer and the gba cart in sync. Therefore I would like to just create my own personal backup copy. My copy is the Player's Choice version so it is different enough in the save aspect that it won't work with the current backup available on the internet.
     
  2. Shinji

    Member Shinji ҉҉ ҉҉

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    Is it that the Player's Choice version is like a (1.1) version?

    Anyways, the only dumping hardware I recall is the external readers from the old Flash cards like F2A. If you want to get ahold of those these days, it'll cost you a pretty penny.

    I also recall an old cart I used to have that had a dat cable that plugged into the EXT2 port of the GBA/SP and could dump games...just cant remember though.. [​IMG]
     
  3. lagman

    Former Staff lagman I wish I was green.

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    X-Rom?

    Why I'm not shinjilagman, that would be leet
     
  4. Issac

    Member Issac Mini-mod

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    umm EZFA can make backups.... just by the link cable port to usb...
     
  5. Destructobot

    Member Destructobot Crave the Hammer

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    If you have a DS and a slot 1 flashcart that has full DLDI support, you can dump a GBA rom with GBALdr. Make sure there is more than 32 megabytes of free space on the memory card or it may get corrupted. GBALdr always dumps 32 megs even if the cart isn't that big.

    If that won't work for you, you need to specify what hardware you have to work with. (DS, GBA, flashcarts, flashing cables or accessories for flashcarts)
     
  6. shinji257
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    Member shinji257 61396C68206D61737465722072616365 :3

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    Lol. Thanks guys. Yea. It seems that the Player's choice version is like a 1.1 version of the game as the game saves that GameShark was creating are incompatible with each other. My current combination is R4DS (Slot 1) and M3 Perfect Lite (Slot 2). Both devices have 1GB Kingston microsd cards. I will give GBALdr a shot and see what happens with it. Thanks for pointing that out to me.

    On that note I am willing go out and hunt down hardware that will work. I have found out that the MK4-Mini and Neo2-TF combination will work for doing backups of DS carts. It has built-in functionality for that apparently. It may work for GBA games too but I doubt they put that in at all. I have seen that the EZ-Flash 1 and 2 did this but locating a site that still has any in stock is very difficult right now it seems.

    EDIT: Ok. I just tried it. I think I was successful. As expected it created a 32MB file named dump.gba and also created a 512KB sram backup although it won't be needed. I trimmed it to be a 8MB (64Mbit) file using gbata but at the moment it complains about corrupt save data on startup. It may be worth my while to zero out the save information prior to dumping so that it doesn't try to dump that data.

    EDIT (again): Oh nevermind. It had dumped it just fine. I had VBA manually set to SRAM save type when Zelda: Link to the Past uses EEPROM saves. Here is the trick to using GBALdr to dump the games even without a EZ-Flash 3-in-1. Make sure you hold the R button down when you start the file. This will force it into a minimal menu where you can choose to dump the cart or boot the EZ-Flash 3-in-1 cart. It worked perfectly with my R4DS which is a big plus!

    EDIT: Yep. Definately a different cart. The CRC definately doesn't match. Unfortunately the backup I downloaded a long time ago was already SRAM patched so I don't know what the original cart CRC is but I can compare them after I did the SRAM patch on my own dump. Here are the CRC codes. I might be able to upload the new Zelda cart but I want to change the AZLE part of the game serial to AZLP so there is a distinct difference in which one is which. Also the gameshark sps file still will not import into VBA but I might be able to work around that with a little hex editing... None the less it definately output a different save format though.

    Notice: This is after the game is patched for SRAM.

    Original Cart CRC: B6F13AE0
    Player's Choice Cart CRC: 02E6B7A7

    And the CRC for the Player's Choice Cart is 8E91CD13 before it has been patched at all.

    EDIT: Ok. I used a hex editor and change the E in AZLE to a P so it shows as AZLP. I used gbata to fix the header and now VBA will import in the proper gameshark saves that are compatible with this game. It will also differentiate it from the older version.
     
  7. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nice going there, I will however point out a link to the past (US) was introed with melon chomping monkey if I recall (which most of the time and certainly back then resulted in a different crc32).

    If you want crc32 values:
    http://www.advanscene.com/ and http://www.gbadat.altervista.org/ have clean ones.
     
  8. shinji257
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    Member shinji257 61396C68206D61737465722072616365 :3

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    Oh I know that the actual release was done that way. Discovered it recently. However the copy I had on archive from a year or so ago was not done that way. Appears that the person that was distributing the file had removed the intro.

    Oh and you are spot on about the monkey.

    EDIT: Heh. I took a look at advanscene.com and got the crc code for the clean rom on the 1.0 version. Was there no change between them then? The crc codes are identical. I wonder how it is that the battery files have different headers then. On the one that is pulled from the internet the name is clearly spelled out among the header and the words INIT and LINK is shown exactly like that. In my copy though (both cart and dump) it had the name rather scrambled and the words INIT and LINK is reversed in order. It actually shows as TINI and as KNIL.

    http://www.advanscene.com/html/Releases/db...ure.php?id=0763

    I've packaged up the dump ready for online distribution. Of course I could just leave it at home too. The question would be where I would post it on the internet if I did. Package contains one Readme file with a description of the package and 2 game backup files. One of the game backups is clean meaning all I did was fix the size of the dump. The other is pre-patched. It has the SRAM patch on it as well as a modified (and fixed) header where I changed AZLE to AZLP for the purpose of being able to differentiate between the original and player's choice versions. It also allows VBA to accept the Gameshark saves for the player's choice version.

    EDIT: I undid the part about changing AZLE to AZLP. I just discovered the AGB-AZLP-EUR is the European version. Notice the AZLP part. It is already taken by that version. I need to get that version of the game and take a look at the backup. Maybe the version I got is a US version but it has the save format from the European version which would possibly explain why the saves for AZLP but not AZLE was working on my cart.

    Oh and the CRC for the European version is 5A164321 which definitely does not match my cart.

    http://www.advanscene.com/html/Releases/db...ure.php?id=0870
     
  9. shinji257
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    Member shinji257 61396C68206D61737465722072616365 :3

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    It has been a while since my last post so I will do this as a reply instead of editing the above post...

    I just got the European version of the game as a backup and checked with VBA. Sure enough it spit out a save file with the same save format as my US cart. So either I have a mis-labeled European cart (which I doubt) or it when they did the Player's choice one they had all of them use the same save file format. The European cart prompts for the language which mine did not do. In addition mine has the identifier of AZLE and the backup I just got for the European version as AZLP embedded in it. This would explain why the AZLP save files would work on my cart but not the AZLE ones.

    EDIT: My cart matches a USA redump so it is very possible that the redump is actually the Player's choice version and we just don't know it. Is there a dump on the internet that crc matches 0780 for the GBA list?
     
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