Hacking Acquired a semi-bricked Wii (normally boots to black screen but currently in system menu), need help finding correct current method to fix

dwells

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Hey all, I'm hoping someone knowledgeable on current methods for correctly restoring a Wii can help me out here, as I'm new to this and have seen a lot of conflicting information. I don't know much about this system, but this is the current sitrep:
  • Boots to black screen normally
  • After dozens of attempts fiddling with the reset button (read about trying this), it did boot into Priiloader. So it's definitely been modded at some point
  • Booted from priiloader to system menu and successfully paired a remote, system settings says it's running 4.3U
  • Homebrew channel is installed but launches to a blank grey menu, it does allow me to select an option to exit to system menu, which worked
  • CMOS battery actually works and the system is showing the current date and time (although 15 minutes ahead)
  • I don't have a NAND backup or know the system's history and it doesn't have an SD card in it
I'd like to restore this thing and get it booting as normal. Ideally I'd like to unmod the system and restore it to factory. It appears to be complete in box with the original documentation, stand, accessories, even some of the original plastic wrap, so I'd like to get it to stock for a collector to enjoy.

It's currently turned on and in the system menu and I'm afraid to shut it off in case I can't get it to boot again -- I thought this thing was totally bricked and was about to tear it down for parts but decided to give it a final try just now, and this is the only time it's worked.

Any help would be massively appreciated!
 

JaapDaniels

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Hey all, I'm hoping someone knowledgeable on current methods for correctly restoring a Wii can help me out here, as I'm new to this and have seen a lot of conflicting information. I don't know much about this system, but this is the current sitrep:
  • Boots to black screen normally
  • After dozens of attempts fiddling with the reset button (read about trying this), it did boot into Priiloader. So it's definitely been modded at some point
  • Booted from priiloader to system menu and successfully paired a remote, system settings says it's running 4.3U
  • Homebrew channel is installed but launches to a blank grey menu, it does allow me to select an option to exit to system menu, which worked
  • CMOS battery actually works and the system is showing the current date and time (although 15 minutes ahead)
  • I don't have a NAND backup or know the system's history and it doesn't have an SD card in it
I'd like to restore this thing and get it booting as normal. Ideally I'd like to unmod the system and restore it to factory. It appears to be complete in box with the original documentation, stand, accessories, even some of the original plastic wrap, so I'd like to get it to stock for a collector to enjoy.

It's currently turned on and in the system menu and I'm afraid to shut it off in case I can't get it to boot again -- I thought this thing was totally bricked and was about to tear it down for parts but decided to give it a final try just now, and this is the only time it's worked.

Any help would be massively appreciated!
sounds like at some point someone tried a hard region change and then update the system (wich will kill system menu for it can't function with the hardware.

see https://github.com/DacoTaco/priiloader for instructions how to use priiloader
  1. Reset the region to what it should be according to the serial number.
  2. use priiloader to boot to a wad installer.
  3. install all original ioses recomanded for 4.3.
  4. install mios recomanded for 4.3.
  5. Install BC recomanded for 4.3.
  6. Install system menu 4.3 matching your region.
  7. remove SD-card and reboot the system
If still not normall booting either the bleutooth device or wifi is probably gone, and someone else might be able to better help you solve this.
 
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dwells

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Okay, so in the process of pulling it off the shelf to check the serial number sticker (it's a USA model which matches the 4.3U that system menu settings showed me), I accidentally pulled the power cord out. Here's where things get weird: the system works now.

I tried it a couple times with a few full shut downs and pulling the power cord again, but somehow the system now boots to system menu like normal every time. I have no idea what the deal is, but as far as I can tell it's now a working modded Wii?

I'd still like to do a full factory reset and unmod it ideally, that way it'll be a stock console that can go to a collector or to a kid or something and I don't have to worry about them bricking it somewhere down the line.
 

KleinesSinchen

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Reminds of a known hardware problem with a voltage converter not working (given that WiFi and Bluetooth are connected correctly).
If this happens again, compare it to the list of symptoms given here:
https://gbatemp.net/threads/wii-has-no-signal-and-does-not-respond.609725/

Check that converter in case the Wii does not boot and the behavior matches the description.
=======

I'm not a fan of "Back to stock because I want to sell while not disclose previous modding to the buyer!" – in any case you would potentially lock yourself out if there is some software related issue (although it doesn't sound likely because the console suddenly started working again). Back to stock is synonymous with downgrading possibilities.

Please backup the NAND before any attempts of "Let's delete homebrew!", especially radical methods.
 

dwells

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Danke schön for the link, I'll break out the multimeter and check the voltage regulators if it stops booting again. Really curious as to what the issue was, but it seems as if just getting into priiloader and selecting the option to boot the system menu has actually fixed it somehow. Maybe I was just following a bad guide for how to get into priiloader before, too. Who knows.

