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Thread: NDS: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file for DS games

  1. #1
    PMD Researcher DeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherEvent ContributorModeratorSuper Moderator evandixon's Avatar
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    NDS: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file for DS games

    Often times, people wish to edit their Pokemon save file with Pokesav, but can't because they either don't know how, or don't have the hardware.
    This guide is intended to show the easiest ways of backing up (and restoring) save files either with what you have, or to show you what you need to buy.

    First off, I'll say that if you have a 3DS only (well, and your DS game), then you lack sufficient hardware. If you have only a DSi, then your only option is an Action Replay DSi with a microsd card slot (and I don't think those are made anymore, so look at a USB backup device).

    Are you trying to back up Pokemon HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black or White?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any method of running homebrew from the GBA slot (Slot 2) of a DS (not applicable for DSi's and 3DS's so say no)?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool (should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)
    How to back up:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue.
    2. Press Backup (Game -> .sav)
    3. Remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert your retail cartridge, then press A.
    4. When prompted, power off, reinsert your flashcart, then reload the Pokedoc's tool.
    5. Press B to continue whe prompted, then either select a file to overwrite, or press L+R to create a new one in whatever directory you are currently in.

    Your save file has now been saved to your flashcart.

    How to restore:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue
    2. Press Restore (.sav -> Game)
    3. Select a save file to restore.
    4. When prompted, remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert yout game. Press A when you have done so. (Don't worry if it says "File too small or no save chip!" if you have not inserted your retail cartridge yet)

    You have sucessfully restored your save file to your retail cartridge.


    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's tool (specific guide comming soon, however, this guide explains how to do this with a backup tool with a similer interface)

    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.



    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.


    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an Action Replay DSi with a MicroSD card slot or Action Replay Media Edition, and a DS that it will work with (and [obviousy] a MicroSD Card)? (Action Replay Media Edition doesn't work on any DSi model, both don't work on the 3DS)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use the Action Replay to backup the save file, then use your choice of NDS Save Converters to convert to Raw format. Alternatively, check here if you don't like using my converter...
    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any method of running homebrew from the GBA slot (Slot 2) of a DS (not applicable for DSi's and 3DS's)?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool or the Slot 2 Backup Tool (both should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any other method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)
    How to back up:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue.
    2. Press Backup (Game -> .sav)
    3. Remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert your retail cartridge, then press A.
    4. When prompted, power off, reinsert your flashcart, then reload the Pokedoc's tool.
    5. Press B to continue whe prompted, then either select a file to overwrite, or press L+R to create a new one in whatever directory you are currently in.

    Your save file has now been saved to your flashcart.

    How to restore:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue
    2. Press Restore (.sav -> Game)
    3. Select a save file to restore.
    4. When prompted, remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert yout game. Press A when you have done so. (Don't worry if it says "File too small or no save chip!" if you have not inserted your retail cartridge yet)

    You have sucessfully restored your save file to your retail cartridge.

    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's tool (specific guide comming soon, however, this guide explains how to do this with a backup tool with a similer interface)
    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.


    I have insufficient hardware. So what now?
    Spoiler
    You have several options. If you just want to send/recieve Pokemon from any DS Pokemon game (generatoin 4 or 5), then you can use http://www.pokecheck.org/

    If not, you could either buy the hardware required for some of the options above (like an Action Replay DSi with a microSD card slot and DSi; or a flashcart, regular DS [as in before DSi], and an EZ Flash 3in1) (not recommended), or you can try a USB backup adapter (recommended).

    The USB backup adapters are now listed in the 3DS save backup guide, since they work on DS games as well.

    You can feel free to ask for insight before purchasing anything. Be sure to post what hardware you already have.


    Oh, by the way, if you have Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver, and need a special backup tool for that (like if you have the NDS Backup Adapter, not the plus version), you can try this if you are confident enough: http://gbatemp.net/topic/215641-poke...ridge-success/

    This guide still needs some fine tuning, so feel free to suggest content.
    [Edit 6/6/2013] Added more on the R4i Save Dongle.
    Last edited by evandixon; Oct 14th, 2013 at 06:43 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: WIP: Retail cart backup guide

    Well, let's see..
    Interesting idea with the nested spoilers.
    It looks like much of the stuff could be expanded on a bit more, or linked to at the least. For the sake of clarity, perhaps note that the verdict of 'insufficient hardware' in this guide comes from following the spoiler flowchart.
    It also seems you might need some proofreading, though this is a rough draft, so I'm up for it if you'd like me to :3

  3. #3
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    sms4 will be able to back up 3ds saves at some point in the near future. the sms2 currently can and i've backed up and restored some saves with it.

