Most reasonable strategy from "plain" switch to CFW/Homebrew

Discussion in 'Switch - Exploits, Custom Firmwares & Soft Mods' started by Automobil, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    Nov 6, 2018
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    Hello guys,

    I've been following the switch scene for month. As SX OS was released earlier this year I decided to buy (finally) a switch, because CFW alternatives should definitely follow.

    With the first official pubilc release of Athmosphere, thing became quite interesting for me.
    However, I'm still wondering which is the best strategy in order to reach the state of a CFW and Homebrewed switch.

    I own a 3.0.0 Switch w/ several games on it. I don't want to lose my savegames.

    Afaik, the steps should be the following:

    (0) Get in RCM-mode.
    (1) Nand backup as well as BOOT1/BOOT0 backup (w/ e.g. Hekate)
    (1.1) AutoRCM reasonable in case of 3.0.0?
    (2) Install ReiNX or Athmosphere; which is the one to go?
    (3) Install Homebrew "eshop" in order to get usefull software and tools.

    I also read that an update to the latest firmware would be reasonable, because lower firmware offer not much benefits.
    What do you guys think?
     
    Last edited by Automobil, Nov 6, 2018
  2. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."

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    Feb 3, 2017
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    I gues on earth.
    The best strategy is to go with hekate and its CFWs or ReiNX. Atmo does not bring anything new to the table for normal end user yet.

    1. Definitely
    1.1 depends on you.
    2. Anything. All do the same for normal end user. (Don't know if atmo comes with sigpatches by default)
    3. Maybe. I found most of the stuff on discord tho.


    Because you have 3.0.0, do you care about possible future warm/coldboot? If so, update via choidujournx and keep your fuse count low, so that you can later downgrade.
     
    Last edited by Kubas_inko, Nov 6, 2018
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  3. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    Thank you very much!

    Sounds good to me. Guess I’ll choose ReiNX and will update via choidujournx prior :)
     
  4. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Maniac

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    Sep 18, 2007
    Here are all the steps for a Switch on 3.0.0 or lower (to prevent burning fuses, and hopefully not get banned using online (no Nintendo services).) going with atmosphere. You can also follow them using a switch on a higher firmware version, but I'll go through all the eventualities, in case people would want to downgrade later. :)

    0. Disable automatic software updtes in the switch settings.
    1. Put in the 90DNS, while still unmodified
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/90dns-dns-server-for-blocking-all-nintendo-servers.516234/
    2. Boot into Hekate (https://gbatemp.net/threads/rcm-payload-hekate-ctcaer-mod.502604/) - use a guide for whatever method you are using to boot hekate (or any payload, hekate prefered, in rcm), while having a 32GB (or bigger) exfat formated sdcard inserted. Back up boot 0/1 and full nand then shut down again. (Hekate has its own exfat driver, no worries here if your switch firmware doesnt.)
    3. Insert a fat32 (32k cluster size) formated sdcard (might need guiformat (http://www.ridgecrop.demon.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm) for bigger cards), with the following content on (= follow this guide): https://switchguide.xyz/sdcard.html for atmosphere.

    You could skip setting up checkpoint, hb-appstore, and sys-ftpd.kip (in fact, you probably should skip sys-ftpd - as it might have issues with newer atmosphere), as they are just optional "apps".

    4. You probably will like to put these onto your sdcard as well (those are the sigpatches atmosphere doesnt come with on its own): https://gbatemp.net/threads/i-heard-that-you-guys-need-some-sweet-patches-for-atmosphere.521164/
    If you would like to be able to downgrade to 3.0.0 or lower some time in the future, make sure to use the nogc version and DONT SKIP THIS STEP.

    5. Boot into Atmosphere for the first time (using hekate) to see that everything worked.
    6. If you'd like to update your firmware - without burning more fuses, use https://gbatemp.net/threads/choiduj...ller-homebrew-for-the-nintendo-switch.513416/ - and get the firmware packages from *cough* the tip in the first posting of the thread just linked. Make sure that autorcm is always enabled in choixdujournx, if you'd want to downgrade at all in the future.

    Thats it. No intermediate sdcard "all in one zip packages", everything from its source thread. All eventualities accounted for.
    Tested up to 6.1.0. (by me personally only up to 6.0.1).

    7. One more step. Get tinfoil, probably from one of those "all in one zip packages". ;) (https://gbatemp.net/threads/newest-hekate-sdfiles-zip.506280/). With tinfoil you install (game) .nsp's.