As for restoring back to stock, would a restored system be functionally any different from one that had never been modded at all? Admittedly, I know pretty much nothing about the Wii outside of what I learned in the past day or so of research. I remember the original Xbox days where you could take a system with a bad softmod and revert it completely back to stock and it was exactly the same as if it had never been modded.

I'd like to get it back to being totally original with completely unmodified software if possible so I know it has clean files and there's no underlying software issue caused by a bad mod or something. And that way I don't have to worry about it getting bricked somehow from doing something like a factory reset int he system menu or however else you brick these things.

Regarding the NAND backup: can you dump a NAND to USB or over the network or something? Or is it 100% mandatory I go buy an SD card and reader?
 

Ryccardo

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As for restoring back to stock, would a restored system be functionally any different from one that had never been modded at all?
Good thing you said "functionally" - for most purposes, restoring any modified system titles, removing any custom channels (even leaving the ticket as the official title uninstall feature does) and Priiloader/(BootMii as Boot2) will do that (in fact, unless there's a major fuckup, even missing the first step will not generally matter but a lot can be said about this - many Wiis were sold to nitpicking stores by just removing the HBC manually or with the incorrectly called "system format")
Remember: Wii runs at any time 1 application and 1 IOS, everything else for the most part only "wastes" space

At the strictest definition, a Wii with any unofficial channel ever installed cannot be restored to factory-accurate state! (just like an Xbox where the original disk was externally wiped/missing...)

Indeed I can't think of any non-hardware reason for Priiloader being installed but only sometimes starting...

getting bricked somehow from doing something like a factory reset int he system menu
This only happens in 1 and half ways:
- Semi brick (incomplete region changing, that you can very easily find out by opening the official settings and seeing if there's a browser error - or running AnyRegionChanger) + the Wii Menu running the initial setup (which is part of the settings)
- "System format" with (old versions of?) Preloader/Priiloader installed - the actual Wii Menu is removed, but said replacement still works

Maybe I was just following a bad guide for how to get into priiloader before
G4GiX.png

except it's when you turn it on (or perform some other action that runs the Wii Menu title) :D

Regarding the NAND backup: can you dump a NAND to USB or over the network or something?
RealWND exists and I think WiiXplorer can do that too?
However I would personally not trust it too much - IOS would still be running and doing stuff in the background, not exactly a good idea to backup a moving target
(Not that a nand backup is very useful for recovery without BootMii as Boot2 or an external programmer, but still...)
 

dwells

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Good thing you said "functionally" - for most purposes, restoring any modified system titles, removing any custom channels (even leaving the ticket as the official title uninstall feature does) and Priiloader/(BootMii as Boot2) will do that (in fact, unless there's a major fuckup, even missing the first step will not generally matter but a lot can be said about this - many Wiis were sold to nitpicking stores by just removing the HBC manually or with the incorrectly called "system format")

Hey, thanks for all the info. What would you recommend at this point as the best move for getting the system to a safe state where it could go to a new owner and me not have to worry about them breaking it somehow from either trying to mod it themselves or something else? I did some more research and it looks like my options are:
  1. Get an SD card, dump the current NAND, use Ohneschwanegger to generate a new unmoved factory-equivalent NAND, flash with bootmii. System will no longer have priiloader or any other modifications and will be back to stock.
  2. Figure out how to update priiloader, find out if bootmii is installed and if it's on boot2 (no idea how to do this, but apparently it's a popular safety measure in conjunction with priiloader?), install bootmii if it's not there already, use system format/reset feature in Settings to remove Homebrew Channel and anything else from the previous owner. System remains modded, but there's nothing on there to accidentally brick the system with and the next owner can re-mod the system as normal if they want to and get the Homebrew Channel back.
 

Ryccardo

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Get an SD card, dump the current NAND, use Ohneschwanegger to generate a new unmoved factory-equivalent NAND, flash with bootmii. System will no longer have priiloader or any other modifications and will be back to stock.
That works (though we can still argue about "factory equivalent") but is probably overkill in general

find out if bootmii is installed and if it's on boot2
The HackMii installer should tell you and in any case you can reinstall it from there (you'll need an SD to meaningfully do anything with it) :) - note that most Wiis (made after give or take mid 2008) do not support custom boot2's, and bootmii as IOS is fine for making backups (on SD) or running Linux but pretty much useless as an anti-bricker (too many dependencies to get to it, including working priiloader or HBC from which you can do more targeted repairs, and you artificially need a gamecube controller to restore a backup)

My plan, without knowing better (might be a smart idea to do and review a syscheck first, which should be doable from USB), would be:
- (re)install Modmii's "anti-brick" Wii Menu IOSes - effective against botched downgrades, which the next step might be, and korean key artificial bricks
- (re)install if needed a good CIOS in the default 249 slot
- check the regions in AnyRegionChanger, in particular the AREA region which is the one that "breaks the settings"
- reinstall the Wii Menu (via wad) ensuring the region is matched to the above, this removes priiloader
- run the hackmii installer and ensure it works (displays press 1 to continue) to avoid painting yourself into a corner, this might happen if most IOSes are modified
- only then I would think of doing a factory reset
 

dwells

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(might be a smart idea to do and review a syscheck first, which should be doable from USB)

Good call, I googled syscheck and figured out how to run it from The Homebrew Channel. I couldn't get Homebrew Channel to see my USB stick until I eventually tried redoing the partition table as MBR instead of GPT, and either that fixed it or I just got lucky.

