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Word to the wise - Back up your 3DS SD card before transferring to 3DS XL

Before you transfer your 3DS to 3DS XL, you should back up your SD card. Why, you ask? Here's what happened to reader Kolma.

I didn't and i have paid the price. While everything transferred, licenses, streetpass, everything...All my eShop content is gone and now must be redownloaded. It also means all my eshop save files are gone.

If you're looking for some helpful hints on the transfer process as pertaining to SD card data, check out this feature.

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24 total comments (View all)
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:18

Do any of the instructions Nintendo has available inform people of this?

I have easily 40-50 pieces of eshop items that'd need to be redownloaded. Honestly, that doesn't bother me as much as the saved data though.

That's just really lame, I'd be upset to have to start everything over again without a warning.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:19

Well that sucks. Thanks for the heads up!
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:20

Ow... sorry about that, Kolma... D:

At least now we know. Your sacrefice wasn't for nothing.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:21

Also, my theathrythm DLC is gone too, but that is also redownloadble.
The one thing that I'm glad stayed was my streetpass data. and my swapnote, that's all that was really important to me
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:23

I'm always very paranoid when it comes to things like these. That's why I have a backup copy of everything my life will ever need!
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:30

How did you lose your data? did your SD card corrupt?
No Avatar
Anonymous
19 Aug 2012 14:33

That sucks? Did he forget to insert the old SD card into the new 3DS XL?
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:38

I did a transfer from a 3DS to a 3DS XL yesterday - it clearly tells you to take your SD card out of the old system and put it in the new system when the transfer is complete. All of your software, including any extra data and add-on content they may have stored, is kept on the SD card. They aren't transferred, but your rights and ownership of them are.

Though I don't want to seem too harsh, this sounds like a case of somebody not properly reading the instrustions given on-screen.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 14:42

I did move the SD card over, like i said everything transfered. just that for whatever reason.. all my eshop content is missing from SD card.
My EXT data is there, my pics, videos, EVERYTHING.
Just eshop, and DLC is gone *shrugs*
I guess I have a reason to replay some games now.
No Avatar
19 Aug 2012 15:02

Don't even have a 3ds yet, but will get XL when I can and probably a 16 or 32 GB card.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 15:07

Yeah... I thought the data was stored on the SD Card. Why did you keep it in when it tells you not to?
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 15:14

Sorry to hear that Kolma, but thanks for the warning.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 15:20

I just bought a red 3DS XL more than an hour ago and haven't transfered anything yet.
MasterofMonster wrote:At least now we know. Your sacrifice wasn't for nothing.

Such wise words. -_-
No Avatar
19 Aug 2012 16:07

I did the same exact thing so he's not alone. I completely forgot that you need to back up your saves so back to square one from about 50 games and now the pokedex 3d has to be completed again. I should be way more pissed than I actually am. Backup your saves on a computer so you don't suffer the same fate
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 16:28

>Note: You can, of course, just take your old 2GB card and pop it into the XL and everything will be great. But why on earth did Nintendo think we wouldn't want the 4GB card instead of the old one??

Typical brainfart on Nintendo's side, yeah. Had a pretty big frown on my face when I found out none of my eShop stuff and save games transfered after transfering. Too bad for Nintendo that I did backup my data beforehand, already alarmed by how shovel Nintendo handled the DSi to 3DS transfers.

As Kolma put it, formatting the new card and copying the "transfered" data over from the old one works just fine - it's just mindblowing the transfer doesn't consider that the standard procedure and risks people loosing their data if they don't watch out. Once again Nintendo is all about putting smiles on people's faces and values their invested time into their software, huh. :o
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 16:29

Cipher DX wrote:I did a transfer from a 3DS to a 3DS XL yesterday - it clearly tells you to take your SD card out of the old system and put it in the new system when the transfer is complete. All of your software, including any extra data and add-on content they may have stored, is kept on the SD card. They aren't transferred, but your rights and ownership of them are.

Though I don't want to seem too harsh, this sounds like a case of somebody not properly reading the instrustions given on-screen.


Correct if you just transfer the card over everything will be alright. Unless you want upgrade to a bigger card size. I'm lucky I bought a 8 gig for my original 3DS.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 16:47

Okay so I just finished transferring my 2BG data to my computer, and now I'm performing the major transfer from my 3DS to the 3DS XL. So let me get this clear, once the main transfer is complete, I just stick the 4GB card in the computer, copy all data to the 4GB card, and then I can stick it into my 3DS XL with no problems?

Try and respond quickly if you can, I really need to know (especially if you're someone who already did this).

Random thing to mention, the "Nintendo 3DS" folder on my computer has two folders inside, one named "Private" and another with a name of many different numbers and letters. Anyone know what these folders hold?
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 17:21

@Eternal Rain
>So let me get this clear, once the main transfer is complete, I just stick the 4GB card in the computer, copy all data to the 4GB card, and then I can stick it into my 3DS XL with no problems?

Nope. Once the transfer is done, you copy the freshly transfered data from the old card to the PC, format the 4GB one (because that one is still told it's a fresh XL card) and copy the backed up data to the 4GB card.
Basically, what the transfer does is tell your old card to run just fine on the XL from now on and completely ignores the 4GB card of the XL.
(If I still remember this correctly - it's possible the transfer actually copies system data and licensing data to the 4GB card, but save games it definitely doesn't.)

As people already implied and Kolma mentioned as well, the chance to actually permanently loose data isn't exactly that big, unless you don't follow what the transfer outright tells you - that your old card is meant to run on the new system (which is the confusing part) and shouldn't be carelessly deleted right after transfering.

>Anyone know what these folders hold?

Different parts of the data. "Private" is stuff from the sound app, the browser, etc., while the numbered folders contain extra data, DSiware, etc. Basically, you'll want all of those folders intact, as they're all part of the system's data.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 17:29

Cloud Saves. Do it Nintendo.
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 19:37

TheWon wrote:
Cipher DX wrote:I did a transfer from a 3DS to a 3DS XL yesterday - it clearly tells you to take your SD card out of the old system and put it in the new system when the transfer is complete. All of your software, including any extra data and add-on content they may have stored, is kept on the SD card. They aren't transferred, but your rights and ownership of them are.

Though I don't want to seem too harsh, this sounds like a case of somebody not properly reading the instrustions given on-screen.


Correct if you just transfer the card over everything will be alright. Unless you want upgrade to a bigger card size. I'm lucky I bought a 8 gig for my original 3DS.


I'll be sure to keep this in mind.

@ *referring to bold*

Yeah, pretty much.
No Avatar
19 Aug 2012 20:20

i backed up my sdcard a few times, mostly because of the pictures , but i should really do it more often
User avatar
19 Aug 2012 23:24

Didn't have a single problem when I transferred my content. The wording I will admit is a little funky towards the end of the process dealing with the SD cards.
User avatar
20 Aug 2012 00:01

The same thing happened to me. I just didn't read the directions properly and never swapped the cards. I was waiting for some kind of prompt and didn't notice one. Oh well, I really only lost a couple saves and pictures. I would have been more upset if my e-shop account or Street pass stuff was gone. Not really sure why the extra data wasn't part of the 30 minute transfer process.

First world problems...

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