Hacking Safety of Gateway vs Palantine CFW

d0k3

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As of now, it is possible to downgrade your 3DS FW to 4.2 (FW <= 9.2), use EmuNAND (up to current 9.4) and install .CIA files even without a Gateway card. GBAtemp user Chaldron has posted some excellent guides on the topic:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutoria...r-firmware-to-cfw-4-5-without-gateway.378371/
https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-4-5-sysnand-4-5-cfw-9-4-emunand-without-gateway.378721/

So, now I'm wondering, does it even make sense to buy a GW card anymore?

The only obvious downside of Chaldrons method (using the Palantine CFW & .CIA) is that some games require a 3DS FW >= 7.x and therefore will not run (as the Palantine CFW requires a 3DS FW between 4.2 and 4.5). But even that may eventually be fixed, and until then a library of hundreds of game backups is accessible. Also, you will only need a DS mode flashcard such as the well supported R4i Gold, which runs a lot cheaper than a GW card. A guide to convert any 3DS / 3DZ backup to CIA format is found here.

My only real concern with Chaldrons method is safety (or "bricking risk"). Although there are to my(!) knowledge no confirmed bricks yet, it is still relatively new and not much has been tested yet. We're also all still scared from the timed bricks the GW team once hid inside their FW and I'm not sure if we can trust the MTCard team on that issue.

Anyways, any ideas or experiences on that?


BTW, I know that "Chaldrons method" is actually the work of a lot more people, but they are given proper credit inside his threads.
 

d0k3

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And, an addition, after looking through the release list. The more interesting (my opinion, obviously) game backups you won't be able to play using Chaldrons method are these:
  • Mario Golf World Tour
  • Yoshis New Island
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • Cooking Mama 5
  • Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokemon Omage Ruby
  • Ultimate NES Remix
  • Super Smash Bros 3DS
Don't take my word for it, though. That is only after a quick glance at the list, there might be more interesting and incompatible games, and there might already be fixes for the ones listed.
 

The Real Jdbye

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As of now, it is possible to downgrade your 3DS FW to 4.2 (FW <= 9.2), use EmuNAND (up to current 9.4) and install .CIA files even without a Gateway card. GBAtemp user Chaldron has posted some excellent guides on the topic:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutoria...r-firmware-to-cfw-4-5-without-gateway.378371/
https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-4-5-sysnand-4-5-cfw-9-4-emunand-without-gateway.378721/

So, now I'm wondering, does it even make sense to buy a GW card anymore?

The only obvious downside of Chaldrons method (using the Palantine CFW & .CIA) is that some games require a 3DS FW >= 7.x and therefore will not run (as the Palantine CFW requires a 3DS FW between 4.2 and 4.5). But even that may eventually be fixed, and until then a library of hundreds of game backups is accessible. Also, you will only need a DS mode flashcard such as the well supported R4i Gold, which runs a lot cheaper than a GW card. A guide to convert any 3DS / 3DZ backup to CIA format is found here.

My only real concern with Chaldrons method is safety (or "bricking risk"). Although there are to my(!) knowledge no confirmed bricks yet, it is still relatively new and not much has been tested yet. We're also all still scared from the timed bricks the GW team once hid inside their FW and I'm not sure if we can trust the MTCard team on that issue.

Anyways, any ideas or experiences on that?


BTW, I know that "Chaldrons method" is actually the work of a lot more people, but they are given proper credit inside his threads.
Did you forget about how buggy the CFW is? It takes like 20 minutes just to get the damn thing to work and that only lasts until you power it off or go into System Settings.
 

thaikhoa

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Did you forget about how buggy the CFW is? It takes like 20 minutes just to get the damn thing to work and that only lasts until you power it off or go into System Settings.


Wow I'm interested in the "20 minutes" you said... The fact is that it takes maximum 5 minutes to activate CFW.
 

d0k3

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Did you forget about how buggy the CFW is? It takes like 20 minutes just to get the damn thing to work and that only lasts until you power it off or go into System Settings.
Well, actually I don't own a 3DS yet, I'm just trying to decide on method now and so I'm reading through the forum. Everytime you turn your 3DS off, you need to wait 20 minutes until the CFW is loaded? Duh, that's a big downside... But, is it safe?
 

