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How to change a Snes game-save battery!


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#31 77punk

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 04:03 PM

nice just found a two prong battery holder on ebay, ill see if its a rip and replace or if its going to need some modding to get it on. I want to get the bits to to get into all of my games but for now if i have to get into them its the old way of burning a stick of plastic and shoving it in a cheap game that has the fit, then if it wears out do it again. Its not as good as the bits and i will be picking them up soon.

#32 Guest_Apossum_*

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Posted 23 July 2006 - 09:07 PM

Huh... I changed the battery in Lufia but it still won't retain saves. I played through the intro, saved, reset, and my saves were there. After that, I took the cart out, tossed it around, tried playing again and my saves were gone.

Maybe my cartridge is just screwed.



that's because it got detached from the battery after you threw it around ;) you need to reattach it tighter next time.


also, sorry for the empty promises for pics and all that. I kinda don't play regular snes any more or have any games...after going through the battery changing process, I decided that it was easier to DL a rom, rather than potentially break a good game.

#33 heydonovan

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Posted 31 July 2006 - 01:07 AM

Is there any way to back up my saves, like you can with a PS2 mem card? And about How long do SNES batteries last?
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#34 naruto179

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 12:59 AM

I've never attempted to open up a SNES game, but I have opened up a Legend of Zelda for NES. Rather than taking the battery out, I taped two wires to the battery clip (one on top and one on the bottom). I then taped a battery to the opposite ends of the wires and put the game back together. And now it saves like new. Again, I'm not sure how much free room is in a SNES game as there is in a NES game, but this method would probably avoid loosing data saved on the game and bring life back to it if caught before the battery completely went dead.

#35 espy

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Posted 22 September 2006 - 09:23 AM

[quote] 3. A basic soldering iron, nothing fancy. I bought a kit at radioshack for $8, came with a 45-watt iron. [/quote]
That's pretty high wattage which isn't used for PCB work. For soldering things onto a PCB, I'd try to get at the most 20w, 15 if you can find it.

[quote]4. Plug in your soldering iron, wait for it to heat up(it'll change color when it's done.) Set your razor against it, for a minute or 2. Slide the hot razor between the battery the top connector, push it against the first solder point. You will need to find a safe and comfortable position to push from-- you will need a bit of leverage, but also be careful of your fingers and chips on the game. Be VERY patient-- with enough reheating, pushing, and some cutting, the first point will come loose.
[/quote]
I don't know what this looks like, but if there's room it's possible to use a desoldering braid to wick the solder away. That might make things easier to cut through, or you might not need to cut it at all.

[quote] 6. Either solder the New battery back on if you know how or tape it into place.[/quote]
Be careful if you don't know how to solder, especially with a 45w iron. Batteries aren't meant to be heated, so it could leak maybe even theoretically explode.

[quote]
here's another FAQ about it, but it's not too clear. I think it basically says the same thing(except he is saying to pry the battery off without heating or scraping, which seems a little crazy)-- but he seems to be against the idea of taping it back[/quote]
Taping batteries on isn't a very reliable way of maintaining electrical flow through for a circuit. If one contact point misaligns, there goes your game saves. The fact that you have to tape it so the battery does not lie horizontally can also cause shifting due to gravity.

[quote]just out of curiosity... how long should the GBA batteries last[/quote]
Not all GBA games use battery-based saving (SRAM). However, it's likely to use the same lithium battery technology, so several years at least.

[quote]Anyway: Most GBA titles (at least originals) don't use batteries any more, so it's a non-issue, but I don't know of an easy way to check whether a certain game uses batteries (other than to open it).
[/quote]
Some do, so it is an issue. Since you own the game, you can legally download the ROM. If you use a ROM editing tool, it will tell you the save-type of the game. If it's SRAM it's battery based, Flash or EEPROM you're pretty safe for the next several thousand saves.
[quote]
Flash memory isn't going to last forever either. I lost all my data on Castlevania: Circle of the Moon when I had more the 95% of the game complete. It was a legit copy I bought at Circuity City too. The cart won't save anymore. I really wish GBA games had removable storage like memory cards.[/quote] Memory cards are also flash memory based. Although, you could've backed up the save to another card before it died I suppose.
[quote]
Flash memory is guaranteed for tens of thousands of writes at the very least.

