Contained here are some of the more common Acekard and AKAIO frequently asked questions. These questions appear in no particular order.
- Does AKAIO work on DSi with FW vx.xx?
- The most important thing is: never update your DSi if you haven't updated your Acekard 2i, first!
- Always remember: Only the AK2i HW 44 and 81 cards can be updated, and the 44 does not yet v1.4.3 support.
- Be Patient: You will usually have to wait until a new Acekard Firmware to be released, asking for it will not speed up the process.
With DSi FW v1.4.3 being the most recent release, Acekards running AKAIO work fine, though you have to update your Acekard before you update your DSi or it will be blocked and will not work. However, you can update your AK2i on a DS Phat, DS Lite, or a non-updated DSi/3DS. So even if you update your DSi to the latest firmware you still have a few options for updating your AK2i. For a detailed guide to reflashing the AK2i bootloader read this article.
The most recent update is available directly from Team Acekard: here. This update supports DSi v1.4.3 and 3DS v2.1 Firmware updates.
Please Note: your Acekard will be displayed as a commercial cartridge in the menu of DSi/3DS handhelds. This cannot be changed and doesn't have any affect on usability.
The following icons are used for updates:
- Danny Phantom - Urban Jungle (DSi v1.4.0)
- Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (DSi v1.4.1)
- Atama de Do! Koten Kotenko DORASU (3DS v1.0.0-0)
- Chessmaster - The Art of Learning (DSi v1.4.2 & 3DS 2.0.0-2)
- Hello Kitty no Panda Sport Stadium DORASU (DSi v1.4.3 & 3DS 2.1.0-3/2.1.0-4)
- How do I get my NDS on Nintendo Wi-Fi?
First you must configure your router. The Nintendo DS Phat and Lite require 802.11b. You can set your router to a B & G mode, as this should also work. The DS also requires that your router is set to channel 1, 6 or 11, according to Nintendo.com. You can choose to use a WEP key or no security, on the Nintendo DS. With the NDSI you can make use of the stronger WPA security, however, WPA will not work when running software in the "DS" mode. In regards to WEP, set a valid key, and make it a combination of random alpha-numeric characters. If you are going to use homebrew Wi-Fi features then make sure you enter a valid SSID and set it to “Public Broadcast.” It is recommended that you disable any range enhancing features, and in some cases the SPI (Smart Packet Interface) firewall.
After your router is correctly configured, run any Wi-Fi compatible ROM and load that ROM's Wi-Fi settings. Select to automatically configure your settings, and the DS will attempt to connect to your network. The distance from the router is important, and generally 30 feet in diameter. The Wi-Fi wave travels outward and not upward/downward. Sitting 10 feet in front of your router or 10 feet above it are not the same things.
If you experience problems please refer to the following links:
- GBATemp's Wi-Fi Technical & Help and Support
- Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection article
- List of Nintendo DS Wi-Fi Connection games article
- Nintendo WIFI Official Homepage
- I am having AK2.1-to-AK2.1 local Wi-Fi problems, why?
This is a hardware limitation and not an AKAIO problem. Please contact [email protected] with your concerns.
- I am having DS Download Play issues with my Acekard products, what should I do?
You should attempt do debug this problem by running your back-up ROM with various patches enabled or disabled. The reason for this is because all of the patches require an area of RAM to work. The game must also load code into RAM. The original game code was not written for ROMs running on Flash Linkers. As a result it may use up the full amount of RAM without any assumptions that other code might require it. Soft-reset, Cheats, etc will all use a portion of RAM. If that portion is overwritten by the game code that patch will fail to work, and/or the game may fail to load. So yes, turning off all patches but download play may fix the issue. Please list any fixes you find at the GBATemp's AKAIO ROM Compatibility article.
- When can I expect Wii connectivity with my Acekards?
The AKAIO team has worked to solve this issue, as of AKAIO v1.5 most ROMs have supported Wii connectivity. Future ROMs dumps with Wii connectivity are not guaranteed to work.
- How do I use the Wii connectivity option in AKAIO?
As of AKAIO 1.5 you can now connect your NDS to the Wii in games such as Pokemon Battle Revolution, My pokemon ranch and other titles. Using the latest loader you will need to hold "X" while loading the game in order for it to work.
- I turned off Download-play and my games seem faster, why?
