How to go about a real save solution

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by Slimmmmmm, May 15, 2009.

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May 15, 2009
  1. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    I'd love some information on how to go about this idea before I waste any time on this, as my time is very, very short at the moment.

    My problem:

    One of my kids is really into anything Sims, and so far all the games seem to be around the 127 ish block size and she has a few.
    Now I am constantly moving saves for her etc, and it is a real pita.
    Seriously this is one of the worst things for the Wii imho the lack of space and lack of the saves to a memory card. Back in the day of GC we just replaced the mem card and it was easy, but not now.

    Now I have a couple of Wiis, but hers is a nightmare because she likes SSBB, Eledees and Sims games, every game she ever wants has 127+ blocks for a save, shes changes her mind what she wants to play a few times daily so I'm thinking it would be better to just try to find a solution because it gets worse every time she gets a new game. (hmmm why do Nintendo have all these large save games as no copy ? , thank god we have homebrew)


    Possible solutions:

    Could a loader be edited to "on the fly" enable saving to SD when booting ?
    This would mean though, that the instructions would need held in memory the whole time a game is played.
    I think something like this would be best, but maybe it's not possible, is it possible in theory ?

    Another possible solution, although this may not be any good in practice would be a copy/move ALL feature. I think this would be easier, and even think I could start on sometihng like this myself, but it wouldn't be as handy or easy for a kid to use. So I'm not really considering this until I've read up and had a few replies at least.

    Another idea, is to patch the sys menu, I hate this idea myself, but it maybe the easiest route.

    So I'm not asking for someone to make this, just thinking maybe someone here knows a lot about how the saves are handled, or maybe even someone is already working on a solution to this problem. I think this is a worthy adventure, but my time is extremely limited these days due to personal things. I've looked for info, but come up blank so far [​IMG]

    So can it be done on the fly when booting a game to route to the SD or a USB pendrive etc?
    Is there anyone working on this currently ?
    Is this a good idea in you peoples opinions ?
    Is there any information already online relating to this to save me starting from scratch ?

    Any help, answers or opinions greatly appreciated.
     


  2. penetr8or

    Member penetr8or Advanced Member

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    Now, this won't really help you much, probably not at all.
    But you did say any opinions are welcome, and I certainly do have one of those stored in a drawer somewhere, let me see if I can find it....

    There it is.

    I agree that this was a mistake from the beginning.. And it remains a problem, which Nintendo doesn't seem at all interested in fixing.
    They don't allow you to save directly to SD, fine. Not a big problem (yeah it is, but they have the right to do as they please). But why make it so you have to delete a save on the sd before you can copy a more completed one over? Why not just have the wii check if the existing data is older, and if so ask to override with the file you're trying to copy?
    That would eliminate one of the bad problems, but would still leave the main.. The no-copy saves!
    Alright, they don't want the save to be copied.. There's a solution for that..
    You can't buy wiiware/vc, copy it to SD and put it on another wii.. They're bound to the one console.
    Why not do the save for those no-copy saves, and let you move them to and from SD?
    That's what I think they should have done from the very beginning, but I don't really see them fixing this now. Afterall, why fix something that's not broken? (according the Nintendo it's not.. According to everyone else, it is!)

    Well, that's just my opinion. Not really useful in this discussion.
    But if anyone would be able to come up with some solution to this, I think that person would be almost as highly regarded as Waninkoko himself [​IMG]
     
  3. WiiPower

    Member WiiPower GBAtemp Guru

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    Patching games to save to sd instead of nand, maybe possible, but very complicated, and would be a different patch for each game, so it's not an option(in my eyes).

    Copying the saves before booting? A loader that lets you select which savegames it's allowed to move, and then if you start one of these games, it checks if the save is present, if not, it checks if there's enough space. If there isn't enough space, it backups one of the other saves(longest not used?) and puts the save you need into the nand. This would be far from a clean solution, very complex and would takes ages each time you start a game, but maybe it's really doable.

    But i really hope for BootMii integrating a feature to replace the nand completely with the inserted sd card. Maybe without 512 MB limitation. But i don't even know if that's possible, i don't know where the nand drivers are. If they are in the IOS, which they are most likely, then you would need to patch all IOS for this.
     
  4. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    After doing a bit of digging, it may actually be possible for this app, I'm waiting on some info from someone.... cross fingers.

    Another option could of course be editing some of the sys menu files etc, but I'd rather not go down that route and think that integrating the code into a loader would be the way to go and/or having a channel for those that don't use a loader to boot games from.

    Thought I'd just post about the menu stuff as a way of bumping this topic to keep it up high and hopefully encourage some good responses.

    My wee lassie is hoping to get the 2 new sims games coming soon too, Sims Agents, and Sims racing... I'd bet they too are 127+ blocks [​IMG]

    We really need to start looking into this because it will affect a LOT of people in time, unless everyone is happy with the constant moving and copying of saves to and from the SD.
     
