Saturday, July 23, 2016

3DS System Transfers

In all our experience with Nintendo's handheld consoles, we've only ever started having issues with it starting from the 3DS. With the rise of the Nintendo eStore and downloadable games and content it was hard not to compare it with Apple's iOS devices and the App Store / iTunes Store.

Example: we buy an app from the App Store. This registers the 'license' for that app to our account. Then we can easily download that app on any of our devices - the iPhone and iPad basically. It doesn't seem to be that way with the Nintendo eStore? Then again, not everyone owns more than one 3DS really and we suppose it's supposed to work the same way as if buying a physical copy of the game (that is, you need two copies of the game for two devices). True that it doesn't make sense owning more than one console at a time...

Then there's transferring content from one 3DS to a newer 3DS (hey, sidegrade upgrade!).

With an Apple iOS device, just back up the entire thing via iTunes, plug in the new iOS device, Restore From Backup and done. We've done this a fair number of times when we upgraded from our iPod Touch to an iPhone and even to the iPad (this was before iCloud came and made cross-syncing so much easier). Syncing via iTunes had its own set of headaches but overall we understood the process.

Transferring data from one 3DS system to another? In this case, from the 1st-gen Nintendo 3DS onto the 'New' Nintendo 3DS XL?

To be honest it wasn't really difficult from a technical standpoint. No need to install special software and there's big friendly buttons telling you what to do. It was just a slightly more complicated 'cut-paste' from the SD card of the old 3DS onto the microSD card of the new 3DS, along with wireless transferring of data from console to console.

However, it still was no easy task.

First we had the choice of transferring data either wirelessly, or by using a PC to copy over data from SD card to microSD card.

Totally transferring data wirelessly would take goodness knows how many hours given we got the 3DS early on, with the Ambassador status and downloaded content. We could try leaving it overnight but we didn't really want to wait it out.

Transferring using a PC, that was a whole other level of stress as you need to prepare a few things. A few things are required, that in this day and age, isn't something really commonly found any more when we plan to transfer to the 'New' Nintendo 3DS XL.

1. The "New' 3DS XL requires a small Philips screwdriver. The kind one uses to tighten the screws in spectacles. Without that we can't open the back panel to remove the microSD card.

We'd dug about the house looking for the small Philips screwdriver. We knew there ought to be a set somewhere, we hazily recall seeing it before in a drawer somewhere. If everyone in the family had perfect eyesight that's it we'd have to do this another day, not at 11pm when all the shops are closed.

2. A computer with a SD card slot isn't enough. We needed an adapter for the microSD card as well.

If we had never used digital cameras, this would be another problem. Nowadays where most people make do with smartphone cameras, what's the likelihood of keeping around a microSD card reader / adapter? Thankfully we knew where we stashed all our accessories, and so we just needed to test them out to make sure that our Mac could read the microSD card.

Our Mac mini has a SD card slot so at least we could try reading both SD and microSD cards for data before finally beginning the transfer. It wouldn't do if we started the process only to find out that the SD cards couldn't be read by the Mac and we had to dig up a Windows PC! In fact, we actually did set up a laptop running Windows to do this, only to find out that the laptop didn't have a SD card slot (and we didn't have a working USB SD card reader).

3. Then, knowing how tricky file systems can get with NTFS and FAT (because we're using a Mac), we were worried about the SD and microSD file systems - what if we can copy from the SD card but not copy TO the microSD card? Checking the properties of the cards, it's stated that they're in a MS-DOS file format. Okay, we're not sure but we guess it's possible (since the Nintendo webpage guide mentioned using Finder on Mac).

We'd already watched the tutorial video and read through the guide, but it was still slightly stressful making sure we had everything on hand before we began - we didn't want to be stuck halfway!

Beginning the process and the 3DS consoles tried to calm us down by showing Pikmin 'carrying' data from one system to another. It worked.

Then came the tricky bit, once all the necessary data was initially transferred wirelessly. Now's the bit where we have to remove the SD card from the old 3DS and copy them over to the new 3DS. The instructions kept cycling through on the new 3DS on what we needed to do, until we gave up tapping through the pages and pressed the Power button to turn the console off.

The old 3DS, on the other hand, showed the screen as if setting up the 3DS for the first time! Should we continue? Would that wipe the SD card contents? We decided to leave the setup screen as it is without continuing, and ejected out the SD card (so much easier on the old 3DS, no unscrewing required).

Inserted both cards into the Mac...deleted the contents of the microSD...drag and drop contents from SD card to microSD card...eject...yes! Success!

And so, after all that stress, we've finally migrated all data from the old 3DS onto a New Nintendo 3DS XL Monster Hunter Generations Edition!


Jaded Jeremy said...

That is so troublesome!

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