As of AKAIO 1.5.1 in game execution is improved by turning off the Download-play feature. This is an undocumented hidden feature. The user should notice some speed improvements.
Buying an Acekard
- Should I replace my R4 with an Acekard, or purchase an Acekard for my 6yr old sister?
The Acekard is not a beginner card, regardless of its currently advertised budget price tag. The Acekard with AKAIO has a small learning curve. This is the reason the article was created, to help alleviate the problems one might encounter while setting up their new Acekard with the AKAIO firmware. If something fails to work, it is more often than not user error. Please read the article, then reread the article, and finally read it again. Read all included “readme” files with each of your homebrew applications and games. Ask intelligent questions that further a discussion and allow those passionate about this Flash Linker and this firmware to share their knowledge. The result of a few days of research will better prepare you to get the most out of your Acekard and the AKAIO firmware.
- Where is the best place to buy an Acekard?
The 'best' place to buy an Acekard is entirely subjective to what your priorities are (price/delivery time). Some places are on the lower end of the price scale and offer free shipping, but delivery time is quite slow (1-2+ weeks). Other sites like offer quick delivery, but at an increased price. A good place to start is the Acekard official reseller list where you can begin to compare prices and delivery variations.
- Why do some sites sell the AK2.1 for $12 USD and others for $30 USD?
Some high volume sites sell the cards just over cost, while others charge double cost to make a profit. You are getting the same kit no matter what price you pay. So buy from a retailer you trust who can ship to you in a professional timeframe. Then sit back and enjoy!
- Should I buy an Ak2.1 or an AK2i?
Please first be aware that Nintendo has blocked the use of the AK2i's current exploit on the 1.4J firmware update. Current DSi kits should be purchased with this in mind. If you only have a DSi then use/purchase the AK2i. If you currently do not have a DSi, it is strongly recommended that you wait. As of right now none of the DSi specific functions (Games, DSi-ware, features, etc) have been hacked. There is a strong possibility that the encryption may never be hacked. Make your informed purchases carefully. As of 12/01/09 the current build of the AK2.1 shows some serious flaws. The official firmware and AKAIO will not function correctly on them. Team Acekard has privately commented by saying that the kits appear to be real and not cloens and they are not sure what the problem is. Finally the AK2i does suffer from Hardware build problems. Their appear to be a large amount of contact and microSD slot issues.
A piece of erudition ulnkie any other!
- Panasonic SD Formatter
According to Panasonic "SD/SDHC Memory Card file systems formatted with generic operating system formatting software do not comply with the SD Memory Card specification." This means that your O/S's built in drive formatter is not designed to format the exact set of circumstances that allow your microSD cards to function at their peak performance. While this may not be important for your Cell phone, it is very important when talking about ROMs and read/write access speeds which pertain to NDS flash kits. The Panasonic formatter is *smart* software. It will know what type of microSD you have. This means that you can use the default settings and the results will be a correctly formatted microSD ready for use in your Acekard product. Remember when your reformat your microSD you will erase all of the data. Be sure to make back-ups of your important saves, files, etc.
- Which microSD card is best, and why?
When purchasing a microSD card you want to find one with a low latency. The lower the latency the faster the card can access the read/write routines, the better your ROMs will perform. Most non-SDHC cards have low latency and quick read/write speeds to begin with. In regards to SDHC the higher the class number the faster the card reads/writes. Class6, for example, has a 6mb/s minimum where a Class4 has a 4mb/s rate. Name brand does play a factor as some cards are simply made better, where others are re-branded versions from the same manufacturer. The consensus has been to use the Japanese branded Kingstons when dealing with 1GB and 2GB sizes, and the A-Data/Transcend name brands when dealing with 4GB+. There is speculation on which, if any, of the 16GB cards actually work with the Acekard products. While in theory they should work, the coders of AKAIO do not have one to test with, donations are welcome though. Always remember to format your microSD/SDHC cards with the Panasonic formatter.
- What should I use, FAT16 or FAT32?
The File Allocation Table FAT (also known as FAT16) standards were developed before large devices existed. Without getting into the specifics, the general rule of thumb is to format your 2GB or less microSD cards at FAT16. Anything equal or over 4GB should be formatted using FAT32. While you can force some formatters to format a 4GB card at FAT16 you will see a significantly negative performance impact. In some cases, on slower 2GB or less microSD cards you can adjust the cluster size to improve performance. (IE: format G: /Q /A:64k /FS:FAT). For more information please read the File Allocation Table article.
