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HELP! DKC3 Problem on SNES


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#1 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:45 AM

Hi guys, my SNES works just fine, but when I put DKC3 in it now, it shows a black screen and plays the intro music. I have tried MANY things... Sometimes it even shows a piracy message, but that has happened thrice in the many times I have tried to make the games work.

 

I cleaned the game, I went through any shady solder joints, I tried to fix broken traces, I replaced the save battery... What else can i do??

 

(Maybe a SRAM chip replacement??)

 

 

Thanks for the Help, Al



#2 icemanxp300 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:36 PM

Well if you really want to narrow it down, simply swap the mask rom w/ a donor board, any madden 95+ would work and some others.

 

That's a HI-ROM 16k sram pcb. You could just swap the sram but who knows if there is a trace bad you can't see well or I have found sometimes bitrot can cause problems too. You could try taking the pcb out of the shell and inserting in the snes and see if that helps, if it does then you know to focus on bit rot on the pins.

 

The mask rom itself could be bad too that's why I say just skip everything and do a donor swap, if it works then you are good or if it doesn't then you know it was the rom chip itself.



#3 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:03 PM

 I tried bad traces... One of them leads to nothing, so when I attempted to repair it the game would not work in that configuration. Simply put, the game worked for a while and after storing it in a nice cool room for 4 months and the thing showed a piracy screen. I cleaned it, etc. and after attempting to turn it on a million times, I got a black screen that would play the first 10 seconds of music and that was it. It shown a piracy screen two more times after that but now it just shows a black screen and plays some music. I did take the PCB out of its shell and it made no difference.

 

So.. eh... Which one is the mask rom?? 

 

EXTRA INFO. : In DKC 123 the SNES does a checksum of sram, if the amount is invalid, a piracy screen shows up. 

 

 

SNS-A9GE-0-pcb-front-9618.jpg



#4 icemanxp300 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:11 PM

The mask rom is the bottom right chip with MX on it (36pins) biggest chip. That is not the DKC 3 pcb right? That is the donor? I only ask because that board is a 64K sram which is what maddens would be instead of the 16K that DKC 3 is.

 

You have the battery, to the right is the mad -1 chip right of that is the sram,  chip below sram is mask rom and left side under batter is CIC chip. It's all kind of written on the pcb.

 

If you think DKC3 has piracy check then that 64K donor might cause problems.



#5 Sir Guntz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:21 PM

Actually, the DKC Trilogy and a lot of other SNES games will specifically check for SRAM more than what's installed on the retail cartridge. This is because many popular copier devices back in the day used much larger SRAM chips for holding data.

 

The way the game is behaving could be bad SRAM or a bad Mask ROM. Assuming there's no damage on the PCB, the ideal option would be to dump the cartridge and examine the ROM in a hex editor against a known good ROM. This is the only sure-fire way to know if the Mask ROM is actually bad. In SNES carts, very seldom is discrete logic used to decode larger Mask ROMs, which can be another point of failure in cartridge games.

 

This device is very inexpensive and dumps both ROM and SRAM in SNES games very easily. It's a vital cartridge diagnostic tool. It even has an option to show you the game's SNS header, so you can immediately see if the ROM is mangled or not.

 

s-l300.jpg


Edited by Sir Guntz, Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:23 PM.


#6 icemanxp300 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:23 PM

I think your best option here is to open a DKC 1 cart up and do pin traces on every single pin to determine if 3 has a broken trace and be aware they could lead to more than 1 spot especially check the sram. When you find the bad trace run a wire. You said above one of them leads to nothing, if that leads to something on DKC1 you pretty much found your problem.

 

 

Yeah it is less likely the extra sram will cause problems. I have only seen problems with sram for games that don't use it.



#7 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:37 PM

The mask rom is the bottom right chip with MX on it (36pins) biggest chip. That is not the DKC 3 pcb right? That is the donor? I only ask because that board is a 64K sram which is what maddens would be instead of the 16K that DKC 3 is.