    Most homebrew software comes as .nro those get started via hbmenu - that gets started, when you enter the gallery while on a CFW. In atmosphere, if you hold R1 while entering the gallery, you'll actually enter the gallery for gallery stuff. ;) .nro's can be placed in the /switch folder or in subfolders in the /switch folder on your sdcard. subsubfolders are also a possibility. ;)


    Info for people wanting to keep the downgrade option open. If you are at or below 3.0.0 and want to keep a downgrade option to that open, make sure that the switch is ALWAYS on autorcm once you've installed a higher firmware with choixdejournx (choixdujournx will enable it by default - and its usually a one time thing until you down- or upgrade. If you make sure to only upgrade with choixdujournx - autorcm will be enabled again, by default. Just make sure you dont disable autorcm via hekate without giving it the longest of thoughts. One normal boot on a higher firmware = fuses fried.). and make sure you copied over the nogc patches (which will disable your gamecard slot - so it doesnt get a "higher than 3.0.0" gamecardslot firmware update).

    The firmware on your switch will always be an "official firmware" - but it never will be booted into. The only way you boot is through hekate into atmosphere. Atmosphere will patch the official firmware "on the fly" to become CFW. This paragraph is only here so you dont get confused what firmware you are updating. (Always an official firmware through choixdujournx.) Updating atmosphere is simply done by replacing a few files on the sdcard. Always make sure you have the "sweet patches/nogc patches" in the atmosphere folder after updating (as they reside in one of those folders).

    You can install the Joycon firmware update - IF you dont have modded joycons. If you also use your joycons as a jig - dont't update the joycon firmware - or read up on where to solder in a resistor before updating.

    fat32 is used on your "daily use card" because it has proven to have less issues with file system corruption, should something go wrong. Because of that there is an extra step, when installing BIG(er than 4GB) nsps. Either use tinfoil usb transfer, or use this program: https://gbatemp.net/threads/legal-nsp-splitter-for-fat32.520213/ (you also might want to use this program, in general: https://gbatemp.net/threads/official-4nxci-a-tool-for-converting-xci-to-nsp.515341/ to convert xcis to nsps.)

    Autorcm will not let you turn your switch on without injecting a payload over the usb port. The switch will simply "always" boot into rcm mode (black screen, looks like its turned off) - even without a jig inserted.

    You also probably should buy one of those: https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?SearchText=ns+atmosphere for ease of use.

    Thats all.

    One more ease of life edit: Use this version of ftpd (if you need an ftp program on switch, to later on transfer files back and forth):
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/ftp-application.506434/page-5#post-8095478

    edit: Went over it three times, didnt forget anything - this is a complete guide. Without relying on prepackaged packages. So you learn what stuff is used for what.
     
    Last edited by notimp, Nov 7, 2018
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  5. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    This is just amazing and indeed exactly what I was searching for!
    Thank you so much I'm much appreciated for your effort you had writing this guide :) :)
     
  6. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Maniac

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    Sep 18, 2007
    This is probably the most detailed writeup of that sort. ;) Also credit to the author of the tutorial I'm linking.

    Dont install the sys-ftpd module at first - for real - I remember having problems with it and current atmosphere builds. You can try installing it later - if you have everything up and running. If you want to (I use the other ftp app linked above).
     
  7. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Maniac

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    One last thing. If you want to turn your switch off for a longer time - simply turning it off from the menu doesnt work, as the switch will turn off, and then on and right into rcm. (It still looks like its turned off - but it isnt).

    What you do here instead is, to turn the switch off (> it boots into rcm after about 10-20 seconds), then you inject the payload to boot into hekate, and turn the switch off from there.

    While making sure, the dongle/usb cable is removed, when you hit the "turn off" menupoint. (Otherwise it might turn back on again.. ;) )

    This should turn off the switch. :)

    In general, if you make sure to charge the switch before it reaches 0% charge, and leave it in standby most of the time, you should be fine as well.

    The possible issue here is the switch deep discharging. If your switch is "dead", charging it wile in RCM mode (once it gets charge and boots, it boots into RCM), may only trickle charge (take hours to get a few percent). So it could be difficult to get it going and hekate to boot again, in that case. Some people even proclaim, that they'd had to physically switch the battery with a charged one. Thats a possible "detriment" of autorcm. Although not many people are complaining, that they've ended up in that situation. Like - maybe three, in total.. ;) I'm living with this as well. :) (And again, this is connected to autorcm, as in, that you'll always boot into rcm - and then charging might become difficult.)

    edit: Also dont use a Mac OS PC to set up your switchs sdcard for the first time. Its a thing with archive bits and folders. look it up, if you are interested. :)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Nov 6, 2018
  8. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    Alright, that's quite interesting.
    Thanks again! Once I've done modding my switch I'll report :)
     
  9. LamahHerder

    LamahHerder Newbie

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    Thanks this is one of the best guides I have seen
     
  10. Tripa

    Tripa Member

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    OP, Don't forget that there's an update to the game card reader after 5.0 IIRC.
    That means that you have to disable it when updating (nogc modules on reiNX etc.)
    If you don't do this and ever downgrade to 3.0, you'll face problems with your card reader.
     
