How to do RAM dump of DS cartridge? (trying to extract save from repro cart)

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
Hi there.

I have a replication Soul Silver cart that I am trying to extract the save data from so I can play it on a legitimate cart. Unfortunately, GM9 doesn't even identify a .sav file to extract, and checkpoint can't get it either. The game has issues at bootup, too. If I click continue on my modded 3ds or modded new 3ds, the game crashes. To play the game I have to select new game, mash through the tutorial until I can walk, then soft reset and then I can click continue- I wonder if the issue with bootup is also causing the programs to not read it properly. The save file data is in the cartridge somewhere, however, as I can still play my 300 hour file. I am hoping to do a RAM dump of the cart, then use a tool like Poke J's PKX Extractor to extract the .sav from the RAM.

So, can anyone let me know how to do a RAM dump of a ds cartridge? Unfortunately TwilightMenu++ only allows you to do RAM dumps from games loaded from an SD, not games loaded from a cartridge. Or, does anyone have any other suggestions on other ways to move forward on extracting my save?
 

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
That's a weird cartridge you've got there. Could you open it and show us a picture of what the inside looks like?
It's my understanding that that is a one way trip, right? Once I open it I can't close it again? If so I'd like to avoid opening it if possible, as I do still play the game.
 
Last edited by TheMismatcher,

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
Is this one of those "repro carts" that actually uses an SD card?
I know it doesn't have the IR sensor, though it can trade with other games. It plays on ds, 3ds, new 3ds, although ever since I homebrewed it's had the problems described earlier. DS has the boot up problems too. Pokemon can't migrate from it though, and using the game corner causes it to crash. I'd buy another from the same seller to teardown that one but the seller doesn't seem to be around anymore
 

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
That's a weird cartridge you've got there. Could you open it and show us a picture of what the inside looks like?
I looked into it, and you can get snap on replacement shells. If that would be useful, and doing a RAM dump doesn't help I could try opening it up. I want to try doing a RAM dump first though because I think there's a good chance that solves my issue
 

Kwyjor

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 23, 2018
Messages
2,291
Trophies
1
XP
2,777
Country
Canada
Have you ever seen a "RAM dump" of anything before..? I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that would be helpful. Does "PKX Extractor" explicitly say it works with "RAM dumps"?

So far you've only tried GM9 and Checkpoint, but what about a DS-based utility like savegame-manager ?
 

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
Have you ever seen a "RAM dump" of anything before..? I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that would be helpful. Does "PKX Extractor" explicitly say it works with "RAM dumps"?

So far you've only tried GM9 and Checkpoint, but what about a DS-based utility like savegame-manager ?
Yes, it is a program specifically written to extract the save from a RAM dump

Here is a link to it, I didn't have the ability to send links before

https://projectpokemon.org/home/files/file/4187-pkx-extraction/

I can try a ds based utility. My thought process for going for a RAM dump, is I thought the issues with startup may be related to why the programs can't detect my file. I thought if I could take a snapshot while the game was running, after I had done the trick to get it to boot, I could potentially have more success.

Also, it seems most 3ds programs seem to look for the specifically partitioned off files to copy, and it seems my repro cart may partition the files off in a different way. I was looking for something to take everything off the cart at once in hopes of capturing the saved data, wherever it may save too.
 

lone_wolf323

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
4,826
Trophies
1
XP
3,866
Country
Canada
Yes, it is a program specifically written to extract the save from a RAM dump

Here is a link to it, I didn't have the ability to send links before

https://projectpokemon.org/home/files/file/4187-pkx-extraction/

I can try a ds based utility. My thought process for going for a RAM dump, is I thought the issues with startup may be related to why the programs can't detect my file. I thought if I could take a snapshot while the game was running, after I had done the trick to get it to boot, I could potentially have more success.

Also, it seems most 3ds programs seem to look for the specifically partitioned off files to copy, and it seems my repro cart may partition the files off in a different way. I was looking for something to take everything off the cart at once in hopes of capturing the saved data, wherever it may save too.
I would try with https://github.com/TuxSH/TWLSaveTool/releases to see if it can get the save file you are wanting.
 

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
I would try with https://github.com/TuxSH/TWLSaveTool/releases to see if it can get the save file you are wanting.
I have tried TWL=- unfortunately no dice. Doesn't even detect the cartridge when it's in- though it does when I eject it, oddly enough.

Also, looking closer it may be that PKX extractor only looks for and extracts the specific pokemon data, and not the .sav- not sure though, I'll have to look into it. If so, that still solves one major reason I wanted to do this in the first place, though it doesn't help me get to my ultimate goal of getting the .sav on another cartridge
 

lone_wolf323

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
4,826
Trophies
1
XP
3,866
Country
Canada
I have tried TWL=- unfortunately no dice. Doesn't even detect the cartridge when it's in- though it does when I eject it, oddly enough.

