How do i install a CFW?

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Demifiend, May 21, 2015.

  1. Demifiend
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    Demifiend The bored one

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    It sounds like a noob question, because i'm a newbie (really newbie) in this kind of threads but, how do i exactly install a CFW?, I have a 3DS in 4.1.0FW for New Super Mario Bros 2, At this point, Can i install a CFW?, What kind of CFW should i install?, those are the real questions.

    Now, I heard of a lot people that: "No, you can't play games that are over 7.xx with Palantine CFW" and "If you use "xxx" you can play with cias of over 7.xx and even 8 and 9.xx", now, i have way too many questions here, how can i exactly play those games?, In fact, why are 3DS games comprissed in Cia?.

    That's one of my questions, the other one is: ┬┐Is it possible to install a CFW like a PSP in a future?, because the whole process sounds kinda complicated, not like a PSP where all you have to do is extract all of that in the main folder, press one button to install, and tada!, you don't have to pass with so much cryptic bullshit to do one thing.

    So, if someone could bring me an introduction to this, because i don't want my 3DS to be a brick for my papers, i want to actually use it for this, thank you.
     
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  2. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    Depends on the CFW. Each one is a bit different. It's worth noting you don't actually "install" them, but rather set them up so you can launch them. Some do require installation of various exploits.


    Yes. FW 4.X is the ideal FW since it has various exploits you can use. The most popular (I think) would be Palantine's CFW, but Pasta CFW also works (though Pasta requires Cubic Ninja).

    Depends on what type of hack you are looking for, and what kind of budget you have to buy extra stuff. Personally I used to use Palantine's CFW, and more recently switched to Pasta CFW on 9.2. I don't have any sort of 3DS flashcard (but I /do/ have an Acekard which I used to install the MSET exploit).


    This is because games that are compiled with Nintendo's developer kit for FWs over 7.X have a different encryption key. Which means if your System's native firmware is under 7.X, you can't decrypt these games. So Palantine's CFW (which only runs on 4.X) won't run those games. Any system over 7.X can run them fine. Most commonly people use 9.2, and have a gateway card.

    The 3DS encrypts games per console, so you can't just copy+share your eShop titles. Nintendo distributes .CIA files from their CDN, which are signed properly and the 3DS then installs it and runs. To pirate these games (and install backups), we don't have proper signing for each console. So instead, we simply bypass the checks. The installation still needs to happen, as the game requires to be formatted for each console, meaning traditional rom files won't work (though gateway has found a way around this and there's the .3DS and .3DZ formats, which work a bit differently).

    Yes and no. The PSP patches and exploits the boot loader, to boot straight into the CFW. We don't have access yet on the 3DS to do that. So instead you have to launch the exploit each time you boot, and then boot into the CFW. Some CFWs aren't a different system at all and just patch the regular FW to bypass checks. While others use an emulated NAND to get around the issue. Look into Gateway's Emunand. That's pretty close (besides the auto-boot) to PSP CFW.

    That's because the 3DS is much more locked down than the PSP. It's pretty much that simple nowadays anyway. Just throw the pasta CFW stuff on your SD, boot into Ninjhax (home-brew channel), and run the launcher. It's not any more complicated than using a USB launcher on the Wii.

    The main thing to pay attention to is messing with something called "SYSNAND". Installing bad CIAs to your Sysnand can brick your system. And like the PSP, trying to downgrade or flash a new NAND onto your system and turning off half way (or some other complication) will brick the system as well.

    If you want minimum effort, go find a cartridge to update to 9.2, then buy a copy of cubic ninja. Install Ninjhax, and then use Pasta CFW. Run FBI or DevMenu to install your CIA files. That's probably the most straight forward way to install/run CIAs without any technical knowhow.
     
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  3. StriderVM

    StriderVM GBAtemp Fan

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    ^ Explained it much much better than I will ever do.... :P

    - Installing CFW really depends on the one you're trying to install. Palantine requires 4.X because of the exploit being used to run it. Other CFW like Pasta will require a real cart of Cubic Ninja (Or Sky3DS) due to using an exploit that requires that game.

    -For the 3DS to load a game will do a sort of check to see if it's legitimate, CFW like Pasta / Palantine removes those checks. CIA files are also used in official eshop downloads as well. So it's kinda convenient.

