Does the WiiU HDD encryption tie the HDD to its enclosure?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by Eaglemeat, May 16, 2019.

  1. Eaglemeat
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    Eaglemeat Member

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    I got a new larger hard drive I want to use with my Wii U. The current hard drive is connected by a USB powered enclosure with a Y-cable. I also have one of those USB external drive bay dealies with its own power supply that let you plugin an internal HHD like its a big cartridge. Both are SATA.
    I originally tried putting the new drive in the external bay and copying from the original drive to the new drive. That part worked fine, but when I then put the new drive into the old drive's enclosure it acted like the drive wasn't formatted. Next I tried it the other way, putting the new drive into the enclosure and the old drive into the drive bay. I was able to format the new drive in the USB powered enclosure, so I know that's not the issue. But with the old drive in the external drive bay, it no longer recognized the drive as being formatted with my WiiU data. When I put the old drive back into the original enclosure it was recognized again.

    I don't know much about the tech details of USB and SATA, but does anyone know if the Wii U ties the hard drive to the interface so that you basically can't move the drive from one enclosure to another, or is there some other issue I'm not realizing?

    I suppose if this is the case, then the next step is to use a third hard drive as a temporary intermediary drive.

    For what it matters, I'm using CBHC and have Wii and GCN games installed as WiiVC/WiiWare games.

    Only partially related, when viewing the drive contents on the Wii U of the original HHD there's a file labeled ??? that refuses to copy. I thought maybe it was some sort of system files, but then I would have thought the new hard drive once formatted for the Wii U would have something similar, but it doesn't.
     
  2. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Guru

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    yes, it's encrypted by the system. don't mess with the hdd on a computer (i.e. initializing it) or it will ask you to format it once you connect it to the wii u. there may be a way to fix initialized drives by using the first sectors of the drive and copying the rest. that works on the ps3.
     
  3. Eaglemeat
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    Eaglemeat Member

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    My situation is purely involving being connected to the Wii U. I haven't attempted to connect the HDDs to a computer because of the encryption issue. What I'm wondering is if that encryption also ties the HDD to the interface its connected to the Wii U with.
     
  4. Eaglemeat
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    Eaglemeat Member

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    Some progress, but also another issue: I've successfully copied games over the the intermediary hard drive. I've inserted the new hard drive into the USB-powered enclosure and formatted it. If either is connected by itself, its fine, I can see the games on the intermediary hard drive and I can see the new hard drive is properly formatted and available to the Wii U. When both are connected after I click on my user to log in, it just sits on the menu screen (which is grayed out) with a message that says Please Wait and the spinning hard drive reading icon in the lower corner. It never progresses beyond this. I left it on over night and in the morning the Wii U had shut itself down.

    I'm really loathing the idea of having to reinstall and copy the save data over for 30 some games, but its starting to seem like that may be the only option. :(
     
  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    It's not tied to the enclosure, but to the drive itself AFAIK. I remember for sure that just cloning the drive will break the encryption. But with both drives formatted and working, there are a couple of ways to move the files over to the other drive. One option is to use either this https://gbatemp.net/threads/release-wfs-fuse-mount-wii-u-usb-drives-on-linux-and-mlc-dumps.478835/ or this https://gbatemp.net/threads/wfsdump-pc-util-for-dumping-wfs-devices-wiiu-file-system.478480/ to dump the contents of the old drive. Then you can use ftpiiu everywhere on the Wii U side (with the new drive connected) and connect to it with a FTP client and transfer the files over.

    The other way (and this would be the easiest) is to have both drives connected to the Wii U, which should automatically send you to Data Management where you can move the files over (you can't use both drives at the same time but it will let you move data between them)
    But since that doesn't seem to work for you, I suppose you could go to Wii U Settings->Data Management THEN plug in the drives and see if it recognizes them. Keeping in mind that self powered USB HDDs need an Y cable to work, so if both drives are self powered you'll need 2 of them taking up all 4 ports on the Wii U, unless you use a powered hub.
     
  6. Biduleman

    Biduleman GBAtemp Regular

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    It's both the hard drive and the enclosure. You can't take a drive, switch its enclosure and still have it work, the USB controller ID is used in the encryption.
     
    Eaglemeat and Ryccardo like this.
  7. kornychaos

    kornychaos Organized.

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    I'm honestly surprised that there wasn't anything/homebrew/hack/tool ever released to allow changing the external drive's ID to be able to plug-n-play with any Wii U.
     
  8. tswntk

    tswntk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Nintendo does not only tie the HDD to its ID and enclosure, the entire HDD is encrypted with the console's unique key. Unless you found a way to bypass that encryption, there is no way to plug-n-play with any other WiiU.
    You think Nintendo/hackers are stupid? Most hackers have long lost their interest on the dead WiiU scene anyway.
     
  9. kornychaos

    kornychaos Organized.

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    Why did you add assertions to my statement?
    I never slightly even implied I thought Nintendo had weak encryption or that the Nintendo scene was stupid for not figuring out a bypass.
    Simply put, I stated that I was surprised that the encryption hadn't been defeated even almost seven years after the consoles release. Nothing more.
     
  10. tswntk

    tswntk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    That's that :"the encryption hadn't been defeated even almost seven years after the consoles release.". Its a fact and you seemed to think that the encryption ties only to the HDD so you can "changing the external drive's ID to be able to plug-n-play with any Wii U". In fact, you will have to re-encrypt the entire HDD each time you change to another WiiU or hack all the WiiUs you are going to use to bypass the encryption algorithms (which doesn't exist...yet)
     
  11. Ryccardo

    Ryccardo and his tropane alkaloids

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    "Hey, it's just a wiiu after all"
     
  12. kornychaos

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    You're reaching.

    Once again you're taking things I've written out of context.
    Regardless, it literally is tied to the HDD/USB seed with the console ID..
    but yes, as of your last post, it does require re-encrypting, but that wasn't even a point I was debating.
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/seeprom2sd-by-dimok.450172/page-2#post-6868333
     
    Last edited by kornychaos, Jun 3, 2019
  13. tswntk

    tswntk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Then its far from being "plug-n-play"
     
  14. depaul

    depaul GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I've tried that once and indeed the enclosure itself is a part of the encryption process. If you change the enclosure, it will ask you to re-format the HDD.
     
  15. kornychaos

    kornychaos Organized.

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    Okay, aaand? What's that have to do with me being surprised that there isn't a workaround?
    I still have no idea why you're arguing semantics and retorting things I never argued for one way or the other.
    There is nothing wrong with being surprised that there was never a method to do this, so just stop.
     
  16. tswntk

    tswntk GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well, you just emphasize on "surprise" and I am more interested about your over simplified statement:
    "I'm honestly surprised that there wasn't anything/homebrew/hack/tool ever released to allow changing the external drive's ID to be able to plug-n-play with any Wii U."
    which is quite far from the current state of WiiU scene.
    Peace.
     
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