Wii Hacking FAQ
Welcome to the Wii Hacking FAQ. I am going to attempt to List answers and links to the most relevant and informative threads here. FAQ is still in its infancy and will be undergoing updates and re-arranging. Please excuse the mess.
- 1 What are Modding and Homebrew?
- 2 Backup Loaders and Disk Channel Loading
- 3 IOS's and System Menu
- 4 Cheating in Games
- 5 Brick Prevention and Repair
- 6 It's too late for prevention, I'm already bricked.
- 7 Game Cube Games
- 8 Game Backup Process
- 9 Burning Information
- 10 Miscellaneous Questions
What are Modding and Homebrew?
Modding is altering your wii so that it runs code not authorized by Nintendo. Homebrew are unathorized programs created by talented people. There are two ways to mod your Wii. They are softmodding, or using a ModChip. The main advantages of using a modchip is the ability to read the backups at 6x, near perfect compatibility with backups, and the ability to run GameCube backups. Softmodding will only allow a read speed of 3x at this time, however the load times aren't much longer at 3x due to advanced caching methods.
If you are thinking about softmodding
Do not run any updates until you are sure you won't lose any functionality by doing so. Nintendo has released several fixes to block homebrew and softmodding, so far a way around has always been found. If in doubt check http://wiibrew.org to see if its safe to run the latest update. Always read and re-read the instructions. If you do something improperly it can result in a "Bricked" wii.
What is a / How to Softmod
Soft-modding is using an exploit to allow unsigned code to run on your system In order to soft-mod your Wii you will require a copy of Twilight Princess (Wii version) an SD card and a copy of the twilight hack. Depending on your current system version this can be a simple process or an involved one. Due to the length of the instructions links are provided to walkthroughs below. I suggest reading all of them as most of the process is the same, and some guide are better detailed than others.
v 3.2 and below
Easiest Mod. Prior to the patch nintendo put out, therefore doesn't require the extra steps of restoring the signing bug. How-to Thread http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=83479
If you updated to system menu version 3.3 (oct 28, 08) you will need to follow the following instructions to get everything up and running. http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=112945
If your system menu is at version 3.4 read the instructions for both of the above then follow this guide http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=118446
Twilight Hack, Homebrew and backup loader in one.
An all in one guides for installing on any menu version to date is available
Since a modchip wiki already exists, with more information than i can cram in here i will refer you to it. The Modchip Wiki Can be Found here. http://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/index.php/Category:Wii_Modchips
Nintendo scene keeps a good list of available homebrew on their wiki.
Some programs aren't mentioned there, and can be found at some of the following sites.
Backup Loaders and Disk Channel Loading
Loading backups can be done in two ways, each having its advantages and disadvantages. Backup Loading programs allow cheats to be used and video modes to be set before each game. Disc channel loading is supported natively by mod-chips. As of CIOS rev 7 by Waninkoko this can now be accomplished with soft-mods as well by using the rebooter option in the backup loader, or using a program that patches or replaces the system menu to use the custom IOS that can read backups.
This section will link to information for each of the loaders.
Common to All Loaders
All backup loaders require the use of a Custom IOS.
Due to issues native to the wii itself All backups should be on Single Layer DVD-R discs. DVD+R booktyped to -R will work as well.
Official Blog http://blogs.gbatemp.net/WiiGator Latest Releases From Wiigator will always be found here. Compatibility Threads: Gamma Non Compatibility Thread. http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=115819
Screen displays in black and white - Pal mode on a tv that only supports NTSC. try forcing the video mode
Red tinted games - Force video mode, Use composite cables instead of RBG
Game hangs at a green or black screen. Don't force the video mode. Get a copy of the game from your region.
Disk Read Errors - Check the compatibility thread, Re-install your CIOS, Verify the integrity of your burn with dvdinfo.
Audio Cuts-off or stutters in Game X - This is due to 3x read speed. No way to fix in until someone figures out a way to unlock 6x reads without a chip.
