Author Topic: Game Boy save (Pokemon Blue) not transferring back to the cart correctly  (Read 18599 times)

Offline tysontomko

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I was so happy when I saw that GB save writing works now with the latest firmware but sadly I can't get it to work and need some help.

- I've got the latest firmware installed
- my RETRODE.CFG is setup correctly as follows to enable sram writing:
[sramReadonly] 0
- in the Pokemon Blue game itself, at title screen I held B+UP+SELECT and successfully erased my game. At the title screen all I see is "new game" and "options" proving no save is present
- in Windows XP I copy/paste my PokemonBlue.srm (confirmed in emulator works and has save info) in and it looks like it works fine, but when I put the game in a Game Boy it acts like it never happened and there's no "Continue" option
- I tried using command line and both of the below commands went through successfully, but after removing device safely and putting the game back in my Game Boy I'm still unable to get any saves working
copy c:\PokemonBlue.srm d:\
AND
type c:\PokemonBlue.srm > d:\PokemonBlue.srm

Everything looks like it goes through fine but in reality the save file never makes it to my Pokemon Blue and I'm stuck without being able to play my game on real hardware anymore. If I'm missing anything please let me know. I'm willing to do anything at this point so let me know if you need any more info from me.

This is really important to me as nerdy as it sounds. If you need me any other info let me know. I'm willing to upload a video of what I'm trying or even get you remoted into my machine if absolutely necessary. I can't help but feel I'm so close!
« Last Edit: 10/Jan/2014 01:17:52 AM by tysontomko »

Offline Matthias_H

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Did savegame _reading_ work for that particular title?
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Offline Matthias_H

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"Deleting" files will be of absolutely no help here; on the contrary. The data needs to be written into the exact same file, and if the application or the OS complains about it, that likely indicates otherwise.

If nothing else helps, you may want to try the least user-friendly (but most reliable by far) way of copying save data back to Retrode with a hex editor (I prefer HxD). Just open source and target file, replace target data with source data (copy and paste) and save target.
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Offline tysontomko

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Did savegame _reading_ work for that particular title?

I tried it overwriting the current save and it didn't work originally so deleting the file was just another random step I took. To answer your question yeah it read the save perfectly. It was cool as crap playing my old save file in an emulator so worst case that is still excellent.

I'll try going the hex editor route tonight and check back with hopefully the good news. Thanks!

Offline univbee

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With Pokémon Blue I have the exact same problem, actually. I tried your HxD method; it complains of the drive being full but does let you save anyway. As a sanity check, I closed and reopened the srm file on the Retrode and the new data was there (even used HxD's file compare and it said the Retrode srm had the same data as the save I was trying to copy), but as soon as the drive is ejected everything reverts back to how it was. Here's a step by step of what I've done (on Windows 7 64-bit for what that's worth):

-Confirmed RETRODE.CFG file reflects 0.18d firmware and SRAM read-only set to 0.
-Plugged in Retrode with Game Boy cartridge connected. Retrode drive contains PokemonBlue.gb, PokemonBlue.srm, and RETRODE.CFG
- Opened PokemonBlue.srm in HxD, data is visible.
- Did the copy\paste trick. Despite identical data sizes HxD issues a warning about the drive being full, but lets you continue saving.
- Closed everything, re-opened PokemonBlue.srm in a new HxD instance, confirmed it shows new data.

Is there something that should be done at this point other than ejecting the USB drive?

Offline Matthias_H

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HxD should not be complaining about this. Where do you see the "identical data sizes"? Note the existence of two different "paste" commands, Ctrl+V and Ctrl+B (one of them overwrites the existing data, which is what you need). Does the Retrode's light go on when you save the file from HxD?

By the way, reading/comparing the file after writing does not mean anything, since the OS has cached the file and it's not actually reading it back from the cartridge. You really have to do the eject thing in order to see if it worked.

To rule out the possibility of this being a game-specific problem, do you have other games for which writing works?
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Offline tysontomko

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I'm at work right now and won't be able to test again until tonight, but here's what I experienced last night. I'm testing on Windows XP pro for all that's worth.

