nds-bootstrap loader: Run commercial NDS backups from an SD Card

nds-bootstrap:

Thanks to the work of ahezard, Gericom, Apache, Robz8, _catcatcat, and shutterbug2000 and other contributors, we can now load NDS games from the SD card, without any flashcard/SLOT-1 card.

Don't expect high compatibility, but do expect many, many updates.

:arrow: Compatibility listing:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LRTkXOUXraTMjg1eedz_f7b5jiuyMv2x6e_jY_nyHSc/edit#gid=0

:arrow: The official Discord server for nds-bootstrap:
https://discordapp.com/invite/7bxTQfZ

:arrow: The thread for the recommended loader (by Robz8):
https://gbatemp.net/threads/twloader-ctr-mode-nds-app.448375/

:arrow: SRLoader for softmodded DSis (by Robz8):
https://gbatemp.net/threads/srloader-nds-app-for-dsi.472200/

:arrow: If you're more of a forwarder person:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/nds-forwarder-cias-for-your-home-menu.426174/

:arrow: Link to the releases page:
https://github.com/ahezard/nds-bootstrap/releases

:arrow: Anti-Piracy patch list by Robz8
https://gbatemp.net/threads/ap-patch-preservation.477536/

Also, thank you to our testers:
Historian
JoshuaDoes
thejsa
Alerdy
PokeAcer


Also, a video thanks to Robz8:

And another thanks to Alerdy:
 
Last edited by shutterbug2000,

RupeeClock

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I've been using TWiLight Menu++ and nds-bootstrap release version to play the fan translation of Mega Man Battle Network Operation Star Force (Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star), and I've encountered an issue with soft resetting and sleep mode.

It seems that games that use a certain implementation of soft-resetting (L+R+Start+Select) that return to the title screen whilst bypassing splash screens encounter this issue, such as the aforementioned game, or the Castlevania games like Order of Ecclesia.

The problem is that if you soft reset these games and have a 3DS game card in Slot-1, the next time you put the system into sleep mode or open the home menu, the software will be unavoidably closed. The work-around is to run these games without a game card in Slot-1.

I think what might be happening is that the soft reset process these games use are re-initialising Slot-1 or something, re-introducing the sleep mode bug that doesn't occur on initial boot with Slot-1 disabled.
 

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I've been using TWiLight Menu++ and nds-bootstrap release version to play the fan translation of Mega Man Battle Network Operation Star Force (Rockman EXE Operate Shooting Star), and I've encountered an issue with soft resetting and sleep mode.

It seems that games that use a certain implementation of soft-resetting (L+R+Start+Select) that return to the title screen whilst bypassing splash screens encounter this issue, such as the aforementioned game, or the Castlevania games like Order of Ecclesia.

The problem is that if you soft reset these games and have a 3DS game card in Slot-1, the next time you put the system into sleep mode or open the home menu, the software will be unavoidably closed. The work-around is to run these games without a game card in Slot-1.

I think what might be happening is that the soft reset process these games use are re-initialising Slot-1 or something, re-introducing the sleep mode bug that doesn't occur on initial boot with Slot-1 disabled.
Sounds like you're on an outdated version of TWiLight Menu++. The latest version fixes that bug, which occurs because you previously launched Slot-1 in TWLMenu++.
 
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Sounds like you're on an outdated version of TWiLight Menu++. The latest version fixes that bug, which occurs because you previously launched Slot-1 in TWLMenu++.
I believe this is the latest version though, TWLMenu++ v18.5.0?
I had just updated it using updater v4.4.0 prior to posting that.

To clarify, the sleep mode bug does not occur prior to any soft resets. The issue becomes reproducible after a soft reset.
 

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I believe this is the latest version though, TWLMenu++ v18.5.0?
I had just updated it using updater v4.4.0 prior to posting that.

To clarify, the sleep mode bug does not occur prior to any soft resets. The issue becomes reproducible after a soft reset.
Don't use the TWLMenu++ Updater. Please use Universal-Updater to update TWLMenu++ instead, as the TWLMenu++ Updater is discontinued.
 
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Don't use the TWLMenu++ Updater. Please use Universal-Updater to update TWLMenu++ instead, as the TWLMenu++ Updater is discontinued.

