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 Post subject: GBALdr - 3in1 GBA loader [0.1final]
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:51 am 
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Location: Canada, eh?
Updated: May 14 2007 - V0.1 final
gbaldr_0.1final.zip (see bottom of post for additional files)
0.1 final is equivalent to 0.7 beta, nothing new aside from source inclusion and all disparate files in one package.

gbaldr_0.1final_hwupdate.zip - update to 0.1 to support new hardware (Jan 27, 2008)
gbaldr_0.1final_hwupdate2.zip - update to 0.1 to support new 3in1 plus hardware (Apr 4, 2009)

Main features:
- load GBA (or ds.gba) files to NOR
- launch game on NOR directly (ds.gba should boot in DS mode in most cases)
- load/dump saves to .sav files at will
.....(select where to load them to in SRAM when importing, always backs up 320k)
- can auto backup saves when changing games on NOR
- nearly full skinning support
- everything I could think that would be useful is in the ini file
~buttons rarely might be a little touchy, haven't figured out what causes that yet
- dumping GBA cart (always 32M even if over-dumping)

readme hidden here, it's in the zip too... read'em, they are better for you than broccoli and I ain't your momma.
GBALdr - V0.1 final - EZ 3in1
------------------
Big thanks off the top to BigBoss, your help has been invaluable.
It wouldn't be nearly this decent if people had been "where is it"ing for it.
Thanks to Sosuke and the mods at Sosuke's unofficial EZ flash board... it's nice to visit a site about stuff
I enjoy, where there isn't so much pathetic, depressing negativity about stupid things like "why cant I pirate xx rom?".


Whats New
----------
Apr 27 2007 - 0.1 beta 7 - deemed stable and marked as final V0.1
- error handling added to gbadump code (thanks mbmax)
- fixed a missing fclose() when checking if a file exists
- added more output to SRAM operation in debug version


Warranty and Liability
----------------------
I tried my best to make sure it works right, but there is no warranty expressed or implied.

This is not official software for the DS, as such it did not pass any rigorous testing beyond
that which I and the few who have received alphas were able to put it through.

It is your choice to use this software, and as such the author(s) can and will not be held liable
for your use of this software.


KNOWN BUGS
----------
- timestamps on new files are not accurate
- does not create directories when they dont exist
- do not place the gbaldr dir into hidden directories - use :/gbaldr/ as an alternate (for any card)

*If you have an EZ5 and a prototype 3in1 - do not use it's built in GBA booter with ROMs written
by this app unless the save you imported only works at 64k import, always use the DS main menu.*

If you find more, let me know via one of the contacts listed below


LIMITATIONS
-----------
- patching MUST be done by an external program. EZ4 client is currently best and the latest can be found at:
viewtopic.php?t=793
- 255 character path names (including "/" characters)
- 255 character file names
- 255 files in the current directory listing (dirs/sav/gba and ./.. if you have them set to show)
- single ROM at a time
- the method of determining exactly how much save space each rom takes has not been nailed down 100%
all save files produced by this app will be 320k until such a thing happens


Starting Up
-----------
Patch it with the DLDI appropriate for your card. For more DLDI files and info on how to patch it refer to:
http://chishm.drunkencoders.com/DLDI/

If you are a minimalist...
The application can work entirely independent of any external skin files, all you really need is the .nds
To keep the binary small and fast to boot, the only skin files included are a dialog box, font and icons

Holding R shoulder while booting will now enter dump mode. Cancel it or do the dump to return to normal boot process.

On your first boot of the application (or any time the save battery goes dead or is disconnected, or any time
the last page of SRAM is erased) it will prompt you with a message. You press the button, and it will backup
all data in the 512k SRAM save space to the file specified, then erase SRAM for use with this program.

GBALdr provides no way to restore _all_ of that data to SRAM, it only restores/saves the first 320k (64k*5).


