Homebrew Please help with unstable 3DS XL

kantaroo

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Hi,
I have a 3DS XL (the older model, not the New 3DS XL) to which, a long time ago, I installed homebrew by going via 9ALH etc. following this guide:
https://3ds.hacks.guide/

I used freeshop while it was up, but I have not used it for a while. I'm aware freeshop is now dead, but I still have a number of games on the system (some which I bought with good money from the proper eShop before I modded my machine).

The machine was generally working fine, but I did not use it for some time. Now when I try to use it, it seems to have become unstable and will not start many games. I list below an example of the errors I'm getting, and a few games that do seem to work.
I am currently on 11.3.0-36E.

Can anyone think why my system has become unstable?
Should I try to update the operating system? I wonder if that will help improve stability (no joke intended), in case some of the games I downloaded required a later operating system and now it's confused.
I worry though that I may have downloaded some games from another region and that may somehow be detected.
Is there anything else I should do? I still have all of the files from the hacking process, and I think it asked me to back up my configuration, so perhaps there is a way to restore that if all else fails.

Many thanks in advance!

Edit: I've just realised that this may be the wrong thread to post this in - apologies, I'll try to move it to the right thread.
Edit2: I've now created a duplicate thread but don't know how to delete this one...
/embarrassed

******************


For example, when I try to start Super Mario 3D Land (which is a game I bought from the proper eShop), I get the following error message:
"An error has occurred
Hold down the POWER Button to turn off the power, then turn it on again and try again.
If the problem persists, please contact your local customer support centre. For contact details, check the Operations Manual or visit support.nintendo.com."

When I try to start other games (e.g. Virtual Console Sonic 2 from GameGear), it just hangs on the Nintendo 3DS sign.
When I try to start New Super Mario Bros 2, I get a different error message saying:
"An error has occurred, forcing the software to close.
The system will now restart
(Unsaved data may be lost.)"

However 3DS cartridges do seem to work, as did my Virtual Console Donkey Kong 94.
 
Last edited by kantaroo,

Mi460

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This is unusual. I searched a few places, and the things I could thing suggest it is a problem with your wifi chip and it needs to be reseated. If you try those methods and they don't work, I suggest updating from AL9H to B9S, then updating the console itself to 11.10.0

If that doesn't work, I don't know.
 

kantaroo

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Thank you very much to those that have replied - I'm trying to find a way to move this to the more appropriate section of GBATemp but those ideas are already helpful.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

This is unusual. I searched a few places, and the things I could thing suggest it is a problem with your wifi chip and it needs to be reseated. If you try those methods and they don't work, I suggest updating from AL9H to B9S, then updating the console itself to 11.10.0

If that doesn't work, I don't know.

Thanks for that idea - how do I update to a specific firmware? The only way I know to update is to go to the eShop and follow the prompt to update. But surely that will just take me to the latest firmware, will it not?
 

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Thank you very much to those that have replied - I'm trying to find a way to move this to the more appropriate section of GBATemp but those ideas are already helpful.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------



Thanks for that idea - how do I update to a specific firmware? The only way I know to update is to go to the eShop and follow the prompt to update. But surely that will just take me to the latest firmware, will it not?
That's the latest firmware.

I'm not sure what is causing some of your problems but the one where it hangs on the Nintendo 3DS screen means that the firmware is too low for the game. You can check minimum firmware requirements on 3dsdb.com.
 

KleinesSinchen

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For example, when I try to start Super Mario 3D Land (which is a game I bought from the proper eShop), I get the following error message:
"An error has occurred
Hold down the POWER Button to turn off the power, then turn it on again and try again.
If the problem persists, please contact your local customer support centre. For contact details, check the Operations Manual or visit support.nintendo.com."
[…]
However 3DS cartridges do seem to work, as did my Virtual Console Donkey Kong 94.
Getting the stock error message instead the one from Luma CFW probably means you have the exception handlers turned off (in older version you had to turn them actively on). Some games working and some not might be because or a bad/dying/corrupted SD. I recommend checking it before doing anything else:
  1. Copy all your data from the SD to a computer. Reformat the SD to FAT32, 32kb cluster size, if bigger than 32GB and using Windows with guiformat.
  2. Check your SD Windows, Linux, OS X.
    • If you get any errors replace the SD.
    • If you get no errors copy your files back on the SD.
Once you are sure to be using a good SD, proceed by the already mentioned A9LH→ B9S guide. This will update all essential homebrew/CFW software as well as the official firmware to the latest (11.10.0-43). Updating the official firmware to the latest version before updating the softmod might lead to the infamous “Failed to apply 1 Firm patch(es)” message.
If your SD is proven to be good, everything is updated but still not all games work: Backup your saves with Checkpoint and/or JKSM. After that you can reinstall non working paid games right from the eShop. For games obtained from dumped cartridges or the like: Reinstall the CIAs with FBI.

