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. Note: Feel free to add and update information, any information that is incorrect, or asinine, will be undone.
- 1 What are Modding and Homebrew?
- 2 IOS's and System Menu
- 3 Backup Loaders and Disc Channel Loading
- 4 Cheating in Games
- 5 Game Cube Games
- 6 Game Backup Process
- 7 Burning Information
- 8 USB loaders
- 9 Brick Prevention and Repair
- 10 It's too late for prevention, I'm already bricked
- 11 Miscellaneous Questions
What are Modding and Homebrew?
Modding is altering your wii so that it runs code not authorized by Nintendo. Homebrew are unauthorized programs created by talented people. There are two ways to mod your Wii. They are soft modding or using a Mod Chip. The main advantages of using a modchip is the ability to read the backups at 6x and better brick resistance. The advantage of soft modding is that you don't need to buy a chip, open up and solder it into your Wii. Soft modding will only allow a read speed of 3x (for DVD launchers) at this time, however the load times aren't much longer at 3x due to advanced caching methods (load times are faster than 6x for USB loaders).
If you are thinking about soft modding
Do not run any updates until you are sure you won't lose any functionality by doing so. Nintendo has released several fixes to try and block homebrew and softmodding, although 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 Soft mod
Soft-modding is using an exploit to allow unsigned code to run on your system. 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 guides are better detailed than others.
|Guide||Author||Type||One pack||Images||Online||Offline||Lu64+||4.2||Korea||Sections||Update||Disc launchers||USB loaders||Extra|
|Simplistic mod||xzxero||Hacking Guide||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Official/safe 4.2/Wad||
|Fully softmod any wii||Deviyl||Hacking Guide||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||
|Noob starter Guide||nabster92||Informations||No||Yes||
|Complete Softmod Guide||tj_cool and crew||Guides and Info Collection||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Official/safe 4.2/Wad||
|NeoGAFs Wii homebrew tutorial||Dr Clipper||Advanced Hacking Guide||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Official/-||
- Name of and link to the guide
- Author of the guide
- What kind of Guide. Hacking guides explain the basics, Advanced hacking guides explain more than just that, Informative guides only give info (No hacking is done)
- One pack
- One download to get everything you need
- Images used in the guide
- Can take advantage of Wifi on the Wii.
- Compatible with offline Wii's (Wii has no Wifi). Extras are not counted
- Does not Brick Lu64+ Wii's
- Works on VIRGIN 4.2 Wii's
- Guide for korean Wii's without region changing
- Divided in sections, so its easier to read
- What kind of update is used in the guide (online/offline)
- Disc launchers
- Explains how to use these disc loaders
- USB loaders
- Explains how to use these USB loaders, Setup means that the guide tells you how to prepare the USB drive
- Optional additions in the guide
Anything in the Table between () means it speaks about the subject, but does not go in detail
See the Modchip wiki page: http://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/index.php/Category:Wii_Modchips
You can find most homebrew on one of these sites:
IOS's and System Menu
What are Custom System Menus (cSM)?
These programs patch or replace the nintendo menu, adding features not available from nintendo.
What is Prelude (cSSM)?
A Project in the works from Forsaekn. A combination dashboard and system menu. Sneak Peak thread here
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
Are there any other cSM?
Yes, freedom, by crediar (the creator of preloader)
What are IOS?
IOS can be seen as the internal drivers of the Wii. They have various tasks: Some are used by the system menu, others by channles or games, ...
GBAtemp does not allow you to share IOS. You can name them, but never link them directly.
And what about cIOS?
cIOS are custom versions of IOS. They are made to make the wii run fakesigned (unofficial) content. Mostly used in combination of a backup launcher or wad manager.
GBAtemp does not allow you to share IOS. Sharing a cIOS Installer is allowed.
Backup Loaders and Disc 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 all IOS on the system by cIOS (cIOSCorp).
This section will link to information for each of the loaders.
Common to All Disc based 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.
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
002 error - Enable 002fix
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 here Compiled binaries can be found here Official Website: link Google Code Site: link
Cheating in Games
What are SD Codes and how do i use/get them?
Codes can be obtained at geckocodes.org. Codes will only work with games from the region they were designed for. The 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 packed with ocarina. 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)
What is Ocarina?
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 GeckoOS and Neogamma Support Ocarina codes now.
My cheats don't work with GeckoOs?
Go into the options menu and ensure that use ocarina is set to ON. Hooktype may need to be set to VI.
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
Game Cube Games
Thanks to wiigator and waninkoko,we can now play GC Backups on a unmodded wii.
- Gamecube Backup Launcher Compatibility List - http://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/index.php/Gamecube_Backup_Launcher_Compatibility_List
- Wii GameCube Backup Launcher 0.2 (of course including download link) - http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=142535
Game Backup Process
There are a couple nice tutorials on this process up at Nintendo-Scene.
- Standard PC Method -- http://wiki.nintendo-scene.com/Wii_Disc_Backup
- Wifi Backup Method -- http://forums.nintendo-scene.com/index.php?topic=2415.0
- USB loader Method -- Load your USB loader and find the add game option. Insert a disc in the Wii disc slot.
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. GBAtemp does NOT support piracy and sharing or asking for illegal files is NOT allowed.
How do I Unpatch/Re-encrypt an ISO?
You can't. Once decrypted you would require the private key that only Nintendo has to re-encrypt it.
EDIT: You can re-encrypt a game. Go here. It undoes what the patcher/decrypter does, sans any update partition (meaning it doesn't restore the iso to 1:1). It also doesn't work on DVD9 games (aka SSBB and MPT).
If you haven't patched/decrypted an iso, please don't.
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 (the file will only be smaller when compressed as a zip or rar file). 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.
If you do not share the ISO with others, its not advised to scrub ISO files.
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 compressibility. 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 accomplished 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 isn't 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 determined 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 http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=46215
USB loaders can load backups from a USB device or SD(HC) card. More info can be found here
Brick Prevention and Repair
Everything you need to know about bricking.
Banner Brick Prevention
Everything you need to know... Topic
Update Brick Prevention
Not needed if loading through the backup loaders as they have an update block feature built in. If you run games with the disc channel, use preloader to block the updates.
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 Wad manager patched with autoboot enabled. Use it to uninstall wads that cause banner bricks or install the correct region again. The same steps used for softmod unbricking will also work for mod-chipped bricks.
I Don't Have a Modchip
You can only unbrick your wii if you have bootmii or preloader installed. Use them to load the homebrew channel, so you can unbrick the wii.
The best program to use for editing wads in general is CustomizeMii. The only thing you need to replace a banner is a Base wad (a wad with the animation you want, or no animation) and the images to replace the ones from the base wad.
CustomizeMii: Link Base wads Link Basic Usage guide
Where can i find a list of cIOS Error Codes?
Look no further. http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=119317
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/
Use HJsplit to combine all parts
This is a disc image file. Burn it using ImgBurn http://www.imgburn.com/
Used by USB loaders. Use WBFS intelligent GUI to place them on a HDD.