 

You have the battery, to the right is the mad -1 chip right of that is the sram,  chip below sram is mask rom and left side under batter is CIC chip. It's all kind of written on the pcb.

 

If you think DKC3 has piracy check then that 64K donor might cause problems.

SNS-A3CE-0-pcb-front.jpg



#8 Sir Guntz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:42 PM

I think your best option here is to open a DKC 1 cart up and do pin traces on every single pin to determine if 3 has a broken trace and be aware they could lead to more than 1 spot especially check the sram. When you find the bad trace run a wire. You said above one of them leads to nothing, if that leads to something on DKC1 you pretty much found your problem.

 

 

Yeah it is less likely the extra sram will cause problems. I have only seen problems with sram for games that don't use it.

 

 

He said the game boots to a black screen and the intro music plays. Sometimes the game displays the anti-piracy screen. I don't think the problem lies in the edge connector/trace area. It sounds more like a ROM/SRAM problem. The SNES cartridge slot is what some would call "OneBus", everything in the SNES has to share and take turns with the cartridge slot. A broken trace or a failing Mask ROM usually renders the game unbootable.

 

This is unlike the NES which has two ROM buses in the cartridge slot, one for the CPU and one for the PPU. In a system like this, it's always possible to have a bootable game with graphical glitches. The PPU doesn't care if it's receiving graphics or not, but the CPU must get usable code or it can't work. The CPU also generates the music in the NES.


Edited by Sir Guntz, Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43 PM.


#9 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:45 PM

The DKC3 cart has been unaltered. I will not have time to check it out further... I personally do not own any donor carts. I do not own a DKC1 cart either. Where I live now SNES games are too dang expensive and I have been getting into NES and the Dreamcast. I have determined that there are no bad traces on the broad. I did see mere spots, but they should not effect the traces in any matter. It could be bitrot. But on a barely 20 year old cart? I own games that are 30 - 39 years old and yet they work fine. I have a majesco release MMX cart that's gone through hell and back and yet it still works. 

 

 

I think your best option here is to open a DKC 1 cart up and do pin traces on every single pin to determine if 3 has a broken trace and be aware they could lead to more than 1 spot especially check the sram. When you find the bad trace run a wire. You said above one of them leads to nothing, if that leads to something on DKC1 you pretty much found your problem.

 

 

Yeah it is less likely the extra sram will cause problems. I have only seen problems with sram for games that don't use it.


Edited by AL01, Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:45 PM.


#10 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:46 PM

 

 

He said the game boots to a black screen and the intro music plays. Sometimes the game displays the anti-piracy screen. I don't think the problem lies in the edge connector/trace area. It sounds more like a ROM/SRAM problem. The SNES cartridge slot is what some would call "OneBus", everything in the SNES has to share and take turns with the cartridge slot. A broken trace or a failing Mask ROM usually renders the game unbootable.

 

This is unlike the NES which has two ROM buses in the cartridge slot, one for the CPU and one for the PPU. In a system like this, it's always possible to have a bootable game with graphical glitches. The PPU doesn't care if it's receiving graphics or not, but the CPU must get usable code or it can't work. The CPU also generates the music in the NES.

 Sometimes as in three times compared to the hundreds of tests I have done. First time was when I attempted to first boot the game, second was when I called a game store after leaving the snes off for a minute, and third was after a bunch of moving and on/off cycles.



#11 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:51 PM

 

 

He said the game boots to a black screen and the intro music plays. Sometimes the game displays the anti-piracy screen. I don't think the problem lies in the edge connector/trace area. It sounds more like a ROM/SRAM problem. The SNES cartridge slot is what some would call "OneBus", everything in the SNES has to share and take turns with the cartridge slot. A broken trace or a failing Mask ROM usually renders the game unbootable.

 

This is unlike the NES which has two ROM buses in the cartridge slot, one for the CPU and one for the PPU. In a system like this, it's always possible to have a bootable game with graphical glitches. The PPU doesn't care if it's receiving graphics or not, but the CPU must get usable code or it can't work. The CPU also generates the music in the NES.