Skinning (this may be confusing, but it is actually quite simple)
--------
There are various ways of skinning it, from sharing files with other flash carts skins to having your own files.
See included gbaldr.ini for more info in it's comments.

If you omit providing a subimg.bmp, it will turn off the spare screen's backlight.

If you remove a line in the ini entirely, it will automatically use the default value


SAV files
---------
When importing saves from programs other than copyTest or GBALdr (determined by file size - 320k or 512k.
it will ask you where to put them. If importing it doesn't work at 64k try 0k (opposite if you have a prototype unit).


Usage (this stuff should be pretty straight forward)
-----
A - picks something, if you can do something with it a dialog box will come up telling you what to do.
B - cancels or goes up a dir
START - asks if you want to launch the current game on 3in1 (if one has been written with this program)
R/L - changes the file filter
UP/DOWN - change selection
Press any key - press any button to resume, including touchscreen


ENOUGH ALREADY you say?
-----------------------
OK, enough with the boring stuff, go have fun and see what you can break so it can be fixed. This is the first public beta,
me, BigBoss and EZ team have all had a hand in bringing you this app. There are many more features to come, such as
emulated on GBA emulator support via some of the great 'scene' coders awesome multi system emulators, diagnostic mode,
multi ROM use (currently planning up to 4) and other tools to unlock the EZ 3in1 for users of cards other than EZ5.

But for now, let's try and make sure what is in there is going to be working properly. Just don't
rush it and it will come. Suggestions are welcome, so long as they don't involve re-coding the entire application.


Thanks: for using GBALdr
------------------------

Thanks to my father - I wish you were here to see this, I would have been so happy to show you it.
Thanks to BigBoss - your time and server space has been greatly appreciated!
Thanks to GBADev - without the main bunch of hangers-out there, so many answers would have been dust in the wind.
Thanks for all the hard work by the DevKitPro submitters, organizers and developers
Thanks to Chishm - libFat ROX!! Bugs and all! So does NDS_loader!
Thanks to Darkain - multiboot source has been widely used for a lot of fun things.
Thanks to EZ team - providing the incentive, sample and sample code to make this possible.
Thanks to Lick, Dragonminded and liranuna - and anyone else who has put out sample code for the rest of us to learn from.
Thanks to: Xanny the guy who made the wicked tiger and dragon skin I used in the demo pic and on my R4
and the guy who hosts them
http://www.mavisxp.com/r4/skins/1170020 ... Dragon.zip
Thanks to DarkFader - believe it or not, your initial work to hack the DS is still appreciated!
Thanks to Nicholas and Freek for the iniParser project. Why reinvent the wheel when you are building a rusty old Model T?
Thanks to GBATemp - for always being there for discussing things that GBADev doesn't allow
Thanks to anyone else who I have forgotten to mention specifically...
Thanks to GPF for the FCSR driver
Thanks to Martin for the great emulator


Contackt
----------
Contact me (cory1492) regarding this app at sosuke's unofficial EZ flash forum, through my blog or at
cory1492 [at] gmail [dot] com
Please, not for trivial stuff. If you are looking for "why can't I do this with this" or "what does this mean"
chances are it has been discussed on a forum somewhere already, or should be as someone else will want to know eventually too.
At best, if you ask me that kind of stuff you will get a link, at worst you will get ignored.


Legal(ese)
----------
Modified source to NDS_loader can be obtained separately from this project. It's code is not directly a part of this project,
only a binary that is created by it's source is used.

We used below describes anyone who is using this application, the author(s) of this application and included files.
DS, Nintendo DS, NDS and GBA are all trademarks of Nintendo (of America), we have no rights to them nor do we claim to.
We are not affiliated in any way with official NoA or other Nintendo subsidiary. This is some legal mumbo jumbo that we don't
know would stand up in any valid court, but it's here nonetheless.

This application and files included with it in the compressed archive are under no known trademarks
and are provided free for use and distribution provided the actual contents are not tampered with.

