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Nintendo Switch reverting to stock with no NAND backup

Restoring your Switch to stock WITHOUT a NAND backup.

Procedure by Nevercholt Tech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVjF_MKjSv8) - transcribed by Karunamon

Note: This procedure is somewhat advanced and, if you screw up, you are likely to hard brick your switch. *Proceed with caution!

Also note that this is a full reset. All save data, installed apps, everything will be lost.

What you need

You will require:

  • RCM Jig (or suitable paperclip)

  • A USB cable to connect your Switch to your Windows PC

  • A microSD card reader

  • The following software from https://switchtools.sshnuke.net/:

    • TegraRcmSmash
    • Memloaderv3
    • biskeydump
    • HacDiskMount
  • Zadig from https://zadig.akeo.ie/ (for the proper USB driver)

Step 1: Preparation

-1. Take a NAND backup, just in case. 0. Remove AutoRCM if it is installed. (IMPORTANT!)

  1. Hold the power switch, select power options, and shut down the console entirely.
  2. Ensure all software from the above list is extracted and ready to go.

Step 2: Keys

First we need to get your keys for a later step. This involves using biskeydump with TegraRcmSmash to push code to your switch from your PC.

  1. Insert your RCM jig (not your payload injector - we will not use it here.)
  2. Power the switch on while holding the Volume + key. You will get a black screen and nothing will appear to happen.
  3. Connect your switch to the PC. Windows should notice it was plugged in.
  4. Launch Zadig.
  5. On the top bar, make sure that "APX Device" is selected.
  6. On the right hand box, hit the down arrow until "libusbK (v3.0.7.0) is selected.
  7. Hit "install driver" and wait for completion.
  8. In your tools folder, drag the biskeydump.bin file onto TegraRcmSmash.exe
  9. The switch will boot to a screen with your keys and a QR code on it. Use a QR code reader app to scan the code, and email yourself the results. You can also press a key in the biskeydump screen to save the keys onto your SD card, but I like the email copy idea personally.

Step 3: Blowing out the cobwebs (and hacks)

  1. Connect the MicroSD card to your PC
  2. From the "sample" folder in your memloaderv3, copy the entire contents to the root of your SD card.
  3. Reinsert the SD card.
  4. Boot your switch into RCM recovery (jig in, vol+ held)
  5. Drag memloader.bin onto TegraRCMSmash
  6. Your Switch will display a menu. Using the volume keys, navigate to "umms_emmc.ini", and press the power button once.
  7. Run HacDiskMount as administrator
  8. From the file menu, select "open physical device"
  9. Look for a "Linux UMS disk" and select it.
  10. Open the SYSTEM partition in the new menu by double clicking
  11. From your email or text file back in step 2.9, fill the text boxes with the BIS key 2 crypto and tweak values. Press Test, it should complete successfully.
  12. Select a drive letter not in use currently on your PC (z: or a letter late in the alphabet is safe), press Install, then Mount. This will take a moment.
  13. On your PC, navigate to the drive letter you selected.
  14. Open the save folder.
  15. READ THIS BIT CAREFULLY - YOU WILL BRICK YOUR SWITCH IF YOU FOLLOW THE NEXT STEP WRONG!
  16. Select all files in this directory, and UNselect the file that begins with 8 and ends with 120 (it may also have a blank or nonsensical date in 1969)
  17. Delete all selected files. Again, make sure not to delete the 8.........120 file.
  18. Go back to hacdiskmount, and hit unmount, then close the window.
  19. Now, select USER
  20. Put in your BIS key 3 (note: 3, not 2 from the previous step), test, and mount.
  21. Navigate to the folder.
  22. Delete EVERYTHING in this directory. All folders, everything. Leave it completely blank.
  23. Unmount and disconnect from the PC.
  24. We're done with all the tools.

If you have an SD card inserted, now would be a great time to either wipe it, or at least copy the files elsewhere. I'm paranoid, and I don't want Nintendo to see the various homebrew tools and XCIs/NSPs I had in there.

Step 4: The hard part's over

  1. Remove your RCM jig.
  2. Power on your switch normally (without holding Vol+)
  3. Continue through the setup process, but skip the part where you enter your network connection.
  4. Continue until you reach the home screen. Navigate to settings, system, format options, and do a full factory reset.

Your Switch is now stock, and safe to use online.

Step 5: The test

  1. Once the factory reset is complete, your Switch is stock. There are two points at which you can get an error message if your console was banned:
  • Logging into Nintendo Network
  • Using the eShop
  1. Set up the Switch normally, including connection to the internet. If you've been hacked for a long time, you probably will need to update your system before logging into Nintendo Network. Don't worry, this doesn't mean you're banned.

  2. Do any update that the system wants (system menu, system, update)

  3. After the reboot, navigate to your user account and link it with Nintendo Network. If the link completes successfully:

  4. Open the eShop and try to download something free like YouTube.

IF STEPS 4 AND 5 COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY, YOU ARE DONE! YOU HAVE REVERTED TO STOCK SUCCESSFULLY WITHOUT A BAN!!

If, on the other hand, you get an error message (2124-4007, 2124-4508), then your system is, regretfully, banned, and unable to access online services. You might as well reinstall your hacks.

I, personally, hacked my switch back when SX OS first came out, making sure to keep it offline. By following the above procedure, I reverted back to stock with no problems.

@samriggio
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samriggio commented Mar 23, 2021

Thanks for this guide, Karunamon! Worked perfectly for me after running Atmosphere on sysEMMC for over a year.

@nwwj88
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nwwj88 commented Mar 29, 2021

My hard drive was dead and I've lost my nand backup, would this save me if I want to restore to stock?

@tonywildey-valstro
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tonywildey-valstro commented Mar 29, 2021

My hard drive was dead and I've lost my nand backup, would this save me if I want to restore to stock?

I was ok without my nand backup - this blows everything away - however if you get anything wrong - you are probably hosed ...

@giuseppe1193
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giuseppe1193 commented Apr 6, 2021

hello, I'm stuck in step 4 in the part 11, because after I insert the BIS key 2 and press TEST it gives me the error "FAIL! Entropy: 7.989 (tested 16384 out of 16384 bytess)" what can I do? thanks

@Thediaa
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Thediaa commented Jun 24, 2021

I get stuck on 3.9, where HacDiskMount says; 'Invalid CRC in secondary GPT (and primary is corrupt)'. Any idea what to do?

@Thediaa
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Thediaa commented Jun 24, 2021

image

@Kupie
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Kupie commented Jul 7, 2021

This is the same thing that Haku33 does, correct? https://github.com/StarDustCFW/Haku33

@Karunamon
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Karunamon commented Jul 7, 2021

@Thediaa did you disable AutoRCM before starting?

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