EZ Flash IV Black/White Screens

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by cheesypr09, Apr 22, 2014.

  1. cheesypr09
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    cheesypr09 Member

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    Today, I received my EZ Flash IV. I installed Clearlooks V5 for 1.74 on it then copied a bunch of games to Mini SD card using EZ Client.

    Most games work OK, however, a few games give me black or white screens when loaded directly from the memory card. These same games seem to work fine if I first copy them to NOR memory, then play them from NOR.

    Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong? (I have Reset patch enabled on most games, is that the issue?)

    Btw, how many times can I write to NOR memory before I wear it out ;)
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I assume these are GBA games. Also it sounds like you are loading from DS mode - it should disable the lower screen light when done properly.

    What size are the games that fail? DS mode has no great NOR handling option.
    Are the games that fail mentioned in http://gbatemp.net/threads/buying-a-gba-flash-cart-in-2013.341203/page-18#post-4756995 anywhere?

    NOR memory should be roughly in line with other NOR memory which is to say if you manage to trouble it then you are doing well.

    Other than dodgy RAM (if they work on the NOR the miniSD setup should be fine) the final option is the trimming, though I have never seen it fail several games before.
    Short version is the games are trimmed by the client to the last 00/FF. Some games have been seen to use this last 00/FF and fail if it is not there. The NOR might have it work still by the way it works.

    All this said you are not the only person to have issues here like this. http://gbatemp.net/threads/issue-with-nor-on-a-new-ez-flash-iv.360684/page-2 has more and some things you can try.
     
  3. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    I trim all my own roms, and then let the client do the save patching, and I have no issues with any roms, not even Goomba rompacks. I do, however have the inability to play Flora Sky, because the rom is 32MB big, and the NOR can only handle a 16MB ROM maximum... I could only trim it down to like 26MB or so with GBATA. Is there any way to allow me to play Flora Sky on my EZ-Flash IV? Mine is the older fat one, with 1.72 Clearlooks.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The NOR should be able to handle 32 Megabytes. There have been occasions where the corrupt sector/remapping stuff took it below the 32 limit (caused issues for some with Mother 3) but 26 megs should fine for that.
    I see flora sky is a ROM hack, for some reason some hacks have a part of the header tweaked which troubles the EZ4. The fix is trivial though (change offset BE hex back to 0000), more and probably a universal IPS patch via http://gbatemp.net/threads/more-than-one-rom-in-nor-on-ez-flash-4.363650/

    Trouble ROM with trimming... there have been more but the main one I can remember right now was the teenage mutant ninja turtles game.
     
  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    I think (but don't quote me on this) that NOR memory has a lifetime expectancy of 100000 writes, vs the 10000 writes of NAND. It shouldn't be a concern.
     
  6. cheesypr09
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    cheesypr09 Member

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    I had a breakthrough. Issue seems to be firmware related.

    To clarify, I am using a GBA SP (AGS-001 - USA version), not a DS Lite.

    Reference ROM that doesn't work. Maybe someone could replicate issue:

    ROM = 2618 - The Fairly Odd Parents - Shadow Showdown
    EZ Flash Kernel = Clearlooks v5 for 1.74
    Size = 32 Mbit
    CRC = BA72E185 CRC matches with Clean ROM in EVO CrC
    Saver = None (password based saves)

    Try #1 - Copy game via EZ Flash Client to SD Card.
    Play directly = Game starts, various logos flash by, music is playing, Main title screen appears, "PRESS START" does not show up on screen (should show up after 2-3 seconds). When pressing START screen goes black music continues to play.
    Play from NOR = Copying same game to NOR memory works. ie: "PRESS START" shows up on screen, game progresses to next screen when pressing start, game plays with no issues.

    Try #2 - Trim ROM with GBATA then copy directly to SD Card (make sure save exists) --> Same results as Try #1
    Try #3 - Copy .gba file directly to SD Card (make sure save exists) --> Same results as Try #1
    Try #4 - Copy .gba file directly to SD Card and rename it to ABC.gba (make sure save exists) - file name is less than 8.3 --> Same results as Try #1


    I also tried various firmwares with file from Try #3(Clean ROM, copied directly to SD Card)

    Clearlooks v5 for v1.740 -> same issue, ROM doesn't play
    EZ4_20140306.zip v1.740 -> same issue, ROM doesn't play
    EZ4_2014. rar (file inside dated 20140211) copied release.bin then renamed it to ezfla_up.bin v1.710 -> same issue, ROM doesn't play

    31162-EZ4loader070315-RESET.zip (from filetrip) v1.720 -------------> ROM works!!! I get past the title screen. NOR seems all jacked up, my EZF IV is too new with different NOR chip.
    Clearlooks v3 v1.720 ------------> ROM works!!! NOR is still only showing garbage, but at least the theme is nice...

    It appears that this game will work with v1.720 kernel, but will not work with v1.740.
    I can either play the game directly from SD with v1.720 but lose NOR (since my card's NOR is newer and requires v1.740) or use v1.740 but a bunch of ROMs don't work directly from SD and need to be copied to NOR.


    Can someone replicate my results and confirm that people with newer EZ Flash IVs are screwed until firmware is fixed?

    Other trouble ROMs:
    1226 - Fairly odd parents - breakin' da rules
    0344 - Donald Duck Advance



    Final attempt to make ROM work on v1.740 - Load ROM from SD and start it (it doesn't work as usual) then immediately do a "RESET" by partially sliding power switch towards off then back on. GBA will reset then game immediately starts and works. (Verified this to work with #2618 & #1226)
    Do we need a Reset fix for v1.740???
     
  7. cheesypr09
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    cheesypr09 Member

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    Thanks to kuwanger, this issue is resolved:bow:

    Based on his instructions, I was able to patch v1.74 firmware from Clearlooks v5. Patched bin now does a hard reset prior to launching a ROM.
    With this patch, above mentioned 3 ROMs work fine when launched directly and I can also use NOR!!!

    By the way, it appears that Clearlooks v5 is based on earlier v1.74 bin released on Feb 11, 2014 and not on newer v1.74 from March that fixes "auto saver backup issue".
    Hopefully, the author of Clearlooks will update to newer v1.74 from March 6, 2014.
     

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  8. invaderyoyo

    invaderyoyo invader

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    It works! Thanks a lot! I already posted on the other thread, but just in case. I tried Mother 3 on the NOR and I tried Yoshi's Island and some Pokemon hacks normally. Everything works. The NOR works and it resets when playing games normally. Thanks a lot, man.