EZ-Flash 3 - my first 24 hours

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by marco75, Mar 4, 2008.

Mar 4, 2008

EZ-Flash 3 - my first 24 hours by marco75 at 9:51 AM (3,265 Views / 0 Likes) 6 replies

  1. marco75
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    Newcomer marco75 Newbie

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    I'm posting here because the Wiki doesn't seem to have any info on the EZ-Flash 3, and I'm probably the last person on Earth to buy one, since everybody else has switched to DS, and the planet's EZ-F3 stocks are depleted. But there must be some people on this board who own one or have used one and are willing to impart their wisdom.

    ==== Version numbers

    EZ-Flash III for GBA/GBA SP 4 Gb (sticker)
    EZ395 2005.12 (reverse side of PCB)

    The software came from the retailer's webpage, in an archive named: ez3manager221_fix.rar

    When I start the software (EZManager.exe), the title bar reads:

    EZManager 2.21 (EZ3 OS Version:1.68 Driver Version :1.54 )

    Yes, the odd spaces are in there like that, documentation and software are in Chinese or Engrish.

    I am using a Gameboy Advance SP (model no.AGS-001)

    ==== The first 24 hours

    The reader and cart came with a little card that says:

    "Please visit http://www.ezflash.cn to get the newest software support."

    I had been warned however, that this particular version would only work with the specially fixed software as above, so I didn't try to update or get the latest version.

    Only after an hour of playing around with the software did I happen to turn the little card around...

    "To secure your saver, please connect the EZ Writer to PC that is power on and insert your EZ Cart into EZ Writer to Charge the battery about 8 hours before you begin to use your EZ Cart first time."

    Whoops... I actually tried it out straight away before I noticed the card had stuff written on both sides... hope that didn't break it.
    I have noticed that many USB devices have their LEDs lit even when the PC they are connected to is turned off, so I am not sure leaving your PC running for 8 hours straight is really necessary.

    I did plug it into the rear USB port on my PC, and left it running while I was at work.
    Regular saving works now, at least in Double Dragon and Final Fight.

    ==== The Questions

    1) When I try to use Instant Save (L+R+Select+B) the game crashes. What's the trick to getting Instant Saves to work? Do I need to study a compatibility list, or verify my ROMs?

    2) When EZManager.exe is running and the Cart is plugged into the Writer, the little light on the Writer flashes red. What does this mean?
    (When I close EZManager, the light stops flashing and glows a steady green.)
    (When the Writer is writing to the Cart, the light flashes orange, then turns red, that obviously means "Caution! Don't unplug me or remove the Cart!")

    3) The scroll message at the bottom of EZManager used to display the latest available version, now it just shows some garbage characters. Should I be concerned?

    4) In the 4 Gb area, what are the .inv files?

    5) Do I understand this unit's operation?:

    There are four memory chips in the EZ Cart: 4Gb NAND "EZ-Disk", 128 Mb PSRAM "Hidden", 256Mb "Fast", 32Mb "Boot".

    When I select a .gba file in EZ-Disk, it is copied to Hidden, which takes a few seconds.
    (What happens to the contents of Hidden after I turn off the power?)
    This means only games up to 128 Mbits in size will load from EZ-Disk.

    When I put a .gba in Fast, it will load immediately. Fast will store one game of the largest known size (256 Mb)

    All regular saves are stored in the saver folder in EZ-Disk, but only when you turn the system back on.
    Instant saves (when they work) are also stored in the saver folder.

    ===

    Much Thanks to anyone taking the time to read [and answer!] any of the above. Cheers!
     
  2. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    8 hours is just to charge the battery, if you have done it how you said that should be fine.

    The US support forums and wiki there ( http://ezflash.sosuke.com/ ) are probably the best place to go new software, faqs, guides.

    1) there is a library called xcode, you will need to grab the update (it was done about a month ago so it should have nearly all the roms on it, it is mirrored on the forum above). It is still a bit hit and miss though if you compare it to an emulator. Pausing/getting to a low action point is also a good idea.

    2) a red flash means it is reading, ignore it.

    3) Unless you have a special desire for order then no you can ignore it, do not do an update from the client though.

    4) inv = INstant saVe

    5) Spot on (one of the fairly small list to get it first time as well I might add)
    The PSRAM (hidden) is ram so it needs power to hold data. No power: data goes.
    Most games are less than or equal to 128Mbit aka 16Mbytes but later loaders added the ability to write it to the NOR without the need of EZManager so you can have roms larger than 128Mbit on the NAND.

    Saves are in the battery backed ram until the loader is loaded next.
     
  3. marco75
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    Newcomer marco75 Newbie

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    Thanks for your reply, you answered every single one of my questions!

    It kept asking me to update the EZ OS and tried to format the EZ-Disk, Which I let it do at some point...
    I think you are supposed to ignore it, close EZManager, and de-attach the Writer, then re-attach it.

    At times all the buttons will be grayed out in the program and you can't see the contents of the Cart, again, de-attach, then re-attach.

    Also, the first rom written to Fast will always be named "EZ-Name", the third will be garbage characters, only the second and fourth display the correct name. The distributor blames any garbage characters on "incorrect installation of the software", but EZ-Manager doesn't come with an installer. You just unpack it to some directory. Maybe they mean "installation of driver"?

    All in all, this unit is a pretty flaky affair. Are all Flash Carts like this?

    I'll start reading the sosuke forum for a bit before I ask more questions here, but rest assured, all you valuable knowledge shall be added to the GBAtemp wiki as well. I'm currently compiling a list of the button combinations, too.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. FAST6191

    Reporter FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip
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    Update the EZ-OS/loader, that is fine. I was more referring to the internet update the client has (if you have just delete the client and extract a new one).

    The EZ3 is a bit buggy at first but once you get used to it then it is good, I can not believe I forgot it yesterday but EZManager 2.08 is the suggested GBA version (2.09 and beyond are geared towards DS roms and mess the odd thing up.
     
  5. marco75
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    Newcomer marco75 Newbie

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    As promised earlier, I have started a wiki article for the EZ-Flash 3, incorporating your answers.

    I would test more versions of the EZ-Manager, but every time I change to a different version, I need to format the cart, and I'm up to Kraid in Metroid Zero Mission!

    Every time I click "Backup Saver Folder", EZ-Manager 2.21 crashes.

    So I will probably finish the game first before I try out EZ-Manager 2.09 as you suggest.
     
  6. Tac 21

    Member Tac 21 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    8 hours is just to charge the battery, if you have done it how you said that should be fine.

    The US support forums and wiki there ( http://ezflash.sosuke.com/ ) are probably the best place to go new software, faqs, guides.


    there's a problem with that forum... it's COMPETLELY DEAD. especially the EZ-III forum

    to this day I'm still trying to learn new things about my flash cart (got it back in sept... have a DS and an R4 now. Wish I waited alittle longer/bought a cylco instead)

    its a pain to get help there- no one answers
     
  7. Tac 21

    Member Tac 21 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    hahaha, ironic, months later, my flash cart has a near-busted battery.

    really? huh, impressive, I think.


    alright, how on earth do you cheat with EZ-Flash III? in game of course- not emulator!
     

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