GBA exploader

From GameBrew - a wiki dedicated to Video Game Homebrew.

GBA exploader

With this program, you can run GBA games which are in SLOT1 flash card through SLOT2 expansion pack.

If your SLOT1 flash card supports soft reset, you can use your exp pack as "Rumble Pak" or "Memory Expansion Pak".

Supported SLOT2 expansion packs are "3in1 Expansion Pack", "EZ4 lite-delux" and "EWIN EXPANSION PAK(2in1)". "NOR mode" and "Rumble Pak" function are enabled only in "3in1 Expansion Pack".

A patch is released for GBA Exploader so it'll work on M3DS Real and iTouchDS.


  1. Please patch the DLDI on GBA_ExpLoader.NDS. (If your flash card supports auto DLDI patch, you need not to do this.)
  2. Create "/GBA_SAVE" and "/GBA_SIGN" folder on the root of your SD card. (Modify "GBA_ExpLoader.ini", and you can set other folders.)
  3. Copy GBA files into your SD card.
  4. Put SAV files into "/GBA_SAVE". (If there are no SAV files, they will be created automatically.)
  5. Put "gbaframe.bmp (24bit or 8bit)" into the root, "/GBA_SIGN" or "/_system_" if you want to use GBA frame.

User guide

  1. Run "GBA_ExpLoader.NDS".
  2. In "3in1 Expansion Pack", <L> or <R> to change mode ("PSRAM mode", "NOR mode" or "Expansion mode (if supported)")

If you run a GBA in PSRAM/SDRAM mode, SAV file will be saved next time. You can select where to save or not to save.



A - Write a GBA file into PSRAM with SRAM patch.Load SRAM data from SAV file.Then run GBA from PSRAM.

B - Backup SRAM data to SAV file.

Y - Restore "SRAM.BIN" to SRAM.

X - Backup all SRAM data to "SRAM.BIN".

R - Patch PSRAM for DS Browser and soft reset. (Disabled when your pack is "3in1 Expansion Pack") With "3in1 Expansion Pack", you can run a GBA up to 16MByte (16000KB) in PSRAM mode.

SELECT - return to your flashcard's menu if soft reset is supported.

You can run GBA from RAM until turning off DS or pulling out your expansion pack.

When you want to exchange SAV file,

B - backup SAV data (or run another GBA) first and then exchange the file.

SAV file will be written into SRAM every time you run the GBA, even if you run the same file again and again.

If your expansion pack has only 128KB SRAM, you cannot run GBA with FLASH 1Mb save.

NOR mode

Enabled only with "3in1 Expansion Pack"

A - Backup SRAM data to SAV file. Write GBA file to NOR with SRAM patch. Then load SRAM data from SAV file.

B - Backup SRAM data to SAV file.

Y - Load SRAM data from SAV file.

X - Run GBA (Slot2) stored in NOR.

You can also run NOR in DS menu like a normal GBA cartridge.

Expansion mode

Enabled only with "3in1 Expansion Pack" Change Rumble level (low/medium/high) or patch PSRAM for DS Browser and then soft reset.

Repairing of header

GBA ExpLoader will repair corrupted header of GBA.


  • If save type is not SRAM, GBA ExpLoader Will patch SRAM automatically.

Supported save types:

FLASH512_V130, FLASH512_V131, FLASH512_V133
Special save type of Famicom Mini(Classic NES)EEPROM_V122, EEPROM_V124 and undefined type
  • The size of SAV file will be adjusted to the real SAVE size.
 But GBA ExpLoader cannot detect EEPROM 512B or 8KB, so all EEPROM size will be set to 8KB.
  • If GBA ExpLoader cannot detect save type, it will be set to SRAM 64K.
  • It's OK even if SAVE data has dummy area at the tail of the file. E.g. real file size is 64K but file size is 128K.
  • SAV file will be saved to "/GBA_SAVE". File name will be the same of the ROM file name.
  • When you run a ROM first time, analyzed data(SGN file) will be saved to "/GBA_SIGN".
  • If the file extension is BIN, GBA ExpLoader won't patch. And SAV file size will be set to 64KB.
  • In file select window, top "SAV" will be saved as ".SAV" and "<1>" to "<5>" will be saved ".SV1" to ".SV5"
  • You'd better create "/GBA_SAVE" and "/GBA_SIGN" yourself.
 (Some Slot1 flash cards cannot create these folders correctly. N-Card series will take a long time to do this.)


