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Thread: can you swap a snes/n64 game battery and still retain the save?

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    Default can you swap a snes/n64 game battery and still retain the save?

    I have two majoras mask carts for n64 and I want to sell one. The problem is that the one I want to sell has my 50 hour saved game on it. Would it be possible to just switch the carts batteries and have my end game save on the other better looking cart i wanna keep?

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    Cherry (Level 1) Jack_Burton_BYOAC's Avatar
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    You can't do what you're thinking.

    The battery doesn't hold the save. It only provides power to a small bit of SRAM that holds it. Once you remove the battery, that's it. Saves erased.

    There are ways out there of backing up N64 saves to your computer, but I'm not sure you'd want to go to the trouble.

    Play through the game again. Majora's Mask deserves it

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    Cherry (Level 1) Pikkon's Avatar
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    Once you remove the battery your save will be gone,just do a simply pcb swap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pikkon View Post
    Once you remove the battery your save will be gone,just do a simply pcb swap.
    This is pretty much it, unless there were like weird revision of MM or something I think this a PCB swap would be the easiest solution to your problem. I will tell you though, eventually that save battery is going to fail no matter what...

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    ServeBot (Lɘvel 11) RP2A03's Avatar
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    Actually, Majora's Mask uses flash RAM for save files.
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    Cherry (Level 1) Jack_Burton_BYOAC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    Actually, Majora's Mask uses flash RAM for save files.
    So, no battery? Like a USB flash drive?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    Actually, Majora's Mask uses flash RAM for save files.
    If that's true then the other non-saving cartridge is practically garbage as it can't be easily repaired. Good luck finding replacement flash chips to replace the defective one now that they're so old, I have a Sonic 3 cart like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Burton_BYOAC View Post
    So, no battery? Like a USB flash drive?
    Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    If that's true then the other non-saving cartridge is practically garbage as it can't be easily repaired. Good luck finding replacement flash chips to replace the defective one now that they're so old, I have a Sonic 3 cart like this.

    And in time, you can have this experience with eighty different N64 games, over half of all GBA games, and every DS game.
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    If that's true then the other non-saving cartridge is practically garbage as it can't be easily repaired. Good luck finding replacement flash chips to replace the defective one now that they're so old, I have a Sonic 3 cart like this.
    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    And in time, you can have this experience with eighty different N64 games, over half of all GBA games, and every DS game.
    Wait.. how does this happen? Did someone literally save their Sonic 3 file over 10,000 times or something? Or does old age take its toll much like how capacitors will go bad even sitting unused? Bit rot?? Is this different from a Playstation memory card?

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    Thanks guys! A PCB swap will be simple and solve my problem. Don't know why I didn't think about it and yes, I'm aware all these saves will be gone before long, but I played all the way through until the final boss last summer and need to finish up.Now I can sell the shitty looking cart and just swap PCB's. Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceHarrier View Post
    Wait.. how does this happen? Did someone literally save their Sonic 3 file over 10,000 times or something? Or does old age take its toll much like how capacitors will go bad even sitting unused? Bit rot?? Is this different from a Playstation memory card?
    There is a write limit to the number of times these chips can be written to, but sometimes the chips can just die. Even normal ROM chips in games can die sometimes.

    As for capacitors, it's actually better for them if they're used occasionally rather than sitting unused for extended periods of time. Just started reading up on capacitors on some sites dedicated to vintage audio equipment, these guys are way pickier with capacitors than anywhere else as apparently the quality of the capacitors can affect the quality of the sound. For some failed capacitors they can actually be rebuilt rather than just replacing them with new ones, of course it's expensive to do this but for some caps it's worth doing this instead of replacing them.

    Electrolytics do not suffer idleness well. They can cause big trouble when idle for long periods, needing periodic charging to stay "formed" and maintain the oxide layer that insulates the conducting plates. Sometimes they can be "reformed" by a slowly rising return to working voltage (see below). Even with regular use, electrolytics fail with age by drying out or leaking electrolyte following internal corrosion. If the electrolytic bulges, shows obvious loss of electrolyte, or simply can't be reformed you must replace it.

