Tuesday, 21 July 2015

MT-Card for 3DS Install and Setup

First of all I know this post is way overdue and for many 3DS users their firmware will have been updated to far for the MT-Card to be useful, but for those like myself who have not updated the System Software on their 3DS I hope this guide will be useful.

My main reasons for writing these guides are so that I can share information/experiences which I have learned along the way and also so that I can look back and see how I achieved certain things.
(my memory ain't what it used to be folks).

In this instance I found loads of guides out there, but they always seem to be lacking some info and so as always I will my best to break everything down as much as possible.

Here goes...

In order to be able to use MT-Card for 3DS or any other Flash Cart of this sort your 3DS must be running a firmware (System Software) version 4.1 to 4.5 if you are running a later version this will not work for you.

Also this guide is for educational purposes only and I take no responsibility for any damage to your console and in no way support piracy and encourage you to only use ROMS of games you legally own. (gotta love legal disclaimers huh).

Just a quick note on the MT-Card itself:  I am no expert but I believe that the MT-Card is basically a clone of the earlier Gateway card, but they removed some of the code that was "bricking" certain consoles and refined the card in other ways such as adding a psychical ROM selection switch.
There are some features missing though, one of which being the "Gateway Mode" which allowed you to do certain tweaks to the firmware which I will discuss in my next post (Manually Updating 3DS Firmware).

The MT-Card is also getting quite hard to find as most suppliers have sold out and the company itself seems to have disappeared.  Which also sadly means no more updates and the website for the card is down.  I did however have the foresight to save all of the downloads from their page and I will make those available for you to download in the post as you will need them to continue with this tutorial.

Things you will need:

3DS/3DS XL running firmware version 4.1-4.5
MT-Card
A PC running Windows XP/7/8/8.1
SD Card Reader
Micro USB Cable
2 x MicroSD Cards
1 x MicroSD to SD Card Adaptor
Lots of patience...

*Please make sure your 3DS is plugged into the mains at all times during this whole process, if the battery dies part way through your 3DS could end up becoming damaged.
**Also please backup any data stored on your 3DS's SD Card or any of the MicroSD Cards you are going to use during this process as all data will be destroyed.
*** Turn of the Wifi on your 3DS before proceeding.

Ok the first thing we are going to want to do is upgrade the MT-Card "Yellow Card" to the latest firmware version (2.0) you can download the latest MT-Card firmware here
Once you have downloaded the file "MT_Card_Updater v2.0.exe" and saved it to your computer (I recommend saving to the Desktop as it makes it easy to find and you can always move it later), you need to right-click it and left click on "Run as administrator".
You should now have a small window open.  You will notice the word "Upgrade" at the top is greyed out, this is because the software is waiting for you to connect the MT-Card to your PC.
Using a standard Micro-USB cable connect the MT-Card to your computer (The Micro-USB socket on the MT-Card is on the top edge next to the Micro-SD Card slot).  The cable can only go in one way and the blue led on top of the MT-Card will light up when it is correctly connected.
Windows will make lots of beeps as it detects and finds the correct drivers, this is normal so don't panic.  Once the drivers have been installed, the Upgrade button in the MT_Card_Updater v2.0 window should no longer be greyed out.
Left-Click the "Update" button.  It will say "Waiting driver install:" and count up to 30.
You will then get a message saying "Do you want to update your MT_Card firmware from ver:1.3 (this will vary depending on your current version) to ver:2.0?  Please don't disconnect when updating!!!"
Obviously we want to click "Yes"
The blue bars will now start going across (after the first one there will be another waiting for drivers message this is fine).
This process will take some time just stick with it and do not disconnect your cable otherwise you might damage the MT-Card.
Once the update is complete you will get a message confirming: "Update Success"
Click "Ok" and close MT_Card_Updater v2.0 program.
You can now safely disconnect the Micro USB cable from the MT-Card and put both to one side.

