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I need help restoring a Black 2 save file from 2014


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Ok, there's a bit of context that needs to be established before I can ask this question -- so I'll start with that.

Back in 2014, I was an avid pokemon y player. I played the game constantly, and had pokemon from my previous collection that I had established in BW/BW2. At that time I also was in the process of transferring from one school to another. As such, my parents thought it would be a good idea to send me to the school's summer camp. On the last day of said camp, however, tragedy struck. My entire 3ds, along with my beloved pokemon y was stolen out of my backpack. About 2-3 weeks later, the 3ds was returned, but pokemon y had been removed and I never saw it again. 

At the time, I had a DSI Action Replay, so my first though was to restore the save state before the transfer and then wait until I could find and complete a new copy of Y. I was able to view all of my previous saves on the Action Replay, however I could not restore them due to pokemon black being an IR card. After exhausting all of my available resources at the time, I slowly stopped playing pokemon and gave up on ever recovering my work. However, things have changed and now -- with all of your help -- I believe I can find a solution.

So, with the context out of the way, here's the problem:

I need to restore a BW2 save from 2014.  

I still have:

The DSI I played the game on with it's original SD card.

The original cartridge for the game (BW2).

Access to multiple 3ds' that can be homebrewed if need be.

Access to PC's that can run most of the programs needed for typical save restoration software.

 

All I really need is for someone to walk me through the steps to complete this task. I know it sounds difficult, but I know it must be possible to accomplish. I really loved the pokemon on that save and I want to get back into the franchise with them at my side.

 

If you can help me, please reply with any suggestions you may have. I'd really appreciate it.

 

Sincerely,

A lost Gen. 5 fan.

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So, to confirm, if I were to use checkpoint on a homebrewed 3ds, it would allow me to view all saves on the cartridge and I could select the one I wish to restore. If that's the case, then you have just made my life a whole lot easier. Please confirm.

 

Thanks!

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36 minutes ago, Im lost said:

So, to confirm, if I were to use checkpoint on a homebrewed 3ds, it would allow me to view all saves on the cartridge

This sounds slightly incorrect. You can view all the saves on your SD cart (that you placed into the folder), and you can choose to restore one of the saves from the list to your cartridge.

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23 hours ago, theSLAYER said:

This sounds slightly incorrect. You can view all the saves on your SD cart (that you placed into the folder), and you can choose to restore one of the saves from the list to your cartridge.

Oh ok. Sorry, I guess my actual question is "If my most recent save on the cartridge/SD card isn't the one I want to restore, how do I select an older save and restore that if I've never backed it up on a homebrewed system before?" I apologize for the confusion. The reason I ask is because I can't find any screenshots or tutorials on how to restore a save state if it isn't already backed up. Again, this is my first time attempting this with homebrew, so I'm just being extra thorough. My goal is to restore a save state from before I transferred my pokemon through pokemon bank, in order to gain back the ones that I lost when my Y version was stolen. Since that was quite a while ago, I'm not sure if my most recent save on the game was before or after the aforementioned theft. When I looked at the checkpoint tutorial you listed, it didn't explain how to find a save that isn't the most recent one on the SD card, so I am a bit confused as to how I would go about finding a save that isn't my newest one. You've been extremely helpful so far -- and I really appreciate it -- so if you could explain how I would select an older save and restore that if I've never backed it up on a homebrewed system before, I would really appreciate it.

 

Thanks!

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11 minutes ago, Im lost said:

"If my most recent save on the cartridge/SD card isn't the one I want to restore, how do I select an older save and restore that if I've never backed it up on a homebrewed system before?"

All the saves that you backed up (from JKSV/Checkpoint) are on the SD card. You can also add in/replace saves from other locations, such as from previous backups, from emulators, from other people etc. As long as PKHeX can read that save, you can restore it back do your cart safely.

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On 12/13/2020 at 5:21 AM, Im lost said:

At the time, I had a DSI Action Replay, so my first though was to restore the save state before the transfer and then wait until I could find and complete a new copy of Y. I was able to view all of my previous saves on the Action Replay, however I could not restore them due to pokemon black being an IR card.

