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R4 type DS cartridges thread

  • #1 ✎ 238 Shelly So while doing research about making professional-quality DS games a while ago I encountered a device known as a "flash card". I expect that at least one person here has to have SOME type of experience with this type of programming. There is a software in which you need to download in order to write programs but unfortunately I can't seem to completely grasp how/where to download the PC software, and I don't feel like getting a virus on my computer during trying to figure it out. So if anyone could help me it would be much appreciated. Thanks. Also, if someone could send me a private message with the software download links it would be much appreciated. UPDATE: I just read the all 3ds's now have an update which blocks homebrew, which means no homebrew on the 3ds. I guess this means that I'll have to dust off my old DS. Posted Edited by Lacks
  • #2 ✎ 171 CoinzReturns Hi. I'm CoinzReturns. You may have talked to me a lot about SmileNet. Honestly, if you can't grasp basic programming yet you won't grasp homebrew. Even with an R4 card and a DSLite which is what you'd have to use, you will not fully comprehend everything there is... though the DS is a lot simpler to make homebrew for than the 3ds.. in all honesty. That said.. You'll need to understand some C first. I highly recommend it. I'm currently trying to do something for SmileBasic that requires 3ds homebrew skills which I have zero of and it is hard, my C isn't so great. Next, the tool you'd use for PC is called Devkitpro using anything else is a nightmare and not recommended at all. For Nintendo DS Lite development and Original DS there are a lot of documentations. Here is the devkit pro page so you don't get lost: https://devkitpro.org/ Here is all the documentation you will ever want for DS lite development and it should get you started: http://osdl.sourceforge.net/main/documentation/misc/nintendo-DS/homebrew-guide/HomebrewForDS.html *one more thing* In order to compile using devkitpro you'll go to "C:/Devkitpro/pn.exe" after setup and you'll open pn.exe then go to file open and once you've done that you will go to "C:/DevkitPro/Examples/DS/" then you will browse example folders, go into them, and look for the file in the core folder of that in /source called makefile or make, you will open that then go to tools->make. After that it will generate the binaries (in this case .ds files) for you to execute in either a DS emulator or on real hardware. Note that this teaches you nothing and you have to actually go through a tedious amount of work to learn how to homebrew for DS. Posted Edited by CoinzReturns
  • #3 ✎ 93 niconii Video Games I like to play video games! Hobbies Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies Some quick advice when it comes to DS flashcarts:
    1. NEVER buy a flashcart with a year in the name. These flashcarts are intentionally rigged to stop working in a couple of years to get you to buy another one.
    2. Unfortunately, counterfeit flashcarts are very common, and finding reputable sites is difficult. This one is actually reputable despite it looking ridiculously shady; that's just kinda how these go.
    As for the subject of DS flashcarts and their relation to DS and 3DS homebrew, I'm going to break this down for you completely, because you may have read scattered information here and there that you couldn't make complete sense out of: A flashcart is a rewritable device that imitates a normal cartridge, allowing you to run ROM images. In this case, you're talking about a DS flashcart, which lets you play DS ROM images, such as commercial DS games or DS homebrew. It is true that most (though actually not all) DS flashcarts are blocked by the 3DS home menu, so you would normally need a DS or older firmware 3DS to run them. This doesn't have much to do with the subject of 3DS homebrew, though. Over time a number of exploits have been found on the 3DS, though most have been patched. Some are only userland exploits, which means they're enough to run user code such as the Homebrew Launcher and various homebrew programs, but not enough to have full control over the system. Other exploits, however, are enough to take over the whole system and install what's called "custom firmware" or "CFW". This has the power to do things like create and restore full backups to unbrick systems, install homebrew as full titles on the Home Menu, set custom themes, add cheats to games, and so on. One CFW exploit is very notable because it is unpatchable, exploiting a hardware feature of the 3DS rather than part of the firmware. It also involves using a DS flashcart, which is where they become relevant when it comes to 3DS homebrew. To test 3DS systems at the factory before shipping them off, Nintendo left in a particular feature in the 3DS boot ROM. If a special kind of DS cart is in the slot, the system lid is shut, and the X + Start + Select buttons are held down while powering on the system, it will boot into that cart immediately with full system privileges. This exploit is called "ntrboot", because a DS cart is used and the internal codename for the DS is "NTR" (whereas DSi is "TWL" and 3DS is "CTR"). ntrboot had two main hurdles to cross. The first is that the buttons must be held down while the lid is detected to be closed. This would normally be difficult, but it turns out that the 3DS detects this by using a magnet, and holding a decently strong magnet near the ABXY buttons is enough to trigger sleep mode. The other hurdle is that a special kind of