Now we need to work on the "Blue Card" this card is a clone of an R4i (or similar) and is only used during this stage in order to run an exploit which allows the MT-Card to work.
Start by downloading the latest version of the Blue Card software (version 2.3) here
Again I recommend saving the file to the desktop, making it easier to find.
You will then need to unzip the file you can use the built in Windows unzip for this or download a free trial of Winrar here

Simply right-click on the file "BlueCard.zip" and left-click "Extract Here" or "Extract Files".
Once you have extracted "BluCard.zip" you will have a folder of the same name.  We now need to copy the contents of the folder (not the folder itself) to a MicroSD card.
Pretty much any MicroSD card will do for this job as the files are small and speed doesn't really matter.
Insert the MicroSD card into it's SD Card adapter and insert that into your Card Reader.  (If your card reader is able to accept MicroSD Cards directly then obviously you don't need the adapter, but many don't because of the small size of the cards.
Now insert the Card Reader into your PC and go to "Computer" "My Computer or "This PC" (depending on your version of Windows).
Check which drive letter has been assigned to the SD Card you just inserted, in my case it is listed as "Removable Disk (F:)" so the drive letter is F.
We need to format the SD-Card using Fat32 format.
The Windows formatting tool is fine on cards up to 32gb
Right-Click the "Removable Disk" and Left-Click "Format"
Make sure File system is set to "FAT32 (Default)" and Allocation unit size is set to "Default allocation size"
Check "Quick Format" and then Click "Start"
You will get a message: "WARNING: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk. To format the disk, click OK. To quit, click CANCEL.
Click "OK"
Once finished you will get a message saying "Format Complete."
Click "OK" and then Click "Close" on the formatting tool.
Now go back to the "BlueCard" Folder we extracted earlier and select all the files and "_rpg" Folder inside the folder (CTRL & A on the keyboard).
Next Copy the selection (CTRL & C on the keyboard).
Back in "Computer" Double-Click on the "Removable Disk" (this should be empty as we just formatted it).
Paste  into the empty drive (CTRL & V on the keyboard).
Within a few seconds all of the files from the "BlueCard" Folder should be copied to the "Removable Disk".
You should have the following:
_rpg (Folder)
_DS_MENU.DAT
_DSMENU.DAT
changelog.txt
MT_INSTALLER.NDS
readme.txt
Go back to "Computer" and Right-Click the "Removable Disk" and Left-Click on "eject".
Once the computer tells you it safe to remove the drive, you can disconnect the Card Reader from you PC.

The next stage is to run the exploit on the 3DS itself...

Insert the MicroSD Card we just prepared into the "Blue Card" (the MicroSD Card Slot is on the back of the Blue Card near the top).
The Card can only go in one way but don't force it.  The writing on the MicroSD Card should be facing you (away from the Blue Card).
Now insert the "Blue Card" into the 3DS/3DS XL just as you would any standard game and turn on the console.
The "game" should appear on the 3DS as "Spongebob's Atlantis Squarepantis THQ".  Open this game by pressing on the icon.
You will get a screen come up with a wood effect background.
On the bottom screen you will be see "_rpg" Folder and "MT_INSTALLER.NDS"
Press down once on the D-Pad and select "MT_INSTALLER.NDS" then press A button

You will get a blue screen with 2 options:
>> MT-Card 3DS Installer

>> PRESS (A) TO CONTINUE
>> PRESS (B) TO EXIT

Press A to continue.

>> SELECT CONSOLE REGION

>> EUR/USA/JAP/KOR
>>TAIWAN
>> CHINA (iQUE)

I am in Europe so EUR/USA/JAP/KOR is the option I need, this is selected by default so just press A to continue.
It should now install the exploit:

>> PROGRAMMING [**********]
>> VERIFYING          [**********]
>> OK !

** DONE! ENJOY MT-CARD! **
>> PRESS [A] TO EXIT

Press A and you will get the "Software closed." Screen.
Press "Power Off" on the bottom screen and the 3DS will shut down.  The exploit is now done.
(Sometimes the 3DS will freeze during the >> PROGRAMMING [***       ] if this happens, just power down the 3DS using the power button as you normally would and try again.  It may take a few attempts but it will work so still with it).
Once the 3DS has powered down you can remove the "Blue Card" and put it to one side.  We should not need it again, but you should keep hold of it in case you ever need to reinstall the exploit for any reason or if you wish to use it for running NDS ROMS.

Next we have to install the "Launcher" File which will allow the MT-Card to load and make use of the exploit.

We need to remove the SD Card from the 3DS/3DS XL.
The SD Card slot is on the bottom side of your 3DS (underneath) on the Right Hand Side as you look at the machine when playing it.
Once you have removed the SD Card from your system, insert it into the Card Reader and plug the Card Reader into your PC.
As before with the MicroSD Card the computer will read the SD Card as "Removable Disk" with a drive letter.  You need to open the "Removable Disk" by double-clicking on it in "Computer" "My Computer" or "This PC" and once you have it open you will see a Folder named "Nintendo 3DS".