  11. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    I see, thanks for that! I'll be aware of it.
    Hope I can get it done on the weekend :)
     
  12. starburst

    starburst GBAtemp Regular

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    Apr 15, 2017
    Spain
    I also want to hack my Switch and this thread has been very helpful.

    Mine a brand new Switch with original firmware 4.0.1. Is it worth caring about the open-for-downgrade option? I guess it does not, since 3.0 seems to be the last 'magical' version, but I do not really know what I might be missing.
    Should I simply upgrade it 'normally' to the latest firmware version after making the backup?
     
  13. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."

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    I gues on earth.
    IIRC, 4.0.1 is the last one which can get warmboot (for now).
     
  14. risq

    risq Member

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    really great guide notimp, i still think theres one thing missing: u will end up with a local account only. some nintendo software might force us to have a Linked account though and its never created here.
     
  15. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Maniac

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    Sep 18, 2007
    I dont have a Nintendo Account to this day. :) So in terms of "forcing you to have one" N hasnt been very successful. ;)

    If you switch over to the dark site of not buying e-shop games, all certificates are valid and signed for you.. ;)

    Downside is no "social media" (some would say thats actually an upside... ;) ), no online play. But then you dont have online play to begin with, once you are going CFW (you are likely to get banned).

    So yeah. Works for me.. ;) If you want to create and sign in with a Nintendo online ID, sure - you are free to do that as well.

    (Miis work, installing update nsps works (of course not from N servers), DLC works, ...)

    If we some day get real "emunand" - signing on for a Nintendo account would be a definite step though.
     
    Last edited by notimp, Nov 11, 2018 at 1:32 PM
  16. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    Alright, some question:

    regarding (2): do I have to use two SD-Cards? I thought, I just format my only 256GB-SD-Card w/ exfat, dump all files, backing those files up (PC, external drive ...), and
    regarding (3): format the same card again, however, this time w/ FAT32?

    Regarding AutoRCM: Actually, it might be possible installing autorcm after the (2) step?
     
  17. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."

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    I gues on earth.
    2. Use 1 sd. There is no need for 2.
    3. Save all your data on it, format it exFAT. Install exFAT update. Copy all data back.
    Yes
     
  18. risq

    risq Member

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    i think you misunderstood me. i dont want to play online and i dont want a nintendo account.

    but as u see with the example of pianista (https://gbatemp.net/threads/pianista-is-not-playable-without-linking-a-nintendo-account.521782/) u will get in a situation where u have a local linked account to even start a game. so my suggestion is to add a step here, creating a linked local account, cause sooner or later N with force us to have one...not for online play, but to start the software at all.
     
    Last edited by risq, Nov 13, 2018 at 4:30 PM
  19. notimp

    notimp GBAtemp Maniac

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    They wont. :)

    I think we had this discussion on gbatemp before - but when a console manufacturer forces you to go online, just to play that consoles games - and be it even once, some of us will move heaven and earth, to make them change strategy.

    Because thats synonymous with the end of owning your software. (no piracy, but also no archival, no roms scene, no access to your software, if or when a company goes bust, no resale (!), also no retail (because you arent selling the product, you are selling a partial download on a disk, ...).

    So if they try to - its more likely that I throw my switch in the trash and quit gaming, than that I'll adapt my tutorial. ;)

    Its one of those things.. ;)

    I'll not be the guy that tells others "now sign up for service" (accept license agreements) for your purchase to work.

    "But Grandma, we have no Wifi here at the skiing lodge, Timmi cant play your present for the next two weeks." Let them deal with that, and a furious third of the gamer population calling everyone thats susceptible to the streaming marketing spiel a sellout, a traitor and a moron - for at least half a year - first. ;) And with retail smelling whats up. ;) Gamers - not necessarily always the most PC crowd. You must have noticed. ;) (They can pry their working physical copies, out of our cold dead hands. ;) )
     
    Last edited by notimp, Nov 13, 2018 at 7:17 PM
  20. Automobil
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    Automobil Newbie

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    Ok, so far I think everything worked. I got it to work with your instruction, and again, huge THX for that, awesome writedown!
    Contrary to your suggestion, I decided to use the exFat filesystem. For me it's more convenient to just copy the nsp-file regardless of its size.

    One final question: since the game card slot has been deativated I won't be able to use my original games cartridges any more.
    However, I got some savegames which I don't want to miss. How will I handle that?

    EDIT: Nevermind, savegames still persisted after installing the nsp.
     
    Last edited by Automobil, Nov 14, 2018 at 6:01 PM
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