Can someone fill me in on the hardware differences between the original white Wiis & the black ones?

Discussion in 'Wii - Hardware, Devices and Utilities' started by SG, Jun 6, 2014.

  1. SG
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    SG GBAtemp Fan

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    I've been meaning to get a US black Wii with Gamecube controller ports for a while now to replace my US white Wii basically for collector reasons, but am unknowledgeable about the drive and board differences between the two, in relation to soft-modding and running homebrew.

    IIRC, the drive on original white Wiis that were out for the first lot (I got one after 6 months from release) are considered better or something? Can someone elaborate on this, as I'm completely clueless? Bearing in mind that the model I get will be an older black one as opposed to the newer, non-GC compatible ones.

    Thanks to the more knowledgeable of you out there.
     
  2. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If it still has GC ports then it is basically all good and you can get it if you want (with the usual checks to make sure it has not been thrown out of a window, stuck in an oven and the like).

    For proper stuff you might need serials, manufacture dates and the like.

    Generally the three differences of note are

    Chipping differences if you do have a chipped drive.
    No 3x DVD softmod.
    No bootmii boot2.

    Full drive replacement type mods (WODE and the like) should still work. This is more for those that would chip the drive itself to read copied DVDs. The only real benefit here is it is marginally easier to do gamecube stuff with "stock" setups, with the likes of DIOS MIOS people are less concerned.

    As well as the actual chips there were softmod options and so called cable chips for older drives to read discs at 3x rather than the 6x of the stock drive. This did also go a bit of homebrew but nobody really does that any more.

    The shorter version of the above two is "USB shut it all down and has done since about 6 months after its introduction -- USB is cheap, very big, very easy to manage, very easy to write, well over twice as fast as the stock DVD drive when it comes to loading and generally good stuff". I suppose technically some of the newer drives might work better with dual layer discs (most games were single layer but not all, most notably for a lot of people smash brothers was dual layer*, some older drives came up a bit short) but USB again.

    *at least until you shrank it down.

    Bootmii boot2 confers some minor restore benefits if you really manage to hose things up. You will have to go at it quite hard to pull off a brick at that level though, and even then you could probably bust out the soldering iron if you thought it through beforehand.

    It can get a bit more in depth if you are planning to write full hardware diagrams, play with some of the older toolchains/libraries or something along those lines but as far as modding goes those are the differences and they are so small as to be next to nonexistent.
     
  3. SG
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    SG GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks for the reply, I'm sorry that I never got back to this sooner - a bit rude of me!

    Soooo... I had Bootmii on my old Wii but never needed to use it. Can I ask what the 'boot2' is? Am I still able to create a backup image of it?

    I wouldn't be using a chip and wouldn't be playing anything loaded from a USB device, just a few simple bits of homebrew including Ocarina via the SD card - and installing some WADs (the same games that I bought for my original white Wii). The DVD drive in the black Wii might be BETTER though? I thought I heard something about later drives not being as good. If that's not the case then that's great news for me. Could you confirm that?
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    The Wii goes through various boot procedures and boot2 is the first writable section it comes to. The earlier wiis had bugs in boot1 that allowed boot2 to be replaced with bootmii in boot2, later Wii models fixed boot1 so bootmii had to go in an IOS instead. With boot2 bootmii you would literally have to overwrite said replaced boot2 section to damage it such that you can not pull it back in software, with bootmii as IOS you can seriously mess with the menu to get it to the point where it does not boot IOS type modules and not be able to pull it back in software. In both cases if you have a NAND image, like the ones made during install or whenever you like after that, then bust out the NAND writer (not sure what people are using these days but it should not be hard to get your hands on) and write the thing back.

    Later drives were not as good as far as modding went -- mod chips were harder to install or nonexistent (save for drive emulator/WODE type things which probably do not count) and they lacked the mod option to allow for 3x softmod read (used in copied DVD loaders and for the DVD video parts of various video players). Nobody really cares about any of that any more (again USB and SD cards).
    In more general terms the later DVD models are possibly more reliable (though that might also be a function of being newer) and as a rule of thumb they read dual layer discs where a fairly small handful of older drives came up a bit short. Not so many wii games were on dual layer discs though and again USB if it does matter.
     
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  5. SG
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    SG GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks again for getting back to me. : )

    I have no desire to chip or run copied DVDs so the drive is no issue for me then. Bootmii is just in case I bork my Wii which is unlikely, so all in all it's a safe move I'm guessing? Good stuff then, thanks for the help!

    I'm after a brand new black Wii with GC ports and getting ahold of one of those is going to be tricky as it'll have to be a US model and I live in the UK (although I believe it's nigh-on impossible to get one in brick and mortar shops in the US anyway). The search begins...
     
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    You can region swap your PAL region Wii to an NTSC-NA one in software ( http://wiibrew.org/wiki/AnyRegion_Changer ) -- only the Korean models differed in any real way (you can have a NA, PAL or Japanese Wii with a couple of software settings). Not to mention the modding itself should allow you to dodge region restrictions if you prefer (region changing is mainly for those that must have a stock looking wii running on a stock disc channel).

    As for bricking the wii you will have to work at it, especially if you have a copy of startpatch and all that installed and make sure your WADs are good, or better yet use an emulated NAND (stick a big SD card in, run the NAND off that, any disastrous changes then should be contained to the SD card which you can happily restore/reformat).
     
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  7. SG
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    SG GBAtemp Fan

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    Thanks, but as I have a US Wii already with gamesaves and US WADs and all GC and Wii games as US titles I'd rather have a default US Wii in case of any niggles that happen, and I don't have to load up the HB channel then if I want to just run a disc... hang on, from the link you gave me, it looks like a UK Wii can be softmodded to just load up US GC AND Wii games on the disc channel by region changing the menu itself? If so, colour me interested! Am I stuck at menu version 3.2 if I do that though? IIRC one can change the menu version to any version that they want but that's without changing the entire region.

    Of course, I'd still have to find a UK Wii with GC ports but it'd make things easier!
     
  8. FAST6191

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    I forgot modmii has a region change option, you might be better off with that (it should handle basically everything for you)
    http://modmii.zzl.org/home.html

    But yeah permanent software changes, or if you prefer software changes to an emulated NAND image (boot into US mode as it were, or I guess boot into PAL mode if you mod the other way).

    Equally even if you didn't region mod it you would not have had to boot HBC, you could have just booted one of the other loaders that have a channel.
     
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