EZ Flash IV 2.0 Kernel Release - No more patching

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by Riptide, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Riptide
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  2. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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  3. PrometheusG.

    PrometheusG. GBAtemp Fan

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    I updated it to v2.00. I think it just takes more time (+15 seconds) to load the game but it absolutely works. I just drag & dropped the .gba + .sav files and I play normal now without the need of EZ client.

    One question: how do you enable the soft reset combination with this new Kernel without ez client?
     
  4. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Since I basically have all my roms patched now for the ezflash I would like to test this new functionality and see if my patches made to the EZ-kernel break this feature. How are you guys verifying that auto patching works? Are there any particular games that we need to check?
     
    Last edited by Localhorst86, Jun 8, 2017
  5. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Heh, they talked about it years ago but never thought they would do it. Thanks for the news, I will stick it up on the portal shortly.

    Wonder if they went the searching route or the premade database.

    Games to test that might trick it. You can try classic nes if you like but those have more trouble.
    Dragon Ball Z (or whatever Dragon Ball games there were) might be a problem but they had AP.
    Chu Chu rocket can cause trouble.
    Super Mario Advance (most of them) wanted 8:3 naming to have saving work on the old kernels (reboot and see if it loads the old save), don't know if this was tackled as part of this.
    The Advance Wars games occasionally caused people trouble.
    You can try pokemon to see if they wound in a clock fix, same for boktai/solar boy django, also warioware twisted if you wanted.
    Pick and choose what you like from http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995 as other than Chu Chu Rocket I am basically just remaking that.

    https://mgba.io/2017/05/29/holy-grail-bugs/#game-boy-advance-bugs does not really mention anything more, https://mgba.io/2014/12/28/classic-nes/ has something more on the classic nes stuff.

    Someone might also want to try homebrew as well. Various emulators had troubles over the years.

    Give me a while and I will figure out which of my EZ4s I want to use for this -- I still have a bunch on pre sdhc kernels as they work for what I want them to do.
     
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  6. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Seeing as the kernel increased by only 13Kb I don't thinkt this was done using a database.
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    There were some redundant images in there for the skin, and I just copy pasted some 3000 serials and locations, stuck it in a text file and it was 51 kilobytes, down to 42 if I assume everything starts with AGB. Don't know what an index would be for that (sort by serial and a,b,c,d.... perhaps?) but probably not that much.
     
  8. CaptainSodaPop

    CaptainSodaPop Advanced Member

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    Now someone just needs to make a nice theme again for this version.
     
  9. THYPLEX

    THYPLEX GBAtemp Fan

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    It's still reliable at this days this card ?
    And if i am from Italy , where can i buy It at the cheapest price ?
     
  10. Riptide
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    I'm not sure, I just noticed it this morning when I went looking for 1.78. It was considerable effort getting the whole no-intro romset patched and working on 1.77; I'm hesitant to fix what isn't broken.
     
  11. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    nah, the kernel itself, without the images has increased from 419kb to 432kb. Seeing as all the text of the kernel is uncompressed in this I somehow doubt they would suddenly compress other parts of it :)
     
  12. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    with the:
    if on database, apply corresponding patch, else: apply default patch
    it's very likely to make it even shorter, they don't need to list every single game lel

    btw, do you still need to drop the .sav files or the cart now automatically create them?
    INB4 they stole krikzz work from everndrive and implemented it on their card
     
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  13. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I never needed to do that. my EZFlash would always create a blank save file on the fly when launching a game that didn't have one in the saver directory.
    The save type patching seems to work fine, I tried two Super Mario Advance games (3 and 4) and they both saved fine as if they were patched using the PC patcher.

    A few Notes about this release:
    Launching games in PSRAM seems considerably slower than before, presumably because of the patching routines.
    The patching routines don't seem to fix Anti-Piracy measures as implemented in the Classic NES Series or the Dragon Ball Z Saga games.
     
  14. tiduscrying

    tiduscrying that butt...

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    This is so unexpected... I mean, I got the original MiniSD variant of the card like two years ago and they're still providing updates for it! That's pretty damned wild in my opinion.

    The fact that drag-n-drop is working now is pretty freaking rad. I do wish that this version added a global reset key-combo though; since now that we don't patch the roms anymore, we don't have the reset patched in either. On that note though, has anyone tested the sleephack patch? I know that added in the in-game-reset combo alongside the sleep patch. It would be silly I guess to patch all of my roms with it, since that would defeat the purpose of this update being "patch free" but eh. I really like being able to reset to the menu with a key combo! :D

    Also, does anyone have that update/theme extractor handy? I'd love to recompile the Cobalt Blue theme using this update (along with some other QoL patches you guys have made that are floating around here...)
     
  15. Riptide
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    Is it any faster if you patched the rom manually? I'm guessing no, but one can hope.
    Poo, was hoping to have those Classics working naively and not need the emulator.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    EZFlash was the only good game in town for some time. With Everdrive GBA now being a thing maybe they realized they need to step up their game.
     
