GBA Flash Linker Software
 Software for writing GBA roms to Flash Advance Cards

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flash2advance flash 2 advanceFlash2Advance USB Manual

Flash 2 Advance USB-Linker (aka F2A USB-Linker) or Flash 2 Advance Linker (aka F2A Linker) and/or the Flash 2 Advance Card 64M/128M/256M (bit) (aka F2A Card). With the Flash 2 Advance series which developed and manufactured by the same team of Flash Advance series we are introducing the new version which needs no additional power source professional GBA Emulators and Development tools to the market.

New features of F2A USB-Linker:
l USB interface to conform the computer advancement;
l Full-speed transfers, more quickly than F2A Linker which adapted to parallel port. Only 290 seconds is needed to write a FA Pro 256Mb;
l Directly connect to GBA, like F2A Linker. The cartridge is effectively cared because of no pulling and plugging damage;
l The software is powerful and convenient;
l Supporting all type of the FA, F2A cartridge;
l Smaller size and lighter weight, which is in the most delicate design;
l Plug & Play method, no need to turn off the computer.

Bundled with the Linker is a Transfer software for Windows : Flash 2 Advance Writer (aka F2A Writer). This software can be used under Windows 9x/ME/2K/NT and XP (it requires two other additional software DLPORTIO.dll and DLPORTIO.sys to work properly in all above versions of Windows). All the bundled software are included on the Linker CD.

The Linkers can be used without additional power source for F2A cards and FA Pro cards and old version FA card.

Also, there are two pre-boot game programs : GBALDR32.bin for GBA, and for GB Bridge. When you select more than one ROM file to write to the F2A 64M / 128M / 256M Card, F2A Writer will automatically write in a preboot menu selection program (its content is the same as the GBALDR32.bin file) so that you can select which ROM file to run when GBA boots up. Similarly, when you write one or more GBC/GB ROM file to your F2A Card, it will automatically write in the GBC/GB preboot menu selection program (its content is the same as the so that, when used with the GB Bridge, you can select which GBC/GB file to run. If the directory where F2A Writer resides does not contain the "config.sav" settings file, then F2A Writer will operate as stated above and use the default preboot programs (ie. GBA LDR32.bin and unless the user specifically assign different preboot programs under its "Config" menu, in which case F2A Writer will write in the user-specified preboot programs.

F2A 64M / 128M / 256M Cards support Multi-game function, 64M cards will at most hold 2 32Mb ames; 128M will hold 4 32M; and 256M will hold 8 32M games.

As for the breakthrough in design of the F2A series, it has the following features:

a) It will run all GBA games; even without the need to hack the ROM files, it's absolutely stable and runs at the hardware's speed for all games. You don't need to "speed crack" the ROM file so that it won't die or hang.

b)It will accomodate all 3 types of save modes : EEPROM(4K)/ SRAM/ Flash ROM for game saves of all games. No need to "save crack" the game for normal save operations except EEPROM size over 4K. For users' convenience, it is made compatible with previously "patched" games that uses 4K EEPROM for saves. Those game saves (or the ones downloaded from the Net) can also be used, ie. old/new game saves can both be used with the current Card.

c) Breaking barriers with the minimum sector size being 32Mbit, now its minimum sector size is 32KBytes (ie. 256Kbit) allowing 64Mbit F2A Cards to hold a maximum of 255 mini-games. In the case of 256Mbit F2A Card, it can hold up to 1023 mini-games.

d) The battery consumption takes up as same as FA Pro Cards but half as much as old version of FA Cards.

GBA/GBC/GB games and their save data can co-exist in one Flash Card, without interfering each other -- ie. simply use F2A Linker to write game saves to F2A Card/FA Pro Card and you can play multi-games on GBA. With GB Bridge, you can play multi-games on GBA/GBC/GB. Also, you can use your PC to read/write the save data in your F2A Card, bringing you lots of fun.

F2A 64M / 128M / 256M Cards have 256KByte (2Mbit) SRAM built-in. Also, the SRAM is protected with a battery to last over 5 years, and your game saves are kept this way.

Usually, each game that uses SRAM for game saves will only use 32KByte, but in practice, F2A 64M/128M/256M Cards will allow each game to use 64KByte for game saves. Also, this memory not only acts as the SRAM, but also as Flash ROM and as EEPROM(4K) for continuous memory game saves. Because F2A/FA Pro's breakthru in design, allowing multiple games to co-exists in one Card, the saver area must obey certain rules to operate.

a) To GBA games, each F2A Card has at most 4 64KByte saver areas. According to the order of the games in the menu selection screen, the first 4 games will use the first 4 saver area, the rest will share the 4th saver area.

b) To GBC/GB games, each F2A Card has at most 8 32KBytes saver areas. According to the order of the games in the menu selection screen, the first 8 games will use the 8 saver areas, and the rest will share the 8th saver area.

The F2A Writer supports the save/read of Playlists by a mouse right click in the low window and select “save list/load list/add list”. It's quite convenient for user to do same or similar game packing in F2A cart.