    - In theory installing once a CFW like in the PSP is possible, it's just very hairy right now because a little mistake in modifying the sysNAND will totally brick the 3DS. In reference, in the early days of PSP hacking using a CFW also requires an exploitable game and cannot be directly installed into the PSP's firmware. Perhaps in the future we may get CFW that is similar to PSP hacking.
     
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  4. Demifiend
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    Demifiend The bored one

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    Thank you so much for your reply, it is really detailed with all i have to know, I have few more questions though.
    1 - If you say that it is not possible to run a game that is encrypted in older codes, does that mean that i need to update (again) my 3ds in order to play newer games, like, for example, i update my 3ds to FW9.2, install ninjhax, and then install Pasta CFW, with all that i can finally run those new games, right?
    2 - What is the difference between Sysnand and Emunand, and why so many people talk and warns about it's use, i don't get it.
    3 - Why is Cubic Ninja the hot topic in 3DS hacking, i mean, what it's so special about this game?
    4 - If i update my 3DS to 9.2, do i have any other choice than picking Pasta to boot game cias?, because, another kind of CFW that doesn't require Cubic Ninja, and it's updated sounds like a better option to me.
     
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  5. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    Provided I'm understanding you correctly, yes. If you are on 4.5 right now, you need to update to 9.2 in order to play newer games. You either need to update your sysnand, or you need to use a Gateway and update your Emunand. If you update to 9.2, install ninjhax, and then install pasta CFW, that should get you what you want. Keep in mind ninjhax requires the game Cubic Ninja in order to work (and PastaCFW requires Ninjhax).

    Both are referencing your 3DS's "NAND". Which, in short is the critical system file structure, that holds things like the firmware, NNID, home screen theme and layout, etc. "Sysnand" is referring to the Nand that's included by default with your 3DS (whether or not it's hacked). It's the literal physical piece of hardware/software. If you mess this up, your system is 'bricked' (as in, it won't turn on because it's trying to boot from a corrupt/bad sysnand). Gateway (and a few clones) have come out with a way to avoid this problem, by making a "Emunand". Emunand is simply an emulated Nand. It's an exact copy of your Sysnand, but it's stored on the SD card instead. And your system doesn't directly boot to it. So if you mess up the Emunand, nothing bad happens. You can simply re-make the Emunand and be on your way. AFAIK, Gateway's software (and some clones like MT-card) is the only way to make an Emunand. You can freely update the Emunand into newer versions (like 9.7). Go to the Gateway-3DS website for a bit more information on how to set up the Emunand, if that interests you.

    Cubic Ninja has a level editor in the game, which generates levels based on QR codes. One crafty user has exploited this system by making his own QR codes (not through the game) that happen to exploit the game's functions, and overwrite the save file. This means your cubic Ninja save is trash, but I don't think anyone cares about it :P. The idea is to use the save file/level editor as an entry point to run our own code. Ninjhax is the name of this exploit. From there, Ninjhax boots into a Homebred-Channel (similar to what the Wii does). At the moment, Ninjhax is one of the only exploits we have. IIRC, there's also the MSET exploit (which requires a DS flashcard or some other exploit to set up), and there's the Browser exploit, which is used for Gateway's 9.2 entry. Ninjhax is reliable because it doesn't rely on a specific firmware version. The exploit works up to 9.2, and further support for newer FWs is being added. It also is the first big exploit to allow home-brew software. So lots of people hopped on board with it. PastaCFW (and I think NTR CFW) uses this exploit as an entry into the system, instead of relying on the MSET or browser exploit.

    Here's the options you have for installing/running CIA files:

    1. Stay on 4.X and use Palantine's CFW. You are limited to a certain selection of games, and need to set up Emunand in order for this to run.

    2. Buy a gateway card and either update to 9.2, or stay on 4.X and install Emunand (Gateway recommend you use Emunand regardless).

    3. Update to 9.2 and use Cubic Ninja to boot into PastaCFW.

    That's pretty much it. Only PalantineCFW and PastaCFW can run CIAs without a 3DS Flashcard. Both are free, but Pasta requires Cubic Ninja while Palantine requires the MSET exploit (which mostly requires a regular DS flash card to set up, but can be set up some other ways as well). Gateway is the most expensive, but is guaranteed to have support, and has a continually updated Emunand (meaning you can always boot into the latest firmware).

