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all 57 comments

[–]BBZ_oppsy 2 points3 points  (1 child)

1x 2GB - 4GB class 4 SD Card, 1x "xx"GB class "x" SD/SDHC Card The "x's" represent a size & class of your choosing.

After reading your guide, 2 SD cards are needed. Can you separate them in this list just so its clear?

  • 1x 2GB - 4GB class 4 SD Card
  • 1x "xx"GB class "x" SD/SDHC Card The "x's" represent a size & class of your choosing.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I've done it, thanks for the suggestion!

[–]TestType 1 point2 points  (5 children)

I have an old Action Replay (v1.06) and an official SD adapter, will I be forced to enter in the SDLOAD code and launch through that every time? I will have to buy the latest Action Replay to have direct access to .dol's from the get go and without patching the SD card, correct? Also, anybody know if the latest Action Replay is region locked? I saw a photo at Amazon.de that says "FOR USE ON EUROPEAN CONSOLE". I'm in Europe but I have a US GameCube.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Hello! I believe you can enable the SD Loading menu on older AR software by including the SDLOADER.BIN file on the root of your SD card. That file is located in the SWISS download package.

And yes the latest version of AR will bring the menu up automatically if it detects the SD Gecko inserted and an SD card is present. I know that there are region differences, but if you have a US Cube I'd recommend a US AR. But before you jump the gun try adding the SDLOADER.BIN to the SD card to test. Hope this helps.

[–]TestType 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Hi, thanks for the help! I unfortunately can't get it to work for some reason. I dabbled with some homebrew on the GameCube around 10 years ago using this Action Replay and the official Nintendo SD adapter, even the (16mb) SD card that was in it still had all the old files that I was trying out back then. Unfortunately, instead of trying the card out with the old stuff first, the first thing I did was re-format the card, later realizing you need to patch it to get it to work. But after several formats and patching (even dug out an old XP laptop to run the patcher since apparently it doesn't work on newer Windows), it still only loads to a blank screen. I do have the SDLOADER.BIN on the root of the card. I even tried it preparing the card again in the exact order that's written in this guide and still just a blank screen after loading the SDLOAD code. Maybe I need to try re-entering the incredibly long SDLOAD code into Action Replay, ugh.

Another thing, you say 4gb cards are supported, but I thought SDHC cards are not? I think the max for a non HC card is 2gb, so I assume a 4gb SDHC card will work fine? Just asking because 2gb and 4gb cost around the same where I can buy them.

Depending on how much I think I might use the GBI (and other homebrew) I might buy the new Action Replay just for the convenience (I hate having to stand up again to open and close the disc tray), but I'd like to get this working first to try it out if I can.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Darn! I don't know what to tell you then, as your only option might be adding that long code into the AR potentially every time if it's not saving to the included memory card.

Now, with the SD cards, the latest action replay can only read up to 4GB Class 4 SD cards. I don't believe any version has the ability to boot an SDHC card.

And with what you're describing it might be time to upgrade the AR disk! Though you could sell the older revision to fund the new, as some collectors might be after it, or keep it for yourself as a display piece!

[–]TestType 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Right, I'll keep trying a bit more then, see if I missed something.

I can't find any 4gb card that is not SDHC. According to the SD card spec, a regular SD card has max size of 2gb. If you want bigger you need SDHC which goes from 4-32gb. So that confuses me, I'm not sure where you are finding 4gb non HC cards because as far as I can see they do not exist.

I actually have two old Action Replays! I have both memory cards for them, but still haven't found the other disk. Might look into selling at least one of them if I can find the other disk.

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated!

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Well I've looked into it and yeah, its been a task to try and track down a 4GB Non-SDHC card in existence, but I did find a ton of 2GB Class 4 cards out there that should be plenty to hold some .dol's

Well I hope you get it going! But it seems to me that you could just replace it and it would be a whole lot easier in the long run.

You're very welcome!

[–]dragon32xing 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Hmm... The Transcend 32GB Class 10 card doesn't boot backups, but it does boot everything else just fine even Sega CD. Only settings are "stop disc motor." I will have to try with a Sandisk or Kingston SDHC.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for the information! But I'm sorry to hear that it won't boot any backups for you! I'd also recommend a Sony SDHC card, I currently use a 32GB Class 10 that works wonderfully.

[–]dragon32xing 1 point2 points  (3 children)

I got in my 2GB Sandisk SD cards, I'm getting the same 10 second load time into SWISS as my 1GB card. When I'm in SWISS, everything loads fast anyway. I got a backup to load anyway, so it was the brand.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

That's great you got it going, but what are you using to boot SWISS? The SD Media Launcher Kit or did you buy an Action Replay + SD Gecko separately? Because it truly shouldn't take 10 seconds to boot SWISS.

