Nintendo 3DS Homebrew / Rom Hack For Any Firmware Up To 9.2 with Gateway Flashcard

Discussion in 'Nintendo 3DS Guides' started by InsaneNutter, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    [​IMG]



    If you have a 3DS / 3DS XL / 2DS or the New 3DS XL on any firmware from 4.x to 9.2.0-20 you can follow this guide to hack your 3DS and able you to play homebrew and backup your games as Roms to allow you to play them all from a single flash card or even the internal SD card as CIA installs.

    To follow this guide you will need the following:


    • 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS on a firmware version between 4.x and 9.2
    • Gateway Flashcard
    • Micro SDHC card for use in the Gateway flashcard
    • SDHC card inside your 3DS

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    Your shopping list:

    1. Gateway 3DS Flash Card: YeahGeek - They appear to be the cheapest "reliable" place to purchase a Gateway from. You can find many places stocking the Gateway, however YeahGeek are half the price of some of the places in the UK / US, which is why i used them. My order was shipped out around 12 hours after ordering and it arrived here in the UK from China within 12 days. YeahGeek use Swiss Post so i was able to track my packages progress to the UK boarder, where it was delivered to me next day via Royal Mail. I thought that was really good considering it arrived in the middle of December, which is the busiest time of the year for the postal service.

    2. Micro SD Card: You can use a Micro SD, SDHC or SDXC card in the Gateway, the larger the better if you wish to backup all your games and play them off the same Micro SD card. Some 3DS games can be up to 4gb, however the average appears to be between 1gb and 2gb. I think the Sandisk 64GB Ultra Micro SD (SDXC) Card represents best value at the moment, it's fast and costs about £25 here in the UK.

    Amazon UK: Sandisk 64GB Ultra Micro SD (SDXC) Card
    Amazon USA: Sandisk 64GB Ultra Micro SD (SDXC) Card

    3. (Optional) SD Card:
    You already have an SDHC card inside your 3DS, however if you want to convert all your games to CIA's and launch them from the 3DS's home screen, like an Eshop game, then you are going to require a large SD card for the 3DS also. It is important this SD card is also fast as you are going to be running emunand from it, this is essentially a hacked 3DS system firmware which allows the Gateway flashcard and all the amazing homebrew to work. For this i think the Transcend 64GB Ultimate SDXC Ultra High Speed SD card represents best value at the moment. Read speeds are 95MB/s and write speeds are 65MB/s.

    Amazon UK: Transcend 64GB Ultimate SDXC UHS Ultra High Speed
    Amazon USA: Transcend 64GB Ultimate SDXC UHS Ultra High Speed


    Preparing to hack the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS:

    Before hacking:

    1. Make sure you have a valid wireless profile configured on your 3DS, but do not switch the wireless on yet. To configure a wireless connection go to System Settings > Internet Settings > Connection Settings > New Connection.

    Do not update the 3DS though or leave Wi-Fi turned on, the 3DS will download the latest update and nag you about installing it all the time, only turn Wi-Fi on to perform the exploit, never just have it turned on, especially with the 3DS in sleep mode.

    2. Format your Micro SD for the Gateway Flashcard as ExFAT, this is required so you can place files over 4GB in size on them. Windows 7, 8 and 10 natively supports this from the format menu, which you can access by right clicking on the SD card in My Computer / This PC:

    [​IMG]

    3. Now simply copy a .3ds (rom) to the Micro SD card, this will be used for testing the Gateway is working later on. You can download some 3DS Demo roms here.

    4. The SD Card inside your 3DS should be FAT32 formatted, the 3DS will not recognize ExFAT. If you have purchased a new SD Card to use inside the 3DS and wish to format this to FAT32 on Windows, have a look at my tutorial here: Format SD Card to FAT32 on Windows 7,8 or 10 [Includes Micro SDHC / SDXC Cards]

    If you are using your existing 3DS's SD Card you do not need to format it, however regardless of if you are using a new or old SD Card you now need to copy the Launcher.dat from the Gateway Firmware package to your 3DS's SD card, this should be placed in the root of the SD Card, as show in the screenshot below.

    The latest Gateway firmware can always be downloaded form the Gateway website: Gateway 3DS Downloads

    [​IMG]



    Hacking the Nintendo 3DS, 3DS XL and 2DS:


    The exploit we are going to use to enable the Gateway Flash card to work requires the 3DS's web browser loading a page to trigger the payload we have just coped to the 3DS's internal SD Card, if you have been following this tutorial from the start you should have everything in place to trigger the exploit now.

