ok one worry here, a bit back i did a little too much tinkering and ended up with my hbc upside for months until eventually i bit the bullet and did a full reinstall (using bannerbomb) but i cant use that on 4.3 and we dont have any copies of lij for pwns and i just looked and prices for lij are taking the pi$$ (£30-50), now of course i can afford it but it does seem a lot to pay for a poor game just as an insurance policy if i cant use bannerbomb, would i be better going to 4.2 (is that doable?) then using dopmii 1.4 to update the shop channel.
one issue too if i went to ntfs, sometimes if i dl something its a ciso at present i use wbfs gui to upload to wbfs drive then wbfs manager to dump back to the pc as a .iso to archive, obviously this is mainly for sing it star discs but i really dont like a .ciso archive, thats the only way i have found to "correct" a ciso, ntfs would remove that ability although i do admit it would be an improvement.
Yeah if you use Darkcorp 1.1 to update your Wii you can pick what version of the menu you want your Wii at like 4.2 and then your CIOS's will be all completely up to date (they are independent of the regular IOS's) it can even downgrade to lower system menu's but that seems risky to me.
For converting CISO to ISO a better program to use is Wii backup Manager, its pretty handy to have laying around as it does quite a few things it sounds like it could save you a few steps since it can work with the files directly.
Homebrew Channel being upside down is because of trucha bug signed IOS36 and the newer HBC uses the regular old IOS36, they used to use IOS36 with the trucha bug to install Wiiware but since then have moved to IOS236 I believe 236 is a hacked IOS36 moved to a custom location to prevent a lot of problems. Darkcorp 1.1 installs regular IOS36 these days so its HBC compliant.
I don't think 4.3 added anything over 4.2 so you would probably be golden at that one for a while.
At least you would have SDHC support now :) or did that have it back then? My brain is melted from trying to get Classic Controls on DKCR right now (version 1 version 2 and trying to get the codes working with out hitting a stack dump, I may end up waiting for it to be posted on Accio Hacks myself, can't believe its still not posted yet.)
Edit: To get Darkcorp 1.1 is a weird process you have to email an address and they email you a link to download it (I guess they update it all the time or something)
<----Found it after like 20 minutes of looking.... lol
Edit 2: I would recommend the Full version for you since your updating from quite a ways back, I would recommend the full one anyway since it just seems like who wouldn't want all the goodies?
I haven't tested it out but I think it even boots GC back ups. Might have to try my custom Mario Party 4-7 disk and see how it works on softmod only lol
A little over 2GB's of Mario Party fun on the GC lol works fine on my chipped Wii, not sure about softmod but it should be fine the newest thing is loading GC games from the hard drive but I hear thats uber buggy right now lol