- My microSD is acting odd, should I defrag it?
NO, NEVER, EVER, defrag your microSD/SDHC cards. Each card has a limited number of read/writes before they cease to function. The best solution is to copy everything off, format using the Panasonic SD formatter, then copy everything back. A freshly formatted microSD will perform better than a defragged one!
- Does Acekard provide stand-alone tools for editing the cheat dats?
- How can I skip the Health & Safety Screen and boot directly to my Acekard?
The preferred way is to flash your NDS firmware with FlashME. For more information on FlashME, read these links:
If you dont want to flash, but still want to skip the HS screen and auto-boot, you can try the soft-mod trick:
- On your DS (with no cart inserted), click the at the bottom center of the screen to get to the system settings.
- Click the then and set the DS to Auto Mode.
- Turn off the DS and remove your battery for about 15-20 seconds to clear volatile data.
- Replace the battery and go through the DS set-up , but when it prompts you to press A to turn it off, use the power switch instead.
- Thats it, now just insert the Acekard and turn on your DS. Now it will effectively auto-boot straight into the Acekard menu.
You will lose access to pictochat and download play until you complete initial setup (undoing this soft-mod), though. The process is fully reversible by booting into the firmware menu and redoing the settings.
- I need to report a bug, where can i do this?
Use the Bug Reports section at the AKAIO forums. Please do the research first and do not post a bug which has already been submitted. Please include your Acekard model, the version of AKAIO, what type of NDS you are using, the ROM release number and CRC value, info on if the ROM is a clean or patched dump, etc. Before reporting any bugs make sure you tested the "problem" on the most recent public build of AKAIO.
- AKAIO just started to do strange things, how can I fix it?
Try deleting optionslist.bin or globalsettings.ini and then relaunch the firmware. Sometimes these files can become corrupt, especially if you copy/paste them during a firmware update.
- My Acekard stopped working, what now?
Did you format the microSD with the Panasonic formatter and then put AKAIO back on? Does your microSD work in another flash kit? Does your Acekard work in another NDS? If you have fully debugged and it still isn't working than perhaps you have a faulty kit. All Acekard products come with an unspoken 1 year warranty. First contact your retailer and ask for a replacement. If they will not replace it then contact Team Acekard. Team Acekard usually asks for proof that you attempted to get it replaced, and for digital images of your flash kit in various states of use. Be prepared to go back and forth on a few e-mails before getting a replacement option.
- Game XXXX - WHATEVER.nds fails to load, does not work, has problems, etc. Now what?
Patches (soft-reset, cheats, etc) are written to RAM before the game is loaded. In some cases the game will attempt to overwrite the area of RAM that the patches are using. This can cause the game to fail in various ways for different situations. Before you complain that a ROM is not working try to debug the problem yourself. Turn off various patches; try the DMA, Non-DMA, and DMA-Save modes. In rare cases you need to set the save type by hand. You can find out the save type of your ROM by looking up the ROM number at ADVANsCENe.com. For more information on patching, save types, and other AKAIO tweaks please read the article above. When you have found a fix for a specific game please add it to GBATemp's AKAIO ROM Compatibility article.
- I am having issues with NDS homebrew freezing, what is wrong?
The AKAIO DLDI file may cause issues for some users. Until the DLDI can be fixed use the version found in the official firmware.
- My official firmware .nds.sav files do not load on AKAIO, how can I fix this?
Prior to v.4.14 of the official firmware, all save files used the .nds.sav extension. Users who upgraded to the far superior AKAIO are often confused as to why their save files will not work. AKAIO maintains backwards compatibility with the official firmware, and as a result contains an option for save extensions. Users can set the option to save/load files ending in .nds.sav or .sav. The default behavior of AKAIO is to use .sav, however, if your saves use the other extension you will either need to change them or adjust your AKAIO settings accordingly.
To convert your save files to the new settings within AKAIO simple set the file view to NDS + SAV, the save extension to .nds.sav/.sav, highlight the save file and press Y, finally in the properties box click "Save Ext."
