Author Topic: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...  (Read 3516 times)

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Offline ReddMcKnight

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Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« on: November 22, 2016, 11:42 AM »
Hi. I'm somewhat confused about how Controller Pak Backups work. Do they work the same way regular saves work? Press Reset (using EverDrive 64 2.0 here), and they just backup? 2nd Question is, when I load the game, will the Controller Pak Save auto-load into the Controller Pak, or do I have to load it by selecting File to CPak? Last question is, if the Pak has a drained/dead battery, and I hit reset, will the Pak still auto-backup? (If it works in the way I mentioned before, anyway.)

Offline ReddMcKnight

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Re: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 08:02 AM »
Bump.

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 06:44 PM »
Sorry, I hadn't seen this topic before.

When saving to the controller pak, it works exactly as normal (the save (or load) goes directly to the controller pak, as it does if you're not using an Everdrive and just the game cartridge). So you needn't reset the console after playing a game that saves to the controller pak (such as the Turok games, or The World is Not Enough), and at the same time as it would if you were playing the game from the real cartridge.

But as you know, the other sort of saving (to the control pak, such as in most Nintendo or Rare games) is redirected to the SD card in the Everdrive 64. Actually, these saves (from Super Mario 64, Goldeneye, or the Zelda games, etc) are redirected to the RAM in the Everdrive, and the save is not copied to the SD card until you reset the hard drive. So if you don't reset the game then you will lose your latest save as the RAM will loose the data when the N64 is turned off.

Regarding your question, first of all, the Everdrive can backup and restore controller pak data to the SD card. But it can only do the whole pak, not the save data for any one game only (don't worry, controller pak data is tiny, it takes up almost no space on your SD card).

Also, the Everdrive 64 cannot create the .mpk file on your SD card. So before you transfer the data, first insert the SD card into a PC or Apple Mac, and create a file on it, to store your controller pak data in. In Windows, just right click the mouse on the SD card's explorer window, select New, then select Text Document. And rename this file to any name you'd like, and change the extension to .mpk. The name doesn't matter, but the extension must be .mpk. So call it:

1.mpk

or

goldeneye.mpk

or

test.mpk


or whatever you like. You might want to put them in a folder on the SD card, to help you find them, so say put them in a folder called MPK_SAVES



Now, put the SD card into the Everdrive 64, put the Everdrive 64 into the N64, and turn on. Go to the .mpk file (using the Everdrive 64's menu system, of course), and select your .mpk file. You'll get a menu saying

CPAK to file
File to CPAK
HEX
COPY
Cancel



If you select CPAK to File, then the data on your controller pak will be copied into the file. The file will now contain a copy of whatever data is in the controller pak, and of course the file will keep that information no matter what you later change in the controller pak.

If you select File to CPAK then the data from the file will be written to the controller pak, overwriting what is currently on the controller pak. Of course, if there is no data in the .mpk file, then this won't work, so the .mpk must at some time have had the controller pak's data written to it.

Hex is for programmers or people who want to examine the game-save data, it's of no interest to gamers.

Copy lets you copy the data from one .mpk file to another.

And of course Cancel just exits the menu without doing anything.

It's very simple when you get used to it, but be warned: there's no "Are you sure Y/N?" prompt, so you can accidentally erase your data if you're not careful. Also, you might want to keep multiple .mpk files on your SD card (and back them up to your PC or Mac) for different game saves (each one will contain the whole of the controller pak's data at the time it was made).

You don't have to RESET the N64 at any time for this, by the way, the backup and restores are done immediately when you select them. And no, the Everdrive 64 will not automatically copy the right .mpk file over the controller pak when you load a game, this feature has been request and Krikzz might choose to implement it in a future update, but at the moment you have to manually backup or restore the data yourself.

As to your last question, the controller pak's saves occur when you select the save option in the game (or when you select File to CPAK in the Everdrive 64's menu), you don't need to reset the N64, and if the controller pak's battery is dead then I don't know if it will still save - it might, if the controller pak also draws power from the N64, but if it does this, then surely the controller pak will lose it's data when the N64 is turned off anyway.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 07:17 PM by Kerr Avon »

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 07:29 PM »
Also, you can use the N64 program:

mpktool

to backup and restore controller pak data too. Again, it doesn't have any "Are you sure Y/N?" confirmation prompts, so be careful with it. You can download it from:

http://krikzz.com/forum/index.php?topic=2298

as part of the archive 'saturnus_ed64_archive_v3.zip'

Offline ReddMcKnight

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Re: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 01:16 PM »
Thanks for the information. I think I'll just back-up manually from here on out. As far as I can tell, the Controller Pak will hold the data as long as the N64 isn't actually turned off, so I can save the data in-game, back it up to the SD Card, and be safe.

By the way, that one tool is listed as being "obsolete", but would you still recommend it?

Offline Kerr Avon

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Re: Not fully sure how Controller Pak Auto-Backups work...
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 04:03 PM »
By the way, that one tool is listed as being "obsolete", but would you still recommend it?

I suppose it would be OK. It worked well when I tried it (though again, be careful as there's no "Are you sure Y/N?" prompt), and I doubt very much that newer versions of the OS would stop it from working, so I don't see why not, but I've not used it for a long time, because the Everdrive 64's OS now backups and restores the controller pak. But the tool does have more functions, such as formatting the controller pak, and showing you what saves are on there, so it's probably still worth using.

BTW, the batteries for your controller pak will be very cheap, or you can buy another used controller pak and use your current one for a spare. That way, you need only backup the controller pak when you have a save that you want to keep.