NDS – Unable to load data (Solution) – How to update R4 kernel

Recently, i downloaded a lot of latest NDS games from internet and hit the following error while starting the game.

“Unable to load data. Turn the power off and reinsert the game card”

This is because my NDS R4 kernal is outdated(v1.08), can not support the latest game. After updated R4 kernel to latest version(v1.18), everything is working fine now.

Update R4 kernel manually is just a piece of cake, see following guidelines to update the R4 kernel :

1) Take out your R4 card (small card) from NDS.

2) Plug your R4 card into USB pen drive which support micro SD, (USB pen drive that you used to copy game). Your R4 file content should like this :


3) Go here http://www.r4ds.me/download/r4ds.html to download the latest R4kernal.

4) R4 Kernal file is something like “English-1.18.rar”, you need “winrar” to unzip it. please go http://www.rarsoft.com/download.htm
to download if you do not have winrar installed in your computer.

5) Unzip it, the _DS_MENU.DAT and _DS_MSHL.NDS are core files for R4 kernel. 


6) Copy all the unzip kernel files above to your R4 card and REPLACE IT ALL. (Please remember backup , just in case).

7) Unplug your USB pen drive and reinsert your R4 card, enjoy your game.


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Founder of Mkyong.com and HostingCompass.com, love Java and open source stuff. Follow him on Twitter, or befriend him on Facebook or Google Plus. If you like my tutorials, consider make a donation to these charities.


  • chris

    I have used r4 for a while no problems till now .. copied 3 games from another card ,on the computer they are there but on ds not on list of games can any one tell me why

  • Fabian

    Howe Can I change the Firmwares that all Saved files are
    saved there .
    How I can change the firmwares??
    Sry for my bad englisch.

    If someone is from Germany:

    Wie kann ich die Firmwares wechseln ,dass die gespeicherten
    Daten auch noch bei der anderen Firmware gespeichert sind
    bzw. bleiben???
    Wie wechsle ich eigentlich die Firmwares ????

  • Fabian

    I forgot 3 other questions:

    1.Can I use always the new Firmwares in the Future
    on my R4 Revolution if they work ????
    2. Does new Games like Mario and sonic at the Olympic Wintergames work withe the R4 SDHC firmware 1.25 ??
    3. Does the game GTA Chinatown Wars work withe the
    R4 SDHC Firmware 1.25 ???

    I will thank you for all answers!

  • Fabian

    I forgot to write : Does the Firmware from the R4 SDHC (1.25) work on the normal R4 Revolution ???

  • Fabian

    Does the Firmware(1.25 ) work on the normal R4 Revolution???
    Because with the Normal Firmware ( 1,18) I can not play new
    games like Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Wintergames
    and C.O.P. The Recruit they doesn” t work with the Firmware 1.18 from the R4 Revolution.

    Pls help me with this Problem

    P.S. Sry for my bad English because I am from Germany
    and I have a R4 Revolution

  • Barry

    Hi everyone.

    I bought 2 x R4 Upgrade SDHC cards (Christmas Edition) with 2gb MSD for my kids. The place I bought it from had software (latest) on its site for me to d.load (memorycardzoo).

    I did this and loaded it changed format to FAT32 & put games on. All games work fine except they do not save. When I check by putting card into my PC I can see that each game has a .SAV file in the ‘Games’ folder. Why could this be?

  • Jamie

    I have the 1.18 version and it still doesn’t work! My DS still says “An error has occurred.” etc. Can you help me with this?! I was also wondering if the .sys and .sav files would help…

  • vanessa

    I’m a different vanessa

  • vanessa

    help! I did all the things above but the same thing happens it
    says: “an error has occurred.Press and hold the power button
    to turn the system off. ” the version of my dsi is 1.4u HELP!!

  • harry

    I bot a 2 GB memory card from JB with 10 games loaded.
    I cannot play. it show ” Menu? ” on DS screen.
    it can play when i transfer the game to another memory card.
    how to solve??

