Author Topic: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?  (Read 8643 times)

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Offline treepop

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How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« on: May 10, 2012, 08:59:30 AM »
I have noticed that my Phantasy Star save files disappear any time I burn new games to my flash cart.  Is there a way to backup my saves so this doesn't happen.

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2012, 09:18:36 AM »
You can use the Neo2 Pro client to save/load the sram, or you can set different games to different banks using the option screen of the menu. When you navigate to a game, press A to get the options. Be careful about the bank numbers as the number of banks depends on the size of the save bank. For example, one 128Kb save takes the space of two 64Kb saves. So if you have one game set to bank 0 using a 128Kb save, the next free bank for 64Kb saves is bank 2, not bank 1.

Offline treepop

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2012, 09:31:47 AM »
You can use the Neo2 Pro client to save/load the sram, or you can set different games to different banks using the option screen of the menu. When you navigate to a game, press A to get the options. Be careful about the bank numbers as the number of banks depends on the size of the save bank. For example, one 128Kb save takes the space of two 64Kb saves. So if you have one game set to bank 0 using a 128Kb save, the next free bank for 64Kb saves is bank 2, not bank 1.


ohhhhhh maybe that's why. So you're saying I need to manually set the banks. If I don't the saves will be overwritten. Correct? So then it's not because I am burning new games, but maybe because I am using the same save bank. Thanks!

If that's not the case. How do I go about saving loading the sram? Is it under the memory tab? Thanks again!

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 12:26:40 PM »

ohhhhhh maybe that's why. So you're saying I need to manually set the banks. If I don't the saves will be overwritten. Correct? So then it's not because I am burning new games, but maybe because I am using the same save bank. Thanks!

Right. The PC client can set the size of the sram bank, but not the bank itself. The console menu allows you to set the bank. If you don't set the bank, it always defaults to 0. So if you run multiple games that use the sram, they will by default overwrite each other. I might try to think of a method to change that, but for the moment, you need to set the banks yourself.

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If that's not the case. How do I go about saving loading the sram? Is it under the memory tab? Thanks again!

You can save/restore the sram on the PC using the memory tab, then choosing the save ram for reading (saving to PC), or writing (restoring to cart). Obviously, it's easier to just change the bank in the menu when just switching between a few games; just don't forget which bank goes with which game!  ???

Offline treepop

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2014, 02:33:04 AM »
Hey Chilly. Curious if you've been able to make it so it auto chooses a new save bank?? I totally forgot to change save banks and lost my Phantasy Star 4 and Phantasy Star 1  :'( save file! :( Makes me sad.

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2014, 09:48:21 AM »
Hey Chilly. Curious if you've been able to make it so it auto chooses a new save bank?? I totally forgot to change save banks and lost my Phantasy Star 4 and Phantasy Star 1  :'( save file! :( Makes me sad.

I'm working on a new replacement menu. I'll mark that as a desired feature. Sounds like a good idea.

Offline joyeux

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 09:26:04 PM »
I'm working on a new replacement menu. I'll mark that as a desired feature. Sounds like a good idea.

That's nice to hear. I am never sure why my Myth cart is so unreliable. It does work on some consoles but does not in others, where the Mega ED fully works.

I keep randomly losing my save data even pressing reset before turning off/going back to menu. Tried changing the NEO3 battery to no success. I *KNOW* that I will lose my SRAM when the screen "Backing Up save data" (or something) passes too fast before showing the menu. The SRAM file is written to the SDCard but it contains blank game data.

With the NEO2 256Mb I stopped losing my save data after upgrading the MD Menu, so I'm still in the hopes.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 09:28:27 PM by joyeux »

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 09:00:26 PM »
If you ever get a "too fast" operation on an SD card (read or write), it generally means the card is barely working, and occasionally failing (when it goes too fast, an operation has failed and it simply skipped the operation). You might try a different SD card - some work better than others.

Offline joyeux

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 07:46:08 PM »
I find very strange that even some very common cards like Sandisk 4G and 8GB will make the NEO3 corrupt all the data in the card at first running.

I'm using 2 different cards, being one a very old 1GB Kingston (blue, very slow writing), and other a Smart Modular Technologies 4GB Micro SDHC (a very fast one) - which I tought was working properly. With both I will sometimes lose SRAM memory. I also lose the NEO3 SRAM slot data save I don't know why. I know this because I access the SRAM with the Neo Manager and check for my game, generally selected to use slot 0. Does the MD Menu clear the slot data after trying to write the SD Card? I think it should stay there.

Other strange fact with my SMT SD card is that a few games won't load (very fast uncommon loading and black screen). In this case I have to reformat the card and copy the games again. Even renaming the game it will not load. But in my computer I will open the file in any emulator.

Anyway, I'll follow your suggestion and try some other cards.

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 08:21:43 PM »
I find very strange that even some very common cards like Sandisk 4G and 8GB will make the NEO3 corrupt all the data in the card at first running.

Sometimes, major brand names will switch technology, and the new tech has a different timing than the old. And in a few cases, you aren't buying major brand names, you're buying fakes, and I've had reports from a lot of folks about fakes not working right. There's a thread around here somewhere that talks about how to spot fakes from the real brands.

