Hardware The best option for Wii HDD in 2021..

mikefor20

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Hi everyone. I know this has been discussed but I can't find any recent information. Whats the biggest and best HDD for the Wii? I think nintendont has a 2TB limit... Is there a limit on the Wii? Can we partition the drive and have a whole 4TB drive. I have a 5TB 3.0 USB drive coming. Can I utilize it and have the entire Wii library and Gamecube library?

What do you use? Please leave as much information as possible. Model, size, brand, how many partitions, MBR/GPT? etc etc..

Thanks for the time. I appreciate it.
 

ber71

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You should look for drives with 4k logical sector size, as only these allow for huge > 2TB fat32 MBR partitions.
WD drives usually come with 512bytes sectors but offer the option to be configured for 4K logical sectors.
Every Seagate drive I've seen uses only 512 bytes logical sectors, so all space beyond 2TB is wasted.
 
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ber71

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WD mypassport 4TB USB, with Y power cable. Just one large fat32 partition, holding both a large wii romset (2.3TB) and a gamecube romset (500GB). It's a quite common unit in the console world.
 

ber71

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Good, you're lucky.
First, you need to configure it for 4k sectors. It's a destructive process as it erases everything on the hd. There is an official WD utility for this but I don't remember its name, it allows configuring 'for windows xp' = 4k sectors.
Then, create a large fat32 partition, almost 4TB but not larger, so you can use a 32k cluster size, not 64k cluster size.
If you use windows, you'll need a third party partition manager as windows wont allow creating a fat32 volume this size.
Create another partition for the remaining space, for other uses so you don't waste it.
 
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mikefor20

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Do you think that you could point me to the proper software to accomplish this? Or at least give me some Search terms. I have 12 more days to figure this out or I have to return it.
 

mikefor20

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Will the second partition be seen by the wii? I managed to have 2 partitions recognized before. Also does nintendont see the 4TB partition? I read 2TB was the limit for nintendont.
 

Tetsuo Shima

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You should look for drives with 4k logical sector size, as only these allow for huge > 2TB fat32 MBR partitions.
WD drives usually come with 512bytes sectors but offer the option to be configured for 4K logical sectors.
Every Seagate drive I've seen uses only 512 bytes logical sectors, so all space beyond 2TB is wasted.
There's one disavantage with 4k sectors that should be considered: you won't be able to launch neek2o-only games in emunand (N64 games, konami rebirth series and maybe a few other titles). I had this issue with a recent drive and tried to fix it with @Cyan help some time ago, but apparently there's no way around it.
Furthermore, I think 1 or 2 TB are more than enough for all Wii games and emulators, no real need to have 4 TB.
 
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mikefor20

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There's one disavantage with 4k sectors that should be considered: you won't be able to launch neek2o-only games in emunand (N64 games, konami rebirth series and maybe a few other titles). I had this issue with a recent drive and tried to fix it with @Cyan help some time ago, but apparently there's no way around it.
Furthermore, I think 1 or 2 TB are more than enough for all Wii games and emulators, no real need to have 4 TB.

2.7TB for wii and 500GB for Gamecube.. i do love some neek20... can i use a different sector size on a 5TB drive?
 

ber71

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Yes the wii will see it because with 4k sectors the wii can address it.
Nintendont and USB loaders do both work well past 2TB (up to 16TB) if, and only if, 4k sectors are being used.
Keeping the volume under 4TB is for cluster size, because 32k is the preferred cluster size for both nintendont and usbloadergx. You can format a single 5TB partition, but you'll need 64k clusters for that and, while most things will work, may hit some assorted problems.

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Just use the sdcard for WiiWare with a patched ios80, and a big USB HDD for wbfs and nintendont.
 
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mikefor20

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Can i make neek see the second smaller partition and use the smaller cluster only on that partition?

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Also a 16GB is the biggest SD i got workjng... any one got bigger sizes functioning?
 

ber71

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Sector size is not the same as cluster size.
Sector size is even for the entire disk, and you will want 4k sectors, believe me.
Cluster size is per-partition. 32k is the most compatible.
 
