Hacking 3DS won't boot with SD card inserted

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Check if your 3DS SD card happens to be corrupted as this will cause the 3DS not to be able to read the files off it. Take the SD card out of the 3DS and insert into your computer. For Windows desktop/laptop, see if Windows Explorer can read and access the SD card.

If you are able to go into the SD card, copy everything off the card and onto your computer, set aside. Quick reformat the SD card by right clicking the SD's drive icon / name > format... , File system = FAT32, Allocation unit size = 32 kilobytes, and Quick Format checked off. After reformatting, copy everything back onto the SD card.

*PLEASE NOTE: If your SD card has a memory capacity larger than 32 GB (gigabytes), you cannot use Window's File Explorer to do a FAT32 reformat as it will not create a complete partition of the whole card. Window's File Explorer will only format up to 32 GB. You will have to do a FAT32 formatting using different program, such as the free to use SD Memory Card Formatter 5.0 by the SD Association @ sdcard.org [To Mods, please redact this info if this goes against Rules/ToS].

If the SD card shows up corrupt on Windows, you're tough out of luck and gonna have to rebuild everything from scratch. Sorry bud.

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Edit : Another problem that is rare but does happen is that your SD card has physically died due to read-and-write wear-tear. A semi-failure mode is that the SD card will enter into Read Only Mode and will not allow anymore Write Mode. To check if your card has possibly failed or started to die after you have copied everything over to your computer, right click on the SD icon / drive name. Go to Properties > Tools > Error checking > Check.

Edit #2 : I can only speculate that if you are using Luma3DS, boot9strap, ntrboot, AND that your SD card is fine with intact files, check the Luma Chainloader by pressing and holding the select button at 3DS power up. See if Luma3DS v9.0 configuration has the (X) Autoboot EmuNAND selected. This is in case you have all homebrew stuff show up on EmuNAND and not sysNAND.

Another problem that may happen is if you used a secondary SD card and your 3DS sysNAND ended up reseting all the installed title tickets of your games on Home Menu. Check System Settings > Data Management > Nintendo3DS > Software. If any of your games appear with crossed out x's, your title tickets are missing. Some of these can be restored with the TIKDevil app.

Edit #3 : If all else fails, as cliche as this sounds, resort to the 3ds.guide to redo everything. Yiks.
 
Last edited by TurdPooCharger,
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katrasi

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I'm having a similar situation where my 3ds won't boot with the SD in. The SD is 128GB with about 85GB full. The SD card works fine after boot is completed or if it simply isn't in at initial power on. The system crashes when closing certain apps twilight menu is the primary culprit though the problem sometimes occurs at random times. The SD card reads out to be perfectly fine with zero error or corrupted sectors.
 

katrasi

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I'm having a similar situation where my 3ds won't boot with the SD in. The SD is 128GB with about 85GB full. The SD card works fine after boot is completed or if it simply isn't in at initial power on. The system crashes when closing certain apps twilight menu is the primary culprit though the problem sometimes occurs at random times. The SD card reads out to be perfectly fine with zero error or corrupted sectors.
I was able to fix the issue by opening the boot menu during boot and disabling everything then re-enabling everything after a complete boot three times I was able to solve the problem and it allowed me to have my normal boot list. I have also seen this happen when a new OEM update has been pushed out but not installed. The most recent 3ds update is especially bad for this. July 2023 is the most recent update as of this post in addition to this update uninstalling legal games quite often in addition to unofficial games and apps.
 

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