Tutorial How to use a larger than 2TB Hard Drive on a Wii as a Single FAT32 Partition

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Hi, your best bet is to get a Western Digital drive as I can not speak to other manufacturers drives working with this method.

It may not work on the Seagate drive. You'll would need to make sure the Seagate drive has been formatted as an MBR partition and not GPT. If your drive is GPT you'll need to find a Seagate program that will convert it to an MBR partition, see step #2. I do not use Seagate drives so I'm not sure what program will help with this conversion. The program I have linked to in step #2b will only work with Western Digital drives, not your Seagate, because it is made by and meant for Western Digital drives and auto recognizes what is attached. If it is not Western Digital it will not recognize the drive to make the conversion.

To have the full 4TB as FAT32 use one of the programs listed in step #3. Select 32k sector size before formatting. Once again, if the drive is not an MBR partition this step will not matter because the drive will not work on the Wii.
Hi, your best bet is to get a Western Digital drive as I can not speak to other manufacturers drives working with this method.

It may not work on the Seagate drive. You'll would need to make sure the Seagate drive has been formatted as an MBR partition and not GPT. If your drive is GPT you'll need to find a Seagate program that will convert it to an MBR partition, see step #2. I do not use Seagate drives so I'm not sure what program will help with this conversion. The program I have linked to in step #2b will only work with Western Digital drives, not your Seagate, because it is made by and meant for Western Digital drives and auto recognizes what is attached. If it is not Western Digital it will not recognize the drive to make the conversion.

To have the full 4TB as FAT32 use one of the programs listed in step #3. Select 32k sector size before formatting. Once again, if the drive is not an MBR partition this step will not matter because the drive will not work on the Wii.
 
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ca032769

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I think
i should buy

Western Digital 4TB My Passport Portable Hard Drive USB 3.0 - Black​

It will work on wii

Yes the WD Passports work great. I'm using 4TB & 5TB passports right now.

If you want ALL the Wii and GameCube games to fit on the drive then I would go with the 5TB. Otherwise a 4TB will work if you do not have all of the games or you can do what I did and skip the singing and karaoke titles to make everything else fit onto a 4TB drive.
 
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*The Issue: [SOLVED] How can I use a larger than 2TB GTP Hard Drive on a Wii as one single MBR FAT32 partition? [SOLVED]


***
Make sure to see the potential issues with EmuNAND noted below ***


This is a twice boiled down version of a couple previous posts from several years ago. This question comes up from time to time and rather than constantly referring people to my 5 year old post that I have to hunt down and that is a bit convoluted talking about various drive sizes and processes, I thought maybe it would be better as an original tutorial that is more to the point and easier to find. One of those previous posts from 2016 can be found here: http://gbatemp.net/threads/usb-loader-gx.149922/page-1129#post-6662953

Here in this revision I focus mainly on using 5TB Western Digital drives because all NTSC Wii, NTSC GameCube & non-NTSC PAL/JAP titles will fit. You would be best to read through everything a couple times to understand the process before proceeding with the steps. While there are other tools and processes others may have come up with, the following is the process I have used myself many, many, many times over. Feel free to seek out other alternatives as you see fit.


My Wii:

Original Nintendo Wii (not a Wii U), however I did have a report that it works for the Wii U as well. While I do have a couple Wii U's, I'm lazy and have yet to finish modding them to try it myself.


What I Recommend:

I recommend Western Digital drives because there is WD software that indirectly converts the GPT drive partition to MBR. It has been found that most other drive manufactures do not work because they do not offer this ability, so my recommendation is to stick with using a Western Digital drive. This method has always worked for me on drive sizes of 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB & 10TB. I found there was no need to continue on with trying my 12TB & 18TB drives.

