Tutorial  Updated

How to swap between different PSN accounts withOUT formatting, using HENkaku

UPDATE: pendor has also made a Vita Homebrew that automate the process described in this guide. You can check it out here.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE (8th August, 2016): Vita system software v3.61 has been released. Do NOT update, you will LOSE access to HENkaku.

Installing HENkaku should allow you to get pass the update prompts. Download any games you have yet to download onto your Vita, you might not be able to later. If you have not activated your PSN account on your Vita: Go into the PS Store and attempt to download one of your games, it will activate itself.
Alternately, try Vita Update Blocker (only works a while after a new System Update) / refer to the methods listed here. You can also use Vita Activator if you just want to activate your Vita on your PSN accounts.

Do NOT DEACTIVATE YOUR PSN ACCOUNT from your Vita if you want to play your digital games!


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Ever wanted to swap between different PSN accounts (e.g. when you want to use a memory card that linked to another account), but don't want to go through the tedious process of formatting your Vita? Well, if you are on the firmware version v3.60 (latest version is v3.61 as of right now, though manual update to v3.60 is possible), then this guide is for you! We will utilize a PS Vita exploit called Henkaku, so beware you might lose your warranty in the process, if you care for such thing.
I have included some precaution steps you can do to hide all traces of HENkaku on your Vita if you feel anxious about the whole process, though they don't seem to be absolutely necessary at the moment; seeing as nobody have been banned from using homebrew on PS Vita yet.

You will need:
- Your PS Vita/PS TV (System Software v 3.6), along with your multiple PS Vita memory cards
- An FTP client installed onto your PC (I personally use Filezilla Client)
- Both your Vita & PC connected to the same Internet connection



1. Insert a memory card that is linked to the current PSN on the PS Vita. Do one of the following procedures (1st one recommended):

- Turn on the Vita & launch Vita's internet browser, type the URL below into the web address bar:
https://henkaku.me/
Go ahead and click the "Install" button. (This might take a few try. Error C2-12828-1 will occur from time to time. If this happens, click "OK" and it will automatically try again. If the error occur 3 times in a row, try turning off your Vita & launching your Internet Browser again.)

- If the the website above is down, then head to this website on your PC. Download the package and read Usage.odt to set up self-hosting instead.


On the Vita, if you get a black screen and then some text show up, you have succeeded. The Vita will automatically exit the Internet Browser and now VitaShell has been installed (it is named molecularShell in the bubble). VitaShell is a Vita File Manager, but we will only use it to launch a FTP server from the Vita so we can copy & paste files between the Vita & your PC.


2. Navigate your PS Vita menu, locate the VitaShell bubble and launch the app. (If you get Error C1-6775-5, you have forgotten to do step 1 again.)


3. When VitaShell is launched, press "Select" on your Vita. Go to your PC, launch your FTP client, and connect to the Ip Address/Host & Port combination, as provide by the Vita's dialog box:
" FTP server is not running at

ftp:// *ip address/host* :*port*
...
"


4. If this is your first time launching VitaShell from this specific PSN account, use your FTP Client and copy these 3 files from the Vita to a safe folder on your PC, and make sure you can identity which PSN account they belong to (name the folder after your PSN account etc.):
- system.dreg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- system.ireg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- act.dat , access by typing " /tm0:/npdrm " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.

Make sure your PSN account is activated on your Vita before you backup the files, otherwise act.dat won't show up.


5. [OPTIONAL STEP] To feel extra safe, you can do the following to hide all trances of homebrewing, even from your friends on PSN!
- Download the molecularShell disguiser pack from here.
- Open the zip file. Select one of the modularShell .VPK files, copy it to a location on your PC. Be sure to choose a game that you don't plan on playing!
- Go into molecularShell disguiser pack's "param.sfo" folder and select one of the .SFO files inside, copy it to a location on your PC. Be sure to choose another game that you don't plan on playing!
- Create a folder in the " /ux0: " section of the PS Vita. Name it whatever you want. Copy your chosen .VPK file into there using your FTP Client.
- Launch VitaShell and navigate to your newly created folder, press "X" on the .VPK file to install.
- Launch your newly installed bubble (disguised molecularShell), then press " Select " on the Vita.
- Navigate to " /ux0:/app/MLCL00001/sce_sys " on your FTP client. Copy your chosen .SFO file across & replace the existing "param.sfo" file.
- Finally, install History Deleter onto your Vita. Run it to get rid of play history & error log from your Vita. Restart your Vita afterwards.

When VitaShell is updated in the version, you will need to repeat this procedure. The disguised molecularShell is an old version of VitaShell & should not be used except to disguise VitaShell (because you can't modify VitaShell itself when it is running the FTP). A similar procedure to this one can also be used to disguise other homebrew apps as legitimate PS Vita apps.


Repeat step 1-5 for all of your different PSN accounts [gonna have to Format the Vita to do this I'm afraid :( However, DO NOT DEACTIVATE your PSN account under any circumstances when formatting.


6. Now you have backup all the files associated with all your different PSN account, all you need to do to swap account is to:
  • Do step 1-3. (As of right now, HENkaku "disappear" everytime you turn off the system. Instead of connecting to the Internet everytime you want to use HENkaku, you can install the HENkaku-offline homebrew onto your Vita; allowing offline use.)
  • Copy the backup files of your desired PSN account from your PC to your PS Vita using your FTP client & your preferred Vita FTP app (disguised VitaShell recommended); making sure they will be in the correct directory on the Vita (refer to step 4) & overwriting them. As usual, you might want to go to the trophy menu and sync your trophies with the PSN server before switching account, otherwise you will lose un-synced trophies.

