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Broken First-Edition Zelda 3DS



[#029] my original-release black & gold Zelda 3DS is broken. and i had just bought a 32GB SD card to do a transfer over to my all-gold Zelda 3DS XL, but since the system doesn't power up and is in two pieces, that's not gonna happen.





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UPDATE: i spent the better part of a month without beating the hell out of Level 7 A.I. in Super Smash Bros 3DS due to the broken system. instead of using my gold XL as planned, my OCD forced me to by another Ocarina of Time version of the 3DS (the non XL all-black), mainly because it matches my still-unopened Zelda-themed Wii U, but also because when you open the XL, it makes a loud snap that just irritates me and would most likely wake up my sleeping wife when i do my late-night gaming sessions.


so anyway, let's get to what one would have to do if one ever finds oneself with a broken 3DS and doesn't want to lose all their precious game saves and whatnot.


i've been told that unless the games you are playing are physical retail cartridges, you're out of luck. i think this may be true, and i'll explain that later.


once you are sitting there with a broken 3DS and the replacement/new model system (and it has been reset to factory defaults), you're ready to call Nintendo's customer service (which is 1-800-255-3700). you'll go through a series of automated options before getting an actual representative. they will ask you for your Nintendo NetworkID, your Club Nintendo account (if you have one), the serial number of the new system (the sticker is found on the back of the machine), and then verify personal information such as your birthdate and a list of some of the eShop purchases you've made. they'll also ask for an email address.


once you're verified, you're told that the approval will be submitted to technicians who do the actual changes, and that it takes 5-8 days. it was next-day for me.


now that you're off the phone, you've got one more thing to take care of; the SD Card. take it out of your broken 3DS and insert it into your PC. copy all of the contents into a ZIP or RAR file onto the computer. now format your SD card (don't do quick format). when the format is done, you've removed all ties from that SD card to the broken 3DS and can now use it for the new system unless you have another SD card with more storage that you'd rather use instead.


either way, insert whichever SD Card you want to use into your PC and extract all the contents of the ZIP/RAR file onto the card. once that's done, take the SD Card out of the system and put it aside. do not insert it into your new system just yet.


at this point is the waiting game. you're waiting for that email from Nintendo stating that they successfully performed the transfer remotely. when said email comes, turn on the new system, go through the motions of setting up the initial stuff, and then go to screen where you want to create or transfer a new Nintendo NetworkID. you're going to click Create and put your existing information (name,password,email) in the appropriate boxes. submit that and you're one step closer to being finished with this process.


once back to the home screen, turn off the system (not sleep mode, actually turn it off). insert the SD Card you've previously prepared and turn the system back on.


you're pretty much done now. you'll be spending the next hour or so going back to the eShop to redownload all of your previous purchases. sadly, any game saves associated with these digital buys are gone for good.


the good news is that most (not all) save data for physical retail cartridges will still be there.


i personally had only two games to check on:

1) Super Smash Bros 3DS - my unlocked characters/maps and trophies were still there, but my custom Mii Fighters and Replay videos were gone.

2) Theatrythm: Final Fantasy - most of the content was still there sans any downloaded DLC purchases (which I was easily able to redownload), and the Dark Notes. from what I can tell, everything else (CollectaCards, game progress, Level-ups, etc) was all there.


also, any StreetPass related data is gone for good too.


i hope this documentation helps someone out there. hopefully i won't have to refer to it myself with another broken system!

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