Get Game and Save Data Back?

Discussion in '3DS - Games & Content' started by CakeBuffet, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    Hey all. I booted up my N3DS today to find out that most of my games were gone. However, the icons still remained on the home screen. When I move the cursor over to these games, the icon is missing from the top screen.
    but no icon on top!. cursor on phoenix wright....

    If I try to launch the game, I get met with an error. error message.

    This has happened to me once before and I'm not sure what's causing it. It could be because I sometimes insert this SD card into my phone, and the phone automatically deletes the files, but I'm still not 100% sure on that. When I go to settings to see if the games are still there, I'm met with a lot of question mark icons without a title.
    settings.

    The first time this happened to me, I just reinstalled the CIA file, but in return, I lost all of my data. Is there a way to restore my games without losing all of my data?

    Thanks in advance.

    I don't know if this will help, but the games that were unaffected were all 4 Fire Emblem games, Project X Zone 2, Corpse Party, 7th Dragon III Code: VFD, Super Metroid, and Ocarina of Time. The rest of them are the ones I have problems with. The system apps are unaffected, but YouTube was also affected for some reason. All the games and apps that don't work have been blacked out below.
    censored.
     
    Last edited by CakeBuffet, Aug 11, 2019
  2. Shadow#1

    Shadow#1 Wii & 3DS Softmod Expert

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    Try JKSM or CheckPoint
     
  3. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    Much appreciation for the speedy response! I haven't tried JKSM, but I will do so right now. Checkpoint requires you to manually back up your games (unless there's an automatic feature?) and I haven't backed up several of my games in a while so I wanted to avoid this option. If worst comes to worst, I may have to do so.

    EDIT: I tried JKSM, but it requires me to reinstall the CIA for the game I want to get back, so it'd erase my data either way. I'd also have to have manually backed up my data for me to be able to restore anything, and because I don't have data backed up for some games, then backup software is definitely out of the question. I appreciate the suggestion nonetheless :).

    Unless there's something I'm missing here and JKSM does more than I realize.
     
    Last edited by CakeBuffet, Aug 11, 2019
  4. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    Checkpoint has mass backup option. However, it might be too late for any of that as what you're describing are talltale signs of data corruption due to fake SD card.
    1. Copy everything off the card over to a computer.
    2. Quadruple reformat (for thoroughness).
    3. Full Write + Verify the empty card with H2testw.
    If an error was reported, you must replace the hardware failed card. Check my signature.

    After buying a replacement SD card that passes inspection in H2testw, you'll need to salvage whatever data that hasn't been corrupted.

    4. Rebuild the card setup with the reference CFW starter kit.
    5. Copy the Nintendo 3DS folder to the new card.
    • Keep another copy of the Nintendo 3DS folder on your computer in case of a mistake later.

    6. In GodMode9, run the CTRTransfer (Type D9) - Rebuild 3DS Database: Option (B) Full - (1b) Backup CIAs & Saves to dump your titles into CIAs and backup the decrypted versions of the SAV files.
    • For safety, read the instructions carefully about what to do to get the script feature to run.
    • Titles that fail to get backed up into CIAs were affected by corruption and will need to be sourced with replacement CIAs elsewhere.
      • See the missing_titles.txt at the end of the script run.
    7. Reinstall all the titles with FBI.
    8. Go back to the script to restore the saves with (2b) Restore Saves.
    • Titles that were not reinstalled will have their saves not restored.
      • See the save_restore_error.txt at the end of the script run.
    9. There are instructions in the Option (B) about restoring tickets with faketik, backing up the saves + extdata with Checkpoint/JKSM, and mass unwrapping HOME Menu icons with Cthulhu.
    Keep in mind that whatever saves affected by data corruption cannot be recovered.

     
    Last edited by TurdPooCharger, Aug 11, 2019
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  5. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    I love the thorough response! I didn't ever think that my SD Card could be fake because the deletion only happens when I put it into my current phone. I've never had a problem like this with my previous phones. It's just my current phone that causes problems for my SD Card for some reason. I'll try out your suggestion and report the results, but I've also tried using data recovery software and it seems like all my games can be recovered. I didn't have a chance to see if the software actually works, but it's worth a try.
     