  5. SifJar

    Member SifJar Not a pirate

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    how's this for an idea? instead of patching games to load saves from SD, how about a disc loader which, before running the game will copy the save from SD to wii, run the game, then afterwards, copy it back to SD. Then just keep all saves on the SD and they will be transferred when needed. I reckon that should free up lots of memory. Kind of like SD Channel on 4.0, only with saves. With the two of them, nothing is needed to be stored on the Wii's actual NAND. What do you think? Would this be possible? It should be much easier than patching every game to save to SD.
     
  6. supagusti

    Member supagusti GBAtemp Regular

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    How about patching the IOS that contains the routines for saving ... or am I completly on the wrong way ...?
     
  7. WiiPower

    Member WiiPower GBAtemp Guru

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    The problem with your suggestion is, that it's impossible to copy back after playing or you would have to start the application again to do it. Which would be the same as my suggestion.
     
  8. ddp127

    Member ddp127 GBAtemp Fan

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    mayby using a combination of a preloader app, and trucha discs with a partition with a special app on it...

    the disc app copies the savefile from the game from the memorycard to the nand, and writes the title id in a text file on the sd, then, when restarting the wii, the preloader app reads the text file, and copies back all the savegames, and deletes the name in the text file afterwards...

    this would solve the problem, and will not be very hard if you just mix other peoples code

    the only problem is that booting a game and starting the wii will take a little more time...
     
  9. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    The easy route would seem to be editing the system menu and files, but I really don't like this idea myself. I've grabbed dolphin to do some tests, but am new with dolphins, so it's a learning experience.... well if it can even run a menu thats patched and the saving works in the same way. No idea about any of this, but might install bootmii and just test the menu on the wii.

    I'd much rather have an app, or better still have code implemented into loaders, dvd loader, and usb. I think it must be very hard or we would have seen something like this already. I hope wiigator or waninkoko like the idea, I think they could actualy mak eit happen in a decent time frame. I've sent out a few pm's to some people that know a lot more than me, so I hope to get a optimistic reply soon.
     
  10. rooskie54

    Member rooskie54 GBAtemp Regular

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    Roughly on the same topic, are there any homebrew apps that allow copying saves from the NAND to a USB Hard Drive? (like a FAT partition, not WBFS or NTSC)

    That could help out in the long run if theres not one available, and surely it's possible.
     
  11. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    Here's an encouraging quote [​IMG]

     
  12. mikeyt1998

    Member mikeyt1998 YouTube Glitcher

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    they did that with the guitar hero world tour pay and play save. you can copy it to an SD card, but not back to another console.

    and the issue with the saves being no copy isnt anything to do with that anyways. in the past when save extractor was used to get no copy saves on an SD they were (and wtill are) wi-fi games. they have all the online info on them too, and i believe it was something to do with not letting people access the online save to edit things like scores and names (allowing you to have infinate wins or swear word names through HEX editing the file)

    so no lol



    and slimmmmmm, the other day in the first bootmii thread i read that the wiis NAND can only handle up to or just over around 100000 writes, so be careful with the amount you're copying back and fourth!

    no one flame me for that, i read it in the bootmii thread [​IMG]
     
  13. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    Ok some people have got the wrong end of the stick I think, so to clarify what is needed here.....


    You use a loader....DVD or USB, but it has some lines of code added, all you see is an option to save and read from SD, instead of NAND. So it wont read the NAND more, and this is for Wii games, so no one should be thinking VC or WiiWare.

    Now what these extra lines of code do is intercept the calls to read and write the save to NAND and replace that with code pointing to SD.

    Pretty simple [​IMG]

    So it could even be set up to do this all the time through the new loader, imo this wouldn't add any extra time to booting a game that you could measure in sensible terms.

    So, one last time just to make sure people understand this idea fully.

    Nothing to do with copying saves to and from (that is a "fall back plan")
    Nothing to do with no copy saves.
    Nothing to do with VC, or WiiWare.
    It wont write to the NAND more if done this way.
    It wont take longer to load games, although it may take a few milliseconds saving and loading the save.

    The other ideas of things like.....

    Copy save to wii on game load.
    Patch menu.
    Copy all app.

    Are all "fall backs" and NOT what us Wii users really want, but would be better than what we have now.

    I've been told this IS possible from a couple of highly respected coders, that don't want involved because they feel it would take a HUGE amount of work and testing, but tbh it is sooooooooo beyond me to do it. However I could keep building on this idea, and asking the right people (sorry for the unsolicited pm's... you know who you are [​IMG] ).

    Now what is the point in this topic you might think if it is sooooo impossible, well there maybe some code already out there that can help.
    Also if we don't start to discuss it, and get interest then the group of coders that can manage this will find it harder to get together on it. A lot of coders out there actually look to see what's in demand before beginning a new project. If a lot of people are posting in here and saying great idea and offering ideas, it is more likely to become a reality eventually.

    N64Wii saves to the Wii, waninkoko has made some apps that copy saves to SD, although these things wont really fit the needs here some people might by chance stumble upon a good idea, and when a really talented coder starts on something like this (hopefully soon) we will have a lot of the thinking out of the way.