- Soft-reset does not work, what am I doing wrong?
Make sure you have enabled "soft-reset" in the patches, either globally or on a per-ROM basis. Also make sure you are using the AKAIO soft-reset button combination which is L+R+B+A+Down. If a ROM fails to load you may need to disable soft-reset. Homebrew soft-reset is only supported on the AK2 and AK2i. You must soft-reset turned on globally for it to function.
- Will my save files from XXX-Flash Linker work in AKAIO?
Any RAW format save file is interchangeable with the AKAIO firmware. Make sure your save file is named exactly the same as the associated ROM file. When in doubt, you can convert your save files using the Shunyweb Save Game Converter Web site.
- Why do my AK R.P.G. save files constantly get overwritten?
The R.P.G. caches your save files and then writes them on the next boot up. The "lastsave.ini" file stores which game needs to have the save file written. If you are attempting to put a new save file on your R.P.G. and it simply won't work, try the following:
- Run a different ROM and play for a second, this ROM is now stored in the "lastsave.ini"
- Turn off the NDS then turn it back on, the last save is now dumped from SRAM to your microSD for the ROM you just played
- Turn off the NDS again, take out your rpg, and put on the new save file for the different game
- Boot it all back up and give it a try.
- When I upgrade AKAIO my AK R.P.G. saves are lost, why?
The R.P.G. will do a scan and associate each ROM with a fresh save file, and then store this information in the "savelistex.bin". Since this file was freshly created, AKAIO running on the R.P.G. will assume each save is new and thus will not load it with the ROM. On the next boot-up the cached save will overwrite the old save file, as the firmware assumes it is writing a new save file. To fix this problem always remember to copy/paste the old "savelistex.bin" into the upgrade copy of AKAIO.
- Moonshell v2.00 is freezing with an error message, what can I do?
If Moonshell v2.xx freezes on your acekard while running AKAIO you might be able to fix it by deleteing the logbuf.txt file found in the Moonshell homebrew folder.
- My Acekard gets stuck on the "Loading" screen, what is the problem?
Follow the installation instructions from this article. Make sure your microSD is firmly placed (pushed all the way down, sometimes requires pressure) in the non-spring loaded versions. If your version has a spring, try taking the microSD out and putting it back in. This problem, of being stuck at the main “Loading” screen, is almost always related to the microSD not being correctly inserted. However, it can also be a contact issue between the Acekard and your NDS/DSI. Try reinserting your flash linker a few times, check for dust, etc.
- My Acekard says "FAT ERROR", is it broken?
Not inserting the microSD, not correctly installing the firmware, or having important pieces of the firmware missing, can cause this problem. In this case the Acekard is behaving normally, and the problem is user error. In regards to the AK2 FAT problem, this could be a faulty AK2. Keep in mind the 2.1s have been repaired/redesigned to fix this issue. If you have an original AK2 and no amount of debugging fixes it, you may have a faulty unit. Make sure you thoroughly debug the card before making complaints. Format the microSD with the Panasonic formatter, try the microSD in another flash kit, try a different microSD in the assumed faulty Acekard, etc.
- My EZ 3in1 is not detected, is it defective?
No, it is well known that you must flash something to NOR for the 3in1 to be detected by the DS. Doing this should also fix any detection issues you are having with AKAIO. If AKAIO fils to detect, which may prevent you from your initial flash to NOR, try Rudolph's GBA ExpLoader. If after doing this, your EZ 3in1 is still not detected, you may want to attempt to diagnose the problem by making sure the RAM is good, testing the battery, and debugging fully. In the rare case that your EZ 3in1 fails to function, return it to your reputable retailer for an exchange/full refund.
- The AK2i says "Unsupported Device," is AKAIO at fault?
When AKAIO is running on a clone kit (R4i, R4-Ultra, etc) the firmware will report that the device is unsupported. If you receive this message you can be sure that your kit is an Acekard hardware clone. It has been reported that this message appears on some AK2i kits. These kits are probably R4 clones with legitimate Acekard 2i stickers. Please open the kit up and verify if it is a clone by reading "this" post. If your kit appears to be real then please join #acekard on the GBATemp IRC network and report your findings.
- I swear my NDS/DSi has less battery life if I use the DMA-Quicksave mode, why?
