Hi all We already have this great guide on emunand etc., but there's a lot of text and might be a bit intimidating for new users. https://gbatemp.net/threads/guide-the-emunand-save-data-mega-guide-gbatemp-doesnt-deserve.378491/ So I decided to make a visual guide to help new users understand the basics. 1. What and where is SysNAND, and what does it do? SysNAND is the name given by the hacking community to a chip inside the 3DS consoles. It is located on the 3DS main board inside the 3DS. The SysNAND contains the 3DS system software, including the home menu and all the other software required for the system to operate. This software also determines what the system can and cannot do. For example, the software on SysNAND prevents the user from installing homebrew or pirated software. 2. What and where is EmuNAND, and what does it do? EmuNAND is a copy of the software contained in SysNAND. It is created for the purpose of removing the restrictions imposed by SysNAND. Once it has been created, it is located in a hidden area on the 3DS SD card. Like SysNAND, it contains the 3DS system software. Unlike SysNAND, EmuNAND can be modified to remove some of the restrictions. For example, the checks which prevent pirated software from being installed can be removed in EmuNAND. 3. What does Custom Firmware (CFW) do? CFW is a piece of software for the 3DS which has two main functions: Switch the system from running on SysNAND to running on EmuNAND Patch various parts of the system software (in EmuNAND) such as removing the restrictions on the software which you can install and run, and removing the region locks Here is an overview of what happens when CFW is being used: (click for a larger image) There are three main CFW solutions: rxTools ReiNand Cakes CFW After running the CFW launcher of your choice, your 3DS will no longer be operating in SysNAND, but will be running from the EmuNAND instead. 4. What does Pasta CFW do? Pasta CFW patches some of the same system functions as the other CFW solutions, such as removing the restriction on what software can be installed and run. However, it makes these changes to SysNAND, not EmuNAND. After running the Pasta CFW launcher, your 3DS will reboot back to SysNAND, but with the ability, for example, to install and run CIA files. This is beneficial because certain CIA files need to be installed in SysNAND, such as other CIA installers, region free patches and GBA game ROM files. Here is an overview of what happens when Pasta is being used: (click for a larger image) The most important thing to understand is that Pasta does not boot you to EmuNAND. If you run Pasta, you are still in SysNAND. This means that any changes or updates you make occur in SysNAND, not EmuNAND. 5. When should I use SysNAND+Pasta, and when should I use EmuNAND+CFW? Pasta should be considered a temporary way of accessing a patched SysNAND. It should therefore only be used during the initial setup of EmuNAND, and briefly when a CIA needs to be installed to SysNAND (e.g. if installing a GBA game ROM file). For all other purposes including day-to-day game playing, EmuNAND should be used via CFW as the main way of using the console. 6. How does all this relate to system software updates? It is vital to keep your SysNAND on a firmware version no higher than 9.2. Beyond this level, you will not be able to run CFW so cannot boot EmuNAND or even use Pasta. This means you should never, ever run system update from SysNAND, including if you have run Pasta. In either case, whether you are running Pasta or not, updating the system software from SysNAND will update SysNAND. Instead, you need to boot CFW first and verify that you are in EmuNAND. Then when you carry out a system software update, the update will be applied to EmuNAND instead of SysNAND. 7. How to update EmuNAND safely Never perform a system update from a nag message offering to update. There are some reports of this updating SysNAND even if the user was in EmuNAND when the nag appeared. Instead, do the following to update your EmuNAND. Make sure your CFW is on the latest version, as some earlier versions of CFWs do not support the latest 3DS system software versions Boot into CFW+EmuNAND Open System Settings Verify that you are in EmuNAND. To do this, check the version number for its version string. It will look like one of the below: (click for a larger image) Note that ReiNand (left) prepends "Rei" to the version string, and rxTools prepends "RX-E". Gateway EmuNAND prepends "GW3D". Note 1: If you are using rxTools and see RX-S, this means you are in SysNAND Note 2: If you are using Cakes CFW, you will see no difference in the version string and you will have to find another way to verify that you are in EmuNAND. A good strategy is to use a different home menu theme on EmuNAND and SysNAND so you can tell from the home menu which NAND you are in Note 3: If you are in any other CFW (ReiNand, rxTools or Gateway) and do not see the appropriate prepended identifier in front of the system version, this means you are in SysNAND and must not perform the update. Once you are sure you are in EmuNAND System Settings, go straight to System Update without closing settings. You should keep in mind that exiting System Settings will cause your 3DS to reboot, which will send you back to SysNAND if you don't have your 3DS to boot to CFW and EmuNAND when it starts up. 8. Why is all of this so important to understand? With each system software update, Nintendo tries to patch the vulnerabilities which allow us to install unlicensed software and use other hacks. If you update SysNAND to the latest version of the system software, you will lost access to many of the best hacks available. Using EmuNAND allows you to keep up with the latest updates without losing access to these hacks. This is because you can keep your SysNAND on an exploitable version (e.g. 9.2), while having your EmuNAND updated to the latest version (e.g. 10.5). Because SysNAND is still exploitable, CFW will still be able to run and switch over to your EmuNAND. If you are not clear on the difference between SysNAND and EmuNAND, and also what Pasta does and does not do, you risk doing things like updating your SysNAND to the latest version when you meant to update your EmuNAND, which would result in losing access to your EmuNAND entirely. I hope this guide has been helpful to some new users. If any changes or additions are required please let me know!