[Tutorial] A9LH Users: Recover From Formatted/Deleted SD Card

Discussion in '3DS - Tutorials' started by bahamut920, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    With the way arm9loaderhax works right now, a formatted, dead, or otherwise deleted SD/microSD prevents you from booting the 3DS at all. Does that mean you have a brick? Not in the least! It is quite possible, even easy, to recover the ability to boot your 3DS, as long as you have a functioning SD/microSD. The purpose of this guide is to help you get your 3DS back into working order after you've lost the data on the system's SD/microSD (hereafter referred to as "SD card" or "SD"). It assumes you have no SD backups and no files saved locally to your PC. This tutorial will work for all 3DS models, including the 2DS.

    This guide will not recover save data, previously installed applications, StreetPass/Mii data, custom themes, or Home Menu configurations! If you don't have a SD card backup, you will have to start from scratch!

    Step 1 - Recover Boot Capability
    1. Download version 7.1 of Luma3DS. Version 8.0 (and higher) are exclusive to boot9strap, and will not work on A9LH.
    2. Extract the "3ds" folder and "arm9loaderhax.bin" to the root of your SD card.
    3. Boot your 3DS, which will boot into Luma settings automatically. Configure Luma, then press Start to save and boot into the Home Menu.
    ...That's it! Your 3DS will now boot normally. Easy, right? But you didn't install a9lh just to have a normal 3DS that doesn't boot without an SD, did you? Well, then, let's get to work on getting all of that delicious homebrew back. You might have noticed that all of your installed CIAs are gone. A temporary setback.

    Step 2 - FBI Inject
    1. Download the latest version of Hourglass9.
    2. Download the latest version of Universal Inject Generator (click "Clone or Download", then click "Download Zip").
    3. Download the latest version of FBI.
    4. Create a folder on the root of the SD card called "luma". If you've booted your system after completing Step 1 and configured Luma, you can skip this step as there should already be a luma folder on your SD card.
    5. Create a folder called "payloads" in the luma folder on your SD card.
    6. Extract "Hourglass9.bin" into the payloads folder and rename it "start_Hourglass9.bin".
    7. Create a folder called "cias" on the root of your SD card.
    8. Extract "FBI.cia" to the cias folder.
    9. Create a folder called "Universal Inject Generator" on your PC (it doesn't matter where, so pick a place you can find easily).
    10. Extract the contents of the Universal Inject Generator zip file to the folder you created.
    11. Extract "FBI.cia" to the "input" folder in your Universal Inject Generator folder.
    12. Eject the SD card from your computer and place it in your 3DS.
    13. Press and hold the Start button while turning the power on. This should boot Hourglass9.
    14. Select the first option, "SysNAND Backup/Restore".
    15. Select the third option, "Health & Safety Dump".
    16. Use Left and Right on the D-Pad to select a name for the dump file ("hs.app" is the default), then press A to start the dump. If (!) appears after the file name, that means that file already exists on your SD card. Pick another name, just to be certain.
    17. Press B to return to the SysNAND Backup/Restore menu, then press Select to unmount your SD card.
    18. Remove your SD card from your 3DS and connect it to your PC. You do not have to power off your 3DS to do this.
    19. There should now be a "files9" folder on the root of your SD card. Browse to it, and find the Health & Safety dump you just made (file name should be whatever you selected).
    20. Move hs.app (or whatever your dump is called) to the input folder in Universal Inject Generator.
    21. Run Universal Inject Generator by running "go.bat" (Windows), "go.sh" (Linux/Unix), or "Mac_Script_Launcher.applescript" (Mac).
    22. When it's finished, place "FBI_inject_with_banner.app" in the files9 folder on your SD card.
    23. Eject your SD card from your PC and insert it into your 3DS.
    24. Press B to return to the SysNAND Backup/Restore menu in Hourglass9.
    25. Select the fourth option, "Health & Safety Inject".
    26. Enter the key combination Hourglass9 asks for, which should be "Left, Up, Right, Up, A".
    27. Select FBI_inject_with_banner.app using Left and Right on the D-Pad and press A to inject.
    28. Wait for the inject to finish, then press Start to reboot into the Home Menu.
    You will now have an app called FBI in place of the Health and Safety app on your Home Menu. The FBI icon (a blue square with the letters "FBI" inside) should now show up on your Home Menu, but if it doesn't, check the Health & Safety icon. If FBI was properly injected, the FBI banner should show up in place of the normal Health & Safety banner. This is a bit "dirty", though, so let's actually install FBI.

