1. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    A .ds.gba file is an .nds file with a loader attached to make it work from a GBA flashcart. Any such software should work on the 3-in-1. GBA homebrew like Goomba comes as .gba files, not .ds.gba.
     
  2. SargeSmash

    SargeSmash GBAtemp Regular
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    Is it just me, though, or is losing saves pretty much par for the course with this loader? I think I've got it narrowed down to swapping from PSRAM to NOR modes. You would think, given that it generates a .SAV file for GBA games in PSRAM mode, that it would reload those properly back into SRAM. That doesn't seem to be the case.

    Now, whether this workaround works or not, I do not know, but it would seem that perhaps backing up the SRAM to SRAM.BIN before swapping modes, and making sure to backup SRAM before leaving NOR mode would solve the problem, then just restoring the SRAM in their respective modes. For the one or two tests I've done, that seems to work.

    Curiously, though, I lose some saves (Advance Wars 2, Boktai, etc.), but I have one that remains (Zelda: Four Swords). As far as I can tell, all of them are EEPROM saves, so I don't think that's the issue. They've also all been patched using the EZ-Flash IV Client. I'm really starting to wonder if just using srampatch and making them all SRAM saves would work, and if it would make a difference in the persistence of the save files. Or does the EZIV Client already assume that everything will save SRAM-style?

    Anyway, this will be really nice when all the kinks are worked out. It's already pretty darn spiffy.
     
  3. imyourxpan

    OP imyourxpan GBAtemp Fan
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    yeah it confused me with v1.9. i think i'm going to use the gba loader v1. thank you [​IMG]
     
  4. O.G

    O.G Advanced Member
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    Nope, Rudolph's loader is quite easy to use. When you either want to switch games, or just backup up the save. You press the "B" button on the ds when your in the loader. People forget that SRAM in the EZV 3 in 1 is volatile.
     
  5. anarchyburger8t8

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    i just got this working with my R4, but my question is how do you get rid of the "r4 gba loader" frame cuz that thing is annoying
     
  6. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    Delete "gbaframe.bmp" from the _system_ folder.
     
  7. Dunny

    Dunny GBAtemp Regular
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    Interesting - power-off has no effect on the current save game, and I regularly run the batteries completely flat when I'm out and about with absolutely no loss of saved-games. You're right in one respect though, for the majority of games you do have to manually backup your save. The big question is, why does the loader not do this automatically?

    D.
     
  8. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    What version are you using? I haven't used 1.9 much at all, but I had no problems with saves in 1.8 or 1.3 (the only versions I've used extensively). It DOES back up the saves automatically in those versions, and it should in 1.9 as well.
     
  9. Dunny

    Dunny GBAtemp Regular
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    Looks like I'm gonna have to try v1.8 then!

    FWIW, my last quick test was to load up Ms PacMan MM, finish a level and save. Then reboot, and load up Harvest Moon - go through character generation and save. Then reboot, and load up Ms PacMan MM again - presto, no save!

    Manually backing up saves appears to work until I start a game of DKC2 - while nothing gets saved, it also handily wipes out the Ms PacMan MM save [​IMG]

    All games run from PSRAM, btw.

    Gonna try 1.8 and see if that helps.

    D.
     
  10. O.G

    O.G Advanced Member
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    The SRAM doesn't automatically save it as a sav. You do have to back it up as a sav file. The SRAM is volatile for switching games.
     
  11. Dunny

    Dunny GBAtemp Regular
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    But only when I switch a game. I still maintain that any program worth it's salt will automatically back up the contents of SRAM when switching a game - but, seeing as how I have yet to write my own launcher, I really can't complain, can I?

    D.
     
  12. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    Volatile, when used in reference to computer memory, means that the data is lost when electrical power is no longer supplied. SRAM is volatile. The system of SRAM with a battery to power it is not volatile as long as the battery has adequate charge.

    All of the programs written for managing games on the 3-in-1 (copyTest, GBALdr, 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool) automatically back up the save data from the SRAM to a .SAV file on the slot 1 cart when you switch games. I have tested this personally. None of the programs even have an option to not automatically back up the saves.

    If the saves are not being backed up for you, something is going wrong in your particular hardware/software setup.


    Dunny: I've done a bit of testing with 1.9 and had no problems with the saves not being backed up. I'll test with Ms Pac-Man and Harvest Moon and see if those games give me a problem.

    EDIT: I started Ms Pac-Man, finished the first level, then saved. I then turned the power off, loaded Harvest Moon FoMT, started a game, and saved. I loaded Ms Pac-Man again, and my save was still there. I then loaded Harvest Moon, and my save was still there for that game as well. At no point did I do any manual backing up of saves.

    One possibility: cory1492 (the guy that wrote GBALdr) said that at some point the data in the SRAM on his 3-in-1 became corrupted, and he was not able to get GBALdr to back up saves from SRAM until he basically blanked out the SRAM. Something similar might be happening in your case.