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Cyan

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Like said, by default the WD drive will have 512 bytes/sector (for old Windows compatibility not working with bigger sectors). It's emulating 512 bytes by caching the data and reading/writing to the proper location on the drive.
You need to run the WD utilities, find and switch the "emulation mode" (sometime also called 512e) to allow the drive to expose its real sector size to other devices and apps trying to read the drive.


If you need neek2o for some specific VC/Wiiware not working on sysNAND, and the 4k/sector is an issue, you can always use an SD card to put your NAND copy instead of USB.
There's not a lot of apps you'll need to put on neek, it should fit on an SD.

And if you are concerned about having all the games listed at the same time and don't want to switch emuNAND path manually every time, you can use a "dual emuNAND" advanced tweak.
have everything listed on the same place, but USBLoaderGX can launch the game from specific and different folders based on whether it's a VC/WW working fine on sysNAND (in that case it can be on USB), or if it requires neek (in that case it'll boot the one on SD using neek2o autoboot).
 
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mikefor20

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I appreciate all the input..


Like said, by default the WD drive will have 512 bytes/sector (for old Windows compatibility not working with bigger sectors). It's emulating 512 bytes by caching the data and reading/writing to the proper location on the drive.
You need to run the WD utilities, find and switch the "emulation mode" (sometime also called 512e) to allow the drive to expose its real sector size to other devices and apps trying to read the drive.


If you need neek2o for some specific VC/Wiiware not working on sysNAND, and the 4k/sector is an issue, you can always use an SD card to put your NAND copy instead of USB.
There's not a lot of apps you'll need to put on neek, it should fit on an SD.

And if you are concerned about having all the games listed at the same time and don't want to switch emuNAND path manually every time, you can use a "dual emuNAND" advanced tweak.
have everything listed on the same place, but USBLoaderGX can launch the game from specific and different folders based on whether it's a VC/WW working fine on sysNAND (in that case it can be on USB), or if it requires neek (in that case it'll boot the one on SD using neek2o autoboot).

So most Wiiware loads off of USB? From within a nand file or just the WAD files themselves? I am a bit confused on this. How? I am very familiar with (U)NEEK2o.. Which titles need Neek these days? is there a chart or list?

I have an 8GB SD card and a 16GB.. BootMii only sees the 8GB one for some reason.. Any Idea how to get it to see the 16GB one? I use panasonic SD formatter for the SD cards. I know that if Bootmii can't see it neither can Neek2o

Whats the Dual EmuNAND advanced tweak? I know I can have multiple EmuNANDs.. Is that what you meant?

I have a whole rockband setup. I used rawkSD and a couple other things and managed to rip the songs and tabs out of all the guitar hero games, I then downloaded all the DLC for rockband and guitar hero and I injected them in to a nand dump. It came out huge. I got Rockband 2 I think it was to see them all.. man I loved that. I haven't tried to use it in like 8 years. Maybe ill just get a second HDD for that.

This is fun going through memory lane and seein all the progress that has been made since. Thanks again you all for helping me figure this out.
 

Cyan

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I am very familiar with (U)NEEK2o.. Which titles need Neek these days?
when I say "neek" I'm speaking about the neek environment (both neek AND neek2o, which is just neek v2.0, it's still neek)

Very few titles need neek(2o), because most other games are working fine from an "emuNAND".
it's like neek, you install the wad to that nand, but the loader boot the channels without launching neek or that emuNAND image. It just redirects the installed channel and savegame as if they were installed on real NAND.

