Needed materials

If you’ve arrived at this article, I can only assume you have some interest in hardmodding an O3dsXL. I decided to write this article to record my experience with the O3dsxl hardmod. I used this article at gbatemp: [TUTORIAL] [Noob-Friendly] NAND Dumping 2DS/3DS/3DS XL/N3DS/N3DS XL! by TheToaster to complete this hardmod, so hat’s off to him! I really just put this together to show my personal experience with the hardmod, and maybe help someone that’s looking for a finished example.

Materials used:

  • Wire Strippers
  • Kynar wire
  • Soldering Iron (Plain old rat shack 15W
  • Solder
  • Glue Gun
  • Flux

Here is a shot of the top of the motherboard

O3dsXL Motherboard Top

And here’s a closer shot of the area we will be working with


We will be using the solder points around the NAND, which is the Samsung chip with the epoxy under it. Here’s he pinout for the O3dsXL

O3dsXL Hardmod Solder Points

Keep in mind it’s only necessary to use solder points for CLK, CMD, DAT0, and GND. This will give you a working O3dsXL hardmod that is fine for most users. Some users, however, will want more speed, this is when a 7-wire hardmod comes in handy, using DAT1-DAT3, as well as CLK, CMD, GND, and DAT0. When I initially started this project, I did go with the 4 wire mod, I then went back and “completed” the mod using 7 wires, and a nice plug to make everything accessible externally with minimal modifications to the stock 3dsXL case. Here’s my initial soldering job, noticed I used the cartridge slot as GND, this looks to be the best place in the area, I would recommend you use the same spot. The solder around the edges of the cartridge slot can be pretty hard to melt with a 15W iron, if you’re having an issue, try to get some new solder to flow into the old, this will sometimes cause the remainder of the solder to liquify, allowing you to firmly seat your wire.

O3dsXL Hardmod Initial Soldering

This is what it looks like after the 4 points are soldered, and the routing of the wires is cleaned up a bit and hot glued to the board. I HIGHLY recommend the use of hot glue. Once I had all my wires firmly soldered, I was able to place a dab of hot glue, then, using a toothpick, I was able to maneuver  the wires around and lift them from the board where needed.

O3dsXL Wire routing for 4 wire mod

I opted to pull out one of the corners of the O3dsXL, this seemed to be the most logical place to route the wires, as it requires no modification to the OEM case. I believe these are intended for carrying straps, but they pop right out and leave a nice hole for our wiring. Here’s a quick shot of the wires routed through the hole itself

03dsXL Hardmod Wire Routing to outside case

Notice that I keep the wires labeled, this should be common sense, but if you forget you can always use a multimeter to confirm your connections. Here’s a shot of everything glued down and routed to the corner we opened up

O3dsXL Hardmod Glueing complete wires routed through opened corner

Here’s what my homemade O3dsXL hardmod SD reader looks like

O3dsXL Hardmod modified SD adapter

Here’s everything “assembled”

O3dsXL Hardmod Assembled

Here’s a shot of everything reassembled, minus the battery. One major thing to note here, I made these wires WAY TOO LONG, I did have problems getting good reads after, I then shortened the wires, and the problems disappeared

O3dsXL Hardmod ds case reassembled

And finally here’s a shot of what you will get when you plug your SD adapter into a reader and power on the 3ds. If all went well, you should get an error screen as follows

O3dsXL Hardmod Bootrom Error

O3dsXL Hardmod Bootrom Error 2

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You should now be able to use DD, or a disk imaging utility of your choice to grab a NAND backup of your 3ds!

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