SD Card Setup

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This page is for preparing your SD card for your Nintendo DSi. In the process, we'll format the SD card to a format suitable for the Nintendo DSi and check the card for errors.

DANGER

Make sure to backup your SD card contents BEFORE following this. Your SD card will be WIPED in the process.

Section I - Formatting your SD card with SD Formatter

TIP

This section formats the SD card to the specifications by the SD Card Association. This can fix many issues that may occur with running homebrew applications.

DANGER

Any 64GB or larger SD cards will be formatted to exFAT in this process. You must follow Section II to re-format to FAT32.

  1. Download the latest version of SD Formatterin einem neuen Fenster öffnen
    • Accept the End User License Agreement to start the download
  2. Run SD Card Formatter Setup (the .exe file) in the downloaded .zip file with Adminstrator privileges, then install the program
  3. Run SD Card Formatter from the Start Menu with Adminstrator privileges
  4. Select your SD card
  5. Make sure the Quick Format check box is checked
  6. Start the format process

Section II - Formatting your SD card with GUIFormat

This section formats SD cards larger than 32GB to FAT32.

TIP

If your SD card is 32GB or less in capacity, skip to Section III.

  1. Download the latest version of GUIFormatin einem neuen Fenster öffnen
    • Click on the picture on the website to download the app
  2. Run GUIFormat with Administrator permissions
  3. Select your drive letter
  4. Set your Allocation size unit it to 32768
    • If this is too large for your SD, set it to the highest one that works
  5. Make sure the Quick Format check box is checked
  6. Start the format process

Section III - Checking for errors

  1. Go to the properties window of your SD card
    • Windows Explorer -> This PC -> Right click your SD card -> Properties
  2. In the tools tab, Select Check Now
  3. Check both Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors
  4. Start the checking process

This will scan the SD card and correct any errors it finds.

Section IV - Checking SD card read/write

  1. Download and extract the h2testw archivein einem neuen Fenster öffnen anywhere on your computer
  2. With your SD card inserted into your computer, run h2testw.exe
  3. Select which language you'd like to see h2testw in
  4. Set your SD card's drive letter as your target
  5. Ensure all available space is selected
  6. Click Write + Verify
  • Wait until the process is completed

TIP

If the test shows the result Test finished without errors, your SD card is healthy and you can delete all .h2w files on your SD card.

DANGER

If the test shows any other results, your SD card may be corrupted or damaged and you may have to replace it!

TIP

If TWiLight Menu++ fails to start after following this method, please follow the Windows method instead, by either rebooting to Windows or running a Windows Virtual Machine

Section I - Formatting your SD card

  1. Make sure your SD card is not inserted into your Linux machine
  2. Launch the Linux Terminal
  3. Type watch "lsblk"
  4. Insert your SD card into your Linux machine
  5. Observe the output. It should match something like this:
NAME        MAJ:MIN RM   SIZE RO TYPE MOUNTPOINT
mmcblk0     179:0    0   3,8G  0 disk
└─mmcblk0p1 179:1    0   3,7G  0 part /run/media/user/FFFF-FFFF
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  1. Take note of the device mount point. In the example above, it was mmcblk0p1
    • If RO is set to 1, make sure the lock switch is not slid down
  2. Hit CTRL + C to exit the menu
  3. Follow the instructions relevant to your SD card's capacity:
    • 2GB or lower: Type in sudo mkdosfs /dev/(device mount point from above) -s 64 -F 16 to create a single FAT16 partition with 32 KB cluster size on the SD card
    • 4GB or higher: Type in sudo mkdosfs /dev/(device mount point from above) -s 64 -F 32 to create a single FAT32 partition with 32 KB cluster size on the SD card

Section II - Using F3

  1. Download and extract the F3 archivein einem neuen Fenster öffnen anywhere on your computer.
  2. Launch the terminal in the F3 directory
  3. Run make to compile F3
  4. With your SD card inserted and mounted, run ./f3write <your sd card mount point>
    • Wait until the process is complete. See below for an example output:
    $ ./f3write /media/michel/6135-3363/
    Free space: 29.71 GB
    Creating file 1.h2w ... OK!
    ...
    Creating file 30.h2w ... OK!
    Free space: 0.00 Byte
    Average Writing speed: 4.90 MB/s
    