In windows (simple copy/paste) and in HxD (with overwriting data) the indicator light on the Retrode does light up as if it's working correctly. When I eject the game (either by safely removing hardware OR by pressing the reset button on Retrode itself OR rmc-eject in My Computer) the .srm file seems to revert back to how it was no matter what I try.

I am still able to successfully edit the retrode.cfg file and those changes are saving so I do have access of some kind. I've noticed when you purposely delete out a line of the retrode.cfg file and save it, it will automatically fix itself and that is the point when the .srm file also reverts. I've tried to be creative and save in HxD (light on Retrode blinks) then I purposely delete a line on the retrode.cfg file (leaving SRAMreadonly set to 0) with the idea of maybe I can reset it gently so it doesn't revert when I actually eject it, but sadly the same exact thing happens, the .srm file reverts to how it was before I made any changes.

I'll try another GB game tonight to see if it's game specific or not but really this is the only game I need to backup so I'm really really hoping something can be done.

Offline tysontomko

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UPDATE:   It does seem to be Pokemon Blue because I got another game working fine, the details:

I tried Final Fantasy Legends 2 (which is read as Saga2.gb and Saga2.srm), copied Saga2.srm to my computer, renamed to Saga2.sav, loaded it up with a GBA emulator and made some changes, copied/renamed file to Saga2.srm, in Windows XP copy/pasted Saga2.srm to the Retrode (my D drive), pressed the reset button on the Retrode, popped out the game, put it in my Game Boy...and it worked perfectly!  I also confirmed the HxD process works for Final Fantasy Legend 2 but still does not work for Pokemon Blue.

So since we know it's 100% definitely an issue with Pokemon Blue specifically what can we do to get it to work if anything?

Offline Matthias_H

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Thanks for checking with the other game. Then there's the possibility that the save battery is low. Does the cartridge retain the save when playing it on the Game Boy?

If that's not the cause, I'd have to have a look at the circuit board inside the cartridge to see if the game has any special mapper chips or something like that. An ever so slight possibility would also be dirt on the cartridge's edge connector, though that would have to be some extremely well-placed piece of gunk on a single pin.
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Offline tysontomko

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Pokemon Blue does retain its save normally when playing on the GB itself yes. The battery is probably on its way out as it's the original, but it still works perfectly so I doubt/hope that's not the case. What's more odd, is the Final Fantasy Legends 2 I tested DID have a dead battery as my original save was gone when I turned it on. I was able to create a new save file though and it did save (battery must be running on fumes) then the Retrode worked fine when I transferred over a newer save.

I'll make sure I triple clean it to be 100% sure it's not a dirt or gunk issue, but the fact it's happening to Univbee and myself the odds of that are pretty slim.

As far as looking at the circuitry itself let me know if you need me to take any pictures or anything. I'd be happy to help any way I can!

Offline univbee

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For what it's worth the cart I was working from just had its battery replaced with a new one. Also, mine already has a placeholder save on it (just from the start of the game) which persists, it just never gets overwritten by the Retrode.

I'm pretty sure there's something unique that's specific to the Pokemon games. The game has a large save (32 kilobytes versus, for example, FF Legend 2 with 8 kilobytes) due to having to maintain all the stats for hundreds of Pokemon.

Offline Matthias_H

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Maybe only a portion of the SRAM is being overwritten then? Anyone care to fire up their hex editors and give it a try?
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Offline MasterOfPuppets

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I get a there is not enough space error when trying to copy a Pokemon Yellow save back.

It seems you are correct in guessing only a portion of the SRAM is written when using a hex editor. I can't tell exactly when it stops (lots of empty space), but by offset 2000 they are different.
« Last Edit: 16/Jan/2014 02:27:35 AM by MasterOfPuppets »

Offline tysontomko

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I get a there is not enough space error when trying to copy a Pokemon Yellow save back.

It seems you are correct in guessing only a portion of the SRAM is written when using a hex editor. I can't tell exactly when it stops (lots of empty space), but by offset 2000 they are different.

I'm probably stating the obvious but I tried Yellow and Red and they do the exact same thing. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help but as it stands now I am spent. I've tried being as creative as possible and the results are still the same.

Offline Matthias_H

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I guess right now the only solution would be that someone sends me a Pokemon game, and I'll sit down and try around until I have it working :)
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