USB Loader GX Problems

Discussion in 'Wii - Backup Loaders' started by drybones99, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I have been attempting to get a complete set of all Gamecube and all Wii games running off of a single 4TB Seagate hard drive on my Wii with USB Loader GX. Because Nintendont requires a FAT32-formatted drive for Gamecube games, I decided to create two partitions. Due to the 2TB partition size limit in Guiformat, and the fact that I have experienced issues in the past when creating a partition with a size too close to that limit, and the fact that all US Gamecube games only take up around 700GB, I created a 1TB FAT32 partition for Gamecube games. For Wii games, I used the rest of the space on the drive, around 3TB, to create an NTFS partition for use with USB Loader GX. After finally copying all games to the drive, the Gamecube games showed up fine and loaded, but the Wii games simply would not show up on the list, and I tried adjusting every possible setting in the USB Loader GX settings menu. I thought that the issue might have something to do with using an NTFS partition, so I conducted an experiment. I took another drive, a 2TB Seagate one, and created two 1TB FAT32 partitions, putting one random Wii and one random Gamecube game on each one. This time, USB Loader GX saw both Wii Games, but only one Gamecube game. I concluded that all Gamecube games must be kept on a single partition, but Wii games could be split among multiple partitions. So, I transferred all of the Wii games off of the drive, and I reformatted the NTFS portion of the drive into two FAT32 partitions, each around 1.5TB. I then copied, using Wii Backup Manager with the proper "split" settings applied so that games larger than 4GB would be properly split, and with each game having its own dedicated folder, half of the Wii games to one partition, and half to the other.

    In the end, I had one 1TB FAT32 partition with a complete set of all US Gamecube games and two 1.5TB FAT32 partitions, each with one half of the complete set of all US Wii games. My Gamecube set is around 700GB, and my Wii set is over 2TB. I made sure that each half of the Wii set was in a "wbfs" folder, and that the Gamecube set was in a "games" folder. The Wii games are formatted as .wbfs and the Gamecube games are formatted as .iso. After copying everything, instead of loading all of the games properly, USB Loader GX just freezes at this blank screen with the Wii home menu music playing in the background. I have attached an image of this, titled "IMG_0957.jpg." I tried deleting the USB Loader GX .cfg file, and upon relaunching it, was met with a different error, seen in "IMG_0959.jpg." Upon reloading a second time after deleting the .cfg, it loaded, but only to the blank screen seen before. At this blank screen, the Hard Drive seems to be running, with the activity light blinking every few seconds, and the drive is slightly warm. I also tried using CFG USB Loader, but it wouldn't even recognize a valid partition. I tried using Wiiflow, and it crashed with the error seen in "IMG_0958.jpg." My 4TB drive is the one available at this link:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CRGSR16/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    The 2TB drive that I was using in the earlier experiment can be found here:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CRG94G3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I have tried fiddling with a myriad of different settings, and I have ensured that I am running the newest version of Nintendont, USB Loader GX, and the required ios and cios versions. In fact, I mostly followed the tutorial seen here:



    The main difference is that I tried to use multiple partitions so that I could install way more games. USB Loader GX is supposed to support multiple partitions, and even NTFS, so I have no idea why it doesn't work. What can I do to resolve this issue?
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp allows me to be here

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    Hello.:)

    Seagate HDD Drives with more then 2 TB are known to work not correctly with USBLoader GX.
    http://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/USB_Devices_Compatibility_List

    I read a long Time ago a Post from @Cyan about using HDDs > 2TB with the USBLoader GX.
    I would try to find it,please have a little Patience.:)

    A little Explanations:
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/using-o...loadergx-via-neek-loader.525861/#post-8425340

    I remember he suggested to make Partitions SMALLER than 1 TB (900 GB) and format it with FAT32.For what I know the USBLoader GX supports 8 Partitions.
    Also I think it is better to use the HDD as MBR Drive and not as GPT (but that is maybe not so important but worth a try).

    Please be so kind also to search through the Wii Forum about this,there are many Threads about this.

    Thank you.:)
     
    Last edited by alexander1970, Oct 23, 2019
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  3. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I tried deleting the two Wii partitions, and replacing them with three equally-sized partitions, which I then transferred the Wii library to, with one third of the library being on each partition. The partitions are FAT32, and they are now all under 1TB. However, the Gamecube partition has remained unchanged, at exactly 1TB, or 1,024GB. I launched USB Loader GX, and it no longer crashed. Now, it showed the first third of the Wii library, in addition to the Gamecube games that I had on my SD card. I attempted to change the main Gamecube directory, and the program glitched out with corrupted graphics. I was forced to hard reset my Wii. Afterwards, I was able to launch the program, and I saw the entire library of Gamecube games in addition to the first third of the Wii library. I realized that "Multiple Partitions" was turned off in the USB Loader GX settings, so I attempted to turn that on. Once again, the program glitched out with corrupted graphics, and I was forced to hard reset. Unfortunately, upon restarting, "Multiple Partitions" was still turned off. As a last-ditch effort, I directly edited the USB Loader GX .cfg file and enabled "Multiple Partitions." Now, when I attempted to boot into USB Loader GX, I am met with the same eternal blank screen seen in the above image, "IMG_0957.jpg."

    It may be worth noting that my drive was formatted as a GPT drive. Unless anybody has alternative suggestions, I will next attempt to delete all partitions on the drive, reformat it as MBR, and create new partitions, this time with a smaller Gamecube partition, and possibly 4 Wii partitions. In other words, I will change the drive to MBR, and create 1 Gamecube partition, and 4 Wii partitions, with all 5 partitions being of equal size. I will also note that the standalone Nintendont still works properly, and WiiXplorer, a Wii file browser, only sees the Gamecube partition and the first two Wii ones. I can browse the Gamecube partition and the first Wii one, but the second WIi partition that it sees, when attempting to browse it, crashes the entire Wii with an error similar seen in the other two images I uploaded, those being the one not of the "eternal blank menu."