I know that if Bootmii can't see it neither can Neek2o
are you sure ?
If it's because you need bootmii to boot into neek2o, then USBLoaderGX can boot it without bootmii.

is there a chart or list?
an outdated one.
probably missing titles, probably wrong entries not really needing neek.
https://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/Wii_cIOS_EmuNAND_Compatibility_List

Whats the Dual EmuNAND advanced tweak? I know I can have multiple EmuNANDs.. Is that what you meant?
you create 2 emuNAND,
on NAND1 you install ALL the games (the working one AND the non working one).
on NAND2 you install the non working game, which will be used by neek2o only.
set USBLoaderGX to display NAND1 path, so you see all your installed games.
for all the working games on nand1, use "emuNAND Full" mode, which will launch the games from sysNAND.
for the game not working with "full", set them to "neek" and change the path in the individual game settings (game > option > nand path).

The idea is to keep the "neek2o emuNAND" very small, with very few games, to increase its boot time. no need to install 400 games on this one, just the 20-30 problematic ones. install the 900+ working games on the other one which doesn't slow down at game launch.


Some users just install working games on nand1 and non working games on nand2, then they go to USBLoader's setting to change the currently displayed nand folder to keep a "small and fast booting" neek2o nand.
But if you use the trick to install the game twice and set a different path individually per game, you don't need to switch path in the loader's settings anymore and you get to see all your game at once.
 
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mikefor20

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Cool I took you post out of quotes to respond easier

when I say "neek" I'm speaking about the neek environment (both neek AND neek2o, which is just neek v2.0, it's still neek)

I am familiar I remember when crediar made it. It was Sneek, SD only. Then came UNEEK USB only then NEEK2o for ver 2.. I donated to crediar lol.


Very few titles need neek(2o), because most other games are working fine from an "emuNAND".
it's like neek, you install the wad to that nand, but the loader boot the channels without launching neek or that emuNAND image. It just redirects the installed channel and savegame as if they were installed on real NAND.

That is what I thought. Fix94 had the bones of that working last I was in the scene. I was very involved at the time..


are you sure ?
If it's because you need bootmii to boot into neek2o, then USBLoaderGX can boot it without bootmii.

Last I knew.. yes. I tried lots of methods BITD.. Bootmii to launch was the standard. I used some Neek stuff through wiiflow but that was young at the time..

an outdated one.
probably missing titles, probably wrong entries not really needing neek.
https://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/Wii_cIOS_EmuNAND_Compatibility_List

AhhI would love to see an updated list of just the ones that don't work so I can install them immediately..


you create 2 emuNAND,
on NAND1 you install ALL the games (the working one AND the non working one).
on NAND2 you install the non working game, which will be used by neek2o only.
set USBLoaderGX to display NAND1 path, so you see all your installed games.
for all the working games on nand1, use "emuNAND Full" mode, which will launch the games from sysNAND.
for the game not working with "full", set them to "neek" and change the path in the individual game settings (game > option > nand path).

Sweet. I understand..

The idea is to keep the "neek2o emuNAND" very small, with very few games, to increase its boot time. no need to install 400 games on this one, just the 20-30 problematic ones. install the 900+ working games on the other one which doesn't slow down at game launch.

Sounds easy enough


Some users just install working games on nand1 and non working games on nand2, then they go to USBLoader's setting to change the currently displayed nand folder to keep a "small and fast booting" neek2o nand.
But if you use the trick to install the game twice and set a different path individually per game, you don't need to switch path in the loader's settings anymore and you get to see all your game at once.

Nice tip. Probably worth the extra space. Hope can get all the Rockband DLC up and running again as well... couple thousand songs IIRC. All the guitar hero and rockband games songs in rockband 2. Just because that was the drum kit I had,,

Well I have a lot of work ahead of me. Looks like 16 hours until my old 1TB is copied over. I have a y-cable. I hope this all goes to plan. I'll let you know how it goes. push comes to shove I remove a chunk of games and migrate to the 2TB my PS4 has attached to it. Thanks again for all the information.

BTW.. I will make an updated list of all NEEK only games for the future readers. As soon as I can..


--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

Since you're the man.. any way to sync a wii remote WITHOUT the sync button on the console? it's physically missing on my old wii.(I have 2) I had to take off the face plate and short the contacts in the past..
 
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