Saves on an EFA-Linker...?

Discussion in 'GBA - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by beyondinfinite, May 27, 2008.

May 27, 2008
  1. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    I'm new to the whole flash cart thing. I just recently bought my first cart from jandaman, a 512Mbit EFA-Linker. I'm using the EFA Simple Card Client (version 1.0) with it. I got everything running and working great, and have been playing NES games and gba's on it.

    I have run into a problem though with saving. First I read that I cannot remove the cart from my gba or my saves will be deleted. Why is that true?

    I've been using pocketNES and I can save states and remove my cart and I can still load them back up. How is that different from other saves? It's the gba saving that I have the worst problems with. I can save games but indeed once I remove the cart the saves are erased. Is there anyway to prevent that? What if I want to back up my saves (get them off my cart onto my computer), is there anyway to do this without removing them from my gba and thereby losing the save?

    I've also had some games get deleted for no reason (my power light did go from green to red). Does the GBA power have anything to do with it?

    I guess I'm really wonder how the saving works with this flash cart. I was under the impression that the space that I allotted for my game's saves (when writing), was more than enough for the cart to have the saves and retain them, so long as I didn't remove the game from the cart (with the client). I've looked hard for these answers all over the place, but I couldn't find them.

    Thanks to anyone bold ( [​IMG] smart ) enough to answer my questions. Have a nice day!
     
  2. m12

    Newcomer m12 Member

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    Did you charge it for 8 hours when you first got the EFA linker?
     
  3. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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  4. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    can you list the games that get deleted and the order they are listed on your cart.

    The simple client loader only list 8 roms per page, so if you got more than 8 you will have to keep pressing down on the d-pad until it jumps to the next page. same for the up on the d-pad for going back to the previous 8.

    If your refering to the save area and not the games, here is your cause (most likely):

    The loader uses the first 8 letters of the rom header name or current rom name to address the save data.

    So say you got a game metroid fusion and metroid Zero mission for example. When you put them on the client software will use the header for the filename since it is unique. The problem with that is trying to remember the more cryptic descriptions to identify the game. The client software allows you to use a current name (something more descriptive). If you got 2 or more games with the same first 8 characters in the current name, they will point to the same save data on the rom reguardless what order you got them in.

    I found this out when I tried to cram all the metroid and zelda games on the same cart. I would play zero mission for a while then play fusion later on and it would tell me the save data is corrupt. Same thing for zelda when I had them labeled as Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap and Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, you can see from that to the loader recognized them as "Legend o" for both of them and how I get corrupt save data.

    For games like the mario advance series, label them like this:

    Mario 1 Super Mario 2
    Mario 2 Super Mario World
    Mario 3 Yoshi Island
    Mario 4 Super Mario 3

    I had to do this on one of the carts I got to have the first 8 characters in the name unique.

    make sure you erase the save space data before you start renaming things.

    This is version 1.0 of the loader, so yeah this will have problems. It would be nice to have a 1.x version of the simple client if someone goes and uploads it, that way some of the problems are gone if any.
     
  5. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    That's helpful. The games this happened with were Grand Theft Auto and Star Wars. Both I could save just fine, but when I removed the cart from the gba, the saves were lost (without even plugging back into USB, just out and back in). I can keep the saves as long as its plugged in (or not saved when gba has low batteries). Is there a way to make the saves stay on the cart even when I pull it out of the gba? Or is that just the way it works (needing a power source...I guess)?

    My Order was...
    PocketNES
    PocketNES
    Grand Theft Auto
    Goomba (GBC - 5 games)
    Zelda - Minish
    Star Wars Apprentice of the Force

    GTA was the game that when I saved it after the green light went red (on gba sp), the save was erased without me removing the cart.
     
  6. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    did you pick a save data of size zero when you put the games on the cart?

    There are 7 star wars games, if you got more than 2 of them on the same cart your gonna have the problem I described, especially if you start labeling them with Star Wars: xxxxxxxxxxx.
     
