Any way to "rewire" 3DS (XL) demo units so they work as regular ones?

Discussion in '3DS - Console, Accessories and Hardware' started by metalsynkk, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. metalsynkk
    OP

    metalsynkk Newbie

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    I posted this on reddit first, link here.

    I've bought a normal working 3DS XL off someone, it works fine, but they guy had around 20+ 3DS and XL units which varied in how they worked. Some were actually retail models that worked fine, but most of them are demo units that only work when plugged in, and also power themselves back on when turned off. I decided to ask if he wanted me to try and restore them, and we struck a deal.

    I've done hours of reserach into this matter, since I am an amateur tech junkie and wanted to figure out how to "restore" these units to normal working order. From what I've found and tried, upgrading the software and formatting the data on them has no effect, and thus I can relatively safely conclude that it is a hardware limitation on the mainboard. I've disassembled them and cross-referenced the fuses and chips with the normal XL that I have which works as intended, but couldn't find any differences aside from "T" and "E" sometimes marked around the charger port or the battery connector area.

    I've read that it may be a fuse that needs replacing, or some other engineering hocus-pocus which I am willing to try since almost no one would want a 3DS that only works when plugged in. I am in possession of most toold required for the job, ie small philips screwdrivers, pincers, a soldering iron, etc. I am willing to try quite some things (and I've already tried some already) since he won't really be bothered by losing a couple units on testing.

    What is peculiar is that some units will function like a demo unit when plugged in, but when I replaced the battery, it did function like a retail one. At the current moment, I have a regular 3DS that functions like a demo unit, a 3DS XL that also functions like that, and a 3DS XL that doesn't charge at all, BUT works perfectly from the battery. This last one I have tried to fix with some soldering and rechecking all the contacts, but to no avail. The 3 aforementioned units have been stripped of parental controls and upgraded to the latest 9.8.0-25 firmware.

    I can list all the forums I've been to, but I've been to alot (even page 2 of Google search results...) and tried many search options. Most of them were just "dead battery" threads but some were helpful and tried to speculate what the possible solution could be.

    Thanks in advance if anyone of you knows what to do, because I am not giving up on this unless someone clearly states (with proof, preferably) that it is impossible to modify demo units to a normal working state.
     
  2. Kyohack

    Kyohack Advanced Member

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    I don't know any specifics regarding the demo 3DS units, but I would like to offer my opinion:

    I would expect Nintendo to use the same hardware for the demo units as for retail units, because it would be cheaper for manufacturing reasons. There likely isn't any sort of fuse or hardware switch to change it to demo mode. It is most likely software defined, so your best bet of converting these into retail units would be to attempt to run some sort of exploit, assuming they use a vulnerable firmware. If you can get an exploit running, it's probably just a matter of changing some system CIAs, or locating some sort of configuration file on the nand file system. (I haven't payed much attention to the demo units at my local store, so I'm uncertain how locked-down they are. I have no clue as to whether you can still access the web browser or launch game cards, and this would be crucial to getting an exploit running.)
     
  3. Duo8

    Duo8 I don't like video games

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    They're on 9.8 already.

    For OP does the system absolutely behave like a normal system? (Aside from what mentioned in your post). Can you access the eShop?
     
  4. metalsynkk
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    metalsynkk Newbie

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    Yes, on 9.8 I can access the eShop (although in German tho, since that was the original language. I don't have an 3DS titles I can test with the system on hand, but I will later today. Nonetheless there seems to be no behavior that is different. All the settings, options, GUI, everything is the same when cross-referenced with the regular functioning one that I have.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    The manufacturing opinion is something I would also be aligned with, for the same reasons. I did read that it was possible to backup NAND via the SD Card and I wonder if I would be able to just plain out copy the NAND from my functioning system to a demo one. But I have no idea what that file system exactly is, and whether it's related to the exact unit in question. Do you maybe have any useful links or other information about it? I would gladly look into it.
     
  5. Duo8

    Duo8 I don't like video games

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    It's not gonna work.

    Asking around a bit seems to point to the microcontroller, which gets programmed every boot. So it could be something about the software of demo units.
     
  6. metalsynkk
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    metalsynkk Newbie

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    Thought as much, shortly after I read that if I could it would brick the console. Call me enthousiastic but I mean there must be a way to unlock these things that doesn't require resoldering or manually reprogramming the whole thing >>
     
  7. Duo8

    Duo8 I don't like video games

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    Not after you updated it to 9.8.
     
  8. metalsynkk
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    metalsynkk Newbie

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    Yup, thanks for pointing it out. Only 3 models are up to 9.8, the rest are still on previous firmware. Do you know how exactly I can modify something on older firmware? I read about either the Gateway 3DS or the Sky3DS, and the GW made it possible to also downgrade your software (albeit it being 9.2 or lower, sigh) and do something with it. Are there any methods without the GW, maybe something with just an SD card?
     
  9. gamesquest1

    gamesquest1 Nabnut

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    well updating to 9.8 was a silly more, best bet would be seeing if you can get any of the current exploits running, decrypt9 via CN or spider hax.....but these options will only work on 9.2 or lower

    once you can do that, perform a nand dump, generate xorpads decrypt your fat32 partition and see what system titles are in place, i dont know exactly how the demo units work, but getting a dump of the system titles would be the best place to start investigating
     
  10. bassmandan

    bassmandan Newbie

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    Did you ever get anywhere with this? I have just picked up a demo unit running fw 9.0.0-20E and would love to know of any way to make it work without the power supply! Or an idea of what I can do to investigate. Thanks!
     
  11. Maximilious

    Maximilious GBAtemp Addict

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    Your best best would be to do as gamesquest1 mentioned above since it looks like OP either gave up or looked elsewhere for assistance.

    Once you can see the system titles that are installed, you could compare them against 3DNUS and see if any or all of them match. The ones that don't match are likely the ones causing the demo units to act as they do.
     
  12. tigerfrost

    tigerfrost Advanced Member

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    Was there any progress on this topic ? seems that someone sold me a lemon with T + E by the battery connection.
     
  13. LinkSoraZelda

    LinkSoraZelda GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    There is three different types of HOME Menu menus. One is a demo menu, another is dev menu (you're running either of these).... The one you want is basically, a retail menu. If you can find a way to access dev apps on the units and change the menu type, it would function like you want.
     
    Last edited by LinkSoraZelda, Mar 22, 2016
  14. tigerfrost

    tigerfrost Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the reply - so its a hidden menu ? the unit has the latest firmware on there and functions like a normal unit however the issue is with the unplugging of the charger the unit turns off. Same goes if you insert the charger the unit comes on automatically.
    Ill have to find out where this hidden menu is..
     
  15. LinkSoraZelda

    LinkSoraZelda GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    It's not hidden; it's just a different mode. If you have a way of running developer software, specifically CONFIG, then you can change your system menu mode.