evandixon

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

169 posts in this topic

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:

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:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool (should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

No:

Do you have any method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?

Yes:

Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?

Yes:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)

How to back up:

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:

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:

Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)

Yes:

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:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

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:

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:

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:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool or the Slot 2 Backup Tool (both should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

No:

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:

Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?

Yes:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)

How to back up:

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:

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:

Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)

Yes:

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:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

I have insufficient hardware. So what now?

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-pokemon-soul-silver-sav-tofrom-cartridge-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.

Edited by evandixon

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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

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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.

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[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.

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Okay, let's see..

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.

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:

Do you have any method of running homebrew via the NDS slot (slot 1) on a DS other than a 3DS or DSi?

Yes:

Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?

Yes:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)

How to back up:

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:

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:

Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)

Yes:

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:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

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:

Use the Action Replay to backup the save file, then use your choice of NDS Save Converters to convert to Raw format.

No:

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:

Use the Slot 2 Backup Tool (should be self-explanatory. Ask if you need help.)

No:

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:

Do you have an EZ Flash 3in1?

Yes:

Use Pokedoc's backup tool. (Mirror)

How to back up:

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:

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:

Do you have Wifi? (The DS/DS lite only supports WEP)

Yes:

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:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

No:

You have insufficient hardware. Please see bottom of post.

I have insufficient hardware. So what now?

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:

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:

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

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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?

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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.

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

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Look's very useful yet confusing at the same time thanks.

What's confusing about it?

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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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i'm thinking we should be pushing the sms4 over the nds adaptor. it has more functionality, works flawlessly the first time on 64-bit systems, and is only a little more expensive. the software is nicer too. and it now rips 3ds saves with no issue.

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My NDS adapter isn't recognizing my Platinum retail cart at all (game works fine). Any ideas? The firmware version I'm using with it is 3.03.

Other hardware I have:

DSLite (only for a few more days)

ARDSi

1GB microSD

I can probably rip the sav using the ARDSi backup function, but in terms of getting it back onto the retail cart...my main console is a 3DS, I could probably just get the 3DS AR, but would like to avoid getting any new hardware right now.

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My NDS adapter isn't recognizing my Platinum retail cart at all (game works fine). Any ideas? The firmware version I'm using with it is 3.03.

Other hardware I have:

DSLite (only for a few more days)

ARDSi

1GB microSD

I can probably rip the sav using the ARDSi backup function, but in terms of getting it back onto the retail cart...my main console is a 3DS, I could probably just get the 3DS AR, but would like to avoid getting any new hardware right now.

Have you tried wiggling the cartridge a bit? Maybe one side needs to be slightly higher. Perhaps pull it out just slightly. Sometimes it is a bit sensitive with my games (one of them sometimes crashes the program yet backs up perfectly in the DS).

If that doesn't work, then you may be able to use the ARDSi to back it up (if it has a microSD card slot, and only on the DS lite as it doesn't work on the 3DS).

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No-go with the adapter, I've tried everything. I did manage to back it up with the ARDSi, but the file got seriously messed up in conversion to .sav:

Pokegen doesn't recognize it as a valid file, so I opened it with Pokesav:

--Game start date is 2030

--Empty trainer name and party

The save has not been corrupted in the game and loads fine.

EDIT: The command-line converter works (after some fiddling); originally I was using the online converter which is apparently where the issue lies.

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Could you send me the duc file the action replay made? Perhaps I can fix it.

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Is it possible do this using the SD card from my 3DS by just plugging it in to my comp? Is there a program that'll allow me to do that or do I need to go out and buy a NDS+ or an SMS4?

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You're going to need to buy the NDS+.

Dang it, I was hoping to not have to drop money on one but oh well. How much are they at right now? If someone has found a way to go into the 3DS SD card and pull .sav files out that way let me know that would be great. Thanks!

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