Jumbled error message - CIOS install corrupted, reinstall
324 Error - Re-install the loaders CIOS - This may also be caused by bad discs (try using Verbatium DVD-R and reburn - it may save you headaches
A project started by Requiem. Due to the open source nature of this program, the revisions are to numerous to cover in a faq. The official thread for this loader can be found http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=113659 Compiled binaries can be found http://www.gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=115159 Official Website: http://www.softchip-mod.com/ Google Code Site: http://code.google.com/p/wii-softchip/
A leaked loader released by a beta tester. Abandoned by the creator, Waninkoko, who later teamed up with wiigator, and continues to write and improve the CIOS used by the current loaders. Waninkoko's Page http://iwii.waninkoko.info
IOS's and System Menu
These programs patch or replace the nintendo menu, adding features not available from nintendo.
A Project in the works from Forsaken. A combination dashboard and system menu. Sneak Peak thread here. http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=115813 Has Not been released yet. The thread is rather long, here is a highlight of features. Completely Brick proof your wii as long as you don't update, by allowing you to boot into ANY title in NAND before the system menu. Region Free System without copy flags (channels, games, saves) Disc Channel lock removed, move it wherever you like... Skip Disc Update Check, Backup Support, Twilight Hack Protection, Toggle Health warning
Mainly used for the ability to load the original twilight princess in the event of a banner brick. Also boasts the following features: Replace health warning with backmenu, Skip disc update check, Region free GC games with video mode patch, Region free Wii games, Region free channels, No mainmenu BGM Start rescue-menu when Y is held on 1st GC controller Remove rescue-menu diagnostic disc check Wiibrew Wiki Page http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Starfall
The IOS is the routines and calls that the games and system menu use to run. Different versions add support and fix bugs. A description of each can be found below Due to GBAtemp's rules on IOS's links cannot be provided, but file names are.
Originated on the leaked Wii disc from Nintendo, often referred to as the kissing pink fish disk. Used by the scene to restore the truncha bug to updated systems as 16 is only used by this disk and had not been patched. IOS16-64-v257-prod.wad
Needed by some newer games. Can be installed manually to avoid updating IOS38-64-v3609.wad
Needed by some newer games. Can be installed manually to avoid updating IOS53-64-v4113.wad
Needed by some newer games. Can be installed manually to avoid updating IOS55-64-v4633.wad
Cheating in Games
What are SD Codes and how do i use/get them
Codes can be obtained at http://wiird.l0nk.org/forum/index.php Codes will only work with games from the region they were designed for. Wii region doesn't matter just disc region. Converting from pal to NTSC or vice versa will not make the codes work. The CodeManager program comes packaged with ocarina. It can be found at: http://wiird.l0nk.org/wp/archives/21 Extract the PC folder to your computer and run the codemgr.exe file. SD codes must be placed onto the sd card in the codes folder. (X:\codes\XXXXX.gct)
How do I make my own cheats
To make you own cheats you must buy a USB Gecko, and use its associated software. Info Here http://www.usbgecko.com/
Cheats not working under GeckOS
Go into the options menu and ensure that use ocarina is set to ON. Hooktype may need to be set to VI.
Cheats not working under Wiigator Loader
Same as GeckOS, but Hooktype MUST be set to VI.
Ocarina had become obsolete and is only needed for the codemanager program that comes with it. It can be found at http://wiird.l0nk.org/wp/archives/21 Both GeckOS and Wiigator's Backup Launcher Support Ocarina codes now.
Brick Prevention and Repair
Everything you need to know about bricking.
Banner Brick Prevention
Everything you need to know... http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=117399
Update Brick Prevention
Not needed if loading through the backup loaders as they have an update block feature built in. For system menu loading prevention see the section on Starfall or CSM.
It's too late for prevention, I'm already bricked.
If you've managed to brick yourself you may be able to undo it.
I have a Modchip!