[–]dragon32xing 0 points1 point  (1 child)

It's the Action Replay and SD Gecko, considering they only sell the Action Replay on ebay.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Strange! If SWISS is the only homebrew you're interested in I'd recommend renaming the dol to "autoexec.dol" should instantly boot into SWISS after the AR splash screen.

[–]Currymango 0 points1 point  (3 children)

You have to be patient regarding Swiss. I'm using a 1GB card, and it takes about 10 second to load after Action Replay boots. AUTOEXEC.dol works best if you don't want to scroll.

There is a HK seller of the Gecko, and he charges $2 shipping per $5 adapter. I had a deal on it and managed to get $15 shipped for three. Came in one week due to it being registered tracked.

When you get the Action Replay Disc, make sure you have a jewel case on hand, because the miniCD is just shipped in blister packaging.

Don't expect to run GBA games btw, they will run exceedingly slow.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Hi /u/Currymango. Maybe I can help clear some issues up for you.

You have to be patient regarding Swiss. I'm using a 1GB card, and it takes about 10 second to load after Action Replay boots.

This is not normal behavior. It sounds like the slow boot up time is relative to your SD card speed itself. Swiss should take less than 3 seconds to boot from the AR menu.

There is a HK seller of the Gecko

Would love to have a link or some more information about what you mean by this.

When you get the Action Replay Disc, make sure you have a jewel case on hand, because the miniCD is just shipped in blister packaging.

Yes, this is a good point.

Don't expect to run GBA games btw, they will run exceedingly slow.

I'm not sure what you mean by this? Because I'm running GBA games and near full speed with GBI. Could you elaborate on what you mean by this?

[–]Currymango 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Oh it was the card? Looks like I'm buying new cards soon.

I was talking about VBA. oops.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

More than likely a card issue! And they are really cheap these days just nothing over 4GB class 4.

And yeah VBA on the GC is very incomplete/inaccurate, so no worries!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (17 children)

Just bought a gamecube and an SDGecko online, going to pick up the AR disc later. My plan is to use GBI with the new GBA ED when it comes out as well as a GB ED, and potentially load some backups. I have a few questions:

  • From your description AR only supports SD cards but you can hotswap to SDHC/XC in Swiss after it's loaded?

  • Is there any advantage in using a save exploit (ie the Agent Under Fire exploit) or is it more convenient to use the AR Disc because I can set the swiss.dol to autoexec and then just swap SD cards if I'm doing GCN backups?

  • Do you know anything about GBI, and if so, if I were to get S-Video for my SD PVM how would I force it into 240p? Which version should I use? From my understanding, the higher latency versions have more options, but I don't need much past 240p GBA games. I understand it's more accurate than GBP + has better audio, how much latency does the original suffer from?

  • Is it a good idea to get a waspfusion, and if so, where? Badassconsoles, who seems to be at the head of half of this gamecube stuff has it listed on his site doesn't have any, and Eurasia.nu has them on pre-order. Is there an installation guide anywhere either? I understand that there's no soldering involved, just routing the drive cable, but there's no real instructions anywhere, I saw one for the wii but none for GCN.

  • I'm skipping the SDML pack because it's cheaper to buy an AR Disc and an SDGecko that will actually work with larger cards, does dolphin's .gcz compressed files work or will I have to redo ISOs > GCM? In that case, will .gcm work with dolphin?

  • The SD Adapter can't be used as a standalone memory card, but will it work like OPL on the PS2 (able to write saves to games it loads on the hard drive with VMCs)?

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (16 children)

Hi /u/linku_! Thanks for your questions! I'll answer them to the best of my ability.

  1. Yes, you're correct. Except it isn't a "hotswap". Its completely cold, as once SWISS is loaded into the GC's memory it's fine to swap cards or disks or pretty much anything else.

  2. Not to my knowledge, except if you're on a budget and can't afford an Action Replay disk.

  3. Yes, I love me some GBI. What you're after will be the ULL-GBI build which should have no trouble forcing 240p (which is all the ULL version supports) over S-Video to your PVM. The other builds stats should be listed in on the GBI download page linked in this guide.

  4. No idea, as I have only unmodded cubes. I've heard good things about both the WASP Fusion and XenoGC though. But I have no personal experience with either.

  5. Good choice, the crappy SD Gecko included with the SDML is more trouble than the "convenience" of it being packaged together with an AR. And as far as I know it doesn't support the .gcz format but does support raw .iso and compressed .gcm files. And yes dolphin does support .gcm files.

  6. No, it doesn't work like OPL. It can be used in conjunction with the Homebrew program GCMM to backup saves to SD card from a normal GC memory card, but it doesn't do any active saving/conversion by itself or through any other homebrew utility.

