Author Topic: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges  (Read 66187 times)

Offline Paul

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How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« on: December 29, 2012, 07:36:34 PM »
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 software
- WinROM 64 software

The 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
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 09:41:24 AM by Paul »
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
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Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline BHTGO

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges FR
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 05:39:06 AM »
Et en Français :

Comment récupérer les ROMs de ses cartouches N64

Il existe tout un tas de rumeurs et de désinformations sur l’Internet quant à la difficulté, les risques ou les coûts réels d’un backup des fichiers ROM utilisables avec Mupen64Plus AE -ou n’importe quel autre émulateur N64- à partir de vos propres cartouches N64 . Nous avons donc décidé de proposer un guide par étapes simples et peu coûteuses que chacun peut se permettre de suivre sans risque pour ses cartouches ou sa console. L’équipement nécessaire initial ne coûtera qu’entre 15 et 45€ et couvrira l’ensemble du backup de votre collection de jeux N64.

Nous encourageons chacun d’entre vous à utiliser ce guide puisqu’il s’agit de l’un des seuls moyens LÉGAUX d’obtenir des ROMs. Nous soulignons le fait que vous ne pouvez PAS télécharger légalement les ROMs de jeux que vous n’avez pas acquis au format cartouche !

Ce dont vous avez besoin :
-Une console Nintendo 64
-La cartouche du jeu à Backuper
-Un PC tournant sous Windows (peut également fonctionner sous Wine-nous ferons une mise à jour à ce sujet prochainement)
-Un port parallèle imprimante DB-25 (ou un adaptateur USB vers parallèle [nofollow] si vous n’avez pas de port sur votre ordinateur)
-Une cartouche Game Shark Pro v3.2 [nofollow] (la version est importante)
-Un câble parallèle [nofollow] (mâle vers femelle)
-Le logiciel Game Software Code Creator [nofollow]
-Le logiciel WinROM 64 [nofollow]

Les étapes du backup :
-Désarchivez Game Software Code Creator sur votre ordinateur
-Insérez la cartouche GameShark Pro dans votre N64
-Insérez la cartouche du jeu dont vous souhaitez récupérer la ROM sur la cartouche GameShark Pro
-Connectez le câble parallèle de votre PC au dos de la cartouche GameShark Pro
-Lancez Game Software Code creator (double-cliquez sur gscc.exe dans le fichier dézippé)
-Cliquez sur l'onglet "File" puis "Configuration". Dans le menu qui s'ouvre sélectionnez Nintendo 64 dans la case System (ne fermez pas la fenêtre)
-Allumez votre console N64
-Cliquez sur le bouton "Auto Detect Settings" (si la détection automatique échoue, veuillez entrer vos paramètres parallèle manuellement en choisissant le numéro de port)
-Cliquez sur "Save"
-Cliquez sur l'onglet "Ram Edit" puis "Open Window"
-Cliquez sur "Dump Cartridge Rom"
-Cliquez sur "Yes" après avoir lu et accepté de n'utiliser la ROM qu'à des fins de sauvegarde
-Attendez que l'opération de récupération de la ROM s'achève (de 15 minutes à plusieurs heures selon le jeu)
-Il se peut que le processus s'interrompe en cours de route sans raison apparente. Si tel est le cas, recommencez (cela peut nécessiter plusieurs essais)
-Lancez WinROM64
-Convertissez le fichier .rom généré en fichier .v64 ROM utilisable.

Si vous rencontrez le moindre problème n'hésitez pas à poster ici même (de préférence en anglais).
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 09:31:14 AM by Paul »

Offline Rush_Rage

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 01:25:10 AM »

And with these roms you can play them with Project64 right?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 09:34:48 AM by Paul »

Offline Paul

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2013, 06:36:39 AM »
Yes, Project64 should support the .v64 format.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Rush_Rage

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2013, 06:28:18 PM »
Thank you!

Offline Rush_Rage

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2013, 01:10:02 PM »
Sorry, last question.  I don't have an open DB-25 LPT printer port.  Would this cable be enough?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/9-Pin-Male-RS232-to-USB-2-0-Cable-Adapter-Convertor-DB25-Adapter-/310743296799?pt=US_Parallel_Serial_PS_2_Cables_Adapters&hash=item4859be6b1f [nofollow]

Or would I still need a male/female converter.

Thanks!

Offline Paul

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2013, 01:12:51 PM »
I haven't tried with a 9 to 25 converter, but might work.  Sorry I can't give you a more definitive answer  :-\.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Rush_Rage

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 01:21:54 PM »
But in theory it should work right?  Would this be safer? http://www.ebay.com/itm/USB-2-0-A-Male-To-DB25-25-Pin-Female-Parallel-Printer-Cable-/400401949967?pt=US_Parallel_Serial_PS_2_Cables_Adapters&hash=item5d39d0e50f [nofollow]

And I still wouldn't need to get a converter right?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 01:36:04 PM by Rush_Rage »

Offline Paul

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 03:54:13 PM »
Yes, in theory the first one should work, but it would be a gamble.  That second one would be less of a gamble, since the port on the gameshark is actually a female 25-pin printer port.
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline Rush_Rage

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2013, 04:05:29 PM »
Awesome, thank you so much!  This article has been such a blessing!  Thank you again!