    Alternatively, if you simply said "CIA" because you thought that was a 3DS rom, and your real goal is to just play 3DS games, you might be interested in Sky3DS, which is another 3DS Flashcard. This one doesn't run CIA files at all, and can't run home-brew. Instead, it spoofs itself as a legitimate 3DS game and loads .3DS files. I'm not too familiar with this card, but I know it supports Sysnand 9.7. Which no other exploit/flashcard does. This is because it's not actually exploiting the system, but just spoofing itself into a legitimate card.

    Unfortunately the options are pretty slim for people who don't wish to spend any money. I'd definitely recommend picking up Cubic Ninja if you are at all interested in this stuff, since it seems to be becoming a hot item. PastaCFW seems to be the next big thing in 3DS hacking, so I'd expect a lot of support to be heading that way.
     
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  6. Demifiend
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    Demifiend The bored one

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    I have an idea, what if i install Palantine CFW, install Cubic Ninja cia, and use the exploit Ninjhax without having to buy the game, then update my Sysnand to a higher version, and finally, being able to use pasta, is it possible?
     
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  7. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    You can indeed run Ninjhax through a CIA or 3DS version of the game. However, the problem with your idea is that once you update your SysNand, you are unable to run Palantine's CFW, which means you can no longer run your Cubic Ninja cia and thus no Ninjhax. Do keep an eye on the PastaCFW thread though. As some users are supposedly trying to make it work without Ninjhax. Which means that you could run it through the browser or an MSET exploit or something. But at the current moment it requires Cubic Ninja. Whether it be a CIA, .3DS, Retail Cartridge, or eShop version. And if you could run the CIA/3DS without it, then you probably don't need it in the first place.
     
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  8. Demifiend
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    Demifiend The bored one

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    I almost have something, well, at least i can wait, with the current thing of PastaCFW and a possibly update of Roxas NT (Or something like that), i give some months to actually have a definitive CFW where you can play in any format, is updatable in any OFW and has constant updates, like, if a game is released after the CFW release, you have something like (Bypass Antipiracy) with the ds flashcard and that's it, if is able to play music and movies even better, I wait for the day that a thing like that is released, it saves me a lot of possible headaches.
     
  9. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    Yea, waiting a while will certainly help. All this stuff is still really new (The CFWs just started coming out in december and pasta just came out a few days ago). It's hard to say what the future of 3DS hacking will be, but it almost certainly will get easier to do as time goes on.
     
  10. MattKimura

    MattKimura 3DS & WiiU Enthusiast

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    Consider yourself lucky! To even get such explained answers on GBATemp, it's unheard of. Usually if anyone else tries asking a newby question, it'll be replied with something like "Go read the FAQ's/Stickies and stop being a newb"


    But anyways, Kafke that was really informative even for someone like me who understands how everything works. I'm just completely unfamiliar with CFW and this cleared it up.

    So basically Cubic Ninja IS a 3DS flashcard when it comes to playing 3DS games. I can imagine the need for a really fast SD card, since installing cia files depend on the write speed of your SD card. My gf's been wanting a Gateway, I wonder if I should just send her my copy of Cubic Ninja and set her up with Pasta CFW and she'll be set.

    So what's supported on Pasta CFW, I know 3DS games. But what about eshop games, or Homebrew? If that's the case, then it's JUST as good as owning a Gateway, SLIGHTLY cheaper if you consider Cubic Ninja ($27 here + bigger & faster SD) to be cheaper than Gateway ($70 + $20 micro SD).


    I can imagine how legendary Pasta CFW will become once it can run without Cubic Ninja. But owning a 9.2 3DS is still pretty rare and unlikely without the need to go fetch one from Ebay or someone.
     
  11. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    Haha. I usually don't type out such long help posts. I have to admit this stuff is quite a bit more confusing than simply popping in a DS flashcart. I still have some questions myself (like: How does having linked sysnands across consoles effect online play, NNID, and eShop?)


    Glad to hear that. I can imagine it gets a bit tricky to follow along if you aren't constantly reading this stuff or don't have a tech background.

