Easily preserve your GameCube memory cards on your computer

Back up your decade old data before its lost.

My Mad Catz memory card was one of the many pieces of history I lost due to mismanagement as a kid. I beat this card to the point where I must’ve turned the game off mid-save and caused massive corruption. This card had A LOT of my save files for the many 1st party Nintendo games I played as a kid.

Thankfully It didn’t have much in terms of custom content. And while it would be fun to see when I started certain games or how long I played each title, It’s not as bad as losing custom designs, characters, or player made levels like Tony Hawk’s video game skateparks.

What created this urgency and the need for me to digitize my save data, was to see if I could play Tony Hawk GameCube saves on my Dolphin emulator. I had a Black first-party Nintendo memory card that I exclusively filled up with custom levels I made as a kid. I also wanted to make sure I had everything backed up to play on more practical modern solutions like a PC. Old technology has been beginning to fail at rates that many have never considered.

How to easily back up a GameCube memory cards to your computer

The easiest process would be to use a Nintendo Wii that has a built in GameCube System. Later versions of the Wii stripped away GameCube support, and a good way to tell if you have the GameCube Wii version is if the top of the console has GameCube controller and memory card slots.

You’ll then have to mod your Nintendo Wii to have the Homebrew channel. Because of the “legality” of modding your Wii, I’ll expect that you know methods already to acquire the Homebrew channel. It’s relatively easy to download and install from YouTube tutorials as reference.

Below is the exact video that I used to create back ups of my Nintendo GameCube memory cards. Give this video a watch as it was what helped me easily convert my saves to PC. You’ll be using a homebrew program called GCMM (GameCube Memory Manager) on your Nintendo Wii.
GCMM Download

Important data warnings to consider

Buy A newer memory card to safely copy old data

Because everyone will have separate levels of tech skills, It’ll be important for those who are NOT the best at using internet programs to backup all their files to another memory card. This is to insure files don’t get removed or damaged. Above is a generic memory card that I bought back around 2017. This memory card was a card that I began to use as a copy of all my backups.

You can find the similar ones on Amazon.

How to easily backup GameCube saves to you computer

Using GCMM on Nintendo Wii

You will need to download GCMM and extract the content to your pc. Then put the wii file folder found within the file directory into your homebrew SD/USB’s app folder.

Load the GCMM application from your Homebrew channel.

Select the device that you’d like to back up your existing content to. I prefer to use the SD card slot.

Select which memory card you’ll be using. Slot A or B.

There are many options but for this tutorial we are looking to only back up the content today. Press the (-) button to begin backup.

You can individually back up files with the A button, but I recommend using the (1) button to backup ALL save files.

The program will prompt you that the process was completed, and you can safely shut off your Wii.

Insert your SD card into your PC. If executed correctly, you’ll see a folder labeled MCBACKUP. This folder will have all your save files saved as .gci files. Perfect for the Dolphin emulator.

How to use your GameCube saves on Dolphin Emulator

Load Dolphin and head over to the config menu.

Select the GameCube drop down menu and under device settings, set slot A to a GCI folder. Then all you have to do is link to your folder with your save files. Dolphin will only read memory card folders if they’re labeled by the specific region. Because I’m from America, my folder was named USA.

United States/NTSC – USA
Europe – EUR
Japan – JPN

My Skate parks were saved 🙂

This was a relatively easy process to achieve. It took no more than 2 hours, and now I get to play my old parks at higher resolutions. I love being able to share what would be considered “lost to time” content as this was a part of my childhood. I spent countless hours creating these parks, all the more reason for me to need to back up the hard work.

If you want to play my levels, I made a Google Drive folder.

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