MicroSDHC speeds and game crashes

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by Cyber Akuma, May 6, 2009.

May 6, 2009
  1. Cyber Akuma
    OP

    Member Cyber Akuma GBAtemp Regular

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    I remember a while ago reading about a few problem games with DS Flashcarts like the R4 or CycloDs Evolution. But since I played my NDS games off their original carts, I didn't bother to look into it.

    A few weeks ago I backed up all my NDS carts onto my CycloDS Evolution so I could carry them all with me as well as not need to switch carts to play a different game.

    All of my games (so far) seem to work fine..... except for one. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin.

    I remember this was the game that I heard about having the most problems, so I Googled it, and found this:

    http://www.teamcyclops.com/forum/showpost....amp;postcount=9

    From what I understand, you need a card that can maintain a Random Access Time of 0.7 or less, and not only can some cards not pull this off, but some cards also have this time go up the more data you put on it while others can maintain it regardless of amount of data on them.

    However, my card brand is A-Data, which is one of the two brands they recommended. It is a 8GB MicroSDHC card. Could A-Data have used a different manufacturer by the time I purchased this card?

    On top of that, I tried the NDS version of the libfat app that was posted there, I chose "all tests" and instantly I just got "error" for every test.

    So I have no idea what to do now.

    How can I test that my card is fast enough for Castlevania:POR?

    Is there any way to check the real manufacturer of my card?

    Where in the US can I guarantee that I will get a card that is fast enough and will maintain that speed even when full?

    Are there any other games known to cause problems like Castlevania:POR?
     
  2. unz

    Member unz Chaotic Neutral

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  3. Szyslak

    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    Use HDtach to test for random access time, but make sure to use a good card reader. The cheap ones that come with flashcarts have a tendency to overheat when running HDtach.

    And really, PoR is probably the only game you'll have trouble with. Just make sure to save before you go through a warp point or talk to Wind.
     
  4. Cyber Akuma
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    Member Cyber Akuma GBAtemp Regular

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    The problem is that it crashes randomly, not when I am doing any specific action or am at any specific point in the game.

    I would still want to get this problem fixed even if its just this game.
     
  5. Szyslak

    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    Then it appears you have another issue. The problem with PoR was that it would freeze when talking to Wind, or when going through a warp point. Occasionally it would happen when entering a portrait, but usually it was just the warp points. I did have a few random freezes during boss fights, even with the fastest card (Kingston 1GB (J)), but mostly the problem was repeatable on slower cards.

    If you're randomly crashing during gameplay, I would think it might be something besides the physical limitations of the microSD card. Not knowing your flashcard setup, It could be many things:

    - your files are fragmented. In that case you could reformat, and reload your card.
    - you have a bad dump of PoR (doubtful at this point)
    - you have an old kernel on the CycloDS
    - you could try to disable RTS and / or cheats
    - Turn off battery saver mode (might try this first, actually)

    As for your test results, I haven't used that program, so I can't really compare your results to any of the cards I've tested. Sorry.
     
  6. Cyber Akuma
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    Member Cyber Akuma GBAtemp Regular

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    Haven't heard of this option.

    What does it do and where do I disable it?
     
  7. Szyslak

    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    -There is no real defrag for SD. Best way to do it is to copy everything off, format with the Panasonic SD formatter, then load everything back on. For purposes of isolating your issue, you might want to try running it with only PoR on the card to see if it goes away.

    -If you dumped it yourself, then it's possible that it didn't work correctly. Check the crc32 against the known rom.

    - The "Battery Saver Mode" is in the options menu on the CycloDS. Chances are, you don't have it enabled if you've never heard of it, but it's worth checking. It has been reported to cause freezing issues with other games (like TWEWY) when it's turned on.
     
  8. Cyber Akuma
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    Member Cyber Akuma GBAtemp Regular

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    I tried reformatting the card with 64k fileclusters (the larger the clusters, the more wasted space but the faster the access times right?)

    The first thing I did was create a NDS rom directory then put my Castlevania rom in there, then the testing app. The speeds seemed more or less the same as before.

    Then I copied over all my files back.

    The speeds seemed WORSE now!

    Reformat then copy over one file only:

    Sequential (512B)
    max: 584us average: 305us

    Sequential (4KiB)
    max: 2558us average: 2436us

    Sequential (16KiB)
    max: 9872us average: 9755us

    Random (512B)
    max: 628us average: 602us

    Random (4KiB)
    max: 2538us average: 2430us

    Random (16KiB)
    max: 9903us average: 9795us

    All files copied back after reformat:

    Sequential (512B)
    max: 598us average: 313us

    Sequential (4KiB)
    max: 2618us average: 2497us

    Sequential (16KiB)
    max: 10116us average: 9995us

    Random (512B)
    max: 643us average: 617us

    Random (4KiB)
    max: 2598us average: 2493us

    Random (16KiB)
    max: 10146us average: 10035us

    Here are the hashes of the file:
    [​IMG]

    The game STILL crashes.

    I tried it again, and it would play longer than usual, but twice it froze to a black screen when I tried to enter the pause menu (but it did not do this every time).
     

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