Hacking Old 3DS seems soft-bricked, Arm11 Error on Boot

fernwah

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Hello, I posted my problems in the Homebrew Discord and wasn't able to get a response.
I am hoping that I can find someone here who can help, or at least tell me what is going on with my Old 3DS!

Every time I boot, I get this error message: (see screenshot 1).
I am running the newest versions of both Luma and GodMode9, and I can boot into Luma Settings & GodMode9 menus using shift+power and start+power respectively.

Background: This is not after the result of installing any new programs, updating any games, or making any changes to my 3DS. I was playing Pokemon Shuffle and put my 3DS in sleep mode, and when I opened it up it was powered off. I powered it on to find the error code in screenshot 1.

Fix History: You better believe I've gone to some lengths to fix this issue! I've downloaded new files from Luma's Github pages and replaced the old boot.firm. I've updated GodMode9 with their most recent release. I've gone into GodMode9 and manually booted from the Luma boot.firm in my SD card's parent directory. Maybe you think the problem is my SD card? Unlikely! I've formatted it, checked it with H2TestW (check my results in image 2), put everything back on it, and still get the same issue.

After posting about my problem on the Discord and being recommended to try a CTRTransfer, I was able to *briefly* fix the issue with this fix! I could get into the home menu, even play some games! ....until I woke up this morning to the familiar error message :/

Today I went to the length of reformatting my SD card, putting everything back on (new versions of EVERYTHING -- Luma, GM9, every last .cia file in the Finalizing Setup Guide and then performing a CTRTransfer using the process described on 3DS Hacks. I even deleted my Home Menu extdata! Still get the error seen in Photo #1.

At this point, I'm wondering what my next step would even be? Trying to get this thing back to stock and trying over again? Chalking it up to a hardware issue and using a new 3DS instead?

I hope this is enough information to get an expert answer on what's going on with my 3DS. Thank you very much for your time.
 

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fernwah

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what is your ctrnand's luma version?
I believe that it is 10.2.1, but I don't know how to check for sure.

My belief that it is the current version stems from running the "Setup Luma3DS to CTRNAND" script in the GM9 Megascript, though. AFAIK, this installs the same version "boot.firm" on the root of my SD card to the CTRNAND? If there is another way to check the version, I'm happy to verify!
 

fernwah

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remove the sd card, then turn on the system. see what happens.
You got it. Here's the familiar error code I get on startup (pic #1) and the Luma3DS Configuration menu that is showing it's v10.2.1 (booted from CTRNAND)
 

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fernwah

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Hey all, I've been watching this topic with some growing anxiety over the holiday.

While I'm holding out hope that there is someone out there who can help me bring this 3DS back from the dead (I can only hope they were just having a nice Xmas and not checking GBATemp :)), I'm changing my plans with this console and would appreciate some help in that direction.

My best friend, who is very generous and handsome, gave me a N3DSXL for X-Mas! I'm really hoping that, despite not being able to boot into my O3DS, I might still be able to save my profile, savegames, etc for a system transfer.

My question(s) are, in descending order of importance:

1. Can my O3DS be saved?
(If I had to guess -- No, probably an issue with the 11 year old SD reader :/)

2. Can I perform a system transfer to my N3DSXL even though I can't boot into my O3DS?
(Maybe one of you has a link to guide? My brief search indicated that I should consult some experts)

3. In the event that I can perform a system transfer, would anyone on this forum in their right mind recommend restoring my O3DS back to stock? What would you do in my shoes?

I hope that my case can find its way to a pro now that the holidays have died down :)
I appreciate any help or resources people could point me to!
 
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CoolMe

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Hey all, I've been watching this topic with some growing anxiety over the holiday.

While I'm holding out hope that there is someone out there who can help me bring this 3DS back from the dead (I can only hope they were just having a nice Xmas and not checking GBATemp :)), I'm changing my plans with this console and would appreciate some help in that direction.

My best friend, who is very generous and handsome, gave me a N3DSXL for X-Mas! I'm really hoping that, despite not being able to boot into my O3DS, I might still be able to save my profile, savegames, etc for a system transfer.

My question(s) are, in descending order of importance:

1. Can my O3DS be saved?

2. Can I perform a system transfer to my N3DSXL even though I can't boot into my O3DS?

(Maybe one of you has a link to guide? My brief search indicated that I should consult some experts)

3. In the event that I can perform a system transfer, would anyone on this forum in their right mind recommend restoring my O3DS back to stock? What would you do in my shoes?

I hope that my case can find its way to a pro now that the holidays have died down :)
I appreciate any help or resources people could point me to!
Hey, if you can try restoring a nand backup (if you have it) in GodMode9, if it errors out in GodMode9 i'm pretty sure it's a hardware problem,could be the sdcard reader, one of the cameras or the mb.
 

fernwah

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Hey, if you can try restoring a nand backup (if you have it) in GodMode9, if it errors out in GodMode9 i'm pretty sure it's a hardware problem,could be the sdcard reader, one of the cameras or the mb.

Hey thanks for the suggestion, I actually meant to do this but it did slip my mind!

