Software, Upgrading, Problem Solving and Tips

 

1. Downloading and Installing Kernel Software

2. Upgrading an R4 Card

3. Common Error Messages

4. Tips

Note: Until Further Notice all R4 cards purchased from R4onlinstore.com come with the latest available software kernel installed and, where required, have been upgraded. For those who want to know how, or may have to re-install software or upgrade an R4 card, follow the advice below.

 

1. Downloading and Installing the Correct Software

 

It is extremely important that the correct software (also called the Kernel) is placed on the root of the micro sd memory card that inserts into the R4 card. This software interfaces between the firmware in your Nintendo console and the firmware in your R4 card and basically makes the R4 card work. The kernel is normally downloaded from the manufacutrer's website. Remember the kernel is different for the R4i and the R4i 3DS cards. Follow the steps outlined below.

  • Put your micro sd memory card into the USB adaptor supplied and connect to your laptop or PC
  • Save any files you want to keep from your micro sd memory card to your PC or laptop.
  • Format the memory card, ideally using the Panasonic Industry Standard Formatter downloadable from here left hand side of page.
  • Download the correct software kernel from the manufacturers website
  • Unzip the files using a suitable programme such as Win Zip or 7 Zip.
  • Open the folder containing the unzipped files and copy the 4 files (Moonmemo, Moonshl2, R4iMenu and R4.dat) to the root of the memory card.
  • At this point put the memory card into your R4 card. Start your console and ensure the R4 card is operating correctly.
  • You may have to run an upgrade file at this point. See advice in 2. below.

When the software is on-board the memory card any any upgrade completed the R4 card is now ready to be used. Your own media files can now be added such as games, music and films. It is advised that games and other media are also copied onto the root of the micro sd memory card and not placed in a separate folder.  Do not copy back any of the old kernel software files or files created by the old software such as Demono or Systemreset. Only copy back .nds files or music or video files.

It is advised that the manufacturers website is checked frequently for information and updates. 

 

2. Upgrading an R4 Card

Upgrading an R4 card means upgrading the firmware in the R4 card itself by running a file contained in the kernel software. This may have to be done occasionally after Nintendo release a firmware update for their consoles and the firmware in an R4 card is incompatible with the new firmware in the Nintendo console. The upgrade is usually done after the new kernel software is placed on the root of the micro sd card as per 1. above.

If you have allowed Nintendo to install a firmware upgrade on your console, the firmware in your R4 card work may no longer be compatible with the firmware on your console. This is usually characterised by an error message along the lines 'An error has occurred, please press and hold the power button etc'.

To upgrade an R4 card follow the steps outlined below:

  • Follow the steps outlined in 1. above, 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software'
  • Put the R4 card into a Nintendo console that has not been upgraded to the latest firmware. The console must be fully charged and plugged in. Power loss during an upgrade will destroy the R4 card.
  • Start the console as normal and when the usual screen with 3 icons appears touch the icon on the right, sometimes labelled 'Slot 2'.
  • You will be presented with a screen with 3 main options, Config, Upgrade and Skin. Touch the 'Upgrade' icon.
  • You will be taken to the upgrade screen. If an upgrade is available a 'Start' icon will be present. If  no upgrade available, or the card has already been upgraded, or there is no upgrade required, then the 'Start' icon will not be present.
  • Touch the 'Start' icon if it is present.
  • Allow the upgrade file to run. Do not interrupt the upgrade file after it has started running, if you do the card will be destroyed.
  • When the file is complete you will get the message, 'Upgrade Complete, Please restart console'.
  • Your card has now been upgraded and is ready to use on your console.
  • Copy back onto the memory card your media files only eg game files with .nds after them etc. Do not copy back any of the old kernel software files or files created by the old software such as Demono or Systemreset

 

Remember, if you accept a firmware upgrade offer from Nintendo when you are online with your console, you run the risk of your R4 card not working properly in your console afterwards. If the R4 card manufacturer has released an update, this can usually be remedied. However, it can be very inconvenient for R4 card users.

Remember there is no guarantee that the R4 card manufacturer will release an upgrade as sometimes it may not be possible due to hardware constraints.

Note: there is usually a delay between Nintendo releasing a firmware upgrade and the R4 manufacturer releasing an upgrade solution where one is available.

The advice from www.R4onlinestore.com is never accept the offer of an online firmware upgrade from Nintendo.

 

3. Common Error Messages

A.  Error messages referring to "Wrong Firmware or Firmware Expired" or "System Date Error"

This error occurs beccause the either the date on the Nintendo console is set at a date in the future or the firmware (Software Kernel) on the micro sd memory card has expired due to its age. These errors can usually be remedied by simply correcting the date on the Nintendo console or changing the date on the Nintendo console backwards by 6 months or a year.

To remedy follow these steps.