5TB is the sweet spot, but any size 3TB+ Western Digital drive should work. I have personally used MyBooks, Passports, and the P10 Game Drive. Others have told me their Essentials drive also worked. I will include additional information as needed for the different drive sizes I've used, but for me the sweet spot is the 5TB because it will hold all NTSC Wii, NTSC GameCube titles, PAL and Japanese titles that did not have a NTSC counterpart, and those that have various versions released.

I do NOT use EmuNAND off the HDD because it has always been installed to my 256GB SDXC card. There is a report that EmuNAND will NOT work on a 5TB+ HDD using this method. For more information in this issue see the "Potential Issues" area below.

Recommended External Drive (one of the following drives and a Y-cable):
or
These drives will most likely work with the regular cable, but you never know if your ports are weak on power, so for a few bucks it’s always nice to have a Y-cable on hand in case it is needed:


Potential Issues:
  1. EmuNAND - It has been reported by a user that EmuNAND does NOT work with this method using 64k or 256k cluster size. This would be a problem if you are trying to have EVERYTHING work off just the HDD and do NOT want to use an SD card. At the moment the only choices seem to be:
A) Use EmuNAND off an SD card large enough for your needs​
B) Use a 4TB or smaller HDD formatted with the 32k cluster size​


The Basic Steps (using a Western Digital Hard Drive):
  1. Merge all items on WD HDD into 1 partition
  2. Converting the GPT partition to a MBR partition
  3. Select the proper cluster size and format the entire drive as FAT32
  4. Optional - Set drive to as ACTIVE & PRIMARY
  5. Some of my programs and setting in use
  6. Links to Wii items I feel helpful
  7. Thanks to those over the years who have helped me with this quest
  8. Miscellaneous pictures


The More Detailed Steps:

1 -
Using EaseUS Partition Master check the drive:
-It is very important you merge any other partitions showing such as unallocated, hidden, marked with an ASTERIX, or ??
-Picture below shows what I am talking about on Drive C, all of these need to be merged
-Merge any and all into the main partition, you want just one partition showing and nothing else at all
-Link to free version of EaseUS Partition Master: http://www.easeus.com/partition-manager/epm-free.html
View attachment 281942


2a -
Change the GPT drive partition to a MBR partition if your drive is 2TB or less:
-You can use the PAID version of EaseUS Partition Master
-My free version did not have this option but my paid version does since v12 and up
-Changing the WD drives partition above 2TB will not work using this method, it has the 2TB conversion limit, so go to step 2b
-If you find more recent versions offer more functionality please let me know and I will update this post
View attachment 281944

2b - Change the GPT drive partition to a MBR partition if your drive is larger than 2TB) using WD Quick Format:
-Note: This most likely will not work on a hard drive that's not made by Western Digital, it scans for compatible drives automatically.
-If using another manufacturer you will have to search to see if they make tools for something similar
-WD Quick Format Link: https://support-en.wd.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16241
-Used to convert a larger than 2TB HDD to be Windows XP compatible
-When asked select XP mode
-Important: In doing this conversion it formats the drive to one single NTFS partition and changes the partition table from GPT to MBR
-I'm on Windows 10, maybe it makes a difference what OS you are on when you run it
-Using this on my 4TB Passport & 5TB P-10 Black Game Drives I received an error about no recognizable file system on the drive, just click ok and let the format finish
-This process can take several minutes but it did finish so give it time
View attachment 281945 View attachment 281946 View attachment 281947


3-Use FAT32 GUI Formatter to format the drive to FAT32:
-Original links seem to be working again (http://ridgecrop.co.uk)
-32-bit Link: http://ridgecrop.co.uk/index.htm?guiformat.htm
-64-bit Link: http://ridgecrop.co.uk/guiformat-x64.Exe

Cluster size will depend on the size of drive you are using. If you use a different cluster size the entire drive may not be accessible and I would recommend reformatting using my recommendations below:
  • 4TB and smaller drive: Select 32k clusters (Allocation Unit Size: 32768)
  • 5TB to 8TB drive: Select 64k clusters (Allocation Unit Size: 65536)
  • 10TB drive: 256k clusters (Allocation Unit Size: ????)
View attachment 281951 View attachment 281952 View attachment 281953


