Hardware Format/Erase 3DS Nand-Flash (Hard-Mod) ?

AkiraX3

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Hi,

I have Question about the Nand in the 3DS/N3DS.
Is it possible to erase the Nand in the 3DS/N3DS after HardMod and re-apply a Backup via W32Diskimager (Win) or DD Command under Mac ?


For Example:
Every Flash (like an SSD or a USB-Flashdrive) has a max. read and write cycle and get significantly slower over time.
To restore the Factory Settings and get the full speed of an Flashdrive or SSD back u need to Format it.

With tools like SD-Formatter or Secure Erase on SSD`s.
So i have a simple question:

Is there any way to Create a Backup via Hardmod (on 3DS) -> Format/Delete the NAND in the 3DS (to simply said *reset* the Flash in the Device -> and write an Backup Back to the 3DS ?

Is this possible?
If so, how?

Thanks for Reply
 

Avalynn

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I don't see, theoretically, why you could perform a standard low level wipe and then restore the image back on it.

Although, I'm curious if this would help or not? I know we aren't accessing the stored information like a traditional storage device that we are reading and writing sectors that we want to but the entire storage device each time. Since we are doing a full read and write of the eMMC we are reading the entire contents bit for bit on to a file then restoring that file and writing over every single bit again and not always with the same thing because of how the encryption changes some stuff around per boot.
 

AkiraX3

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From my understanding, flash cells wear out over time and you need to format them (example: secure erase on SSD),
to bring them back to stock performance.
This slow down is Hardware related, so it would be nice to have a way to restore the flash back to the stock status.

So do you think you can read an image from the emmc, than use maybe SD Formatter/Secure erase/cmd or mac command to correctly format the device and then flash the image back?
 

Spaqin

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If anything, formatting them (setting all to 0/1s) would have an even worse effect on NAND memory. Just like with SSDs, they have for example 10,000 writes before going to shit. In most SSDs, there is a chip that to mitigate that, and will NOT change a bit if it's already the one you want to write. And now you want to rewrite the entire drive for your reasons. I haven't heard about worse performance of NAND memory, I might be wrong, but still, not only you will waste few rewrites, but also time.
 

AkiraX3

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Maybe this is the correct lineup for my questions:

Is this step of formatting even necessary/possible on a 3DS? (to counter slow down)
Can the 3DS slow down over time?
If so, is it possible to format the emmc inside the 3DS?

example:
SSD´s use several tricks on chip level to counter this slowdown, together with Garbage Collection and Trim, modern flash drives (SSD´s don't degree in performance, so fast).

But this Text explains it relatively good:
"Previously written cells must be erased before they can be rewritten with new data. If the SSD is forced to reuse cells rather than use new ones while storing data, performance will plummet."

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2088341/how-to-restore-your-ssd-to-peak-performance.html

-EDIT-

example:
The "Samsung KLM4G1YEMD-B031 4 GB NAND Flash" in the n3DS XL seems to support the Secure Erase Command.

http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/file/media/Samsung_eMMC_2013_Final_HR-0.pdf
 

Spaqin

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OK, I can see one problem with that: we don't know whether or not 3DS OS does use TRIM. And that it should affect only write speeds (since it only has problems during writing), and on NAND you don't do that too often. I can live with system update taking 3 seconds more.
 

gamesquest1

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3dsunbricker on the raspberry pi has the feature to perform a forced erase as it was actually used originally to unlock the emmc without having the password so then you could restore a backup, now that the unlocking has been sorted its no longer needed really, but if you you want to see if it helps feel free to try, i doubt it will have any effect though

PS the nand read/write cycle limits are a more permanent figure, formatting wont just reset that limit, the limit is actually how often they can be wrote to before they start failing, think of it like a big line of doors, you can open and close each one 1000 times before the hinge starts to fail, formatting is the equivalent of just closing all the doors again so its like it was to begin with....it doesn't fix the hinges, it just closes the doors and actually removes 1 open/close from each doors limit
 

Avalynn

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Also the eMMC has a controller that handles the NAND like in SSDs, so depending on the algorithms used to handle the data and where on the NAND it goes, it could be intelligent enough to have counters for each cell and distribute evenly. Again speculation and a the controller on SD / MMC controllers decently sophisticated as density goes up.
 

The Real Jdbye

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That wouldn't make any difference.
Because when you restore the NAND backup, it's written block by block, not file by file, so everything is written into the same position on NAND regardless of whether you format first. It's not like copying files where they just fill in "empty" (unused) spots on the drive, which is the reason SD card/flash drive speed can sometimes be improved by formatting them, as the files on the flash storage get fragmented and it takes longer to access them.
But since the NAND backup is written back exactly the same, block for block, files that were fragmented before will still be.
It would just cause unneccessary wear and tear on the NAND.
 
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