You can unbrick your Wii from either banner or update bricks by burning a copy of twilight princess patched with autoboot enabled using bootme. Use the twilight hack to load wad manager to uninstall wads that cause banner bricks. Use the twilight hack with IOS downgrader to repair out of region update bricks. The same steps used for softmod unbricking will also work for mod-chipped bricks.
I Don't Have a Modchip
Until CSM or Bootmii comes out you can only unbrick if you have v3.2 of the System Menu. However you must have Starfall and the Twilight Hack already present and installed on your Wii.
I'm not on System Menus 3.2 or I don't have Starfall and the Twilight Hack installed
As of this moment you are out of luck. You can spend 30-50 on a mod chip or Send your wii to nintendo. it will cost about 75 dollars
A Possible solution depending on your brick is to take apart a gamecube controller and hold down "up,down,left,and right" at the same time as you boot the wii. If you can get the recovery menu to load then you should be able to fix a region brick IF you have a retail disc with a newer system menu than you have installed for your systems region.
I'm on System Menu 3.2 with Starfall and twilight hack present
Out of region Brick fix Disc NTSC http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=86821&st=0&p=1151482&#entry1151482 Another option is to put in a retail game with a higher system version update on it from your region. Boot to the rescue menu by holding Y and allow the game update to run. To fix banner bricks you just boot up the twilight hack with the wad manager as the boot.dol in the root of the sd and then uninstall the channel that contained the brick. Details and video here http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=119311
Game Cube Games
Currently Game Cube backups can only be played on Chipped Wii's GCOS Compatability List - http://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/index.php/GCOS_Gamecube_Compatibility_List
Game Backup Process
There is a nice tutorial on this process up at nintendo scene.
Where can i download the ISO for game X?
This would be referred to as piracy in many countries. As such We can't give you any links. Just look in the normal places for that sort of thing.
How do I Patch/Decrypt an ISO
You can't. Once decrypted you would require the private key that only Nintendo has to re-encrypt it.
What is WiiScrubber
Use WiiScrubber to prepare any Wii or GameCube ISO for compression to trim its disk space. By replacing unused portions of the full disk image with the same bit, it allows a compression tool to offer better compression and make the file smaller. Scrubbing an ISO is always useful if you’re sending or sharing an ISO with other people or for personal backup storage purposes as normally each ISO is 4.7GB. It also allows you to extract and replace files within an ISO image.
How Do I Un-scrub an image back to the original ISO
When an image is scrubbed the junk data is replaced with all 0's to increase compressability. Its gone forever and can't be reproduced, but it doesn't matter its just there to take up space and push the game to the edge of the disk which is acomplished just as well with 0's.
What is the best burn Speed to use for backing up games?
There is no universal answer for this. You need to test each speed that your burner and media support, and then verify your burn against the original image. Whichever speed has the fewest errors is the best speed for your drive with that media. Media Types Very greatly, even from batch to batch from the same manufacturer. So always remember to verify your disks and adjust to the best speed for that batch of media (always start with what worked best on the last batch)
I Heard that burning at X speed will shorten my laser life
Your burning speed does not affect the wii laser in any way. If anything is going to "kill" the laser it would be adjusting it to work outside of specs in order to read discs it isnt meant to. The wii drive is a DVD drive. Nintendo left the dvd command in because they were originally going to have a dvd player, but went with the "wii format" to avoid paying royalties. When a disc is read its read speed is detirmined by the firmware, hardware capabilities and media integrity. A bad burn (lots of errors) will cause the wii laser to do more work re-reading sections of disk, which does lead to more wear and tear over time.
What type of media should I use for burning backed up games
This really comes down to your wii, dependant on a variety of factors from drive model in your wii to dust. If you have some disks laying around give one a try, just remember to check for errors and adjust your burn speed before you give up on a type of media. Discs must be DVD-R or +R booktyped to -R. Dual layer discs are not advised due to issues native to the wii.
For an idea of what others have had success with you can browse the following threads
I downloaded a file ending in x what do i do with it?
You can use WinRAR to extract the data. http://www.rarlab.com/
This is a disc image file. Burn it using ImgBurn http://www.imgburn.com/