Gaming Help! Nintendo DS Freezing on Boot-up

JoKoKilla

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Help! My Nintendo DS freezes when booting up even when there’s no cartridge in either slot. On the top screen, the NDS logo animation loads, then goes to white. On the bottom screen, just white (no health/safety message), then it changes to red. Both screens are then frozen while power button green. This means I can’t access the system configuration menu. :( Has anyone seen this before, know what this means, or how to troubleshoot this issue?
NDS01.JPG

Some background on the issue… the problem began yesterday. I was attempting to enter the system config. menu, but found the console would freeze after clicking the menu icon (this worked fine the previous day!). After only few repeated attempts and reboots later, the NDS suddenly began to freeze during boot up as described above. Interestingly, I have a “Super Card SD” and the content on that cartridge (slot 2) successfully loads/plays flawlessly, so I believe it’s not an issue with the screens themselves or those internal connections (I’ve replaced the bottom screen a few months ago). I’ve also tried fully charging and then switching the current battery with a spare, and no difference. To add to this, I just recently acquired, setup, and have been using a new R4 card, for the past few days with no issues.
NDS02.JPG

Could the R4 card have corrupted something internally? Am I correct to assume the system reads slot 2 first by default? Is there an alternative way to do a “safe boot” and access the system menu/files? Is there some type of firmware I can use in place of the system interface? I’d love to salvage this thing and get it to work if I can. I’m about to open it up and examine the boards/ribbons for anything suspicious. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 
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JoKoKilla

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Well. It seems you did hit the DS forums. Better to wait there for replies about your DS system.

Hope it's not too much. Just thought this forum might be a good prospect in case there were avid 3DS players who might also have knowledge on DS type issues (if by chance they relate). Also feeling anxious for answers as my internet searches haven't helped all that much. Don't mean to annoy or oversaturate these forums.
 

KleinesSinchen

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Could the R4 card have corrupted something internally? Am I correct to assume the system reads slot 2 first by default? Is there an alternative way to do a “safe boot” and access the system menu/files? Is there some type of firmware I can use in place of the system interface? I’d love to salvage this thing and get it to work if I can. I’m about to open it up and examine the boards/ribbons for anything suspicious. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Did you by any chance use the "3DS Setup" option in the Wood menu? In the following case both screens stayed white. The rest is the same. Settings menu not working and after battery removal → bricked console (no wonder, tries settings after removing battery).
https://gbatemp.net/threads/i-think-i-bricked-my-ds-phat.537905/

Interestingly, I have a “Super Card SD” and the content on that cartridge (slot 2) successfully loads/plays flawlessly, so I believe it’s not an issue with the screens themselves or those internal connections (I’ve replaced the bottom screen a few months ago).
This gives a bit hope. Does your DS already have FlashMe? Can you boot DS software from Slot-2?
Running the FlashMe installer repaired the damage/firmware corruption in the above thread. Of course FlashMe carries the risk of bricking a DS-Phat to a point where only advanced soldering skills could potentially save it (no removable firmware chip). Secure the battery against dropping out and insulate everything but the very tip of your bridging tool when flashing the firmware.

In case you SLOT-2 card does not allow starting DS software (FlashMe installer) you will need an older flashcart (or an Action Replay) being able to skip the Health and Safety screen.

==============

My assumptions could be all wrong since your lower screen changes to red and this is different compared to the older topic.

Good luck!

Edit:
I recommend using FlashMe over NoFlashMe(uninstaller). Both should do the trick but the uninstaller is more dangerous. If the process is interrupted but a minimum of FlashMe is already written, it is possible to force starting DS-Software (from either Slot) by holding (Start)+(Select) on power on.

If you already have FlashMe this might work for starting the R4i Gold 3DS Plus as well.
 
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JoKoKilla

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Did you by any chance use the "3DS Setup" option in the Wood menu? In the following case both screens stayed white. The rest is the same. Settings menu not working and after battery removal → bricked console (no wonder, tries settings after removing battery).

I was using a Firmware sent to me by the seller of my R4 card. It's not Wood, the file is called "R4I GOLD 3DS RTS". I wonder if it's the wrong firmware... But I haven't removed my battery for over a month now, and the settings menu seemed to malfunction spontaneously.

Does your DS already have FlashMe? Can you boot DS software from Slot-2? Running the FlashMe installer repaired the damage/firmware corruption in the above thread. Of course FlashMe carries the risk of bricking a DS-Phat to a point where only advanced soldering skills could potentially save it (no removable firmware chip). Secure the battery against dropping out and insulate everything but the very tip of your bridging tool when flashing the firmware.

Awesome suggestion! I was WONDERING if there's some kind of alternative boot up software to use. I'm going to try FlashMe, and if that doesn't work, I'll try replacing the motherboard. Thank you thank you thank you, for directing me to a few options. I'm a firm believer there's ALWAYS a solution. I'll let you know how it goes.


--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Hello.:)

Only to get sure it is not your Slot 1 - original DS Gamecart/Games works for your DS ?

Thank you.:)

Yes I thought about that! That's a good suggestion. I actually don't have any games! See, this is an iQue DS, which means it's from China. If I understand this correctly, in China you don't buy cartridges. Instead, you buy SD cards that have roms installed. You put the SD card in the "Super Card" pictured above, and that's how you play the games. This probably explains why it's possible for me to boot this system with the "Super Card" in slot-2, assuming it has its own firmware, which the console reads first upon boot up. I have this iQue DS because my wife purchased it years ago in China.
 

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Does anyone know where to get FlashMe? All the links I've found are dead. What's up with that?
https://www.linfoxdomain.com/nintendo/ds
Best Ctrl+f and search for FlashMe. Too many things on that page...

Why did you post that question into a random other thread? A while ago I took some pictures for flashing DS Lite and DS "Phat" (scroll down a few post for the latter).

If you make a good bridging tool and secure the battery against dropping out with tape it should be fairly safe.

Yes that sounds like it. Super sketchy right? Is there another way? The firmware on my motherboard seems to have gone bad, and I'm looking for a substitute. My "super card" seems to boot fine from slot-2, which is why FlashMe seems like a good solution, but it seems like a sketchy install process and the program itself is hard to find.
I know of no other way. The installation is tricky because part of the firmware chip is write protected (AFAIK on hardware level) -- unless SL-1 is bridged.


Yes I thought about that! That's a good suggestion. I actually don't have any games! See, this is an iQue DS, which means it's from China. If I understand this correctly, in China you don't buy cartridges. Instead, you buy SD cards that have roms installed. You put the SD card in the "Super Card" pictured above, and that's how you play the games. This probably explains why it's possible for me to boot this system with the "Super Card" in slot-2, assuming it has its own firmware, which the console reads first upon boot up. I have this iQue DS because my wife purchased it years ago in China.
Hope FlashMe is compatible with iQue DS. Couldn't find any information on this.
 
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JoKoKilla

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I ended up replacing the motherboard. I kept the old motherboard just in case, as it still reads from the GBA slot. Problem solved. Thank you very much for your insight. I'll consider Flashme for any future issues.
 
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