Nintendo Wii Softmod Tutorial
I decided to write this Tutorial after attempting to mod my own Wii and I had found many tutorials written to cover the process but many were incomplete or hard to understand. What you will read is a compilation of other tutorials I have read and I have combined the best resources to make the task as easy as possible. Important you can cause your Wii to not respond if the steps described aren't followed carefully. It worked for me and countless others, proceed with caution and make sure you fully understand the process before attempting it.
Note: April 2009
Nintendo has released some units that are unmoddable, Wii's starting with the LU64+ serial number, running on menu v3.4 are currently causing issues, If your Wii is on 3.4 check your serial number before starting a softmod. The good news is that a workaround using a as yet to be released 'SoftMii v3.0' is just around the corner and you may not need to use the Zelda exploit to install it. As soon as I get to try it I will update these instructions.
What will installing this software do for my Wii?
- Allow you to use homebrew software such as "Emulators".
- Allow you to play unsigned/backup games
Tools and Items you will require
- Nintendo Wii with Wii controller and Nunchuck
- SD Memory Card and Card Reader ( 32Mb to 2GB will work except the newer HC SD Cards)
- Original copy of 'The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess'
- Internet connection using a Wi-Fi Router, don't even try this unless you have it configured and working correctly as some files need to be downloaded during the install process!
Get the right files
Important the file you will download use a compression called '.rar' so you will need a tool called Winrar to decompress the files, it can be downloaded from Here
- Wii Home Brew Loader Files, Click Here
Check your Nintendo's Firmware revision!
You need to know which firmware is currently loaded on your Wii, this is done by loading the configuration screens from the Main Menu and is located near the top as a number such as '3.2U' (Firmware 3.2 U=USA) which is the currently shipping version if you happen to have a 3.4 firmware or you updated the firmware then you will need to change a few files on the SD card. Write this number down as you may need it later.
Get the save game on your Memory Card
Format your SD card to the correct 'FAT' filesystem by right clicking and selecting 'Format', under 'File System' select 'Fat' and perform a format. After you download the above file and extract it you should see the extracted folders look for a folder called 'Put onto SD card' simply copy all the folders and files within that folder to the root of your SD card. Reminder if your Firmware is 3.4 you'll need to perform the steps below everyone else is fine.
NOTE only required for users with 3.4 Firmware browse your SD card to: private>>wii>>title>> here you will see three folders 'rzde', 'rzdj' and 'rzdp' in each of these folders you will see two files 'data.bin' and 'Twilight3.4.bin' you need to delete the file called 'data.bin' and rename the file called 'Twilight3.4.bin' to the same name of the files we just deleted which is 'data.bin' repeat until all three folders have been renamed.
Homebrew Channel installation using the 'Twilight Hack'
You will need to load the correct game save for your version of the game this can be determined by checking the text string which is on the inner circle of the data surface with the ones below. Write down this information and the related 'TwilightHack' you need to use.
- RVL-RZDE-0A-0 USA >> TwilightHack0
- RVL-RZDE-0A-2 USA >> TwilightHack2
- RVL-RZDP-0A-0 JPN >> TwilightHack
- RVL-RZDJ-0A-0 JPN >> TwilightHack
- RVL-RZDE-0A-0 JPN >> TwilightHack0
I assume you have played the game 'The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess' at least once correct? You need to play at least once to create a save or you can't copy the save from the SD card, also note while creating your first save you'll need to NOT change the default character names or the save may not work.
- Put your SD card in your Wii and turn it on.
- Go into Wii Options --> Data Management --> Save Data --> Wii.
- Find your Zelda save, click on it, click "Erase", and click Yes.
- Open the SD card and select the "Twilight Hack" save that corresponds to your game region. Note: Some people are having problems with the Wii not "seeing" the save file on the SD card. If you are experiencing this, try setting the archive bit for the 'data.bin' file - in Windows this can be be done from the file's properties dialog (right click on it in Windows Explorer and check the box).
- Click copy and then yes. Now exit out of the menu.
- If you are using Firmware 3.4, you must immediately put the Twilight Hack to use. Turning off or running some other channel or game will have the System Menu delete the savegame again, and you'll have to start over.
- Insert The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess game disc and run the game.
If you have the USA version of the game, load the "TwilightHack0" or "TwilightHack2" version of the game as appropriate (remember you wrote it down). Otherwise, load the only "Twilight Hack" save game.
- Once in the game, either walk backwards or talk to the man standing in front of you. this will initiate the install of the homebrew channel (which is the boot.dol in the root of your SD card)
Congrats, you should now have Homebrew Channel installed!
Just a few more steps to complete the process.
Make sure each step is successful before you move on to the next step. If a step is not successful it may prevent the next step from working. Remember you'll need your wireless network working to complete the process and depending on your Firmware revision of your Wii you may need to perform certain steps or skip certain steps so pay attention!
Firmware 3.3 or 3.4 complete these steps (if you have 3.2 or lower skip to Part 2)
- Launch the newly installed Homebrew Channel and you'll see some programs start by Loading 'Wad Manager' select the file 'IOS16-64-v257-prod.wad' press + and install it, even if you receive errors trying to install other this should still work.
- Now you need to load 'Custom WM' in the Homebrew Channel and install 'cios_fix.wad' you cannot install this '.wad' with Wad Manager. This requires a custom wad manager designed to work for IOS16 which is why it's called 'Custom WM'
- Now Load 'IOS Downgrader' in the Homebrew Channel. Just follow any prompts until it tells you it's complete. Don't confuse this with 'cIOS downgrader', The 'cIOS downgrader' allows you to upgrade or downgrade your firmware.
