Hacking Strange Switch behavior (Never modded, AutoRCM on dead eMMC, etc)

WayOfTheRoad

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Hi all. A strange situation I hope someone can explain to me:

My coworker knows I fix tech and brings me his "broken" Switch. He claims he didn't use for almost a year because during his last use it basically crashed and refused to turn back on. He says if I can fix it he'll pay me and if not I can keep it.

I charge it and it takes a charge but does not boot. So, being unpatched I pop it on a PC and it's booting to AutoRCM. I quickly run lockpick to get the keys and then I notice that it isn't reading the eMMC. Claims "failed to init emmc" a common message when you have a dead eMMC. I'm ready to tell him the news that it can be fixed but not fully fixed unless he was smart enough to back up the keys & prodinfo file.

I ask if he has that data backed-up and he has no idea what I'm talking about. He swears he never modded or hacked it. I tell him I don't care if he did and actually hope he did but he says "no, I sincerely never hacked it. I don't know what the keys even are or how to hack a Switch". Which is believable as he isn't the type to care about that stuff. He's not very tech literate.

So, I have this Switch that has a supposedly dead eMMC...but it will boot to AutoRCM when the eMMC is installed and NOT when uninstalled. When uninstalled or tested with a donor eMMC board you have to use the jig to get to RCM.

How can an eMMC board be unable to initialize to the Switch but still run AutoRCM off of it?! Further, how the f*ck does AutoRCM get on to a unit all by itself? I've heard some say a totally dead battery can do it but I've never seen it happen in dozens upon dozens of unpatched units with totally dead batteries.

Any explaination and/or ideas of how the eMMC may not be dead are welcome, lol. For now I told him it could be rebuilt as an "offline only" Switch because I can't get the Prodinfo.bin off of a dead eMMC (or can I?) and he has no interest in that.

I like to fix things so I'd actually rather fix it for him than keep it. Any info is appreciated. Thanks for reading.
 

WayOfTheRoad

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You can get into RCM just by removing the NAND, so it being dead has the same effect

Oh, ok. I never knew that so I appreciate the reply and information! Much appreciated.

So there is nothing strange at all here, haha. Just a Switch with a bad eMMC/NAND.

I guess I'll just rebuild the NAND on another board (if reballing it doesn't help) and use/sell it as an offline Switch.
Thanks.


PS: I made another thread about it but do you know if I can use any donor nand board to do that? I've always used boards bought from Aliexpress for about $10 but I currently have quite a few good eMMC boards from unfixable Switch units. Can they be used as is or do they need to be erased first or reset in some way?
 
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