    • jack

      do what i said up top

    • Dreamweaver

      Sounds like you don’t have the moonshell program on, or it’s corrupt. Make sure that you go to an R4 site and download the latest one. Unzip the files and drag and drop all 4 onto the card before loading the games. If the games are on, create a separate games folder and drag them in there so they are always separate.

  • http://WWW.LILMISSY125.COM vanessa

    commone it never works it just says menu


    Finally i can play Platinum!THANKS!

  • Kirs

    Hey, Can you help me pleaz?
    I’ve updated it to v.1.18 first and then to v.1.17
    and it still doesn’t work..
    its very strange, because it works very well by a friend, and its the same file. (gardening mama, cooking mama 3 chop&shop :))
    I did it exactly like its written above, strange.
    Any idea what to do?

  • i.own.a.ds

    omg yays :D thanks!
    pokemon platinum..scribblenauts..here i come ^^

  • http://r4card.org/r4igoldcard.html R4i Gold

    The R4i gold version supports the newly released V1.4 firmware.

  • plops

    I followed the procedures correctly but when I turn it on, it stops at “Loading”. Am I doing something wrong or anything?

  • azarun

    same problem happenz i have new version still dont woork AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAArgh

  • cao

    i need help anyone.can someone help me i ve downloaded some games and when i try to play it it only says turn off the power reinsert the card what should i do i have the 1.19 ver of the kenel but it still doesnt work i even tried to do what the instruction says

    pls help

  • Syafik

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! it is actually working!!!!!! now i can play my Mario&Luigi – Bowsers Inside Story!! THANKS A LOT!!

  • Omarow

    What should I do now!?
    I just update my Nintendo DS Lite through Internet … then my DS card not working anymore ???? any help please …

    I got the message when I click on R4 to play my downloaded games:

    “An error has occurred. Press and hold Power Button to turn the system off….”

    Please help me any solution to downgrade to past system?

  • Avinash

    i did everything u told me too, but when i on my DS something chinese pops up

  • Luis

    Man i very very thank you!

    Without this I Shouldn´t play my favorites games like pokemon platinum…

    God may bless you

  • Lee
  • logie

    HELP… HELP… HELP… I just updated firmware of nds to 1.4u can anyone help me how to load the games from my R4i flash it says that i need to restart and read the manual.

    I visited the http://www.r4i-sdhc.com/
    NOW THEY HAVE THE NOTICE OF : All the DSi flash card just can work on DSi ver1.3 or under version in currently !( DSi has blocked the ability of flash carts to currently run on DSi consoles when it upgrade to Ver1.4. Pls be careful before to upgrade the DSi to ver 1.4)

    please anyone email me here [email protected]

  • http://r4card.org R4 Card

    Thank you for the help I am sure you have helped many people!

  • Kee kee

    My R4 card came from Hong Kong what new kernel should I download. Only options are english korean and french

    • popop

      hi , heh i bought mine in HK too & i experienced the same problem but it can be solved! see at the top of the page it has 2 options , english and chinese , just click on the chinese otion and download the chinese file and it then works well it did for me .hope i helped!! ^^

  • Seiya

    I followed all the instructions and I was just wondering (looking on here it seems that way, but just wondering if someone had a hard answer) if some games regardless of R4 updates wont work. I’m trying to get GTA:China Town Wars and the new Sonic game to play but I get that error that tells something about the save data and turn off my DS.

  • dude guy

    how do u add cheats to this??????
    and in what folder……i need instructions

  • an

    nevermind, i figured it out… lol… thanks for your website!

    • maverick

      how did u fix it? pls tell me

    • 54321`

      how to fix it plssss help ?

  • an

    hi mkyong, i updated my r4 with the kernel v 1.18 because it couldn’t load new games. but after i updated, chinese characters popped up when i opened my ds (i think it said that it wasn’t compatible or something). i don’t know why that is. is it because the kernel doesn’t match with my r4? thanks for your help!

