Emulator Issues #8965

Preservation of SD Cards (Offline/Online)

Added by E2xD about 6 years ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

% Done:


Operating system:
Issue type:
Relates to usability:
Relates to performance:
Relates to maintainability:
Regression start:
Fixed in:


Game Name?

Brawl, Mario Kart Wii, ProjectM, Hombrew Apps

Game ID? (right click the game in the game list, properties, info tab)

RSBE01, RMCE01, (Currently RSBEF2), N/A

What's the problem? Describe what went wrong.

Overwriting of SD cards (during emulation) cause issues over periods of time when it comes to the stability/integrity of sd cards (both on console and on dolphin) for both offline, and online/netplay. When emulation starts, dolphin will continue to modify the SD card no matter the circumstance. Normally on a wii, you cannot have the sd card set to read only, but when you force a read only state in dolphin (as seen in build 4.0-7490) where the sd card does not become modified.

With 4.0-7490, they added the the functionality of blocking of modifying the sd cards on the netplay branch/window, but if the game were played offline, just once, the sd card becomes modified and will instantly desync when used for netplay.

Which versions of Dolphin did you test on? Does using an older version of Dolphin solve your issue? If yes, which versions of Dolphin used to work?

4.0-7490 and later

Is there any other relevant information? Screenshots? Logs? Fifologs?

I am proposing something of this magnitude:
A simple toggle that will allow a read only state on the sd card that covers both offline and online sd card states. This will prevent writing to the sd card during the emulation, preserving the sd card to its original state at the end of any emulation.

sd.rar (345 KB) sd.rar ryanebola16, 02/04/2019 11:02 PM
SDrawNOTidentical.PNG (78.6 KB) SDrawNOTidentical.PNG ryanebola16, 02/04/2019 11:02 PM

Related issues

Has duplicate Emulator - Emulator Issues #9021: Wii SD Card does not support read-only sd.rawDuplicate


#1 Updated by Helios about 6 years ago

Can you confirm that this isn't the game mods being stupid? It shouldn't be writing to SD if it's not doing anything.

#2 Updated by Helios about 6 years ago

So, this is happening because your mods are simply writing to SD. Change them so that they don't do that?

#3 Updated by Helios about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Questionable

#4 Updated by Lucario about 6 years ago

Disregard this issue report. We've (including E2xD) found the real culprit.

It's WinImage's fault.

#5 Updated by JosJuice about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from Questionable to Invalid

#6 Updated by JosJuice about 6 years ago

#7 Updated by JosJuice about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from Invalid to Questionable

Setting back to Questionable because a new issue report was made.

#8 Updated by ryanebola16 over 2 years ago


I finally got around to looking into this and there does seem to be an issue with writing to the SD card with mods. I'm not sure if this is the mod's, Dolphin's, or WinImage's issue though.

With Brawl, the File Patch Code (FPC, tested on Dolphin 5.0-9475 with FPC versions 3.5.1 and 3.5.1b) seems to write to the SD card when certain files are involved. I isolated one of those files (StrapEn.pac) and put it in the attached SD.raw files. StrapEn.pac contains a custom Wiimote strap screen. The only code included in the /codes folder is FPC 3.5.1b. If I remember correctly, Mario Kart Wii uses a very similar code for mods.

Steps to reproduce:
1. Extract sd.raw. Place one copy in the appropriate location for Dolphin and another copy elsewhere for comparison.
2. Enable the SD card in Dolphin if not enabled.
3. Set Brawl as your default ISO.
4. Launch Gecko OS or Minima Launcher and proceed to play Brawl until you see the custom strap screen.
5. Exit emulation.
6. Compare the copy of sd.raw to the one in the appropriate location and observe a difference between the two files. The timestamps are also different.

Oddly, when I try to extract and compare both the original and "modified" StrapEn.pac files, they are identical. I don't know if this is WinImage being weird. Regardless, something isn't right here. Let me know if you want me to make this a separate issue.

#9 Updated by ryanebola16 over 2 years ago

I tested this on a real Wii. The files from the attached SD.raw are identical after loading the strap screen with FPC enabled. Also, the WinImage StrapEn.pac extraction occurred after comparing the SD.raws in HxD. I suspect the difference in SD.raw is a Dolphin bug.

#10 Updated by ryanebola16 over 1 year ago

  • Status changed from Questionable to Fixed

I can't find the build of after merging but this has been implemented.

#11 Updated by JosJuice over 1 year ago

  • Fixed in set to 5.0-12090

There was a build failure. The PR was merged as, which has no builds available, but you can get an equivalent build by downloading

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