The skin in these images was originally made by Xanny from GBArl.it for the R4, though I modified them a bit they were found here. If this gets passed forward to other sites, please mention my thanks to Xanny in there somewhere, as I don't have a way to contact him directly to say it myself.

First image is a special version (not included, the real working one is included instead),
Second image is the debug version (included, used GPF's FCSR tools) - both taken with no$gba
Image Image

And the downloads:
gbaldr_0.1final.zip
gbaldr_0.1final_hwupdate.zip - update1 to support new chip/ID, overwrite the bin (.nds) from 0.1 if you have then hardware.
gbaldr_0.1beta3.zip - includes a special debug version which will tell you if you have a prototype
NDS_loader_mod.zip - chishm's VRAM nds dldi patching booter modified to act like passme


Last edited by cory1492 on Mon Apr 06, 2009 11:28 am, edited 20 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 5:59 am 
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Hehe. A multi-GBA type loader huh? Damnit. Maybe there will be a reason to get this thing afterall!

I wish I had one to test out the program, but this is awesome!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:04 am 
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Location: Canada, eh?
Multi isn't in there yet, gonna have to write a GBA launcher that has a way to save SRAM between games... that is going to take some more time and a chunk of NOR space up (meaning only around 30-31MBytes for games).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:06 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:19 am
Posts: 374
awesome! ill go try thisout!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:15 am 
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Wow. Incredible work guys - kudos to all those involved.

The configurable options you have included in gbaldr.ini is impressive and much appreciated. Looks like I'll have to start porting some EZ-V skins across :)

Cory1492 wrote:
If you have an EZ5 - do not use it's built in GBA booter with ROMs written by this app unless the save you imported only works at 64k import, always use the DS main menu.


Does this rule also apply to your EZreset app? I've tried it briefly but haven't hit any noticeable problems.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:19 am 
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Location: Canada, eh?
scrawl wrote:
Does this rule also apply to your EZreset app? I've tried it briefly but haven't hit any noticeable problems.
Nope, EZ5 kernel seems to force games to 64k into SRAM, but some games don't keep their saves there when you launch using other methods (DS's main screen, EZreset etc). The way I am dealing with it right now is to just backup all the SRAM that could possibly have been written to, and doing a normal reset with GBALdr without switching SRAM to the page EZ5 does. EZ's coder never did get back to me when I asked for an explanation for this behaviour about a week ago (some games use beginning of SRAM, some don't).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:19 am 
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I am so glad to see this out there! copyTest has a crappy UI and I didn't see a point in making another UI with this project going on. :lol:

I'll try to help with issues if Cory is not around as well.

We need a smiley holding up an "Applause" sign for this thing, it's excellent!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 2:43 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:43 pm
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Location: Colorado, USA
Excellent, just as I was wondering what the future for my 3in1 would be, I come here and find this. So far everything works great, I was able to bring in my saves from copytest just fine. However it still asked me if I wanted to put it at 0k or 64k even though your readme says it will auto detect for 512k saves, it does the same with the 320k saves that gbaldr makes as well. It wasn't a problem as long as I loaded them at 0k naturally, but still thought I'd mention it. The skinning feature is a great addon, already starting to make skins that match some themes I made for my simply. Keep up the awesome work!

EDIT: After putting the default gbaldr folder (the one with the ini and skin) into my _system_ folder on my simlpy, it wouldn't boot, my ds would hang on LOADING... as soon as I deleted it, loaded up fine. Not sure why it would do that, before I was using just the patched gbaldr.nds to test that out. I'm using the 1.04f firmware btw.

EDIT #2: Ok, after customizing the ini file, and using custom bkimg, subimg and dialog images and only having those in there at the moment in the gbaldr folder, lets my simply boot up. But this time, GBALdr hangs after it finishes erasing NOR, it just gets to 100% and sits there. Oh and the ini doesn't have a spot to change the color of the progress bar boarder, which always remains white.