The Real Jdbye

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Well, actually I don't own a 3DS yet, I'm just trying to decide on method now and so I'm reading through the forum. Everytime you turn your 3DS off, you need to wait 20 minutes until the CFW is loaded? Duh, that's a big downside... But, is it safe?
Not exactly, the CFW doesn't boot correctly most of the time, so you have to force the 3DS to power off by holding the power button for about 15 seconds, then repeat the process of powering on the 3DS again, entering system settings and going into DS profile.

Wow I'm interested in the "20 minutes" you said... The fact is that it takes maximum 5 minutes to activate CFW.
Well, it sure feels like 20 minutes, to say the least. I'm positive it took me at least 10-15 minutes of power cycling sometimes to finally get the CFW to boot. That's just not acceptable for me.
 

thaikhoa

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Not exactly, the CFW doesn't boot correctly most of the time, so you have to force the 3DS to power off by holding the power button for about 15 seconds, then repeat the process of powering on the 3DS again, entering system settings and going into DS profile.


Well, it sure feels like 20 minutes, to say the least. I'm positive it took me at least 10-15 minutes of power cycling sometimes to finally get the CFW to boot. That's just not acceptable for me.


Sometime 1 but normally about 3 or 4. There's nothing wrong about FREE even it takes 1 hour to activate :D
 

d0k3

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Sometime 1 but normally about 3 or 4. There's nothing wrong about FREE even it takes 1 hour to activate :D
You know the saying, time is money.
My time is worth more than the GW costs. If CFW was the only option, then maybe.

Well, it's a tradeoff, for sure. Maybe a bad one. You save X $ once, but you lose Y minutes every time you turn your 3DS on. Also, technically, while the CFW is free, you still need to invest in a compatible DS mode flashcard.

I'm still more concerned about the safety against bricking, though. You have to force shutdown your 3DS multiple times and the CFW is still somewhat unreliable? I might be wrong, but that doesn't sound well for the bricking risk issue as well.
 

The Real Jdbye

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That's ok ._. spend 5 minutes to activate doesn't mean anything of playing game that takes hours.
I rarely play a game for hours. I pick it up when I'm bored, and put it down when I want to do something else, and most likely won't play any more that day, so it doesn't make sense to keep the 3DS on in sleep mode 24/7 either. I admit it's not a big problem if you're the kind that plays games all day. I wouldn't mind it if I didn't have to actively power cycle the 3DS then wait in anticipation to see if the CFW will successfully boot every time. It's torture.

Well, it's a tradeoff, for sure. Maybe a bad one. You save X $ once, but you lose Y minutes every time you turn your 3DS on. Also, technically, while the CFW is free, you still need to invest in a compatible DS mode flashcard.

I'm still more concerned about the safety against bricking, though. You have to force shutdown your 3DS multiple times and the CFW is still somewhat unreliable? I might be wrong, but that doesn't sound well for the bricking risk issue as well.
It's a bit disconcerting, every time I had to power cycle the 3DS there was a voice in the back of my head saying "what if you get a BSOD?", it's probably unlikely but you can't help but worry. The elitist hackers did say that it was buggy and could cause bricks though, but I don't remember seeing any reports of it actually happening.
 

Queno138

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Every time you want to turn off for various reasons, like battery ran out and no charger available, or to take out sd card of inserting stuff,
you must tell yourself, sigh, it takes forever to turn on.

It's simply not worth the frustration, especially when it cannot play all games.

Furthermore, my NAND size changed before on CFW, and rendered usage impossible.
Had to re setup. it's troublseome.
 

Dark Fulgore

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And, an addition, after looking through the release list. The more interesting (my opinion, obviously) game backups you won't be able to play using Chaldrons method are these:
  • Mario Golf World Tour
  • Yoshis New Island
  • Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright
  • Cooking Mama 5
  • Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Pokemon Omage Ruby
  • Ultimate NES Remix
  • Super Smash Bros 3DS
Don't take my word for it, though. That is only after a quick glance at the list, there might be more interesting and incompatible games, and there might already be fixes for the ones listed.

Mario Golf and Yoshi's New Island works on the CFW, even with the DLC.
 
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