I'm under the impression that AR saves are encrypted in a different way, and that they cannot be read by PKHeX or checkpoint/twl.

You most probably need a converter for your old save file. I suggest you to try these steps:

1) Locate your old save file and place it somewhere in the PC.

2) Use a converter (you can try this) to obtain a readable .sav

3) Load the save file into PKHeX

4) If PKHeX correctly reads data, then restore your save file with checkpoint/twl, otherwise you have to find another way to convert your save file, or the save file itself got corrupted.

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On 12/15/2020 at 2:22 PM, theSLAYER said:

All the saves that you backed up (from JKSV/Checkpoint) are on the SD card. You can also add in/replace saves from other locations, such as from previous backups, from emulators, from other people etc. As long as PKHeX can read that save, you can restore it back do your cart safely.

Ok, but what if I've never backed up a save before? If I'm looking for a previous save of the game, without a prior backup, would that be listed when I go to restore a save on checkpoint? Or, would I have to do something else first?

 

Thanks!

 

22 hours ago, SkyLink98 said:

I'm under the impression that AR saves are encrypted in a different way, and that they cannot be read by PKHeX or checkpoint/twl.

You most probably need a converter for your old save file. I suggest you to try these steps:

1) Locate your old save file and place it somewhere in the PC.

2) Use a converter (you can try this) to obtain a readable .sav

3) Load the save file into PKHeX

4) If PKHeX correctly reads data, then restore your save file with checkpoint/twl, otherwise you have to find another way to convert your save file, or the save file itself got corrupted.

If by AR, you mean my action replay, then this shouldn't be a problem. I didn't actually use it on pokemon games, I mostly had it for party games -- like mario cart and similar titles -- and only used it because I had heard from a friend you could restore pokemon saves with it. However, when it didn't work, I just closed the game without saving and forgot about it. I was curious about what you said regarding locating my old save file. How/where do I go to do that on checkpoint/twl? I only ask because the tutorials I've read are a little vague when it comes to actually locating older saves, so if you could explain a little further, that would really help.

 

Thanks!

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I know I'm not SkyLink, but you need a bckup to restore a backup. If you never created one, you're SOL. If you do have a backup, do as skylink said, It should be on the microsd card you used with your AR, assuming you haven't formatted it.

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2 hours ago, Im lost said:

Ok, but what if I've never backed up a save before? If I'm looking for a previous save of the game, without a prior backup, would that be listed when I go to restore a save on checkpoint? Or, would I have to do something else first?

The system isn't magic. You need to have obtained a save somehow from somewhere.
When the cart deletes/overwrites a previous save, it's gone. It doesn't secretly back up the data somewhere. The cart doesn't have infinite data space.
(Also the backup tool doesn't allow you browse "the data infinitely". It can only back up the current save file.)

Hope this answers your question.

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On 12/15/2020 at 9:58 PM, Delta Blast Burn said:

I know I'm not SkyLink, but you need a bckup to restore a backup. If you never created one, you're SOL. If you do have a backup, do as skylink said, It should be on the microsd card you used with your AR, assuming you haven't formatted it.

Right, ok. So, is that the actual microsd within my dsi, or an external one used on my AR? I only ask because, I never used a microsd with my AR as far as I can remember. If I have to, I can dig up my old AR and try this method with a fresh microsd. However, if it the dsi's microsd you're referring to, then that will be a bit easier as I won't have to go searching for anything. 

 

Thanks! 

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On 12/15/2020 at 11:52 PM, theSLAYER said:

The system isn't magic. You need to have obtained a save somehow from somewhere.
When the cart deletes/overwrites a previous save, it's gone. It doesn't secretly back up the data somewhere. The cart doesn't have infinite data space.
(Also the backup tool doesn't allow you browse "the data infinitely". It can only back up the current save file.)

Hope this answers your question.

