Tutorial Perform eMMC Upgrade on Switch with 1-bit width SD card (Defective SD card slot)

fvig2001

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The aim of this tutorial is for the user to be able to upgrade their eMMC to a higher storage with a defective SD card slot. I am also not responsible if you fuck up your already fucked up Switch.

Who needs this?
People with new 64-256gb eMMC modules with a defective SD card slot. The defect is that the SD card is running in 1 bit mode. This means that the maximum speed is around 5 MB/s.

Why is this needed?
The well known method of updating to a larger eMMC is described in this video tutorial:

The problem is that a lot of the tools do not work with a defective SD card slot. They usually don't detect the SD card or a valid partition

How long would this take?
The whole process took me around 10 hours due to the slow SD card read/write speed, how full my 64gb eMMC was, and the target eMMC was 256gb.

Where did you get the 256gb eMMC board?
I bought it from some guy in Telegram based in China. I forgot his name. I bought it for like $87 + $21 shipping. I just searched 256gb eMMC Switch and in one page someone linked the Telegram group.

Things needed:
1. Switch with a defective SD card slot (1 bit mode) (RCM hackable V1 switches)
2. A NAND backup (must use latest hekate as older backups don't work in my experience) of the current eMMC (Merged to 1 file and the boot0 and boot1, through script or through dumping on exFAT)
3. Latest version of Hekate
https://github.com/CTCaer/hekate
4. Latest HacDiskMount
https://switchtools.sshnuke.net/
5. Your Prod keys (Taken from LockpickRCM)
6. NandPart, fat32format and its requirements (Python 3.7, certain pip installs)
https://github.com/blawar/nandpart
7. GParted 64 bit
https://gparted.org/download.php
8. Rufus
https://rufus.ie/
9. A way to send payloads to your Switch
10. SD card formatted to exFat
11. Latest Atmosphere
12. USB flash drive

Steps:
1. Follow the Youtube tutorial to install your new eMMC (just use a hairdryer to loosen the glue of the eMMC to take it out) and assemble the Switch
2. Copy hekate's files to the exFAT formatted SD card
3. Load up Hekate on your Switch
4. Create a NAND backup for boot 0 and boot 1
5. Insert the SD card and extract Atmosphere's files
6. Go to backup folder and look for the new 8 character folder and copy your NAND backups to backup\<xxxxxxxx>\restore (boot0, boot1 and rawnand.bin)
7. Run hekate and perform NAND restore. Just proceed for the rawnand when it says the size is mismatched.
8. Load up Atmosphere and confirm that it is able to boot. It will still have the same size as the original eMMC
9. Use Rufus and create a bootable drive using the GParted ISO.
10. On a PC, go to advanced start-up options->Reboot to Advanced Start-up->Boot using USB device
11. Just pick defaults and it should boot to a desktop and GParted is loaded. Check the device list and take note of the current devices.
12. Load up Hekate on your Switch and go to USB tools and set read-only to false
13. Click on raw eMMC GPP then connect the Switch to the PC that is running GParted
14. Go to GParted and click refresh devices
15. Select the new device and it should say that the partition size is wrong and it offers to fix it. Press OK/Yes to fix it
16. Turn off PC and restart to Windows
17. Use USB Tools->Raw eMMC in Hekate and connect the Switch to the PC
18. Run Nandpart using a command prompt with administrator permissions (Python nandpart.py)
19. When it loads, On the combo box, click and select PHYSICALDRIVE<x> then press resize button
20. Close nandpart when finished and eject the USB.
21. Run HacDiskMount as Administrator
22. Use USB Tools->Raw eMMC in Hekate and connect the Switch to the PC running HacDiskmount
19. On HacDiskmount, click File->Open Physical Drive->Hekate xxxxx
20. Double click user partition until a prompt appears
21. Load up prod.key and look for biskey 3. Copy all 64 characters
22. First 32 go to Crypto Upper
23. Last 32 go to Crypto Lower
24. Click the test button to check if the key will work with the NAND
25. Select a drive (like Z) and press mount
26. Z will show up in Windows explorer
27. Copy all files of Z into a backup folder in your PC
28. Go to command prompt with administrator permissions
29. run "fat32format Z:". This will reformat the card to use all the new size
30. Copy back all the files you put in the backup folder

This should result in your Switch having higher amount of storage for use for games and saves.