    Step 3 - Install FBI
    1. Start your Health & Safety FBI.
    2. Select "SD".
    3. Select "cias".
    4. Select "FBI.cia".
    5. Select "Install".
    And now you have a "legit" installation of FBI on your 3DS. This version can be updated without risk. You can now install other homebrew apps on your 3DS through this "legit" FBI. I recommend at least installing Homebr3w (an installer and manager for homebrew apps) and lumaupdate (an automated updater for Luma 3DS), but as you know, there's a whole world out there for you to explore.

    Step 4 - Re-inject Health & Safety
    This step is completely optional. Some people like keeping their Health & Safety FBI around as insurance against something like this ever happening again, especially since H&S is pretty useless. This is fine, but there's also a risk that a future OFW update might make that version of FBI unuseable, which would require you to re-inject FBI anyways, because I'm pretty sure Health & Safety injected FBI cannot update. If you want to put your Health & Safety app back to what it should be, follow the steps below from a completely powered-off 3DS:
    1. Press and hold start while pressing the power button to boot into Hourglass9.
    2. Select SysNAND backup/restore.
    3. Select Health & Safety Inject.
    4. Enter the key combination.
    5. Select your Health & Safety dump using Left and Right, then press A to start the inject.
    6. Wait until the inject is finished, then press Start to reboot into the Home Menu.
    And now you should have your normal Health & Safety app back.
     
    Last edited by bahamut920, Jun 20, 2017
    kiritomens, iAqua, Darkyose and 2 others like this.


  2. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Very useful info. But honestly, who doesn't back up their SD card and sysnand at least once a week? I keep a fresh copy on my PC and on MEGA at all times, along with my OTP.bin and 9.2U+10.7 sysnands from the tutorial.
     
  3. Tomy Sakazaki

    Tomy Sakazaki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The same people who doesn't properly follow plailect's guide and come here to hear that they hadn't put the proper luma files on their SD?
     
  4. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    Judging from the number of "my 3DS won't turn on, is a9lh bricked" threads I've seen that have been fixed by "download Luma and extract it to your SD card", quite a few people don't do regular backups. Or even know that a9lh won't boot without arm9loaderhax.bin on an SD in the system.

    I personally make NAND backups whenever I do something that might result in a brick and save them to my Dropbox account. But full SD backups of both 64GB SD cards in my new and old 3DS systems could rather quickly run me out of both Dropbox and HDD space. I regularly back up save files with JKSM, and I have one "bare minimum" SD backup with my save files, the luma files, regularly-used payloads, and FBI installed that I keep around, but I can re-download everything else. My philosophy on the matter is "back up locally only whatever you can't re-download".
     
  5. xile6

    xile6 GBAtemp Maniac

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    might sound a bit noobish but....

    my understanding is once you do a9lh its loaded into the sysnand and it stays there until removed (uninstalled or no write protection system update)
    This then tells the system to load the arm9loaderhax.bin
    Which is needed to boot into cfw.

    So if you formatted your sd card or it broke.
    wouldnt you simply just need to load the arm9loaderhax.bin and put say luma3d on it and it should boot you right into sysnand with cfw luma?
    Then you run FBI to be able to install other cia and homebrew correct?

    I know your guide says you need to reinstall FBI, but if FBI is already installed to H&S am i wrong to think that it should still be there since the sysnand was never change just the sd card deleted.
    Now if FBI was installed as a channel (i dont know what the icon are really called) then i would see you needing to reinstall that.


    Just asking some question.
     
  6. Tomy Sakazaki

    Tomy Sakazaki GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The plailect guide now tells people to remove the FBI from H&S app, so if people actually follow this and format/damage SD they'll need to reinstall FBI into H&S.
     
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  7. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    Yes, which is why Part 1 has a sum total of three steps. All you need to do to recover boot capability is extract the Luma stuff to your SD card.

