Hard Drive Choice for USB Loaders

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by sparhawk110, Sep 9, 2010.

Sep 9, 2010
  1. sparhawk110
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    Newcomer sparhawk110 Member

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    I frequent these forums daily, and read nearly all posts as they arrive. This thread particularly interests me and I try to help when I can. I have modded multiple Wii's of almost every firmware, both virgins and remods. Between myself and my friends, I have tried and fully tested many different hard drive configurations/choices. I've used the compatibility lists found here and elsewhere, and done several tests of my own. Hands down, I have found one specific method to be the most compatible (IMO) and cheapest way to get the highest level of game/loader/drive/etc/etc compatibility out there. I have seen it mentioned before, by myself and others, but it doesn't seem to get much attention and I think this is an oversight I would like to attempt to correct. So, here it is, please feel free to comment and even give me reasons why this might not be best.


    I use a Thermaltake BlacX SATA hard drive dock and an external 2 TB Western Digital Black. Looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    All of the questions and comments I see about which external hard drive is best and which one works with any specific loader and every other question about compatibility are rendered null and void with this setup. This works perfectly every time, no matter the brand of drive doc, (although I am partial to Thermaltake) or the brand/type of hard drive. As many external hard drives have built in spindown routines, and other power saving features, even if one works they often cause trouble when they enter that state. I think that by far is the largest issue I see when questions come up about someone's external drive not working properly. This dock has no such features, and I've also found, that even if the hard drive used supposedly does, such as the Western Digital Green series, the dock just doesnt support those features so they are never an issue. Another great thing about this is that you can grow with your collection and just get a larger hard drive when you need it. Or better yet, keep two drives to split up your collection. I do this so I have a drive with all the stuff I play on it that I might not want the kids using, rated M games and the like.

    Once connected up, this is really no different (as far as the Wii is concerned) than a regular external drive. Same thing goes for loading ISO's, just plug the dock (or have a second one) up to the PC and go at it. The dock can be found all over the web, Newegg.com being my choice, from $15-$40 depending on the brand, and I've seen 1 TB drives now going for < $70. So for < $100 you have an external drive for your Wii, with 100% compatibility ( I won't say this without also saying the disclaimer of "So Far for me"). For those monetarily challenged among us, grab an old 80-250gb or larger drive you know you have laying around and use that until you can afford the larger one.

    As far as any drawbacks I do see a few, but no gamebreakers IMO. You might be intimidated by a bare drive out in the open near your Wii. But I look at that as if you were not intimidated enough to NOT hack your Wii, then this shouldn't be a big deal. Portability may be an issue for some, this is definitely a larger setup than say a Western Digital Passport. Although, I can say that I have taken my setup, to both relatives, and hotels on vacation without any trouble. Bare hard drives are more resilient than you might think. Use an external hard drive case, or just static bag it, and pack it well.

    So, sorry for the long post, if you have read this far, you may want to give this a try. I have had very good luck with it as have all of the friends I have modded Wii's for. Any questions or comments, please hit me with them.

    On a final unrelated note, wanted to give a shout out to XFlak and his ModMii application for modding any Wii. If you are not using this for your mods, I think you are just plain crazy. ModMii for Windows
     
  2. hdhacker

    Member hdhacker GBAtemp Fan

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    If you never need to move the hard drive around, this may be feasible. It's a pain in the ass to have to carry around the power source with the drive. This is going to be heavier, draw more power, get hotter, and noisier than a small 2.5 inch USB powered drive. I've heard newer CIOSes have worked around the spindown issue. It's irrelevant for drives like the Seagate FreeAgent Go since that feature is easily disabled. I still use WBFS as the file system, so it makes more sense to rip the disc first, then use a WBFS tool to write it to the partition from my PC. There is less of a chance for a corrupted rip that way.
     
  3. sparhawk110
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    Newcomer sparhawk110 Member

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    I agree that mobility is the biggest issue here. I run a second doc at my main PC to make loads and unloads easier. Noise and heat are not really an issue, but again, that would depend on the drive you use. But yeah, if I were planning on moving my Wii around alot, from room to room, or between a couple houses for whatever reason, then I would use a small 2.5 portable. I actually use a WD Passport for this very thing.

    Oh, and one other thing I didnt mention earlier is that the doc I use (not all have this feature) also has external SATA. If your PC is equipped with it, its makes ISO loads to the drive amazingly faster. Ive loaded a full TB in less than 4 hours with WBFS manager, something that takes me 12-16 hours over USB.
     
  4. Memino

    Member Memino GBAtemp Regular

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    Can you give the model number of the dock and harddrive please, I've found 2 docks with identical images but different model numbers. I'm buying from the UK so where I can buy it from is much more limited making it hard to find.
     
  5. sparhawk110
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    Newcomer sparhawk110 Member

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    Get it where ever you can, it seriously will not matter a bit what model it is. It doesnt even matter what brand, I just prefer Thermaltake, other brands work just as well. Hard drive also does not matter. The difference in models is usually what ports are available on the back of the doc (some have SATA as an option). But the good thing is that ALL of them have USB and this is all you need, so it doesnt matter. If I was buying a new doc right now, I would buy it here.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...3-066-_-Product
     

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