V0.58 2008/12/7

  • Fixed the bug of FLASH1M in DSTT GBA&EXPLORER 2IN1.
  • Support FLASH1M in M3(SLOT2), G6(SLOT2) and GBA Expansion Pack.
  • Fixed the Added auto header fix function.

V0.57 2008/5/12

  • Fixed the bug of timestamp of save file again.
  • Changed Famicom Mini(Classic NES) save data format to VBA save format. Attention! Compatibility is lost.

V0.55 2008/3/30

  • Fixed the bug of NOR writing.

V0.56 2008/4/13

  • Fixed the bug of timestamp of save file.
  • Fixed the display of Japanese character.
  • Fixed the bug of the display when filename is short name(shorter than 8 words).

V0.54 2008/3/23

  • Has save bug. With M3, G6 or GBA Expansion Pack, save data will be damaged. replaced.

V0.53 2008/3/22

  • Fixed the recognition of DSTT GBA&EXPLORER 2IN1 which have 128K SRAM.
  • Now, M3(SLOT2), G6(SLOT2) and GBA Expansion Pack are supported temporarily. (FLASH1M save is not supported yet.)
  • Fixed the bug of the message when cannot soft reset.
  • Support DLDI of SLOT1 flash cards.

V0.51 2008/3/15

  • Fixed libfat to change the alias name. Now Windows compatible(Digit is set to double figures.)
  • Fixed so-called "0xE5 problem". All Japanese words and short name supported.
  • Fixed extension pack recognition.
  • Fixed the bug of the process of SRAM.BIN in [EXP128K] mode.

V0.5 2008/3/12

  • V0.5 final release
  • Support EEPROM_V122 Famicom Mini(Classic NES) and undefined type.
  • Fixed the bug of the reset after setting Rumble Pak.
  • Added directory create date.

V0.5 beta 2008/3/9

  • Support EEPROM_V124 Famicom Mini(Classic NES). (EEPROM_V122 is not yet.)
  • Support EWIN EXPANSION PAK (2in1) with 128KB SRAM temporarily.
  • Added auto header fix function.
  • Added setting about SAVE/SIGN directories and MultiSave option.

V0.5 beta(1) 2008/3/10

  • Has module error. replaced.

V0.4 2008/3/1 Changed some message.

  • Fixed the bug that EWIN EXP PAK won't be detected after you select Memory RAM or LINK and reset.
  • Fixed the detection of EWIN EXP PAK with 128KB SRAM.
  • Add SAV file; 6 files: SAV and <1> to <5>(sv1 tosv5).

V0.3 2008/2/21

  • Fixed the bug that soft rest is disabled if your flash card is R4/M3S.
  • Fixed the bug of EEPROM_V111 patch.
  • Fixed the bug of FLASH1M_V103 patch in NOR mode.
  • Support "EZ4 lite-delux" and "EWIN EXPANSION PAK (2in1)"」.
  • SAVE data in PSRAM/SDRAM mode will be saved to SAV file when GBA_ExpLoader is run.

V0.2 2008/2/10

  • Fixed the bug about SAV file extension.
  • Set SAVE size of BIN file and UNKNOWN games to 64KB.
  • Changed the color of the menu in NOR mode.
  • Stopped DMA transfer in PSRAM mode. Speed will be slow but more stable.

V0.1 2008/2/8

  • Support 3in1/2in1 games.

V0.0 2008/2/6

  • Prototype version.