Warning: Do NOT update/downgrade using files downloaded from nintendo's servers without seeing if newer versions are "mothballed": http://wiibrew.org/wiki/IOS_History
Warning: Anything performed in this guide can itself pose a risk to your system, however the benefits can out weigh the risks in the long run
Warning: I am unsure of whether these procedures are compatible with LU64+ wiis
Warning: I accept no responsibility for any problems which may occur as a result of this guide.
Warning: Read everything here before attempting anything, read it again, check the sources then I recommend a google search to see how others have succeeded/failed with anything.
Warning: Does not take into account any modifications besides CIOS, patchmii and starfall/startpatch. This inlcudes e.g. softmii.
Warning: Basic intelligence required.
In recent times, I have noticed more and more people who have managed to brick their systems. This could be either out of ignorance or perhaps they were tricked, etc.
Many of us in this forum however try and help them fix their bricks but ultimately this can be hit or miss.
Rather than just do a guide on how to repair these bricks, I have decided to do a little guide on how you can (hopefully) prevent and recover from these bricks as best as possible.
- IOS=Part of the Wii's operating system. Every application after boot2 uses an IOS to interact with the Wii's hardware and are required for the wii to work.
- System Menu= The main menu of the wii when you turn it on (without modification)
- Homebrew channel/bannerbomb= A method to run homebrew
- .dol/.elf= The executable of the wii (like .exes)
- NAND= The main storage of the wii, a form of flash memory.
It is important to note that there are three types of Bricking:
- Semi-Brick: This is where there is an error in the system menu, these typically prevent access to the settings menu and are caused by installing updates for a different region.
- Full-Brick: This is where there is either an Opera browser error or a black screen. This can be cause by corruption, installing a bad/mothballed system menu (and/or it's IOS), broken wifi/bluetooth module.
- Banner-Brick: where a channel is incorrectly installed either causing the system to freeze after the health warning screen or the display an error message e.g. "The System Menu is Corrupt".
- Error 003: Starting with 4.2, Korean Wiis will display this error if a foreign system menu is installed. Only known fix is savemii (see below).
The following are a series of methods to prevent Bricks or at the very least allow for an easier recovery.
Currently the ultimate backup/restore tool. There are two main versions, an IOS version and a boot2 version. IOS is a version which is designed to load really just homebrew and not for brick recovery, however it still allows you to backup your wii and you can possibly use the recovery method from starfall/startpatch/preloader to still recover by loading bootmii, or worse case be able to recover the wii using a NAND programmer as you have your data.
However Bootmii as boot2 is the best recovery method we have to date, this basically inserts a piece of software known as "MINI" into boot2 (the third stage bootloader) which allows the Bootmii software to be loaded of an SD card ....before IOS or any system menu is touched. Essentially this means that as long as boot2 is never touched after installation...you are brick-proof (as long as the backups are ok), this is why, if possible, I ALWAYS recommend installing bootmii as boot2 and doing a backup. There are however limitations, first of all, newer Wii's CAN'T use this method, only the IOS method and secondly for both methods you require an SD card or at least 1GB to load Bootmii and to do a backup.
However, due to the nature of BootMii, you can't use the Wii remote, instead you can either use a Gamecube controller or the wii front panel (Power, Eject, Reset). Power changes the currently selected option, Reset selects it and Reset is used to confirm when doing a backup.
For those with bootmii as IOS, a fix for semi-bricks may be (requires a modchip): http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=157757
Also NEVER use someone else's dump, this is because there are values in the NAND (the flash chip) which are unique to each Wii and WILL brick the console.
It is worth noting that System Menu 4.2 deleted MINI (and therefore Bootmii but not the IOS) although this is easily reinstalled and this practice seems to have been stopped by Nintendo as of System Menu 4.3 where MINI is preserved but BootMii as IOS is deleted (subject to change).
Note: Bootmii as IOS and boot2 do more or less the exact same thing (load the bootmii software of an SD card), the only difference is the location and boot2 runs on boot. I suggest having both installed if possible otherwise at least install it as an IOS.
Another option, this software loads just before the system menu. Similar to Starfall/startpatch it allows you to patch the system menu....but also have direct access to the Homebrew Channel, any installed channel/title and Bootmii as IOS allowing you to bypass some problems (as long as the bootloader or IOS isn't corrupt) with the system menu to do a restore using e.g. a Bootmii backup or Dop-Mii. However If you reinstall the System Menu, it will remove priiloader, so be careful.
This also allows you to block updates from both online (supposedly) and from disc.
Keep HBC/Bootmii up to date
Official System Menu updates now (at the least try) to remove updates, typically though Team Twiizers will release a patch soon after so before you update be sure to upgrade or upgrade in case you accidentally do.
Don't Upgrade the System Menu
Nintendo are getting allot worse in their updates, in fact System Menu 4.2/4.3 serve NO purpose at all EXCEPT to remove homebrew. The System Menu 4.2 update notoriously caused because they updated boot2 (to remove boot2), System Menu 4.3 while it doesn't update boot2 it does block bannerbomb requiring SSBB (NTSC) or Indiana pwns to run homebrew if either the HBC/bootmii wasn't updated or you have a vanilla Wii. They also pose brick risks in themselves if something goes wrong.
Indiana Pwns/Twilight Hack
You may want to install these hacked saves (note: Twilight Hack only works <=3.4) so that if you ever need to use savemii (see below), or something happens and you can still boot games, you can run homebrew. This has to be installed BEFORE you brick.