    Ehh sort of. Cubic Ninja allows for "Ninjhax". Which, the best way I can describe it, is like a home-brew channel for the 3DS. This by itself doesn't allow you to play 3DS games (even the Ninjhax FAQ states this). PastaCFW is yet another exploit that reboots the system with the checks patched. That by itself simply allows you to run unsigned installed CIAs. Which means nothing, since Pasta by itself can't install CIAs. So the setup typically involves using FBI (which is a home-brew CIA installer) in it's 3DSX form (compatible with Ninjhax), and then using it to install a CIA of a CIA installer (either BigBlueMenu/DevMenu or FBI itself). Once you have the Ninjhax/FBI/PastaCFW setup, it's basically the same as a flashcard, yea. There's still some differences though. Pasta doesn't support emunand. It doesn't support .3DS or .3DZ files. As for installing CIA files... installs take only a few minutes at most on my Lexar Class 10 32gb card. And really this 'issue' is the same whether you are buying legitimate eShop stuff, using a gateway, or whatever.

    Gateway requires more technical knowhow, IMO. But it has more 'security checks' to ensure your system is safe. If you install bad CIA on emunand, you can simply reset it. If you install a bad CIA on sysnand (which pasta uses), you get a bricked console. That said, I've personally never had a bricked console in my history of hacking. Just pay attention to what you install (if it's just games, you are fine).

    Pasta allows unsigned CIAs to install and run. This means any 3DS rom converted into CIA format, any eShop game, and any home-brew released in CIA format (home-brew is also released as 3DSX, which runs on Ninjhax). As for benefits of Gateway, as I mentioned, you get Emunand, which is nice. You also get a second storage space for games (SD+MicroSD, rather than just SD). You also get the knowledge that the gateway team is constantly looking for improvements to their system. And on top of all that, you can still use Ninjhax/Pasta with the gateway. But yea, Pasta is almost a perfect replacement. I'm personally using it (no Gateway/Sky for me :P). I actually picked up cubic Ninja for $15 right as Ninjhax was released. Been sitting on it, since I didn't care for most of the home-brew available at the time.


    Yea, it seems the next step for Pasta is to run with an MSET exploit and then Spider. It's still locked to 9.2, as is every other 3DS exploit. I've heard that Ninjhax might be updated to work on newer versions, which means that pasta in turn could work on those newer versions. We'll have to see though. Until then, I'll have Pasta on my O3DS, and keep my N3DS on 9.7 (because I was an idiot and updated from 9.5. It was on 9.5 since I wanted to transfer my O3DS stuff). Mostly a big game of patience right now. At least pasta's a step up from Palantine's.
     
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  12. MattKimura

    MattKimura 3DS & WiiU Enthusiast

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    Kafke To be able to explain this much must mean that you are VERY much excited about the release of Pasta CFW! :P
    I consider myself a 3DS enthusiast, but not as much as you!

    I've always been afraid of CFW, and not even recommend it to anyone. I just hated that 4.5 limitation of Palantene CFW and the "Legit cia" limitation of NTR CFW. Both of those just completely drove me off and made me not even consider it, even though a lot of people seemed to have liked those options anyways.
    Cubic Ninja is like the cheaper flashcard option, that plays only cia's. Pasta CFW does literally EVERYTHING Gateway does pretty much.

    I've always wondered why people even care for cia files, when they take a million years to install. More specifically the larger cia files for 2 GB and 4 GB games. Luckily most games are 1 GB to 512 MB. I just completely despise cia games just for the amount of time it will take to install. I use a 16 GB class 4 card and I'll NEVER buy a class 4 card ever again! I can't believe I let myself fall for the price back then. Amazon gave me a free 16 GB class 10 Samsung micro SD card, when I simply clicked on return product. They let me keep it and refunded my money.

    One other thing confuses me about Pasta CFW. if you install games to sysnand, will they normally be launchable from sysnand as soon as you turn on the 3DS, or do you have to boot up ninjhax + the other required stuff within homebrew channel? What'll happen if you launch a game from sysnand without ninjhax? It's almost like you'd need to boot into another dimension that's similar to emunand, but it's sysnand. Pretty similar to booting into Gateway mode, but then it will be on sysnand when there's no emunand on your SD card or if you hold B before booting Gateway mode.
     
