EZ Flash/IV

The EZ Flash IV is a dual Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS flashcart, and is the fourth installment in the EZ Flash series. It has been the only powerful GBA flashcart until EverdriveGBA was released in summer 2016.

Contents

Overview

There are two different EZ Flash IV variations:

  • Normal: 256mbit of NOR and 128Mbit of PSRAM inbuilt. It is the size of a normal GBA cart, and is compatible with miniSD cards.
  • Lite: Also has 256mbit of NOR and 128Mbit of PSRAM, and is approximately the size of the DS Lite's GBA slot. It is compatible with microSD cards instead.

There are also two variations of the EZ Flash IV Lite:

  • Lite compact: A redesign of the EZ4 Lite, with limited, accessible onboard memory. The lite compact has poor GBA support, and as a result is a lot cheaper than the rest of the range. The lite compact is the size of the DS Lite's GBA slot cover, and it can only run in a DS. The lite compact only emulates GBA games with the .bin extension. Its technical specs are unknown but are assumed below:
    • 64Mb PSRAM (8 megabytes)
    • 36Mb NorFLASH (4.5 megabytes)
    • 32Mb Loader (4 megabytes)
    • 8Mb saver SRAM (1 megabyte)
  • Lite deluxe: Another redesigned version of the EZ Flash IV Lite; this variation features 256 Mbit of PSRAM and 384Mbit of NOR memory, which improves GBA compatibility. Compatible with microSD cards.

Software

EZ4 Loader

The EZ4 Client is the most essential software for the EZ Flash IV. It patches GBA and DS ROMs so that they can save upon restart. Additionally, some games (such as Super Mario Advance) can be patched so that the player can enter a button combo to soft-reset into the EZ Flash menu. The client can be downloads from here.

EZ4Client+

EZ4Client+ is an alternate EZ4Client software package. The software is being written by MoleDJ (Spanish) and has been written without the help of the EZTeam.

The software is written entirely in C# and requires the Microsoft .Net Framework. If you would like to help MoleDJ with writing his software the source can be found in the EZ4Client+ CVS Repository.

EZ4Client+ is currently in early beta stage and as such should not be used on data for which you do not have a back up copy of.

Updating

The clients can simply be downloaded and unzipped, there is a library of DS ROM data contained with the EZ4 Client download which you may wish to update.

The DS rom update thread is located here. The roms are verified by a CRC32 check against a list so if you altered the rom (trainers, translations, NDSTool hacks) you will get an error message. It will also display an error if you have a rom not yet on your list.

There is also an updated GBA library located here: here. The GBA detection is based around header information so alterations should not affect detection.


The EZ4 internal software (the Kernel) These are updated directly via the NDS and/or the GBA.

In order to update the EZ4 Kernel, copy the ezfla_up.bin file to the root directory of your memory card. This should be done using Windows Explorer, not the EZ4 Client. Then hold down the "R" trigger button and power on your NDS/GBA. The EZ4 will then update it's internal ROM to the latest Kernel. After flashing the EZ4 the ezfla_up.bin file may be deleted from your memory card.

Should you have the hide extensions for known file types option in Windows turned on then be careful not to name the file ezfla_up.bin.bin (the second extension will be hidden).

Note: If you are using a nopass device other than the EZPass 3 (Datel Max Media Launcher, Superkey, Passcard3), then you will need to remove this before attempting to update your EZ4 Kernel.

Moonshell

Warning: Under no circumstances should you attempt to load DS ROMs via Moonshell. This can permanently brick your EZ Flash IV.

The EZ4 supports multimedia functions via Moonshell in the Nintendo DS mode. Files should be converted using the special version of Moonshell DPG conversion tools. Both can be downloaded from here.

To get it to run copy the moonshell.ds.gba file from the EZ4 Client root directory to your miniSD with windows explorer. You can then copy MP3 and your converted video files as you wish (it is advisable to give them their own subdirectory), then when running on your DS open the moonshell.ds.gba file. Once moonshell is loaded in hit the ".." command and find your miniSD card and your files you wish to play then press a, controls are onscreen and will be transferred to this page shortly.

Moonshell is capable of playing:

  • DPG video files
  • MP3 Audio files (bitrates up to 320 kbps have been tested)
  • NSF Audio files
  • JPG Picture files
  • BMP Picture files
  • PNG Picture files
  • GIF Picture files
  • TXT Text files

Common errors

First in or not enough power

This refers to the EZ4's SRAM. It can mean one of several things; A) The internal battery is not charged. B) The internal battery is dead, or not soldered properly, or otherwise has no connection C) The SRAM hasn't been initialised.


You should only see this error once. After an initial charge of the internal battery, either by leaving your NDS on for a few hours or by plugging the EZ4 into an EZ1 - 3 linker for the same period this error should no longer occur.