    Last edited by CakeBuffet, Aug 11, 2019
  6. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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  7. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    What's are the differences between IsoBuster and EaseUS? Which one do you recommend more?
     
  8. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    That's a question best answered by trying both programs. I take it you're not a personal proponent of searching and using software from those sites. If you decide to purchase one of them, go with EaseUS.
     
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  9. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    I found a part of the problem (entirely unrelated to recovery software). I looked through the game files for games that were missing and I found that the .app files are gone, leaving behind the .tmd file, the .sav, and the cmd folder with a .cmd file inside. I don't know if this makes anything easier, but I just wanted to post this information here in case it does.

    EDIT: Some folders are missing the .sav files but have a .app. The .tmd and .cmd files seem to be untouched for every folder. Some of them have recurring names (00000000.app, 00000001.app), but there are some with distinct names as well (4a114c12.app, 20fd0ea5.app). Does this also have something to do with it?
     
    Last edited by CakeBuffet, Aug 12, 2019 at 6:00 AM
  10. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    That's how installed CIAs are structured and named. APP files are the contents for game/update/dlc and e-manual. Some games don't have /data/00000001.sav because they make their saves through extdata.

    One way or another, you're going to need to figure out how to recover missing files with data recovery program(s), pull everything out of that card, reformat and hardware test the card because it can't be trusted at this point, buy a replacement should it prove faulty, and rebuild your setup the best you can.

    ***

    Other possible explanation is that your phone has antivirus app that falsely identifies stuff in the Nintendo 3DS folder as malware and deletes them.
     
  11. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    I've yet to test my SD Card with h2testw. However, I found a way to get all my data back, though it's kind of a tedious process. Using Metroid: Samus Returns as the test subject, I reinstalled the CIA and launched the game. As expected, all of my data was erased. Luckily, I copied all my folders onto my PC like you instructed me to do. I found the .sav file from the game's data folder and replaced the new save with the old one. I launched the game again and there it was! All of my progress was intact as if it had been untouched :D. I'm still unsure as to whether this will work for all my games but I'll definitely give it a try. I appreciate all that you've helped me with. I'll look into buying a new SD Card if my current one proves fake, but I'm taking the risk of restoring my games first. Again, thank you so much for your help!
     
  12. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    I'm not sure why you're holding off testing your current SD card, but you really should stop using it and get it checked out. Save recovery and rebuilding the setup is better done on a card that's proven to be reliable. Using the questionable current card complicates recovery if you run into unexpected data corruption that overwrites or deletes whatever fresh files that were create.

    Edit - About the above. Any saves that were deleted but still have a chance to be found with IsoBuster or EaseUS, should have the current card left alone. The more files are moved around or titles are reinstalled, the increased risked those supposedly deleted saves are permanently erased from getting overwritten from those new files.

    ***

    That tediousness can be entirely avoided by using the Rebuild 3DS Database: Option (B) Full, as the script will automatically back up recoverable titles into CIAs, extract those saves for you, and then add them back after you reinstall everything. This way, you don't have to trouble yourself manually doing this.

    If all you want is to extract and restore are just the saves, you can instead use the Option (C) Manual.

    ***

    Also, you gotta watch for anti-cheating save protection called Secure Value. Some games like Super Smash Bros 3DS and Animal Crossing: New Leaf will delete their saves if tampered with. Backup and restore all the saves with a save manager before launching any of the games to reset these.

    If backing up and restoring the saves sounds way too much work, a quick and dirty way to reset all the [currently stored] secure values is to delete a certain NAND file:
    1. GodMode9 → [1:] SYSNAND CTRNAND/data/<ID0>/sysdata/00010011/00000000 → press (X) to delete.
      • :!: Be careful not to delete anything else.
     
    Last edited by TurdPooCharger, Aug 13, 2019 at 12:22 AM
  13. CakeBuffet
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    I tried using h2testw to test my SD Card but I got an error that says "The procedure entry point NtSetLdEntriEs coud not be located in the dynamic link library. C:\\WINDOWS\System32\wow64.dll" Does it mean that I'm missing this file? Because I went to the pathway it mentioned and found the exact file. Not only that, h2testw worked perfectly fine before, but I'm getting this error now. Is there something I'm missing here?

