NDS R4 Step by Step Guide

Before you can use your R4 card for the first time, please follow our simple step-by-step guide to set up the MicroSD memory card.

1. Download Drivers
Download this ZIP compressed folder to your local computer. It contains the menu files for the R4 card. Menu files from the DSTT/M3 will not work with the DSTT.

Download R4 StartUp Pack(5.2MB)

2. Open Download
Open the compressed folder and save the files on your computer or to the desktop. The download contains two folder (“_system_” & “moonshl”) and two files (“_DS_MENU.DAT” & “_DS_MSHL.NDS”).

3. Plug in MicroSD Card
Using the black USB card reader or the SanDisk Transflash Card reader, connect the MicroSD card to your computer. The memory card will show as an external hard drive (i.e. “F:”). You may skip Step 4 if the SanDisk MicroSD is bought in Singapore.

4. Format MicroSD Card
This step is important, please make sure you follow the instructions closely. After Windows has added the card as a new drive, open the “My Computer” window and right click on the new removable drive. Then select “Format” from the menu. In the format window select FAT32 as file system and press OK to format the card.

All content on the MicroSD card is now deleted and the card is ready for the use with the DSTT. If you have important data on the MicroSD card make sure you save the data somewhere else (i.e. your local hard drive) before you complete this step.

4. Copy menu to MicroSD card
Copy / drag-and-drop the four items previously unzipped to the newly formatted MicroSD card.

5. Add Media to MicroSD card
Copy your media directly onto the MicroSD card. This completes the setup process. You can now insert the MicroSD card into your R4 card and start using it with your Nintendo DS / DS Lite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common problems / mistakes being made when using the DSTT cards.

1. My card is not recognised when I insert it into my DS
Make sure you have completeted the steps above and inserted a MicroSD memory card correctly into the R4 card. Sometimes the contacts on your Nintendo DS / DS Lite get a bit dusty over time, it often helps to carefully blow into the Slot-1 of your Nintendo DS and re-insert your R4 card.

2. My DS / DS Lite displays “No Card?” or “MENU?”
You either have not inserted a MicroSD memory card into your R4 card, or you have not copied the menu files onto your MicroSD memory card. Please complete the steps above to ensure your memory card is ready to be used with the DS / DS Lite.

3. My DS / DS Lite freezes when loading games
This problem most commonly occurs if the MicroSD card is not formatted in FAT32 mode, or you are using old menu drivers. Please try the three steps below (in this order) to resolve the problem.

(1) Download latest menu files
Download the ZIP-file above, unpack and copy the content to your MicroSD card. Ensure that you overwrite the previous menu files. This will not affect your media / save games.

(2) Ensure there is enough free space on your MicroSD memory card
As a rule of thumb you should leave 25% of the total MicroSD card’s capacity free. Also do not put more than 50 media files on a MicroSD card. 

(3) Re-Format MicroSD card
Copy only your media (.nds) and save games (.sav) to a local hard drive and follow the steps above to reset your MicroSD card. Once finished, copy the media and save games back to the MicroSD card.

(4) Do not use “foreign” savegames (.sav files)
Please do not use savegame files that have been created with another flash card i.e. DSTT or M3 card. Due to version conflicts and technical differences this can in some circumstances lead to lockups and freezes.

4. My MicroSD card works in my DSTT/M3, but not in the R4
Please be aware that you CANNOT use the same MicroSD memory card for different flash cards. To make sure your DSTT card runs fine please follow the steps above and ONLY use the MicroSD card with your DSTT. Copying media and save games created with R4/M3 to your DSTT can also cause problems.

5. Loading problem shown on Nintendo DS
Please ensure that you do not use SDHC memory card. Most of the 4GB and above card are SDHC memory card with the SDHC logo on it. Use a 1GB or 2GB card and it will resolved your problem.

More information is provided on the manufacturers home page at R4DS home page.

If you require any further assistance please contact us by clicking here. We receive very high volumes of technical questions, so answers can take up to five working days.