There has been speculation that AKAIO's 3 DMA modes may drain the battery life differently. The following would be the order of battery drain from more to less: DMA-Quicksave, Old DMA mode, No DMA mode. Due to performance issues, it is not recommended to run ROMs without DMA. Instead to save battery life try unplugging your Slot-2 device and using a lower brightness setting.
- I have XXX amount of ROMs in one folder and everything lags, what can I do about this?
If your game folder has lots of games it may take a while to load. To speed things up you can separate the games into folders. What some people do is order them into alphabetical folders (A-D, E-I, J-K....) or you can organize them by type of game (Action, Adventure, Platformer, RPG, Shooter...)
- Why doesn't AKAIO have scroll bars?
AKAIO will respond to stylus scrolling in the area to the right of the list view. Scroll bars simply take up already limited screen resolution, making them invisible was the solution.
- Is there an easy way to navigate back to "Root"?
Pressing "B" will take you back 1 directory. Pressing it multiple times will eventually take you back to the Root directory listing of AKAIO.
- How do I back-up .SAV files using AKAIO?
AKAIO has the ability to make back-up copies of save files. To do this set the list type to "ALL" via Start -> System Options --> Tab1 (System Options) -> Set file list type. You may need to back out one directory and then re-enter to refresh the view. Highlight a .SAV file and press "A." You will now be prompted to back up the selected .SAV file. Press "A" or click "YES" to back-up the .SAV file. The back-up copy will be named FILENAME.BAK and reside in the same directory. To restore your back-up (and thus make use of it), highlight the .BAK file you wish to use and press "A." You will then be prompted to restore your save from the back-up. Press "A" or click "YES" to restore the back-up save and make it a usable save. Please keep in mind that this will overwrite the current save data. AKAIO also assumes you have not changed the name of your ROM file after making the original back-up.
- HELP -- My .SAV files are gone or not working, why?
Some users reported that .SAV files were being overwritten and recreated as ROM-name.sav (lowercase) when updateing to AKAIO 1.6 RC1. Users who update should always back up their sav files. In some cases users will need to rename their files to a lowercase extension. The problem appears to be a devkit bug. Files shorter than 8.3 characters are being renamed with an uppercase .SAV, files using Long File Names are being renamed/created with a lowercase .sav. .SAV can be renamed .sav and vice versa.
- When I boot AKAIO 1.6 I see two white screens, why?
If your AK2/2.1/2i boots to two white screens it is probably a clone. The new clone detection in AKAIO 1.6 simply white screens instead of displaying a friendly message for users. You should contact your reseller and ask for a refund! Clone cards are not supported by the Acekard 1yr warranty.
- AKAIO v1.8.5 AP patching will not work with my 512MB ROM file, why?
The new AP patching provided by Team Acekard had the potential to brick older AK 2.1 kits by overwriting a section of an older/larger bootloader. To fix this problem the AP code was reworked by Normmatt and as an unexpected side effect 512MB ROMs now require a microSD cluster size of 16KB or higher. Manually formatting your microSD card using your Operating System tools will allow the 512MB ROMs to function correctly. There remains the possibility that this problem will be addressed when Team Acekard releases the 2.1 reflasher (unbricker) as it should provide a much smaller (updated) bootloader.
- What are the differences between the various builds of the Acekard 2s?
The AK2 eventually suffered from a manufacturers soldering error. This problem caused the later batches of the Green PCB AK2 to experience a FAT issue. The cards would stop working some time between 2 weeks and 8 months, depending on usage. These AK2s were pulled from circulation and fixed, relabeled, and released as a fixed AK2 and later as the first batch of AK2.1s. These fixed 2.1, Green PCB Acekards, have a small chip under the sticker and a windowed shell. They are essentially the AK2 repaired, which means the internals are the same. The kits were later redesigned and re-released as the AK2.1 Black PCB. The Black PCB contained a new controller chip and featured a permanent redesign of the PCB which insured that the FAT error would not happen again. The Black PCB AK2.1 was offered in a new package design, a box, and sold with or without the AK microSD reader. This version of the Acekard 2.1 was later issued with a darker Forest Green PCB. The kit then went back into development and was released a 3rd time with a metallic Blue PCB. The Blue PCB featuresd a new shell and a smaller FAT-MAP. Acekard removed the spring loaded microSD slot and the shell clips in favor of glue.
