I'm going from D1 to a DX for Christmas...I'm very accustomed to using Rom Manager to install ROMs. You say here NOT to use it to install Darkslide (which I'm already downloaded and waiting to do), why NOT Rom Manager?
If you notice, the install instructions call for "mount system" which you can't do via rom manager...also, rom manager doesn't include the OP instructions...many errors occur due to people installing via rom manager and missing important details (for example, DarkSlide 4.1 is built on system version 2.3.34, and can update your system from 2.3.32, but if one is on an older system version,they must update their system first or they will encounter issues. You have no idea how many people miss this important detail, lol). The best way is to get it from the source- read ALL instructions, and follow them EXACTLY. Trust me, these guys know what they are talking about....
if the OP states you must install while standing on your left foot, touching you right toes with your left fingers- you better do it
But on the serious side...Rom Manager is a good toll on the D1, but it too often leads to issues on the DX.
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