The Definitive Guide to Running PS Vita Backups!

Discussion in 'PS Vita - Hacking & Homebrew' started by Voxel, Jul 1, 2016.

?

Which following combination do you have?

  1. Latest FW with digitally-paid-for games

    45.0%
  2. 3.55 or lower with digitally-paid-for games

    35.0%
  3. Latest FW with NO digitally-paid-for games

    7.5%
  4. 3.55 or lower with NO digitally-paid-for games

    12.5%
  1. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    The Definitive Guide to Running PS Vita Backups You Don't Own!

    Hello all! Today, I am very glad to announce that I have tested the recently new game-sharing technique, mainly based off of the reserach of gbatemp members xy2_ and MDashk, on a totally fresh PSN account (using my main PSN account's act.dat + CMA backups to test) and found that the method I had personally structured out (see tutorial below) completely works! :)
    This method sort of makes the Cobra Black Fin obsolete, as it is a completely free method, so long as you are able to actually get your hands on someone who has digitally-paid-for games installed onto a lower-FW Vita!

    So, without further ado, let's start with the things you will need first and foremost:
    • If you are the backup user, you will need a Vita/PSTV on 3.52 or lower. (But should be between 3.00 and 3.52 as the technique requires the mail exploit)
    • If you are the backup supplier, you will only need a Vita on 3.55 or lower, as the calendar exploit allows you to dump your act.dat on 3.55, and is a quicker trick to dump files anyway!
    • QCMA (NOT the official CMA or OpenCMA)
    • Mozilla Thunderbird, if you can. (It's highly recommended as it is faster, and this tutorial uses it!)
    • A Hex Editor
    • Both systems need to be already activated to do this method!

    The "backup supplier" in this tutorial will be hereby known as "your friend" to avoid any confusion.

    This tutorial has the ability to corrupt your registry file, and force you to format/deactivate your Vita, if you do not follow the tutorial carefully! Follow this tutorial at your own risk!

    Part 1 - Getting the necessary files:

    In this part, we will take a look at gathering all of the required files to edit, install, and restore to your Vita. This includes your registry files, your friend's activation file (act.dat), your friend's CMA ID, and of course, your friend's CMA backup.


    Retrieving your own registry files to edit and restore later:

    1) On your own Vita, go to the Calendar app and if you haven't already, set up a new calendar. After that, create a new event and in the description box, type "email:send?attach=vd0:registry/system.dreg" (without quotes) and create the event.

    2) Now click on that event and in the bottom-right sub-menu, click on "send via email" and the email composition screen should open up. Here, set up your email account if you haven't already.
    Go ahead and send the email to your preferred email account and retrieve and download the file to your PC. Place the system.dreg file in a convenient folder.

    3) After you have sent the email, you should be sprung back to the calendar screen. Now edit the existing event you made to send the system.dreg file and now edit the description box so it says the following: "email:send?attach=vd0:registry/system.ireg" and press enter.

    4) Again, send the system.ireg just like we did with the system.dreg file. (send via email -> send email -> retrieve and download to same convenient folder on PC)

    5) Now you have your registry files, go and download fixreg_vita.exe and place it in the same folder as the registry files. You will need this app later!

    OPTIONAL: Now would be a good time to back up your own registry files and act.dat, as either you may do something wrong during the tutorial, or you may want to play your own paid-for games again!



    Retrieving your friend's CMA backup, CMA ID, and act.dat

    1) Your friend needs to backup the game using QCMA if they haven't already.

    2) Find the title ID of the game your friend has backed up, and get them to send the entire folder that is named after that title ID. (The title ID for the game will vary depending on what region it is from.)
    If your friend does not know where it is, it will usually be located at "C:\Users\USER\PS Vita\APP\Friend'sCMA-ID\PCSXXXXX\" < It's this folder!

    3) Also, while you're at it, get your friend to also note down the CMA ID (16-characters-long, found in their /APP/ folder). This will be needed for the registry editing to come later.

    4) When you have your friend's CMA Backup/CMA ID, place the CMA Backup onto your own PC at "C:\Users\USER\PS Vita\APP\Friend'sCMA-ID\", NOT your own Vita game backups folder!

    5) Now for your friend to dump their act.dat.
    Simply repeat what you did to get the registry files in the last paragraph, but instead, your friend will need to write "email:send?attach=tm0:npdrm/act.dat" (without quotes) in the description box when making a new event to email. (Get them to send you their act.dat directly to your email address if possible, so it makes the process more quicker!

    6) Send the email, retrieve and download your friend's act.dat from your email account to your PC, and put the act.dat file in the same folder as the registry files.

    This concludes the retrieval of necessary files.



