Thursday, 28 January 2010

How to Play Nintendo Wii Games from a USB HD

This guide will show you how to play wii games from an external USB HD.  Note that for this to work, you will need to have Hacked Your Wii to Play Burnt Games.

You will need:
  • Hacked Nintedo Wii with Softmod (guide here)
  • SD card or USB stick with Homebrew Apps (same guide as above)
  • Computer with Windows XP/Vista/7 and SD card reader or USB slot
  • External hd (with own power supply)

Step 1: Partition the USB HD

The Wii can't read games from a normal FAT, FAT32, or NTFS drive.  It needs an active drive formatted via WBFS.

1a - Select an external USB hd.  You will lose all data on the hd during the format, so make sure that everything is backed up beforehand.  Also, you may need to use a hd with an external  power supply, though I'm not 100% sure.... I originally started with a 500GB Western Digital My Passport Essential, but the Wii wouldn't detect it properly.  I switched to a cheap, generic 250 GB white box type with an external power supply and it worked fine.

1b - Connect your hd to an XP/Vista/7 computer and load Disk Management.  You can do this in XP by right-clicking on My Computer, and selecting Manage > Storage > Disk Management, and on Vista/7 by going to Control Panels > Administrative Tools > Computer Manager > Disk.

1c - Right click on the external hd and delete all partitions/the entire volume.   Then, right click on the empty volume below and create a new partition.  Make it a Primary partition and assign a letter to the drive (like Z:/) and do not format.  When choosing the size of the partition, remember that wii games will be between 0.5 GB and 6GB depending on the game.  You may also want to leave some space for a FAT/32 or NTFS partition on the drive, since windows will not be able to recognise the WBFS partition after formatting.  The above image shows an initial WBFS partition of 230 GB with a FAT partition of 3.4 GB on Disk 1 (external hd).

1d - Right click on the new partition, mark as active, and close Disk Manager.  

Step 2: Format USB HD & Copy Games 

2a - In order to complete this step, you will need WBFS Manager and .NET Framework on your computer. You probably already have .NET Framework from a Windows Update, but if not you can download it here. Next, download this package (password: justplainobvious), which contains WBFS Manager 3.0 and USB Loader GX 1.0.  Install WBFS Manager to your PC, and keep USB Loader GX for later.

2b - Run WBFS Manager from the Start Menu or Desktop, and select your new external drive letter in the top left hand corner (you may need to press Refresh once or twice).  Click Format and allow WBFS Manager to format the external hd.

2c - Once finished formatting, you can copy any ISO files from your local hd to the external drive by clicking Browse in the right windows of WBFS Manager.  Click the Add button to copy the selected ISO, and repeat this step for multiple files.   Note that WBFS Manager filters out junk material on the CD, so your game will probably be a lot smaller on the external hd than the 4.37 GB on your local hd.  Once finished copying, remove the ISOs from the right hand window by clicking Remove From List.

2d - Note that you cannot rip ISO files from a Wii disc on your computer like you would a normal dvd/cd.  There are only a handful of LG dvd-rom drives that can read wii discs and if you don't have this drive you're out of luck.  However, you can rip wii games directly to your external hd from the wii itself!  Just load up USB Loader GX (see below), and press the + button to copy.

Step 3: Play USB HD Games on Your Wii

3a - Start off by inserting your USB key or SD card into the PC and copying the USB Loader GX folder into the /apps/ directory.  If you don't have an /apps/ directory, see this guide.  (Note: I'm no longer recommending USB Loader GX and am now using NeoGamma) Boot up your Wii and insert the USB key or SD card into the slot (Note: if using a USB key, you must insert it into the top-most/right-most slot and must not plug in the external hd yet).  Load the Homebrew Channel (if you don't have the Homebrew Channel, again, see this guide).

3b - Once your Homebrew Channel has loaded, plug in the external hd to the left-most/bottom-most USB slot.  Run USB Loader GX (Note: or NeoGamma) and simply select your game from the menu!  You should download and run games from your coding region (i.e. NTSC for North America and PAL for Europe/Asia), but you should be able to run any region game using the Force option.  Just Force to your region (I haven't tested this).

Done.  You're all set !!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

How to Hack Your Nintendo Wii to Play Burnt Games (homebrew)

This guide will show you how to:
  1. Install the Homebrew channel on your Wii
  2. Hack your IOS packages
  3. Load & Play Burnt discs
You will need:
  1. Nintedo wii
  2. SD card
  3. Computer with SD card reader
  4. Internet connection for wii and computer
  5. DVD burner (optional - only to burn games)....and if so, blank DVDs.

Preface -- Read This!!!

The Wii is a beautiful little piece of hardware, and with a little modification, is capable of doing much, much more than when purchased off the shelf.  Some important points before we begin:

1- Read every part of this guide.  Each point is important.

