Guides to jumpstart your Retrogaming lifestyle
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DinnerX
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Backing up N64 saves

by DinnerX Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:29 pm

I haven't gotten backed up saves to work in emulators yet. Emulators don't understand the format they're in. So do not try to copy an emulator save to a cartridge because they are in another format.

Things needed
Probably a Gameshark/Action Replay/other cheat cartridge with a memory card manager
A N64 DexDrive and its software
A N64 controller pak
A N64 with a power cord, av cord, and controller
An old Windows PC with a floppy drive to read the Dexdrive software and a serial port like this
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Image from Wikimedia

If a game can use a controller pak on its own you don't need the Gameshark so you can skip down a ways over these Gameshark steps.

Put the game in the Gameshark and shove the whole thing in the N64. If everything is working fine you'll see the Gameshark logo on the TV. 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. 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 for another game. 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.

(Yes, I just copied those last two paragraphs from my previous guide and edited them a little.)

On the Gameshark menu select the "Memory Card Manager."
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Now pick "GamePak" on the left side.
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On the right side pick the controller you've inserted the controller pak into
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Then press A to copy the save from the cartridge to the controller pak. Image

Now go to your computer. Connect the DexDrive to your computer and to power. Put the memory card in the DexDrive and then start the Dexplorer DexDrive software.

Pick the large "Backup" button
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Then tell Dexplorer where you want the save and what to call it.
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There you go!
Last edited by DinnerX on Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by Ziggy587 Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:51 pm

Awesome!

DinnerX wrote:I haven't gotten backed up saves to work in emulators yet. Emulators don't understand the format they're in. So do not try to copy an emulator save to a cartridge because they are in another format.


Is there some sort of converter software available?

DinnerX wrote:I haven't needed to restore a save backup yet either, but I don't see why there would be a problem. I suppose that doesn't mean there isn't though.


Flashing a save to a cart is really easy. You don't even need a computer, just an N64, GameShark, memory card, and the game of course. You just use the GameShark to get the save on a memory card, then you can flash it back. Worked great the one time I needed it.

Funny story, I started to play Ocarina of Time for the first time on a grey cart. Then I was reading about all the censored stuff and decided I didn't wanna play any other version than the gold cart. :lol: I didn't wanna start from the beginning either. So I used my GameShark to backup the save from the grey cart and flashed it onto the gold cart. To my surprise, it worked flawlessly!
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DinnerX
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by DinnerX Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:31 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:Is there some sort of converter software available?


I've been looking for converter software and looking at the file itself. I'm not sure what's going on in there. The .n64 DexDrive save is much larger than the .eep and emulator makes. I'll be sure and update if I find/figure out anything. Hopefully there isn't any encryption or compression going on here.

Ziggy587 wrote:Flashing a save to a cart is really easy. You don't even need a computer, just an N64, GameShark, memory card, and the game of course. You just use the GameShark to get the save on a memory card, then you can flash it back. Worked great the one time I needed it.

Funny story, I started to play Ocarina of Time for the first time on a grey cart. Then I was reading about all the censored stuff and decided I didn't wanna play any other version than the gold cart. :lol: I didn't wanna start from the beginning either. So I used my GameShark to backup the save from the grey cart and flashed it onto the gold cart. To my surprise, it worked flawlessly!

Great! I guess it does work then. I'll change the guide. Thanks!
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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Ziggy587
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by Ziggy587 Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:47 pm

Did you search ROMhacking.net? They have a lot of utilities on there, I've even seen some emulator SRAM converters (not for the N64 though) but they also have forums. There might be talk of it on there, and if there isn't, you could post about it.
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DinnerX
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by DinnerX Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:43 am

I went and looked at ROMhacking.net. They don't have any save converters. Thanks for mentioning it though.

Based on some of the posts in these threads over at assemblergamers it seems the gameshark does some compression or encryption when it moves the file from the cartridge to the controller pak. The dexdrive then further complicates things, because it alters any files it transfers.

It looks like the dexdrive encryption can be undone using a tool from here. So I should be able to get saves working in emulators from games that can use controller paks. I haven't done any testing on that yet though. Games that have to use the gameshark to put their saves on a controller pak still won't work.
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.
chriswy27
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by chriswy27 Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:44 pm

I can't get the Majora's Mask game pack to show my save in Gameshark. Is this a known issue? I think I read something about the MM save being too big for the controller pack. If there is a way to get this to work please let me know.

Also, best method to use the Dex saves in P64?
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Ziggy587
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by Ziggy587 Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:50 pm

Are you using a Nintendo brand memory card, or third party? I remember some third party memory cards not having the same amount of "pages" as official Nintendo N64 cards.
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chriswy27
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Re: Backing up N64 saves

by chriswy27 Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:23 am

Ziggy587 wrote:Are you using a Nintendo brand memory card, or third party? I remember some third party memory cards not having the same amount of "pages" as official Nintendo N64 cards.


Nintendo brand though I have read the Majoras mask save is over the size of a standard memory card and thus why it won't show, because you can't back it up.
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