4 – (Optional) Using EaseUS Partition Master set the drive as ACTIVE & PRIMARY:
-Some say this is not needed, but I always set my drives as ACTIVE & PRIMARY
-Worse case this has no effect so I still do it anyways
View attachment 281954 View attachment 281956


5 - Some of my programs and setting in use:
-My Wii: NTSC Wii (original Wii, not Wii U)

-Version #'s currently in use updated: 2019-05-21
-**My versions in use shown probably need to be updated
-CFG USB Loader v71beta51t3
-USB Loader GX v3.0rev1271
-WiiFlow Lite v5.3.0beta6
-Nintendont v5.486MMMOD
-All loaders set to use IOS249[57] D2X v8-final
-IOS249[base57]
-IOS250[base56]
-IOS251[base58]


6 - Links to Wii items I feel helpful:
-My Wii’s Modded with ModMii, Link: http://gbatemp.net/threads/modmii-for-windows-official-support-topic.207126/
-CFG USB Loader Link: https://gbatemp.net/threads/configurable-usb-loader.147638/
-USB Loader GX Link: http://gbatemp.net/threads/usb-loader-gx.149922/
-WiiFlow Lite Link: https://gbatemp.net/threads/wiiflow-lite.422685/
-Nintendont Link: http://gbatemp.net/threads/nintendont.349258/


7 - Thanks @element6, @GreyWolf, @Elliander, @XFlak & many others I probably have missed for help getting to this point


8 - Miscellaneous pictures: Yes I have about 32 Wii's just for myself (4 of each type plus my test Wiis) and over 210TB in external hard drive space I'm constantly fiddling with. It would seem that my OCD has ADD making me obsessively collect randomly.
View attachment 281962 View attachment 281958 View attachment 281992 View attachment 281959 View attachment 281960 View attachment 281961
Thank you very,very much.💖💖💖💖💖💖💖👌
 
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It was an hard One,but finally,with this awesome Tutorial I did it too.

- 3 TB WD Elements HDD
- 1 MBR Partition formatted with FAT32

Ohne Titel-1.jpg Ohne Titel-2.jpg


The "Solution" was........the WD Quick Format Tool and the "XP" Option.
And the x64 Version from the FAT32 guiformat Tool.

With that Tools it was a successful Operation after 5 Days of "frustrating TRY and ERROR"...

So,thank you again for this Tutorial.💖❤️👌
 

ca032769

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It was an hard One,but finally,with this awesome Tutorial I did it too.

- 3 TB WD Elements HDD
- 1 MBR Partition formatted with FAT32

View attachment 300680 View attachment 300681


The "Solution" was........the WD Quick Format Tool and the "XP" Option.
And the x64 Version from the FAT32 guiformat Tool.

With that Tools it was a successful Operation after 5 Days of "frustrating TRY and ERROR"...

So,thank you again for this Tutorial.💖❤️👌

You're very welcome.
 

r6velocity

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As of 5/31/2022, it appears that the 5TB WD My Passport (WXB2DB1PJUHC) does not support changing the block size. I attempted to use method 2c to convert mine, fresh from Amazon, from GTP to MBR. When I used the WD Quick Formatter and selected "XP Mode", I got the following error. "The version of firmware on your drive does not support changing the block size on your external drive."

WD External Drive Does not Support Block Size Change.png


For now I've created a 2TB FAT32 partition for the stuff that needs it, and a 2.5TB NTFS partition for Wii disc images.
I'm running hombrew applications from a 32GB SDHC formatted FAT32.

Has anyone else had that particular error?
 
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ca032769

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As of 5/31/2022, it appears that the 5TB WD My Passport (WXB2DB1PJUHC) does not support changing the block size. I attempted to use method 2c to convert mine, fresh from Amazon, from GTP to MBR. When I used the WD Quick Formatter and selected "XP Mode", I got the following error. "The version of firmware on your drive does not support changing the block size on your external drive."