The FAT error AK2s are no longer in circulation. You can not purchase one and you can not ask Team Acekard for one. The old shell AK2.1s are slowly being phased out as parts and supplies are used up in favor of the new shell and Blue PCB. In the end all versions will work and do what you expect. Do not panic if you receive a Green PCB over a Blue PCB.
The December 2009 Acekard 2.1 builds had a small hardware revision that caused firmware compatibility issues. Acekard has since gone back one revision and no longer produces this card.
- After updating the AK2i Bootloader (firmware) I no longer see the Acekard icon, why?
The DSi security works by verifying that the game about to launch is an actual game by the icon being loaded. For the Acekard to bypass this first check it must present itself as a real game. The icons you can expect to see are Danny Phantom - Urban Jungle (DSi v1.4.0), Alex Rider: Stormbreaker (DSi v1.4.1), Atama de Do! Koten Kotenko DORASU (3DS 1.0.0-0), Chessmaster - The Art of Learning (DSi v1.4.2 & 3DS 2.0.0-2), and Hello Kitty no Panda Sport Stadium DORASU (DSi v1.4.3 & 3DS 2.1.0-3/2.1.0-4).
- I want to change the AK2i icon, how can I do this?
The original AK2i (Acekard.com) icon is hardcoded into the original firmware and can not be changed. More recently, the icons change with firmware updates, these icons are actually partial game data designed to exploit the DSi/3DS checks. These icons can not be altered and attempting to do so would render the card unusable and unbootable.
- How does the Anti-counterfeit code work?
After carefully pealing back the holographic Acekard sticker, found on the back of the AK2i, a unique 20 digit code is revealed. The code must be entered into the Acekard Website from left to right. The numbers are printed into 10 digit groupings placed on top of each other and separated by a space. The top left most set of 5 digits must be entered first, the top right most set of digits entered second, the bottom left most set of digits entered third, and finally the bottom right most set of digits. All 20 digits should be entered without any white space or incorrect characters. A correct code will yield a message that "This Anti-Counterfeit code is correct! You bought a REAL Acekard!" If the code has been checked already but it's your first time checking the code then you probably purchased a fake card. Please contact your vendor for refund."
- How do I spot an Acekard clone?
So far only the Acekard 2i has been cloned. All known Acekard 2, 2.1, and R.P.G. kits are real. The Acekard 2i's old design used a shell with a window cut out for the chip. During this stage of production the Actel chip was used. Acekard no longer produces the 2i with these features. The new generation of Acekard 2i carts have a flat back with no "window" and a small 48-pin thin controller chip called the "SST 39vf1681." However, in some cases the Actel chip can be found in a shell with no "window." The Acekard 2 may use the SST chip or other chips but they are all 48-pin chips.
- The chip on the back of the PCB is "Actel" or little black glue circle (this is very important).
- The chip on the front side of PCB is a 48 pins "SST" chip.
- Some batches of AK2 used other 48 pins chips, but they're all 48 pins.
You can find out the HWID of your Acekard from within AKAIO by pressing (start) >> more >> help. You can also find out your HWID by using the firmware update tool, this will repeat the numbers twice. ie: HWID 80 in AKAIO will be reported as 8080 by the firmware update tool.
- What are the HWID's of the different Acekard builds?
- AK2 Green PCB pre-FAT/FAT error - HWID 40
- AK2 Green PCB *fixed* FAT error - HWID 41
- AK2 Green PCB, windowed CPU, FAT fix and a 2.1 sticker - HWID 41
- AK2.1 Light/Dark Green PCB - HWID 80
- AK2.1 Black PCB - HWID 80
- AK2.1 Blue PCB - HWID 80
- AK2i Black PCB - HWID 44
- AK2i Yellow/Black PCB - HWID 81
• Acekards with HWIDs not listed above are clones! • Acekard 2i Green PCB HWID 44 with a 32pin Xilinx Spartan chip is a clone! • Acekard 2i HWID 80 is a clone!
If you have a Acekard HWID combination not listed, please post it in this thread http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=217695
|Flashcarts||Acekard/+ • Acekard RPG • Acekard 2/2i|
|Software||AKAIO (Compatibility - How To - F.A.Q - GlobalSettings)|
|Official website - Acekard2 review|