EDIT The 3rd: Alright, in regards to my second edit, the error with it hanging after an erase was found to be caused because in the ini under the startdir setting, I originally put in /Gba and after changing it to /Gba/ it worked fine. Interesting though that when it was /Gba I could still see all the files in that folder, but when I hit B to go back, it froze as well as not showing anything in my root. Now it all works fine, still have yet to try making a custom font.dat, frame, and icons bmp, will update when I get there.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:13 pm 
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Great work. I've been looking forward to this forever.

One question that I had concerns Pokemon Diamond/Pearl... a lot of people (myself included) have caught Pokefever and are wanting to transfer GBA Pokemons over. I was wondering how this worked with flashing multiple ROM's to the 3-in-1. Will the Diamond/Pearl games automatically find the Pokemon game or what? I'm confused about how that will work.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:57 pm 
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Location: Canada, eh?
can't resist... must... kill... bugs... :lol: wound up not doing what I though I was going to be doing today, so here I be...

Volsfan91:When it gets in there, multi game mode will be optional (changing to it will erase the cart, prepare an area of NOR for saves and put a GBA boot menu at the beginning of the cart), though while using it linking will most likely not be possible. Currently it GBALdr is basically a fancy version of BigBoss' copyTest, BigBoss even contributed most of the SRAM/NOR code to make it... go.

CitizenSnap: great stuff, keep 'em coming as you find 'em and thanks ;) . It is meant to actually ignore your "/Gba" setting if it doesn't have the close /, I'll have double check for typos with that and the save file size recognition. I just tried again with the sample skin files from the zip on R4 in it's _system_/gbaldr directory, it worked fine for me... do you have your _system_ folder marked as hidden or anything odd like that?

edit:/beta 2 in first post, fixes 2/3 of the bugs you mention


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:26 am 
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Nice job Cory ;)

Will give a try when i have time. 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:29 am 
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And here is Gritty, ported from EZ-V to GBALdr.

I only wish Moonshell's skin.ini was as well commented as gbaldr.ini

Download it here

Image


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:03 am 
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Location: Tokyo, Japan
Wow, amazing.

I made my own skin (in 4 colors) just for this loader, enjoy. I tested it, works great. Font colors are changed and included in the archive as well.

Image
Download
Mirror

Btw, why if I boot the expansion from gbaldr it doesn't see the saves I can see if I boot it via the DS menu. It's my old saves, I made them while using CopyTest. I always booted to gba mode via DS menu though. So this thing uses different save bank than a default one (booting via DS menu)? Clear this up please, I'm a bit confused.


Last edited by Tadashi on Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:20 am 
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Tadashi wrote:
Btw, why if I boot the expansion from gbaldr it doesn't see the saves I can see if I boot it via the DS menu. It's my old saves, I made them while using CopyTest. I always booted to gba mode via DS menu though. So this thing uses different save bank than a default one (booting via DS menu)? Clear this up please, I'm a bit confused.

So was I... the likely problem (and cause of my confustion) was brought to my attention earlier today - I have a prototype unit and the retail units operate a tad differently.

I will PM you a link in a few minutes with 2 versions in it, tell me which one works properly for you (without doing any other operations first).


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:32 am 
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cory1492 wrote:
Tadashi wrote:
Btw, why if I boot the expansion from gbaldr it doesn't see the saves I can see if I boot it via the DS menu. It's my old saves, I made them while using CopyTest. I always booted to gba mode via DS menu though. So this thing uses different save bank than a default one (booting via DS menu)? Clear this up please, I'm a bit confused.

So was I... the likely problem (and cause of my confustion) was brought to my attention earlier today - I have a prototype unit and the retail units operate a tad differently.

I will PM you a link in a few minutes with 2 versions in it, tell me which one works properly for you (without doing any other operations first).

Oh, thanks for the fast response. I tested it, beta 3-16 works properly, it sees my saves just as I load via DS menu or R4 menu.


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