    EDIT: Never mind. Restarting my PC seemed to fix it.
     
    Last edited by CakeBuffet, Aug 13, 2019 at 1:45 AM
  14. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    Results from the test: No errors.
     
  15. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    Was this test done after the card was reformatted or starting out empty, yes?
    (Scan results wouldn't be clean if there were files kept in place.)

    Here's a experiment you can try to determine if your phone is to blame for deleting your stuff.
    (Doing this might not work if your phone's odd behavior with the card isn't consistent.)

    For the games you marked their icons black in your first post, install fresh copies for a handful of those titles. Insert the card to the phone and transfer files as you typically do. Recheck if those titles were deleted again when you put the card back to the 3DS.
     
  16. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    Yes, I formatted it 4 times before doing the test. My SD Card was completely empty and didn't have a single file. I also double checked to make sure there weren't any hidden files.

    If I have everything on my SD Card backed up onto my PC, and my phone does indeed delete the files again, would I be able to simply paste the backup onto my SD Card without having to reinstall my games again?
     
  17. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    In theory, yes - you would not need to reinstall everything if you simply copy over that backup (kept on the computer) back to the SD card. This is assuming you can identify every, exact titles that were affected from whatever deletions caused by the phone.

    In practice, somewhat no - without knowing ahead of time if your phone simply deleted those affected files in full or inserted garbage values to those APP/SAV/etc. (mis)identified as malware (to render files as safe), you would be second guessing whether or not titles retrieved in data recover were kept intact. They might mostly work and then crash all of the sudden during game play due to getting corrupted from whatever your phone's antivirus app (or whatever funk app) might have done to them.

    The nice thing about backing up CIAs is that each title's TMD file has a list of hashes for each of its contents' APP. If GodMode9 calculates the SHA-256 hashes for those APP, and they do not match what's found in the TMD, GodMode9 will refuse to rebuild that title into a CIA. It's a way to automatically dump good titles but also check which titles you'll need to replace with intact CIAs. This helps to eliminate guessing what is salvageable and which titles you'll have to online search for those replacement CIAs in case you don't already have backup CIA collection kept in an external drive to rely upon.

    For the saves, the best you can do is reinstall the games, inject their 00000001.sav files, backup & restore the saves with Checkpoint/JKSM (again, this is done to defeat the secure value hurdle), and pray those saves were not junked.
     
    Last edited by TurdPooCharger, Aug 13, 2019 at 4:31 AM
  18. CakeBuffet
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    CakeBuffet Member

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    Would formatting the SD Card and then pasting the backup not work if the files get corrupted/deleted? I feel like that'd be a much easier solution than having to go through each and every folder to find what's missing. Unless this has a possibility of bricking the system...
     
  19. TurdPooCharger

    TurdPooCharger Meh

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    Files that were already corrupted will cause problems later down the road. It's why it would be best to rebuild your setup from scratch by reinstalling everything. While you know which titles were obviously affected by whatever it was that corrupted them from the phone as seen in the HOME Menu, you wouldn't know which of the other titles were ever so slightly corrupted where they work most of the time. Playing those games that may seem fine for the most part but were affected would be like walking up a flight of stairs where your foot steps on and randomly cracks through a wooden plank. You simply don't know what stayed intact or not.

    Since your card was quadruple reformatted with those specified settings and it has passed hardware inspection in H2testw, it can be safe to assume the problem isn't the card itself. When rebuilding your game library, you would either have to rely installing fresh CIA copies you kept somewhere and/or try to backup titles into CIAs that were previously installed. Those that were rejected in getting made into CIAs can be regarded as definitely corrupt.

    As for bricking your system, corruption done to the SD contents has little impact affecting the 3DS firmware (for the most part).

    Even though rebuilding will suck a lot due to how much time it takes to dump & reinstall CIAs while on top of handling the saves, I hope your experience is mostly smooth sailing with the aid of the CTRTransfer (Type D9) script's Rebuild 3DS Database. Whether you choose to source all new CIAs and use a mix of backed up ones from the dump run, rest assure pulling out those saves and putting them back where they need to go does not have to be a PITA.
     
    Last edited by TurdPooCharger, Aug 13, 2019 at 5:46 AM