Okay, I've updated TWLMenu++ via Universal-Updater now, still v18.5.0.
I'm still able to reproduce the problem, using these steps on my N3DS XL running firmware v11.14 with Luma3DS v10.2.1:
  • Ensure 3DS game card is in slot 1 (Pokémon Ultra Moon EU in this instance)
  • Launch TWiLight Menu++ from 3DS Home Menu
  • Launch affected NDS ROM from TWiLight Menu++ (Mega Man Battle Network Operate Star Force, Castlevania Order of Ecclesia, etc)
  • Progress past title screen into gameplay
  • Enter sleep mode or press home button twice
    • System resumes DS gameplay as normal
  • Perform a soft reset using L+R+Start+Select button combination
  • Progress past title screen into gameplay once more
  • Enter sleep mode or press home button twice
    • DS mode software is closed, showing the 3DS system's "Software closed" screen
 

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Okay, I've updated TWLMenu++ via Universal-Updater now, still v18.5.0.
I'm still able to reproduce the problem, using these steps on my N3DS XL running firmware v11.14 with Luma3DS v10.2.1:
  • Ensure 3DS game card is in slot 1 (Pokémon Ultra Moon EU in this instance)
  • Launch TWiLight Menu++ from 3DS Home Menu
  • Launch affected NDS ROM from TWiLight Menu++ (Mega Man Battle Network Operate Star Force, Castlevania Order of Ecclesia, etc)
  • Progress past title screen into gameplay
  • Enter sleep mode or press home button twice
    • System resumes DS gameplay as normal
  • Perform a soft reset using L+R+Start+Select button combination
  • Progress past title screen into gameplay once more
  • Enter sleep mode or press home button twice
    • DS mode software is closed, showing the 3DS system's "Software closed" screen
Sorry, can't reproduce. :(
Is nds-bootstrap on v0.36.0?
 
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No change in Phantom Hourglass AZEE, still unbootable.
Phantom Hourglass AZEP no longer boots with default auto settings, must set heap shrink to either off or Hi (otherwise matches AZEE, black or white screen depending on FAT cache enabled or not.)
 

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No change in Phantom Hourglass AZEE, still unbootable.
Phantom Hourglass AZEP no longer boots with default auto settings, must set heap shrink to either off or Hi (otherwise matches AZEE, black or white screen depending on FAT cache enabled or not.)
USA version always booted for me. Are you sure the ROM isn't corrupt?
 
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Squall Leonhart

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USA version always booted for me. Are you sure the ROM isn't corrupt?

Positive, hash matches dat-o-matic, works on desmume, and R4 cart

what hardware are you using, i'm on a New 3DS.


Sorted it out mate, deleted the patch tables and AZEE boots again, Auto heap setting also works properly now.

Might be an idea to invalidate these when updates add new patchables or have an option to purge the patch tables in the settings for TWMenu
 
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Hello again! I don't have an issue this time, however I have a question out of curiosity. I saw the last release of Bootstrap attempted to add Slot-2 emulation which sounds amazing, but ended up not working out among other things. I was wondering, did you make some progress on it or are you putting it on hold for now? It would be amazing to send some Pokémon from my Emerald save, or get some PokéRadar chains with the GBA cart only encounters. Ofc don't pressure yourself Robz, you are making an outstanding job already!
 

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Hello again! I don't have an issue this time, however I have a question out of curiosity. I saw the last release of Bootstrap attempted to add Slot-2 emulation which sounds amazing, but ended up not working out among other things. I was wondering, did you make some progress on it or are you putting it on hold for now? It would be amazing to send some Pokémon from my Emerald save, or get some PokéRadar chains with the GBA cart only encounters. Ofc don't pressure yourself Robz, you are making an outstanding job already!
Unfortunately, implementing it turned out to be out of my scope.
 