  4. #4
    PMD Researcher DeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherEvent ContributorModeratorSuper Moderator evandixon's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    [Updated enough it is worthy of being stickied. May unstick this one soon.]
    If you find any typos or anything that needs attention, please inform me of them.
    @arcee: Yes, please.
    @Bond697: I'll add that ASAP.

  5. #5

    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Okay, let's see..

    Quote Originally Posted by evandixon View Post
    Often times, people wish to edit their Pokemon save file with Pokesav, but can't because they either don't know how, or don't have the hardware.
    This guide is intended to show the easiest ways of backing up (and restoring) save files either with what you have, or to show you what you need to buy.
    Hmm.. perhaps something like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by arcee
    Have you ever wanted to back up your sav, but thought you couldn't - because it's a retail cart? Ever wanted to edit it with PokeGen? Or perhaps, extract your .pkms all at once from the boxes, instead of one by one using the GTS exploit? Well, look no further!

    This guide covers:
    - Methods using only common tools (eg, flashcart, DS Lite; Pokedoc's tool)
    - Troubleshooting (coming soon?)
    - Simple instructions and important information on each procedure
    - Types of extra, physical tools you can buy to make the process easier
    ^ This could probably be reworded a little more, it's just more organized and gives a quick summary of what's going on.

    Anyway, are you sure you want to go with spoilers? It gets a little messy after you open everything.
    If I may suggest, I'd say you could just write a section for each tool, with a list of requirements (rather than a flowchart) and hide each in a spoiler. It'd be much easier to navigate and read, overall.
    Though, just my opinion :3

    Are you trying to back up Pokemon HeartGold, SoulSilver, Black or White?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)
    How to back up:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue.
    2. Press Backup (Game -> .sav)
    3. Remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert your retail cartridge, then press A.
    4. When prompted, power off, reinsert your flashcart, then reload the Pokedoc's tool.
    5. Press B to continue whe prompted, then either select a file to overwrite, or press L+R to create a new one in whatever directory you are currently in.

    Your save file has now been saved to your flashcart.

    How to restore:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue
    2. Press Restore (.sav -> Game)
    3. Select a save file to restore.
    4. When prompted, remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert yout game. Press A when you have done so. (Don't worry if it says "File too small or no save chip!" if you have not inserted your retail cartridge yet)

    You have sucessfully restored your save file to your retail cartridge.


    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's tool (specific guide comming soon, however, this guide explains how to do this with a backup tool with a similer interface)

    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.



    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.


    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an Action Replay DSi with a MicroSD card slot or Action Replay Media Edition, and a DS that it will work with (and [obviousy] a MicroSD Card)? (Action Replay Media Edition doesn't work on any DSi model, both don't work on the 3DS)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use the Action Replay to backup the save file, then use your choice of NDS Save Converters to convert to Raw format.
    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any method of running homebrew from the GBA slot (Slot 2) of a DS (not applicable for DSi's and 3DS's)?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use the Slot 2 Backup Tool (should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have any other method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)
    How to back up:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue.
    2. Press Backup (Game -> .sav)
    3. Remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert your retail cartridge, then press A.
    4. When prompted, power off, reinsert your flashcart, then reload the Pokedoc's tool.
    5. Press B to continue whe prompted, then either select a file to overwrite, or press L+R to create a new one in whatever directory you are currently in.

    Your save file has now been saved to your flashcart.

    How to restore:
    Spoiler
    1. Launch the tool and press B to continue
    2. Press Restore (.sav -> Game)
    3. Select a save file to restore.
    4. When prompted, remove your slot 1 flashcart and insert yout game. Press A when you have done so. (Don't worry if it says "File too small or no save chip!" if you have not inserted your retail cartridge yet)

    You have sucessfully restored your save file to your retail cartridge.