Download the file "SD-Card.zip" here
Again I recommend saving the file to the desktop, making it easier to find.  You will then need to unzip the file you can use the built in Windows unzip for this or download a free trial of Winrar here.

Simply right-click on the file "SD-Card.zip" and left-click "Extract Here" or "Extract Files".
Once you have extracted "SD-Card.zip" you will have 2 files: "cheat.dat" & "Launcher.dat"
The "Launcher.dat" file utilizes the exploit we installed earlier and allows the MT-Card to run, this is the latest version 2.3.
Right-Click on "cheat.dat" and Left-Click "Copy"
Back in "Removable Disk" (the one with the Nintendo 3DS Folder).
Right-Click inside the Window anywhere below the "Nintendo 3DS" Folder and Left-Click "Paste"
The file "cheat.dat" should now copy over onto your 3DS's SD Card.
Repeat the process for the file "Launcher.dat"
Now you should have the "Nintendo 3DS" Folder and the two files "cheat.dat" and "Launcher.dat" on the SD Card.
Go back to "Computer" and Right-Click the "Removable Disk" and Left-Click on "eject".
Once the computer tells you it safe to remove the drive, you can disconnect the Card Reader from you PC.
You can now remove the SD Card from the Card Reader and Re-Insert it back into your 3DS/3DS XL.

On to the next stage...
We need to format our second MicroSD Card at this point.
This is the MicroSD Card you are going to use to store our 3DS ROMS etc so it needs to be a separate card to the one we used earlier for the "Blue Card":
Insert the MicroSD card into it's SD Card adapter and insert that into your Card Reader.
Now insert the Card Reader into your PC and go to "Computer" "My Computer or "This PC" (depending on your version of Windows).
Check which drive letter has been assigned to the SD Card you just inserted, in my case it is listed as "Removable Disk (F:)" so the drive letter is F.
We again need to format the SD-Card using Fat32 format.
Right-Click the "Removable Disk" and Left-Click "Format"
Make sure File system is set to "FAT32 (Default)" and Allocation unit size is set to "Default allocation size"
Check "Quick Format" and then Click "Start"
You will get a message: "WARNING: Formatting will erase ALL data on this disk. To format the disk, click OK. To quit, click CANCEL.
Click "OK"
Once finished you will get a message saying "Format Complete."
Click "OK" and then Click "Close" on the formatting tool.
Go back to "Computer" and Right-Click the "Removable Disk" and Left-Click on "eject".
Once the computer tells you it safe to remove the drive, you can disconnect the Card Reader from you PC.

Insert your second MicroSD Card into the MT-Card "Yellow Card". (the MicroSD Card Slot is on the back of the Yellow Card near the top).  The Card can only go in one way but don't force it.  The writing on the MicroSD Card should be facing you (away from the Yellow Card).
Insert the MT-Card "Yellow Card" into your 3DS and power on as normal.
It will show "The is nothing inserted into the Game Card slot" this is normal as the 3DS cannot read the card on it's Original NAND firmware.
Press on "System Settings" (On Screen)
On the Top Screen (bottom right) you will see your 3DS Firmware version. (In my case "Ver. 4.5.0-10E") (the "E" tells me it is a European version of the 3DS).
Press on "Other Settings" (On Screen)
Press on "Profile" (On Screen)
Now hold down "L" (Bumper Button) whilst you Press on "Nintendo DS Profile" (On Screen)
Keep hold of the "L" (Bumper Button) until you get to the "MT-Card Screen".
You should now have a picture of a shark on the Top Screen and the Launcher Ver: 2.3

Yay it's all worked!!!

Now to the technical stuff...

The NAND is a section of the 3DS's Flash memory which is specific and unique to each 3DS console.
It contains information such as CPU Keys and Serial Numbers which are communicated between the hardware and the software elements in order to try and prevent the software from being modified.
We are going to backup the NAND and then use the backup to create a "Virtual NAND" or "EmuNAND" on the 3DS SD Card.
Once completed we will then use the "EmuNAND" for everything we want to do with the MT-Card (ROMS, Homebrew etc) leaving the Original NAND untouched and clean...