  13. Kafke

    Kafke GBAtemp Fan

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    very much so. I've been holding off on buying a Gateway/Sky, since I had a feeling some better CFW was coming up. Tech-wise it's pretty fascinating as well.

    Haha. I probably spend more time reading up 3DS hacking stuff than actually messing around with my console and playing games. I'm just into RE'ing and game hacking.


    Yea, Palantine's had quite a bit of limitations, but IMO it was better than nothing. And I was interested in hacking the console either way. Huge pain in the ass, but it was a fun side project. NTR has interested me, but it sounds like it's very limited, and sounds like it can only run on N3DS. But I haven't really looked into it. The plugin support seems fun. But mainly I'm hoping for some sort of live ram searching/editing tool, wherever that may come from. Getting a kickstart on AR code development would be awesome.

    Mainly because it's the only legitimate format for 3DS games. CIA files can be directly obtained from Nintendo and directly work with the console itself (give or take some signing issues). While .3DS files are just dumps of cartridges (which means that we can't load them like an eShop title). So CIA is the only option unless someone feels like writing a new loader/format and hacking the FW to get that all set up. This is different than older consoles, where we literally just copied the ROM portion of cartridges, and had a fake cartridge that emulates a ROM image located on the SD. We can still do this on the 3DS, naturally, which is how we have Sky3DS. But with the newer-gen stuff, we have the problem of headers, incompatibility with using the native SD card, and so on. It's also a bit trickier to make functioning home-brew without using pirated SDKs. With unsigned CIAs we don't have that issue, since we already have tools to make them that don't rely on any sort of private SDK from Nintendo (IIRC). I don't see the install time of a CIA being any worse than installing from the eShop (since it's near identical). And a few minutes for an install seems like a much better option than having to put everything on a microSD (slower), and then having weird saving issues and having to mess around with headers.

    Yea, for any heavy SD use, you pretty much want a class 10. It's a huge difference on the 3DS. This even goes for legitimate eShop purchases.

    As I mentioned earlier, Pasta patches the signature checks on the Sysnand and then reboots. eShop content (CIA files) are signed by Nintendo's server before you download them to your console. And then that signed CIA is installed and checked with your private system key. So only your games can be run on your console (this is why you can't copy+paste your SD card to a new 3DS). All pasta does is patch out this check, so you can install/run things without needing the software to have the right signature. And since Pasta doesn't make any permanent changes to the console, that means if you reboot (or are forced to reboot by quitting a game like Smash on your O3DS), the patches Pasta applied are reset. In practice this means that you'll still see your unsigned CIA games/apps on the home screen, but if you scroll over them, you won't see the icon on the top screen, the sound won't play, and you won't be able to boot (it'll say it's corrupted or something and tell you to go delete it and redownload). Once you run Pasta again, it'll re-patch the checks, and everything will work.

    I imagine this is similar to what Gateway's Sysnand patch does. But I don't own a gateway, so I'm not 100% certain. Emunand works a bit different. It does the same thing, but runs a copy of your Nand off the SD card. So... kind of like a "ROM file" but for your FW/System. I'm not sure if Palantine's CFW patches the checks each time it boots, or if it does it once when installing and then simply boots the emunand.

    Either way, the only time you don't need Ninjhax/Pasta is when you are playing on 'legit' CIAs. These are typically specially noted files when you find them online (usually says something like "Clean/Legit") and need to be your certain region. As they are preinstalled and work with any system. So when you install them with Pasta on, you don't need to run pasta again after restarting your system. Likewise, things installed from the eShop don't need Pasta to run either, since they are properly signed.

    The ultimate ideal would be to find a way to patch the CIAs themselves, so that they can be installed on any system (much like a legit/clean cis). Since these clean/legit CIAs will even work after you restart the system, do a system transfer, update to the latest firmware, etc. The only difference is that clean/legit CIAs are properly patched, while the rest rely on skipping the sig checks in order to run/install.
     
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  14. StaticPain

    StaticPain GBAtemp Regular

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    Here is a guide I made on getting Pasta CFW up and running.

     
  15. Demifiend
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    Demifiend The bored one

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    Interesting, I hope that in a future PastaCFW release more features, more compatbility with cias, and if it's possible, to run this without Cubic Ninja aswell, it would be good.