Issue with NOR on a new Ez Flash IV

Discussion in 'GBA - Flashing Hardware and Software' started by ghodan, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. ghodan
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    ghodan Newbie

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    Hey all,
    I very recently received an EZ Flash IV "fat edition" to use exclusively with an old gameboy micro that was just lying around otherwise, and I've come across a strange issue that I couldn't find any help with no matter how I searched. It seems as though my NOR memory isn't available or working properly. It started when I wanted to play Mother 3, which I received the "psram" alert for and found out I should move it to the NOR. So, I do that, the process completes and I back out to the main directory to find nothing there but the folder to the SD card. I've formatted the NOR several times to see if that helps and it hasn't. I've tried other roms too, smaller ones (4 megabytes) and medium sized ones (8 or 16), and every time I attempt a transfer to the NOR it seems like the process completes (the number counts up to 255 or what have you and then the window disappears) but nothing appears in the directory. Now, Mother 3 does have an English translation patch applied to it, but all of the other games I've attempted do not. And again, I've tried several. Hopefully someone here can help me out?
    Thanks in advance!
     


  2. spencer5976

    spencer5976 Advanced Member

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    Sounds like a bum EZ Flash IV.
     
  3. ghodan
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    ghodan Newbie

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    Well, any game 16 megabytes and under works fine just playing normally (without moving to NOR), so it's not completely kaput. Also, I wanted to ask, I did a little more research and found something about "Force booting the NOR"? But no one mentions how to do this.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    That might have been me and it is not a problem solving technique as much as something silly I once tried. Unless you mean just use the program normally. Go to http://www.darkfader.net/ds/ and get the program called ezf3me (it was made for the EZ3 which is very similar to the EZ4) and try to run it, you should just be able to copy it across with no need to use EZ4client.

    As for the matter at hand that is an odd one. I have seen things vanish before but the NOR usually worked in the first place. I can not remember what the issue was or the fix for it, you could try writing a full file of 00 (maybe with a GBA header) but I do not think that is the issue here.

    Chaosruler managed to replace his NOR chip the other week but that still does not sound like your issue.

    Have you updated the loader/skin since you got it? If not then hopefully the pack you made will come with the ezfla_up.bin file with it. Put it on the miniSD and hold R when you boot, you can get it http://filetrip.net/nds-downloads/flashcart-files/download-ez4-firmware-modulo-reset-f31162.html though others are getting along with http://ezflash.sosuke.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=17257

    Also you are using a miniSD right? If using a micro to miniSD adapter that could well cause your problems (if the connection drops before it finishes, quite likely in the several minutes it takes to write to the NOR....).
     
  5. ghodan
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    ghodan Newbie

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    I'm using just a MiniSD. I had updated the loader to the latest (1.720) as soon as I got it, and then again when I decided I didn't like the skin. It's still version 1.720.
    When you mentioned the connection possibly dropping before the transfer completes... that may be it. Not sure, but maybe. So, here's an idea, this is the process I'm getting when trying to write something to NOR... Tell me if anything sounds weird:
    I highlight a game and press select.
    The window that says "write to NOR?" pops up. I press A.
    The window says "erasing" and a number quickly rises showing it's erased the required amount of data.
    The transfer begins, the window says "Writing..." and counts up slowly to the amount of data it's writing.
    After a few minutes, the window disappears. No "transfer successful" or anything like that, just blips out of existence and I'm back in the "sd card" menu full of roms.
    If I press B and go back to the root directory, nothing is there but the folder to get to the SD card. I don't know if that gives away anything, but I figured I would see just in case.

    If you guys like, I could post a video.

    Also, how do I use the "ezf3me" program? I just got a folder with the bin and some other files, no instructions... Sorry if I seem like a total noob to this, but, I am, sooo...
     
  6. Naffats

    Naffats Newbie

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    Myself and another user (Jaky) are having the exact same problem with recently purchased EZ Flash IV. He made a thread and a youtube video and I posted my experiences, re-post:

    "Bought mine of 3ds-flashcart.com. Really sucks.

    I'm using a miniSD formatted to FAT16, everything else is sweet but the NOR it's like it's not even there. The writing to it seems way to quick as well. Mother 3 (unpatched rom) takes only 34 secs to load up to 255Mb, it then freezes for about 16 seconds and then just like you: NOTHING."