Feeling empowered from learning how to run apps now -- huge accomplishment, I know, but this is all new to me -- I decided to update to the latest priiloader release and also ran hackmii installer to update the Homebrew Channel, which now says it's v1.1.2. I didn't do anything related to bootmii (no SD card and it said I can't do it via boot2).

Here's the syscheck log it uploaded:

Code:
SysCheck ME v2.5.0 by blackb0x, JoostinOnline, Double_A, R2-D2199 and Nano
...runs on IOS58 (rev 6176).

Region: NTSC-U
System Menu 4.3U (v513)
Priiloader installed
Drive date: 05.26.2006
Homebrew Channel 1.1.2 running on IOS58

Console ID: 7827****
Console Type: Wii
Shop Channel Country: United States (49)
Boot2 v4
Found 70 titles.
Found 50 IOS on this console. 5 of them are stubs.

IOS3 (rev 65280): Stub
IOS4 (rev 65280): Stub
IOS9 (rev 1034): No Patches
IOS10 (rev 768): Stub
IOS11 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS12 (rev 526): No Patches
IOS13 (rev 1032): No Patches
IOS14 (rev 1032): No Patches
IOS15 (rev 1032): No Patches
IOS16 (rev 512): Stub
IOS17 (rev 1032): No Patches
IOS20 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS21 (rev 1039): No Patches
IOS22 (rev 1294): No Patches
IOS28 (rev 1807): No Patches
IOS30 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS31 (rev 3608): No Patches
IOS33 (rev 3608): No Patches
IOS34 (rev 3608): No Patches
IOS35 (rev 3608): No Patches
IOS36 (rev 3608): No Patches
IOS37 (rev 5663): No Patches
IOS38 (rev 4124): No Patches
IOS40 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS41 (rev 3607): No Patches
IOS43 (rev 3607): No Patches
IOS45 (rev 3607): No Patches
IOS46 (rev 3607): No Patches
IOS48 (rev 4124): No Patches
IOS50 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS51 (rev 4864): Stub
IOS52 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS53 (rev 5663): No Patches
IOS55 (rev 5663): No Patches
IOS56 (rev 5662): No Patches
IOS57 (rev 5919): No Patches
IOS58 (rev 6176): USB 2.0
IOS60 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS61 (rev 5662): No Patches
IOS62 (rev 6430): No Patches
IOS70 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS80 (rev 16174): Trucha Bug, NAND Access
IOS202[60] (rev 65535, Info: hermesrodries-v6): Trucha Bug, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS222[38] (rev 4, Info: hermes-v4): Trucha Bug, ES Identify, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS223[38+37] (rev 4, Info: hermes-v4): Trucha Bug, ES Identify, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS224[57] (rev 65535, Info: hermesrodries-v6): Trucha Bug, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS236 (rev 65535): Trucha Bug, ES Identify, NAND Access
IOS249[56] (rev 21008, Info: d2x-v8final): Trucha Bug, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS250[57] (rev 21008, Info: d2x-v8final): Trucha Bug, NAND Access, USB 2.0
IOS254 (rev 65281): BootMii
BC v6
MIOS v10
Report generated on 09/15/2023.

How are we looking? Assuming things are all good and the system is modded "correctly," I might just sell it as-is listed as a modded system with The Homebrew Channel on there still. My biggest concern before was that maybe it had a not-so-great prior softwood and someone could accidentally brick it or something, but it's looking that isn't really an issue.
 

Ryccardo

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redoing the partition table as MBR instead of GPT, and either that fixed it
Exactly that :)
While any software must bring their own storage drivers, the gold standard for Wii homebrew is MBR or superfloppy, with FAT16 or 32

How are we looking?
Very nice, for one it seems you already have the
Modmii's "anti-brick" Wii Menu IOSes - effective against botched downgrades, which the next step might be, and korean key artificial bricks
and a good selection of CIOSes!

Do the official settings load fine? If yes I would give it a passing grade!
 

dwells

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Yay, nice to hear that it looks good in there. I did some googling and apparently there's newer versions of some of those cIOSes available, but it doesn't look like it's worth the risk of getting a WAD installer or whatever and trying to remove them and replace with newer ones.

Do the official settings load fine? If yes I would give it a passing grade!
As in the Settings section of the System Menu? Yeah, I can get in there and set the wifi network and such.
 
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