The *Smallest* Way To Store Wii Games?

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by W hat, Apr 6, 2010.

Apr 6, 2010
  1. W hat
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    Member W hat Rhythm Heaven Fan

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    I was wondering about the absolute best way to store Wii backups (digitally) that still allows them to be playable on a Wii. The two best options I can think of are WDF and decrypted discs, but I have not done enough research for either to determine how feasible storing a full collection in each of them.

    For this challenge, let's use two sets of games:

    Set 1
    Wii Play v1.0 (NTSC-U)

    Set 2
    Wii Play v1.0 (NTSC-U)
    Wii Play v1.0 (NTSC-J)
    Wii Play v1.0 (PAL)

    If you have other games you want to test with different methods, go ahead.

    My theory is that for individual games, WDF is the best choice. But if you have duplicates across regions, perhaps some form of decryption can be used to share, for example, the sound and character models that don't change across regions. Can decrypted dumps ever go back into Wii ISOs? Or are they forever destined to a life of SNEEK? Is there a decrypted disc dumper out yet? How can I get one?

    I can get Wii Play v1.0 (USA) down to 93.8 MB (98,418,644 bytes) with WDF.
     
  2. giantpune

    Member giantpune GBAtemp Addict

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    it really depends on what you want to have. if you want a perfect 1:1 copy of what you get when you dump a game, then you can't even scrub the garbage data. because then its not 1:1. if you want to be able to reproduce the full 1:1 then you must keep a patch or diff file with the garbage data in it. that diff file takes up space on your hdd, so you really dont save space that way.

    if you dont care about a perfect 1:1 with all the garbage data, you can toss all that stuff out. but you still have other partitions to worry about. do you want to keep update partitions? or the channel installers? or the VC partitions? again, you can strip these out of the ISO and store them somewhere else. But if you store them somewhere else, you don't save space, you just keep it in 2 different places.

    Then there is more unused space. Within the game partition, there are thousands of files with lots of unused space between them. The "trim" button in wiiscrubber gets rid of some of this, but I've seen ~0.5GB remaining in the partition between the fst and the first file in the fst. Also, sizes must be rounded up to the next multiple of 4.

    So, if you dump every file, you can get rid of all that space between them. From there, you can even delete certain files that will never be used. Look at the dummy.dat files in SSBB. They are both 190+ MB of 0s. I doubt that they are needed for the game to play. But I've not seen a way to differentiate these files from the needed ones without checking them 1 by 1.

    Once you have all these extracted files, it is possible to play the games like this. And putting a game together from this is also possible. There is the partitionbuilder from wiiscrubber. I'm not sure if it supports building at using the TMD and ticket and stuff or if you need to keep them all as the 0x20000 byte chunk. But it is possible to build the 0x20000 byte block from these files even if the software hasn't been written to do it yet.

    When you do put the files back together with the partition builder, there is a very good chance that they will not go in in the same order as they originally were, so the chances of making a 1:1 copy are really small. Then you can add back in other partitions like update and channel installers. So, you can create a ISO from extracted files but it will never ever be able to be a 1:1 copy again.
     
  3. BBking83

    Member BBking83 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I'm not sure if you want to be able to play them off the HDD from a loader, but... Here's what I do.

    I have WBFS and NTFS HDDs. You can right click on the NTFS drive and select Compress drive to save disk space and you can get something like this:
    [​IMG]

    The ISO's will still be 4.7GB (352GB/75 files = 4.69), can be scrubbed (only takes up 170GB instead of 352GB) and can still be burnt to DVD.

    But, I'm not sure if that's what you want. I haven't heard of WDF.

    Also, some USB Loaders support NTFS.
     
  4. Dialexio

    Member Dialexio GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    USB loaders with NTFS support don't support file compression. They do support sparse files (garbage data will not be saved), however.
     
  5. BBking83

    Member BBking83 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Yeah, I thought that was going to be the case. But I couldn't tell if the OP wanted to use the same drive for USB Loading or to just store them so they can be burnt later.
     