    Older versions of the Plailect guide never instructed you to remove FBI from Health & Safety. My o3DS, which I installed a9lh on back in... May or June, IIRC, still has FBI injected. The newer version of the guide, which I used on my n3DSXL back in August, does advise you to re-inject Health & Safety, however. My guide needs to assume that the user has used the most recent version of the Plailect guide. Besides, a three-step "tutorial" wouldn't be worth very much, now would it? :P
     
  8. xile6

    xile6 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Lol yea its cool. Just trying to make sure i understood everything
     
  9. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat DVD and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    This is why I have ditched Dropbox, and go with MEGA and Mediafire. They both have desktop syncing apps, and give you 50GB for free. I did however exploit Dropbox's referal system using a virtual machine (by changing the machine's MAC address at each account creation) which got myself a permanent 23.88GB as a free user.
     
  10. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    I have 50GB of space with Dropbox for free. All I had to do was finish some stupid tutorial or something. The problem is, that's not even a single one of my SD cards at full capacity, even compressed, and the account's already half-filled with other stuff. I also have a 500GB hard drive on my laptop and a 1TB hard drive on my desktop. Both of those would fill quite quickly if I made 128GB of backups weekly.
     
  11. Jayro

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    Well you'd only have to keep 1 backup, then delete the last one. I only keep one at a time, but two copies. One on drive C:\, and one on MEGA.
     
  12. gengardenne

    gengardenne GBAtemp Regular

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    If I format from settings my console with arm9 and luma then when I place again all the file of the sd I have the CFW again or I must follow the guide again?I still have luma ,hourglass and the FBI without problems holding select/start on boot?Please answer to my questions :)
    Can I format without sd card on 3ds?
     
    Last edited by gengardenne, Nov 17, 2016
  13. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    The System Settings "Format" option won't touch A9LH or CFW. On the SD card, it removes the "Nintendo 3DS/<ID>" directory that matches NAND, but that's it.

    Firmware version is left as-is.

    Since FBI is usually installed to the SD card, that will be removed. You can inject FBI into Health & Safety from Hourglass9, then reinstall FBI through the injected version.
     
    Last edited by GerbilSoft, Nov 17, 2016
  14. gengardenne

    gengardenne GBAtemp Regular

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    So If I format my console I must only place again all files of my sd and then I can install agin cia?Why I can't use FBI sending it on my sd if my 3ds is always the same?
    Last question:if format from the settings I lose only the software and savedata of my console?If I backuped all on my sd I don't lose nothing?
    Can I format without sd card on 3ds?
     
    Last edited by gengardenne, Nov 17, 2016
  15. Mn3stis

    Mn3stis Newbie

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    I followed this to step

    16. Use Left and Right on the D-Pad to select a name for the dump file ("hs.app" is the default), then press A to start the dump. If (!) appears after the file name, that means that file already exists on your SD
    card. Pick another name, just to be certain. This is the issue I get:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_XQVd2xXRUlMVg3TWRlcE5UYUE/view

    No a9lh folder was on my 3DS, but an HS.app file was.

    I continued on with the steps, but of course it wouldn't work, I got this issue:

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_XQVd2xXRUlYl90aUVsRHMxcVU/view

    Is there any hope for my 3DS?
     
  16. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    All I can suggest is making sure you have the latest version of Hourglass9. I'm not super familiar with the internal workings of HG9, and I don't know why you got that error.

    Try asking @d0k3, the creator of HG9, in the HG9 thread. He'd be more likely to be able to provide specific answers about his software.
     
  17. cadaver

    cadaver Newbie

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    Thank you for this tutorial.... fist step worked for me but I do gotta say when you d/l the file and extract...the 3ds folder that is mentioned is in the hax folder.
     
  18. d0k3

    d0k3 3DS Homebrew Legend

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    You didn't read the guide carefully. You're missing the key files, search for aeskeydb.bin.
     
  19. bahamut920
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    bahamut920 GBAtemp Fan

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    That's changed since I wrote the guide. They used to just be in the root of the archive. I'll update the tutorial as soon as I have the time.
     
  20. cadaver

    cadaver Newbie

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    How dose a parson want to start from scratch? Or make the 3ds stock? If it's in the forum I'm not sure what to look for... thanks for your help.