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DinnerX
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Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by DinnerX Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:50 pm

Disclaimer: I don't take any responsibility if the use of this guide breaks your n64, gameshark, computer, house, cat, car, heart or anything else.

Here is a list of the things you will need for this guide

An old windows computer. I used a Windows 98 SE computer. Windows 95 shouldn't be a problem. XP and other stuff may have issues. The computer needs to have parallel port like this.
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Image from Wikimedia Commons

A n64 gameshark pro/action replay pro with a parallel port like this
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A parallel cable. Old printer cords will not do, because they don't have the right plug on the end. What we want is a parallel extension cord. One end of the cord will plug into your computer and the other end must look like this so it fits in the gameshark.
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Game Software Code Creator 2K2 download here
A n64 with a power cord
Depending on what you do a n64 controller
Depending on what you do a near by TV

Plug the parallel cable into your computer and your GameShark Pro. The number display on the front of the gameshark may light up. That isn't a problem though so don't worry. Now put the gameshark in your n64.
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Then add the game you want to dump.
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Now turn the thing on. If everything is working fine you the gameshark counter will count down. If not then you'll have to fiddle with the cartridge and gameshark until everything is connected well. Try to insert the cartridge/gameshark just until you can tell their respective slots are starting to grip. This can be a pain.

If you are having too much trouble try some other games with the gameshark. This part is why you may want a controller and TV. (although you could do this and then move the n64) A gameshark is set to a certain keycode to boot different groups of games. So you may need to boot up to one game and then change the gameshark's keycode to the one you really need for the game you want to dump. This pdf can be searched and will tell you what keycode you need for your game. If it doesn't say you need a keycode then use the SM64 keycode.

Now start up GSCC and select "RAM edit."
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Then on the new screen pick "Dump Cartridge ROM."
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The GSCC will give you some little legal warning. Tell it yes to make it dump your game. Then you will have to tell it what you want to call the ROM file and where to put it.

If you have trouble here you may need to access you pc's bios setup. This is done by holding down a key as the computer starts up. If you don't know which key it is some good guesses are F1, F2, Delete, and Esc. Every bios is a little different so I can't provide a step by step here. Usually there are instructions on the bios page on how to navigate the bios. Typically you move around in the bios using the arrow keys. Find your parallel port settings. Try different parallel port settings until the dumping works. Personally I use bidirectional, but I've read it doen't work for other people. Settings are usually changed by pressing enter. I think it may be the spacebar in some bios. Be sure not to change anything else in the bios unless you know what you are doing. Also, be sure to save the changes you make in the bios.

Now a little progress bar pops up telling you how much of a game is dumped.
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Now you're basically done. Try not to bump the cord while the dumping is going on. The dumping can take a good while so do something else and comeback later. There is no message telling you the dump finished , but if the progress bar is gone then the rom is dumped. I recommend burning all your ROM files to a CD when you're done.
Last edited by DinnerX on Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by Mechblue Sun Jun 05, 2011 10:56 pm

OMG this thread broke my cat. :x

I'm guessing if some one had a rom chip that was programmable this process could be reversed?

I've always wondered how those who make repro carts like star fox 2 know which boards to use and get the rom chips to program.
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by vlame Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:16 pm

can this back up your saves? if not there are dumps of every n64 game already...
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by Zandengoff Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:36 pm

Some countries have laws to allow for the dumping of personal roms, but not the download of roms off of websites even if the cart is owned. Knowing how you can dump your own roms and keeping the equipment around makes it all the more legal.
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DinnerX
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by DinnerX Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:05 am

Mechblue wrote:OMG this thread broke my cat. :x

I'm guessing if some one had a rom chip that was programmable this process could be reversed?

I've always wondered how those who make repro carts like star fox 2 know which boards to use and get the rom chips to program.

I knew some how a cat would get hurt in all this. Poor kitty.

I doubt a gameshark could be used to write to a chip. Maybe if you totally understood how a gameshark worked then you could command it to write to a cartridge.

Although I've never made a reproduction I believe this is how it goes.

What people usually do to make a repro is find a cartridge that had exactly the same "extra" chips inside it as the game being reproduced did. Then they remove the original rom chip which contains the original game. After that they buy some Electrically Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) chip that has roughly the same method of storing information. They then "burn" the reproduced game's ROM file to the chip with a programmer and wire it into the cartridge in place of the original ROM chip. Once an EPROM chip has been burned the only way to write to it again is to expose it to intense UV light to make it blank. This helps get around some copy protection schemes were a game would try and write to its own ROM and if it could write to its ROM then it would refuse to run. So if EPROM could be written to after the initial "burn" the game would know it and not work.

So in a since people kind of do the reverse of the gameshark thing. They are writing instead of reading.

vlame wrote:can this back up your saves? if not there are dumps of every n64 game already...

I don't think GSCC can do anything with saves. I'll look later.

I dump games myself out of legal concerns and for my own satisfaction. There are dumps of many n64 games out there. Occasionally some prototype shows up that no one has saved though.
Since this signature affects old posts, I'm leaving a message here in case anyone searches for my username. This account died in early 2013. I am no longer a fundamentalist.

Don't add to my problems by pretending my past views are still held in the present. I do not have any patience for that. Feel free to ask me what I think now.
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by Mechblue Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:42 am

DinnerX wrote:
Mechblue wrote:OMG this thread broke my cat. :x

I'm guessing if some one had a rom chip that was programmable this process could be reversed?

I've always wondered how those who make repro carts like star fox 2 know which boards to use and get the rom chips to program.

I knew some how a cat would get hurt in all this. Poor kitty.

I doubt a gameshark could be used to write to a chip. Maybe if you totally understood how a gameshark worked then you could command it to write to a cartridge.

Although I've never made a reproduction I believe this is how it goes.

What people usually do to make a repro is find a cartridge that had exactly the same "extra" chips inside it as the game being reproduced did. Then they remove the original rom chip which contains the original game. After that they buy some Electrically Programmable Read Only Memory (EPROM) chip that has roughly the same method of storing information. They then "burn" the reproduced game's ROM file to the chip with a programmer and wire it into the cartridge in place of the original ROM chip. Once an EPROM chip has been burned the only way to write to it again is to expose it to intense UV light to make it blank. This helps get around some copy protection schemes were a game would try and write to its own ROM and if it could write to its ROM then it would refuse to run. So if EPROM could be written to after the initial "burn" the game would know it and not work.

So in a since people kind of do the reverse of the gameshark thing. They are writing instead of reading.


Thanks for the explanation. I've been pretty curious about circuit boards and how that kind of stuff gets programmed. I'm sure one day i'll learn. :D

I've got so many junk carts lying around, it'd be nice to put em to use.
TEKTORO wrote:That looks mad fake bro. :/
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DinnerX
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Re: Dumping N64 ROMs with GameShark Pros

by DinnerX Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:00 am

The GCSS doesn't seem to be able to move n64 saves to the pc. The manual only talks about moving PS1 saves to a pc.

There is way to move n64 saves from a cartridge to a pc though. I think I'll make a guide on that later today hopefully.
Since this signature affects old posts, I'm leaving a message here in case anyone searches for my username. This account died in early 2013. I am no longer a fundamentalist.

Don't add to my problems by pretending my past views are still held in the present. I do not have any patience for that. Feel free to ask me what I think now.
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