  7. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    Well if they are just disappearing try turning the gameboy back on after you turn it off to see if the, if your still losing data you will have to increase the save size to the next one up like if you picked 64k then pick 128k for the save size. you will probably have to reflash to do this.

    A red light when it is saving can cause the game to not save correctly, not enough power to power the write mode. best to have good batteries or have it plugged into the AC if you can.

    find out if you have to patch the games like the pokemon games before they save correctly. It would be a generic sram patch or something.
     
  8. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    I have tried increasing the save sizes. I'll post again when I get brave enough to remove the cart. As of right now I'm too deep in Zelda and don't wanna take a chance on losing my save >.
     
  9. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    The only thing I can think of is that the battery is failing in the efa-linker if the save size doesn't fix it.
     
  10. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    Ok, so I got up my courage and I removed the cart. I was able to hook the cart back up to my usb and I found that my saves were still there. I backed them up and saved them onto my computer. I tried to put my cart back into my gba, and when I did it got hung up on the game boy advance screen (the one just prior to the Loader menu starting). This happened a few times, so I rewrote all the games onto the cart again, and also rewrote my saves. The cart plays the games, but for some reason the saves arn't showing up. I have the saves on my computer, so I still have them, there is just a problem going from the USB to the GBA. Any ideas? I'm gonna keep trying to write it.
     
  11. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    I just opened up the .sav file on my computer to find that it was empty...my save game was lost. So it appears that whenever I remove the cart from the gba, the saves are purged. Anything that can be done? Is there anyway I can backup my saves? Could I power off my gba with the cart still in it and then plug it into the USB while still in gba just to pull off the saves? That a good idea at all?

    Its not so bad I have to leave it in, it just sucks my saves were erased...and it sucks that some saves work for some games ...pocketnes save states, goombagbc saves work*EDIT*--No, the goomba gbc states don't survive either--*EDIT* but no gba save can survive the dreaded pull.
     
  12. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    you will probably have to replace the battery in the efa-linker.

    I don't know where to get a rechargeable battery of the same type.

    you can always pilfer the battery part from say another cart like the elink of the same size. I did that when my old flash advance cart died.

    I have been pulling the battery from this cart since it is the cheapest. I buy like 10 of them at a time then desolder the battery:
    http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.4707

    I have been doing this for close to 2 years with my friends stuff and mine, since parts are hard to get.
     
  13. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    Would that battery be compatible with the EFA Linker? Is it that hard to switch batteries?
     
  14. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    you have to have soldering skills and know how to desolder the contact points. The batteries are the same type.

    you probably want to do this after you finish the game first.
     
  15. Linkiboy

    Member Linkiboy GBAtemp Testing Area

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    Believe it or not it could also be the softwares fault. It does patch the game to save correctly and the save disappears from it. Try to find a different download for the software.
     
  16. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    unlikely, there are no other versions of the simple client available. the company basically doesn't exist anymore.

    besides these were made back in 2006 and 2007 depending on the batches before they closed shop. The majority who get these will basically have about 1.5 or less in years of of game play before the battery goes bad due to poor storage conditions. these are not exactly new.

    grafting or canabalizing are pretty much anybody's options left to service gba carts that have been in anyone's collection for a while.
     
  17. beyondinfinite
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    Newcomer beyondinfinite Newbie

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    I got through my game, and started another. Unfortunately that save was erased and I never removed the cart (it also reverted another game save to a few days prior). I am gonna get the battery changed. My dad can help me as he is better at electronics than I am. But I was wondering if there is a guide or any online information to help guide us through the process. Know of anything like that?

    I can't tell you how much help you've been how_do_i_do_that...Thanks a lot.
     
  18. how_do_i_do_that

    Member how_do_i_do_that Blue Wizard is about to die.

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    nope unless someone decides to makes one. I asked if DX would sell the tabbed batteries by themselves or in packs, still waiting on an answer.
     
  19. Gardenhead

    Newcomer Gardenhead Newbie

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    This must be the problem with my cart, ffs why do I always get broken stuff. Do you know what sort of battery it is?
     

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