Flash / Write Official GBA Development Flash Carts With An Nintendo DS

Discussion in 'Nintendo DS Guides' started by InsaneNutter, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    This tutorial will teach you how to flash / write to a GBA development cartridge with a rom of your choosing, using an Nintendo DS or DS Lite. No expensive GBA development hardware is required.

    Back story:

    For a long there has been no publicly documented way to flash / write to a GBA development card. It’s often been believed the only way is with obscure development hardware, using software that is incompatible with modern operating systems.

    However, in this tutorial I will teach you a a much easier way, which hasn’t been talked about in any online communities. This way uses a homebrew application on an Nintendo DS or DS Lite. The source code for this homebrew application has always been out there, however efforts to compile this failed, which was another obstacle all together. Today all the pieces of this puzzle are together in one place, so keep reading on.


    How To Flash Official GBA Development Flash Carts:

    Firstly, you are going to need a revision of a GBA Development Flashcard supported by FlashAdvance Slot1 Flasher (FAS1):

    Supported GBA Development Flash Cards:
    • Rev 02
    • Rev 03
    official-gba-development-carts-rev2-rev-3.jpg

    Left: Rev 02, Right: Rev 03

    Unsupported GBA Development Flash Cards:

    • Rev 01
    • Rev 04
    • Any 256mbit card
    Rev 01 and Rev 04 could be supported by FAS1 if they were documented by like the more common Rev 02 and Rev 03 development cards.

    To flash a GBA Development card we are going to use the FAS1 homebrew application running on a Nintendo DS or DS Lite and will need the following:
    • Nintendo DS or DS Lite
    • Slot 1 DS Flashcard
    • GBA Development Card
    • FAS1 (Homebrew Application)
    • Rom you wish to flash to the GBA dev cart
    Here is a compiled version of FAS1 v 1.7b: Download FAS1 1.7b

    Copy FAS1 to your Nintendo DS flashcard as you would any other homebrew application

    flash-official-gba-development-carts-1.jpg

    Next create a folder called GBA on the root of your flashcard, inside this folder copy the rom you wish to flash to the Official GBA Development Flash Cart. In this example we will use the Doel Deoxys Distribution.

    flash-official-gba-development-carts-2.jpg

    Insert the Official GBA Development Flash Cart in to Slot 2 on the Nintendo DS / DS Lite.

    Keep in mind if you have a Rev 3 GBA Development Flash Cart then you need to ensure the write protect is disabled, this is done by moving this switch to the right:

    flash-official-gba-development-carts-5.jpg

    • Now load FAS1, the same as you would any other homebrew application
    flash-official-gba-development-carts-3.jpg
    • Then select the GBA rom you wish to flash to the Official GBA Development Flash Cart
    • Finally let FAS1 do its thing
    flash-official-gba-development-carts-4.jpg

    Congratulations you have now flashed a Official GBA Development Flash Cart!

    Below is a video of this process, showing a Rev 2 and Rev 3 Official GBA Development Flash Cart been flashed:



    Final Notes:

    The information I’ve provided can obviously be used for both good and bad, like a lot of things out there. My aim of this post is to bring awareness as to how easily it is to actually re flash a GBA development cart, as it seems to be the general impression this is near enough impossible without GBA development hardware, which is not readily available.

    Also a big thank you to both @Deoxyz and @YoshiMoshi for the work they did to make what your reading today possible.

    For more information on the controversial side of this, please see my post: How Pokémon GBA Distribution Cartridges Are Replicated and Sold For £1000’s.
     

    Attached Files:

    Lexi, HudU1801 and Deoxyz like this.
  2. speeddeamon77

    speeddeamon77 New Member

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    just bought an official GBA dev cart with the intention of flashing it with the Aurora Ticket distribution rom. I have no intention of selling it; just trying to add to my collection of Deoxys things. Before I do anything however, I have a few questions. I'll list them in terms of importance
    1.) I notice in the pictures abound that the Rev 3 dev cart only has 32 and 64 Mbit sections on their labels. The cart I purchased has a 128 section along with the other two. Is this what you refer to as a Rev 4? Will this guide not work with my cart?
    2.) Is there a way to keep the current rom saved somewhere? I don't know much about game development, so I can't say for sure if the game rom that is on this dev cart is rare or incomplete or anything, but I would like to save it in case it is something unique. That, and because I just like having a backup of what it was originally intended for.
    3.) Will an R4 flashcard work?
    4.) Can this be done on MacOS? I can use bootcamp if not, just wondering if I can save myself some trouble.
    Thanks! I am very much a noob when it comes to all of this so any help is appreciated!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  3. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    1. The cart you have should work ok as its only a 128mbit card.

    2. You can use GBA Backup Tool to dump the current contents of the dev card to a rom. You should do that as you might have something rare on the dev cart you purchased. This is just another DS homebrew application. Essentially copy this to your flash card, load it up and use the menu option to dump the rom / save.

    3. An R4 flash card should work fine

    4. The OS of your computer doesn't matter, all you need to do is copy the homebrew applications on to a FAT32 formatted MicroSD card, to use in your DS flash card.
     
  4. King Impoleon

    King Impoleon Active Member

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    On my Flash Card comes another screen:

    Detecting Flash Type:
    Manuf: i-0x2e
    Device: i-0xea00
    Standart ROM

    Unsupported flashcart (0x2e)
     
  5. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    What card revision / flash size is your card? Rev 01, Rev 04 or any 256mbit revision card is unsupported.
     
  6. Omar Elsayed

    Omar Elsayed New Member

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    Is it possible to use bootleg/repro carts instead of the development carts as they are hard to find, and I think repro carts don't have any write protection on them.
     
  7. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Probably not using the software used here, however what is your end goal? a GBA flash cart might be the best option.
     
  8. theskipster

    theskipster New Member

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    So in the post it's mentioned that Rev 01 and Rev 04 would be possible with more documentation, is that also true of 256mbit carts? Or are those not possible at all. If so, curious as to why. Also, what do the Rev 01 and Rev 04 look like? Can't seem to find images of them by googling those terms.
     
  9. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Yes I'd imagine its possible to support all sizes / revisions if someone with the relevant skills had access to the hardware and the time to implement such functionality.

    Any cart not supported seems to be due to lack of access to the hardware / lack of documentation on the hardware to enable a developer to implement the functionality.

    From what I remember the Rev 01 looks similar to a GBC cart, Rev 04 i've never seen.
     
  10. theskipster

    theskipster New Member

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    Well I've got a 256m one now (since I'm dumb and didn't realize I couldn't reflash it. Want to flash an Aura Mew ROM for my collection, as its the only Mythical pokemon up to Genesect I can't generate infinite of through "legitimate" means". Anything I can do wit the 256m cart to potentially help get an update to FAS1? Would be willing to send the cart to someone if needed.
     
  11. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Does the 256m card have a dip switch to reduce the size? you could try that and see if you can write to it then. Other than that i don't know about getting the program updated as no one is actively developing it unfortunately.
     

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