carts:nintendo:ds

Nintendo DS / Nintendo DSi

Check the dumping hardware overview for a list of known preservation hardware.

If you need help, please come chat with us on the VGPC or No-Intro discord servers.

Since there are several methods to run homebrew on a 3DS or DSi, dumping DS and DSi carts is reasonably easy and required no additional hardware. If you only have a DS available, the process is more involved.


Important Notes

  • Unopened games should have their ROM and save data dumped before attempting to play them. This avoids inadvertent modification of the data and helps preserve the game in its unused/“factory” state. Note in your submission whether the physical media was sealed and include a photo of the cart/packaging in its sealed state, if possible.
  • You should clean the physical media's electrical contacts before trying to dump it, and dump it twice, checking if both dumps match using a file comparison tool or calculating the SHA256 of each file and comparing those values.

Follow the 3DS Custom Firmware Guide to enable running homebrew on your 3DS or use a DS flashcart with ntrboothax. Install the latest stable version of GodMode9 on your SD card.

Dumping

  • While your 3DS is powered off, insert the game you want to dump
  • Boot your console into GodMode9
  • Navigate into “GAMECART”
  • Copy the .nds.enc file and the .txt file to the SD card. If either of these files are missing, you're using an outdated version of GodMode9 and should upgrade.

Follow the DSi CFW Guide to install custom firmware on your DSi, and install the latest stable version of GodMode9i on your SD card.

Dumping

  • Launch GodMode9i from TWiLight Menu++.
  • Navigate to NDS GAMECARD, press A.
  • You'll see the following menu:
Dump NDS card ROM to
"s:/gm9i/out"?
(<A> yes, <Y> trim, <B> no,
 <X> save only)
  • Press A to dump the cart to your SD card.
  • Once it's finished, you can turn off the console and copy the files from the gm9i/out folder on your SD card to your computer.

Using the Wi-Fi version of the wooddumper homebrew, you can dump DS carts over FTP using a DS or DS Lite.

Requirements:

  • DS or DS Lite console
  • A way to run homebrew (if you don't have a flashcart, you can run homebrew using Download Play if you have certain hardware)
  • Wi-Fi connection that can be set to WEP security or unsecured
  • PC/smartphone/tablet that can connect to said network
  • FTP client software on said PC/smartphone/tablet. You can often use the built-in browser or file manager by entering the IP address and prefixing it with ftp://), but if not, you can get FileZilla for PC, or Material Files for Android.

Wi-Fi Setup

  • Create a WEP or unsecured hotspot using your router, smartphone/tablet or PC. You shouldn't connect it to the internet/your local network, so on your phone, turn off wifi and mobile data first.
  • Use a Wi-Fi-enabled DS game (or this free Nintendo Channel demo) to setup the Wi-Fi connection on your DS. It'll say that the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service is discontinued, but this doesn't matter, as we don't need Nintendo's online service or any internet. If the auto-setup (“Search for an Access Point”) option doesn't work, try the manual one. If that doesn't work, trying connecting another (non-local network/internet connected) device to the network first.

Dumping

  • Run wooddumper.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions regarding inserting you cart.
  • Open the on-screen ip address in your FTP client.
  • Copy the .nds and .txt file to your computer.

Tools

  • A Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite with a slot-1 DS flashcart
  • A slot-2 GBA flashcart compatible with your slot-1 DS flashcart.

Dumping

  • Run wooddumper
  • Follow the on-screen instructions regarding inserting the cart
  • Insert your slot-2 GBA flashcart's SD card to your computer's SD card reader or (if applicable) connect your slot-2 GBA flashcart to your PC
  • Copy the .nds and .txt files to your PC.

Here is an example of a txt file generated by wooddumper.

wooddumper r89
rom:
	code:	A2DPv00
	size:	33554432 bytes
	card:	00001fc2
save:
	status:	00000000
	id:	00ffffff

This one includes the CRC32 value calculated by wooddumper.

wooddumper r89
rom:
	code:	A2DPv00
	size:	33554432 bytes
	card:	00001fc2
	crc32:	f443f9bf
save:
	status:	00000000
	id:	00ffffff

todo: add info on box serials (and non-standard carts if relevant)

cart_front.jpg

Front of cart serial
SSS-CCCC-RRR
e.g. NTR-A2DP-EUR

S = System (NTR = DS, TWL = DSi-exclusive/DSi-enhanced)
C = Gamecode (see the first four characters in the “back of cart serial” section, although sometimes the gamecode here is incorrect and won't match that)
R = Region

Region Codes:

Region Region Code
Japan JPN
USA USA
Canada CAN
Europe EUR
United Kingdom UKV
France FRA
Korea KOR



cart_back.jpg

Back of cart serial
TGGRUVXMM
e.g. A2DPN0J08

T = Type (A/B/C = Normal, D = DSi-exclusive, DS/DSi-enhanced with infrared hardware, T = Unknown, U = Tool/Utility, V = DSi-enhanced, Y = Unknown)
GG = Game code (e.g. 2D = New Super Mario Bros.)
R = Region (J = Japan, E = USA, P = Europe, K = Korea)
U = Unknown (“N” in all known cases)
V = Version (starts at 0)
X = Unknown (“J” in all known cases)
M = Production site/factory ID?

Easy way to remember where the version number is: fourth character from the right - this works for 3DS carts too.

PCB serial
Meaning is unknown
e.g. ▼ CS A-1 C01-10
sometimes a dot character (•) is used

ROM chip serial (first line)
XYYWW…
X = Unknown
Y = Manufacturing year?
W = Manufacturing week?

Once you've dumped your games, it's time to generate and submit metadata to a preservation project for validating and cataloging. See the dump submission instructions for more information.

  • carts/nintendo/ds.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/08/28 17:08
  • by hiccup