:!: Reinstalling games overwrites their saves. So do not skip the backup if you care for some save(s).
 

kantaroo

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Getting the stock error message instead the one from Luma CFW probably means you have the exception handlers turned off (in older version you had to turn them actively on). Some games working and some not might be because or a bad/dying/corrupted SD. I recommend checking it before doing anything else:
  1. Copy all your data from the SD to a computer. Reformat the SD to FAT32, 32kb cluster size, if bigger than 32GB and using Windows with guiformat.
  2. Check your SD Windows, Linux, OS X.
    • If you get any errors replace the SD.
    • If you get no errors copy your files back on the SD.
Once you are sure to be using a good SD, proceed by the already mentioned A9LH→ B9S guide. This will update all essential homebrew/CFW software as well as the official firmware to the latest (11.10.0-43). Updating the official firmware to the latest version before updating the softmod might lead to the infamous “Failed to apply 1 Firm patch(es)” message.
If your SD is proven to be good, everything is updated but still not all games work: Backup your saves with Checkpoint and/or JKSM. After that you can reinstall non working paid games right from the eShop. For games obtained from dumped cartridges or the like: Reinstall the CIAs with FBI.

:!: Reinstalling games overwrites their saves. So do not skip the backup if you care for some save(s).
Thanks for this - maybe there is a problem with my SD card because it does not let me copy the folder "Nintendo 3DS" to the hard drive. Specifically, the sub-folder "ab4f52...." gives the error message "an unexpected error is keeping you from copying this folder..."
Is this normal or does it actually indicate that there is something wrong with the SD card? I suspect that is where the games are saved as it is 25GB in size.
 

KleinesSinchen

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Thanks for this - maybe there is a problem with my SD card because it does not let me copy the folder "Nintendo 3DS" to the hard drive. Specifically, the sub-folder "ab4f52...." gives the error message "an unexpected error is keeping you from copying this folder..."
Is this normal or does it actually indicate that there is something wrong with the SD card? I suspect that is where the games are saved as it is 25GB in size.
No, this is not normal. If something cannot be copied this can be "just" corrupted data/filesystem and/or hardware damage. Is this a message from Windows Explorer? Because… I've virtually no clue about modern Windows. The games are stored inside

SD:/Nintendo 3DS/<ID0>/<ID1>/

If I remember correctly there was a Windows command line tool that continues if some files/folders cannot be read… Robocopy or something like that.

If it is filesystem corruption, chkdsk might be able to repair it BUT this might also make the problem worse. I would not use any filesystem repair tools before trying everything else. I also don't know if data recovery software – usually for restoring deleted files – can be useful here.

@TurdPooCharger is more familiar with Windows and recovery software.
 
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kantaroo

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No, this is not normal. If something cannot be copied this can be "just" corrupted data/filesystem and/or hardware damage. Is this a message from Windows Explorer? Because… I've virtually no clue about modern Windows. The games are stored inside

SD:/Nintendo 3DS/<ID0>/<ID1>/

If I remember correctly there was a Windows command line tool that continues if some files/folders cannot be read… Robocopy or something like that.

If it is filesystem corruption, chkdsk might be able to repair it BUT this might also make the problem worse. I would not use any filesystem repair tools before trying everything else. I also don't know if data recovery software – usually for restoring deleted files – can be useful here.

@TurdPooCharger is more familiar with Windows and recovery software.

