tl;dr: pretty sure Wii U fucked up its own partition somehow. Can the save data be recovered? (last paragraph) I wanted a cheap external storage solution, so rather than buy a brand-new 500 GB USB HDD (seems like they don't even sell drives with less space than that anymore, what the hell?), I just grabbed an external HDD enclosure from Canada Computers and put in one of our slightly old drives; I think it was Maxtor, around 200 GB, which should be more than enough for a long time with this console. I mean, Super Mario 3D World was only 1702 MB. I've always noticed the USB connection with the Wii U itself is a bit finicky, and I'm not sure if I should blame the Wii U or the enclosure for that one, but I'm leaning toward the Wii U. If I so much as push the sync button on the front of the console, it jostles it enough that it will crash to a screen saying the external storage was disconnected. That's only ever happened two times, maybe three, and each time the external storage was just fine when the console booted back up. I've been using it since October 11th without any other issues, only two months. After today's Nintendo Direct, I booted up my Wii U for the first time in 8 days to grab that just-announced weird crossover DLC for Sonic Lost World (one of my favourite Wii U games), featuring Yoshi's Island. (That whole Direct was filled with the most random crossovers.) After maybe a minute of saying "Please wait..." over a darkened system menu trying to load stuff from the HDD, my Wii U gave up and showed nothing from it. Subsequent bootups didn't try to load from the HDD in that fashion at all, though there was some disc activity. It doesn't show up as a storage device in system settings anymore either, but the format option is there, so it knows it's connected but doesn't think it's formatted anymore I guess? When returning to the system menu maybe the second time after going into system settings, it threw a dialogue box saying something to the effect of "Only disconnect USB storage devices when the console is powered off." What?? The only fiddling I did with the drive to try and get it to work was to reconnect its power supply, and the console was indeed off when I did that. I'm not as dumb as you think I am, Wii U. Anyway, now hundreds of hours of savegames are lost. I'd wager they can still be found on the drive and that existing corruption is minimal (especially considering I have no idea when it could've happened in the first place), but the Wii U lacks any kind of CHKDSK or diagnostics. There's also no option to back-up save data to the internal memory, for some bizarre reason. And while you can delete a game, its DLC, update data, or its save independently of each other, you can't move or copy them independently of each other. Despite my fears of this happening, it was impossible for me to back-up save data without buying yet another USB storage device to be partitioned exclusively for use with the Wii U. While I've heard it's possible to get the Wii U to use only part of the drive with partition fuckery, it's not a reliable option and is never presented to consumers by Nintendo. It's an unfortunate failure of implementation; I love my Wii U to death, but its horrible storage solutions are killing me. Even the Wii had better and simpler save data backup than this; I have half a dozen SD cards sitting around ready and willing to be used. I really want to get that save data back; it's literally hundreds of hours of my life. I know it's possible, but whether or not it can be done is another question. I'll probably try calling Nintendo's support line at some point, but I highly doubt they'll offer me any solutions. So, I'm asking the internet. Is it possible to repair this HDD via a PC? Do we know enough about how the Wii U stores data to do this? Is there any chance of Wii U homebrew anytime soon that could help?