86 thoughts on “NDS R4 Step by Step Guide”

  1. completed the above steps many thx forgot to format to fat32 so that helped BUT still get Loading… on DS lite when i put the R4 in any clues?

  2. Hi, I have an R4 card for my dslite and have bought three for my grandchildren, I put my sd card in the new R4 card and put it in the ds, but all it comes up with is “loading”, can u help please.

  3. I have a question, I’ve followed every step in your guide and I still can’t get passed the “loading…” screen. I even tried it with a 2GB card and a 4 GB card but it wouldn’t work. I formatted both cards but nothing is helping. Please help me

  4. If it helps explain why they don’t work, my cards have “new” and 111 (looks like roman numerals three ones) I can’t get and answer from the company I bought them from yet, I have tried formating the sd card but and starting again but still nothing “loading” is all that comes up

  5. It is happen to many gamers who have bought the R4 card. You must not use a SDHC memory card. A 1 OR 2 GB CARD WILL BE OK. Your R4 maybe faulty if u try everything listed here and on the web. Get a DSTT,iTouch or M3 next time.
    Check with the company that sells you whether they allow refund or change other brand of flash card for you.

  6. The card is a new revolution 111 card R4, we have tried everything, I bought three cards and they all just come up with “loading” my grandchildren are really disapointed and the company that sold them are not answering my emails

  7. It is a common problem associated with R4 and I recommend you get a DSTT. Many company has try to get rid of the R4 stocks and do not reply email to customers who bought it. Pls ensure u use a 1GB or 2GB micro SD card for the R4 card.

  8. I bought a r4 pack with a 2gb micro sd card. I’ve tried different firmware and formatting the disk as fat32, but i still can’t get pass the “loading-screen”. What can i do to fix this?

  9. hi, ive got an r4, it works perfectly and playes games/music/videos fine aswell. the strange thing is that wen i first got it, i set it up on my dads profile on the house computer and my mate gave me some roms etc to get me started and that was fine. then i set up a new profile on the computer were i could store all my data and now, for some unknown reason, every time i conect the micro sd card reader to the computer (with the sd card in obv.) the window pops up with all the data on it and then 3 seconds later it freezes and i have to log of the profile…
    any help?

  10. Hi! i hav a r4 and when i try to play a game, it says that the files r not alowed to operate. what can i do? Do u put it in a specific file or something?I am using a MicroSD card btw.

  11. The game file must have .nds file extension. Most of the game u download are in zip version, you must unzip before putting it on your Micro SD card. So the final game file will be XXXXXXXX.nds where XXXXXXXX is the file name.

  12. I am far from expert but was having same problem. was trying to load the mentioned folders and files on but didn’t realise they had to be unzipped. i had to download software (got trial free) before i could do that though. hope this might help.

  13. I have an R4 and it works fine except doesn’t show all my games on the card. Onlt about half but when i put it back into my PC it does show them all on the card. Secondly do these games save your progress? It shows a bunch of save files in my memeeory card but it always starts me off at begining each time i play.

  14. Hi, I’m Dutch and I’m 12 years old, so don’t look at my (bad) English.
    I’ve buyed an R4 and when I’m starting it up on my NDS (non Lite) I’m getting the loading screen. I have got a SDHC card but at the internet-shop where I’ve buyed it, they’ve said the R4 can read it.
    What’s the problem?

  15. Please take note that your games must have the extension of .nds in order to show on your card.
    The game save progress but depending on game. You must actually have save the game at some point using the menu or prompt by the game to save. Certain games only perform a save when u complete a certain task or chapter. If not, the save point will always be the starting of the game.

  16. R4 do not read SDHC card but u need to use non SDHC card like 1GB or 2GB Card. If yours is original R4 then the guide here is correct. U try it on a non SDHC Card and see whether it works. Europe has also sold some fake R4(different manufacturer) which allowed SDHC Card to be used.