Also, looking closer it may be that PKX extractor only looks for and extracts the specific pokemon data, and not the .sav- not sure though, I'll have to look into it. If so, that still solves one major reason I wanted to do this in the first place, though it doesn't help me get to my ultimate goal of getting the .sav on another cartridge
What was the error code you get when you try to boot the cart?
 

zoogie

playing around in the dsiware
Developer
Joined
Nov 30, 2014
Messages
8,400
Trophies
2
XP
13,683
Country
Micronesia, Federated States of
I have tried TWL=- unfortunately no dice. Doesn't even detect the cartridge when it's in- though it does when I eject it, oddly enough.

Also, looking closer it may be that PKX extractor only looks for and extracts the specific pokemon data, and not the .sav- not sure though, I'll have to look into it. If so, that still solves one major reason I wanted to do this in the first place, though it doesn't help me get to my ultimate goal of getting the .sav on another cartridge
If you can dump your 3ds's fcram immediately following a hard reset, you can run my script to extract the game's dsiram and possibly find your save.

Instructions: Boot your DS game, load your save, press home, select return to home menu, immediately hold start, this should allow you to chainload godmode9 given it exists in luma/payloads.

When in godmode9, go to MEMORY VIRTUAL, select fcram.bin and dump it to gm9/out.

Then put the 3ds sd card in your PC and run my attached python script. You may have to change the drive letter in the script, I have it preset to F. It should then create dsiram.bin, and you can search that for your save.

Note that I had to rename the file + .txt so it would upload, so take off that .txt extension.
 

Attachments

  • fcram2dsiram.py.txt
    418 bytes · Views: 7

TheMismatcher

Active Member
OP
Newcomer
Joined
May 18, 2022
Messages
28
Trophies
0
Age
23
Location
Maryland
XP
21
Country
United States
If you can dump your 3ds's fcram immediately following a hard reset, you can run my script to extract the game's dsiram and possibly find your save.

Instructions: Boot your DS game, load your save, press home, select return to home menu, immediately hold start, this should allow you to chainload godmode9 given it exists in luma/payloads.

When in godmode9, go to MEMORY VIRTUAL, select fcram.bin and dump it to gm9/out.

Then put the 3ds sd card in your PC and run my attached python script. You may have to change the drive letter in the script, I have it preset to F. It should then create dsiram.bin, and you can search that for your save.

Note that I had to rename the file + .txt so it would upload, so take off that .txt extension.
I will give it a shot!!

I see fcram.mem- is that what you want?

I have the file on my PC. I must confess, my experience with python is limited. I almost taught a summer camp on it one year but ended up being moved to teaching minecraft camp instead.

I'm figuring that out now, but I can also send you the file I extracted if you can run the script
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Taco bell is Mexican foodz
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Ran by white people
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    #BringBackMexicanPizza
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    we sell mediterranean food at my joint but all the cooks are mexican
    Gift
  • Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras:
    Maybe I haven't eaten proper spanish food yet, but I tried paella and tortilla and never again
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    and awesome, masters of the culinary arts, they can make good stuff outta next to nothing, it's amazing
    Gift
  • Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras:
    Crema catalana is a very tasty dessert, I dare say
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    well i think southern desserts are very special, quite fond of banana puddin
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    and chocolate eclair pie, and anniversary cake, shit makes you fat in minutes tho
    Gift
  • Dark_Phoras @ Dark_Phoras:
    Banana pudding looks good, it reminds me of tiramisu and bolo de bolacha
    Gift
  • mthrnite @ mthrnite:
    tiramisu rocks
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    I'm out of ranch D:
    Gift
  • Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Lol $300 for the win600 get fucked anbernic
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    That's not that bad.
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    Initial reviews of the prototype model say it's a decent gaming thingy.
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Yeah but we all know what people will say
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    Spend the extra $100 for GabesDick
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    Extra $100 and then an extra $200 for shipping and then wait a year to get it? Nah.
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    It's a decent price for over seaers I guess 250 woulda been better
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    I don't know how much shipping costs these days, $200 seemed outragoues enough as it is.
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    But it's not unlikely that it's more nowadays.
    Gift
  • Veho @ Veho:
    Anyway, fuck all that, I'll wait for a cheap Qualcomm phone and then stick Windows 11 on it.
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    My s22+ should be here Wednesday 8 gen 1 looks like a beast
    Gift
  • KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName:
    8+gen1 is already thing lol
    Gift
    KenniesNewName @ KenniesNewName: 8+gen1 is already thing lol