GP32 always rebooting or freezing

Dg789

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Joined
Mar 6, 2019
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2
Hello

Every time I start any game or emu, after a few seconds my GP32 randomly reboots or freezes.

( Actually it started acting up like this almost ten years ago and I stopped using it. Lately I was considering putting a raspberry pi inside this case. But it would be a big shame to kill such a rare console, so I decided to fix it instead. )

I think the problem comes from its card slot, because sometimes it says that there is no card. Sometimes it even corrupts the SMC card and I have to format it. My two SMC cards seem to still work perfectly in my usb card reader though.
Besides, it seems to only happen during reading or writing. The very few times it got to finish loading a game without rebooting or freezing, I was able to play. Two times it freezed during game too though, maybe it was streaming from the card, or maybe I am wrong and the card slot is not at fault.

In case it was a format problem, I formated both of them in the GP32 itself, using PC-Link and Orion's smc_format.bat. But it did not change anything.

I opened the console. The few slot connexions I can see look perfectly clean.
I did try to clean it anyway, by putting a drop of alcool on a card and inserting/removing it several times. But it did not change anything.

I did not get to unsolder the metal shield covering the slot. I wanted to look for a twisted part.

Of course I tried with different batteries, for I remember that weak batteries, even when full, could cause such behavior. I did not try with a power adaptor for I do not have such tiny plug, and I do not have any useless 3v power adapter I could cut the wires of.


What do you think ? Does it sound like a card slot issue to you ? Any other idea ?
 

TeDaDeS

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Dg789

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Mar 6, 2019
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Thanks, but their problem is different. Their consoles don't boot up at all. Mine has no problem turning on and booting the firmware, it only has problem seeing the card and running programs from it.
 

levi

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Hmm, I wouldn't advise unsoldering the MMC card cage; (a) it's a massive heat sink, so hard to unsolder and (b) it's basically part of the card slot so I'm not sure what would come with it. I assume you can get test probes at its contacts though, so checking them out versus test points further along might be a workable solution; I've never had a GP32 personallly, so I can't be sure about this.

I'm not currently sure how you could make an arm core crash by dodgy SD contacts, short of a basic power supply issue. You say you've tried new batteries though, so at the end of the day I tend to feel that if you can fit an rPI or something inside then that would be a fitting ending for the plastics.
 
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