    - If your current memory card also contains content from the desired PSN account (i.e. multi-account set-up), you should also navigate to " /ux0: " on the Vita and delete id.dat .
    If you don't know what this means, you don't need to mess with id.dat.
  • Turn off your Vita & then change to a memory card that is linked to the desired PSN account.
  • Turn back on your Vita, launch the "Trophies" app from the Vita. Congrats, you have successfully swapped account, without even needing to log in again!
    (For PS TV, you will need connect your PS3/4 controller to the system using a USB cable, so that the controller can be relinked as well. This might take a few tries.)

NOTE: Files taken from one system does NOT work on a different one correctly. You will need to create a separate set of backups for the different console in that case.
NOTE: If you get Error np-6174-8 when trying to launch a digital game. You need to launch the "Trophies" bubble from the PS Vita, it should be fixed afterwards. If not, you can always just format the Vita.


References:
https://henkaku.xyz/usage/
http://hackinformer.com/2015/06/26/how-to-swap-your-vita-memory-card-without-formatting/
https://www.reddit.com/r/vitahacks/...d_my_folder_of_molecularshell_disguiser_vpks/
http://wololo.net/talk/viewtopic.php?p=407087
https://twitter.com/KanadeEngel/status/761329400373710848
https://www.reddit.com/r/vitahacks/comments/4wow3l/am_i_screwed/


How to get multiple accounts on a single memory card:
https://www.reddit.com/r/vitahacks/comments/4vhn3z/how_to_get_multiple_accounts_on_a_single_memory/
 
Last edited by geddanof,

MDashK

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This tutorial seems more of swapping between PSN accounts, rather than "How to swap PS Vita memory card".
Also, to swap memory card between PSN accounts AND avoid formatting it, all you have to do is delete the "ID.DAT" file in the root of the memory card. This way, it won't format in other accounts.
Nevertheless, great tutorial, a great way to swap between PSN accounts.
Just make sure to always delete or replace the id.dat file with the PSN account specific one, to avoid formatting the memory card.

ALSO: Your note is true. This only works IN SAME SYSTEM. Between other systems, apps won't launch on other systems.
 
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geddanof

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This tutorial seems more of swapping between PSN accounts, rather than "How to swap PS Vita memory card".
Yeah, I should probably get the title changed now that I think about it.

Just make sure to always delete or replace the id.dat file with the PSN account specific one, to avoid formatting the memory card.
If you store content that belongs to multiple PSN account on a single memory card, then yeah, that would be recommended. But if all your memory cards are only dedicated to one PSN account (which can be different each time), then that won't be necessary.
 

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I've misread this thread I want to switch between two memory sticks with different accounts without having to wipe or restore the vita, is this possible?
If I understand correctly, you have multiple memory cards, but each dedicated to one PSN account (e.g. memory card A is dedicated to PSN 1, memory card B is dedicated to PSN 2...) right?
In that case, you can just follow this tutorial. In fact, this was my case and what I had in mind when writing it.
 

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Thanks for the rewrite, much appreciated.

You should also probably mention how to get multiple accounts on a single memcard.
 
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If I understand correctly, you have multiple memory cards, but each dedicated to one PSN account (e.g. memory card A is dedicated to PSN 1, memory card B is dedicated to PSN 2...) right?
In that case, you can just follow this tutorial. In fact, this was my case and what I had in mind when writing it.
Yes I have 2 memory cards and with two seperate accounts on both mine with different games on I'm just trying to find a fast method for swapping them.
 

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Yes I have 2 memory cards and with two seperate accounts on both mine with different games on I'm just trying to find a fast method for swapping them.
Yeah, all you need to do is find a way to swap:

- system.dreg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- system.ireg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- act.dat , access by typing " /tm0:/npdrm " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.

between different PSN accounts, created when you first set-up your & activate a PSN account on Vita.


If you are on System Software version 3.6, simply follow my guide on this thread (HENkaku).
If you are on version <= 3.52, follow this guide.

Hope that help you out. :)
 
Last edited by geddanof,

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Yeah, all you need to do is find a way to swap:

- system.dreg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- system.ireg , access by typing " /vd0:/registry " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.
- act.dat , access by typing " /tm0:/npdrm " into the PS Vita's section of your FTP Client.

between different PSN accounts, created when you first set-up your & activate a PSN account on Vita.


If you are on System Software version 3.6, simply follow my guide on this thread (HENkaku).
If you are on version <= 3.52, follow this guide.

Hope that help you out. :)

geddanof, you believe there will be in the future an automatic way to do that swap? Via bubble or something like that?

That is one of the biggest hurdles of possessing a PS Vita. I really dont understand why Sony would restrict a PSN account per console or memory card. Its just a dumb decision.
 

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geddanof, you believe there will be in the future an automatic way to do that swap? Via bubble or something like that?

That is one of the biggest hurdles of possessing a PS Vita. I really dont understand why Sony would restrict a PSN account per console or memory card. Its just a dumb decision.

I also had already thought of that, but I lack the knowledge to create such an app.
But I do belive it can be done. Easily infact.
 

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I also had already thought of that, but I lack the knowledge to create such an app.
But I do belive it can be done. Easily infact.

Yeah, all you need to do to make it work would be for someone to write a PC program that:

- Listen to incoming PS Vita connection (a connection like moduleShell's FTP server);
- Allow you to specify where your PSN account's files are on your computer (or even let the software does the copying & tracking for you);
- Make a user-friendly interface for you to select the PSN account you want to switch to, then the program will do the file copying to Vita.

Sounds pretty doable to me.



That is one of the biggest hurdles of possessing a PS Vita. I really dont understand why Sony would restrict a PSN account per console or memory card. Its just a dumb decision.

It's all about the money. Sad, but it's the truth :(
 
Last edited by geddanof,

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