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Ale64

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Unfortunately, implementing it turned out to be out of my scope.
Oooh that's such a shame. But I suppose is pretty hard to make bootstrap keep up with reading a save and ROM all the time. Fair enough, always do just what you are able to do, and never overwork yourself :)
 

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v0.37.0

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v19.0.0

What's new?
  • (me and @Pk11) An in-game menu similar to Luma's Rosalina menu has been added!
    You can dump the RAM, view/edit RAM, swap screens (which can still done by holding L+R+UP+X for 1 sec), reset the game, and exit the game.
    • It can be opened with the same button combo: L+DOWN+SELECT
    • This replaces the L+R+DOWN+B button combo, as you can exit the game in the menu.
    • Cannot be opened, if `Expand ROM space in RAM` is turned on, and if the game uses that feature (check TWLMenu++ per-game settings to see).
    • Cannot be opened, if the flashcard is running without access to the DSi hardware.
  • Cheat versions of AP fixes are now supported!
    • Detected by checking for the .bin extension in the filename.
  • Screens can now be swapped on flashcards!
Improvements
  • nds-bootstrap and B4DS have been merged into one .nds file! (HB is still separate.)
    • As a result, regular nds-bootstrap will now be used on flashcards, if DSi hardware is accessible (via SCFG), thus increasing game compatibility to nearly the same as when running from the console's SD card!
  • Heap shrink has been removed!
    Now all games will run fast as if it were turned on, but now no crashes will occur (and if they still occur, at least it's unrelated to shrinking the game's heap)!
  • Cache block size is now hardcoded to 32KB.
  • The card engine arm9 code is now moved to uncached memory, in case if a ROM hack makes use of the extra memory of the DSi in DSi mode.
  • Some minor optimizations.
Bug fixes
  • Fixed some bugs related to soft-resetting, when using forwarders on 3DS consoles.
  • Slot-1 is now disabled, if not in use. Fixes some bugs, if the frontend does not disable Slot-1.
Known bug
  • The in-game menu will appear as only a black screen in some areas of some games.
Regression
  • Some games that use DMA for card reads, will now either crash at some point, or not boot at all.
 

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v0.38.0

Included in TWiLight Menu++ v19.1.0

Changelog

  • When reading the ROM, the FAT code is now run on arm9, instead of arm7.
    • This saves overhead on arm7, so sound will no longer be delayed on some SD cards during reads, and local multiplayer will no longer stop with a communication error.
    • arm7 itself still does the sector reading of the SD card.
    • (NOTE: This does not mean that cloneboot support is implemented, so games using DLP for multiplayer will still crash on the other console.)
  • Proper DMA patches have been fixed and re-enabled!
    • As a result, game compatibility has been slightly increased, with games such as Army Men: Soldiers of Misfortune now booting!
    • If this causes local multiplayer to crash the game, you can turn off the card read DMA feature in TWLMenu++, in either the settings menu, or the per-game settings menu.
  • Some game compatibility regressions have been fixed, so games such as Dragon Quest V and Chrono Trigger now boot again!
 
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Unfortunately, implementing it turned out to be out of my scope.
So a question of curiosity. While full slot 2 may be out of scope, would it be possible to emulate, at the very least, slot 2 "save" emulation. Effectively referring to Gen 4 Pal parking from Gen 3 games. It'd be great if you could attach a .sav and read/write to it from the Gen 4 Pal Park games. Unsure if the complexity is the same as full slot 2 emulation -- though I'd still be excited to hear perspective.
 

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So a question of curiosity. While full slot 2 may be out of scope, would it be possible to emulate, at the very least, slot 2 "save" emulation. Effectively referring to Gen 4 Pal parking from Gen 3 games. It'd be great if you could attach a .sav and read/write to it from the Gen 4 Pal Park games. Unsure if the complexity is the same as full slot 2 emulation -- though I'd still be excited to hear perspective.
The complexity is the same, unfortunately.
 

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I feel like @Robz8 woke up one day, was bothered by the lack of development on bootstrap and then this happened:
[
612B1124-EFDC-4B37-B03E-6F92C880D65C.png
 

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Final Fantasy III now get a black screen at the intro but can skip the intro with the latest update (v19.1.0 and nds-bootstrap v0.38.0)
ds mode (67mhz) & VRAM off, card read DMA: off & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
ds mode (67mhz) & VRAM on, card read DMA: off & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
ds mode (67mhz) & VRAM off, card read DMA: on & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
ds mode (67mhz) & VRAM on, card read DMA: on & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
dsi mode (133mhz) & VRAM on, card read DMA: off & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
dsi mode (133mhz) & VRAM on, card read DMA: on & bootstrap: Release = black screen at the intro
 
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JacobMir

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The in-game menu options tab is not working (can't switch anything). Also idk why it is showing clock speed 67mhz and VRAMboost OFF when my game setting are set to 133mhz/ON.
 
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