PC file manager for microSD? (eShop/.CIA)

Discussion in '3DS - Homebrew Development and Emulators' started by Elliander, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. Elliander
    OP

    Elliander GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sep 16, 2011
    United States
    Illinois
    The thing I like about .3DS files is that I can easily swap them out, so I don't need an SD card large enough for everything I own, and so I tend to steer away from .CIA. However, upon learning that installed games disappear when the SD card is swapped out, I got to thinking that there might be a way to have that functionality by swapping the installed folders out. However, I'm assuming that it's similar to how games are installed on the Nintendo Switch, with an encrypted folder structure.

    In that case I am sure I can look up the numbers each time, but that sounds tedious, so here's what I was thinking:

    A simple program with a simple GUI that will read a list of folders on the SD card, and in a backup directory on the PC, which converts the folder names into the name of the game. The user can then click a button to create a backup on the PC. As long as the backup is on the PC, it can then just remove a title from the SD card to make room for other games.

    Now, I actually can write a program like that (after my current semester ends in a month), but figured I would ask first to see if it already exists. If it doesn't, I'd like to actually work on that. If I understand correctly, the first two folders are user specific, with the following folders being based on the title ID, correct? In which case I could have the program refer to www.3dsdb.com to get the titleID and therefore translate the files, with maybe a spreadsheet backup in case that site is down or user is offline.

    Of course, this won't allow you to install a game from a PC which means that if your 3DS breaks you would still have to manually install them all over again, unless of course someone knows of a tool that can install whatever the 3DS needs to believe that the files on the SD card are legitimately installed, so you'd want to separately backup the .CIA files after you install them. This idea is just to make it easier to move them back and forth. Theoretically, it means someone could have all of the games installed, but only have 20 at a given time actually on their SD card.

    This idea is arguably not needed, since you can have a 400 GB microSD card in an N3DS, and if Luma ever implements the protocol to access the microSD card slot of a flash cart it would be 800 GB instead. Still, not everyone can afford such cards, and even those that do might want to have a game management option better than install/uninstall repeatedly. In any case, if I end up using .CIA I'd want a good way to manage the files.

    Also, a question: When installing games via .CIA on Luma, do the saved games also go into the same system folders? If that is the case, the program will have to make sure to backup the save each time before deleting it from the SD card. and, I'm guessing, the DLC goes to the same location?
     
  2. KyoLikesTrees

    KyoLikesTrees Advanced Member

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    Jun 17, 2018
    Austria
    I don't exactly understand what you mean but I think I can point a few things out about encryption.
    So yeah the files in the Nintendo 3DS folder are kinda encrypted so that you can't use the same files on a sd card in another 3ds. But you can use multiple sd cards(or actually Nintendo 3DS folders) on one 3ds. If you rename the Nintendo 3DS folder it will create a new one, so you can install more than 300 games/apps. If you wanna look into that there is 3DSBank to manage such Nintendo 3DS folders.
     
  3. Elliander
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    Elliander GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sep 16, 2011
    United States
    Illinois
    Right, but the objective here is to have only one SD card of a smaller capacity than the games you have installed. This can easily be done manually by referring to the title ID list, but I was thinking of a simple file manager tool that would make it as easy as swapping .3DS files.
     
  4. KyoLikesTrees

    KyoLikesTrees Advanced Member

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    Jun 17, 2018
    Austria
    Oh okay, that's something I never thought about so I kinda didn't see the point of it. Don't know if that would work but I guess you'll find out.
     
  5. Elliander
    OP

    Elliander GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sep 16, 2011
    United States
    Illinois
    Oh, I am sure it would work, since it would be no different than swapping out one SD card for another. I just need to first make sure that no one has done it first, and then make sure I account for everything that is in the folders when making backups.
     
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