  17. ok i have a problem, i was loading a movie onto the sd card to put onto my ps3, when the movie was loading onto it, everything froze, i restarted my computer, when i put the reader back in, it says there is no card, when clearly i know its in there…any help would be appreciated

  18. The “loading” screen problem happens when the wrong software is loaded onto the card. I searched youtube and found that there is different software for the white cart and the black cart.

  19. The original one is the black card. But there are many fake R4 card out there especially in Europe.
    R4 Black Card in Asia is original and therefore most buyers do not get the loading problem. It is really not easy to identify real or fake unless you see the PCB Board.

  20. i am buying my r4 and micro sd card from the internet, and I just had to ask is a micro sd card an SDHC card?

  21. Micro SD got SDHC and Non-SDHC. Generally 1GB or 2GB are Non-SDHC and those 4GB and above are SDHC. A SDHC logo will be on the package.

  22. I got an R4 Upgrade Revolution for DS (NDSL/NDS)www.R4I-SDHC.com <- thats what it says on the front of the card. I have a 2GB micro SD. It just comes up with menu, so I'm guessing I shouldn't use the R4? What card am I supposed to use?

  23. You bought this R4 card for the purpose of playing download DS Games.Put the kernel onto your Micro SD Card and then place the download DS Games on your Micro SD Card and u are really to go.

  24. I know you keep saying you need a non SDHC card however, I have a normal SD card and it was working fine for ages and now it just refuses to work. I bought a new one, also doesnt work. Just comes up with this loading screen on both cards now. Highly annoying.

  25. If this is the case, one possibilities is your R4 may be damage. You may want to try your SD Card on your friends R4 Card to see whether it is the R4 damage.

  26. Hiya, Please help !
    I purchased an r4 card for the DS in june and have managed to get that one working perfectly. I have now purchased two more from the same company, and uploaded the same software onto them, however on the 2 new ones i just keep getting the Loading Screen.. The cards all look identical. If i take the New Micro Sd card and put it in the old R4 card it works fine! Do i have Faulty Cards?

  27. You may either have faulty card or the R4 Card u have is not original but fake ones. Since it is the same firmware, most likely it meant the R4 u buy is most probably faulty. Exchange the R4 Card.

  28. hi
    i follow all steps but still it is showing “menu?”
    and what do u mean by media?
    and secondly how can we cheak that our card is SD or SDHC?
    please reply me

  29. There are a few company using the R4i brand just like the one u share so we must know which one the user is using. The real R4i is made by the R4Ultra which is the original R4 company.
    So many real and fake R4 company out on the DS Flash Company.

  30. Hello!
    I bought a R4 card a years ago. I was find and worked great. Last week my brother used it. I have no idea what he do to it? I can’t open any file, and I try to format my 2gb sd card and reload all my game. The NDS screen said it missing data. What can I do???????
    Help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Ive bought an r4 card for ds but its not r4 II or II it just says r4. I got a 4gb sdhc card with it. copied the files above and keep coming up with “menu?”. I tried a 1gb non sdhc card and still the same. whats going on? I followed the instructions exactly, formatted fat32, copied the 4 items over but i havnt put any media on yet also i dont know where to copy media to (as in which folder). HEEELP!

  32. I not understand what u mean keep coming up with Menu. Have u manage to enter the Main Menu screen after loading the firmware. You need to put some media like games to test it out.
    You can put the games anywhere or create a folder call Games and put all the .nds games inside it.

  33. iv done all the steps but i still cant get the r4 working. I have formatted and every thing yet stil it is showing
    ? MENU
    can someone help me please i have had the r4 for 3 months and evryday i try to make it work but it doesnt.
    what is the best solution for this???

  34. Can u send me the pic of the ?Menu so that I can assist you further.
    You must use the right firmware for your R4 as many of our subscribers has use the wrong one or load the wrong firmware.