  6. W hat
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    Member W hat Rhythm Heaven Fan

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    Some clarification on what I mean. Right now I use a WBFS drive for Wii, with a NTFS drive in my PC that has some Wii games on it.
    Update partitions don't matter, the few games they do matter for can be excluded from whatever system I use.
    I already have a system for actual USB loading, but if the savings are significant and the system is usable, maybe I would change.
    What systems are in place for playing a decrypted Wii game? SNEEK and rebuilding with WiiScrubber?
    How can I dump decrypted Wii games? Only by compiling SNEEK?

    Bonus points for using a system that can go back into a .wdf or .iso with no change. (sounds like rebuilding the ISO eliminates this option)
     
  7. BBking83

    Member BBking83 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Still confused, but hey... I don't really know what a decrypted game is. Do you mean compressed?

    What I do is, back up the games onto WBFS with a USB Loader. Most loaders have the (add/don't add) the update partition, if that's what you want. Then transfer that ISO onto the compressed NTFS drive with WBFS Manager. They'll also already be scrubbed that way.

    The ISO's can be burnt to DVD if wanted. Also, just folders can be set as Compress drive to save disk space, the whole drive doesn't have to be.

    This way it doesn't need converting to/from .wdf and stay's in ISO.
     
  8. W hat
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    Member W hat Rhythm Heaven Fan

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    This might be too in-depth / crazy for your tastes. USB loader drives (WBFS or the NTFS like you have) already save tons of space by scrubbing garbage data and removing updates. We're talking about going even further and taking the very small ISOs and making them smaller with compression algorithms or innovative storage of the individual files in a Wii disc.

    (Endless Ocean, for example, has /bgm/, GAME.DAT, INFO.DAT, etc. Compressing those individual files could make games even smaller.)
     
  9. giantpune

    Member giantpune GBAtemp Addict

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    you can go from a bunch of extracted files to a wdf if you want. you will just have to create a ISO first. when you go from all the extracted files to any format that has all the game contents in 1 file, you will end up with all the wasted space between files again. unless you change all the offsets in the boot.bin and fst.bin. by changing those offsets, you can shift all the files toward the start of the ISO and minimize the space between them.
     
  10. BBking83

    Member BBking83 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Okay, so your talking about trimming files within the ISO. I see.

    Although that's getting the smallest possible size, aren't you talking about saving MBs? Anyway, appologies. I thought my idea would save heaps of space. [​IMG]

    170GB compared to 352GB is pretty good if you ask me. [​IMG]
     
  11. Skiller

    Member Skiller GBAtemp Regular

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    the NTFS Compression thing is the best if your wanting to Store them on your PC and be able to Copy them or do what u want with them with out having to extract them all the time..

    since it alows u to still have the ISO on the PC and everything is compressed (background) u can open/mod/change.

    so u could convert it to what ever format u needed for your loader and it take not time at all since it does not need to Decompress it and place the file there..
    so if your looking for the Way to do everything like add/Edit/Convert then above is what u need
     
  12. W hat
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    Member W hat Rhythm Heaven Fan

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    Giantpune, you are a beacon of light shining through the darkness of GBAtemp. You really know a lot about random Wii stuff.

    I already have a Wii USB drive. I have no plans of changing. This is not about WBFS and minor scrubbing. That saves a shitload of space. I want to save 1.12 shitloads of space for every Wii game stored on my computer, without losing major functionality. Or if that comparison doesn't work, this is an academic discussion about the 'what ifs' of Wii games.

    It doesn't have to be wdf. I don't even use the 2 apps that support them that much. ISO is much more often used, so I don't mind using it that much.
     
  13. 9th_Sage

    Member 9th_Sage GBAtemp Maniac

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    I'm sure you could 7zip a WBFS file. As I understand it, that wouldn't be that different from just archiving the raw files extracted from the disk. Obviously you would have to unzip it before using it though.
     

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