Repairing a bricked Action Replay Duo?

Discussion in 'GBA - Game Development, ROM Hacks and Translations' started by aquafloe, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. aquafloe

    aquafloe Member

    Oct 2, 2007
    United States
    I've made a similar post on reddit, but I wondered if anyone in the GBATemp community would have any advice.

    I discovered my Action Replay Max Duo (the one for both DS/GBA) the other day, but it seems to be bricked. I modded it back in the day to work with the DS' "Animal Crossing Wild World" gamesaves (the modding process is found here). It was so long ago I forget if my modding or a failed firmware flash broke the device, but now it won't boot past the GBA startup screen. It simply shows a blank, white screen. I've been getting back into playing GBA after I completed my backlight mod, and I'd love to have a working AR too. I considered just buying another to replace it, but these go for crazy prices on ebay now. I'd rather see if someone can help me fix it.

    I have hardware that may help in this situation:
    • Nintendo DS
    • GBA Movie Player CF (aka M3 Adapter CF)
    • EZ Flash IV (MicroSD and MiniSD models)
    • Softmodded GCN/GB Player
    I found the ROM for the Action Replay Duo and loaded it onto the EZ Flash IV. Tried with and without save patching, and tried simply drag-and-dropping the .gba file onto the card. It never booted correctly, just a garbled gba boot screen.

    The GBA Movie Player, however, did boot the rom. It displays this message: picture

    That message is referring to the on/off switch on the top of the AR duo, which obviously the rom on the GBAMP is not detecting. I have a feeling that, if I could get enough time between the rom being loaded off the GBAMP and the rom actually booting up, I may be able to swap in the actual AR Duo hardware and re-flash its firmware. I haven't had any luck so far. I'm also looking into hex editing the rom to set the switch "on" (currently working in VBA's Memory Viewer). I have a basic understanding of hex editing from previous work, but this is more complicated than what I've done in the past. If anyone has any suggestions I'd appreciate the help. Thanks in advance!