Current options to play games on USB HDD...

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by CeciF, Jul 19, 2017.

  1. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    Hi everyone! Just recently bought a Wii U, and after playing around with Mocha and HaxChi, just here to share my experience on the current options to install games to a USB hdd.

    *** Method 1 - FAT32 hdd ***
    Get games via Wii U USB Helper, unpack and copy to a FAT32 hdd, plug in hdd to Wii U, load up Mocha and play games via Loadiine.

    Pros: Can copy unpacked games directly to the FAT32 hdd from a PC, and play straight from Loadiine without wasting time on installing again on Wii U. Also, if you have a large hdd, you can partition the 2nd half to NTFS or something else for other use. Don't have to dedicate the entire drive just to Wii U (i.e. can have your Wii game collections on the same drive!). Another plus, Loadiine has a nice GUI for browsing thru your collections, just like the WiiFlow loader on Wii in the old days...

    Cons: Need extra time to unpack games on PC after download from Wii U USB Helper. VERY SLOW loading time for games with large number of individual files.

    *** Method 2 - Wii U format hdd ***

    Get games via Wii U USB Helper, no need to unpack and copy to SD on PC, plug in SD to Wii U, load up HaxChi, use WUP Installer to install game to Wii U formatted hdd, play straight from Wii U system menu.

    Pros: Select and play games straight from the Wii U system menu. Able to play online (personally I have not done so yet). Fast game loading speed even for large games.

    Cons: Time consuming on transferring games from PC to Wii U (PC > SD > Wii U formatted hdd), and this is at least triple worse when you have a small size SD card (mine is 32GB for instance). Also, have to dedicate the whole hdd to Wii U as no partition is allowed.


    Considering the flexibility and time spent on transferring games from PC to Wii U, Method 1 was my original setup, especially when I already have a FAT32 hdd already filled up 1/3 with my Wii game collection.

    All was fine and dandy until I tried Zelda BOTW. The unpacked game has about 34,000 individual files before any updates or DLC, and as you all know copying lots of small files takes longer time on PC... But, fine, I got it done. Loadiine since v0.3 can keep updates in separate folders without merging them, so I did for BOTW. Turned out to be a big mistake! On loading the game with Loadiine, it takes FOREVER to rebuild the filelist.txt due to the large number of files. I waited for 2 HOURS and the file count was only at 9,000ish. I finally got fed up and force shutdown the console. I then went back to PC and manually merge the updates with the main game, so Loadiine wouldn't need to rebuild the filelist. It worked, BOTW loaded up, press 'start' and now at the white screen after the 'open your eyes...' line, and loading... and loading... and about 45 mins later Link finally woke up! Fine, maybe it's just the intro part that took longer... I kept on playing for a while, and literally at every cut scene, and even just switching weapon, opening a chest, there's a long pause, ranging b/t 10s of seconds to minutes long pause! But I persisted on playing... Till I died (Link fell off cliff :P), and loading back to a check point took nearly 10 mins! That's when I finally gave up.

    I found another old hdd and proceeded with Method 2 setup. Loaded up BOTW from system menu, went thru the 'open your eyes...' intro with almost zero loading time (just seconds!). No more awkward pauses during cut scene, switching weapons, or opening a chest... This is the way it's meant to be (sigh), at least for now...

    Only wish one day there's a way to interface with the Wii U formatted hdd from PC directly, so we may bypass the need for SD card, and WUP installer entirely, to save time. Just my 2 cents...
     
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  2. mr-b

    mr-b Member

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    Useful info, thanks.
    I'm just starting out on this journey but followed the Noob guide and put on Haxchi and CBHC. Does that matter? TBH my head is spinning with all the different options and I don't know what to choose.
    With my old Wii it seemed a lot simpler to load games onto a USB HD.

    My basic req is to have something similar on the WiiU if it's possible, I'm wondering now!
    I have a few saved games in .wux and /code/content/meta formats. From some reading it seems the latter can be imported into USB Helper but I've not tried yet.

    However I'm not sure I understand this when you say for Method 2:
    and then
    Aren't they contradictory (well to my noob eyes)?
     
  3. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    True that in method 2 you save the time needed to unpack games on PC, but having to 1st copy games to SD and then on Wii U copy (install) again to HDD is more of a hassle IMO based on my experience.

    That, plus the fact that my PC still use a USB 2.0 card reader which the write speed top out at 5MB/s (crawlling :x )

    Looking to upgrade to a USB 3.0 card reader at the moment...
     
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  4. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    For the code, content, meta (aka the "raw" or the "Loadiine") format, you have to repack them first and place them in a folder with the correct naming covention to be recognize by USB Helper.

    Before I learned of the USB Helper, I already dl some games off torrent to try them on CEmu. They were all in the Loadiine format.

