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R4 Card can't open _ds_menu.dat

Troubleshooting the R4 3DS Card Error: “Can't Open _ds_menu.dat”


The R4 3DS card and R4 card are a popular flashcard that allows Nintendo 3DS users to play a wide range of games and use various applications. However, like all technology, it can sometimes run into issues. One common error is the “can't open _ds_menu.dat” message upon startup. This tutorial will guide you through the steps to fix this error, ensuring a smooth gaming experience.


Understanding the Error

The “can't open _ds_menu.dat” error usually occurs due to issues with the firmware on the R4 card. The _ds_menu.dat file is part of the firmware that runs the R4 card's operating system. If this file is missing, corrupt, or incompatible with your version of the R4 card, the card will fail to boot properly.  The missing file is almost always as a result of having either the wrong firmware for the R4 Card being used, or that the firmware files that have been put on the micro SD card are not placed into the root of the micro SD card.  By the ROOT of the card, we mean that all files and folders should on on the main part of the micro SD card and not within another folder.  Read on for some steps and tips.


What You Need

  1. R4 3DS Card
  2. MicroSD Card
  3. Computer with a MicroSD Card Reader
  4. Internet Connection

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing the Error

Step 1: Format the MicroSD Card

  • First, back up any important data on the MicroSD card.
  • Insert the MicroSD card into your computer.
  • Format the MicroSD card to FAT32. This can typically be done by right-clicking on the MicroSD card drive and selecting “Format.” Make sure to choose the FAT32 file system.
  • Caution: Formatting will erase all data on the card.

Step 2: Download the Correct Firmware

  • Go to the official R4 3DS card website or a reliable source.
  • Download the latest firmware for your specific R4 3DS card model. Firmware varies between models, so ensure you download the correct one.
  • If you're unsure about your card model, it usually is printed on the R4 card itself.

Step 3: Extract and Copy Firmware Files

  • Once downloaded, extract the firmware files using a file extraction program.
  • Copy all extracted files to the root directory of your freshly formatted MicroSD card.
  • Ensure that the _ds_menu.dat file is included in the files you've copied.

Step 4: Reinsert the MicroSD Card into the R4 3DS Card

  • Safely eject the MicroSD card from your computer.
  • Insert it back into the R4 3DS card.

Step 5: Test Your R4 3DS Card

  • Insert the R4 3DS card into your Nintendo 3DS.
  • Turn on the 3DS and check if the error is resolved.

Additional Tips

  • Check for Physical Damage: Inspect both the MicroSD card and the R4 card for any signs of physical damage.

  • Update Regularly: Keep your R4 firmware up to date to avoid compatibility issues.
  • Correct Firmware Version: Ensure you're using the firmware version compatible with your R4 card model and your 3DS system version.
  • MicroSD Card Compatibility: Some older R4 cards may not work well with high-capacity MicroSD cards. If you're using a MicroSD card with a large capacity (e.g., 32GB or higher), try a smaller one (e.g., 4GB or 8GB).

The “can't open _ds_menu.dat” error on your R4 3DS card can be frustrating, but it’s typically fixable by reformatting your MicroSD card and reinstalling the correct firmware. Always ensure you're using the right firmware for your card model and keep it updated to prevent future errors. With these steps, you should be able to get back to enjoying your games and applications on your Nintendo 3DS.