I hope this was useful to you since it was a struggle to make it work. Thankfully Hekate's USB tools saved the day.

There's a faster method but I didn't try it since there's a bit of guess work.

1. Basically just get a NAND backup
2. Adjust its user partition size in nxNANDManager
3. Reflash using Hekate.

Didn't want to try this since the restore already takes so long.
 
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cashboxz01

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Cool guide. But with $100 of parts and over $100 in skilled labor (10 hours of precision), combined with luck, it's not worth it for 99.99999999% of people. A new switch wouldn't cost much more at that point.
 

Th3Alic3

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it's not worth it for 99.99999999% of people. A new switch wouldn't cost much more at that point.
@cashboxz01, you nailed it!

On the one hand... I'm sick of my original CFW Switch sitting in a box as a "brick" due the the faulty microSD board pin issue. (I have shakey hands so cannot do such repairs.)
On the other hand... if I was gonna pay someone to open up my Switch... might as well upgrade parts.

(I fully suspect that the SAMSUNG 8 GB RAM modules for the dev kits which are coded for support in the OS is the next territory for the CFW community to tackle at this rate.)
 

fvig2001

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Annoyingly, 1 bit users are also kind of fucked on later hekate versions. 5.5.x does not boot Horizon with 1 bit mode. I ended asking help from CTCaer and he gave me a tool that allows Sept to work or something and now it works on Atmosphere 16.2 + Hekate 5.5.1. It looks like I'll have to have it fixed now since at least CTCaer gave me a good idea on how to fix it.

@Smoker1, some day but I bet it will happen when the Switch has already been replaced. I was just impatient since there were only 32 and 64gb eMMCs on eBay.
 
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Smoker1

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Annoyingly, 1 bit users are also kind of fucked on later hekate versions. 5.5.x does not boot Horizon with 1 bit mode. I ended asking help from CTCaer and he gave me a tool that allows Sept to work or something and now it works on Atmosphere 16.2 + Hekate 5.5.1. It looks like I'll have to have it fixed now since at least CTCaer gave me a good idea on how to fix it.

@Smoker1, some day but I bet it will happen when the Switch has already been replaced. I was just impatient since there were only 32 and 64gb eMMCs on eBay.
Is it possible to run Games off the eMMC? seems they only run off the MicroSD, so never tried it. But a Upgrade would be perfect to increase the amount of Save Data, and also additional Storage for Games. A 256 or if they have one, a 512 would be perfect.
 

fvig2001

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Is it possible to run Games off the eMMC? seems they only run off the MicroSD, so never tried it. But a Upgrade would be perfect to increase the amount of Save Data, and also additional Storage for Games. A 256 or if they have one, a 512 would be perfect.
Yeah you can run games off the eMMC. It's literally the only thing making that 1 bit switch playable. The eMMC upgrade route is just for people who really want to have more space available for games and saves.
 
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Smoker1

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So it is Limited to only 5MB/s Flashing everything, and getting the NAND and everything in place. But what about after the Process, and running on the Switch? Is it still Limited Speed, or is it usable?
 

fvig2001

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So it is Limited to only 5MB/s Flashing everything, and getting the NAND and everything in place. But what about after the Process, and running on the Switch? Is it still Limited Speed, or is it usable?

If you're using emunand, don't. Everything's painfully slow since everything uses SD. For normal eMMC usage, it depends on the game. Some games load a bit slower while bigger games that use packed files (like Zumba with its 3 gb file) load so unbearably slower. Like I tried Xenoblade 1 and it loaded the first 2 battles without a suspicious amount of loading time while Fitness Boxing 2 took like 3 minutes to load.
 
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Smoker1

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If you're using emunand, don't. Everything's painfully slow since everything uses SD. For normal eMMC usage, it depends on the game. Some games load a bit slower while bigger games that use packed files (like Zumba with its 3 gb file) load so unbearably slower. Like I tried Xenoblade 1 and it loaded the first 2 battles without a suspicious amount of loading time while Fitness Boxing 2 took like 3 minutes to load.
So the eMMC Upgrade should just be for small Roms, Game Saves, and Images. Got it. Well, hopefully soon they Update the Firmware of it, and Software to make it run faster.
 
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