    To start you want to load the 3DS's web browser:

    [​IMG]

    To make things quicker and easier i personally find editing an existing bookmark is the easiest way to trigger the exploit, to do this press menu:

    [​IMG]

    Then click the bookmarks icon:

    [​IMG]

    Now edit one of the existing bookmarks by clicking the spanner icon next to it, it doesn't really matter which one:

    [​IMG]

    I simply called the bookmark Gateway, the important thing here is to change the address to:
    Code:
    http://go.gateway-3ds.com
    Then press confirm to save the changes:

    [​IMG]

    Now you need to turn Wi-Fi on using the switch on the side of your 3DS, otherwise you will get this notification below:

    [​IMG]

    To trigger the exploit, with the 3DS's Wi-Fi turned on you simply want to press Menu > Bookmarks > then click on the Gateway bookmark we added, this will then trigger the exploit to load the Gateway flashcard:

    [​IMG]

    All been well you should now see the Gateway menu, simply press "A" on the Boot Gateway Mode button:

    [​IMG]

    You will be informed that your Gateway 3DS flashcard will now be updated, press "Start" to start the update and do not touch the 3DS until the update has finished:

    [​IMG]

    When the update has finished press "A" to exit:

    [​IMG]

    You now be returned to the Gateway Menu, this time select boot Gateway Mode again and you will be returned to the 3DS home screen:

    [​IMG]

    However the difference now is that you will actually be able to use you Gateway 3DS flashcard:

    [​IMG]

    To activate the flashcard press the "Select Button" and you should now see the Gateway menu has appeared:

    [​IMG]

    Use the D-pad to select a rom, then press "A" to load it, your 3DS should present you with the games launcher like any other 3DS game:

    [​IMG]

    Once you have confirmed the Gateway card is working we now need to make a backup of our 3DS's system nand, this is vital as it will be the only way to recover your 3DS if you are ever unfortunate enough to brick the 3DS.

    To do this you want to power off the 3DS, then power it on again, load the web browser and go to the webpage you bookmarked to launch the exploit.

    When back at the Gateway menu you need to select Backup System Nand:

    [​IMG]

    Press "Start" to backup the System nand:

    [​IMG]

    This will take a few minutes to complete, when the backup has finished press "A" to exit:

    [​IMG]

    You now want to power the 3DS off and connect the 3DS's internal SD Card to your PC.

    It is vital that you copy everything off the internal SD card as the next step in this tutorial will erase everything from the SD Card.

    You should have backed up the following:


    1. DCIM - This contains any 3D photos / game screenshots you have taken.
    2. Nintendo 3DS - This contains any Eshop titles, demos, patches and saves for games you have downloaded.
    3. Nand.bin - This is your nand backup you just made, it is VITAL you keep this safe.

    So backup the DCIM, Nintendo 3DS and most importantly the NAND.bin to your PC. I would recommend you burn this to a CD too or back it up on a cloud storage account:

    [​IMG]

    Now you have backed up everything on the 3DS you are ready to setup Emunand, essentially Emunand is an emulated / virtual nand that will run off the 3DS's internal SD Card.

    In the future when you run the web browser exploit the 3DS will re boot in to Emunand, this has a lot of restrictions removed compared to Sysnand. You can safely update Emunand to later 3DS firmware versions such as 9.4 and still keep your Sysnand on firmware 9.2 or lower.

    This means you are able to play all the latest games and access the Nintendo Eshop to patch your games without actually updating the Sysnand, if you updated Sysnand that would patch the web browser exploit which allows your Gateway Flashcard to function.

    So essentially you will have two nands:

    Sysnand - you will never update or use this. It will simply load when the 3DS is powered on after been fully turned off. All you will do is load the web browser and visit the Gateway page to launch the vulnerability that will re boot the 3DS in to Emunand.

    Emunand - you will use this all the time to play your games, access the Nintendo Eshop and load homebrew. You can also install CIA's in Emunand, if one of them happens to mess your Emunand up its not a big deal as you can happily re create Emunand or restore a backup. If a CIA install messed your Sysnand up you would have a bricked 3DS. I hope this explains why its important you use Emunand for everything and ignore Sysnand.

