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Thread: [FIXED]Busted SNES cartridge? What to do? (Super Metroid)

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Unhappy [FIXED]Busted SNES cartridge? What to do? (Super Metroid)

    FIXED: Super Metroid defaults to 00 Energy files when the battery is dead. If you have a cartridge that exhibits the same behavior, replace the battery and then clear all the files. A cleared file should say NO DATA instead of 00 Energy.



    Original post:
    Today I bought a Super Metroid cart at the flea market but there is something wrong with it: when you start the game Samus has 00 energy, thus she dies in the moment she appears.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=020T9bby-IM

    I thought "what the..." and proceed to open the cart. There was the lousiest battery replacement job I've seen. After cleaning the mess, the cart still has the bug.

    So, the question is: has someone ever seen something like this? what could I do?


    EDIT:
    I also bought Uniracers and it acts strange too: In a SNS-001 rev. SHVC-CPU-01 the game plays fine but in a SNS-001 rev. SNS-CPU-GMP-02 and rev. SNS-CPU-RGB-01 the game just shows garbled graphics. The game's PCB looks fine and I cleaned the contacts before testing so that's not it.

    In my brother's SNES SNS-001 rev. SHVC-CPU-01:


    In my SNES SNS-001 rev. SNS-CPU-RGB-01:




    By the way, the same guy gave me a NES Advantage and a Mad Catz Fighter Pad for the SNES because they didn't work, but I was able to repair them pretty easily so I guess we're even. In the worst case I plan to use the cart shell with a Tototek flash card but I'd still like to have a functional cartridge.
    Last edited by izarate; 02-08-2011 at 09:34 PM.

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    Banana (Level 7) SkiDragon's Avatar
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    I don't know what the problem could be, but the effect you described is hilarious.
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    Cherry (Level 1) WizDawg's Avatar
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    Do these games have and SRAM chip in them? Maybe it's corrupt?

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by WizDawg View Post
    Do these games have and SRAM chip in them? Maybe it's corrupt?
    Yes, both have SRAM. Would a corrupt SRAM affect the game in that way? I would think that it doesn't, that it would just prevent me from saving my progress, but I'm not 100% sure. I removed the batteries to clear the SRAM, but that didn't help.

    I already tried replacing the capacitors in the Super Metroid cart. I couldn't find axial capacitors like those used originally but I bought some polyester capacitors that had the same values and the cart seems to work just fine, except for the mentioned bug.

    I think that the ROM itself is damaged somehow, but I beleive that it was working fine before since the battery was replaced. Why would someone replace it if they experienced this bug previously?



    Now, for the Uniracers cartridge I've found new info that seems to give some sense to the situation: after the Game Genie was introduced Nintendo modified the SNES so that it would give less current to the cartridge slot to prevent the Game Genie from working. My SNES SNS-CPU-RGB-01 and SNS-CPU-GMP-02 are of the late revisions. My best guess is that there is some "leak" in the Uniracers cart and that's why it works fine in my brother's SNES (original) and not in mine (late revision).

    I think that the issue is just present in this particular cart since I borrowed another Uniracers and it works fine with my SNES.




    Does anyone have any other idea or info that might help? Maybe a website or anything? I know that I could buy another cart (and I plan to do so) but this is really intriguing and I'd like to know what is causing it.
    Last edited by izarate; 06-14-2008 at 02:56 PM.

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    Cherry (Level 1) WizDawg's Avatar
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    I have a similar problem with Super Mario All Stars/Super Mario World combo cartridge. I picked it up at a garage sale a couple weeks ago for a buck. The lady said it had a problem with it.... garbled graphics. I thought to myself just needs a good cleaning. Took it home, cleaned it up, and yes there are garbled graphics on the screen.

    Title screen comes up ok.

    http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1.../allstars1.jpg

    The menu screen appears and it's all messed up.

    http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1.../allstars2.jpg

    Funny thing is you can play a game that has no saved game. However when save your game and power off system and try to play game again it won't start, just a black screen. I checked battery on cart and it's fine. Also some games play fine, no garbled graphics, but others let you play game but they have garbled graphics. (Sorry I have no video recorder). SO I was thinking it had to do with 64K SRAM chip somehow. I know SRAM stands for Saved Ram but maybe it works with the ROM is some way (switching data?) The only way to test for sure is to replace. I was thinking about doing this. I have a spare Wayne Gretzky cartridge that has a 64K SRAM chip in it too.

    Have you seen the video somebody posted about the messed up Super Mario Kart cartridge? That also has a SRAM chip.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Bratwurst's Avatar
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    How long did you wait before replacing the battery in the Super Metroid cart? Maybe not long enough for the SRAM to clear out, but that's just a guess. You could try swapping the SRAM from another, cheaper game that uses the same component. Failing that, check all solder joints on the game rom and other chips on the circuit board to see if any need to be re-flowed.