Do you know if this game uses batteries or not?[/quote]
The guarantee is more conservative for game-related memory cards and game cartridges. Usually they say at least 1,000 rewrite cycles, but these are all estimated based on accelerated lab testing. Quality control isn't perfect either, so it's feasible for a cart to fail long before 1,000 saves are done. Additionally, most game-related guarantees are time based first and foremost, and most of these warranties are less than a year. So by the time you get to your first ten thousand writes, the warranty is pretty much dead.

[quote]I hgeard if you play your SNES games once a month or so that the battery retains ebough of a charge to keep/add saves. Any validity to that?[/quote]
It's not true. These types of lithium batteries are not designed to take a charge.
[quote]
Looks like I'm going to lose my FFIII data that has two Economizers. :-( And I found them within 10 minutes of each other. During my 2nd and 3rd play through, I couldn't find one.[/quote] If you're really worried about it, you could try wiring another battery up before removing the original, then replace the original with yet another battery, then removing the wired battery. That way you maintain the flow of electricity.

[quote]
I don't understand how long these batteries last[/quote]
Yeah, they do seem to be inconsistent. I still have NES games that retain saves. The only thing I can think of is temperature. If you live in a temperate climate year round, it's better for battery longevity. Extreme weather (both cold and hot) will affect a battery's performance.

[quote]Huh... I changed the battery in Lufia but it still won't retain saves. I played through the intro, saved, reset, and my saves were there. After that, I took the cart out, tossed it around, tried playing again and my saves were gone.

Maybe my cartridge is just screwed.
[/quote] I think it's likely what Apossum said, the battery became loose.
[quote]Is there any way to back up my saves, like you can with a PS2 mem card? And about How long do SNES batteries last?[/quote] No. And it varies wildly, several years at least, sometimes more than a decade.[quote]
I've never attempted to open up a SNES game, but I have opened up a Legend of Zelda for NES. Rather than taking the battery out, I taped two wires to the battery clip (one on top and one on the bottom). I then taped a battery to the opposite ends of the wires and put the game back together. And now it saves like new. Again, I'm not sure how much free room is in a SNES game as there is in a NES game, but this method would probably avoid loosing data saved on the game and bring life back to it if caught before the battery completely went dead.[/quote] This is a good way to maintain power flow while replacing the battery. However, I don't know if there is a detrimental effect to leaving a dead battery connected. I don't think there is but it's possible.

#36 Majesic_Lizard

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Posted 16 October 2006 - 12:00 AM

If you are very, very careful you can open most SNES games with an ordinary precision size flat head screwdriver. You simply align the the flat head into one of the notches on the star and carefully and forcefully yank counter clockwise.

That is what I used to unscrew Super Mario All-Stars and Mario World. I replaced the batteries with standard watch batteries (if I remember right). The original batteries did have to be carefully removed as they were sodered in place.

Off topic note:

However, another problem with old SNES games is capacitors going bad. This causes some strange video effects in many games. I don't know how to test capacitors and I wouldn't mess with them unless you know what you are doing. To replace them you have to have the precise voltage and microfarad capacitance.

#37 Otherguy676

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 10:27 PM

I have a quite extensive collection of Nes and SNES battery based RPGs, and I dont believe I have lost any data yet. I put in a lot of time to getting almost everything in FF3 and lvl 99 everyone so I hope I dont loose all this stuff.
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#38 Roufuss

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 08:38 PM

I have a quite extensive collection of Nes and SNES battery based RPGs, and I dont believe I have lost any data yet. I put in a lot of time to getting almost everything in FF3 and lvl 99 everyone so I hope I dont loose all this stuff.


Like it was written in the OP, as soon as the battery dies, or you change the battery, all that stuff is long gone, so it's inevitable, sadly enough. I've got a ton of saved games from when I was a kid and it's sad to think they will all disappear.

I've got a ton of NES / SNES games (mostly RPG's) too and I'm *this* close to selling them now, while the batteries still work, and let some other fool figure out what to do when the battery eventually dies. Once the battery dies, I'm not going through the effort to replace it, and these games will be worth $0 when it does die.

I figure all of this stuff will show up on the Virtual Console anyways.

Like Apossum wrote, this process looks to be a hassle and it's alot easier to wait on the VC or wait for companies to just port the really good games over to the VC, the GBA, something.

This whole battery idea, I guess companies didn't think we'd still be playing NES / SNES this far into the future.

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#39 62t

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 12:52 AM

good thing i got a game doctor so i could backup my games. Just need to figure out how to use it.

