Nintendo DS

FAQ – How to backup DS ROMS

Before I get into details on this, I would like to tell people this is NOT illegal if you only back up a game you own and do not give it to anyone. This is only to be used as a personal backup for yourself ONLY. You can distribute the ROM to your friend (if he owns the game, with the same region code it is fine; otherwise it is illegal). Distributing game backups (ROMs) over the internet is ILLEGAL, you could get in trouble (and probably will if you do that). Now onto the guide.

Backing up a Nintendo DS Game Cartridge using Wifi

Until recently, it wasn’t possible for the common user to dump their own game
collection for use with a Nintendo DS flash cart; they were forced to
obtain their ROM images from shady sources – enouraging piracy and
spreading bad images and even malware that can harm your DS. Now, with
great tools and a little persistance – you can dump your own games for
your own personal use which is everyone’s right.

What You Will Need:

  • A Nintendo DS and original game cartridge you want to back up
  • A working DLDI compatible flash cart (R4, CycloDS Evo, etc)
  • A working wifi connection that you’ve tried with homebrew software
  • A working FTP server (we’ll be using SmallFTPd on Windows)
  • The NDS Backup Tool (Wifi) on your flash cart
  • Pure text editor (like Notepad)

Note: You can download the files at the bottom of the post.


On the PC Side:
  • Stop any and all firewalls, security software, etc.
  • Obtain your IP address (probably something like Make a note of this address.
  • Create a folder on your hard drive called C:\temp if you don’t already have one.
  • Download and extract SmallFTP.
  • Run SmallFTP (no installation required).
  • Under SETTINGS -> GENERAL, change the port to 8080.
  • Under SETTINGS -> USERS. Hit ADD. Enter a login/password (for this document, use test/test).
  • Under Directories, click ADD. Under PHYSICAL PATH,
    enter c:\temp.
  • Under Permissions, hit ADD.
  • Under Permissions, make it
    read LRW, then hit OK.
  • Close out of settings.

  • Under SERVER, click SAVE SETTINGS.
  • Click the PLAY button. It should say FTP SERVER IS RUNNING. If there is an error, you’ll need to use a different port number.
On the DS Side:
  • Download NDS Backup Tool (Wifi).
  • Extract it.
  • Patch it for DLDI (if your flash cart requires it – we’ll assume you have an auto-patching cart like R4 or CycloDS)
  • Open the .ini file in a pure text editor (like Notepad)
  • Change the IP, User, Password, port to your IP, test, test and 8080, respectively. Save the file.
  • Copy the .nds and .ini file to the ROOT of your flash cart.

Performing the Backup

  • Make sure the FTP is started on your PC.
  • Plug your DS into wall power. Start up your DS, and run the Backup Tool on your DS.
  • If your setup is good, you will see it successfully connect to your FTP
    server and you’ll get a menu (in pretty bad Engrish). If not, go
    through the procedure above again.
  • You will be instructed to change your flash cart out for the game you want to dump. Put your game in, press A.
  • Hit R twice, and then hit B (and A to start dumping right after that). Your game will start dumping. THIS WILL TAKE A

Approximate Times:

4MB: 3.5 minutes
8MB: 7 minutes
16MB: 13.5 minutes
32MB: 27 minutes
64MB: 54.5 minutes
128MB: 1 hour 49 minutes

If you wish to backup the save area of the card to a SAV file, restart the
tool, hit B on the first screen. The sav file will dump (this only
takes a minute).

If you are having trouble, please note that the files must be in the ROOT of the Flash card, no exceptions!

NDS Backup Tool (Wifi)

If the files ever become unavailable, please contact me.

Copyright goes to Monroeworld for making this guide.