My old 3DS currently has a problem reading SD cards, and I'm planning to pick up a "new 3DS" at the end of this month.

I was thinking, is it possible to do a System Transfer without a working SD Card on the source system? I don't really want to waste a bunch of money to fix a system that I'm no longer going to use.

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    Commenting as I can't give you a certain answer. The system transfer process takes everything across from one system to another, including the contents of the SD card (or at least it gives you the option to just swap SD cards if the systems use the same card type). It is not particularly configurable, so I suspect it will at some point in the process try to read the SD card and abort. I don't think there will be any harm in trying the transfer. I'd suggest not having the SD card inserted into the original system at all rather than have it present and read operations fail. Jul 17, 2015 at 6:36
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    I've not tried it, but I have the impression that if the SD card isn't in the original system, it will transfer ownership of everything but not the software itself. So you'd have to re-download on the new system. Unless Nintendo is being weird again. Good luck!
    – George T
    Jul 17, 2015 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


This is not a question for this site. You need to contact Nintendo's technical support team for advice on this issue. Anyone answering here is just going to be guessing unless they have had first hand experience with this situation themself. Even then, I would still call tech support for advice.

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    Unless they were in this situation before and actually know. Perhaps unlikely, but it could happen.
    – Adam Lear
    Jul 17, 2015 at 17:34
  • I added a qualifier to that point. Agreed that it's unlikely though but not impossible. I would still suggest they call Nintendo, even if someone here had been through it themself. It's not like it costs anything to call them for hardware support questions.
    – Bryan C.
    Jul 17, 2015 at 17:35

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