Help needed: fixing an old SNES PowerPak

Started by Yukima, March 24, 2024, 11:44:00 am

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Hello! I'm an old member of this forum from several years ago, and revived my account to ask a few questions...  :help:

I have a SNES PowerPak that I bought roughly 15 years ago (yikes) that I accidentally bricked while trying to a firmware update that failed, and it no longer boots up. I did some research, and according to this forum post it looks like it can be fixed by removing the boot ROM chip (if socketed) and reflashing it with the updated firmware. I opened up the cart shell and looking at the PCB, it looks like the boot ROM chip is socketed?

Is there anyone here who has the equipment needed to reflash the firmware onto this flash cart and get it working again? Alternatively, can anyone point me to where I can get the equipment needed to do this myself? I admit, I have no experience with programming and other similar stuff, so if that knowledge is required, I'm hopeless.  :-[

Of course, the best solution would be to just get another SNES flashcart. I bought an original Super EverDrive some years ago to replace the PowerPak, but it can't play any enhancement chip games. The PowerPak could play DSP1 games, at least. If it turns out I can't get the PowerPak fixed, I'll probably just save up to get an FXPak Pro. I wanted to at least try to get the PowerPak fixed first!

Sorry for the rambling, and thanks in advance!


Yeah that 39SF010A flash-ROM chip is indeed socketed so you just need some way to reprogram it with the right boot-ROM.
Nowadays most people gets the TL866 II Plus (I have it too) as it is very cheap yet pretty good Chinese universal programmer that can program many different EPROM, EEPROM and flash-ROM chips. I'm not sure if it can program a 39SF010A though so you may want to investigate it, and you would at the very least need an adapter since your chip is in a surface-mount package instead of DIL. In the past I have done more hacky ways to reprogram chips, like attaching clips to the legs and into a breadboard from which I used jumper wires to the programmer. It worked but I also had all those things lying around already so I didn't have to buy them. If not an adapter may be cheaper. Also I think the TL866 II Plus may come with a bunch of adapters depending on where you buy it, there might even be a newer and better version of it now.

I heard the Super Powerpak leaves a lot to be desired compared to Super Everdrive and SD2SNES/FXPak, but that one seems to have a real DSP1 donate chip so it would be a waste to not repair it.
I thought the Super Everdrive also at least supported the DSP1 though, I guess it depends on the version of it you got.
I have the old SD2SNES and it's great so I guess the newer FXPak is probably at least as good. It supports almost all SFC co-processors by now.


Thanks for the detailed reply! I'll look into the TL866 II Plus. I found this kit on Amazon, which looks like it has the correct adapter for the ROM chip. I found a video showing how to use a USB programmer, so I think I'll be fine if I get this kit and try reprogramming the ROM chip myself.


March 29, 2024, 03:30:58 pm #3 Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 03:46:35 pm by P
Yeah it looks like it comes with a similar 32-pin adapter on the pictures at least and it says 10 adapters. I also got a bunch of those adapters and that exact same pair of chip tweezers which is actually quite useful for pulling out socketed chips, so it's pretty good value for the money.
The package type for your chip seems to be called 32-lead PLCC according to the data sheet so that may be something to look after to make sure.

I've seen that there is a newer version of the programmer which is black (called XGecu T48 or something) and has support for more chips and voltages. I'm a little confused though because the first picture on that Amazon page shows the white programmer that I have and further down there are more pictures with a black one.

Here is a long thread with info and reviews of the programmer.