    Certainly an interesting phenomenon. Have you tried loading the game in a game genie with an infinite health code or something along those lines?

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bratwurst View Post
    How long did you wait before replacing the battery in the Super Metroid cart? Maybe not long enough for the SRAM to clear out, but that's just a guess. You could try swapping the SRAM from another, cheaper game that uses the same component. Failing that, check all solder joints on the game rom and other chips on the circuit board to see if any need to be re-flowed.

    Certainly an interesting phenomenon. Have you tried loading the game in a game genie with an infinite health code or something along those lines?

    I haven't placed the batteries back, so the SRAM must have cleared by now. In the video you can see that there aren't any saves in the Super Metroid cart.

    As I stated, I replaced all the support circuitry (4x18nF, 1x9900nF and 1x22uF capacitors, plus a 10KOhm resistor) but it did nothing. The solder joints look fine, but I'll try refluxing them just in case.

    I don't have a Game Genie but I seem to recall that the same guy had one. I'll pay him a visit tomorrow at the flea market and see if he still has it. I'll post later with my findings.

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Well, I finally got the Game Genie. Using the "500 energy tank" code the energy tanks do appear but all empty so Samus still dies as soon as she appears.

    I don't know if the energy tanks should be full after entering the code, does someone know? Does anyone have an energy code where I could set Samus' energy to what I'd like?
    Last edited by izarate; 06-22-2008 at 03:32 PM.

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    Smile Super Metroid could be fixed

    Well, I made some progress the last night. I was testing Game Genies codes on an emulator when I noticed something:



    When a file in Super Metroid is empty it reads "NO DATA" but the cart, even though I removed the battery two weeks ago, had files with 00 energy, as in the shot above (it shows the "500 energy tanks" code applied). Surely enough, when I cleared a file the game played properly but when I power off the SNES and turn it on again the save is gone and back to ENERGY 00 TIME 00:00

    What I think is happening is that, when no battery is present, Super Metroid defaults to this instead of clear files. What I need to do now is to get a new battery for it and test my theory.


    By the way, does someone know where I could get CR2032 batteries with tabs that will ship worldwide?


    Well, that just leaves the Uniracers cart with scrambled graphics.
    Last edited by izarate; 06-25-2008 at 10:14 AM.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) jb143's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izarate View Post
    By the way, does someone know where I could get CR2032 batteries with tabs that will ship worldwide?
    Digikey has them. I'm pretty sure they ship worldwide.
    "Game programmers are generally lazy individuals. That's right. It's true. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Since the dawn of computer games, game programmers have looked for shortcuts to coolness." Kurt Arnlund - Game programmer for Activision, Accolade...

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) Afrokid's Avatar
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    Dude,

    I have the same problem with my Super Metroid cart, did you fix it?.

    Someone have the same problem?

    Regards

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Dude,

    I already fix the problem.

    When i put the game for first time i get some piracy message i think WTF. Then the same problem appear samus die over and over again.

    I open the game and nothing seems to be wrong, just the battery was a little loose. Well i test the game again and the same problem... SAMUS DIE IN FRONT OF MY EYES.

    Well the problem is in the SRAM i start the game one more time, y erase all the three saved games and start a new one.... and voila!! it works i already save my game and is working.

    I compare the card with another of my super metroid and here is the difference.



    The one with the problem is in the right and have the battery in a crappy way.

    Well Izarate, i hope you fix your game.

    Regards
    Last edited by Afrokid; 09-01-2008 at 01:40 AM.

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Oh, yeah. I managed to get it to work. I thought that I had posted about that but I see that I didn't. I see that I explained my theory of how to get it working but didn't confirm if it did.

    The problem is that Super Metroid resets to 00 energy when the SRAM isn't provided with power, as you too found out. I think that Nintendo did that to prevent people from buying "dead" carts.

    The problem with the Uniracers cart continues but now I think that it might be a timming issue. It works with every other SNES I have, except the revisions SNS-CPU-GPM-02 and SNS-CPU-RGB-01, so it's not the cart. It's the only cart that doesn't work as intended in said SNES so the consoles aren't broken either.
    Last edited by izarate; 09-01-2008 at 06:10 PM.

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    hey, i have the exact same problem with a super metroid cartridge i just bought.

    you say the problem comes fom the SRAM, whats that? and how do i fix the problem?

    thanks

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Put a new battery. What we discovered is that Super Metroid resets to 00 energy files instead of clear files. I guess that Nintendo did that to prevent people from buying carts with dead batteries or something.

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    where can i get a battery for a super nintendo cartridge?

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    Peach (Level 3) izarate's Avatar
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    Almost everywhere. It's a regular CR2032 coin type battery. You'll also need a 3.8mm gamebit to open the cartridge. You can get those from several online outlets.

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