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How to backup your NDS ROM the proper way.

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So you want to make a ROM hack? First, you need a ROM to hack. It would be illegal to download one, but there are other ways to get a ROM.

There's 4 major ways you can get a ROM, in order of speed (descending):

  1. USB Backup Device
  2. Slot 2 flashcart
  3. Slot 1 flashcart + EZ Flash 3in1
  4. Slot 1 flashcart + Wi-Fi

Note that 2, 3, and 4 all require that you use a DS lite (or original DS).

Now for the details of each:

1. USB Backup Device

There's several out there that you could find with a web search, but for ROM backups, I recommend the SMS4.



-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 saves

-Supports backing up NDS ROMS


-I have yet to find a store in or adjacent to the United States that sells one.

-Its software is confusing, and in order to have full functionality. you must use two programs. I've put together a package that should make figuring this out way easier.

- Requires these steps in order to work on the latest Windows 8 preview



I won't go into details of any others unless anyone asks. Chances are, if you have a USB backup device intended to back up ROMs, you would know. If you already have a USB backup device like the NDS Backup Adapter Plus or R4i Backup Adapter, these do not support backing up ROMs.

2. Slot 2 flashcart

You have at least two choices. I recommend the NDS Backup Tool Slot 2 by Rudolph (not the red nosed). There's also a newer tool called Wood Dumper. I haven't tried it, but it looks good.

3. Slot 1 flashcart + EZ Flash 3in1

If you don't have a slot 2 flashcart but happen to have an EZ Flash 3in1, then you can use NDS Backup Tool 3in1. It will take significantly longer than the above tools, because it has to
  • Erase the NOR
  • Write a portion of the ROM (after you swap the flashcart with your game)
  • Ask you to restart the tool
  • Write the NOR to your flashcart
  • If your ROM is over 32 MB, it will repeat this process until complete.

4. Slot 1 Flashcart + Wi-Fi

Do you have lots of time? I hope you have, oh, say 12 hours to let this process go. Wi-Fi backup tools let you use your computer and your DS Lite compatible Wi-Fi to backup your ROM with the DS's very slow wireless chip. Be aware that the DS lite doesn't support WPA (which is what most people have). It only supports unsecured and WEP (which is more of an inconvenience to hackers than security). But if you happen to have compatible Wi-Fi, I recommend Rudolph's NDS Backup Tool Wifi, but it's more of a hassle to set up than Wood Dumper. NDS Backup Tool Wifi connects to your computer. Wood Dumper lets your computer connect to it. For NDS Backup Tool, refer to the readme in Pokedoc's Wi-Fi save backup tool. For Wood Dumper, find an FTP client (Windows Explorer has OK FTP support) to connect to: ftp://[ip displayed in Wood Dumper]/

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. But remember: downloading ROMs is illegal and could land you with severe legal consequences.

Edited by evandixon
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...


I recently started collecting the US Pokémon franchise to allow my kids to collect them all from the beginning, and would like to be able to backup all of the Carts to avoid lose due to battery failure, as well as, to allow my kids to be able to have their own game save and play through without having to purchase multiple copies of each.

I am also looking to be able to add Events to all of the carts as well.

I have the following hardware:


4 Controllers

1 Expansion Pak

4 Transfer Pak

4 Rumble Pak

2 Control Pak

2 Memory Card

1 Nyko Memory Pak x4


4 Controllers

Gameboy Player

Gameboy Broadband




3 Wireless Adapter

2 NDS lite


1 3DS

I have the following cables:

1 GB/GBC to GB/GBC universal

4 GBA to GBA

4 GBA to Gamecube

2 Mega Memory Card for the GB/GBC cards


2 Pokémon Stadium

2 Pokémon Stadium 2

Pokémon Colosseum

Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disk

Pokémon xD

Pokémon Box English

Pokémon Box Japanese

Pokémon Battle Revolution

Pokémon Snap

Pokémon Dash

Pokémon Ranger

Pokémon Conquest

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - Gates to Infinity

Pokémon Red Japan

Pokémon Green Japan

Pokémon Blue Japan

Pokémon Red

2 Pokémon Blue

Pokémon Yellow

Pokémon Gold

Pokémon Silver

Pokémon Crystal

Pokémon Ruby

Pokémon Sapphire

Pokémon Emerald

Pokémon FireRed

Pokémon LeafGreen

Pokémon Diamond

Pokémon Pearl

Pokémon Platinum

Pokémon HeartGold

Pokémon SoulSilver

Pokémon Black

Pokémon White

Pokémon Black 2

Pokémon White 2

Pre-ordered X and Y

Given all of this what is my best options.

All of the carts are original, no counterfeits.

I have replaced the batteries on most of the GB and GBC carts, and will need the start replacing the batteries on the GBA carts.

I am capable of hardware mods, but would prefer not to if it will damage the carts or consoles, or require the ROM or firmware to be irreversibly modified.

Let me know your thoughts.

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N64: No idea.

Wii: Mod your Wii and try this: http://filetrip.net/wii-downloads/tools-utilities/download-cleanrip-104-f13117.html

Gamecube: Same as Wii

Gameboy and Gameboy Color: No idea. You might need hardware not made anymore. I can't help you though.

GBA: Using a DS lite (or original) and a slot 1 flashcart, use this: http://filetrip.net/nds-downloads/applications/download-gba-backup-tool-021-f3228.html

3DS: Not possible right now. 3DS ROMs are also of little use unless you have a Gateway 3DS (which I don't recommend based on what I've read).

NDS: See first post.

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  • 2 years later...

So, you give us links to the tools but don't give us direction for using those tools.

How do I use the Slot 1 method(s)? If I am booting with a Slot 1 flash cart in order to run this .nds file, how am I going to also load an original cart to get a backup?

EDIT: and then I notice the date on the original post is from 2013. Wow. Oops.

Edited by undrhil
Uh ... necro'd a post?
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So, you give us links to the tools but don't give us direction for using those tools.

How do I use the Slot 1 method(s)? If I am booting with a Slot 1 flash cart in order to run this .nds file, how am I going to also load an original cart to get a backup?

EDIT: and then I notice the date on the original post is from 2013. Wow. Oops.

In order to use any of the slot 1 methods, you need an original DS or DS lite. If you use those, just replace the flashcart with your legit cartridge once the tool has loaded. If you're on a DSi or a 3DS, a USB Backup device is your only option.

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  • 1 year later...

Thanks evandixon I never did thank you. I have added to the hardware since this post and have managed to find all of the old hardware, so I can read GB, GBC, GBA, DS, and 3DS Saves directly from the carts. Since the Switch does not save back to the Carts will need to wait for mods to mature.


For the N64 I was able to find Hardware, but sadly the software never matured to the point that you can retrieve and restore the save on the Cart. The Wii now has some nice tools that run under homebrew. For the GameCube, I was able to find a GameCube memory card with a USB port so I can directly access the saves there as well.


I was trying to download your SMS4 package, but the virus scan kept blocking it. Can you check the package to make sure it is safe to download?

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  • 3 months later...

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