No save data? No sweat.

Heres a quick quide for those of you with Snes or megadrive carts that will no longer hold a save. The issue is that the EEPROM, RAMs slower but more robust cousin, requires a continuous charge to maintain your saved data. This charge is provided by a 'Coin' battery, specifically a CR2032.

Yes the totality of your saved game is stored by the great grandfather of the flash card in your phone and a good old reliable watch battery. So how do you go about swapping one of these badboys over? Its actually pretty simple, though you will need a special tool called a 'gamebit' to gain access to the inside of the carts. Thankfully these are cheap and plentiful on ebay and Id recommend buying both the 3.8mm and 4.5mm versions as a set as you can get a good deal on the pair and they'll prove invaluable for future retro repairs. Other than that you'll need a replacement battery and something very flat to lever the old battery out, like a very small flat head screwdriver or a craft blade. With those in hand follow these instructions and use the images as references:

  1. Use your 3.8mm gamebit to remove the screws from your cart.
  2. Carefully lift the board out of the carts casing.
  3. use your 'flat' tool to get in between the top contact and the battery. Then gently lever the two apart, theres no need to cut them apart as the connection is more like a staple then an adhesive. try not to damage the connection between the contact and the board, as this is where your new battery is going. Be extra careful if your using a blade. 
  4. Apply the same logic to the bottom contact, gently prying the old battery from its death grip. 
  5. Use a small piece of electrical tape to keep the battery held snugly between the two folded contacts. Remember to put the battery back in the right way up, which is usually with the flat side of the battery facing outwards.
  6. Place the board back in the housing, screw it back together and voila; IT LIVES AGAIN!

And thats really all there is to it. Hope this has been informative, please feel free to leave comments if it hasnt.

Accompanying images: 

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