I recently just got my EZ Flash IV for my Gameboy micro (not going to be used at all for a DS encase that matters) and am in need of a tutorial. I'm completely new to the GBA homebrew scene. could someone please show me where a damn good tutorial can be found, thanks
That is the "latest" firmware for your EZ4. Ensure your SD card is formatted in fat32 [Correction: Not fat32 but FAT or FAT16]. you unzip this file to the "root" (top most directory) of your SD card.
Put that card in your EZ4. Put the EZ4 into the the GBM. Turn it on. Before that white Gameboy screen disappears hold the 'R' button down until you notice an obvious change. Chances are good you'll be seeing the firmware update page. It's sparse and non interactive. Wait until it finishes and if it tells you to turn off the GBA you may turn off the GBA. That's probably not the last time you'll need to do that because this is also how we change skins of the EZ4 menus.
I will not go into skinning directions now, there's a separate forum for that.
Now that the EZ4 is using the most relevant firmware you need to put some games on it. To do that you'll need a client software.
That's probably not the latest but for GBA I really don't see the need to update.
Extract this software into a nice comfy directory that's easy to access because you'll be using it every day. I really suggest "c:\EZFlash\EZ4client" this way you can create an "c:\EZFlash\backup" as well as maybe one for skins later.
OK so now that the software is ready you can run it. If it works you'll need to configure it. It's really easy. Press config. You'll probably choose "English" and any skin you like but there's probably not a lot of choice. Then you'll have to tell it where your SD card lives. All you need is a drive letter, it lets you browse to it so it shouldn't be too hard. If you tend to use many removable drives and some at the same time there is a really good chance your SD card will not always have the same drive letter. You need to check for this every once in while because the client doesn't care where it writes to as long as there is something on the end to take it. You may end up putting all your ROMs on your MP3 player by accident.
Here's one thing I have to stress. That little button on the bottom of the config screen that says "reset key" does not work. Do not touch it. Don't touch it. Never press it. Don't make any changes within it. It's broken and has not been fixed. Seriously I'm saving a lot of time with this warning. You are done with config.
Now you can click the "open" button and browse for a GBA ROM file. The ROM files may be zipped, in which case you'd browse for a zip file.
Once you've selected it you should see it's name in the "ROM name" box up at the top of the client. Confirm that you like the name. Names are assigned according to a database that EZ4client keeps if there is no name you may enter the one you want. Don't stress it. There are updated ROM lists available somewhere in these forums that supports most if not all releases out there.
Now you are ready to press "send". Once it's finished copying the ROM, you can put the SD card in the EZ4 and play it but for now there's more learning to do.
First, you can select multiple ROMs in the choose ROM dialog, this will flash many games at once, well actually one after the other. The only drawback is that it uses the default name for the ROMs in its database. If a ROM does not exist in the database it will be named ".GBA" that's blank. blank.GBA. If you have several ROMs that aren't recognized you'll still only get one ".GBA".
The EZ4 cannot create its own save files. It needs the client to do that for it. So every time you flash a ROM a blank save file is created in the "saver" folder on the SD card. If you have your own saves that you'd like to use, from emulation, for example, you can copy those into the saver directory. Please make sure the file name is identical to the ROM you wish to use.
Please be advised that changing the filename of a file on the SD after having flashed it requires that you adjust the filename of the corresponding save file in the "saver" directory. You can however move ROM files around on SD card to your heart's delight.
Limits, there is a limit to how many files EZ4 can display in one directory. I don't know the number but I do know that if you plan on adding hundreds of games make subdirectories for them and to keep only about 50 in each folder.
There is also a limit on the length of file name. The game will still run but it won't save at all and that is frustrating. Some Mario advance games are affected by it and so are some Zelda. Just rename them shorter. There's plenty of articles about that.
All ROMs are stored on the SD card in uncompressed form, by the way, so they will naturally take up more space. Try not to fill the SD card to the brim so to speak. Always leave 10 megs or more for breathing room.
Now you can turn on the GBA.
The top icon is the games folder. Press 'A' to accept and press 'B' to decline, or in most cases 'A' to go down a directory and 'B' to go up. You'll find your games in the storage folder sometimes called "EZDisk" just highlight the ROM you want and press 'A'. The ROM will load which can take several seconds, the GBA will reboot and the game will start. Now more than 80% of the time when you are done playing the game you can press 'A' 'B' 'UP' 'L' all at the same time and you'll reboot back the the EZ4 menu, at this point you'll see the "writing saver" message that can take agonizing amount of time to someone with ADhD. You have the option to skip this process by holding the "l" button but know that your progress won't be saved.
Also pressing 'A' 'B' 'SELECT' 'START' will reset most games to the title screen.
Some games won't patch properly and these shortcut keys won't work. There's plenty talk about that on the forums as well and some fixes for specific games. there's also some fixes for sleep mode in some games because sleep mode does not work on the EZ4. You've been warned.
This "writing save" dialog happens after every time you turn off the the EZ4. I generally like to reset or power off and then back on to let the save file complete. That the next time I want to play later in the day I don't have to wait for the saving process.
Now sometime you'll want to play a game that is very large. 32 megs in PC terms. These games will run but they will only run from an area on the EZ4 called the NOR and it takes forever to put a 32 megs game into the NOR. Almost 5 minutes. You do this by highlighting the ROM and pressing SELECT you'll be asked "flash to NOR" press 'A' for yes and 'B' for no.
Once the flashing is done you'll have to navigate "up" a directory or so. Remember that "EZDisk"? go up by pressing 'B' until you see "EZDisk" again now you should see another file there, the ROM you just flashed. This is where you find the NOR memory. While here you can run the game. Games start almost instantly within the NOR. The NOR is a great place to store frequently played games for instant access. You can add as many that add up to 32 megs.
Pressing START in the NOR area will ask if you want to format the NOR section. That means erase all games stored there. That's up to you though. Highlighting a game in the NOR and pressing SELECT will remove that specific game.
Pressing one of the shoulder buttons in the EZ4 menus will bring up a time screen that says all zeros. There's no clock on the EZ4. This menu system is retrofitted from the old EZ3, which did have a clock.
Other Versions of the firmware allowed one to hold the "L" button to skip the GBA BIOS boot screen. This feature has been removed with the latest "RESET" firmware because some games like having the boot screen in order to work.
You can press left or right while browsing files to page up or down.
Here's a hint: backup your save directory all the time. Every time that SD card connects to the computer you should save them somewhere. You can compress the whole directory to really save some size. For the first few weeks of playing around you'll most likely mess things up and corruptions and such are likely. Data loss is frustrating so backup frequently.
Have fun. Ask questions if you need but maybe search the forums first because we've answered a lot of questions already and there's the wiki here too that probably could have told you most of this.
Here's all that point form:
Update firmware - Hold 'R' Install client Configure client for SD card. Flash ROM Boot EZ4 Select ROM Play game Back up data.
Reset to EZ4 menu - 'A' 'B' 'UP' 'L' Reset to game Title screen - 'A' 'B' 'SELECT' 'START' flash to NOR - SELECT Format NOR - START Remove game from NOR - SELECT Time Screen - R Update firmware - hold R on boot up Skip writing of saver - hold L on start up
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