Old r4i-sdhc flashcard not booting

ABCDEFG_

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Hello everyone, I'm kind of new to the site and "this sort of thing" (never used flashcards as a kid, but I do have a bit of experience in modding and fixing Nintendo stuff) so I'm hoping you guys can help.

A friend gave me an old (presumably bought before 2013) R4 card that "does not work". Tried opening it up and cleaning it with CRC, but it's still not showing up on a DS Lite which I know for sure to work.
I realize that replacing it is the better option, but I'm curious about whether it's possible to identify the problem, and maybe fix it. Not afraid of soldering, I have the equipment and literally nothing to lose since I got this for free.

There's barely any documentation about fixing DS game cartridges beyond cleaning them, but I was wondering whether people on here knew a little more.

The flashcard in question is an r4i v1.4.1 from r4i-sdhc (dot) com. I attached pics of how it looks, inside and outside.

Note: when I opened it up, there was some sticky stuff on the big chip which kind of looked like thermal paste (or maybe some kind of glue?), but I got rid of it while cleaning it. I can apply some more if needed, but I'm quite sure that whatever it was it shouldn't affect the cartridge's functioning, at least initially.
 

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ABCDEFG_

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Here is an update:
I figured out that the card itself is being detected - godmode9 on my 3ds sees it, and so do some other softwares I tried - but for some reason it's not readable.
I've been suggested on discord that the previous owner might've ran a TTMenu with a fake killer on it, which would could've bricked the flashcard. He suggested finding on the internet and restoring a backup with ntrboot_flasher, but sadly it seems this flashcard is not supported.
Any other ideas?
 

Ferris1000

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Did you try to use the flashcard on a Nintendo DS or just on a Nintendo 3DS?

Does the flashcard show up in the Menu and gives you and error when you try to boot the flashcard or doesn't the flashcard show up at all?

The flashcard doesn't look like it supports the Nintendo 3DS and is from the Nintendo DSi era.
Some flashcards doesn't show up on the Nintendo 3DS when they are not compatible (like M3 or the Original R4)

There is a workaround to get it unsupported flashcards to work by installing a forwarder.

The glue you mention is just the Sticker and not thermal paste.
 

ABCDEFG_

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Did you try to use the flashcard on a Nintendo DS or just on a Nintendo 3DS?
Yeah, a DS Lite, said that in the OP
Does the flashcard show up in the Menu and gives you and error when you try to boot the flashcard or doesn't the flashcard show up at all?
Doesn't show up at all. But I did try putting it into a 3DS for testing, and Godmode9 detects that there is a flashcard inserted, although it's obviously not usable. So does ntrboot_flasher (although it also says it's not compatible). I assume that means that the hardware is (at least mostly) fine.
The glue you mention is just the Sticker and not thermal paste.
Then they went really overboard with the amount of glue lol
 

Ferris1000

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It's possible that:

A: The flashchip (Big Chip) has a bad solder joint, you could try to resolder the Flashchip
B: The flashchip is faulty
C: The Flashcard is Bricked, some flashcards bricks when you use the wrong Kernel or while try to update the flashcard.
D: A Trace is broken somewhere, sometimes this happens with cartridges, you could probe all the contacts to make sure that they are all connected
 

ABCDEFG_

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It's possible that:

A: The flashchip (Big Chip) has a bad solder joint, you could try to resolder the Flashchip
B: The flashchip is faulty
C: The Flashcard is Bricked, some flashcards bricks when you use the wrong Kernel or while try to update the flashcard.
D: A Trace is broken somewhere, sometimes this happens with cartridges, you could probe all the contacts to make sure that they are all connected
Thanks, I got to about the same conclusion.
I think that the most likely one is that the flashcard is bricked. Though it seems that it's not supported by ntrboot_flasher... does that mean I'm out of luck?
 

Ferris1000

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To be honest, I would just buy one on aliexpress, they are dirt cheap as $5.
The flashcard you have is not really worth fixing, you could try it for fun to gain knowledge and to train skills but if you just want to use one for NTRboot or for Games I would buy one on Aliexpress for $5 and they work just fine.

I bought one a Year ago just because I was curious If they were any good and I as happy with it.
The only thing you have to know that some of them won't be detected by the 3DS the first Time when you insert it without an SD Card and the Kernel, just that you don't think that the Flashcard arrived broken if you buy one.
 

ABCDEFG_

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To be honest, I would just buy one on aliexpress, they are dirt cheap as $5.
The flashcard you have is not really worth fixing, you could try it for fun to gain knowledge and to train skills
Yeah, that's what I was trying to do here, but unless someone else has any other suggestion, I probably have exhausted everything the internet has to offer.
 

Enigma13

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I used lots of firmware on this card, but no matter what frameware I used always ends with white screen.

1. Used different frameware, even the old one from its website on webarchive.org
2. Formatting with different mentioned programs and fat 32 and even 16
3. Cleaning flashcards contacts
4. I have new 3DS 11.5 and DSI 1.4 U

Please help me!


R4i Advance 3DS WiFi v 1.6 Revolution for DS (red card with Mario picture on it)
 

Ferris1000

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A Picture of the Flashcard is always the best start to identify the Flashcard
Best would be if you could also take a Picture of both sides of the Flashcard PCB.
 

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