EZ-Flash IV NOR Help?

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by Vetches, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Vetches
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    Vetches Member

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    Hi! I recently got an EZ-Flash IV, formatted it properly, updated it, the usual, and I'm now at the stage of playing games. Or I would be at least, if it wasn't for an issue I can't seem to figure out. I'm currently trying to play a Pokemon rom hack (meaning I patch the original version of it with a modification to it). I then patch it using the EZ4Client and then push it to the cart. Now, here's the problem. Whenever I play it, or a least start it up, it says "not enough psram" or something like that. I then tell it to save it to the NOR, it says it's erasing and writing it. I then am thrown back to the main SD-card menu, where nothing has changed. I then go to the original game, try to load it up and am presented with "not enough NOR memory" or something like that. Anyone got any ideas on why I can't play this game, and what the issue is? If it helps, it seems that the games that I want to play (which are all Pokemon rom hacks) are above 16mb, meanin I would have to have them save to NOR as well. Anyone able to explain is at all? Thanks in advance. If I can't get this to work I might just end up sending back, since I seems to much of a hassle. Thanks again!
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    GBA games need high speed memory to run, it is one of the problems with emulating them on the DS from a DS flash cart and why GBA slot supercards are not so hot at GBA games (they skimped here).
    Two types of memory were readily available and fast enough when GBA carts were still being designed and made.
    One was RAM (in this case PSRAM)
    Another was NOR memory.

    Things get copied from SD cards (usually a type of NAND memory) to one of those.
    The standard model of EZ4 only has 16 megs of PSRAM. GBA games could use up to 32 megs with ease (after that you would have to have done something special) but few made it above 16. This is probably why the EZTeam did not bother going above that.
    ROM hacks are probably the main exception to this. Any ROM hacker can easily use the extra space, any tool can be programmed to do similar and free space is always nice. I do not tend to see pokemon hacks do this, indeed few seemed to know about the concept whenever I wandered through Pokemon hacking forums though the games usually have a lot of free space anyway, but then I do not much care for a lot of pokemon rom hacks so that is not so surprising.
    You have 32 megs of NOR though sometimes the chips shipped with a bit less which can make some ROMs, which are valid GBA ROMs, not fit. Some have replaced the NOR chip with a new one (it is hard to find these days and annoying to do) though.

    Short version is find the ROM and press select on it. It will then offer the option to write to NOR (this will take several minutes) after which you will see it when you press the a button at the start screen (you usually have to press it twice to get to the miniSD contents no?).
    It will load instantly until you erase it from the NOR. Also yeah you have to write it for every ROM above 16 megs (remember you only have 32 megs) so I suggest you pick one you like and stick with that for a while.
    You can format the NOR by pressing start on the NOR screen. Pressing select will remove the last one from the list, this is a quirk of NOR memory and there is not anything you can do about that.

    Some hacks for other games and I think something with a pokemon one once have been seen to do an odd thing with the header that prevents the games from showing (if memory serves it was something like the data at BE hex was changed to something other than 00, change it back to 00).
     
  3. Vetches
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    Okay, so in Layman's terms, just tell it to write to the NOR, let it do its thing, and then get returned to the start screen where you pick the contents from the SD card. Maybe it's a bugged game or something, or I could be just dumb (either one, really). In any case, hopefully I can just muk around with it and try to get it to work. Also, which one is the NOR screen? Thanks!
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Watch from about 7:43

    He gets the save screen
    The "desktop"
    The NOR screen
    The SD card/EZDisk screen with all the games in it (though in this case they are in his GBA folder on top of that).
     
  5. Vetches
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    Vetches Member

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    Okay, so I decided to forgo the first game I had, maybe come back to it later. Now, this time around, I've found yet another Pokemon hack (under 16mb as stated on the client), and have now put it on the cartridge. Now, whenever I start the game up, it says "progressing" with a few foreign characters (I assume Chinese, since that's what it is when it first is started). It goes to 100%, says it's saving, then flashes a white screen and stops working. Any idea on how to fix this? Thanks! Also how do I wipe clean the SD card, because I see a few funky files there. Should I even be worried about them or not? I only ask because on the video you linked, his is completely clean while mine has a few weird ones. I can link you a picture of it if that would help.
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The SD card or the NOR?