View attachment 312192

For now I've created a 2TB FAT32 partition for the stuff that needs it, and a 2.5TB NTFS partition for Wii disc images.
I'm running homebrew applications from a 32GB SDHC formatted FAT32.

Has anyone else had that particular error?
Interesting.

It's been a while since I've purchased any passports and looking back at them they go back to 2020 including both the old and new case version of the passport. I tried searching for that drive model # and it's not coming up on Amazon for me.
 

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Interesting.

It's been a while since I've purchased any passports and looking back at them they go back to 2020 including both the old and new case version of the passport. I tried searching for that drive model # and it's not coming up on Amazon for me.
Ahh... That would be because I mistakenly copied down the serial number, not the part number.
Correct part number: WDBPKJ0050BBK-0D
It looks to be the same as referenced in the original post.

I searched around in a cursory fashion for a firmware backdate but came up empty.
I also searched for the exact error message and didn't find anything relevant as to a workaround.
 

ca032769

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Ahh... That would be because I mistakenly copied down the serial number, not the part number.
Correct part number: WDBPKJ0050BBK-0D
It looks to be the same as referenced in the original post.

I searched around in a cursory fashion for a firmware backdate but came up empty.
I also searched for the exact error message and didn't find anything relevant as to a workaround.
I'll check my new version Passport that matches this and see if I can find out the firmware version on it.
 

rancedl

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I need to get a new hdd. I can pick up a slightly used WD_BLACK 5TB P10 for $70, which the tutorial recommends. But I was wondering if this is overkill for a wii. Will I get better performance with this than a cheaper WD drive?
 
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godreborn

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I need to get a new hdd. I can pick up a slightly used WD_BLACK 5TB P10 for $70, which the tutorial recommends. But I was wondering if this is overkill for a wii. Will I get better performance with this than a cheaper WD drive?
probably overkill, but that is a damn nice drive. I actually have three of them.
 
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rancedl

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Thanks. I'm a cheapskate, but I like quality, so I guess I'll pick it up. I do have a lot of games, but not that many.
 

ca032769

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As of 5/31/2022, it appears that the 5TB WD My Passport (WXB2DB1PJUHC) does not support changing the block size. I attempted to use method 2c to convert mine, fresh from Amazon, from GTP to MBR. When I used the WD Quick Formatter and selected "XP Mode", I got the following error. "The version of firmware on your drive does not support changing the block size on your external drive."

View attachment 312192

For now I've created a 2TB FAT32 partition for the stuff that needs it, and a 2.5TB NTFS partition for Wii disc images.
I'm running homebrew applications from a 32GB SDHC formatted FAT32.
Has anyone else h

Thanks for the effort!

Ok, I don't have any of the newer 5TB My Passport versions around any more, my last one must have gone with one of the systems I'd set up quite a while ago.

The only newer My Passport version I still have (like in the link) is a Blue 4TB, they didn't make a 5TB of the Blue, so to closely match my Blue Wii I just used the 4TB Blue version.

Here is my WD 4TB Blue My Passport information I can provide. Found by Command-line method:
A) Open an administrator command prompt by Clicking Start.
B) In the Start Search box, type cmd, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
C) If the User Account Control dialog box appears, confirm that the action it displays is what you want.
D) In the command window, type the following command: wmic diskdrive get caption, firmwarerevision
E) The model drive is listed under the Caption column & the firmware version is listed under the FirmwareRevision column.
-Drive: WD My Passport 267 USB Device
-Firmware Revision: 4008


Also I just downloaded the current version of WD Quick Drive Formatter and it's v2.0.0.65, the version on my laptop is v1.2.0.10. Both versions recognize my WD 4TB Blue My Passport so the formatter software version doesn't seem to be an issue here.

EDIT: I've also updated the OP to indicate current WD firmware as a potential problem.
 
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