Identifying your R4 clone and correct loader, or
Fixing the 'Loading...' or 'menu?' messages.
If you don't know how to get your R4 to work, or are stuck on a 'Loading...' screen (sometimes 'menu?', or an unhappy face, of a picture of a microSD card), read though this guide.
First a bit of background:
The original flashcard named 'R4' (or 'R4 DS') gained a lot of popularity and is known to the general public as 'the' card to play downloaded commercial games on.
Most likely due to this popularity, it's production was forcefully stopped, and support has subsequently stopped, and now all that's left is the huge pile of copycat, aka 'clone' R4 cards.
They have simply taken either just the R4 name or copied the whole cart, and slightly modified it (ie. changed the name to something equally generic, 'R4 New' for instance).
Each clone needs its own slightly modified loader, and you need the EXACT loader for your clone, otherwise you won't have much luck getting it working.
The problem is, all of these R4 clones look identical, have incredibly similar or exactly the same names, and as such it's tough to identify and use your particular clone.
Fortunately, for the most part it's quite easy to determine what your clone is:
- Find the box the card came in. This is the retail packaging (the generally green cardboard display box) and not your shipping carton, etc.
- Look on the box for a website. Most, if not all will have one. This is the thing to look for.
- Now, search through the category lists on my site, and find the category with that website in its title.
For example, if you find www.r4iiinew.com on your box, you want the loader from the category R4-III / R4 Upgrade (r4dsl.net, r4iiinew.com, r4iii.com, iii.phqy.net).
- From the category you've found, download the latest loader archive (which is generally at the top of the category), for the language you prefer.
To put the loader on the card, just follow the instructions in the Upgrade guide for the R4/Clones (back in the Tutorials category).
Also remember to always format your microSD card first, and make sure it uses the FAT32 filesystem.
If it still isn't working, or you can't find a website on the box: In these cases you must simply go through each and every R4 clone loader I have, and try them. If you find a working one, then that's your card.
If you still can't get it to work after you've tried every R4 clone loader, the only other thing I could recommend is to test out another microSD card. Failing that, I'd say your card is faulty, you should return it and get something else other than an R4.
Don't forget that all R4 clones are vastly inferior to any other current card, such as the AceKards, M3 Real, Supercard, CycloDS, etc.
If you still have questions after reading this guide, send me a message and I'll try to help.