The speed of writing games to 64M/128M/256M Cards is quite fast. Writing a 32Mbit game takes about 38 to 63 seconds.

1. Running games

Note: Pull out the F2A USB-Linker connector from GBA before running games.

To run any game in F2A 64M/128M/256M Card loaded with multi-games, after turning on your BA, use the direction pad to move the cursor to the game you want to run and press (A) with the 64K saver bank according the above rules. If you press (B)/(L)/(R) before press (A) then you can choose any one of the saver bank in 64K/32K/8K size before the game you wanted to be run(press (Select) to return game selection). If the F2A Card only has one game, it'll automatically run that game and uses the first 64K saver bank.

It is important to keep in your mind that you must reserve 64K bank for EEPROM (due to current hardware limitation) and Flash ROM saver but 32K bank for SRAM saver of commercial games and 8K bank for some demos. If you don’t sure the saver size then it is safe to use 64K bank for all games.

The banks in GBA operation are mapping to PC operation : 64K bank 1~4 corresponding to

A1/2A1/3A1/4A1; 32 K bank 1A/1B/2A/2B/3A/3B/4A/4B corresponding to 1A1/1B1/2A1/2B1/3A1/3B1/4A1/4B1.

2. Loading games

First directly connect the F2A USB-Linker to the USB port on your PC or use the printer extension cable to connect or directly connect the F2A Linker's DB-25 port to the printer port on your PC (There's no special requirements for the printer port mode), put the F2A 64M/128M/256M Card or FA Pro Card in the GBA slot and no need any additional power source (power adaptor) to the Linker. Now run the F2A Writer on your PC and you will need to hold down Start+Select while turning on the GBA, during this moment you will not see the ‘Nintendo’ logo showed in the GBA screen. After you choose F2A Writer’s write/verify/backup operation for game or save data, an extra jingle will then be heard from GBA that indicates that the installed F2A card is being ignored and the GBA is working in slave mode and it is waiting for a multiboot from a master device (USB Linker or F2A Linker). A slave GBA waiting in multiboot mode (assuming a cart is installed) can cancel this mode by the user pressing A,B, or one of the directions buttons. At which time the installed cart will execute.

The first thing after you launched the F2A Writer is to select only the USB-iLinker or iLinker active in the “Config”.

When you are using F2A Writer with old version FA Linker and If the PC is EPP mode, you have an additional option to select four different speeds (4 = fastest, 1 = slowest). If it's any other modes than EPP, then any speed will be the same.

For the first time you set up any items in “Config” and that you have written games to your F2A Card at least once, your settings will be saved and you don't need to set it up every time you open F2A Writer.

After that (close your Config dialog box), use the two windows in the upper right hand corner to select the ROM files that you want to transfer to your F2A 64M/128M/256M (Drive & Folder) And then, in the middle right hand window, (to select multiple, use the "shift" or "ctrl" key) drag and drop the files to the lower window area or just double click the file to add it to the list. Now you can see the ROM info of the dragged files and confirm if that's what you want to write to the F2A Card. If you changed your mind and want to delete any ROM from the list in the lower window, you can drag one or many from the lower window to the trash icon in the upper left area or just press keyboard’s delete key. You can also sort the Roms in the list by game size/game name/game file path… and sometime it is useful for fully pack all files in a F2A card to prevent the error message of “This cart have not enough space for these files!!!”

Click on the "Write Flash" icon to begin writing the selected ROM files to your F2A Card. Before the transfer, your selected ROM files will be verified to have GBA codes, if not, a dialog box will pop up to ask if you want to continue. (This program can automatically add in GBA codes in the transfer. This feature is very useful for beginners learning to write and develop games) You can also turn on this feature in the "Config" dialog (default=on).

3. Backing up games

Click on the "Backup game" icon, then under your selected directory, give the file a name.

Then 2A Writer will analyze the game cart in your GBA and it will prompt you with a dialog box showing you the estimated game size, but will also provide you the option to select its game size : from 8M - 256M.

4. Reading and Writing of Game save data

By clicking on "Backup Saver" or "Write Saver", you will get a popup dialog box, showing your four options. From left to right, the first part is the Bank1~Bank4 64K byte bank selection, the second is the A and B 32K byte sector in a 64K bank, the third is the 1~4 8K byte block in a 32K sector and the fourth is the 32K/64K/128K/256K size selection.

After the options are selected, click on OK. And then, you'll be prompted for the directory and filename to read from or write to.

flash advance 256M cardFlash Advance Cards:

FA 64M Card
FA 128M Card
FA 256M Card
Flash 512M Xtreme
Flash 1G Xtreme Card

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afterburnwr baclight for gbaGAME BOY history

1989: Gameboy
1996: Gameboy Pocket
1998: Gameboy Color
2001: Gameboy Advance
2002: Gameboy Advance Afterburner Backlit

flash advance linker xtremeFlash Advance Linker

Connects to the printer port or USB port of your PC. When connected, it can Read and Write GBA game ROMs from or to GB Advance Cartridge.



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