  35. hey, i’ve got a r4 card, with a 4gb sd card, it worked fine, but now, from one on another day it doesn’t work anymore, it just only shows LOADING…, what to do, i tried everything, i’m not stupid if you think :S

  36. You need to go to the flash card website to load the appropriate firmware on your sd card. Since yours is a R4 SDHC, it will be different from the R4 available here.

  37. hay i just bought a r4i gold 4my dsi i have done all the steps to get it to work but when i put it in my dsi it just pops up as star wars and then gos all wight what am i doing wroung please help me email me at jiggyhardacre@yahoo.com or call or txt me 831 212 2719 my names josh please help 3/22/2001

  38. i need help my r4 is stuk on the loading screan i have tryed everthing i have deleted and download and gut the lases v for r4 revoluion and it still no work iv done eveything omfg plz help me

  39. ive got a Kingston 2Gig micro Sd card, the data in this blog isn’t getting me past the loading screen, is there another download for this?
    Yours, Kees v/d Sluis from the Netherlands

  40. You need to have the R4 Revolution firmware and not from the one here which is the earliest R4. U got the firmware for R4 Revolution and u using a non SDHC SD Card?

  41. I got an r4 neo and cannot get past the loading screen i fomater to fat 32 and followed the directions. by chance is the r4 neo a fake

  42. i downloaded the starter pack from another side when i access it from winrar there is a file called _DS_MENU.DAT but when i extract it the DAT is not there anymore is that why my ds keep coming up with a file with a annoyed face on it and Menu? at the bottom?

  43. I have an r4 with games already installed but im not sure how to use it on my computer without deleting all the games! I’m really untechy and i don’t want to screw up the r4. Help!

  44. i have a black r4 revolution for ds card and a 2gb micro sd card to go in it. ive been using it for a few years now and recently downloaded a new game but it wouldnt play. i was told i needed to update to wood v1.19.. which i did and now all i get is a loading screen! ive formated the card and followed all your steps but still…just a loading screen! im getting very frushstrated. could you please tell me what im doing wrong. im not a computer genius either and my knowledge is limited so please be gentil!

  45. It only affected the current game that you are playing as it needs a new update. But does not affect your old games.
    May I know what new game that you wouldn’t play on the DS?

  46. SO I followed all the steps. I have a Nintendo DS lite, and R4 Revolution for DS(NDSL/NDS) with a SanDisk 2GB micro SD card. I put a couple .nds games on & I’m just getting a white screen. I ordered 2 of these $
    R4 cards with 2 of the memory cards for my twin boys. From HK and I really don’t want to have to return them. Can someone please help me out on getting the games to work. Thank-you!

  47. I just bought a R4 SDHC card, loaded the newest version kernal (1.34) onto a SanDisk 2GB microSD card and then put that into the R4 and then into my DS Lite. The Health and Safety screen comes up and nothing ever loads. So, when I touch the screen to go to the DS’s main menu the R4 card shows up as Star Wars Lethal Alliance for some reason. If I touch that it goes to a blank bottom screen and a white top screen. What will fix this?

  48. Okay, I had the wrong version for my card. I downloaded the right one this time. It still shows up as Star Wars, but now when I click on it it comes up with a blank bottom screen and the top screen is white with a red folder on it that says “Menu?” What do I do?

  49. I’ve completed the steps above but when I turn it on, the bottom screen is left blank and the top screen is white with a red question mark and the word ‘menu’ in red underneath. What should I do now?

  50. I have an R4 card and when i play on pokemon ranger shadows of almia when im at a certain bit it always crashes and it does’nt do that with any other game what should i do???

  51. hi i have a nds r4i card was working fine untill i downloaded games now wenever i go into a game it says that it cant find save file and to reses the system what can i do

  52. Hey Ive just got my R4 card, the latest one, Ive done all that you have said, reformatting it and so on but when I put my games/media onto the SD card (which is a Micro SD 8GB) for some reason, I can use it it perfectly, but I can’t find my games at all! Only the one thing that appears to be on it. Please help me.

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