HDD for Wii U and vWii use?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by jayjay123, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    *Edit 11 August 2013 - Solution has been found* - see here:
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/wii-u-format-disk-nag-solved.352786/

    Original query------------------------------------
    I had an NTFS formatted drive for use in vWii with my backups in WiiFlow... all cool. I can't find a way around the 'Do you want to format...' message when the Wii U is booted, so I thought... perhaps if I just let it format the drive, then store the WiiFlow backups on the WBFS partition, problem solved, but it it seems the Wii U partition is not WBFS.

    WBFS manager 3.0 on PC doesn't see it. Is this the case? Can a Wii U partition not be used in vWii mode for USB loaders? Has anyone found a way to disable the 'Do you want to format...' message on startup when a non Wii U partition is detected on USB?

    TIA!
     


  2. BlackWizzard17

    BlackWizzard17 Don't worry Captin we'll buff out those scratches.

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    There is no way of disabling it because that message is in the section of the wii u mode.
    Try formatting your flash drive to fat 32 than putting your games on there and see if you get any more problems. I think the reason is that the wii u can't read a flash drive thats formatted NTSF or WBFS
     
  3. JiggyEyeJoe

    JiggyEyeJoe Member

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    At the moment, there is no way to use one HDD for WiiU and vWii at the same time. The "format-message" can't be disabled, if you format the HDD to FAT32/NTFS/WBFS.
     
  4. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    There's a way to disable it : MBR or GPT partition should be gone.
    - Format the drive in WBFS format without making a MBR partition table. (WBFS Starting at sector 0) <-- this will work on computer if the software is compatible with drives without partition.
    or
    - Alter the MBR MAGIC, and update your loader to support that new signature. <-- This will not work on computer anymore unless you edit the MBR manually.

    If no partition table is found, the WiiU doesn't (didn't?) ask to format the drive.
    Maybe nintendo changed that behavior and it's not checking the partition table only, I don't know, I never tried to connect a HDD to WiiU yet.
     
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  5. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks Cyan, I'll look into going that route. I'm not sure I understand this line:
    "Alter the MBR MAGIC, and update your loader to support that new signature. <-- This will not work on computer anymore unless you edit the MBR manually."

    Is Wii U drive able to rip games to USB in WiiFlow at the moment? How do I alter the MBR and how do I update the loader to support the new signature? I'll google in the mean time, but thank you again for your help!

    All I really want to do is dedicate my 1Tb external drive to vWii without Wii U asking to format it every time. I would like to still be able to use WiiFlow to rip games to it if possible.
     
  6. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    Is Wii U drive able to rip games to USB in WiiFlow at the moment? Yes, you can rip Wii games to USB. just use an USBloader or CleanRip, as usual.

    How do I alter the MBR? MBR is the Sector 0 of your Hard drive. To edit it, you need a program which lets you edit the first sector manually (Like an Hex editor on your Computer, HxD can do it). The "MAGIC" is the signature which is used to recognized the presence of something, Here it's the MBR signature (0x55AA) located at the end of the Sector 0 that you need to edit. If the WiiU doesn't find "0x55AA", it doesn't ask you to format the drive because it expect to find either a known partition table or WiiU formated partition table.
    Edit it to anything else, but your partitions will not work on your computer anymore unless you put back 0x55AA.

    how do I update the loader to support the new signature? You need to edit the sources code of the loader you want to use and replace 0x55AAto the signature you chose. then recompile the loader.
    It will work only for Wii games, not for GameCube/EmuNAND/other Homebrew which expect to find a partition table.

    It's not recommended to edit that sector without understanding what you are doing, it's dangerous and can result in data loss (if you reformat the drive accidentally, or mess the MBR).
    If you don't know how to do this, it's not a solution for you.

    Easier solution is to use WBFS partition starting at sector 0 (I think Linux can partition WBFS without MBR, maybe wwt too).
     
  7. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Excellent, thanks for the helpful post Cyan. It's amazing, with 20 years IT support and development experience, I still learn new stuff every day. I've as yet never had to edit the MBR of any drive so I've never had need of that information. It's great to know.

    I think I will go with the WBFS partition (and keep a backup of all my games on spare NTFS partition) since I don't want to recompile WiiFlow every time a new version comes out. I'll see what can create WBFS partitions in the mean time.

    Again, thanks for your help, Cyan - I've read many other posts around here and you certainly seem to be the most helpful guy on this forum.
     
  8. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    I've deleted partitions on the drive and have tried and failed to format it as WBFS. WiiFlow doesn't seem to have that option, I've tried w wt on Windows but I can't find how to create a partition with it. The wwt -FORMAT command won't allow me to do anything. I'll take another look in the morning and perhaps try Linux.
     
  9. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    As you seem to be interested, I dumped my drive to explain to you how partitions are working.

    I have a drive with 50GB FAT32 + 200GB WBFS partition.
    I dumped my MBR and both partition's first sector.

    sector's dump
    detail about the MBR
    About the WBFS partition

    I don't know if you will find that information useful, but it's always interesting to learn new things ;)
     
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  10. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    That's great info, thanks Cyan! I'll keep you posted if I come right.
     
  11. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Ok, I had empty GPT partition to start with and formatted WBFS using CFG loader. I'm a bit confused about how to create WBFS without GPT or MBR. Is there any way in Windows to initialize a disk without partition? Can I remove GPT or MBR somehow? Perhaps in Linux with gparted or similar?
    Thanks again!
     