    I starting to suspect there is no NOR in there for cheapness sake and we've been ripped off :/
     
  7. ghodan
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    ghodan Newbie

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    God, that is so weird... Ugh. You may be right.
     
  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I would be very surprised if the new EZ4 run has no NOR. If you fancy taking some photos of the PCB we can try to confirm or deny that.

    This sounds far more like the NOR chip was changed (the EZ4 design is very old and was not made with the newest parts back in 2006 when it was first made), as it stands the 3 in 1 expansion pack (which is a related design and newer cart) saw several versions of NOR chip used over the course of things which necessitated new libraries and software versions.

    I have not had the time to investigate the changes beyond what I did in the other threads or try to get in contact with any of the EZTeam though.
     
  9. zqfmbg

    zqfmbg Newbie

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    Figured it out. I got lucky.

    On http://www.ezflash.cn/downloads/ there's this file: http://www.ezflash.cn/zip/EZ4_2014.rar
    (Note that it's .rar, not .zip; the .zip file contains different stuff for some reason)

    The file should contain 3 files: an EZ4_Client.exe from 2006 and two .bin files from Dec 2013.
    The one named ezfla_up.bin does not work. It flashes OK, but then seems to want to autoboot something after reporting a bunch of things in Chinese that I can't read.
    However, the one named release.bin does work. Rename it to ezfla_up.bin and flash.

    Now watch as flashing to NOR takes for-freaking-ever. :rofl:
    But hey, now I have Mother 3 working!
     
  10. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    Nice one zqfmbg, not sure how I ended up with a different file collection. I shall share/spread/reupload when I get back on my normal machine, I will also see if the skinning tools work.
     
  11. www.flashlinker-

    www.flashlinker- Advanced Member

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    What you have to do is a downgrade to 1.710. That's the "release.bin", renamed to ezfla_up.bin. For the last ~5 years we have installed the 1.720 version to each card (some of them were delivered with 1.700 or lesse), because it should have some "game" (?) fixes or file-system improvements. Can't remember. With 1.720 installed the NOR memory can't be used, files which have been stored in NOR (with earlier versions) can't be deleted from NOR, too.
     
    pelago likes this.
  12. Naffats

    Naffats Newbie

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    Zqfmbg, you're the golden boy(?) of the hour! So good...
     
  13. nautes

    nautes Newbie

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    Thank you very much zqfmbg!! You're my savior!!
     
  14. Count Duckula

    Count Duckula .

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    I've purchased a few of the carts through you and have been able to write games to NOR under both the loader it shipped with (awful star wars skin) and clearlooks (which is meant to be built from the 1.72 reset launcher). I'd be interested if you have more info on the issue.
     
  15. www.flashlinker-

    www.flashlinker- Advanced Member

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    The only info we have is that the flash chips have been changed in the past. We try to get more informations about the 1.720 itself and why users should use the 1.710 instead...because we have flashed all the cards for the last 5-6 years with 1.720......
     
  16. Vetches

    Vetches Member

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    Oh my gosh zqfmbg, I love you so much right now. Completely stoked that this works. Thank you so much, man! <3

    Although I do have one question: Does this mean that we only have Star Wars now?
     
  17. UltimateThundrFang

    UltimateThundrFang Newbie

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    Thank you zqfmbg! Been trying to write Mother 3 to NOR for about a week! :yaysp:
    Although I do have the same concern as Vetches. That god-awful Darth Vader skin. Can I get another skin, or are we stuck with Star Wars forever? :mellow:
     
  18. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    On the matter of another skin.

    Have a go with the one attached.

    Update, confirmed working and working with the EZSkinner skinning tool. A couple of them have now been tried.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. ghodan
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    ghodan Newbie

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    THANK YOU SO MUCH FAST AND ZQFMBG. It finally works!

    I actually have a small request, if that's alright with you; could you change it to this skin? I can't make heads or tails of the skinning tool myself...
     
  20. riddlebx3

    riddlebx3 Newbie

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    Thank you zqfmbg! I've been wracking my brain for 2 days trying to figure out what I was doing wrong.

    Also thanks FAST6191 for that skin. It looks quite a bit better than the stock one.

    You guys rock!