There is another hack for SSBB (NTSC), but this runs directly of the SD card so you don't need to preinstall it.
If the worst happens, there are several methods available to recover the wii. These are not in any order and the method used depends on the problem.
Bootmii as boot2
There are two methods, the first is restoring from a backup and the second is running the homebrew channel to run an application.
Run the homebrew channel to run any software or restore using a bootmii backup.
Savemii is a physical device that plugs into the Gamecube memory card slot. Available from: http://savemii.net/
Savemiifrii is an alternative method whereby you hold down all d-pad buttons on a GC controller in slot4. Here is a guide: http://wiinewz.com/forums/nintendo-n...vemiifree.html
These methods however are both limited, they may only work with semi-bricks.
This can be used to do two things:
1. Update the Wii using a disc with a higher system menu version on disc.
2. Run a game/application (i.e. SSBB (NTSC), Indiana Pwns or Twilight Hack) which is patched to autoboot using something like this: http://wiibrew.org/wiki/Wii_BootMe
hese are discs which are capable of running from Savemii/favemiifrii or Starfall which can recover a semi-bricked wii but require modchips. Examples include:
- Universal Unbrick Disc V2 (requires CIOS 249 with cdip preinstalled) http://forums.maxconsole.net/attachm...5&d=1249491198
- Bootmii bootdisc (for those with bootmii as IOS): http://gbatemp.net/index.php?showtopic=157757
This basically involves rewriting the NAND from a backup using an external writer. This is the least recommended method due to its increased complexity/risk. Also there are other NAND dumpers available such as this one:http://wiibrew.org/wiki/RealWnD
For the methods which run homebrew there are various apps availble.
This little application allows you to do a range of tasks including installing/patching IOS files, upgrading/downloading the system menu, etc.
NOTE: Nintendo are "mothballing" certain IOS files, currently older version should still work (as reported by SifJar) but this is subject to change, see: http://wiibrew.org/wiki/IOS_History
Offline methods should work which require you to provide the nessecery wad files from local media e.g. an SD card
This app allows you to delete titles/channels on the Wii
This is a manual way to do it, Wad manager is notorious for VC/Wiiware piracy, but the system menu is also installed via Wads. These wads can be obtained either from e.g. google, the discs using wii scrubber or various utilities available for both the wii and PC (can anyone name a suggestion?). This is not very recommended unless you have no choice because the wads can be corrupt either on purpose or by accident.
System Setting Replace Mod
There are two files which can cause semi-breaks in the Wii, SYSCONF and settings.txt. This helps to repair settings.txt (not sure about SYSCONF).
If you ever mess around with themes, sometimes they can cause semi-bricks, applying a new theme may be able to undo it.
I currently recommend the following patches/methods to prevent bricks while providing the least intrusion in this order:
1. Install Bootmii as boot2 and IOS and do a backup. Priiloader or a recovery disc must be used for the IOS method which is less full-proof, but the NAND backup alone is worth it. To access Bootmii as IOS the HBC on the Bootmii installer must be installed and access from the HBC menu or priiloader.
2. Install Priiloader as this still allows for HBC access if bootmii shouldn't work or access to bootmii as IOS
3. In Priiloader enable hacks to prevent online updates, block disc updates and whatever else you want.
Here are places where you can get the software:
Twilight hack (recommended for partial brick protection on 3.x), must be preinstalled on the wii):
Indiana Pwns (Similar to twilight hack but for Lego Indiana Jones, works with 4.x and must be preinstalled):
Smashstack (untested) for SSBB (NTSC only):
Bootmii/Homebrew channel installer:
Bootmii minor bugfixes:
(auto-xbins 2008 available via google, software under wii catergory).
System Setting Replace Mod:
These methods in themselves are a risk to your system and CAN and WILL cause bricks if done incorrectly. I accept no responsibility for any problems which may occur because of this.
I must also emphasize that caution must be taken when dealing with wads, there is a known problem with poorly done (even sabotaged) wads which can cause semi-bricks or worst case full bricks. This involves ALL wads, VC, WiiWare, IOS, etc. Only get wads either from Nintendo themselves (use the network option when dealing with system files) or from trusted sources.
Finally, NEVER do a downgrade a system menu without doing research as this can brick. Also this guide was written with 3.2-4.1 in mind, newer system software may come out which can interfere with all currently installed or known patchs/hacks. NEVER perform these without researching, although I aim to keep this guide up to date, this is still at my discretion.
Location for files, unless specified, the files for apps normally go:
* Hombrew Channel- SD card:/apps
* Bannerbomb- SD card:/(must be named boot.dol or boot.elf)
* Wad manager wad's- SD card:/wads
note: If using the HBC and you just get "app.dol", rename this boot.dol and put it in "SD:/apps/(name of app)/boot.dol. The app will still run but you wont get the image or description, instead just the file path.
note: the HBC can also load applications using either the network or USB gecko.
Always read the readme which comes with the software.
All information is subject to change
There may be some incorrect/missing/wrong information in this, if so please PM me and I will correct it where necessary. Also I did this guide in a bit of a rush due to a lack of time so please advise me on if I have a grammatical/spelling errors as well (In GB English).
DO NOT post this on any other site, I am currently considering this work in progress, if you are going to recommend this guide on another site then please give me a PM and link to this site, DO NOT copy and paste.
I welcome any feedback.
Skeav's (UUDv2 link)
threedog for feedback/stickying the guide
everyone else for their feedback
Team twiizers for their apps/hacks/creating the scene
Wanikoko for wad manager