2 - I did not invent this method of hacking the wii.  There are numerous guides online; some very similar to the text below.  This guide is my modified version of ShadowSonic2's Softmod for ANY 4.2 Wii! guide found on  Full credit goes to ShadowSonic2 for many of the steps... I've just made it more user friendly.

3 - This guide works for consoles on system 4.2.  It is not recommended that you upgrade your console if currently on a system lower than 4.2.  In that case, see Dogegg's guide for systems 3.1 to 4.1 (untested).  If you are unsure what system your console is running, see this short guide on How to Determine Your Wii's System.

4 - Illegally gained wii games are illegal.  I do not condone the use of this guide for such activity.  Downloading wii games that you have not purchased may be illegal in your country.  However, it is perfectly legal to burn a copy of your legally purchased games.

5 - I have tested this guide on my wii, running system 4.2u, with no hardware mods, serial no.LU5163xxxx  and received positive results.

6 - This is a softmod, meaning that there is no need to open up your wii and change any hardware.  It is relatively safe and shouldn't void your warranty.


Step 1: Install the Homebrew Channel

1a - Get an SD card and a computer that can read it.  MMC cards will not work and neither will USB keys, but a MicroSD + adapter will.  Format the SD card to FAT32 or FAT/FAT16 via the Windows menu (right-click) or by using the free SD Formatter tool.

1b - Download this archive (password is justplainobvious) and unpack using either WinRAR (free trial) or 7Zip (free to keep).  Copy the entire contents of the archvie to your newly formatted SD card.  The root of the SD card should look like:


1c - Remove all wii discs, gamecube controllers, and other memory cards.

1d - Power on the wii and in the main menu, click the SD card icon on the lower left-hand corner.

1e - Insert the SD card into the wii.  Accept the loading of boot.dol/elf from the card (if the pop-up doesn't appear, you may need to navigate load boot.dol/elf manually via Data Management > Channels > SD Card).

1f - Accept the warning, and proceed to the installer options (Note: it may take some time for the hackmii installer to patient, it's working).

1g - After continuing, you will have the option of installing 3 packages: The Homebrew Channel, DVDX and BootMii.  You must install the first two, and may need to install BootMii (many guides recommend installing BootMii, but I never did and everything worked for me).  After these installs are finished, you will see a new channel in your main menu: The Homebrew Channel.   This channel will allow you to launch homemade and internet-downloaded applications, which will launch from the \apps\ folder on a USB key or SD card.

1h -  As an aside, you can get applications for the Homebrew Channel on the web or by using the homebrew browser (password: justplainobvious).  If you're using the browser, try both downloads.  v0.3.3 worked fine on both a USB key and an SD card but v0.2.3 only worked from the SD card.  NOTE THAT ANY APPLICATIONS YOU LAUNCH VIA HOMEBREW CHANNEL MAY BE MALICIOUS!)

Step 2: Hack Your IOS Packages

2a - Ensure that your SD card is still in the wii.  From the wii main menu, select the Homebrew Channel and open the DOP-IOS MOD application.

At the welcome screen, press A on the wii remote to continue.... on the next screen press down and then A to select "Install an IOS that accepts fakesigning."  Load IOS36 (press A) and on the next menu select "Downgrade to IOS 15."  When asked where to get the files from (SD Card, etc.) always select "Download from NUS."  (Note: you will need a working internet connection to the wii in order to do this.  If it doesn't work, make sure your internet works by launching the Internet Channel or the Homebrew browser.)  After finishing the install (with no errors) exit to the Homebrew Channel main menu.

2b - Run DOP-IOS MOD again:
  • Install an IOS that accepts fake signing
  • Load IOS15 by pressing the left arrow
  • Choose "IOS36 menu"
  • Install the patched IOS36 with the following configuration:

    • Install IOS to slot (36)
    • Hash Check (trucha):  Yes
    • ED_Identify:    Yes
    • NAND Permissions:   Yes
  • Press A to install, and choose "Download from NUS"
  • Exit to Homebrew Channel main menu

2c - Run DOP-IOS MOD again:
  • Install an IOS that accepts fake signing
  • Press B for "No IOS Reload"
  • Select "Restore IOS15"
  • Keep selecting "Download from NUS"
  • Once finished, exit to the Homebrew Channel main menu
2d - From the Homebrew Channel, run "Any Title Deleter DB."  You may get some errors on start, but that's fine... just press A.  Press the RIGHT button to get to the Titles menu and select "System Titles."

2e - Navigate to IOS222 and press A to delete.  Once deleted, do the same thing (i.e. delete) for IOS223, IOS249, and IOS250.  Press HOME to exit to the Homebrew Channel main menu.

2f - From the Homebrew Channel, run cIOS38-rev14 Installer.  You'll hear some rockin' music...but don't let that distract you from the task at hand!  Navigate to IOS36 by pressing the LEFT button.  Press A and select "Network Install."  (you may be able to do a WAD install from the SD card if you don't have a network connection....but I haven't tried.  Once installed, exit to the Homebrew Channel.