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I'm using 2 different cards, being one a very old 1GB Kingston (blue, very slow writing), and other a Smart Modular Technologies 4GB Micro SDHC (a very fast one) - which I tought was working properly. With both I will sometimes lose SRAM memory. I also lose the NEO3 SRAM slot data save I don't know why. I know this because I access the SRAM with the Neo Manager and check for my game, generally selected to use slot 0. Does the MD Menu clear the slot data after trying to write the SD Card? I think it should stay there.

The menu only clears the slot if you tell it to, or if no save file is found when running a game (so the game starts with a "blank" save instead of the save from another game). So if you tried to run a game and the save file load failed for some reason, it would blank the save memory to have the game start fresh.

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Other strange fact with my SMT SD card is that a few games won't load (very fast uncommon loading and black screen). In this case I have to reformat the card and copy the games again. Even renaming the game it will not load. But in my computer I will open the file in any emulator.

When it suddenly starts loading really fast and the game fails to work, that's a sign the read failed for some reason. That's EXACTLY what it does on a failure. The menu wasn't designed to handle failed operations due to the small size. The next rewrite I'm in the middle of will give more feedback, and have an option to retry a few times (user option on how many). Some cards just have "weird" timing, and sort of work, but sometimes fail. I've got a BUNCH of cards of all speed and many manufacturers that I test my routines on, but there's no way to check them all.

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Anyway, I'll follow your suggestion and try some other cards.

There's a thread on cards I (and others) have tried... which ones worked and which failed. You might look it over... and try googling around for posts on spotting fake cards. Ebay is rife with fakes. I buy all my SD cards from NewEgg.

Offline joyeux

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2014, 03:52:58 AM »
Thank you Chilly for all the explanation, this is really great information about the works of cards and the Menu itself.

My Sandisk cards were bought at Walmart, so I guess they're original. My Kingston 1GB I'm really not sure. The SMT one came within my Cannon camera, and is a real good SD card, the fastest I have, and the one I'm trying to use now.

I even have contributed to the SD card thread with cards that now I found to have that little sram saving problem.

Do you have a personal recomendation for a nice SD card which you use on your NEO3? That would be great to know.

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2014, 09:18:24 PM »
Those certainly sound like they're not fakes. My Neo3-SD currently has a PQI HiSpeed 150 2GB card in it, but I've also used it with a Kingston 2GB Micro SD card quite a bit. It's been long enough, I don't remember which other cards I may have checked on it. I'm working on the replacement menu for the various Myths right now, so when I get to testing, I'll retest all the cards I have on all the various carts with SD interfaces to see if there's a minor difference in timing on them. I know the Neo3 is slightly different in a couple areas... when I got one from Dr.neo, I had to make a few changes to the current menu to make it work right. I also seem to remember someone else with a Neo3 reported it was pickier about which SD card he could use, but he did find one that worked perfectly.

One remark - the speed of the card doesn't matter over a certain point. Since the interface is completely CPU driven, we're WELL below the max speed of most cards. Only the N64 is fast enough that I needed to add code to handle different speed cards.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 09:25:47 PM by ChillyWilly »

Offline joyeux

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2014, 05:09:33 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, I will try some other cards and see what happens. This time a card that came with my Xperia Mini Pro. I don't know the brand, but it has 2GB... Let's see.

For the new menu, I'd like to suggest an implementation in which we could see the full file name in the screen, because there's a limitation of the character numbers in the game list. It could be like everdrive's list, displaying the full file name in the bottom of the screen. That would be great to avoid confusion with similar rom names.

Offline ChillyWilly

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2014, 09:06:22 PM »
For the new menu, I'd like to suggest an implementation in which we could see the full file name in the screen, because there's a limitation of the character numbers in the game list. It could be like everdrive's list, displaying the full file name in the bottom of the screen. That would be great to avoid confusion with similar rom names.

The current menu already does that - the list is a shortened form of the name while the rom info displayed when you stop has the full name. In fact, press the MODE button to change the form of the shortened name displayed in the list. Some roms list better one way than another.

Offline joyeux

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Re: How to keep save files when I add/remove different games?
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2014, 06:39:24 AM »
The current menu already does that - the list is a shortened form of the name while the rom info displayed when you stop has the full name. In fact, press the MODE button to change the form of the shortened name displayed in the list. Some roms list better one way than another.

I didn't know that. I'm using the latest produced Tectoy 6 button controllers (the white one with gray buttons), and it doesn't have a mode button. If you could implement a new way to see the full file name, it would be very appreciated.

Sorry bothering you a lot. Before making a new request, I'll first ask if the Myth Menu already has a way to return to the game list when playing Master System Games. I can only reset the games and each time I need to play another one I have to turn the Mega Drive off and then on.

And a last question, will the NEO3-SD support SMS roms?

Even being a Mega Everdrive owner I really like to see my Neo Myth working, because it is a great flash cart. The SMS FM sound is a real unique feature. I use my NEO2 to play all the SMS FM games.