    Setting up Emunand:

    As usual launch the 3DS web browser exploit again, however this time once you have done so hold the left trigger, this will stop the 3DS booting in to a patched Sysnand and allow you to setup Emunand. Move along the menu and select "Format Emunand"

    [​IMG]

    As i mentioned earlier this will format your SD Card and erase everything on it. So if you never backed up your Nand and other content from the SD Card now is the time to do so.

    Press start to begin setting Emunand up:

    [​IMG]

    This can take a while, when it has done press "A":

    [​IMG]

    Now boot the 3DS in to Gateway mode from the Gateway menu:

    [​IMG]

    Don't do anything else and go to System settings, you should see now your system software version begins with GW3D. If you see this then you are in Emunand.

    There is currently a bug which will take you back to Sysnand when you exit the system settings in Emunand, so be very careful about what you do next.


    [Note: 18/04/15]: It's not currently possible to update your emunand online as is described in the next part of this tutorial, Gateway does not support the latest 9.6 firmware.

    For a method of updating emunand offline to 9.5.0-23 (The last firmware version Gateway currently supports) please follow this tutorial:Gateway Emunand Offline Update for Nintendo 3DS / 3DS XL and 2DS

    I have placed the part of this tutorial you can not currently follow in the spoiler tag below, once you have updated offline you can resume following this tutorial, the end result is still the same and your emunand will be as up to date as it can be at the moment.

    Ensuing you see GW3D as the firmware version click other settings:

    [​IMG]

    Move along to section number 4 and click on System Update:

    [​IMG]

    Say yes to connect to the internet and update the system:

    [​IMG]

    Agree and accept the update:

    [​IMG]

    When the update has finished the 3DS will re start and you will be back in Sysnand, load the web browser and open the Gateway webpage to re boot the 3DS in to Emunand:

    [​IMG]

    The 3DS will prepare a few things:

    [​IMG]

    When it has go in to System Settings and ensure you are now on firmware 9.4, this should be shown as GW 9.4.0 as you are on Emunand.
    Just remember when you exit system settings you will be back on the Sysnand and will need to use the web browser exploit to boot back in to Emunand:

    [​IMG]

    Congratulations you have setup your 3DS! below i still just give you some tips and advice to ensure you do not mess anything up.

    Tip 1: Make it easy to distinguish between Sysnand and Emunand:

    To do this i would simply create 3 folders on the home screen, of your Sysnand. Create a folder called Sysnand, another called Y and another called S, you can then arrange them like below so it will be pretty obvious when you are in System nand as you can easily see this on screen:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously arrange any items on your Emunand differently then you can easily distinguish between the two

    Tip 2: Never use Sysnand:

    You really do not need to be using Sysnand, do everything in Emunand, then if you break something its not the end of the world, you can install CIA safely in Emunand using BigBlueBox:

    [​IMG]

    Tip 3: Remember this hack is still pretty new, has bugs and isn't idiot proof

    Now im not calling anyone an idiot here, however as ive tried to stress above you cant be totally careless using your 3DS, it is possible to loose the ability to run this hack by updaing Sysnand so you need to be careful, i certainly would not let a younger brother / sister or even anyone else use the 3DS who does not totally understand what this hack has done to the 3DS and how it works.

    When i talk about bugs I mean if you are in Emunand and go in to System settings you will end up back in Sysnand after you exist System Settings, which is why earlier in the guide i wanted you to make it pretty obvious which nand you are in by arranging your home screens so you can instantly tell the difference between the two.

    Finally when a new official System Update is released by Nintendo you can update your Emunand, but only after Gateway have updated the firmware for the Gateway 3DS card, which they usually do pretty quickly. This is why im saying you need to be careful and have some understanding of what you can / cant do, which is why i wouldnt recommend letting anyone else use your 3DS.

    Tip 4: Launch the Gateway Exploit offline

    If you are going somewhere which might not have internet access at all, or unreliable internet you can use the Go Gateway! Android App to launch the exploit, even in the middle of no where with no mobile internet access. All you need is the Android app running on an Android device.

    Tip 5: Play a retail game cartridge in your higher firmware Emunand

    When launching the exploit to use your Gateway card via the web browser hold the left button down and then instead of launching Gateway Mode launch Classic Mode. This will let you boot into Emunand to play physical cartridges, however your Gateway cart does not work in this mode. Don't forget to install any game updates from the E-Shop, as trying to from the game itself may kick you back to Sysnand.
     
