Restore a Deleted Save Game file on Nintendo Switch?

mattb

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Hi,

My Son's friend started a new game on his Switch account for Breath of the Wild and deleted my son's progress (many many many many hours!). Annoyingly the switch has since backed this up to Nintendo online and wiped the backup, and Nintendo don't keep - or at least don't expose any historical versions.

Is there anyway to mount the internal eMMC as a disk some how and run a tool to scan the sectors for deleted files?

I know there is a low chance of recovering the file data - but I've had success with this in the past with removable media mounting to linux and running various tools on the disk - just not sure how to go about access the internal memory ?

I did check the SD card, but it doesn't look like there is any save game data on there.

Any way to maybe clone the NAND memory off the switch ?

And if it was possible, is it possible to re write that back to the switch - or are there lots of encryption, security measures in place to stop you messing with save game data?

cheers

Matt
 

hippy dave

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Yes there's shitloads of encryption and security measures in place. But IF your Switch is hacked, you can use Hekate to mount the emmc over USB, then use hacdiskmount or ninfs to mount decrypted partitions. I don't know if you can do much useful in the way of sector scanning from there, but you could try. Like you said, chances of successful recovery are low anyway. Beat up your son's friend?
 

Digitalcat

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I don't know the specifics, and I don't know anything about data recovery, but yeah, save data is not stored on the SD card, it's saved internally on the Switch in protected folders and all that garbo, now I don't know how the saving system works exactly on the switch, perhaps some games do it differently than others, but I do know that in case if a game uses saveslots, where it's one global save file per slot, and if that gets overwritten it's game over, you could try and recover it, but if you find something at all it's probably corrupted.

Were it that each save you made in the game would have their own file, it would have been quite easy to data-recover, or at least on PC as long as a new file doesn't appear to overwrite that past one.

But as the person above me noted, you can mount it using Hekate, and mess around from there, maybe make a backup just in case though of your emmc before you start anything, and if all fails, tie up your son's friend and find a nice lake, or maybe don't, I don't know, don't know the legality of that.

regardless, all of this involves modding your switch, and given you're new to the forum and it sounds like your son's switch isn't, it's gonna be quite a bit of effort, and even more so if the switch is a newer model.
 
Last edited by Digitalcat,

mattb

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Haha, thanks for the replies.

At least you got my son laughing finally :)

The switch is on 14.1.1 - around 2018 we got it - so I think its ok to run custom firmware - but yeah, it will be a lot of effort for a very very slim chance.

My concern is actually woking what file that Zelda saved too - and how to tell its the correct file to restore. (if any tools can actually find it)
 

Digitalcat

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Haha, thanks for the replies.

At least you got my son laughing finally :)

The switch is on 14.1.1 - around 2018 we got it - so I think its ok to run custom firmware - but yeah, it will be a lot of effort for a very very slim chance.

My concern is actually woking what file that Zelda saved too - and how to tell its the correct file to restore. (if any tools can actually find it)

Np, np, 2018 should be pretty good for the switch, just to be sure tho, check out this website and fill in your switch serial number to see from a glance whether or not it can be hacked, if it's unpatched, just go through the motions of installing hekate and follow hippy dave's advice in this thread. Just make sure to make the right backups and such.

The serial check website: https://ismyswitchpatched.com/
 

Takokeshi

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Very unlikely you'll get anywhere, because starting a new file doesn't just delete previous data, it overwrites it. That being said, by modding it like this you'll at least be able to make regular backups in the future, so you can restore if any data loss happens again. Just be careful how you go about it, and which games you do it to, because there is a non-zero ban risk when doing this kind of thing (and given that you have NSO on there, your son probably cares about not losing online play.)

Maybe you could find a save file online with similar progress to what he had too, and restore that. Then he at least has something to work with instead of starting from scratch.
 

hippy dave

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Fwiw, if you purely use Hekate to mount the storage as discussed, as well as make backups, but don't ever boot into CFW (either from Hekate or the other way, fusee), then the established ban risk is zero (booting CFW without risking ban is certainly doable if you know the do's and don'ts, but not booting CFW is guaranteed safe in itself). Restoring/modifying saves is different, and as the above poster mentioned, depends on the game, some games look for that especially if they're online games, but I'm not the person to ask which ones.
 

mattb

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Hmm, falling at the first hurdle here. I've been following the guide at switch.homebrew.guide

I've grounded pin 10 on the right joycon rail with the tinfoil method, and used the `fusee-launcher` on OSX.

But with both the test payload, and adding Hekate etc to the SD card and running the Hekate payload, I get this...


Identified a macOS system; setting up the appropriate backend.
Found a Tegra with Device ID: b'\x00\x03\x04\r\x00\x00\x00\x10\t\x95Dd\x01\x10\x10b'

Setting ourselves up to smash the stack...
Uploading payload...
Smashing the stack...

But nothing happens on the switch - screen is just black.

So it sounds like it can see it (hence the Device ID) - but maybe its not hackable ?
 

Digitalcat

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Try using fusee-interfacee-tk instead to push your payload, also make sure you have everything put on your switch, make sure your bootloader folder is complete on the SD card, also here is a quick cheat sheet for whether or not you're switched it patched.

c3e0a831e5.png
 

Budsixz

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This might a useless reply but did he start a new game on master mode and your data was on regular mode? If so you can just switch back to normal mode cause the game let's you keep a separate file for master mode and normal mode
 

mattb

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This might a useless reply but did he start a new game on master mode and your data was on regular mode? If so you can just switch back to normal mode cause the game let's you keep a separate file for master mode and normal mode
Afraid not - was on the regular mode...
 
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