  • sashh

    HELP, HELP!. I can’t play what’s cooking with jamie oliver on my DS. I updated the kernel to v 1.18 but when I switch my DS on, it says somethingy in chinese which I can’t read cause I bought it in Hongkong xD but nevermind that. about the game, whenever I try or want to play it, it tells me that the saved data cannot be read and please reinsert your DS card. What do I do?.


    ok well my ds isnt working. It was working fine, I hadnt put any new games on or anything. I even downloaded the new kernel (v1.18) and its still not working. Please make it work, I’ve tried everything, should I delete the latests games I have, or have I taken up too much room on it (I have an 8 gig and only 70 something games and I have under 1 gig left).

    Please tell me what I can do.

    • lackers

      You have an 8 gb mem you should be getting an aver of 160 games on atleast??

  • meredith

    none of the solution is working for me. i have v.18 installed. enchanted folk and then school of wizardy ds thats not working all other games I have are fine just that one.? I have tried 3 different sites. it still says it.

  • http://www.r4-ds-karte.de/ r4 ds

    Some error is showing while downloading….Can you fill me in more?

    • mkyong

      may i know the error message?

  • Matt

    I updated the stuff but when I open the game that didn’t work IT STILL DOESN’T WORK!!!!! Can you make a kernel thing for June 2009? It would REALLY help me.

  • Cherikko

    Thanks ALOT!!! I have been trying to fix my R4, but it just won’t work!
    Thanks again!

  • Nat

    Hi i followed your instruction…
    i downloaded http://www.r4ds.cn/download/r4_v1.18_kernel.html
    and now when i turn my nds on…its just the screen of…nothing…what did i do wrong..

  • jaye

    hey, i got mr r4 overseas in china and i needed to update since but i tired putting a english update of firmware and it says it can’t read on the ds in chinese :(:(
    wat should i do ?

  • CooLkool

    hi, I got my R4 like 2 weeks ago and I still cant get it to work.
    Thinking of getting another one but just before that I was hoping that maybe someone could point out sumthing really simple and save the day for me.
    -1stly I tried other r4s with my nds so it shouldn’t be the machine.
    I also tried my 2gigkingston memory card with a different R4 and it worked.
    so I nailed it down to my R4. I figured that it must be the firmware.
    I tried kernel 1.18, 1.17 1.16 in all languages – doesnt work!
    I even tried the ones for N5, SDHC…

    Any other kind of extra hints would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers mate!

  • http://www.eatmeifyoucan.blogspot.com M&M

    Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! You just save my life! You see, I can’t live without my DS eversince my PS is gone… Sobz… I love you man!

  • Silviwi

    Games such as Age of Mythology can’t be played, not even with the update. It says unable to read data and so on, it’s annoying :(

    Also happened with the latest magician’s quest.

    CC: Echoes of time crashes during fights…!

    Is there any solution?

    • Avinash

      you need the latest version of the kernel, now i think it is 1.25 kernel download

  • jesper

    mn r4 werkt nu nier meer :O

  • tomo

    hello. i have a quite a problem. i lost my DS and i don’t have a r4. what should i do then?

  • oliver sayers

    ive got an r4 did everything and i have the new kernal and its always worked fin but it just shows loading now any help

  • pat

    I got the new kernel and it works and I had a game already downloaded (Metal Slug 7) But whenever I try to play, it says the same thing it said before: Save data could not be loaded. Please switch off the power and reinsert the Game Card.HELP!!!!!!!!!

  • pat

    do you have to replace the games to?

  • Kenny

    Just bought a R4 SDHC Upgrade and downloaded latest software kernel. when I switch my DS on i get a red rectangle with top left corner cut off. Insised is a red ? and ‘menu’ underneath. Any help would be most appreciated.

  • Alexis

    I have updated to v1.18
    i downloaded the game enchanted folk and the school of wizardry
    but its say that the game can be loaded please reinsert it again

  • Nicola

    This was great help :)
    Thankyou so much!
    I’m now enjoying all of my new games :D

    Thankyou again! z

  • rosie

    Please Help my R4 is stuck on the loading page and wont move i have updated all the software but it wount move. what shal i do?