    Reforming
    The thin layer of aluminum oxide formed to insulate the capacitor foil constitutes formation. Capacitor manufacturers use proprietary mixes of chemicals and DC electricity to create this insulating layer, which deteriorates with time and idleness. Often the oxide layer is in such bad shape in older equipment that it must be reformed or else the capacitor will fail catastrophically. All methods of reforming use the slow reapplication of DC electricity to restore the oxide layer to its original thickness and uniformity. In my opinion, there's no one proven way to reform - many different approaches are available, but all have one element in common - slowness. The reforming must proceed faster than the buildup of heat due to the low resistance of the faulty oxide layer - this will at least take hours, and can take days.
    http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~reese/electrolytics/


    Quote Originally Posted by Loganm187 View Post
    Thanks guys! A PCB swap will be simple and solve my problem. Don't know why I didn't think about it and yes, I'm aware all these saves will be gone before long, but I played all the way through until the final boss last summer and need to finish up.Now I can sell the shitty looking cart and just swap PCB's. Thanks!
    Yes, you can still sell the broken cart to some sucker who doesn't know that it doesn't use a battery and is irreparable. Totally appropriate to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gameguy View Post
    There is a write limit to the number of times these chips can be written to, but sometimes the chips can just die. Even normal ROM chips in games can die sometimes.

    As for capacitors, it's actually better for them if they're used occasionally rather than sitting unused for extended periods of time. Just started reading up on capacitors on some sites dedicated to vintage audio equipment, these guys are way pickier with capacitors than anywhere else as apparently the quality of the capacitors can affect the quality of the sound. For some failed capacitors they can actually be rebuilt rather than just replacing them with new ones, of course it's expensive to do this but for some caps it's worth doing this instead of replacing them.



    http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~reese/electrolytics/



    Yes, you can still sell the broken cart to some sucker who doesn't know that it doesn't use a battery and is irreparable. Totally appropriate to do.
    What are you talking about? I'm not selling anything "broken" both carts SAVE fine. MAYBE IF YOU READ MY POST you would understand i wanted to swap for COSMETIC reasons only. I have been selling and collecting games for ten years and have 1,000's of perfect feedback everywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loganm187 View Post
    What are you talking about? I'm not selling anything "broken" both carts SAVE fine. MAYBE IF YOU READ MY POST you would understand i wanted to swap for COSMETIC reasons only. I have been selling and collecting games for ten years and have 1,000's of perfect feedback everywhere.
    I guess I read that wrong the first time, the part about swapping batteries threw me off. Nevermind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_Burton_BYOAC View Post
    You can't do what you're thinking.

    The battery doesn't hold the save. It only provides power to a small bit of SRAM that holds it. Once you remove the battery, that's it. Saves erased.
    But does the save really vanish instantly? Doesn't the save persist for the short amount of time it takes to change the battery? That's how it works with CPS2 boards, at least:
    http://archive.is/JgoF
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    There are a handful of N64 games that use a battery, but to replace it without losing your save data you'd need a means by which to rip the save file and then reload it after the battery swap.

    It's a snap on the SNES (which uses battery backup exclusively). I actually offer it as a service. It only requires a Retrode, which allows you to move save files to and from the cart via your computer. It costs about 100 bucks, so it's not always worth it for someone who just needs to hangs a battery or two, hence why I offer a service

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpaceHarrier View Post
    Wait.. how does this happen? Did someone literally save their Sonic 3 file over 10,000 times or something? Or does old age take its toll much like how capacitors will go bad even sitting unused? Bit rot?? Is this different from a Playstation memory card?

    I would be willing to bet that his particular copy was a rental game. Either that, or someone really liked Sonic 3.
    Mario says "... if you do drugs, you go to hell before you die."

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    Or it just broke...

    I really doubt there's a single cartridge in the world that has ever seen the save being rewritten 10,000 times or more.

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    Default can you swap a snes/n64 game battery and still retain the save?

    Can't he just put another battery in parallel at the same contact points as original battery? Then with that in place swap out the bad battery?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RP2A03 View Post
    I would be willing to bet that his particular copy was a rental game. Either that, or someone really liked Sonic 3.
    It wasn't a rental, it came in the original box with manual and nothing had rental labels on it. I got it in a bundle of Genesis stuff and was broken when I got it. Of course I was told everything was tested and still working before hand, basic craigslist crap to deal with. The bundle was still worth buying even with this broken game so it worked out alright for the most part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thegamezmaster View Post
    Can't he just put another battery in parallel at the same contact points as original battery? Then with that in place swap out the bad battery?
    I was going to post exactly this.

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