You may also experience this error if you use an EZPass2. The EZPass2 requires the use of a .sav file that contains executable code. If a game is not played and the NDS just reset, then this error can occur. In this instance the error is normal.

If charging the NDS does not fix your problem, and you are not using an EZPass2, then contact your vendor for further instructions. You may have to return your cart as it could be faulty. If you are using an EZPass2, then to test if the error should occur, delete the passme2.sav file from your Saver directory and play a GBA game a few times, if the error persists then your cart may be faulty.

For the more savvy user, there has been a history of batteries not being soldered correctly to the PCB- this means quite simply that the battery is just not connected. It may be possible to fix this error by just resoldering it to the board, but be warned as this does violate your warranty, and it is recommended that you call the vendor first. Try running a volt meter across the pins of the battery and make sure it is holding a charge. If it isn't, the battery you need to replace it with is a Panasonic VL2020, and it is a 3volt, 20mAh button cell battery with vertical soldering pins. It will not be available in your local radioshack, but if you have a more technically oriented electric parts place, it might be available. If all else fails, they are only about two dollars from Mouser Electronics online, with no minimum value to order.

FAT Filesystem error

This error only usually occurs when the EZ4 has had a problem reading from or writing to the mini/microSD.

Ensure your SD card is formatted for FAT or FAT16. If the card is one of these formats, then back up your data and format the card again and copy the files back.

Delete any suspicious files before copying them back to your SD card, eg:

  • Ones that have very large file sizes (in Gigabytes)
  • Ones that have 0 Byte file sizes.

Saving issues

This seems to a common error due to various issues.

  • If the game does not save at all, ensure there is a .sav file in the saver directory on your miniSD card.
  • If the game saves sporadically (every now and again), then ensure your cart is charged regularly. An hour or two of gameplay every few days should keep the battery charged enough.
  • A small percentage of EZ Flash IV Lites have save issues; sometimes they can read the .sav files but not write to them.
  • In GBA mode some titles will not correctly save if the filename is too long. For example: "Super Mario Advance 4 - Super Mario Bros. 3 (U) (V1.0).gba" will not save unless it has been renamed to something shorter like "SMB3.gba". The corresponding save file in the "saver" directory must also be renamed and have the same name as the ROM (e.g. SMB3.sav).

Single card during multiplayer

This issue is specific to the Nintendo DS.

This is when a user has one game cart and two or more people play the game; a small portion of the game is sent via WiFi to other NDS units near by. The downloaded portion of the game will either last until that level is finished or until the NDS is powercycled.

Numerous games do not work entirely from single card play.

GBA games are slow from the DS Loader

This issue concerns GBA games when played from the DS Loader.

It seems users have been experiencing slow games or frame skips in GBA games. Whilst many users have noticed this issue, just as many have not. Whether this is due to differences in carts or just differences in perception is largely unknown.

At this point there are two ways to avoid the slowdowns.

  • Boot into GBA Mode (remove your passme or press Select)
  • Use Cory's boot tools.

Cory1492 (with help and inspiration from suanyuan and meangreenie) has kindly written EZDStoGBA. This program will allow users to boot into GBA mode to run GBA games from within the DSloader.

  • EZDStoGBA V1 - Two versions included, one for top screen & one for bottom screen.
  • EZDStoGBA V2 - This version will now check what screen you use from the NDS settings and will use that.
  • EZSDtoGBA V3 - It will fill the frame around the GBA screen with an image of your choice. If none is present it just uses a black border.

All three versions can also be downloaded from the Internet Archive.

Known issues

  • The EZ4 lite sticks out a little in the Nintendo DS lite, about .8 millimeter... BUT you can mod it easily with the Viscera's method, just use a piece of sandpaper and it will fit.
  • Some ROMs don't launch at all (e.g. 'Mario Kart Hacked' with hidden tracks, "Battle of Prince of Persia").
  • GBA games with built-in sleep mode will wake up immediately as soon as you try to make them sleep.
  • The Nintendo DS Browser starts, but shuts down. This is due to the lack of the memory card in the GBA slot. (This is not an EZFlash 4 problem.)
  • Some Homebrew applications don't work well (DS Organize). This is due to a partially working FATLIB. Things are progressing in this area.
  • Though there are homebrew applications that do work, for example: 'BeUp' (nofat or chism versions) : copy it through EZClient and it can save your login and password BUT you can't use additional languages or emoticons..., 'NDSmail' and 'No place to hide'.
  • The GBA loader after 1.67 no longer hard boot when launching GBA titles. This breaks certain titles such as "Super Mario Advance 3 - Yoshi's Island (U) [!]" and "Need for Speed - Porsche Unleashed (U)" resulting simply in a blank screen when launching the title. A quick fix is to move the broken rom into the NOR memory of the EZ4 because a hard boot is still initiated when executing from the NOR section.

Compatibility list