    Part 2 - "Swapping" Vita Accounts

    Here, we will now essentially "swap" Vita accounts, although it doesn't let you take full control of your friend's PSN account, only the activation and linking part of your Vita that allows you to boot your friend's CMA bacups on your own Vita!
    Also, the best thing about this part is that there is absolutely no memory card formatting involved! (As you can inject a specially-made id.dat file before you reboot to be able to use your account's content on the "new account" on your system)


    Editing system.dreg:

    1) Run fixreg_vita.exe once, and ignore the output "seg" folder and "system_.dreg" file. Now open up "system.dreg" in a hex editor of your choice.

    2) Perform a search in the hex editor, and search for a string named "privacy_confirmation". When you find it, look a few lines up, and you should see (in the hex view) your own CMA ID. (See pictured below)

    figure-1.png

    3) Now manually overwrite the above circled hex string with your friend's CMA ID, and click 'save'.

    4) Run fixreg_vita.exe once more, and now write a new email, preferably in Thunderbird, and attach the "system_.dreg" file as an attachment. Rename that attachment from system_.dreg to #0 and set the email subject to "vd0:registry/system.dreg" (without quotes) and send the email to your own Vita's email account.



    "Swapping" accounts

    1) Send this Memory Card Swapper .eml file to your Vita's email account by forwarding it using Thunderbird again. (I hear Outlook can also forward these .eml files as well)

    2) Follow Tutorial 1 of my Noob Hacking Guide and set up the email exploit to be able to write to the filesystem, if you haven't already set it up.

    3) When you have managed to re-setup your Vita's email account, find the email you attached the system_.dreg (#0) to, and click on the attachment. You should see the "could not display this image" screen. From here, Do not click off the error, and simply close the email app completely.

    4) It is essential that you do not shut down the Vita yet!
    Go back into the email app and now find the .eml email you forwarded (it should have an attachment named ../../../id.dat) and click on the attachment. Again, don't click off the error screen and close the email app completely.

    5) Now reboot your Vita and there should be no critical errors displaying when you reboot, except for an "updating database" screen. If you did get an error on reboot, then you did something wrong.



    Part 3 - Injecting the Backup Supplier's Activation file, Transferring the CMA Backups to your System, and Running Those Backups!

    So here is the final part! Using your friend's act.dat (activation) file and transferring their CMA Backups you don't own to your Vita, ready to be played!
    This is an important part of the tutorial, so read it well! ;)


    'Injecting' your friend's Act.dat

    1) Compose a new email in Thunderbird and attach your friend's act.dat file to it. Rename the attachment from act.dat to #0 like you did with your edited registry file, and set the email subject to "tm0:npdrm/act.dat" (without quotes).

    2) Send the email to your Vita's email address and go to the mail app on your Vita. Find that email you just sent and click the attachment, don't click off the error, and close the email app completely.

    3) Reboot your Vita!



    Transferring and Running the Backup

    1) If you haven't already, here is a reminder to place your friend's CMA Backup ("PCSXXXXX") folder into the folder named after your friend's CMA ID (and again, that folder is located at C:\Users\USER\PS Vita\APP\xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx(friend's-CMA-ID)\).

    2) Open QCMA on your PC and Content Manager on your Vita. If QCMA is already running on PC, just right-click the icon in the icon tray and do a database refresh.
    Go ahead and transfer your friend's CMA backup to your Vita, and now close Content Manager. (If you noticed, games you transferred using your old (main) account won't appear. That's normal, because you changed the CMA ID in your registry! The only thing you should see on the transfer menu is your friend's CMA backup game/app.)

    3) You should now see your friend's backup on your home screen!
    Try it out! The game/app will fully work thanks to your friend's activation file being on your Vita!

    You should now successfully have a working, "paid-for" Vita backup you don't fully own!


    So how was the tutorial? Was there any parts you didn't fully understand? Or was there a time where things got too difficult? Let me know how it went below! ^_^

    Thanks for taking the time to read/follow this tutorial! I hope everything goes/went as planned for you, and that your friend's backup managed to fully work on your own Vita!
     
    Last edited by Voxel, Jul 9, 2016 - Reason: Added disclaimer
    KeoniAzugon, eco95, orly3 and 7 others like this.


  2. Bubsy Bobcat

    Bubsy Bobcat vegtebales

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    Daamn, glad you got this working! I might actually start using my Vita again now. :P
     
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  3. yuyuyup

    yuyuyup GBAtemp Psycho!

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    God I hope this "sharing technique" gets blown open for real
     
  4. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    Personally, I love the concept of this game-sharing technique, however it can be massively unreliable when it comes down to finding people who actually have a few Vita games to share. (Plus, they would have to supply their CMA ID and Act.dat too with every game they share with the world and people.)
    I would still love an easier method, such as CFW or a kernel exploit, however I really don't see those things happening anytime soon, as the Vita is such a near-dying console. :wink:
     
    Bubsy Bobcat likes this.
  5. bajul

    bajul Member

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    make video please
     
  6. nero99

    nero99 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    There's no need for a video. Just reading this will get you what you want
     
  7. frogboy

    frogboy lacking both style and grace

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    had a feeling you were up to something. i'm on 3.55 so i can't do much, but very nice work.
     