On the bottom screen, you will have 10 round icons.
Using the D-Pad Select the 4th option on the Top Row "Backup NAND"
Press "A" Button
You should get a message: "Do you want to backup 3DS NAND to SD?"
Press "Start" Button to proceed (this process takes a few minutes so bear with it, the NAND is approx 1GB in size so takes a while to copy).
Approx 8 minutes later it should tell you "Finished" "Press [A] or [B] to EXIT"
Press "A" Button and you should arrive back at the "MT-Card Screen" again
This time use the D-Pad to go one more icon further along 5th on the Top Row "Format Emu NAND"
Press "A" Button
You should get a message: "WARNING: ALL the SD card files will be LOST!!!" "ARE you sure you want to format the SD card?"
Press "Start" Button followed by the "B" Button to proceed (this process also takes a few minutes so bear with it, it is not only formatting but also copying our NAND over to the SD Card in order to create our "Virtual or EmuNAND").
Approx 8 minutes later it should tell you "Finished" "Press [A] or [B] to EXIT"
Press "A" Button and you should arrive back at the "MT-Card Screen" again
Power Down the 3DS by pressing and holding the Power Button for approx 5 seconds

Now turn the 3DS back on
Press on "System Settings" (On Screen)
On the Top Screen (bottom right) you will see your 3DS Firmware version. (In my case "Ver. 4.5.0-10E)
Press on "Other Settings" (On Screen)
Press on "Profile" (On Screen)
Press on "Nintendo DS Profile" (On Screen)

You should be back at the "Home Screen" however you are now running on the EmuNAND
Press on "System Settings" (On Screen)
On the Top Screen (bottom right) you will see your 3DS Firmware version has changed.
In my case it now reads "MT3D 4.5.0-10" (The MT3D confirms that you are running on the EmuNAND).

Anything you want to do in terms of Homebrew, ROMS etc should always be used in the EmuNAND.
By keeping the original NAND untouched, we are able to make a new EmuNAND anytime using the same procedure as above.
In the event of loading some bad software for example, we could simply recreate the EmuNAND and start again without any risk of corrupting the Original NAND and bricking the 3DS.

Once you have confirm that the EmuNAND is working correctly, close "System Settings" and you will be returned to the "Home Screen" however be aware that it has returned you to the Original NAND so you will have to enter the EmuNAND again.

Follow this process everytime you want to access the EmuNAND:

Press on "System Settings" (On Screen)
Press on "Other Settings" (On Screen)
Press on "Profile" (On Screen)
Press on "Nintendo DS Profile" (On Screen)

You should now be back in the EmuNAND.
I recommend changing the layout of the "Home Screen Icons" on your EmuNAND so that you are able to quickly tell the two NAND versions apart.
For example I always have "System Settings" as the first icon on my Original NAND as I have to use that button all the time for getting into my EmuNAND.  I then put the "System Settings" icon on the far Right on my EmuNAND as I hardly ever have to use it on there and it helps me differentiate between the two NANDs.

Ok so your MT-Card is now setup and ready to go.
In order to run ROMS, you simply need to copy the .3ds files on to your MicroSD which you have inserted into your "Yellow Card" and then load your EmuNAND with the "Yellow Card" inserted into your 3DS and press the "Select" button to choose which ROM you wish to load.  The ROM will then appear as though you have inserted the original game cartridge and you are good to play.
It's worth noting that the MT-Card will display the ROM files in the order they were added to the card, not in alphabetical order (weird huh).

A few months back this would have been the end of the tuturial, however there has been alot of 3DS updates since firmware 4.1 to 4.5 and many of the ROMS require a higher firmware to run.
Once upon a time you would have simply connected to the Wifi and downloaded the update from Nintendo on to your EmuNAND, however this is no longer possible as they are now on firmware version 9.9.0-26 (as of writing this tutorial) and the EmuNAND can only support up to version 9.4 (9.5 does work but many functions are missing so 9.4 is the best bet).

Please read my next guide here to learn how to Manually Update the 3DS Firmware to Ver. 9.4

I really hope this post has helped some people out.
Please comment and let me know.

Thanks for reading and Keep Rockin'

5 comments:

  1. Thank You for the tutorial, it helped me a lot !!(especially firmware files backup download). You are THE BEST !!! Thanks from Radek

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  2. hi, sorry. i'vedone everything step by step byt the shark doesn't come up on my screen, I get the below message and when I click "OK" - nothing happens.
    "Edit profile settings for Nintendo DS/Nintendo DSi software titles here.
    Not all software titles make use of these settings"

    Please help! I've been dying to play :(

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