Pokemon Soul Silver SAV to/from cartridge Success!

Discussion in 'NDS - ROM Hacking and Translations' started by Atashi, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. Atashi
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    Atashi Out of the Loop

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    I don't know if anyone else has solved this yet, I've just seen lots of discussion asking how. The retail game cartridge for SoulSilver (and presumably HeartGold) are built differently from other cartridges, to accomodate the IR communication. Consequently the normal methods for extracting the save files don't work. I.e. the wifi and 3in1 backup tools cant find / identify the save, and the USB hardware NDS Backup tool will tell you it's found the save (but identify the size incorrectly) then it will only copy out 1MB of nulls.

    I've taken apart my SoulSilver cartrdige to map out how it's set up. In normal cartridges, edge-connector pin 6 is the /CS signal for the EEPROM. See here for details. Toggling that line low gives you access to the EEPROM chip. In the SoulSilver cartridge though, pin 6 doesn't go to the EEPROM but instead it goes to the small MCU. My assumption is that the game is coded so that the /CS EEPROM signal is used to toggle both the eeprom and the IR device with that MCU handling the logic.

    Normal backup tools can't handle this, they don't know how these cartridges access the save data. However, my solution is very simple albeit requiring hardware hacking.

    All I had to do was identify which pin on the EEPROM chip was /CS (it's pin four). Then I soldered a jumper wire from the edge connector pin six to the EEPROM pin four:
    [​IMG]

    Once this was done, I was able to use the NDS Backup Tool and this time it successfully recognized the save as 4Mbit, and copied out properly. I was then able to use that .sav file on my flashcart (Acekard 2i with AKAIO 1.6rc). Furthermore, I was able to take the save file back and write it back out onto the retail cartridge, using this same setup.
    [​IMG]

    Once the save was written back out to the retail cartridge, I simply removed the jumper wire and re-assembled the cartridge. I was then able to continue the game on the retail cartridge & use the pokewalker etc.

    If one wanted to make this more elegant, it'd require soldering a SMT microswitch next to the IR transceiver, cut a hole in the top of the cart, then use the switch to control the /CS EEPROM line so you could switch it on or off without having to take things apart and resolder every time you wanted to read/write the save data... too much work for me I think.

    Anyhow, as I said, I don't know if anyone else has solved the problem but figured I'd share my results. For me, the important thing is being able to backup my game save data - I'm continuing to use the retail cart so I can play with the pokewalker. [​IMG]

    Cheers!

    -Atashi
     


  2. Shabang21

    Shabang21 GBAtemp Regular

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    Certainly a nice find. Well done [​IMG]
     
  3. FlashX007

    FlashX007 GBAtemp Maniac

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    thats something to be proud of if i could do that with my old diamond i wouldnt have given it away
     
  4. Poryhack

    Poryhack GBAtemp Fan

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    What a champ.
     
  5. Skyline969

    Skyline969 MENUdo Afficionado

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    Simply incredible! Good work. Now if only backup tools and whatnot can pick up on this and implement it into their software, we would all be able to back up and write to legit copies of the game. With that said, I won't be able to solder a wire from a pin to the EEPROM, because I've never soldered a day in my life, and I don't want to ruin a DS game. [​IMG]
     
  6. tajio

    tajio GBAtemp Fan

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    I really I picked Technology and Design instead of I.C.T!!! Then I could have learn't more about soldering and circuit boards etc...!!!

    Great work! Congrats on the find [​IMG]
     
  7. Pong20302000

    Pong20302000 making notes on everything

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    could this size of a .sav file be causing the problems?
     
  8. ferofax

    ferofax End of the World

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    not quite. divide 4Megabits by 8 and you'd get 512KiloBytes--which is the usual size of save files. don't get confused on the bits and Bytes stuff. [​IMG]

    oh yeah, awesome stuff. maybe i could ask a cellphone technician friend of mine to carefully set me up something like this... i can always hold his phone hostage to make sure he doesn't botch up. [​IMG]
     
  9. Searinox

    Searinox <3

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    Now with clear technical data as to what is different in the way retail HGSS save, maybe we'll get a software tool that does that.
     
  10. TM2-Megatron

    TM2-Megatron Predacon Commander

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    That's great work, man. Although I expect to get an NDS Adapter Plus in the mail next week for Hg/Ss save dumping, hopefully this information will allow someone to update Rudolph's NDS Backup Tools to be able to properly dump these saves. Not everyone's going to want to spend $30 on the hardware to do it, after all.
     
  11. awesome761

    awesome761 Advanced Member

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    THIS IS EPIC! [​IMG] [​IMG] I have been wondering for so freaking long about this and finally it got answered! yay!

    Now someone is gonna need to develop some software based on this information, or cheaper hardware (than the $30 NDS save adaptor plus.)
     
  12. Poryhack

    Poryhack GBAtemp Fan

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    The game has only been out for a week...
     
  13. ItsMetaKnight

    ItsMetaKnight GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    wrong, it has been out since september 09
     
  14. awesome761

    awesome761 Advanced Member

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    Exactly! This problem has been occurring since it came out in Japan and i have always been wondering!
     
  15. MushGuy

    MushGuy GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    And Japan had to wait this long for an answer? I wonder if they really had to rely on the NDS Adapter Plus in the meanwhile.
     
  16. awesome761

    awesome761 Advanced Member

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    Yeah they did, :/ and the NDS adapter Plus is pretty expensive too. Now all we need is a software update.
     
  17. Poryhack

    Poryhack GBAtemp Fan

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    The Japanese one has...

    The fact is that nobody gave a damn back then though. I knew about the problem, didn't find a solution, and bought myself the NDS Backup Adapter Plus before the US release because I saw this coming. Judging by what I've seen on this forum I'm the only one. So I find it hard to believe that anybody has been "wondering for so freaking long".
     
  18. awesome761

    awesome761 Advanced Member

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    Yeah you're right... I had the thought since it first came out but didn't really think about until the US release came out....

    Anyways so Poryhack since you own the NDS adapter plus does it work 100% with dumping/restoring?
     
  19. Poryhack

    Poryhack GBAtemp Fan

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    Yeah.
     
  20. altorn

    altorn GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    i am really tempted to do this, i can understand and do how its done but I don't want to damage my original Poke SS cart.

    i was searching in the forums on how to transfer save data from my Cyclo to the original cart but I guess I will either have to spend $30 on the adapter+, or solder my precious original cart.

    I spent 18hours(in game in CycloDS) on SS and I am on goldenrod. for the sake or fully usable pokewalker, i am not sure if this is even worth it.