    So I'm not saying the number 1 idea is the best and hence appreciate the "fall back" ideas, so do keep new ideas posted, you never know matbe someone here will attempt this through a system menu patch or maybe even alter some code already available to make a copy all app, and I suppose this could do us in the meantime.
     
  14. mikeyt1998

    Member mikeyt1998 YouTube Glitcher

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    like i said above, if you are constantly copying and removing things from the NAND iit'll wear ou fast. and if you copy and remove a save from the NAND everytime you launch a game, you have 100000 game launches and then bang, gone! not to mention the amount of wads and cIOS etc that you may be adding to the NAND constantly...

    the best idea is to plain and simple, load and save direct to SD. not copy anything to anywhere. IMO, thats a great idea, i wouldnt mind that myself [​IMG]



    QUESTION: when you load a game from the SD Menu is that doing anything in the NAND? i dont see why it needs to but it might... i load all my HDD games through channels saved on the SD card so that worried me a bit when i thought about it then lol.

    same about the disc channel, does that write anything to NAND when loaded? coz it leaves you a message saying how long you played the game and what you played in the message board so it also might...
     
  15. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    Yes it also writes to the NAND, but not very much.

    The NAND in a Wii will take years and years of reading and writing to wear out, so don't worry too much about it m8 [​IMG]
    The main reason why the saves idea is best to avoid the NAND however is nothing to do with wear and tear, and more of convenience.
     
  16. mikeyt1998

    Member mikeyt1998 YouTube Glitcher

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    wellll, i should really read thoroughly [​IMG] sorry about that!

    also, the HDD channels i've got are only like just < or > than 9 blocks, so it's not doing that much. if it's on the actual wii menu though, then it would be even less damaging right? about as much as the disc channel probs.
    i realise i'm taking this too far, and even if you say 'yeah it'll last longer that way' i'll still use the SD Menu, but i'd like my wii to be usable in 15 years like my sega megadrive and master system [​IMG]

    EDIT: are you sure it copies the games to the NAND EVERY time? if so it does a very fast job of it XD
     
  17. Adr990

    Member Adr990 To boldly go where no man has gone before!

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    Yes, the 4.0 SD Card Menu first copies the Channel to your NAND and than Plays it.

    About the 100.000 write thing:
    I've been worry about that for some time...

    But we really shouldn't:

    If we make like 17 writes a day.
    There are 365 Days in one year.

    365:17 = 21,471 (21,470588235294117647058823529412)

    (1:17= 0,059 (0,058823529411764705882352941176471) x 365 = 21,471 (21,470588235294117647058823529412) )

    This means, we use like 21,471 writes a year if we have 17 Writes a day.

    100.000 - 21,471 = 78,529
    That means we can continue having 17 writes A DAY for a little less than 5 years.

    Of course, we don't make 17 writes A day.

    17 Writes is even pretty much.
    Sure if you gonna make that much every day....

    But even than. We have BootMii and our Old NAND Dump. And restore it on a other NAND (Or new Wii with NAND. [​IMG] ) And we blast off again.


    [​IMG]
     
  18. mikeyt1998

    Member mikeyt1998 YouTube Glitcher

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    oh yeah, never thought of it that way XD

    i was actually thinking, the backup of the NAND you get using bootmii, if you replace a nand with 99,999 writes with the backup, would the NAND be none worn out again? XD

    i realise that NAND is a hardware so thats probably not how it works. but i guess we could just install the old Wiis NAND on a new one and start off where from we once were [​IMG]

    including all backup ability! BOOTMII FTW!!!

    EDIT: FLAW!! with your plan. bootmii = no go on new wiis! [​IMG] (for now [​IMG]) just under 5 years to fix that one though eh? ha ha
     
  19. Slimmmmmm
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    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    mikeyt1998 The NAND is hardware and when people say it will wear out, your idea to copy anything on to it wont work, EG it will be broken then

    Also you can't copy one NAND to another Wii they are tied by certain things, and that is nothing to do with this topic, so I wont elaborate, but it would be a very hard thing to do, if not impossible for most people.
    ###################


    Now back on topic [​IMG]

    So it seems I have a half backed plan cooking, well actually two. I'll be sure to post if my couple of tests I'm gonna run are anything noteworthy. [​IMG]

    If not, then I'm gpnna go down the modifying of sys files, which I/We dont like as much.
     
  20. Adr990

    Member Adr990 To boldly go where no man has gone before!

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    It is possible Slimmmmmm,

    Someone on a IRC Chat on Efnet told me this after a little discussion about things... and bootmii.

    He had a Nand Backup of his Wii with BootMii IOS.

    His friend had BootMii IOS and Boot2.

    He stored his NAND successfully on his friends Wii!
    His friends Wii now had the same Wii friend code etc..

    Only, his Boot2 BootMii was now lost [​IMG] Because the Nand Dump had no Boot2 BootMii only BootMii IOS.
    He just reinstalled the BootMii Boot2 on his friends Wii... there ya go..

    After that he just Dumped his friends one Back I believe..

    Anyways, what does that mean! [​IMG]
    (Else I indeed did know a bout Keys etc.. but by this I know it just will work [​IMG] )
     
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