Flash Carts And DSi/3DS Updates "Help I just got a flash cart and it won't work on the DSi/3DS!" "My son/daughter updated the DSi/3DS and it's giving an error now!" "My R4i SDHC Hyper King-III won't run on my new 3DS!" "My 3DS or DSI is giving an error and tells me to restart..." This thread explains what's going on. Background Info Unlike the older DS and DS Lite, the DSi/XL and 3DS can get firmware/system updates. These are often distributed with games and are required to be installed when certain games are run or when you connect to the DSiWare/3DSWare store, so Nintendo does its best to make sure that you update. The updates include methods to block flash carts from running, since Nintendo doesn't want you to use them. Getting Around It Luckily, many flash carts can get updates to make them bypass these blocks. These updates are often distributed in one of two forms. An update file like a ROM (.NDS file) that you put on the MicroSD and run, it then updates the flash cart. The update might be integrated in the flash cart's system software, in which case you need to start the cart and choose the "update" option (generally somewhere on the home or splash screen). You generally just need to put this file on your flash cart and run it to apply the update. "Where do I get this update file from?" - You get the updates from the site printed on your cart. Most carts will have a website on the sticker, and you go there to get the updates. Be very careful about the spelling, there's a lot of different sites out there with similar names (especially anything with "R4" in the name). "There's no update on my cart's site, so I tried another one and it didn't work." - Updates are encrypted and cart-specific. If you cart doesn't have an update, then it can't be updated. Out of all the flash carts out there, most have stopped getting updates, so if your cart hasn't been updated in a while you'll need to get a new one... or maybe just wait a bit, though usually updates will come out within a week or two and after that a cart is usually dead. "Do I really have to run the update file? I can just stick it on the MicroSD and be done, right? - You do need to RUN the file. In most cases you need to run the update on the flash cart itself (it updates the firmware of the actual, physical cart), so if your DSi/3DS won't run the cart, then you can't update it on that DSi/3DS. "What do I do if I have the update file, but my DSi/3DS won't run it?" - If your flash cart has been blocked on your DSi/3DS, you will need an older DS model in order to run the update file. This means a DSi or 3DS that hasn't been updated in a while and still runs the flash cart, or you might want to choose an original DS or a DS Lite, since those do not get firmware updates, so they'll always run modern flash carts. "I heard about a cart swap method, can I use this on my DSi/3DS?" - No, cart swapping only works on the original DS and the DS Lite anyways. Prevention "This is an annoying load of crap, how do I stop it from happening?" - Stop updating your DSi/3DS any time it asks. Always decline new updates, turn wireless off, never put the 3DS online, turn all automatic downloads off, etc. Only update after an update has come out for your flash cart and you have run it. Technical Explanation With the newer systems and games, Nintendo started putting a special signature into the carts to allow them to run. Older games don't have these signatures though... so to allow them to run Nintendo put a whitelist of games into the DSi/XL/3DS. Now flash carts work by posing as one of these games with a fake ID of sorts. The updates Nintendo puts out generally changes what sort of things the system checks for to try to see if the ID is fake, and the updates that flash carts get are basically new fake IDs, or ones with more info on them to try to get past the security. Layman's Example Let's say that you're dealing with a normal DS/Lite and you want to run a flash cart. Flash Cart: Hi! I'm a DS cart, please run me. DS/Lite: Okay. Well, what about one of the later DS models? They do more checking. Flash Cart: Hi, I'm a DS cart, please run me. DSi/3DS : You don't have the signature, who are you? Flash Cart: R4 Revolution For DS. DSi/3DS : You're not on the list, go away. So that's why flash carts update with fake IDs. Flash Cart: Hi, I'm a DS cart, please run me. DSi/3DS : You don't have the signature, who are you? Flash Cart: I'm "Fishing Tycoon", please run me. DSi/3DS: Okay. But then the DSi/3DS gets an update and now it checks for more information. Flash Cart: Hi, I'm a DS cart, please run me. DSi/3DS : You don't have the signature, who are you? Flash Cart: I'm "Fishing Tycoon", please run me. DSi/3DS: Wait a minute, I've been told there's people impersonating "Fishing Tycoon" lately, let me take a closer look at your ID... hey, this ID has the wrong birth date! DSi/3DS: You're a fake, access denied. So then the flash cart gets an update for it's fake ID to match the requested information. Flash Cart: Hi, I'm a DS cart, please run me. DSi/3DS : You don't have the signature, who are you? Flash Cart: I'm "Fishing Tycoon", please run me. DSi/3DS: Your ID matches, okay. And the process repeats over and over.