2g - Run DOP-IOS MOD from the Homebrew Channel.  This time, don't select the fakesigning... Load IOS36 (or IOS249 may work), press A to continue, and select the "IOS" option in the menu. Use the RIGHT button to navigate to IOS53 and Press A to dop (say Yes to Sig Hash Check (trucha bug)).  Repeat procedure for IOS55.  Once both have been done, exit to Homebrew Channel.

2h - From the Homebrew Channel, run WAD Manager (there may not be any image for this application).  Press A to agree, and A again to load IOS 249.  Navigate to the WAD folder (it's probably already there) and select IOS60patched.wad.  Ensure that the action is set to INSTALL,  NOT UNINSTALL, and go for it.  Once done, press HOME to exit to the Homebrew Channel.  Repeat for IOS70patched.wad.

2i - From the Homebrew Channel, run WAD Manager.  Use the IOS 249 and SD Card default settings, and browse for cIOS202[38+60].wad.  Press A to install, and repeat for cIOS222[38].wad and cIOS[38+37].wad

2j - Go to this site and copy the code for your box under the Ready-Made Hack.inis.  In my case, it is USA 4.2 (below). Copy this code (or your code from the site) to notepad, and save as "hacks.ini" on the root folder of your SD Card.
[Disable HAXX,DVDX,RZDx Checks]
[Block Disc Updates]
[Block Online Updates]
[Remove NoCopy Save File Protection]
[Move Disc Channel]
[No System Menu Background Music]
[No System Menu Sounds at all]
[No System Menu Sounds (Channel BGM)]
[Recovery Mode (D-Pad Up 4th GC)]
[Force Standard Recovery Mode]
[Remove Diagnostic Disc Check]
[Auto-Press A at Health Screen]
[Replace Health Screen with Backmenu]
[Force Disc Games to run under IOS249]
[Region Free Wii Games]
[Region Free GC Games (No VM Patch)]
[Region Free Channels]
[Lock out System Menu with Black Screen]

2k - From the Homebrew Channel, run Priiloader v0.3 or v0.2 (it might not have an launcher image in the menu either).    Press + to install.  Theoretically, the wii should reboot into Priiloader after this install (I received an error during this install process and, after waiting a minute or two for good measure, just hard rebooted my wii and continued to Step 3).  However, if this worked for you:
  • Priiloader should load automatically after the installation
  • Go to System Menu Hacks and enable "Skip Disc update Checking" and any other desired hacks
  • Click "Save Settings" and press B to return to the main menu
  • Go to Settings and set Autoboot: System Menu
  • Click "Save Settings" and press B to return to the main menu

Step 3: Load & Play Burnt Discs

3a - Now that the wii can recognise the discs, you need some software to actually load them. From the Homebrew Channel, load the WAD Manager.  Navigate to Neogamma_r8b7.wad and press A to install the package.  Make sure you give it time to load, with no errors.  Do the same for USB_Loader_GX_r815.wad.  Neogamma will load burnt discs and USB Loader will load digital files (discs via a USB harddrive). (Note: Actually, NeoGamma will do both these and more and I now use it exclusively)

3b - You are now set up to play burnt discs.  Simply insert the disc into the wii and launch Neogamma from the Homebrew Channel.  You should be able to play both NTSC and PAL discs from any wii region.... however, I haven't tried any PAL discs yet (my wii is NTSC).

3c - For more discs, you can copy your wii games via your optical DVD drive on your computer, or can download copies from a variety of websites (e.g.  A full iso file should be exactly 4.37 GB (4,699,979,776 bytes), however, a download might be archived, thereby smaller.  Once downloaded, simply burn the iso file using an application like ImgBurn (free).  Note: most of the guides I've read mandate the use of super high quality DVD-Rs, burned at a max rate of 4x.  However, the first disc I tried was an inexpensive DVD+R, burned at max speed and it worked fine.

That's it -- enjoy!

How to Determine Your Wii's System

This short guide will show you how to determine what operating system your Nintendo Wii is currently running.  This information is very important if you plan to perform any modifications, because the steps for modifying will be different depending on the system.

After powering on you wii, select the "wii" button in the bottom left hand corner of the main menu screen.  This will take you to the Data Management/ Settings page.

Select Settings, and on the next page you will be able to see you system version in the upper right hand corner of the screen.  As seen below, my wii is running 4.2u.

What can you do with this data?  Well you can hack your nintedo wii to play burnt games, for starters.

Monday, 11 January 2010

How to Sync Cellphone Gmail Contacts for Free

Easy process for syncing Gmail/Google contacts to your cellphone for free! Worked on my Nokia e51 (and should work with any Symbian phone)

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