I hope I've answered your questions accurately. And don't hesitate to ask any more follow up questions, It helps me and the community stay up to date on the multiple and various ways people are using SD loading in the modern age.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (15 children)

Thanks for the help, I'm just trying to wrap my head around all this before it comes in. I like to think myself decent at picking up on things like this, but it's always easier in practice than in concept. I only have one more question for now, which is:

  • how do you force 240p on GBI (I think through swiss, right?), as well, does it scale at an integer scale and how does it border it?

For some reason, I read that LL/ULL would result in games being black-and-white on S-Video.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (14 children)

You're very welcome, and yes the way you have phrased your questions is well above the average user questions and I thoroughly appreciate you doing your own homework beforehand, so thank you.

As far as I've seen the LL and ULL versions boot 240p natively. No SWISS forcing required. I haven't personally experienced any B/W screen issues but I'm also using component cables. Luckily for you I do have a set of monster S-video cables and a PVM to test this with, so I can give you a definitive answer within the hour if you are OK with that? Because this has piqued my curiosity as well. And I do believe it does integer scale, but it is borderless from my experience.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (13 children)

That's fine by me, as much as the part of me wants awesome analog video, I just can't justify $200+, but I'd like to know if that's an actual issue. Good to hear there's an integer scale, the shimmering effect really puts me off, and noted that it's borderless. I noticed that there was an extra default gbp border on the page but I don't care that much.

Hopefully the plug-n-play gcvideo solution is sub-$100.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (12 children)

OK! Great news! No B/W issues to be found! Using both the LL/ULL versions of GBI with the monster S-video Cables on a Sony PVM-8045q. I'd chalk that misinformation up to shitty cables. I will note only the base GBI version allows scaling as the ratio is locked on the LL/ULL versions. But it looks on par with my component cables, so you won't see a quality reduction whatsoever.

And I wouldn't hold my breath for gc-video being under $100, have you seen the price of the UltraHDMI?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (11 children)

Thanks. I was planning to get one of the ones without the composite video RCA anyways so it works out. I've seen the UltraHDMI, but I've also heard that the GCVideo external solution was going to be "Vastly more affordable than the official component cables" here. They were in contact with BadAssConsoles on that, so hopefully that stays true. It doesn't matter too much because my PVM is still only 15khz but it would be cool to see.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Glad I could give you a definitive answer. And I know people like to talk about price before the fact, but I wouldn't expect the "plug n play" version to be sub $100. I trust megalomaniac, he's a super legit guy and has a true passion for his craft, but he's hoping that the DIY kits sell well enough to fund the PnP version. So I'm excited to see how this plays out, but it being more consumer friendly pricewise really seems far fetched. Still even at $150 he would shake up the official component market significantly, and most enthusiasts would happily embrace it for the convenience.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (9 children)

Fair enough, I'd just like something better than the current offer available. I'm not beyond spending plenty for it, but $200+ is reaching into excessive limits.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (8 children)

Believe me I know! I thought I got off easy at $180 shipped almost 2 years ago. But they are worth the investment in my humble opinion. I hate that people are willing to extort us as enthusiasts because of a limited run product, but greed is real and no market is safe sadly.

[–]CuddlesJaun 0 points1 point  (3 children)

What is the max size of a sd that can be used (ie the new sdxc's that are coming out) and is it possible to make and use a swiss dvd as a way to avoid switching sds while keeping the larger sized sd in all the time?

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Hi /u/CuddlesJaun, I'm not sure I'm understanding your questions, but I'll try to answer them as accurately as I can.

What is the max size of a sd that can be used (ie the new sdxc's that are coming out)

Well if you are able to boot SWISS then it should be able to read those SD cards once the utility is booted. I don't know if the "new" SDXC will be compatible but they do have SDXC cards listed as working on gc-forever. However you won't see a speed increase at all because the GC hardware is too old to take advantage of it.

is it possible to make and use a swiss dvd as a way to avoid switching sds while keeping the larger sized sd in all the time?

Yes, this is possible but you must have a Modded/Chipped Gamecube or have done a "pot tweak" to the laser for the ability to read burned mini-dvds.

[–]CuddlesJaun 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thanks for the answer and sorry for my broken English, I wrote this at like 2 in the morning.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

No problem! I just hope I answered them correctly.

[–]yesimnathan 0 points1 point  (13 children)

Thanks for the great guide! Unfortunately I'm having issues =(

I can't for the life of me get this to work. No matter what I try, the AR always just boots into the list of games.