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#40 Blackout

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 08:23 AM

Is the same thing going to happen to PS1 memory cards? Will those just dissapear too? I have some genesis games I might have to check on, I don't even remember if those saved or if you wrote down passwords, LOL.



#41 Pylis

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 08:39 AM

As much as I'd like to replace all the batteries in my SNES and NES games, I'm scared of screwing it up. Instead I just emulate the games and back up the save files on my computer.
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#42 62t

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 08:56 AM

Is the same thing going to happen to PS1 memory cards? Will those just dissapear too? I have some genesis games I might have to check on, I don't even remember if those saved or if you wrote down passwords, LOL.

they can flash base and not a battery. PSOne memory card will only die after a certain number of use, and that should be a very high number. Also you can easily back them up.

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#43 Nephilim

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 03:46 AM

I did this once, and I am pretty handy with a soldering iron. Won't do it again. It gets pretty messy and you can definately goof up. I basically took about an hour and did one of my Mario Worlds.

I tried desoldering, but the contacts are under the clip. Not easy to do. After about 10 minutes of that I ended up just prying out the old battery.

OK, no biggie right, just solder in the new one. OK, not so easy. you cannot heat up the battery too much so you have to get it right the first or second time.

Ended up working, but it was not fun.

As for taping the battery in there. Yeah, right. If you have an old cart you dont care about, go for it, but for the rest of you just forget that idea all together. It will rarely work.

After this, there is NO WAY I am going to open up Megaman 7, Chrono Trigger, or Ninja Gaiden Trilogy.

#44 Slo

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Posted 22 April 2007 - 02:25 PM

Changing these batteries in snes cartridges is simple, ive just done one. One thing i should point out tho is the battery terminals ARE NOT soldered to the battery they are spot welded on, you CANNOT unsolder them. Trying to do so is dangerous as the battery could explode. You simply have to prise and break them off, this isnt easy and to save risking damaging the cartridge pcb its easier to unsolder the battery terminals from the board first (take note which way round it goes here) and clamp the old battery in a vice or hold with pliers then try to force off the terminals. Another point I should mention is when fixing the new battery in place electrical insulation tape will lose its grip with age and go manky especially with heat from the console, so i chose to use sticky labels to wrap around the battery.

As long as you unsolder the battery terminals from the board first there is zero chance of damaging your cartridge as long as you dont drop blobs of solder all over it but and i cant stress this enough make sure you take note of the battery polarity.

I can give pics or maybe even a short vid to show the process if anyone would like :)

#45 drewman21

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 02:30 AM

To follow up on what a few people are doing. I never mess with the tabs on the battery as they are welded on and make too much of a mess when broken off old batterys. I use old cmos battery holders off of old computer mobo's or off ebay in lots when i do them for people. You have to drill out the solder points sometimes but it works well AND fits in the case when the cart is put back together. Look for these.Posted Image
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#46 compudude86

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:53 PM

ok, so im an IT manager, and one of my assignments is to replace about 20-30 of these f-in little batteries in desktop computers every few years. apparently computers piss through them quicker. my idea here, is that the comp motherboards have a small black socket on them, that hold a cr2032 battery in place. im wondering if its possible to replace the cart battery with one of these sockets, then pop a new cr2032 battery in it, and then when it dies in another 15-20 years, its not a painstaking ordeal to switch it out. i say this because i put together collections of NES, SNES, and N64 systems and games, and for the nes and snes this would be a lifesaver not to have to jherry rig this up every time. anyone have experience with this technique?

#47 Javery

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 09:57 PM

My 1986 LoZ cart still worked 20 years later last time I fired it up (I haven't tested it in probably 2-3 years though)!

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#48 CHARYODA

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:00 PM

Flash memory isn't going to last forever either. I lost all my data on Castlevania: Circle of the Moon when I had more the 95% of the game complete. It was a legit copy I bought at Circuity City too. The cart won't save anymore. I really wish GBA games had removable storage like memory cards.



Circle of the Moon was a launch title if I remember correctly. GBA games didn't rid themselves of batteries for a while after launch so that is 99% likely to have a battery which is most likely dead if it was heavily used.