Well, I hope there is a way for me to pull this off. It honestly sucks that Nintendo has no method of restoration when it comes to stolen cartridges. If there was, I would've just restored my pokemon Y save that I backed up legitimately on my 3ds. I actually called them after the whole thing went down, and I believe there exact response was "Sorry, we have no means by which we can restore stolen or damaged merchandise. You're best course of action is to file a police report (which I wasn't able to do, mainly because I was just a kid at the time) and hope to have the stolen merchandise returned. I'm going to keep investigating, but if there really is no means of restoring my save, then I will most likely transfer my remaining pokemon to Alpha Saphire and restart White and Black 2 from the beginning. 

 

Worst comes to worst, there is a method of "legitimately" getting all of the event pokemon in Gen. 4 and Gen. 5 using a DNS modification on the 3ds. So, if I have no other choice, I'll have to try that. 

 

Hopefully, I can find a way to get that original save data. 

 

Thanks!

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I had a thought and was curious what you guys think about it. Remember how I said my pokemon Y was the game that was stolen? Well, I still have the sd card the game was saved on and I have a fresh copy of pokemon Y as well. Is it possible for me to place my original save from the sd card onto the fresh copy of Y? 

 

Also, let me know if I should start a new thread for this one. I'm new around here, so idk if that would work better or not for everyone to respond.

 

Thanks!

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On 12/18/2020 at 1:50 PM, theSLAYER said:

If you're thinking about "retrieving the save that was on the stolen cart", then no.
The save is stored on the cart. So if the cart is stolen, then the save was taken along with it.

So, then there's basically nothing I can do... I mean, I'll still try and restore a save on my Black 2 -- on the off chance that there's one on there that has my pokemon still on it. I'm honestly a little disheartened by this though. Those pokemon really meant a lot to me, and it's bothered me for a long time that I lost them simply due to my own naivete. If I can't restore black 2, then my next best bet will be to try and restore the original white version -- at least then I'll leave with some of what I lost in tact. You've been really helpful, and when I have more questions/ideas, I'll be sure to post them here.

 

In case I don't post here again for the next week, 

Happy Holidays! 

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17 minutes ago, Im lost said:

I mean, I'll still try and restore a save on my Black 2 -- on the off chance that there's one on there that has my pokemon still on it

Just to be clear, restoring means sending a save from your device's SD -> into your cart.
And that save needs to be backed up or obtained somehow prior.
(and for your intent, the save needs to be backed up with the mons prior)
(and for a save to be in your device's SD, you either backed it up prior, or obtained one from an emulator etc)

The "restoration" is not searching through your cart for a save. It's not the same "restoring" used in the phrase "restoring a corrupted SD drive"; that seems to be the way you're imagining it to be.
(and even if it's that restoring, it requires the corrupted drive, ie. the actual device. If your cart is stolen, and you're using another cart, it basically means you're using a different cart. The data from a different cart won't magically transfer over)

In terms of save manipulation, think of dumping/backing up and restoring as a pair.

Dumping/backing up - you're basically copying the save from the cartridge and making a file that you can archive or store on your computer.
Restoring - you're returning that copy (from above or dumped from other places) into the cart.

You need to have a save back up from somewhere, in order to have something to return to the cart.

17 minutes ago, Im lost said:

I'm honestly a little disheartened by this though. Those pokemon really meant a lot to me, and it's bothered me for a long time that I lost them simply due to my own naivete.

Well, don't be too hard on yourself, a stolen cart isn't your fault.
I know how much these mons mean. It is why people learn unofficial methods to back up their saves, because if one's cart or device gets stolen or lost, there's nothing official methods can do. And you're learning it now, better late than never.

While this ain't likely to make you feel better, because whats lost is already lost, you're now preventing future loss, if you continue to back up your saves properly.

17 minutes ago, Im lost said:

If I can't restore black 2, then my next best bet will be to try and restore the original white version -- at least then I'll leave with some of what I lost in tact.