  • Check date on Nintendo Console.
  • Correct date if it is wrong and save.
  • Try operating console with R4 card
  • If this does not work move date back a year from the present date and save.
  • Try R4 card again.

If this does not work you will have to reinstall the latest firmware and you may also have to run an upgrade file. See 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software' and 'Upgrading an R4 Card' in 1 and 2 above.

 

B. 'An Error has occurred, please press and hold the power button etc'

This usually indicate that the firmware in the Nintendo console has fallen out of line with the firmware in the R4 card. This error usually occurs where a user has accepted the offer from Nintendo of an online console firmware update. The solution is to install the software kernel provided by the R4 manufacturer to address the latest firmware update by Nintendo. This may not be available for a number of days or even a week or two after Nintendo release a firmware update. You may also have to run an upgrade file. Please note that due to hardware constraints there is no guarantee that it will be possible to upgrade your R4 card. Check the manufacturers website  for updates if this happens to you.

See 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software' and 'Upgrading an R4 Card' in 1 and 2 above.

The advice from www.R4onlinestore.com is never accept the offer of an online firmware upgrade from Nintendo.

 

C. Stuck on Loading Screen

This usually indicates that the software kernel on the micro sd memory card has become corrupted. It can also happen if the micro sd memory card is overloaded with games, music and video files etc. The solution is to reinstall the kernel software on the micro sd card and ensure the micro sd memory card is not overloaded. Leave about 25% memory free.

See 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software' and 'Upgrading an R4 Card' in 1 and 2 above.

 

D. Menu icon below appears on screen after start up.

This usually means that either the software kernel has not be installed on the Micro SD memory card or the software kernel has been corrupted. The software kernel can become corrupted if the Nintendo console is switched off or loses powere when a game is loading or a sav file is being created.

The solution is to install/reinstall the correct kernel software and, where necessary, run any upgrade required. See 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software' and 'Upgrading an R4 Card'  in 1 and 2 above.

 

E. R4 card freezes on one or more games.

This error may occur when console power is lost or the console is switched off when a sav file is being created.

The solution is to connect the micro sd memory card to your pc or laptop and examine all the sav files.

If you find a sav file with no data in it then delete it.

If this does not work you will ahve to reinstall the software kernel. See 'Downloading and Installing the Correct Software' and 'Upgrading an R4 Card' in 1 and 2 above.

 

F. A message saying 'There is no card in the game slot' or the usual game card icon is not visible on the screen.

Take the memory card out of the R4 card and re-insert firmly.

Put the R4 card into the console and try again.

If this does not work eject and insert the R4 card into the console a number of times to ensure the pins are connecting.

If the R4 card still does not work then it is likely the R4 card is damaged beyond repair.

The most common cause of this is an upgrade file being started accidently and then interrupted.

This happens most often when the the latest software is placed on the memory card and an upgrade file is not run.

Children (and adults) sometimes find their way into the upgrade screen, touch the start icon, and then abort the upgrade before it is finished.

This is fatal to the R4 card.

Of course there are other reasons for this. R4 cards going into the washing machine, being left out in the rain, being thrown around, being stood on etc.

The good news is that they are not expensive to replace and usually the memory card can be used again.

 

4. Tips

  • Before loading any file onto a micro sd memory card always format the memory card with the recommended Panasonic SD Formatter. This formatting programme can be downloaded form www.R4i-sdhc.com homepage, left hand side.
  • Don't load media files such as games, music, movies etc onto the memory card within a folder. Copy all files to the root of the micro sd card.
  • Don't overload the micro sd memory card with games etc. Leave about 25% of the memory free for sav files etc. Overloading can cause errors, typically 'stuck on loading screen'
  • Ensure date on Nintendo console is not set at a date in the future.
  • After loading the kernel software onto the micro sd card always run an upgrade file where it is available.
  • To check if an upgrade file available- After start-up 3 icons appear on the screen- touch the icon on the right. You will be presented with a screen with 3 main options, Config, Upgrade and Skin. Touch the 'Upgrade' icon. You will be taken to the upgrade screen. If an upgrade is available a 'Start' icon will be present. If there is no upgrade available or the card is already upgraded or there is no upgrade required then the 'Start' icon will not be present. Before running the upgrade by pressing the start icon read the advice in 2 above very carefully, Upgrading an R4 card.
  • After running the upgrade the Start icon will not appear on the upgrade screen so the upgrade cannot be run again accidently.
  • After running an upgrade you can if you wish disable the upgrade function by selecting 'Config' referred to above and then selecting the 'Upgrade on' icon.
  • Remember if you do not run an upgrade file when it is available your R4 card may not function properly. Also, if the file is run accidently by someone, say a child, and then interrupted the card will be destroyed. You will know when this happens because the console will no longer recognise the card.