Perform these steps if you have completed Part 1 above or if you are on a version below 3.2. (If you have 3.2 currently skip to Part 3)
- Load 'cIOS Downgrader' in the Homebrew channel make sure you pick your correct region for your location the codes are:
3.2U = USA/Canada
3.2E = Europe
3.2J = Japan
Once you have selected your region just follow the prompts until done.
You should now be on Firmware 3.2 just a few more steps to perform to complete the install
- Load 'Starfall' from the Homebrew Channel. If you read the disclaimer carefully, you will see you are instructed to press B+1 and not B+2. Press B+1 until you get to the next screen. It's very picky so don't be surprised if you have to keep pressing it a number of times before it starts to install. At the next screen the most important things to install are the last 3 options but you can enable everything if you wish.
- Run 'cIOS Installer' from the Homebrew Channel, this installs the IOS needed by the launcher.
- Load 'Install Shop IOS51'. it will ask a few questions, say Yes to installing IOS51 and Yes to patching a fix but No to the Wii Shop Channel.
- Load 'Wad Manager' from the Homebrew Channel and install 'DjTaz_gamma_Loader.wad' This will install the 'Gamma Launcher Channel' which allows you to run your Back-up Wii Games.
- This step is optional, from the 'Wad Manager' load 'IOS38' it's needed to run Animal Crossing and may help with a few other titles.
- Last step is to remove the SD card from the Wii, when everything is completed to prevent anyone from accidentally launching a program which might cause problems.
You should be able to run any Homebrew software and play back-up copies of your Wii games but please be careful if you decide to run any games not intended for your Wii's region as it could cause your Wii to Lock-up or 'Brick' (stop working) generally the rule is simple if your Wii is USA only play USA/NTSC region titles, same goes with european Wii's stick to your region (PAL).
Once the HomeBrew Channel is installed on your Wii you can install small programs called '.Wad' to install software in this format copy the '.wad' to the SD card and place in the 'WAD' folder. Launch the Homebrew Channel and launch the ' WAD Manager' Press A on Wii remote and navigate to desired WAD to install, press the + button on your Wii and be patient as installation may take some time. Once install is complete exit the WAD manager by pressing the Home Button on your Wii Remote!
UPDATE May 2009 'USB Loader'
A new way to play your Wii games has been released it's called a 'USB Loader' and was released by Waninkoko, the USB Loader will allow you to load your game backup collection from a USB Mass Storage device. So everything from USB Portable Hard-drives to Flash drives are supported. the newest version is USB Loader 1.5 and it can be found at eurasia.nu in the downloads section look for 'USB Loader v1.5 (wad)' (free registration required) installation is simple, copy the 'usb_loader_1_5.wad' file to your 'WAD' folder on the memory card used earlier and install using 'Wad Manager', select the 'usb_loader_1_5.wad' file, then press + to install it. You also need to install the custom cIOS (a custom version of the Wii's operating system) make sure the 'IOS36-64-v1042.wad' file is located on the root of a SD card. Now under your 'apps' folder on the SD Card copy the folder 'cios36 rev10 installer'. Insert the SD card on your Wii and launch 'Home Brew' and run the 'cios36 rev10 installer' and select 'Wad Installation', Once the cIOS is installed reboot the Wii and you should see the new 'USB Loader Channel'.
NOTE: Before you try and use any USB devices remember these two important things. Firstly the device must be plugged it before you boot the Wii to be seen be the Wii system before it can be used, some Hard-drives may be a little slow and you may have to reboot to see the drive. Secondly the drive will need to formatted to a new file system called 'WBFS' (Wii Backup File System) so all the data on the drive will be lost! Create your WBFS drive and format to the new file system, now you can put any game into the Wii's drive and use the 'USB Loader' to copy the game files to the USB hard drive while slow (20 minutes for large games) it will work. If you want to transfer the games MUCH faster and you happen to have the .iso file on your PC then download wbfsmanager and read the next section.
The WBFS drive can be read in windows by downloading wbfsmanager it needs .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (the installer will prompt you to automatically download and install it if you don't already have it.)
NOTE: when you plug in your USB device into your PC Windows will not recognize the drive because it's WBFS and ask you to format the drive DO NOT format the drive or all the Wii files will be lost just say no and make a note of what drive letter Windows assigned the drive.
Start WBFS Manager and under the menu labeled 'WBFS Drive' select the drive letter for the WBFS drive that windows assigned. Then hit the [Load] button, it will read the drive and you will see all the installed games, free space and information about the games installed. You can then browse to any .iso files you wish to load and transfer the game files to your WBFS drive. The great thing here is that only the actual game files needed are copied to the WBFS drive so games will take anywhere from 400Mb to 2GB of space compared to the 4.3GB .iso file.
Download all the covers from www.wiiboxart.com select the ones you want or just 'select all' and download the .zip file the site will create for you. Using the SD Card used above, create a folder in the root called 'usb-loader'. Now inside of that folder, create another folder called 'covers'. The file path should be 'usb-loader/covers'. Don't change the names from what was downloaded or it won't work as the Loader looks for the same cover file as the game (Zelda is 'rzde01' and 'rzdeo1.png' is the correct name for that game). Copy all the cover .png files into the 'usb-loader/covers' folder and now the USB-Loader will find and display the covers for your backups.
Covers not showing up!
I had problems getting this feature working it turns out I had installed an older version of the 'cios36 rev10' that had some issues so if you have this problem make sure you update to the one listed above it will solve your issues.
As always I hope this article has been useful