Mini-guide on removing virtual CD partitions

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by adambomb, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. adambomb

    adambomb Advanced Member

    Jan 30, 2008
    United States
    Hello. As some of you may know, certain hard drives are simply incompatible with Wii homebrew due to the fact that they contain an extra Virtual CD drive. Not all drives have this, but they can be quite a pain to remove. I spent about a week researching methods of removal, and the fact is there is none outside of using company made tools. (inb4 use linux to format the drive)
    So I thought I'd try and put some information together on how to remove these virtual cd partitions to make your external hdd/thumb drive become compatible with your Wii.

    First up is Toshiba's external hard drive line, the one to which my formerly non-wii compatible drive belongs. It was a ph3100u-1exb, and I believe models PH3064U-1EXB, PH3100U-1EXBC and PH3200U-1EXB are all equally incompatible with usb loaders out of the box. This has something to do with the USB loader seeing the virtual cd pop up, freaking out, and then giving you a nice little exception ISI stack dump screen. It could be that the usb loaders don't support the CDFS format, or maybe just the hardware for the virtual cd causes things to break, but whatever it is, the virtual CD drive needs to go.
    So if you now would please go to Toshiba's support site > Support Bulletins > The Desktop External Hard Drive Powers Off and is No Longer Recognized by the Computer > You will see a section about a drive converter. Please read carefully, this will format your drive. The only experience I've had with this tool is a little odd. It failed to flash the firmware but it did remove the virtual cd and now the drive works with usb loaders.
    The direct download link for the drive conversion tool is here.
    For other conversion tools for other Toshiba drives (YMMV I have no idea what model these are for, none worked for me), check out:
    Drive tool 1
    Drive tool 2
    Drive tool 3
    More Tools

    I think that covers the Toshiba side of everything. If you still can't get rid of that damn partition, let me know and I'll try to double check my resources.

    Onto miscellaneous hard drives:

    U3 is a pretty simple one. I was using a U3 drive for a while without any problems, but you may want to remove it anyways. Here ya go: For windows
    and Mac
    I think that effects mostly just the Sandisk cruzer types, but that may work for others as well.

    For Western Digital Drives:
    Check here, read things I'll let you guys figure that one out.

    Now, that about covers just what I've run across. IOSys over at hak5 forums created a list of production tools designed to remove other cd partitions off different thumb drives. I can't vouch for any of them, as most of them are in a foreign language. However he has helped many people find the right software to get rid of the virtual cd drives. Check out these posts:

    Collection of Production Tools for USB-devices
    Remove/Replace non-U3 CD Partition from USB drive
    (If mods request I can remove the links to the forums and just give some direct links to the removal tools, but I wouldn't say I'm qualified to help much with those tools.)

    Okay that about wraps it up.. if anyone wants to help me format this into a more cohesive mini-guide please let me know and I will edit this post and put it on here. Also, please ask if you have questions.