(I followed the guide @ (https://3ds.hacks.guide/godmode9-usage.html#Restoring) and got the screen in photo #1. YAY! Unfortunately, when I hit restart, I got the screen in photo #2. BOO! Maybe I just did it wrong? Am I supposed to do anything else after the nand backup is accomplished?)

Unfortunately, it sure looks like a hardware problem at this point! Same ol' error as always. I suppose now my most pertinent question is ... how the heck am I gonna system transfer to my new 3DS? Is it even possible, or should I expect to have to call Nintendo or something? x.X

Would love any kind of guidance on next steps!
 

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CoolMe

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Hey thanks for the suggestion, I actually meant to do this but it did slip my mind!

(I followed the guide @ (https://3ds.hacks.guide/godmode9-usage.html#Restoring) and got the screen in photo #1. YAY! Unfortunately, when I hit restart, I got the screen in photo #2. BOO! Maybe I just did it wrong? Am I supposed to do anything else after the nand backup is accomplished?)

Unfortunately, it sure looks like a hardware problem at this point! Same ol' error as always. I suppose now my most pertinent question is ... how the heck am I gonna system transfer to my new 3DS? Is it even possible, or should I expect to have to call Nintendo or something? x.X

Would love any kind of guidance on next steps!
That shouldn't happen (assuming you have the Luma files on your sdcard). Have you tried accessing the recovery mode with the button combo A+R+L+Up(DPad), and see if it errors out there again.
 

fernwah

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That shouldn't happen (assuming you have the Luma files on your sdcard). Have you tried accessing the recovery mode with the button combo A+R+L+Up(DPad), and see if it errors out there again.

Thanks for the tip, I can confirm this button combo sends me to the same Arm11 error screen as before (I would love to take a pic to prove it but I just don't have the dexterity)

(EDIT: Photo added more to prove it to myself than anything haha.)
(EDIT 2: Proof that Luma 10.2.1 is indeed sitting here on my SD card, tried to boot to it and instantly got 300 play coins! Just kidding, I got the Arm11 error again)
 

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CoolMe

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Thanks for the tip, I can confirm this button combo sends me to the same Arm11 error screen as before (I would love to take a pic to prove it but I just don't have the dexterity)
The only thing left is to open it up and testing your luck.. Start with the WiFi board unplug it then plug it again then test the system, if the issue persists do the same with the sdcard reader, if it's still the same then you should buy a replacement for both as we can't tell which is faulty at the moment. And even then, it could be one of the cameras or the motherboard is just dying. I hope it's an easy fix!
 

fernwah

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The only thing left is to open it up and testing your luck.. Start with the WiFi board unplug it then plug it again then test the system, if the issue persists do the same with the sdcard reader, if it's still the same then you should buy a replacement for both as we can't tell which is faulty at the moment. And even then, it could be one of the cameras or the motherboard is just dying. I hope it's an easy fix!

Thank you very much for your help and advice for next steps!

I really don't mind getting down and dirty with fixing hardware issues ... eventually ... but I think I'm going to try and do a system transfer to my new 3DS so I can play Pokemon Shuffle in the meantime.

I wonder if I should post a new topic for this? "How do I do a system transfer from a bricked 3DS" or something? I'll keep this topic up for a while just in case I can get some answers in that direction...

(From what I can tell it's gonna involve calling Nintendo and asking them to do it for me, haha... maybe someone else has been in this position and has some advice for me?)
 

Kwyjor

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There are rumors that problems like this can sometimes be remedied by powering on your 3DS while it is in sleep mode, but as I said, they are only rumors, and I'm not sure how you would do that on an O3DS anyway (unless you just use a magnet to fool the "unit closed" sensor).

2. Can I perform a system transfer to my N3DSXL even though I can't boot into my O3DS?
(Maybe one of you has a link to guide? My brief search indicated that I should consult some experts)
If you just want to preserve your save data, then you can always decrypt and extract that manually on a PC, and then restore it on your N3DSXL using Checkpoint (or JKSM if you don't want to hack your N3DSXL).

Since you can still run Godmode, I think it might even be possible to decrypt and extract your save data with that, but I'm not familiar with that process.

(The major downside to this is that it might not be possible to transfer data for Mii Plaza or the Mii Plaza minigames. That stuff is shrouded in mystery.)

(From what I can tell it's gonna involve calling Nintendo and asking them to do it for me, haha... maybe someone else has been in this position and has some advice for me?)
The only thing Nintendo can do is transfer your NNID – which will let you log into the eShop and download all your legitimate titles again. But they can't do anything about the encryption of the data on your o3DS SD card.
 
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CoolMe

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"How do I do a system transfer from a bricked 3DS" or something?
You can't, the only way is fixing the system then getting stuff out of it. That's why i always advise people to make regular backups of saves with Checkpoint, if you did, now it should be much easier to restore the save on any system. Also i don't think Nintendo repair guys still care about the 3DS, and more so when your system is modded (has CFW).
 

fernwah

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There are rumors that problems like this can sometimes be remedied by powering on your 3DS while it is in sleep mode, but as I said, they are only rumors, and I'm not sure how you would do that on an O3DS anyway (unless you just use a magnet to fool the "unit closed" sensor).