  12. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    I found this thread, with linux tools : http://gbatemp.net/threads/formatting-to-wbfs-in-linux.193948/
    http://code.google.com/p/linux-wbfs-manager/wiki/Usage
    but it doesn't seems to let you choose the starting sector.

    I'm sure there's a program out there to do it.
    I even added support to drives without MBR to USBLoaderGX few weeks ago because a user had such a drive.
    I didn't do a lot of research, but I know it's possible.

    I don't know linux well.
    Maybe you can specify a drive instead of the partition ? /dev/hda instead of /dev/hda1 ?

    Good luck on finding a solution, and once done please let us know if the wiiU still prompt to format the drive.
     
  13. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    OK, I think Active@ Disk Editor can do what I need it to do. I'm testing now.
    http://www.disk-editor.org/

    So here's my drive, it still sees it as MBR partitioning 'style'

    [​IMG]

    If you look at the boot sector (starting at 0x1BE) it's all 0's:

    [​IMG]

    I'm going to see if it's still seen by Wii in a minute

    *EDIT*
    OK, the good news is Wii U doesn't see the disk. The bad news is, neither does CFG Usb loader, so I can't create / format a WBFS partition. I'll try restoring the MBR, formatting WBFS, then zeroing the boot sector and seeing what happens...
     
  14. hippojay

    hippojay Member

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    I've done this for my wiiU and used it over the last few weeks and it works fine.
    1. Use HxD (http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/) to update boot signature to 55AB
    2. Recompiled cfg USB loader to use 55AB as the boot signature (I also tried wiiflow which worked too)

    My wiiu now no longer complains about two drives or non-wiiu drives being connected. It's pretty straight forward, as long as you are careful when directly editing the drive.

    It's pretty stable, but it does mean that closed source apps (such as devolution) can't run with the USB drive. I've had to put all of this on a 32gb SD card.
     
  15. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks for the reply Hippo J - where am I looking in the source for the bit to edit (sorry, I haven't looked yet, I'll take a look shortly). Oh, I'm using WiiFlow... did you do CFG Usbloader?
    That's very helpful info and I think it's the easiest solution by far from what I've tried.
     
  16. hippojay

    hippojay Member

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    No problem - it's these two lines for wiiflow:

    Code:
    ./source/devicemounter/PartitionHandle.h:38:#define MBR_SIGNATURE                       0x55AB
    ./source/devicemounter/PartitionHandle.cpp:404: else if(*((u16 *)(buffer + 0x1FE)) == 0x55AB)
    
    For CFG (this change should allow both normal and modified drives):
    Code:
    ./source/partition.c:337:      if (buf[0x1FE] == 0x55 && ( buf[0x1FF] == 0xAA ||  buf[0x1FF] == 0xAB ) ) {
    
     
  17. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Excellent, thanks Hippo and Cyan. I'll document the whole process in my opening post when done in case it's useful to anyone else.
    Very cool :lol:
     
  18. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Hmm... any idea why I'd get this error on compile:

    c:/devkitPro/Source/WiiFlow/resources/wiiflow_game_booter/source/videopatch.c:216:3: error: 'TVPal574IntDfScale' undeclared here (not in a function)
    Nothing has changed in that file or related .h's afaik.

    Ok... I had to get another libogc for devkitPro from here
    https://code.google.com/p/open-wiiflow-mod/downloads/list

    Once I got that it's fine... going to test shortly

    *EDIT*
    OK, so Wiiflow is now seeing the partition with 55AB in boot sector, but it crashes and I get stack dump when I try to launch a game on the partition :(
    I edit the boot sector and write 55AA and all is fine. I'll see if I have an issue with my code and try again later.
     
  19. Cyan

    Cyan GBATemp's lurking knight

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    If you delete the MBR completely (all 0x00), then the loaders can't format the drive as they are looking for existing partitions and can't find any.

    Libogc is now using TVPal576IntDfScale (576 instead of 574. It was a typo)

    What's best is to edit the source to allow both 55AA and 55AB, so you don't need to recompile or restart another version of the homebrew to swap HDD.


    I thought we could add a feature in USBloaders to alter/restore the MBR signature, it would prevent user to edit their MBR on computer. But I don't like the idea to edit partition table casually. I prefer that users who understand the risk/problem are doing it themselves.
     
  20. jayjay123
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    jayjay123 GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I agree, Cyan. So I added option for both 54AA and 55AB into the WiiFlow code but missed one more variable - EBR_SIGNATURE. I'm not sure if that's the issue, but I'm compiling now to test again. I'll test with CFG as well.

    WOOHOO! Problem solved, EBR_SIGNATURE variable was the trouble. I'll share the details for anyone else wanting to do this in the opening post shortly.

    What do you guys recommend - I'd ultimately like the original source for CFG / WiiFlow to include this option. I'll write a windoze program to toggle the boot sector 55AA / 55BB for anyone wanting to hide / show it and share with the community as well. Who do I contact to include these minor adjustments in the code? Should I contact the wii-flow-mod guy or the original dev?

    I can't seem to get the CFG source - the url mentioned here
    https://code.google.com/p/cfg-loader/source/checkout
    doesn't exist:

    http://cfg-loader.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/cfg-loader-read-only