Making a backup of your NAND or System memory is a crucial part of hacking your Nintendo Switch. Without a backup, if anything goes wrong, you may have a very hard time recovering.
What you’ll need:
- An SD card with at least 32GB of free space
The System NAND of the Nintendo Switch contains all the firmware and software that runs the Horizon OS (HOS) on the Switch. It is a 32GB chip that is soldered onto the motherboard. Before you do any kind of modifications, it is very wise to have a backup, so that your Switch can be restored if anything goes wrong. While all the tutorials I publish are things I have tested, sometimes it only takes one wrong step or using a file from the wrong source to soft-brick your system.
To create a NAND backup, you’ll need to boot into the SXOS pre-execution environment (pxe). To do this, you will need to shut down, or reboot and as soon as the Switch begins to power on, press and hold the volume + button. This will boot into the pxe rather than loading fully into HOS.
From here, choose Options, and then NAND. Click the Dump NAND button. You can click Advanced if you want to choose which partitions to dump. If you just hit continue it will make a backup of the full 32GB onto your SD card, which is all you need to restore from a soft-brick.
The process took about 2 hours and 45 minutes for me, but depending on your SD card it may be faster or slower. Once it’s done, unless you’ve somehow got more space than you can imagine using, I’d suggest you move the entire sd:\sxos\backup folder off onto your computer or external drive. If you ever need to restore the backup, simply copy the folder back into the sxos folder on your SD card, and you can use the restore function in the pxe the same way as you did the backup.