#49 compudude86

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 10:52 PM

im on my 2nd going on to 3rd gold zelda cart. i got one for christmas 1995, tried it, didnt work. we took it back to funcoland (yeah, remember those?) where they got it, and returned it for who knows what. i just got a new one for my collection, same damn thing. so im gonna use it to practice the soldering of the batt holder, and i have a 2nd one on order, that is "guranteed to work" maybe its just the way the zeldas were built? idk

#50 drewman21

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 03:07 AM

Yup, I do it my old nes and snes carts as they go out. Its not hard but you do have to be able to de-solder decently and be willing to punch a hole in the grounding and solder to it. Super easy and only takes a bit of time. Drop me a line if you need some pictures or help. Later.


ok, so im an IT manager, and one of my assignments is to replace about 20-30 of these f-in little batteries in desktop computers every few years. apparently computers piss through them quicker. my idea here, is that the comp motherboards have a small black socket on them, that hold a cr2032 battery in place. im wondering if its possible to replace the cart battery with one of these sockets, then pop a new cr2032 battery in it, and then when it dies in another 15-20 years, its not a painstaking ordeal to switch it out. i say this because i put together collections of NES, SNES, and N64 systems and games, and for the nes and snes this would be a lifesaver not to have to jherry rig this up every time. anyone have experience with this technique?



#51 jjgames

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:04 PM

I just posted a video and guide showing how I replaced the battery. I think it is easier than the original steps because you don't have to pry out the old battery or risk damaging the game at all. You only use the soldering iron twice and never get close to the other components.

http://www.jjgames.c...ce-snes-battery

I had to do it with my Earthbound game. The secret is buying the CR-2032 1F2 battery. It works in NES, SNES, and Gameboy Color games with almost no modification.
Owner of JJGames.com and publisher of VGPC.com
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#52 The 7th Number

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 12:45 AM

Damn does this mean most SNES games are useless because you wont be able to save games?

What about other games on Genesis, N64, NES, and Gameboy...would i run into this problem with these too?

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#53 Aleryn

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Posted 16 August 2008 - 01:37 AM

they can flash base and not a battery. PSOne memory card will only die after a certain number of use, and that should be a very high number. Also you can easily back them up.


One question about that. Once they run out of write cycles, does the card's data just fuse? Still usable, but you cannot write to it ever again? That it he impression I have of flash memory, one day you just can't write to it any more. But the data still is available.

Which would be awesome, cuz you could then just copy the data of the fused card to another card with write cycles left.

(BTW, wonderful thread in general, thanks OP)

#54 The 7th Number

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 05:25 PM

Im guessing this only effects games that you need to save in. Games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Sonic the hedgehog, and others where you dont need to save and can beat the game in one sitting would be fine right?

I was just looking into buying a Genesis, N64, and games for my SNES. But i dont want to waste my money if they will be useless. So is there a list of games that save and dont need to save somewhere?

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#55 dracula

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:45 AM

Damn does this mean most SNES games are useless because you wont be able to save games?

What about other games on Genesis, N64, NES, and Gameboy...would i run into this problem with these too?


MOST of the nes games you type out a long ass password like kid icarus or faxanadu. Some of them like zelda, final fantasy and dragon warriors have the battery.

i havent had to replace any of these but of course its been years since i fired up ff3.

some games like zelda 1 i remember beating in one sitting, so i dont mind doing that again. Maybe its just worth it to keep a gamecube and find the zealda collectors edition?

i dont want to mess with this, i guess i could pay someone who was better equiped than me to do this, i wont risk it because I know i might do it good for the first few times, then when i want to switch up the ff3 i will just Fuck it up.
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#56 weathesty

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:13 AM

so i took apart my snes to clean it and man was it nasty but i got cleaned and am trying to put it back together but am having a small setback, i just need to know if anyone here has done this and if so could tell me how the spring for the eject button goes? a picture would be great or a site with pics please let me know thanks

#57 62t

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 08:23 AM

One question about that. Once they run out of write cycles, does the card's data just fuse? Still usable, but you cannot write to it ever again? That it he impression I have of flash memory, one day you just can't write to it any more. But the data still is available.

Which would be awesome, cuz you could then just copy the data of the fused card to another card with write cycles left.

(BTW, wonderful thread in general, thanks OP)


OK late reply but once it die, the data is lost.

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#58 Meremare

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:39 AM

Or you could just send your non-working cartridges to this guy: http://www.woodus.co...showtopic=11782

#59 Kia-Tiaph

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:17 PM

Btw, is there a tool for purists to backup your savegames and copy them back once you changed the battery?

#60 jfreakofkorn

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 09:04 PM

im going to have to this to a few game(s)

nice write up ...