Thanks for all your help. I've followed the update instructions to go from A9LH to 9BS, and all of the steps completed successfully.
Unfortunately the results are not much better. I can still use the cartridges, but the games saved in system memory still do not work. I get a different error though.
However, I then used FBI to install a CIA game and I was able to successfully play it. I suppose I will have to reinstall all the games then; at least I have a way to play them.

Can I just check: if I connect to the eShop to download my purchased games, will it detect that I have a modded console? In particular, I think some of the games I installed with freeshop were from other regions and I'm nervous that it's going to see that (although I can probably just delete them seeing as they do not work).

Many thanks again.



PS: For what it's worth, here are the errors I now get:

Whenever I open a game it goes past the Nintendo 3DS screen and then the whole screen goes black and I get a message like:
"An exception occurred
Processor: ARM11 (core 1)
Exception type: undefined instruction
Current process: loader (00000000000000000000)
R0 D9004587 R1 000000002
R2 FFF8E940.....
Press A to save the crash dump
Press any other button to shutdown

Stack dump:...."

Actually, I do get another error when I start Rhythm Paradise:
"An error occurred (ErrDisp)
Error type: generic
Process ID: 67115840
Addresss: 0x00000cea
Error code: 0x000000ce
Press any button to reboot"
It's a shame because it seemed that it was actually booting up the game.
 
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@kantaroo, you need to discontinue using that SD card until it can be verified as not fake or dying. Any further adding or moving files risk corrupting your data and makes recovering titles, game save, and extdata impossible.

A) If you cannot copy files off the card through Windows File Explorer, use a recovery software (see list; EaseUS recommended).
  • All the programs on that list have a recovery data limit for their trial versions. Look hard enough to find the Pro versions on those sites.

B) Another option is to transfer files through FTP,

C) Also try copying the files from a different Windows computer or operating system (buddy with a Mac OS).

***

Should you manage to copy all the files off the SD card over to a computer, follow KleinesSinchen's post #7 instructions in reformatting and hardware testing the SD card. [H2testw | F3X | F3] full Write + Verify must be done with an empty card.
 
Last edited by TurdPooCharger,

kantaroo

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@kantaroo, you need to discontinue using that SD card until it can be verified as not fake or dying. Any further adding or moving files risk corrupting your data and makes recovering titles, game save, and extdata impossible.

A) If you cannot copy files off the card through Windows File Explorer, use a recovery software (see list; EaseUS recommended).
  • All the programs on that list have a recovery data limit for their trial versions. Look hard enough to find the Pro versions on those sites.

B) Another option is to transfer files through FTP,

C) Also try copying the files from a different Windows computer or operating system (buddy with a Mac OS).

***

Should you manage to copy all the files off the SD card over to a computer, follow KleinesSinchen's post #7 instructions in reformatting and hardware testing the SD card. [H2testw | F3X | F3] full Write + Verify must be done with an empty card.


Hi, thank you for getting back to me. I did check the SD card, and indeed the Windows 10 scan said there was an error, and then it claimed it had fixed it. I then ran a surface scan on EaseUS partition master and it came up all clean. It may still be the card, and I've ordered another one on the post. In the meantime, I've checked a few more of the games and it seems that the DSi games do run OK, albeit they may still crash at some point: another (non-DSi game, Puzzle & Dragons) seemed to start just fine; it got to the point of asking if I wanted to continue my previous game, and only then crashed.

I also checked the 3DS's data management to delete a few games I'm not playing and I noticed that there were three or four game entries that did not have a game name on them at all, just a blank and 0 bytes. I wonder if somehow those had got corrupted...
I think I'm looking at starting from scratch with the new card, probably deleting all games and trying to download the ones I had purchased and FBI inject a few others.


Does anyone know how to keep my save files? I'd rather not have to start from the beginning again in some of them!
 

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I did check the SD card, and indeed the Windows 10 scan said there was an error, and then it claimed it had fixed it. I then ran a surface scan on EaseUS partition master and it came up all clean. It may still be the card, and I've ordered another one on the post.
You need to use H2testw to get a definite answer. https://3ds.guide/h2testw-(windows)

Also, if you bought from ebay or amazon third party or any website that isn't super reputable (ie belongs to a brick and mortar store) you're probably going to have the same problem again with the new card. Please test it with H2testw before you use it. If it is also defective, please buy your next card from a brick and mortar store.
 

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