DS cart is needed, which would make it very expensive if they had to be manufactured from scratch. However, it was discovered that certain DS flashcarts could have their firmware rewritten to work as this kind of DS cart, and DS flashcarts are fairly cheap. With these two hurdles circumvented, it became a fairly easy and affordable exploit to pull off, if no others are available. There is one other difficulty, though, which is that you need to be able to rewrite the flashcart's firmware in the first place. This can be done with another 3DS that already has CFW, or by running a special DS ROM on the flashcart itself that rewrites the firmware. This means that if you need to use ntrboot, have a flashcart that is blocked by the Home Menu, don't have another CFW 3DS, and don't have anything that can use the flashcart normally, like a DS, you're out of luck unless you can borrow someone else's DS for a few minutes. Now, you may be interested in installing CFW, but there are some risks to be aware of. By doing so, you run a risk of being banned from online services, such as playing games online, downloading/uploading SmileBasic programs, and so on. CFW actually will let you unban yourself to some extent: each 3DS has a special file called the friend code seed, and by getting one from another 3DS, your system will no longer be banned, though it will result in a new friend code. The problem, though, is that both 3DS systems would now have the same friend code seed, so another ban would ban both systems. Although some people share friend code seeds online, meaning you don't need to buy another 3DS yourself, a lot of people may end up using the same seed, and it only takes one person being caught to ban all of the people using that seed. If you are still willing to take that risk, you should follow this guide and no others. Any other guide is liable to be outdated or unsafe. Also, note that for the current firmware (11.6.0) the only exploits are ntrboot, transferring hacked DSiWare from a CFW 3DS via System Transfer, or physically modifying the system, so chances are you will need a ntrboot-compatible flashcart. Alternatively, you could just stick to DS homebrew, where there's no risks to worry about in terms of being banned.
    Posted Edited by niconii
  • #4 ✎ 238 Shelly Okay, so you may have been a bit misled. Its not that I couldn't grasp basic programming, that's not what I said. What I said is that I couldn't gasp how to download the homebrew coding software to the computer. Also, its not that I couldn't grasp it per-say, its that there's a ton of download links which claim to have the homebrew software, and I want to be certain which one to choose so that I don't get a virus. Also, @niconii sounds like a plan with sticking to DS homebrew. I'll do that. [Edit] MY GOSH THIS IS A PAIN. I figured out ow to do it but my laptop has so many files that when looking through downloads for the files I needed it took forever. I'm finally almost done. Also, I plan to order a flash cartridge either tonight or tomorrow. Posted Edited by Lacks
  • #5 ✎ 171 CoinzReturns
    MY GOSH THIS IS A PAIN. I figured out ow to do it but my laptop has so many files that when looking through downloads for the files I needed it took forever. I'm finally almost done. Also, I plan to order a flash cartridge either tonight or tomorrow.
    Good luck!
    Posted
  • #6 ✎ 238 Shelly The R4 card and necessary micro SD-card are now on their way, for 30 dollars.... Also, I now understand how to write code (not fluently write code, just simple programs), and get them on the DS. Posted Edited by Lacks
  • #7 ✎ 238 Shelly Does anyone have any experience with unbricking an R4? When I was getting Luma I bricked mine. Posted
  • #8 ✎ 93 niconii Video Games I like to play video games! Hobbies Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies Is it actually bricked, or does it just have ntrboot on it still? While ntrboot is on your R4, it won't function as a normal DS cartridge, so it won't show up in the Home Menu. The guide tells you how to restore the R4's original firmware afterwards. Posted
  • #9 ✎ 238 Shelly It seems to be what you described. However, I lost the backup.bin for my cart. Could I try yours? Posted
  • #10 ✎ 93 niconii Video Games I like to play video games! Hobbies Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies That won't work, since I have a different kind of cart than you, looking at your PM from earlier. However, the guide supplies links to download the firmware you need here. Posted
  • #11 ✎ 238 Shelly I can't seem to get the links to work for some reason. They don't do anything when I click on them. Posted
  • #12 ✎ 93 niconii Video Games I like to play video games! Hobbies Expert Programmer Programming no longer gives me any trouble. Come to me for help, if you like! Programming Strength Drawing I like to draw! Hobbies They're magnet links. You need to use a torrent client like Deluge or qBittorrent to download them. Posted
  • #13 ✎ 238 Shelly It worked. Thanks! Posted
  • #14 ✎ 238 Shelly Does anyone have any idea what chip is used in flash cartridges? It doesn't really matter which one, as long as the card's firmware can be updated. On reddit I found a post about someone who bought a fake ds game, and it turned out to be a flash-cartridge with a micro-SD in it, and covered in plastic. What's interesting is that the game appeared as if it was actually the game on the micro-SD, as if it read the micro-SD data, rather than booting to it (so you could put the game on the micro-SD, and have it appear as if it was the real game). Posted