    No:
    Spoiler
    Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)
    Yes:
    Spoiler
    Use Pokedoc's tool (specific guide comming soon, however, this guide explains how to do this with a backup tool with a similer interface)
    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

    No:
    Spoiler
    You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.


    I have insufficient hardware. So what now?
    Spoiler
    You have several options. You could buy the hardware required for some of the options above, or you can try a USB backup adapter.
    I personally recommend the NDS Backup Adapter Plus:
    Spoiler
    NDS Backup Adapter Plus:
    Pros:
    -Supports updates so games that currently are unsupported may be supported in the future.
    -Supports backing up games with IR ports
    -Supports backing up 3DS save files (with firmware upgrade v3.0)
    -Simple software. Beginner friendly.
    Cons:
    -Windows 7 64 bit drivers require Driver Signature Enforcement to be overridden. Options include pressing F8 on start up then selecting Disable Driver Signature Enforcement, or using the Driver Signature Enforcement Overrider.
    -Doesn't backup ROM data (however, this will save you legal trouble)

    Where to buy:
    Console Source - I recommend these guys (at least for Canada and US residents). However, the price is higher than at other places.
    Renchi - I haven't heard of these guys until I did a bing search to find other stores to link to here. Buy at your own risk (however, they may still be a good store)
    Quicker Buy - Same story as Renchi

    Alternatively, you could buy an SMS4:
    Spoiler
    SMS4:
    Pros:
    -Driver free (makes me want to go buy one right now....)
    -Supports updates so games that currently are unsupported may be supported in the future.
    -Supports backing up games with IR ports
    Cons:
    -Doesn't back up 3DS saves. (Comming in a future update. If you have an SMS2, then it currently can.)

    Where to buy:
    IC2005


    You can feel free to ask for insight before purchasing anything. Be sure to post what hardware you already have.


    This guide still needs some fine tuning, so feel free to suggest content.
    The format could be like,

    Title:
    Creator (if possible!):
    Requirements:
    Description:
    Instructions:
    Troubleshooting:
    Games/Consoles supported:
    :3

  6. #6

    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Hey Cosby here! This is a great forum post. I was wondering if it was possiblr to put a .sav file onto the original cartridge. For example is it possible to put a .sav file of pokemon heartgold onto the nintendo sealed copy of the game. I have not been able to get a solid answer.

    Resources I have:

    Nintendo DSi
    Action Replay DSi
    Acekard 2i
    Pokesav
    4gb micro sd card.

    is it possible to do that?

  7. #7
    PMD Researcher DeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherEvent ContributorModeratorSuper Moderator evandixon's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Not with your current hardware.
    I recommend the NDS Backup Adapter Plus, and you can also try the SMS4, both mentioned in the main post.

  8. #8
    Pokemon fan MoonRays's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Just wanting to thank you for suggesting the NDS backup Plus I've been using it for a week now and it works great

  9. #9
    Pokémon Pianist Philip11's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Look's very useful yet confusing at the same time thanks.
    When Life give's you lemon's you make electricity.

    Hail to The King!

  10. #10
    PMD Researcher DeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherEvent ContributorModeratorSuper Moderator evandixon's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip11 View Post
    Look's very useful yet confusing at the same time thanks.
    What's confusing about it?

  11. #11
    Pokémon Pianist Philip11's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Quote Originally Posted by evandixon View Post
    What's confusing about it?
    I'm 11 that's why it look's confusing
    When Life give's you lemon's you make electricity.

    Hail to The King!

  12. #12
    Pokemon fan MoonRays's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)


  13. #13
    Super Moderator Translation ContributorDeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherRAM ResearcherIRC AOPEvent ContributorSuper Moderator
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    http://www.neoflash.com/forum/index....ic,7152.0.html

    the sms4 can now dump 3ds saves as well.

  14. #14

    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    I do not understand how to restore back to BW saves after editing them.

  15. #15
    PMD Researcher DeveloperGame Save ResearcherROM ResearcherEvent ContributorModeratorSuper Moderator evandixon's Avatar
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    Re: How to Backup/Restore your retail cartridge save file (D/P/Pt/HG/SS/B/W/Nearly any other DS game)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroManArmy View Post
    I do not understand how to restore back to BW saves after editing them.
    What hardware are you using? Slot 1 Flashcart with Wifi or EZ Flash 3in1? Slot 2 Flashcart? USB Backup Adapter? What?

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