Gateway 3ds - "Game card removed" findings and possible solution

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by udo4ever, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. udo4ever
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    udo4ever Advanced Member

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    Hey guys, I know that there is a thread about the Gateway 3ds reliability but i fear that my message might get lost in it. I decided to write this new thread in the hopes that my 4 days of non stop testing will help someone in a similar situation.

    To make a long story short, I receive my Gateway back on Sunday when the firmware for the Gateway was still on 1.1. As such there were no diagnostic tools available for me to find out what was causing my card to always give me the "game card was removed" message. After hours of searching online I figured that my card was defective but I still wanted to find out what exactly was defective about it. As such, i began to investigate closely the contact areas of the Gateway (the contacts that connect to my 3ds and the contacts that connect the micro sd card to the gateway). While I found that the contacts on the gateway card were fine, it was the micro sd card that turned out problematic. I thus began to fiddle with the way the micros sd card fit into my gateway card. I found that if I pushed my micro sd card outward, it forced the connectors to move inward. I also found out that for the first time, my roms started to load without a hitch. However, as you can imagine this was not an exact science. It required that I keep trying until the rom loaded which was only maybe 1 out of every 5 tries. I had to constantly repeat the nintendo ds profile exploit each and everytime!

    Once the diagnostic tools were released with firmware 1.2 I found out that the problem was indeed the connectors. If I entered the micro sd card without much care the light always remained stuck on yellow. However, if I fiddled around with it the test went through sucessfully. Sure enough, everytime I now want to load a game I always use the diagnostic tool first and make sure that I got it just right. I discovered that you could actually repeat the diagnostic test without actually exiting the tool itself. You simply need to press the L button again. As such, if I failed the diagnostic tool I took out my gateway fromt he slot played around with the micro sd card and put it back in. I then pressed L again. Once successfully completed I pressed R and that exited out of the diagnostic tool. I then could load my rom immediately. Everything worked!!!

    The downside to this is that if you play your game and the micro sd card somehow gets out of place, your saves will likely be corrupted. This is true even after you press menu and x. I found this out through extensive testing. For instance I lost 4 hours of play on Castlevania, 2 hours of play on Mario Kart and 2 hours of play on nsmb2! This is a huge negative since you may lose hours of gameplay. it's a shoot in the dark really.

    In short, for those of you having a "game card is removed" issue, it likely is the contact from your micro sd. It likely stems of a physical manufacturing defect. I will be sending my gateway back to the retailer since I still think that this kind of problem is unacceptable especially after paying around a $100 for it.

    I hope this helps narrow down your problems.
     
    Cyberdrive likes this.
  2. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Interesting findings. For me (I have the same Game Card Was Removed issues), once I tested with Gateway release 1.2, the test never actually failed a single time. I got Red, Yellow, Blue, and solid Green, in a short sequence of 5 seconds. I also tested with the GW_testrom.3ds and I saw in the beginning the LED come down one notch from the initial Blue color (it was still a blueish color), and never changed color again until the end, where it turned to solid green. So I'm concluding the microSD card is not the fastest, but should be fast enough (Kingston 8GB class 4). Yet, even though all tests seem to indicate everything is fine, that didn't help me to run any games. With 1.2, the farthest I've seen from Mario Kart is the title screen, and then I get the Game card was removed. Luigi's Mansion doesn't go past a screen that tells me basically that the game save is corrupted and asks me to turn off the 3DS. The problem might be save related on my end, I don't know. I formatted both SD card from 3DS and microSD for Gateway several times with SD formatter app on PC (overwrite format, Size adjustment ON), but still no luck. I'm gonna get a class 10 for the Gateway later today to see if it will make a difference (I doubt it), and then probably will send back the Gateway. You're right, for nearly a $100, this card should be much more reliable. None of the cards I bought back in the days for my DS and DSi (that includes original R4, M3 DS Real, and Acekard 2.1i) have given me any problems, except maybe the Acekard with a few contact issues, but it was nothing this aggravating, and was easily solved with paper trick.
     
  3. DigitalDeviant

    DigitalDeviant GBAtemp Addict

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    I think I'm having similar issues...I was hoping I wasn't going to get a faulty card.
     
  4. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sorry to hear that, man. :( I sent back my faulty Gateway (I never was able to run a single game on it). The new one I received in replacement works absolutely flawlessly. So everything's good now. If you got the same kind of problems I had, I strongly suggest you send it back. This cart is too expensive to settle for anything less than 100% working unit.
     
  5. Kupie

    Kupie GBAtemp Regular

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    Have you tried it with a different MicroSD card?
     
  6. zxieus

    zxieus Member

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    First unit i received was DOA. didn't show up on home screen at all. the diagnostic worked up to test4 which works fine with a valid rom but the LED goes out when used with GW_testrom.3ds on the card

    Still awaiting a replacement unit, should be here soon
     
  7. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    My guess is a bad batch was produced one day on the production line. The chances are probably slim you would get another Gateway from the same bad batch, considering they sold out almost everywhere. And they probably ironed out the problems or used stricter quality control on the line. Best of luck for the replacement!
     
  8. Amber Lamps

    Amber Lamps Banned

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    This is the error I get with my current card, which appeared to be used quite a bit before I received it from dwtechz. So the difference between this posting and my previous one is I went in the other room in my drawer that has different console related flash cart gadgets in it and I found my original (yes, the original not the copy) R4 DS' MicroSD USB 2.0 card reader and I'm flashing the test rom on it right now as I type. it is going at ~3.4 - 3.8mb/sec which according to some is ideal to transfer to microsd for this product and when it is done I'll try it and see if it can get past the yellow light and then I'll submit this post. I wonder if it will since I do get partial data on my roms to go to the menu already. Maybe the other usbs are writing at too low of a speed?

    Let's see the final result...

    Test ROM setup:
    formatted 4gb Sandisk microsdhc with SDFormatter
    wrote GW_testrom.3ds image to it using Win32 Disk Imager
    Booted 3DS into Gateway mode, holding the L button

    LED sequence: short red then steady yellow and .... steady yellow....

    So yep this didn't help. I just wonder why the heck does it show my games on the main screen and have the screen avatar and sound when I highlight it, yet the game kicks out a message stating that the game card had been removed. This makes little sense. It should just run if it is going to stream that data out to the menu.