Now that's an interesting theory to try out! I have also heard this rumor, but as far as I know I can't make it work on an O3DS. I'd love to be proven wrong!

If you just want to preserve your save data, then you can always decrypt and extract that manually on a PC, and then restore it on your N3DSXL using Checkpoint (or JKSM if you don't want to hack your N3DSXL).

Oh yeah for sure, I've been doing a little research and it definitely doesn't sound like a hassle...I'd have to consult a guide thoroughly before trying though. Losing my street pass data is a shame but if I can keep my pokeshuff data and animal crossing town I'll chalk it up to a win.

As far as transferring my NNID to the new 3DS, that's just going to take a call to Nintendo and verifying some info iirc?
 

fernwah

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You can't, the only way is fixing the system then getting stuff out of it. That's why i always advise people to make regular backups of saves with Checkpoint, if you did, now it should be much easier to restore the save on any system. Also i don't think Nintendo repair guys still care about the 3DS, and more so when your system is modded (has CFW).

Oh that's a shame, I don't think I actually backed up my saves with Checkpoint.... Maybe I'm screwed :/

As far as Daddy Nintendo goes, I'm sure they'd be willing to transfer a NNID from an old 3ds to a new one? I don't imagine that I'd tell them it was bricked by CFW ;) "I lost my O3DS and I want my ID on my new one please" sounds like the smart tact to take...
 

Kwyjor

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I have also heard this rumor, but as far as I know I can't make it work on an O3DS. I'd love to be proven wrong!
Like I said, you would use a magnet. Sleep mode is normally triggered by one of the speaker magnets in the top half being in close proximity to a point slightly below the B button, but you can use an ordinary magnet instead and trigger sleep mode without closing the unit. People used to do this all the time with ntrboot (which requires powering on the unit in sleep mode while also holding down a specific button combination).
 

fernwah

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Well this just intrigued the hell out of me, I'll give you that. Here's my results after a few minutes of fiddling, unfortunately no fixed O3DS here...

I'm sure that this tip is legit for others, and my magnet is in the right place! I can boot into this error screen, move the magnet to under the B button, and yeah it looks like it goes in sleep mode! I leave the magnet in place and hit power again, ARM11....I leave the magnet in place and twist my fingers to get into recovery mode.... ARM11 :/
EDIT: This may not be correct, refer to my Edit on the bottom of this post

Thanks for the cool tip though, I'm happy to get to try something a little different :)

EDIT: After a little more testing it seems that I actually can't get the 3DS to turn on when the magnet is properly placed. Maybe the tries in the photos were flukes. If I hold the magnet to that spot under the B button and press Power, nothing happens. Same for the recovery mode button combo. No blue power light or anything unfortunately.
 

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Kwyjor

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Well, like I said, that's mostly just a rumor at this point and it's very unclear what situations that is good for, if it is indeed good for anything.

Oh that's a shame, I don't think I actually backed up my saves with Checkpoint.... Maybe I'm screwed :/
Also, to emphasize my earlier post, recovery of your save data using a PC does not require Checkpoint – you would use ninfs and 3ds-save-tool. There are no well-established guides on the subject, but there are numerous posts here on GBATemp.
 

fernwah

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Well, like I said, that's mostly just a rumor at this point and it's very unclear what situations that is good for, if it is indeed good for anything.

Hey, no problem :) At this point I'm willing to try anything, especially anything with magnets. Thanks for trying!

Also, to emphasize my earlier post, recovery of your save data using a PC does not require Checkpoint – you would use ninfs and 3ds-save-tool. There are no well-established guides on the subject, but there are numerous posts here on GBATemp.

Thanks for the tip! I've actually been doing a little research and while it definitely doesn't sound EASY it doesn't sound all that HARD either...I'll probably be back with a bunch of questions about it in a later post x.X

So I'd like to check in before I do ANYTHING with my New 3DS....
How to proceed?


It sounds like I have to call up Nintendo and try to get a NNID transfer. Alright...

Can someone please verify that I've got the order correct here:

1. I set up N3DS, get it loaded into Home, etc etc
2. I call up Nintendo.
"Hi Nintendo can I get my NNID transferred to this N3DS?"
"Yes of course Fernwah here you go"

3. I install CFW on my N3DS
4. I pull my old SD card into ninfs and 3ds-save-tool and rip out the save data
5. I plug that save data into the encryption machine and it spits out my new save data (this is so my O3DS savedata can become encrypted to the N3DS NAND? Layman here but I think that's the gist)
6. I plug in my SD card with the NEW Savedata into my N3DS, boot it up, (maybe clean up tickets or something), and it all works perfectly
7. At this point, I can load up my old Animal Crossing save and play it on my N3DS like nothing happened

(Maybe this N3DS stuff should be a separate topic? I'm happy to oblige whatever powers that be to keep this info sanitized and properly organized ;) )
 
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