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Hack your Nintendo DS (Lite) or DSi (XL)

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    Founding Member Swiizard's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Hack your Nintendo DS (Lite) or DSi (XL)

    How to hack your DS

    This guide is a step-to-step guide on how to enable homebrew, multimedia and in most cases game backups.
    It will work on every DS system released so far. If you don't understand something, read my FAQ:
    It is also noob-proof.
    Note: I assume that you're using a Windows computer. Mac or Linux users can also do this, but some controls and programs are a bit different.

    Step 1: Determinate which DS you have.
    This is of course simple, but for those who really don't know it: (properties may be not completly precise)

    Nintendo DS:


    DS Lite


    DSi (XL)




    If you have a DSi (XL) you also need to check which firmware you have.
    This can be checked by going into the system settings menu and then looking in the bottom-right corner of the upper screen.
    Check which number it is. If this is 1.4 or higher, you need a special update in order to let your flashcard work.
    More on fw 1.4 or higher later.
    For the 3DS are no flashcards that can play 3DS games

    Step 2: Chose which flashcard you want.
    First you need to answer the question: do I also want to be able to play backup games?
    If the answer is no: chose a flashcard that only enables homebrew and multimedia.
    The only I know of are the iPlayer, Games n' music, and the iSmartMM card.
    If the answer is yes or you doubt: use other flashcards.
    There are many: check this poll.
    Here is a list of all I know of. These are top-rated:

    Others include:

    R4 is not included because of its many clones and the official one will not have any updates any more.

    A few things:
    1. If you have a DSi (XL), you must get the version that works with a dsi, most times is this an "i" version of the flashcard, "Normal" ones wont work.
    DSi compatible flashcards will work on the normal DS and DS (Lite)
    2. If you have a DSi (XL) with firmware 1.4 or higher, check if it has an update for the firmware you have.
    More on this later.

    Step 3: Buy and prepare your microSD card.
    Chose how much memory you want. Most sellers sell microSD cards with the flashcard.
    If you get a new one, I suggest that you get a Sandisk.
    This is a pure personal opinion.
    When you have all things, download the firmware of your flashcard.
    Get it from the official site, that is the latest version.
    Know you also need Winrar or similar, a program for extracting files.

    Now we're all set, lets start.
    First, doubleclick on the file you downloaded.
    Here you should see 3~8 files, while holding [ctrl] down , click on all files, except those that have the *.txt extension.
    Then right click on a selected file, and choose 'Extract to specified folder'. Choose the drive letter of your micro-SD card.
    After a few minutes it should be done. When you have done this, you can put games, homebrew and multimedia on it.
    For movies you need to convert them, there's a excellent guide, written by schadowsonic2, on this linked below.
    You can create separate folders for your music, games etc., but in most cases this is not required.
    For some cards though, it is so that they don't support multi-layers of folders.
    This means that when you have on the root a folder for your music, you can't place a folder inside that folder, because your card won't see it.

    For some cards there is a custom firmware.
    The only three I know are AKAIO for the acekard, YSmenu, and wood for R4.
    YSmenu is for R4, acekard and TTDS.

    Optional step: update to enable DSi (XL) firmware1.4(.1)
    Most cards (not all) are able to update to 1.4 or 1.4.1 compatibility.
    Check the official site or readme for the exact procedure.
    Most times this is how to install it:
    1. put the file into your games folder or on the root if you don't have one
    2. put the card into a DS that is able to see the flashcard
    3. hang it to the charger: that is the most safe
    4. run the file
    Note : Firmware 1.4 and 1.4.1 are different firmwares and need different updates.
    An update for 1.4.1 means most times that you can also use the card on 1.4 if you have done that update.

    This is the end of my tutorial. Of course this tutorial is never completed, it will be updated if necessary.
    If you have suggestions or questions: please say it. I will look if I can do something with it or answer.
    Credit is of course given were credit is needed to be given.

    Disclaimer: Swiizard.
    Swiizard and sites where this tutorial is posted do not support piracy. I'm not responsible for any harm you may have gotten (bad buy, broken card or system etc.).
    Last edited by Swiizard; 07-29-2014 at 05:46 AM. Reason: Removed old dead links


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