EZ Flash 4: Garbled/slow loading sprites on pocketnes?

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by Lemmy Koopa, May 6, 2015.

  1. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    I loaded Pocket NES on NOR Flash, and after a while, I start realizing that games have garbled sprites. Why is this happening?
     


  2. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Forgot to note, that the garbled problem gets persistently more and more. Seems to happen when I scroll through the ROM menu of PocketNES for a long time.

    The problem persists even after turning off the system and turning it back on.

    Rewriting the ROM to NOR fixes it, then it comes back after scrolling through the ROM list again for a while.
     
  3. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Starting to think the NOR is broken on my card. It's like it's slowly corrupting whenever I load a ROM. It's either that or the emulators I'm using is corrupting NOR somehow.
     
  4. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

    Member
    GBAtemp Patron
    migles is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    6,815
    4,570
    Sep 19, 2013
    Saint Kitts and Nevis
    my dad works for nintendo.
    do normal games work fine?
     
  5. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio

    I'll test out a normal game.

    So far. PocketNES has garbled sprites loaded in all the games, but after the sprite is on the screen for a while, it goes to normal. Almost like it's loading the sprites slowly. When it starts, the garbled sprites go away fast, then they take longer, and longer, and longer, to disappear.

    Each new sprite that's being used that wasn't before is garbled, and eventually those sprites load up when they are used.

    Super Goomba also had a problem with just Tetris resetting over and over again when trying to play it after a while. Loading it in multiboot makes it playable though.


    Time doesn't seem to be a factor in when it happens. It mostly happens when I scroll through the ROM menu fast on PocketNES or Goomba for a long period of time, so maybe a function in those emulators is corrupting the NOR?


    I'll report back about playing regular games, but it might be hard to pinpoint if there's any corruption going on if it corrupts unnoticeable part of the games.
     
  6. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Super Mario Advance 4 doesn't seem to have any issues playing through it, but again, if it's corrupting, it might corrupt an unnoticeable part of the ROM.

    Speaking of this, blowing off a little steam here, but why does everything new I buy never fucking work properly? Jesus I have bad luck.

    If my card truly is bad, I'll just buy another later. I'm not sure if it's worth shipping back for a replacement though.

    I might also do a video of the problem to show you guys later today.
     
  7. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai baja boner blast

    Member
    3,730
    6,018
    Oct 30, 2014
    Canada
    actually north korea. please send help
    Could be an issue with the EZ Flash 4 you own.
    Can I see some pictures of what it looks like?
     
  8. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

    Member
    2,814
    906
    Apr 13, 2014
    United States
    Mainframe
    Test the copy of Pocket NES you have on your SD card on VBA-M or some other GBA emulator and see what happens. Make sure it's not some issue with the software first. You could try reformatting the NOR afterwards, if it's not the software.
     
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  9. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Most of them go from a black garbled sprite for a few seconds then load into their normal sprite. Sometimes it takes as long as 5 seconds for the sprite to finally load.

    TECHNICALLY, I can live with it and just reflash NOR whenever this happens, but are you kidding me? Loading times of 5-8 minutes on the NOR? I thought the NOR was annoyingly long to load ROMs and was like "Oh, but once it's loaded, I don't have to load it again unless I want to change the ROM" but nope, I can't even have that, I suppose.

    Here are some screen shots as requested. First two is SMB2. The characters start as garbage sprites, then load their normal sprites after a few seconds.

    The effect seems to last longer after scrolling through the ROM list a little bit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  10. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio

    I cannot for the life of me recreate the problem in an emulator.

    I even had a problem where scrolling through the NES games list would crash PocketNES altogether. This would happen on my M3 as well, and I even have confirmation that it's happening to someone else.

    Maybe it's PocketNES's fault, but I don't know. Maybe it's writing to the NOR memory somehow?

    I could just shrink the ROM down to 16MB and compile multiple PocketNES ROMs to load into the 16MB flash.

    It's just so frustrating. I just got this and it already has a severe problem.

    Edit: I might get a second EZ4 later on. I thought about getting 2 but wanted to save my money ATM.
    I wanted a backup to make sure if something ever happens to my M3 or this one, I would still have another. You never know when these will virtually stop existing.
     