Offline forestdruid45

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2014, 08:06:57 AM »
Sorry to be a few months late, but this is the only site that has recent information on ripping N64 roms. I bought a printer port pci card and cable to hookup my gameshark 3.2 to try and rip my games. The pci card comes up as LPT1 in device manager, but every time I try to open or dump a N64 rom, it says communication has timed out after a few seconds. I am running windows 7 with gscc in windows 95 or windows 98 compatibility mode, getting the same error. Any other compatibility mode and the program freezes. I guess my question is, what version of windows do you need to use the program, and will a pci printer port work. Also have a db25 to usb cable that has the same issue of timing out.

Offline Paul

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2014, 09:11:18 PM »
Sorry for the even later response.  Since my main OS is Linux, I've been doing this through VirtualBox with Windows XP SP3, and the parallel port forwarded to the guest in the VM settings.  I have not tried from Windows 7, so I'll play around with it to see if it is more prone to timing out.  My setup is definitely not ideal.. timing out is still frequent.  Best thing that seems to help is to disable as much running software and services as you can on both the host and guest machine (including network, etc, not sure exactly what conflicts with the process, so I just shut down whatever I can), and run gscc.exe in Realtime priority (after launching, see the right-click menu in the Process tab of the task manager -- not sure the equivalent in Windows 7 off hand).  Once it is running, don't touch the computer (or sneeze haha!)  This software is pretty old, though, so it takes some work to try and get it working on modern machines.

If you can't get it going, you might end up having to buy a cheap old laptop on Ebay or somewhere, with a built in LPT port and running Windows XP (or 98 if possible) and using it as a dedicated ROM ripper.  --EDIT-- Looks like you can get laptops with Windows 98 for "buy it now" pricing around $35 plus shipping (I didn't do a lot of searching, so probably could find them even lower).  This could be a reasonable alternative to trying to get the old software working on newer systems.  For example.  You'd just need to be careful to make sure whatever you get has a DB-25 LPT printer port built in (might require some googling to determine this, since a lot of the listings don't show pictures of the back ports), and you'd want to be sure the computer didn't have some other problem (like battery not holding charge and power cable not included...)
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 09:52:52 PM by Paul »
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline mitchhawks

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2014, 08:13:17 PM »
Sorry if this is a bit late, but can you use an older version of Gameshark with this method (like 3.0,3.1)?

Offline Paul

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2014, 08:44:44 AM »
If your Gameshark has a parallel port on the back and you can see the number LED, then it will work.  Many gamesharks prior to 3.2 did not have a parallel port (so no way to connect it to a computer).

On a similar note, many Gamesharks after 3.2 were crippled as the company was trying to save money as the N64 was losing popularity (they left out nonessential components).  The crippled ones still had the parallel port on the back (was apparently cheaper to leave it than to recast the casing which has a hole in the back).  This can make the crippled ones difficult to identify at first.  The chip that converts serial to LPT is missing, so the parallel port is nonfunctional (making them useless for backing up ROMs).  The number display is missing (that's an easy way to identify the crippled ones) and also they usually are solid black instead of sparkly like the 3.2 and earlier versions)

The above guide has some bad information in it which I'll correct.  GSCC software does not work with USB to LPT adapters. I'm working on a new program that will, but for now it is not possible to backup ROMs using one of these adapters.  I can get further with an LPT PCI card, but couldn't get it to work completely either.  I've read of a mod that will make PCI LPT cards work with GSCC, but I could not find a link to it myself.  Therefore, at this time only an LPT port built into the motherboard will work.

And other bad news is GSCC only functions properly on Windows 95/ 98/ ME.  It is broken on Windows 2000 and higher (including all modern Windows versions including XP).  I have read about a mod that will allow it to function on XP, but couldn't find a link to it myself.  I can get it to function in VirtualBox with XP sporadically by disabling everything possible on both guest and host machine, including the network (not very practical for frequent usage).

There is some good news, however.  I've gotten GSCC (and other old programs like WinRom64 and N64Util) to work in WINE and in VirtualBox.  I'll update the above guide to include this information.  Also keep an eye on my other thread to follow progress on the new ROM dumping software I'm writing to replace these outdated programs.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2014, 09:54:35 AM by Paul »
Device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus i515
CPU: TI OMAP4460, 1.2 GHz (dual core, ARM Cortex-A9)
GPU: PowerVR SGX540, 307 MHz
RAM: 1 GB
Resolution: 720 x 1280
Rom: omni-4.4.4-20141014-toro-FML KitKat 4.4.4, rooted

Device: Eee PC 1015PEM
CPU: Intel Atom N550, 1.5 GHz (dual core, x86)
GPU: Intel GMA 3150, 200 MHz (dual core)
RAM: 2GB
Resolution: 1024 x 600
Rom: android-x86-4.3-20130725 Jelly Bean 4.3, rooted

Offline forestdruid45

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Re: How to backup ROMs from N64 cartridges
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2015, 12:07:27 PM »
Yeah, after a few months of no response I gave up. Then out of curiosity I checked the website and read where you made progress but only with an old pc. I got an old dell pc with the db25 connector on the motherboard (got lucky the boss at work doesn't throw away business stuff). It has xp so had to get a windows 98 disk off ebay but once I get that installed I'll have to report back with any progress.