  8. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    I was going to get round to doing that, if I get the time. It's not really something on my schedule, but we'll see...
     
  9. Flame

    Flame Me > You

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    wait wut?


    play "backups" on vita.....


    *faints*
     
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  10. MUDD_BR

    MUDD_BR GBAtemp Regular

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    CanĀ“t understand why some users prefers the video tutorials as the text is clear and easy to go along. Or am I so old to this?
     
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  11. Evozt

    Evozt Member

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    So, can i play my own games and back up games together in my vita?
    Sorry for my bad english
     
  12. Nirmonculus

    Nirmonculus GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Woah!
    Amazing work! Sadly I have no one to get backups from. But what if a friend can provide me a psn account, can I use that to get his games, make my own back up from that and use it on my own?

    Example, he gives me a psn account with 2 games in it. I downloaded it from ps3 and sent it to vita while signed to his account, but I can't use his account in the long run. I backed up the cma and act id, I revert back to my own psn account in my vita and use that through this method?
     
  13. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    Of course! All you will need to do is restore your original registry files and your original act.dat, if you had backed them up before the tutorial (it's recommended for the whole purpose of being able to swap between your games and someone else's games.)

    If you have a friend's PSN login details, you can reset the Vita system and link their account onto your Vita, and then use the PS3, on your friend's account, to activate the system afterwrds.
    Then retrieve the act.dat (through Calendar exploit), CMA ID, and any of your friend's games through backing up in CMA. (Use the PS3 to download any of your friend's games, then send them to the Vita, then to the PC.)
    When you're confident you have all of your friend's games (in the form of CMA Backups) you would like to play, reset the Vita again, and re-link your own PSN account, and use the PS3 on your own account to re-activate the Vita on your original account again.

    Then you're all set to follow the tutorial.
     
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  14. Mr.ButtButt

    Mr.ButtButt The Cancer Of Gbatemp <3

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    @Voxel Studios How do I get free games, voxel? I want to kno, cuz my mommy said that we don't have money for games anymore. She said the bank did something like "foreclosed our home" or something like that. Can u juss send me the download for the free vita games, it's almost my bed time~
    ;) <3
     
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  15. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    1) Find someone with digital Vita games on a low-enough FW (3.55 or lower) *COUGH* Me *COUGH*
    2) Get them to send you their games in the form of CMA Backups + their CMA ID + Act.dat (activation file)
    3) when you have the files, follow this tutorial
    4) ???
    5) Profit!

    Also, isn't your Vita already broken anyway?
     
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  16. Mr.ButtButt

    Mr.ButtButt The Cancer Of Gbatemp <3

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    listen here, buster brown. The new screen is coming in on the 7th. then it'll be fixed. and i've got 3.55
    can you hack the games onto my vita with an micro SD card, please?
     
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  17. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    Micro SDs don't work in a Vita; unless you were being sarcastic. :P

    Plus, unfortunately, you're out of luck if you're on 3.55. :(
    The only thing that 3.55 would be good for is giving out backups and your activation file only... you need to be on 3.52 or lower to actually use someone else's backups because it requires the email exploit to write to the Vita's filesystem.
     
  18. Mr.ButtButt

    Mr.ButtButt The Cancer Of Gbatemp <3

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    yeah all three messages were sarcastic. Just trying to bring some fun to both ends :D
    also, yeah i know :/
    i looked on ebay and couldnt find anything regarding to a cheap vita with hackable firmware..
    then i was like: Hey my vita still "works", why don't i just get a new screen for it.
    and here we are today.. waiting..

    side-note, my psp's screen is broken as well, but i might be able to fix that in the future because the screens are like 10 bucks now instead of 70, when i last checked.
     
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  19. Voxel
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    Voxel Clumsy Coder

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    It is a shame that Vitas have not been that much knocked down in price in the past few years... I mean, with it being a dying console, you would've thought they might drop down the price to be able to attract more consumers to the product. :unsure:

    Anyway... are you sure you don't have any 2nd-hand stores nearby that might sell Vitas?
     
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  20. Mr.ButtButt

    Mr.ButtButt The Cancer Of Gbatemp <3

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    there used to be one, but apparently they were working with the mafia and got shut down L O L
    and there's one that i can bike to, but most of the stuff is kinda overpriced. I can't drive and don't really like to venture outside of my town much.. My town is "safe", but the areas surrounding my town.. well.. they aren't "safe"