  11. Tomato Hentai

    Tomato Hentai baja boner blast

    Member
    3,730
    6,018
    Oct 30, 2014
    Canada
    actually north korea. please send help
    Are there multiple versions of Pocket NES? Try older ones to see if this happens with those, too.
     
  12. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Yes there is. That's a good idea.

    The thing is, since Tetris was fucking up on Goomba too, it makes me assume there is something wrong with my card.
    Goomba and PocketNES uses similar code though, so who knows.

    If it's my card, I could just buy another one, if it's the emulator, it means my card is ok but the emulator is messed up.
    It's a lose-lose situation.
     
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  13. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    23,361
    9,153
    Nov 21, 2005
    There have been some issues with various pieces of homebrew and soft reset in the past. Pocketnes had some issues with saving but that should also have been sorted.

    Anyway if I had to guess then I would suspect the ?SD card (or something along the chain there) -- a few minutes of NOR writing is more likely to see errors arise than 30 seconds of PSRAM writing. Maybe not quite this behaviour (though it is well within feasibility) but something like it.
     
  14. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio

    I can try another SD card, but the thing is, once it's written to NOR, shouldn't the SD card be out of the equation? The problem doesn't rise up until a long time later.

    I've tried everything and I don't know what exactly triggers it, but it either happens fast, or really late.

    The thing I do most is scroll through the NES games list for a long time, start up games for 10-20 seconds, and eventually it starts to happen. First, the sprites just flash the garbage for a split second, then it gets longer, longer, and longer, to where it lasts for 5-10 seconds until the sprite was displayed long enough.

    I know there's something wrong with PocketNES's coding somewhere, but I've never seen this phenomenon before, especially when it persists after turning the power off and on again, suggesting some type of corruption going on to the NOR.

    The problem is whether or not it's because of PocketNES writing to NOR through sketchy coding, or if the NOR is just corrupting by itself, which is retarded because it's non-volatile.
     
    Tomato Hentai likes this.
  15. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    I also wanted to say, I really appreciate the help you guys done on this subject. It's a hard subject to help with, but you guys were very helpful.
    Migles helped a lot for sure, but could not recreate the problem (sadly for me).

    I might post a video demonstrating the problem some day later. I might get another EZ4 and SD card as well.

    Other than this, the card works really well. I hope I can solve the issue.

    If any of you have some more info or suggestions still, don't be afraid to post some more.
     
  16. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    I learned that you can flash more than 1 game to NOR at once if they're under 32MB in total.
    I played the second instance of PocketNES and tried to recreate the glitch and couldn't.

    I'm going to clear out both instances, then play the second and see if it affects the first one without playing the first one.

    That would indicate that PocketNES might be doing writes to the registers of the NOR through it's coding.
     
  17. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio
    Tried to do all the things I did that would lead up to the glitch for minutes and minutes, like 20-30 minutes and I got nothing.

    So the later PocketNES doesn't corrupt anything, but the first one does. I don't get it.
     
  18. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Member
    844
    423
    Jul 17, 2014
    Germany
    My Nintendo works for Dad
    Ok, I can not replicate this issue. I tried scrolling through the list of games a few times, I never got the sprites to garble up, only pocketnes freezing entirely. But this is not persistent powering of the gba or nds and running the rom from NOR again fixes the system. I tried on my ezflash IV microsdhc and the ezflash V 3in1 NOR with the same results.

    EDIT: what firmware version are you using? Are you using the latest 1.76 kernel?
     
  19. Lemmy Koopa
    OP

    Lemmy Koopa M3 Perfect fanboy

    Member
    347
    282
    Sep 17, 2012
    United States
    Ohio

    Yes.

    I also blasted through games for 10-20 seconds with Vsync off (basically I select a game, hit L+start, then keep hitting the start button for about 10-20 seconds). I do this for a while with a bunch of games and I think that also contributes to the sprites garbling up.

    It's very frustrating to recreate, because it either happens fast, or takes forever to happen.

    All I know is that it happens based on me playing PocketNES in a certain way.
     
  20. RodrigoDavy

    RodrigoDavy GBAtemp Maniac

    Member
    1,453
    572
    Feb 9, 2011
    Brazil
    Why not use the PSRAM for PocketNES instead? NOR is only really necessary for games that are bigger than 16MB anyway.