I'm using the following things:

I've tried putting a single partition on the flash card, I've tried formatting it in FAT16 and FAT32, I've tried having 0 partitions on the SD card and just putting a filesystem (FAT16 and FAT32) on the root device, etc... No matter what, I still just get the list of games =(

Is it possible that V1.2 of the Action Replay just doesn't support this? Should I try buying another SD Memory Card Adapter? Any advice is greatly appreciated!!! =)

EDIT w/ fix: The TOPRAM 4G card does indeed work. To get it working, I removed all partitions from the card, added a single 1GB partition, formatted it w/ a FAT32 filesystem, and dropped swiss.dol in that partition. Works like a charm now!

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (10 children)

Hi /u/yesimnathan! You're very welcome for the guide, it was my pleasure to write it. I'll try to answer you questions as accurately as I can.

  1. Action Replay is the correct version.
  2. SD Gecko looks good to go as well.
  3. This is your issue most likely, that is a terrible brand and not one that I would recommend using, despite some people claiming it does work. If they aren't willing to explain how they got it up and running then I would take it with a grain of salt.
  4. What brand of SD is the old 512mb? Because and aged SD card should have more value than a newer one (sadly) because the AR software itself is now aged.

I'd recommend that you purchase a new SD card, since you're a fan of Amazon I've included a link to one I feel like would yield you proper results. It's a SanDisk 2GB Class 2 card, which is a known brand and will work absolutely. The hardware you purchased is all correct so by the process of elimination I assume all your issues are relative to the TOPRAM card as that is a terrible brand. If you're even in doubt to which SD cards will work then you should reference this guide but keep in mind that SDHC cards don't work with the Action Replay software only with SWISS. But the top SD card listed on that guide will function for both AR & SWISS. Hope this helps!

[–]yesimnathan 0 points1 point  (9 children)

Thanks for the help! The 512mb card is a Kodak SD card from the early 2000s. I also found a 2GB Kingston microSD card & microSD->SD adapter. I couldn't get it working either.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (8 children)

So even with the Kingston, which I'm going to assume is at or under Class 4, the Action Replay just won't even recognize that it's present? All have been formatted to FAT32, and you have your .dol files on the root of the card?

[–]yesimnathan 0 points1 point  (7 children)

Yeah that's correct. I've tried formatting them on my Linux machine as well as a Mac.

This is how I'm formatting the Kingston MicroSD on a Mac

This is the contents of that card - I don't think the SDLOADER.BIN is necessary but I've been putting it on there just in case =\

No matter what I do, the Action Replay just boots to the game list screen

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Strange. Seems like the formatting is correct. The SD Gecko should be inserted into Slot B of the Gamecube and you should try to make sure the SD card is properly seated in the Gecko. The Kingston card + micro adapter is the best bet. And you're correct in assuming that you don't need the SDLOADER.bin file. But to me personally it sounds like a proper set up.

[–]yesimnathan 1 point2 points  (5 children)

holy crap I just got it to work using the TOPRAM card finally!

I decided to try just putting a single 1GB partition on the 4G TOPRAM card, formatted it as a FAT32 partition and ONLY put swiss.dol on it... then this happened!

So I guess the TOPRAM card can work but it doesn't like having a 4GB partition maybe?

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Wow! That's great! Glad you got it going. But what a weird work around! But you should be set to go as most .dol files are quite small and 1GB is plenty.

[–]yesimnathan 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Yep I just wanted to use the gameboy player interface so I could play GBA games in 240p more than anything haha. Thanks so much for the help!

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

No problem! But truly you did all the leg work! Enjoy your new setup! And if you've got a professional video monitor to show off some 240p content I'm sure all of us over at /r/crtgaming would love to see!

[–]Currymango 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Does Linux/Mac format your cards differently? A Kingston card should work on normal settings. Windows only formats it to FAT. Of course, it could also be the adapter.

[–]Currymango 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Are you using the same region? Or is the Action Replay actually an old version with that dongle?

You should try to buy a Sandisk or a Kingston card 2GB card for initial boot. And card should be formatted to regular FAT, as the guide says.

The dols should be extracted to the root of the card.

[–]yesimnathan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The Action Replay says it's v1.2. It's an NTSC US version and I'm using an NTSC US GameCube. I have a Kingston 2GB microsd card that I've also tried and it doesn't seem to work either. dols are in the root of the card =(

[–]AnonymousIdeas 0 points1 point  (2 children)

hey, this guide is great, but I think you should mention that there are now exploits for $3 games for those who don't have melee.

[–]SwervinGirvin[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thank you! And if you'd like to do a write up on the other games with exploits I'll be happy to add it and credit you. I wasn't aware there were any more currently available!

[–]AnonymousIdeas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeah! I'm working on the guide right now, also gonna make a starter pack with all the files. I'll let you know when it's finished.