GameBoy / GameBoy Colour USB Save Game / Rom Backup

Discussion in 'Console Guides' started by InsaneNutter, May 13, 2017.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review.jpg

    This is a modern way of backing up GameBoy / GameBoy Colour save games, over USB on any modern version of Windows, including Windows 10. You can also dump roms of your GameBoy / GameBoy Colour game cartridges over USB

    Why backup your GameBoy / GameBoy Colour Save Games?

    Most GameBoy cartridges have a small battery inside them with keeps your savegame on the cartridges SRAM. Like ram in your computer when the power source is removed the SRAM looses it contents, this being your save game. At some point the battery powering the SRAM is going to run out of power, wouldn’t it be nice if you could backup your saves to the pc and be able to use them on an emulator or on an Nintendo 3DS virtual console copy of the game?

    What you need:

    This tutorial is for the J.Rodrigo Cart Flasher for GameBoy, this is a home made USB card flasher in a 3D printed case by J.Rodrigo. Think of it as a usb card reader, however for GameBoy and GameBoy Colour cartridges, its even a similar size to a multi card usb card reader as you can see:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-2.jpg

    You will also need a Micro USB Cable, if you have an Android or Windows mobile phone the USB cable from this should work fine with the J.Rodrigo Cart Flasher for GameBoy

    Software:

    GB Cart Flasher for Windows
    32bit and 64bit CDM Drivers

    On Windows 10 i didn't even require any drivers, i simply connected the Cart Flasher for GameBoy to my PC via my phones Micro USB cable and Windows 10 recognised it and set the drivers up automatically for me, however ive included the drivers above as it's likely you might need them on older versions of Windows.

    Windows 10 recognises the Cart Flasher as a USB Serial Port:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-driver.jpg

    With the Cart Flasher connected via USB simply load up the GB Cart Flasher software and you should see it has recognised the device is connected via USB:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-1.jpg

    Insert the game cartridge you wish to backup a save of or dump a rom of and click "Cart Info", you will see the info about the game cartridge is displayed to the right:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-2.jpg

    Take note of the rom size and ram size displayed to the right, as you will need to set the FLASH and RAM size to the left.

    So in this example the ROM size is 1MB, so this means the FLASH size is 1024KB (1MB = 1024KB) and the RAM size is 32KB:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-3.jpg

    Now we have set the correct FLASH and RAM sizes, we can read or write to the RAM on the GameBoy game cartridge, esentially backing up or restoring our save games.

    Clicking "Read RAM" will backup the savegame on the game cartridge to your PC, you will simply be asked for a file name, then it will be backed up.

    Clicking "Write RAM" will ask you to select a save game on your PC to write to the game cartridge, so you might have a save game you have downloaded from the internet you wish to write to your physical cartridge:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-4.jpg

    This is a pretty quick process only taking a few seconds.

    In addition to backing up your savegame you can also dump a rom of your game cartridge, this is done by simply clicking the "Read FLASH button"

    The time to dump a rom of your game will vary depending on the size of it, a 1MB game took 2 mins 11 seconds to dump and a 2MB game took exactly double the time at 4 mins 22 seconds.

    Now if you have a Flash Cartridge you can also write a rom back to it by clicking "Write Flash" you can't write to a standard game cartridge, it has to be a special Flash Card. You can purchase a 2MB or 4MB Flash Cart from J.Rodrigo also. I don't know if other flash cards will work with the Cart Flasher for GameBoy or not:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-5.jpg

    Finally you can erase a flash cart by clicking "Erase Flash" or erase a save game from any game cartridge by clicking "Erase Ram":

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-6.jpg

    That's all their really is to it, everything is really user friendly.

    To test your save game has dumped ok make sure its named the same as the ROM image
    e.g. Gold.GB and Gold.SAV, only the file extensions should be different.

    Now load the ROM in an emulator, all the saves I’ve dumped work fine in Visual Boy Advance or TGB Dual:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-7.jpg

    As you can see from the above photo my Pokemon Gold save has been dumped from the cartridge and is working perfectly in the emulator Visual Boy Advance.

    You could now even do a GameBoy save transfer to the Nintendo 3DS
    if you happen to have a 3DS capable of running homebrew.

    I hope this has helped you to discover a modern, easy way to backup your GameBoy and GameBoy Colour games using modern hardware and versions of Windows. This is certainly a much easier method than what i recently used to trade some 17 Year Old Pokemon to the new Sun / Moon games.

    Some images of the Images of the Cart Flasher for GameBoy:

    gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-2.jpg gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-3.jpg gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-4.jpg gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-5.jpg gb-cart-flasher-dumper-save-backup-windows10-review-6.jpg

    I think this is a great independently developed product, it's not made by a company or anything, just someone at home with a passion for electronics from what i gather.

    The device is powered via USB and has a green power light, so you know when its on. When you are reading from a cartridge you have a red and blue light which come on to show activity is happening.

    The Cart Flasher for GameBoy is certainly a very nice little device and feels like a quality product. If you are looking for a modern solution to backup GameBoy or GameBoy colour saves i'd certainly recommend it.

    The alternatives require an old PC with a parallel port, running Windows 95 to XP and hardware which has not been manufactured for the last decade now. You can see the old process in my old guide on how to backup GameBoy and GameBoy Colour save games from retail cartridges.

    The Cart Flasher for GameBoy is about as easy as its ever going to get in my opinion.
     

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  2. Ammako

    Ammako :3

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    It's really too bad that this is being made years too late. At this point the demand is probably a bit low, most people with childhood games would have needed this years ago, but chances are their save files are gone by now and they don't really have an use for this.

    Good price though, hopefully these keep being made (even if on-demand or something) because I'd be interested in having one at some point since GB/C is the only Nintendo handheld for which I can't read/write saves nor dump roms right now.
     

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