 And that's where I get confused... OK, here is what I am getting right now.  Turn snes on, black screen with a few little white flashes, (like morse code), I wait 4 seconds and the intro music plays, and that's it. The white flash looks like an underscore.


Edited by AL01, Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:51 PM.


#12 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:53 PM

 Just did 10 power cycles, all black screens as mentioned before. No piracy screen.



#13 Sir Guntz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:53 PM

So, the game doesn't boot then, just a black screen? PCB has no apparent damage? Probably a bad Mask ROM then. Yes, they can go bad. A friend of mine mailed me a non-working Super Metroid, the first print version with 3 Mask ROMs in it, the PCB was in amazing condition. After extensive tests (dumped game, examined ROM in hex editor), I found that ROMs 1 and 2 out of 3 had gone bad. The last ROM was still good, just had to burn EPROMs to replace the first two ROMs.

 

The specific nature of failure was the first two Mask ROMs appeared to have a stuck lower data line, internal failure. The game's (Super Metroid) SNS header said "Sspprrmmttoodd", the header is located at the beginning of the first Mask ROM.

 

Also, ROMs 1 and 2 were made by Toshiba, the 3rd one was by Hitachi.


Edited by Sir Guntz, Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:55 PM.


#14 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:55 PM

 Black screen, a white under score or two, intro music plays, and that's it.



#15 Sir Guntz OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:01 PM

Unless the game uses SRAM for game code (very rare in SNES games), then the only answer here is the Mask ROM.

 

Do you by any chance have another SNES to test the game on?


Edited by Sir Guntz, Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:01 PM.


#16 icemanxp300 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:56 AM

It is VERY possible there is a bad trace. I had a game that had a popped trace under the solder joint. basically it was inconsistent so at times it would just load black screen and at times it would load w/glitches and at times freeze.

 

As far as bad roms go I personally have only had bad roms for the nes and those always loaded w/messed up colors that resembled power issues, very rarely showing any graphics that resembled a title screen ever.

 

From what he is telling me it sounds more of a bad trace issue in my opinion. I have seen on certain games that need sram that will load but graphically messed up if sram is not detected.

 

That's why I said initially just swap the mask rom to a donor and if it works you know it was either the PCB bad trace or the sram. If it didn't work then you know the problem was the mask rom.



#17 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:43 PM

Unless the game uses SRAM for game code (very rare in SNES games), then the only answer here is the Mask ROM.

 

Do you by any chance have another SNES to test the game on?

 No, I do not. It did used to work on my SNES just fine though.



#18 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:43 PM

It is VERY possible there is a bad trace. I had a game that had a popped trace under the solder joint. basically it was inconsistent so at times it would just load black screen and at times it would load w/glitches and at times freeze.

 

As far as bad roms go I personally have only had bad roms for the nes and those always loaded w/messed up colors that resembled power issues, very rarely showing any graphics that resembled a title screen ever.

 

From what he is telling me it sounds more of a bad trace issue in my opinion. I have seen on certain games that need sram that will load but graphically messed up if sram is not detected.

 

That's why I said initially just swap the mask rom to a donor and if it works you know it was either the PCB bad trace or the sram. If it didn't work then you know the problem was the mask rom.

 I will do my best to check Friday or Saturday. Thanks for the help.



#19 Atari PAC-MAN Fan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:54 PM

If you're not down to mess around with the cartridge board, I would recommend buying another DKC3 cart. 

 

I would start with Ebay.



#20 icemanxp300 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:35 PM

Ship to me and $3 for me to ship it back and I will fix it for free "if it can be fixed".



#21 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:12 PM

 I'll see... It may be a week or two before I can let ya know. Sorry about that. I will seriously keep your offer in mind though.



#22 AL01 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:18 PM

If you're not down to mess around with the cartridge board, I would recommend buying another DKC3 cart. 

 

I would start with Ebay.

 

TBH I am incredibaly paranoid about this. I bought the cart in like new condition. I cannot afford to have carts die when they turn 20. I have a 39 year old copy of Breakout, (I checked the board - 100% sure about its age), and it still works wonderfully,.






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