    If on the SD card you have files like tetrisad.van (the names but made in 8:3 form) then you should just able to do a disc scan (check disc/error check... whatever it is on your chosen OS/version of windows). Most of the time such things are confined to the save folder anyway and you have no great need to go in there really.

    If on the NOR then it depends what you have done to do it. If you press start on the NOR screen it short format it which gets rid of most things.

    White screen for under 16 meg games.... you are using a miniSD rather than a micro to miniSD adapter aren't you? If you are using a miniSD we now get to figure out what the hack changed (or didn't change) to hose things up. For normal games this is where I tend to sigh and expect a long one, for pokemon my first guess is it needs a RTC patch.
    If you are unfamiliar then the GBA has no onboard clock, one was made and offered on carts for various games including various pokemon titles (the gem themed ones being among the most notable), Boktai/solar boy django and a few more besides. Some older flash carts have RTC but as no game used it and it is another drain on the battery stuff we discussed in the other thread it was dropped for the EZ4. Most will use the ones from http://www.no-intro.org/tools.htm though emerald more recently got patched (it was not done at the time and the patch took a while to filter out from the depths of pokemon hacking circles).

    I assume these hacks work on an emulator, I am not aware of any "emulator only" hacks for the GBA unlike something like the SNES or N64 retexturing work but if it was going to be anything that did it then it would be pokemon.
     
  7. Vetches
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    Okay, now I'm confused. I should first state that I'm using a mini-SD adapter (the one where you put the micro-SD card into it and plug that into the cart). I'm kind of confused on what to do now, though, mainly because you explained too good if that makes any sense. Could you dumb it down for me, so I can try it out and see if can work? For clarification, I'm using the same game that the user is using in the video you linked above. I'm hoping that this solution can help me with more Pokemon games, as that's the main reason I bought it. Also, whenever I press start on the NOR screen (that's the one where you can choose from the 5 things, right?), it does nothing. But when I enter into the first option bringing me up to the EZ-Disk option, hitting start brings up a "write to NOR" screen, where I hit a and nothing happens. So many questions >.<
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Those microSD to miniSD adapters have caused lots of issues for would be EZ4 users over the years, no idea why really (the micro to full SD adapters are almost indestructible and work flawlessly) but it is the case. Games whitescreening on them being among the most common symptoms, the probability of it happening rising with the size of the game.
    MiniSD cards are getting pretty rare but they can still be found. The amazon ones seem to have largely sold out but I usually tell people to go to shops that sell old cameras, second hand mobile/cell phones and the like as they will often have them in. You might struggle to find a 2 gig one but anything sort of 512 megs or above (maybe 256 if they have one) will do nicely as a test.

    The NOR screen is not the first screen with the 5 options but the one you see in the video after that. It is what displays what is on the NOR and also has a link to the miniSD card side of things.

    Assuming it is not the lack of a proper miniSD that is causing the issues then after this we have to figure out what the hacks have done that is causing troubles. My first guess when it comes to pokemon games is the real time clock feature has not been patched to work with carts that do not have it, the gbata tool from the link before fixes ruby and sapphire and I will have to try to find the emerald patch (do a search of the forum for emerald).
     
  9. Vetches
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    Dang, really hoping it's not because of the adapter I have. Like, really hoping, since I don't want to have to go out and buy more things just to run a game...Anyways, I'll try fixing the weird files right now, but for the time being, I'm hoping there's a patcher that fixes the clock glitch. I doubt that it would be, since the guy in the video didn't seem to mention it. Also, bit of an oddball question, but would you be willing to go on Skype rather than communicate through the forums (Vetches99, just in case)? It seems that this problem is getting more and more specific as we go...I can try right now and see if it works with a patched Pokemon Ruby game, but I doubt it's a clock glitch (who knows, though). And as another point to bring up, the game I was trying to play was a hack of Pokemon Fire Red.
     
  10. Vetches
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    Vetches Member

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    Update: So I was able to remove all those weird files, and I now have a clean SD card. I might go try and find an mini-SD card around my town, see if anything comes up. Any memory is fine honestly, just hoping it works nonetheless.