EZ Flash IV stuck on title screen. Can't update firmware

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by spacorn, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. spacorn
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    spacorn Member

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    Nov 17, 2015
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    I'm sorry for the double post, but the first one was a post inside another thread (inside the EZFlat IV 1.77 thread, because installing that was the last thing I could do before I started having problems). Maybe it was a bit offtopic, so I'll try in a separate thread instead.

    I just bought a cheap EZFLASH IV from aliexpress (SDHC enabled, I'm using a 16gb microSDHC class 10). It worked ok at first, using my 16gb SDHC on FLAT32 (like it was out of the box, I just bought it). Then, the first thing I did with it was installing the EZFlat IV 1.77 firmware/skin. At first everything was fine, I loaded a couple of games to try, they loaded fine, save files and all. I reseted a couple of time to test saving, and so far everything seemed ok.

    Then I took the SD card out, and took some time loading some more games on my card, and by the time I tried the flashcart again, it then got stuck on the main screen title (not the "Game Boy Advance" screen, I mean the screen that shows the "EZ Flash IV" title).

    I then tried to run it without the microSD card on it, and I got the same title screen, except the "tip" windows came up with no text, and then the screen melted (which I learned after is the normal behavior when the flashcart can't read any card on it, but the strange thing was the absense of text on the white window)
    After that, my first instinct was to install the firmware again, but when I turn the console on while holding R, now it goes to a black screen, with no text whatsoever. I can't normally update firmware anymore.

    Did I get a faulty one? Or did I fry it installing an incompatible firmware on it? I'm very confused to what actually happened. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    All I can think of is maybe there's a problem with the fonts on the firmware/skin I tried, since everything comes up with no text at all. But guessing is all I have.

    Thanks for any tip! Even a confirmation that it's bricked with no hope of revival would be appreciated (I can continue using my M3 Lite anyway)
     
    Last edited by spacorn, Dec 16, 2016
  2. spacorn
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    spacorn Member

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    Nov 17, 2015
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    I'm reviving this year old thread because I'm once again trying to revive my EZFLASHIV. The symptons are still the same as described in the first post.

    The only further development: I am now able to access the menu using a different microSDHC card. Which is odd, because I had access to a different EZFLASHIV, and it didn't have any problems with the first card I was using.
    Still, even with this card that at leats lets me get to the menu, the file explorer is shown empty, and it still doesn't let me update while pressing R at the startup. Instead of the black screen, now it skips it as if there wasn't an update file present. (THIS SAME PROBLEM IS DESCRIBED IN THIS OTHER THREAD TO NO SOLUTION)

    All points out to a faulty card reader on this EZFLASH IV. After all, it did work ok for awhile before this problems appeared (see first post). I hope for one last possibility: that it's a software problem which is causing these SD card anomalies. Since it boots with some cards and not with others, it's reading SOMETHING.

    So after doing some more research, I have now discovered the possibility of flashing from a DS Lite, using Slot 1 homebrew.
    I found this tool (EZ4 OS Tools) mentioned in this thread. It supposedly let's you make a dumps and restores from the flashcart's OS.
    Well, I got a clean dump from an untouched EZFLASH IV, and I tried it from an original R4. Sadly, the tool froze in the OS erasing step, trying to get access (the problem is described here in more detail)

    So much for that solution. However, now I know that flashing from Slot 1 on a DS is an option. Is there alternatives to this tool?

    Either that, or something I can load from NOR to launch a firmware update...

    (Or some other method I could try?) Any tip would be greatly appreciated!
     
    Last edited by spacorn, Dec 16, 2016
  3. spacorn
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    spacorn Member

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    Nov 17, 2015
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    WELP, I SOLVED IT.

    I'm gonna post this very clearly, just in case someone with a similar problem ends up in this thread (just as I ran into my own threads when googling for a solution)...

    IT'S NOT THE FIRMWARE
    IT'S NOT THE UPDATE
    THERE'S NO DIFFERENCE AFTER FLASHING THE CART AGAIN, EITHER NORMALLY OR EXTERNALLY
    When there's weird freezes AFTER the cart boots, THE PROBLEM IS THE MICROSD CARD
    and probably, the microSD reader in the cart.

    I tried literally every single microSD card I had access to, like ten of them (both SD and SDHC, ranging from 2GB to 16GB, different brands...) and only ONE of them works correctly with my very picky EZFLASH IV.

    What confused the hell out of me was that I had access to a second EZFLASH IV, bought from the very same dealer during the same week (my brother's), and it didn't have a problem whatsoever with any of the microSD cards I tried. They all worked flawlessly. So I thought, the problem couldn't be the cards, right? Welp, it just turns out I got the short end of the stick, and got a very very picky reader on this particular EZ FLASH.

    I was also misled by the fact that it DID work with a different, larger SDHC card for the first couple of hours I started using it, and only stopped working right after I did a firmware update (as I described on the first post and on this thread right after it happened). I guess something deteriorated in one of the pulling-ins and outs of the card and now it only accepts one of my cards... Good news is, AT LEAST IT WORKS NOW, and 2 GB is more than enough for me.

    Another curiosity is that the card that ended up working is a very very very old 2 GB, non HC card I was using on an original R4. The strange thing is, wasn't the EZFLASHIV 2015 supposed to work only with large SDHC and had problems with the older non HC cards? Mine decided to work the opposite way :P

    So yeah. Sorry for rambling about this alone after all this time, but maybe it'll help someone else with a similar problem. As I pointed out in my last reply, I've found 3 or so other threads in different places describing this problem, and no one ever seemed to post a fix. Well, here is a hint: just keep trying with other cards.