Same issue as mentioned previously; it'll only work if you have a save with the mons backed up. : x

(Also you've transitioned from Black 2 to Y at some point, so I may have confused which got stolen. but in any case, it applies to both: you need to have backed up the saves from those carts, in order to restore said save to the respective versions)

17 minutes ago, Im lost said:

You've been really helpful, and when I have more questions/ideas, I'll be sure to post them here.

Well, worse come to worse you can recreate those mons. If you got photos or anything, just key the requisite details in PKHeX. It probably won't feel the same, but that is the best that can be done right now :/
 

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On 12/15/2020 at 1:26 AM, SkyLink98 said:

I'm under the impression that AR saves are encrypted in a different way, and that they cannot be read by PKHeX or checkpoint/twl.

You most probably need a converter for your old save file. I suggest you to try these steps:

1) Locate your old save file and place it somewhere in the PC.

2) Use a converter (you can try this) to obtain a readable .sav

3) Load the save file into PKHeX

4) If PKHeX correctly reads data, then restore your save file with checkpoint/twl, otherwise you have to find another way to convert your save file, or the save file itself got corrupted.

So, to combine all of the information provided in this thread:

 

In theory, if I had a backup of the save from my BW2 from my AR, I could locate and convert said file and then place said file into PKHeX. After this, I would utilize checkpoint/twl on a homebrewed 3ds to place said old save onto the cart. Is everything that I just said correct?

 

If so, though it may take some additional time, I may be able to acquire said AR backup. Idk how long it will take for me to either find my old AR, or purchase a new one -- but I'm definitely willing to try! Any further advice you -- or anyone else in this thread -- may have is greatly appreciated as I move forward.

 

Thanks!

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7 hours ago, Im lost said:

In theory, if I had a backup of the save from my BW2 from my AR, I could locate and convert said file and then place said file into PKHeX. After this, I would utilize checkpoint/twl on a homebrewed 3ds to place said old save onto the cart. Is everything that I just said correct?

In theory correct. In the pratical case, there could be some complictions in the AR->sav conversion.

7 hours ago, Im lost said:

If so, though it may take some additional time, I may be able to acquire said AR backup. Idk how long it will take for me to either find my old AR, or purchase a new one -- but I'm definitely willing to try! Any further advice you -- or anyone else in this thread -- may have is greatly appreciated as I move forward.

Pay attention, you need the backup you did in the past, not a new one. If you have the MicroSD you used at the time with the AR, the save file should be there and I think you just need to insert te SD into the PC in order to retrieve it.

Also, please note that not all the Action Replay for DS/DSi are compatible with save file backup/exporting.

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16 hours ago, SkyLink98 said:

In theory correct. In the pratical case, there could be some complictions in the AR->sav conversion.

Pay attention, you need the backup you did in the past, not a new one. If you have the MicroSD you used at the time with the AR, the save file should be there and I think you just need to insert te SD into the PC in order to retrieve it.

Also, please note that not all the Action Replay for DS/DSi are compatible with save file backup/exporting.

Ok, now I have a few questions:

 

1. What kind of complications are we talking about? Are they serious/extremely risky, or is it a moderate risk that can be fixed by creating a stable backup prior to attempting anything?

2. I know that the only AR for DSI compatible with save file backup and exporting is the version with a microSD card slot, so I'm checking to see if

    A. That's the one I have, or

   B. I have a way of getting a hold of one.

 

Other than that, though It'll take a while to complete the project, I should be able to piece together the necessary resources to pull this off. Once everything is in place, I'll make sure to get into touch with someone from this thread to ensure everything goes smoothly. In the meantime, if I have any more questions, I'll continue posting them here.

 

I wish I knew about this forum back when my cart was stolen, you all are a phenomenal resource!

 

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Im lost said:

1. What kind of complications are we talking about? Are they serious/extremely risky, or is it a moderate risk that can be fixed by creating a stable backup prior to attempting anything?

In relation to AR->sav conversion, it's merely about how AR saves may be hard to convert to a usable save, or the conversion process isn't direct.

I don't think there's any risk in any other sense, as long as you can get a few proper stable dumps.

(restoring a corrupted dump will corrupt your save, so make a few stable dumps beforehand)
 

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