    Here is a blank SRAM.BIN file: click to download. If you write this file to the SRAM with the 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool it should completely remove all data from the SRAM. This may help, or it may not, I really don't know. Back up your saves first if you try it.
     
  13. SargeSmash

    SargeSmash GBAtemp Regular
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    Then I must be doing something wrong. Despite my backing up saves in PSRAM mode, if I flash something to the NOR, it corrupts the save. Restoring doesn't seem to work quite right, either. It's very odd, honestly.

    What I THINK is happening is that the loader thinks that the SAV file for the PSRAM game is still in memory. When you swap from having saved the game in NOR mode, and run the game that it still thinks it has a save for, it sees corrupted data, which promptly gets saved to the SAV file on exit. Just a guess, of course.

    As long as I stay in either NOR mode or PSRAM mode, things seem to work great. It's when I swap, even despite backing things up, that things tend to go awry. If someone would tell me the exact process you go through upon swap, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Also, if it wasn't clear, I'm using an R4, version 1.9 of the loader in the root directory, and have the ROMs in the GBA folder and a SAVE folder. Firmware on the R4 is 1.08b, which I don't think will make much difference, but I figured I'd mention it anyway. MicroSD card is a Japanese Kingston 1GB.

    Also, Destructobot: Have you tried all of this and swapping back and forth? I don't have to manually back anything up if I don't swap modes. And I'm not entirely sure the manual backup is working correctly, either.
     
  14. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    The saves for PSRAM and NOR mode are in different areas of SRAM, and are completely independant of each other. If you load a game into NOR, play it, and save, its save is not backed up when you load a game into PSRAM, because that game won't overwrite the save for the NOR game (it's not supposed to, anyway).

    PSRAM saves are only automatically backed up when you run a game in PSRAM mode, and NOR saves are only automatically backed up when you write a game to NOR.

    I've never had a problem going from playing a game in PSRAM mode to playing a game in NOR. There is no process I go through, I just play the game that's already in NOR like a regular GBA game, or I run the 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool and load a game into PSRAM and play it, or I write a different game to NOR and play it by either pressing X or by restarting the DS and running it like a regular GBA game.

    I did briefly test playing a game in PSRAM mode then playing a game in NOR mode, and vice versa with v1.9, and had no problems. The saves were intact.

    I'm starting to think that there may be different versions of the 3-in-1 that behave just differently enough to cause weird problems with the SRAM. What versions of the 3-in-1 are you guys using (black, white, GBA size)? If black, did you get it right when it was released?
     
  15. mikagami

    mikagami GBAtemp Fan
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    I'm having trouble with my 3-in-1 as well, I patch it with the client (Save Fix is the correct patch, right?) And then load it up with the 3-in-1 Expansion Tool. I can save fine in games, but when I reset my DS, the saves aren't there. Using 1.8 and using it with M3 DSS 1.06. Any help/suggestions?

    Note - My 3-in-1 expansion is a black one, and I just recently bought it.
     
  16. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    Yes, the save fix is the reason you need to patch games.

    Write a game to NOR, restart the DS, and run the game from either the M3 menu or the DS menu, not the 3in1 Expansion Pack Tool. Save your game, then turn off the DS for a few minutes. Turn the DS back on, run the game again, and see if your save is still there.
     
  17. mikagami

    mikagami GBAtemp Fan
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    Thank you very much for the quick reply, I will test this out now.

    No luck... does the "saver" folder that the patcher outputs affect anything? I didn't attempt to do anything with it because I didn't think it affected anything. Any other suggests? Am I out of luck?
     
  18. Destructobot

    Destructobot Crave the Hammer
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    If the 3-in-1 isn't retaining the save data when you turn the power off, the problem is probably the SRAM battery.

    First, take out the 3-in-1 and look into its opening to see if the battery is actually there. It looks like a disk or a coin about 1/2 inch (1 cm)in diameter, and it's yellow around the outside.

    If the battery is there, put the 3-in-1 back in the DS, turn it on, and leave it on for a few hours. The 3-in-1's battery charges from the DS. If it has just lost its charge, this should get it working again.


    The "saver" folder (and the save files the EZ4 Client puts in there) are not needed for the 3-in-1.
     
  19. mikagami

    mikagami GBAtemp Fan
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    Alright, I will try. I see the battery in there, so I guess that's a good start. Thanks for all your help.
     
  20. Dunny

    Dunny GBAtemp Regular
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    Mine is a black 3-in-1, arrived about a week ago from DealExtreme. I've not yet played any games in NOR, I always run them from PSRAM, as NOR flashing takes forever and I generally play several different games in one day.

    Tried the BIN file you posted, and no luck whatsoever - if I don't manually back up my saves before loading a new game (note that the save currently in SRAM doesn't get corrupted when I power off, and has never failed to work fine when I reload the last game I played), then the save is lost - and I mean totally lost - I would have thought that the current progress would be lost and I'd have to go back to the last save, but no; it's completely wiped... The file is just a load of zeros.

    Your comment about a bad batch of 3-in-1s might hold up - it's doubtful that it's the battery, as power-off retains the current save.

    D.
     
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