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  5. Run ./f3read <your sd card mount point>
  • Wait until the process is complete. See below for an example output:
    $ ./f3read /media/michel/6135-3363/
                      SECTORS      ok/corrupted/changed/overwritten
    Validating file 1.h2w ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
    ...
    Validating file 30.h2w ... 1491904/        0/      0/      0
    
       Data OK: 29.71 GB (62309312 sectors)
    Data LOST: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
                Corrupted: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
       Slightly changed: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
             Overwritten: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
    Average Reading speed: 9.42 MB/s
    
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TIP

If the test shows the result Data LOST: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors) your SD card is healthy and you can delete all .h2w files on your SD card.

DANGER

If the test shows any other results, your SD card may be corrupted or damaged and you may have to replace it!

Section I - Formatting your SD card with SD Formatter

TIP

This section formats the SD card to the specifications by the SD Card Association. This can fix many issues that may occur with running homebrew applications.

DANGER

Any 64GB or larger SD cards will be formatted to exFAT in this process. You must follow Section II to re-format to FAT32.

  1. Download the latest version of SD Formatterin einem neuen Fenster öffnen
    • Accept the End User License Agreement to start the download
  2. Run Install SD Card Formatter (the .mpkg file) in the downloaded .zip file
  3. Run SD Card Formatter
  4. Select your SD card
  5. Make sure the Quick Format check box is checked
  6. Start the format process

Section II - Formatting your SD card with Disk Utility

This section formats SD cards larger than 32GB to FAT32.

TIP

If your SD card is 32GB or less in capacity, skip to Section III.

OS X El Capitan (10.11) and later

  1. Launch the Disk Utility application
  2. Select Show All Devices in the top-left View panel
  3. Select your SD card from the sidebar
    • Make sure you choose the correct device, otherwise you might accidentally erase the wrong drive!
  4. Click Erase at the top
  5. Ensure that Format is set to MS-DOS (FAT32)
    • On El Capitan (10.11) through Catalina (10.15) choose MS-DOS (FAT)
  6. Ensure that Scheme is set to Master Boot Record
    • If Scheme does not appear, click Cancel and make sure to choose the device instead of a volume
  7. Click Erase, then click Close

OS X Yosemite (10.10) and earlier

  1. Launch the Disk Utility application
  2. Select your SD card from the sidebar
    • Make sure you choose the correct device, otherwise you might accidentally erase the wrong drive!
  3. Click Partition at the top
    • If Partition does not appear, make sure to choose the device instead of a volume
  4. Ensure that Partition Layout is set to 1 Partition
  5. Ensure that Format is set to MS-DOS (FAT)
  6. From the Options button (below the partition table), select Master Boot Record.
  7. Click OK -> Apply -> Partition

Section III - Using F3

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Install F3 from brew by running brew install f3
  3. With your SD card inserted and mounted, run f3write <your sd card mount point>
    • Wait until the process is complete. See below for an example output:
    $ f3write /Volumes/SD\ CARD
    Free space: 29.71 GB
    Creating file 1.h2w ... OK!
    ...
    Creating file 30.h2w ... OK!
    Free space: 0.00 Byte
    Average Writing speed: 4.90 MB/s
    
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  4. Run f3read <your sd card mount point>
    • Wait until the process is complete. See below for an example output:
    $ f3read /Volumes/SD\ CARD
                      SECTORS      ok/corrupted/changed/overwritten
    Validating file 1.h2w ... 2097152/        0/      0/      0
    ...
    Validating file 30.h2w ... 1491904/        0/      0/      0
    
       Data OK: 29.71 GB (62309312 sectors)
    Data LOST: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
                Corrupted: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
       Slightly changed: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
             Overwritten: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors)
    Average Reading speed: 9.42 MB/s
    
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TIP

If the test shows the result Data LOST: 0.00 Byte (0 sectors) your SD card is healthy and you can delete all .h2w files on your SD card.

DANGER

If the test shows any other results, your SD card may be corrupted or damaged and you may have to replace it!

TIP

You can now restore the contents of your SD card and continue.