I've wanted to back up my old Pokémon saves for a long time and I finally decided to look around and what my options are. I ended up going with the GBxCart RW from InsideGadgets and it worked flawlessly. See the store page just below.

GBxCart RW (Gameboy/GBC/GBA Cart Reader, Writer & Flasher) – insideGadgets Shop

They're made in Australia and took hardly any time to get to New Zealand - fantastic. Oh and all the information here is outlined in their wiki: https://flashcartdb.com/index.php/GBxCart_RW_Manual

The Device

And here's a couple of shots of my one.

Backing up a Save

The store page has a Downloads area where you can pick up the program to talk to this board. As of writing this GUI v1.41 is the most up to date. I already had the C++ Redistributables installed and all I needed to do was install the driver which was a part of the download.

After all that, double click GBxCart_RW_v1.41.exe.

GBxCart RW console app

I'll be doing Zelda Oracle of Ages first. The steps to take are:

  1. Ensure game is in
  2. Plug board in via USB3
  3. Open software
  4. Select which mode, GB or GBA. As mine is a Game Boy Color game, GB it is.
  5. Click "Connect" and a green USB icon should appear.
Connected app

Now we can start to push buttons.

Read Cart Info is a good one to start with just to make sure the cart can be read successfully. When it isn't, something like this comes up:

Unsuccessful cart read

I had a couple of quick issues when backing up my collection

  1. A quick blow into the cartridge spray from a compressed air to clean the contacts
  2. Picking the right mode (GB vs GBA)

When all goes well, you get a nice little info dump of the cartridge.

Info dump for Zelda Oracle of Ages

Backing up the save is just as easy with the Backup Save button.

The real speed backing up a Game Boy game.

Done, now you can have your memories forever!

Backing Up a ROM

We'll switch over to a Game Boy Advance game, Pokémon FireRed, and do a dump of the ROM via the Read ROM button.

A riveting three minutes of backing up a Game Boy Advance ROM.

Just as easy. Now you can use both the save and the ROM and flash them into another cart or open in an emulator.

A Wistful Truth

One thing I feared was the cartridge batteries running out. Back in the day Game Boy games stored save game data in RAM powered by a coin cell battery. When the battery is gone, so are the saves. This sadly happened to my Pokémon Gold and Silver carts.

Goodbye my cool level 100, max PP-UP'd Aeroblast Lugia.

Other Reading

Thanks to this, I was able to check out my old Pokémon Squad and even wrote a little post about it:

Comparing My 2003 “Competitive” Pokémon Lineup to 2021 Standards
When you’re just over 10 years old and want to face friends in a link cableenabled Pokémon battle in Gen 3 Pokémon, you might go the same route I did: > What’s cool? I’m going to use that.So recently I re-found my old Pokémon games: 1. Gold and Silver 2. Sapphire 3. FireRed 4. Platinum 5. …