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 !!


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

bookmarked!!!!!!! thanks

kaiser said...

Great job, fuckwad. I fucked up my USB thanks to your shitty tutorial. Die.

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