There is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet about how expensive, difficult, or risky it is to backup your own N64 cartridges to ROM files that can be used with Mupen64Plus AE or other N64 emulators. I've decided to post a step-by-step, cheap and easy method that anyone can afford and follow, with no risk to the cartridges or console. The parts needed will only run you between $20 - $50, and with that one-time initial investment you can backup your entire library of N64 games.I encourage everyone to use this process, as it is one of the only LEGAL ways to acquire ROMs. Let me stress the fact that you can NOT legally download a ROM for a game that you do not own!What you need
- Nintendo 64 console
- Game cartridge to back up
- PC with a Windows operating system
(working on an alternative with winetricks - will update)
(GSCC only functions under Windows 95/ 98/ ME. Post here if you need info on setting up WINE or VirtualBox to run GSCC)
- An open DB-25 LPT printer port
(or USB to LPT adapter if your PC doesn't have one)
(GSCC only works with an LPT port built into the motherboard)
- GameShark Pro device
, v3.2 (correct version important! Parallel port on some v3.3's is disabled)
- LPT printer cable
(male to female)
- Game Software Code Creator
- WinROM 64
softwareThe Backup Process
- Unpack Game Software Code Creator somewhere on your computer
- Insert the GameShark Pro into the N64 Console
- Plug the game cartridge you want to back up, into the top of the GameShark Pro
- Connect the LPT cable between your PC and the back of the GameShark Pro
- Launch Game Software Code Creator (gscc.exe in the unpacked folder)
- Navigate to "File" --> "Configuration", and choose Nintendo 64 for the system
- Power up the N64 Console
- Press "AutoDetect Settings" (if autodetect fails, enter your LPT settings manually)
- Press "Save"
- Navigate to "Ram Edit" --> "Open Window"
- Click "Dump Cartridge Rom"
- Press "Yes" after reading and agreeing to use the ROM for backup purposes ONLY
- Wait for the backup to complete (anywhere from 15 minutes to a couple hours, depending on the game)
- Process will often stall unexpectedly for no apparent reason. If so, start over (may take several attempts)
- Launch WinROM64
- Convert the generated .rom backup to a usable .v64 ROM file.
If you get stuck in the process, post here and I'll try to help you out if I can. If I missed a step somewhere or need to clarify something, let me know and I'll update the process.
I am working on developing a new software to replace the above outdated software (and hopefully support PCI expansion cards and USB adapters). You can follow progress on this thread