    After I started using USB Helper, I thought about the same of importing them, But I ended up deleteing them all and re-dl thru USB Helper. Reason was that 1) too much hassle to repack and, 2) the Loadiine format games from torrent and other sources often people already merge the updates with the main game data, and some even merged in custom mods. If you manually import them into USB Helper, and later on there are newer updates out for those games, there might be compatiblity issues as USB Helper cant tell if the games were previous modified.

    Besides, the NUS server is super fast compare to torrents. I dl 500GB of games via USB Helper in just 3 days thanks to my unlimited home internet plan :D
     
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  5. mr-b

    mr-b Member

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    Thanks. I'm amazed at the Usb Helper app, it's so much easier than scrabbling around torrent sites as you say. I've invested in a 64gb sd card and am about to get a usb3 reader too!

    Still a bit mystified about the lack of unpacking to pc part, but my knowledge isnt great on that, read non-existent! TBH installing to wii usb hd from sd isnt too bad as you just select all and let it do its thing for a while without having to babysit it.
     
  6. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    There's also method 3, FAT32 HDD with wupinstaller format games through Mocha.
    Installing is a bit of a hassle (can't install them directly to the HDD but you can install to internal memory first and move the files over manually with wupserver or ftpiiu everywhere) and the method is only a bit better than Loadiine, as you can play online but it still has loading time issues in some games.
     
  7. Marko76

    Marko76 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    That is his first method lol read the op again
     
  8. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    No, method 1 uses Loadiine ;)
     
  9. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    Yeah the insanely lonnnnnnnng loading time when playing from a FAT32 is the deal breaker. Unless the loading speed can improve, I reached the the conclusion that using a FAT32 hdd is just impratical...
     
  10. Redirr

    Redirr X11 Extreme.

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    I tried this once. Stuck copying forever.

    Hope Someday we have chance to use .iso loaders. Like i do PS3. Something to emulate a original disc
     
    Last edited by Redirr, Jul 27, 2017
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  11. Dust2dust

    Dust2dust GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    It seems to me this is complaining just for the sake of bitching about something. Since the brazilian method came out (method 2 in the OP's message), we can load games extremely efficiently from a connected hard disk, the same way a legit user can, with games bought from eShop. So what if you need the time to copy the files to SD and then install with WUP? That's a very small price to pay for the perfect end result. If the OP hadn't wasted all that time waiting on Zelda BOTW to play on Loadiine, he (or she) could have installed quite a few games with WUP, all perfectly playable no matter how many thousand files are within.
     
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  12. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    As I said, the extremely long loading time was the deal breaker of why I went from FAT32 to a the propriatory Wii U format (reluctantly!!). I "wasted" so many hours on the FAT32 method because I was trying to justify (or convince myself) to stay with it. Mind you when I started out on the journey, I researched tons on both methods and decided to go with FAT32 method first. Why? Because it is the simple & ideal setup -- One FAT32 hdd that takes care of both Wii U & Wii games, all on the same drive! That was the original motive, and still a very valid one (which I'm sure echos by many, like mr-b from the 2nd post.)

    Lots of guides out there to show you step-by-step how to setup with either methods, and they all just say that FAT32 has longer loading time, but exactly how bad is it? Before I started all this, I was ready to stick with FAT32 method hoping maybe if the wait time is just a couple minutes comparing to seconds, I can live with it. I was willing to sacrifices a bit of wait time for the convenience of having FAT32. But unfortunately it turned out that the wait time is actually much much worst... So I wrote this post, not to complain, but to share my experience, and actually put some numbers (hours) to it so people have some reference and gauge the pros & cons if they decide to go with either method.

    That said, looking back in the PS3 hacking scene, when USB hdd loading came out first, games had to be dumped in raw format (files & folders) and use FAT32 drive only. Later on, ISO format and NTFS format came out, and guess what? Everybody converted their collection to ISO format w/ NTFS. Same thing with Wii back in the days, games must be dumped & stored on WBFS format drive only at first, then FAT32 support came out. Guess what? Everyone converted too!

    So the bottom line is, if the FAT32 support on Wii U is improved someday, I will switch back to Method 1 in a heart beat, and I bet that you will too!
     
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  13. Kafluke

    Kafluke GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Maybe I should update the noob guide to say FAT32 SUCKS! Lol

    No but maybe a stronger emphasis on the current state of fat32 support
     
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  14. CeciF
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    CeciF Member

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    Yes, maybe you should. And mentioned in your guide that the loading time for FAT32 is not just a little "longer", it's more like "from seconds to become hours longer"!

    Btw, excellent noob guide. Its the actual one I followed to hack my Wii U when I started out. (Two thumbs up :D)
     
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