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

TheMismatcher

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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

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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.
 
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TheMismatcher

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
 

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  • fcram2dsiram.py.txt
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TheMismatcher

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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
 
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