  16. Localhorst86

    Localhorst86 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    You guessed correctly. I measured launching Top Gun - Combat Zones(a 32Mbit game) and it took 32 seconds unpatched and 30 seconds pre-patched. The 2 second savings was probably due to the ezclient also trimming the ROM ever so slightly. Unfortunately, this game also confirmed: There are no Anti-Anti-Piracy patches in the kernel. The Top Gun game is known for not letting you select any option from the main menu when it detects being pirated.

    Note that the Everdrive might be a better device overall (better software, better build quality, better support), but it still costs a multitude of the ezflash IV device. Not everyone is willing to pay that extra premium for a GBA flashcart (that's even bigger than other flashcarts).
     
  17. sweis12

    sweis12 GBAtemp Maniac

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    This may sound stupid, but how to I run the patch?
    I downloaded the ezfla_up.bin and put it on the sd card. When I launch it, it just leaves me on a blank screen.

    Edit: I figured it out, Just hold R at startup!
     
    Last edited by sweis12, Jun 8, 2017
  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    GBA patching works by searching the entire game for SRAM, EEPROM or Flash. Following that there are some numbers to tell the sub type and then you patch from there using premade patches to turn the game into an SRAM saving game. There is no indication in the header of what save type nor where the information on it is is found, and as far as I am aware there are no tricks like you have for finding the binary and it is basically completely random where it appears in the ROM. Not hard to do on a PC but on a 16MHz ARM7 with less than 300KB of RAM it is a bigger ask, especially if you have to also scan through the bus or something. To that end the two main ways of doing it in hardware (like those seen on the DS with the expansion packs, the DS is more powerful than the GBA but not amazingly so) are you scan the ROM once and when it is found you note the offset location of the save data for future use, or you make your own database of every game, and you possibly also have a manual setting mode to force it.

    Equally as far as I am aware the everdrive actually emulates the save types in hardware rather than patching them to be SRAM like every other GBA cart out there.

    As far as making saves then it should do it but if you want to make your own that might be an idea for a while -- editing files on a SD card is fairly easy but creating new ones can be slightly tricky and has tripped up many homebrew coders over the years, including the EZTeam.

    I was mainly being cute and was curious as to how large such a database would be. They have kicked things to external files before though, and it already uses a variation on GBFS if memory serves so it would not be too hard to do that rather than having to recompile every time for an incbin type method.
    Likewise the images are compressed if memory serves, I certainly recall pulling a version of GBAcrusher ( http://members.iinet.net.au/~freeaxs/gbacomp/ )from various skin making tools when I have needed it for a ROM hack or something.

    On Mario we tested things once and saving happened fine, however for whatever reason they only wrote the save back to the cart when the games used 8:3 naming.
    ChuChu rocket is pretty much the only test I can really think of -- for some reason some save patching tends to make it boot to a ! on the screen, run it without save patching and it boots and plays just fine but saving can be tricky. I don't know what causes this but I suspect there is a line saying Flash or something somewhere else in the ROM and that confuses some of them.

    Not sure about Italian vendors these days, https://www.gbarl.it/ might have some more info there. Europe in general is not so hot for them right now, and the usual standby for me of http://www.shop01media.com/en/EZ-Flash appears to be out of stock right now. Don't buy the EZ4 lite compact model as it is not for GBA games.
    Cheapest is likely to be somewhere in Hong Kong, however that usually comes with the shipping being up there in the weeks.

    The EZTeam have made EZ4s somewhat recently, I don't know when the most recent batch was made but 2015 they brought out the GBA size microSD model ( http://gbatemp.net/threads/new-ez4-sdhc-in-house-at-gbatemp.381182/ ) and apparently there was a new run of the 3 in 1 flash carts in 2016. Speaking of the 3 in 1 then they are for the DS and DS lite so if you have one of those and a DS flash cart you can get a 3 in 1 and use the DS cart manage it, it is not much cheaper than an EZ4 and I really do like having a standalone cart but if money is an issue for you then you can do that too.

    The everdrive is the current king of the hill for GBA flash carts, however if you ask the question "Can I play near every GBA game just fine/as it would be originally on a GBA without too many hassles with the EZ4?" then the answer is yes, yes you can, hundreds before you have. I previously linked my list of trouble games and workarounds for them in the thread but have it again
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995
     
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  19. CaptainSodaPop

    CaptainSodaPop Advanced Member

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    It seems that the built in patcher doesn't patch for soft reset button combination. I tried all possible combinations but none work. Hope they (or someone else) fix this in a new update.

    btw. @Localhorst86 , thanks for the skin update. That was fast! :D
     
  20. wolfmankurd

    wolfmankurd GBAtemp Regular

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    How do I use this? I put it on my ezflashIV run it and it changes to EZPDA but no buttons.

    Then I can't use it.