Ezflash 3in1 (not plus) saving

Discussion in 'Acekard' started by dhjohn, Jul 10, 2009.

Jul 10, 2009

Ezflash 3in1 (not plus) saving by dhjohn at 6:17 AM (1,467 Views / 0 Likes) 6 replies

  1. dhjohn
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    Member dhjohn GBAtemp Regular

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    I have ran into some problems with a few gba games, and I was wandering if anyone knew of a solution for these games.
    I am using Akaio 1.4.1 on a Acekard2i, with a Ezflash 3in1 (not the plus edition) in Slot-2.

    Metroid: Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion
    I cannot save on either of these games. I can load a save file ripped from the cart, but when I save using the ezflash 3in1, when I load the game the next time, the game says that that save is corrupted.

    Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3
    This game I can get to save correctly, however, if I run a game from NOR (including Mario Advance 4), next time I run Mario Advance 4 the game says the file is corrupted, and my save data is lost.
    I have tried running a clean copy of rom, this results in not being able to save at all.
    Patching the rom with gbata or the ez4 client allows the above saving ability.

    All my other games save correctly.

    Thank you for any help you can give.
     
  2. Another World

    Former Staff Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    did you try gba exploader or the tool cory coded (gbldr?). this might just be an akaio bug, but smiths isn't fixing gba issues. i would find another way to play it or just move on if it isn't working.

    probably not the info you wanted to hear, eh? =/

    -another world
     
  3. dhjohn
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    Member dhjohn GBAtemp Regular

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    Thank you. Knowing it won't work is better then not knowing either way. At least now I can go ahead and delete them. I have the original carts, so I'll play them that way.

    I did try gba exploader on the Metroid games, though they did not load at all. I did not look into this too much more because I do not want to use that method to load them anyway, keeping the sram straight between two gba loaders would be too much of a hassle.

    Again, thank you for your input.
     
  4. logical thinker

    Member logical thinker GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The pure 0745 Metroid Fusion (EU) is working fine with GBA ExpLoader 0.58b on 3in1 Expansion Pack (first version). 2140 Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3 (US) is also working fine.
     
  5. cory1492

    Member cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Don't mix patches. If you are using any of the self-patching loaders (I beleive AIO's does try to patch and could really use an option to disable it, I know exploader does, gbaldr does not), don't touch GBATA or EZ4client - your best chance is with a clean game (if no ips fix exists.)

    IIRC a game like SMA:SMB3 needs an IPS fix from clean before patching, and will always give a save corrupt message though all points will say 'ok' and the save isn't actually corrupt. Ez4client will patch this one from clean fine, but then you need to write it to memory without further patching (I just tested this with gbaldr/NOR+ez4client and it kept the continuation save.)

    It goes without saying, I use my own software and ez4client as first choice, though this does not support psram loading (which is the main reason to add patching to the loaders, so you can keep both PSRAM save and NOR save in SRAM at the same time.)
     
  6. dhjohn
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    Member dhjohn GBAtemp Regular

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    I tried runing both Gba Exploader and gbaldr, however when I try to run a game from either of them, it just goes to a white screen (using clean roms with sram saving).
    Is there anything I need to do to the 3in1 before using these programs? Also, is there a step by step process for using them?

    With Gba Exploader, I created the save and sign folders, then ran the program.
    I did not do anything special before running gbaldr.

    Thank you for your help.
     
  7. cory1492

    Member cory1492 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Sounds right, you've pretty much listed any steps that are needed - just make sure your games are clean and if exploader or AIO can patch them it will when it loads them. For gbaldr you must patch before using it on them, ez4 client or gbata if that doesn't work, there are a lot of options if you get one of the non hw update packs and set up the ini but it isn't required and is mostly cosmetic in nature. Generally, a white screen at a gba launch is because of a bad save patch, it tries to verify save data before the logo screens and gets stuck somewhere in the patch - or possibly a corrupted GBA card header (on gba this would freeze at the end of the GBA logo presentation.)

    When I say "don't mix patches" I also mean don't expect to be able to load a game in PSRAM with exploader, then load a game with AIO to NOR, then load a game with chuckstudios psram loader and then still expect your PSRAM save to be there later. Pick one, stick to it or know what you are getting into when switching off. Which, btw, is why gbaldr backs up SRAM to a file when you first run it - so it doesn't completely erase whatever save data you had on there before.

    There is always the possibility of a hardware fault, too. Unless you are talking about the 360, a 3-5% failure rate is pretty much expected within warranty periods for almost anything manufactured and complex.

    Some basic education on EZ3in1, so you can have a better idea where the problems come from when you meet them face to face. The design ideas of the 3in1 is the same as EZ4 and EZ3 (in fact I can share code between most of the EZ gba carts), except both of those have a booting "OS" and media that is not NOR/SRAM/PSRAM to deal with save data between game loads - meaning one game at a time is kept in save SRAM and patching is done once when initially loading games to the media card; 3in1 was not really designed initially to use PSRAM for games, and in fact it has to be tricked a little to do so.

    By default, when 3in1 first gets power (ie: if you were using it in a GBA) NOR appears at gba bus address (if a game is flashed and has a valid header a good ol' GBA will start it direct, same as GBA mode from DS' main menu) and SRAM is offset to page 0x10 (see code box below, location is same as "SAVE area for NOR", the start of the second 64k 'bank') - so technically once you flash a game to NOR with any of the tools you should have no problems with it, even if you boot GBA mode from somewhere else.

    What exploader tries to do in addition to this is to patch games as they are used so that the save in SRAM from the NOR game and the save in SRAM from the PSRAM loaded game don't overlap - the patching still has bugs and afaik the author has abandoned the program as-is. From the readme:
    CODE
    ÂÂSRAM capacity is 512KB (4Mbit) and you can use it by 8KB(64Kbits) paging.
    ÂÂSave area for NOR is stored from offset 64KB like this:
    64KBÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂUNUSED
    128KBÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂSAVE area for NOR
    8KBÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂSAVE management area
    128KBÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂSAVE are for PSRAM
    Rest of spaceÂÂÂÂUNUSEDI've never been able to get the exploader to work consistently, it's done some pretty wacko things along the way for me and since it had no english support I left it well enough alone...

    What gbaldr does, is rely on ez4 client to do the patching - meaning all games will save at the same spot (64k offset) in SRAM. One game at a time, always in NOR. For my own purposes this is plenty enough, despite the slowish flashing time - though I've been putting it off for at least a year I've always wanted a way to switch to PSRAM mode without repatching anything (corrupt NOR on purpose so GBA mode launch from anything else won't work.)

    What AIO does with save areas I have no clue. I use it with my f2a occasionally, but have never analyzed exactly what it is doing with PSRAM/NOR/SRAM.

    Hope the mud isn't too thick in all that.
     

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