    Trebor likes this.
  2. james.steele

    james.steele New Member

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    nice post, and it confirming what almost everybody want to know.
     
  3. Meteorbs

    Meteorbs New Member

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    You are outstanding! Thanks a lot.
     
  4. nerdyfred07

    nerdyfred07 New Member

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    Mate, after researching all yesterday on what 3DS to get, flash card, steps on getting roms working and gateway working i've finally stumbled against the BEST Instructions set yet to date. THIS IS CLEAR AND CONCISE, LOVE IT! wish i had found you sooner. Thanks plenty it explains a lot and even though i'm in I.T this stuff is just all over the place and not explanatory. Signed up to this site just to say thanks, so here it is. thanks mate!!
     
  5. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    I usually find that, anything related to console hacking you need to read several guides which all only tell you 1/5 of what your supposed to be doing. I try document my whole experience from start to finish where possible, glad it was of use to you!
     
  6. Yuuki_Tera

    Yuuki_Tera Member

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    Can somebody help!? You see after I finished the step about updating the card and now when I need to go to the bookmark again to backup it either sends me to the homepage if I didn't clear my history or just freezes if I delete my history.
    Please help guys!
     
  7. Yuuki_Tera

    Yuuki_Tera Member

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    Also is there any special things I gotta do for the blue Gateway Flashcard?
     
  8. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    The blue card is redundant, try fully powering the 3DS off then loading the web browser exploit again.
     
  9. Yuuki_Tera

    Yuuki_Tera Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply, but I have one more question: Can you play NDS roms on this card? and if yes how?
     
  10. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    Once you have this exploit working its possible to patch your system nand with a CIA that removes the block on old NDS flashcards that used to work on the 3DS, that would allow the Gateway Blue card to work. However installing CIA files to your system nand is risky and not recommended, its far too easy to brick your 3DS. That is the only way to do it at this time.
     
  11. Yuuki_Tera

    Yuuki_Tera Member

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    I know I'm being annoying and stuff but I really want to know something: My 3DS is Mario And Luigi Special edition and I also have 2 games that I downloaded from the EShop but they all got deleted once I did that Format step. So my question is: How do I get them back or especially the saves I had for them?:'(
     
  12. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    You can simply re download the games from the Nintendo Eshop, however your a bit stuck at the moment as the Gateway's Emunand doesn't support the latest 3DS firmware you need to get on the Eshop. However once Gateway release an update you can just go online and download the games again. (Or use a rom of the game as you legally own the game anyway)

    As for the saves you might have lost them unfortunately if you didnt backup before formatting the SD card.
     
  13. Yuuki_Tera

    Yuuki_Tera Member

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    Thank you so much and I'm sorry for all the questions that I probably could have found the answers to if I looked it up a bit8-)
     
  14. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    No worries, glad to have helped.
     
  15. cer

    cer Member

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    First of all thank you for making this guide it works well. however i have a problem in the update step. once i update the GW version (last step in your guide before additional stuff) and the 3ds turns itself off and on again i can not access GW emunand anymore it gives me a blackscreen everytime after i use the bookmark exploit.

    FW 3ds version still runs fine. (4.5.0 10e)

    i can delet my (macro) sd card and do everything again and it works fine until after i update it again)

    how can i solve this problem?

    regards and thanks cer

    PS: i can still acess this screen just fine it seems https://users.digiex.net/insanenutter/guides/3ds-hack-9-2-gateway/3ds-hack16.jpg
     
  16. cer

    cer Member

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    ssince it does not allow me to edit my post again i will try to make it more clear in a second post (Sorry):

    Technically once i press the boot gateway button everything goes dark and stays dark. after the system update
     
  17. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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    The problem you have is that the latest firmware (9.6 at the time of writing) is currently unsupported by Gateway, so once your Emu nand has upgraded to that it's unusable.

    I have been looking in to ways to update offline for you, however i've had no luck so far. Ill post back if i can get anything working.

    One thing i will say is do not update your Emunand with a rom, people have done that and bricked their 3DS.
     
  18. cer

    cer Member

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    thank you for the response.yes that is unfortunate. and thank you for the warning!

    what i can add to this, is: i found out that i can use security copies of games that have a higher firmware than 4.5 (i.e. yu-gi-oh fw 7.1 afaik).
    just out of curiosity is it possible to unbrick a 3ds? (i thought thats why we made a security save.)
     
  19. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

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  20. cer

    cer Member

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    thanks a lot :)
     

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