I have a very old SNES and a Donkey Kong Country 3 game. The last few times I played it, it seemed to randomly lose save games. People told me it was battery. Fine, I study electronics, I can fix that.

So I put in a battery holder and a new battery; all secured nice and tight. I played it for a few nights with no problems.

This morning, I took my SNES downstairs with the game in it. I plugged it in, and woop, the save game was gone.

Does anyone have any clue why this game keeps losing its save game?

I am not able to replicate this on purpose by doing the following:

  1. Wiggle the console while the game is in it. (like I would walk with it.)
  2. Shake the cartridge heavily in all directions (to make sure it is not the battery being faulty or disconnecting.)
  3. Plug in the power after no power for at least a few minutes.

Any advice is appreciated.

  • Does the game lose the save only when the console itself is turned off? In another words, is it just the cartridges fault? Next, what is the current voltage of the battery inside the cartridge? Probably pointless since it should be new, but it never hurts to try.
    – Humungus
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 6:58
  • 1
    (also, "current voltage" sounds incredibly weird)
    – Humungus
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 7:00
  • The Voltage on the battery turns out to be 3,38V DC, so that seems to be just fine if not overkill. Also, i am not sure when the savegame erase happens ,but i always do the same thing with this game because of it's past. put game in, power console, play, save game, power off, eject game (i never let it stick in there either) Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 7:44
  • Okay, battery seems fine (but that 0.38V higher voltage is weird). And with your handling, the save delete probably does happen somewhere inside the cartridge, since the console doesn't have much chance to interfere, except when saving. Is this the only cartridge you have this happens with? A bit of a longshot test, but could you try saving, powering off, powering back on and verifying the save is there?
    – Humungus
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 7:59
  • 3
    @Deruijter Did you read the question? Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 22:51

4 Answers 4


Let's sum up what we got. Possible reasons:

  1. Battery fault.
  2. SNES fault (for some reason erases saves randomly).
  3. Cartridge fault (memory chip corruption).

So that's that you can do:

  1. Be sure you replaced battery nice and correctly.
  2. Try other games, and see if their saves are not lost.
  3. Try cartridge on some other SNES console and see if it fails there.
  • 1 and 2 are taken care of, other games do not show the same problems. And i have no other SNES console to test this out on. So i am kind of inconclusive, but it might be a bad cartridge? Commented Jul 21, 2013 at 18:12
  • Certainly, given all the previous tests, I personally would suppose high probability of cartridge failure.
    – pabdulin
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 2:47

Try the capacitor next to the battery on the cartridge circuit board - I just replaced the battery in a SNES game and noticed there were dry joints on both capacitor pins.

  • This doesn't really say what causes a loss in saved games, though it does say how to fix it. Might be better as a comment.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 14:38
  • Hmm neat answer. Vermonus is correct, but this does kind of answer the indirect question so appreciate this. I will make sure to screw it open at some point to verify the board. Would be an easy fix for a reliable DK3 game! Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 14:56

If the game doesn't save it is a cartridge problem as the consoles them selves are quite simple if u take some rubbing alcohol and clean the legs and the problem is not fixed its time for a new cartridge

  • 1
    99% of the time you can replace the battery in the cartridge and the game will work just fine for another 30 years. You shouldn't need to replace the cartridge entirely (and even doing so, no guarantee that the battery will last much longer as it's also going to be about the same age as your own).
    – Robotnik
    Commented Aug 22, 2017 at 0:43

When I was a kid, I left a game in the SNES, unplugged it and moved the whole thing to another location. For whatever reason, this would delete the save files on the cartridge that was plugged in.

The problem shouldn't happen again if you remove the cart from the SNES, before you unplug anything.

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