Resetting a hacked Wii U to factory settings


New Member
Dec 10, 2022
United States
I strongly suspect that I may have screwed myself and locked out access to the system, but if anyone knows what I might try next, I'll gladly give it a shot.
I came across a used Wii U a few weeks back and picked it up with the intention of exploring the homebrew/hacking potential of it. That part wasn't too tough, and eventually I got to the point where it was doing just about anything I could have wanted. But it still had the original user accounts and even linked Nintendo IDs, so I decided that I wanted to wipe it clean and start fresh.
The problem is that I didn't realize the factory reset would clear the connection to the gamepad, but not restore the bootloader. So when the console rebooted, it goes to the Wii U/Homebrew Launcher/vWii menu, and I haven't got the gamepad sync'd up so I can't actually choose one to proceed. My mistake, I know. I should have read up on un-hacking it first.
So now my question is, can I run through the sync process when the console is on that screen? I haven't ever run through the sync process normally so I don't know what it's supposed to look like on the TV side, but I hear you press the sync button twice on the console, once on the pad, and then just start making your way through the 256 character combinations one at a time until you hit paydirt. But if I'm stuck on the bootloader menu, is that sync process even happening on the console? Does the pattern change every time I reboot, so that I'd need to do all 256 in a single session?
Or is the console bricked and is any recovery attempt futile now?
Post automatically merged:

Through a bit of googling, turns out all I had to do was eject the SD card to get back to the true stock experience. That saved a few hours. I feel both a bit smarter AND a bit dumber after today.
Last edited by TheBigHairy,
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