    If my next attempt fails, I may have to invest in a different drive. In that case, which drive would you suggest for use with the Wii, and how should I format it? Should I format it in the manner described directly above, or was my previous method sufficient? It needs to be around 4TB, and I need to be able to use the full 4TB. I have heard of a certain Western Digital drive that might work.
     
    Last edited by drybones99, Oct 24, 2019
  4. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    UPDATE: I attempted to change the drive to an MBR drive, and I discovered that the maximum amount of space I can use with MBR is only 2TB, or 2,048GB. Apparently my drive only has 512-byte sectors, and I as able to confirm that in Windows System Information. I will just have to go ahead with the plan described in the above post, but while keeping the drive as a GPT drive.
     
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  5. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp allows me to be here

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    Hello.:)

    Yes that is exactly the Problem with the Seagate HDD.
    You do not have this issue with the Western Digital Passport Drives.
    (Bigger than 2 TB).

    Thank you.:)
     
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  6. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I investigated further, and I determined that this drive actually does have 4,096-byte physical sectors, but still uses 512-byte logical sectors. Is there any way to change the logical sector size to 4,096 bytes? If so, would that improve my situation?

    If not, would this drive work?:

    https://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-External-Drive-USB-3-0-WDBBGB0040HBK-NESN/dp/B01LQQHL4E

    How about this one?:

    https://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Passport-Drive-USB-3-0-WDBYFT0040BBK-WESN/dp/B01LQQH86A

    I cannot find any information as to whether the above two drives have 512-byte logical sectors or 4096-byte logical sectors. If the latter is true, which drive would be best, and what would be the best formatting scheme for it?
     
    Last edited by drybones99, Oct 24, 2019
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  7. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp allows me to be here

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    Hello.:)

    The Western Digital Passport Drives have emerged as very reliable and unproblematic for the USBLoader GX.:)
    But unfortunately there is no Warranty that every Drive works correct (possibly even the latest Models and/or maybe change in the Production).

    For the USBLoader Users they seem to be the Best Choice.:)

    Thank you.:)
     
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  8. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    Are you sure that there is no way to convert a drive with 4,096-byte physical sectors and 512-byte logical sectors to a drive with both 4,096-byte physical sectors and 4,096-byte logical sectors? I just want to make sure that there is no way to use the drive I have now before I purchase another drive.
     
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  9. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp allows me to be here

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    No I am not sure.:)
    I can only tell you what our fellow GBAtemp Wii Users give us on Feedback about big HDDs here in the GBAtemp Wii Forum.
    Unfortunately I did not found Cyan´s Thread about this.:(
    He explained it very well and I think he has an Solution/Manual but I remember not for the Seagate HDDs with the 512 Byte "issue".

    Thank you.:)
     
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  10. alexander1970

    alexander1970 GBAtemp allows me to be here

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    I think I found ONE Thread:
    (still searching for the right one...)

    https://gbatemp.net/threads/using-o...loadergx-via-neek-loader.525861/#post-8425340

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    That is the one I mean:

    https://gbatemp.net/threads/wiiflow-gpt-mbr-max-drive-size.419879/page-3#post-8361277

    https://gbatemp.net/threads/wiiflow-gpt-mbr-max-drive-size.419879/page-3#post-8363875

    I hope this helps you a little on your HDD issue.
    Thank you.:)
     
    Last edited by alexander1970, Oct 25, 2019
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  11. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I went ahead with the 5-partition plan, and sure enough, I was met with the exact same issues as before. I have now purchased the Western Digital Passport drive linked above, and I will attempt this whole thing again when it arrives.
     
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  12. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I finally received the Western Digital Passport drive, and when I went into System Information, it said that the drive had 512-byte sectors! I attempted to convert it to MBR, and like before, it locked out all but 2TB. I attempted to convert it back to GPT and then format it as FAT32, and GUIFormat tells me that the size is too large, that being larger than 2TB. I don't know if I want to attempt the same method as before on this new drive. All of the signs suggest that I will have the same problems with this drive as I did with the previous drive. What should I do next? Is this drive unsuitable for the task at hand?
     
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  13. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    I tried running "fsutil fsinfo sectorinfo" in CMD.exe on both drives, and they both had the following:

    LogicalBytesPerSector : 512
    PhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 4096
    PhysicalBytesPerSectorForPerformance : 4096
    Device Alignment : Aligned (0x000)
    Partition alignment on device : Aligned (0x000)
    Performs Normal Seeks
    Trim Not Supported
    Not DAX capable
    Not Thinly-Provisioned

    However, there was one difference. On the Seagate drive, it says this:

    FileSystemEffectivePhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 512

    On the WD drive, it says this:

    FileSystemEffectivePhysicalBytesPerSectorForAtomicity : 4096

    I don't know if this will have any effect, but so far, I have been unable to create any FAT32 partition larger than 2TB on this drive. Perhaps I could try different allocation unit sizes? So far, I have used the default, which I believe is 32K.
     
    Last edited by drybones99, Nov 2, 2019
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  14. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    UPDATE: After converting the drive to MBR using Windows Disk Management, I went into Paragon Hard Disk Manager, and rather than only showing the first 2TB as usable, it showed the whole drive as usable. I formatted it as FAT32, and then checked the drive information using fsutil. It now said:

    LogicalBytesPerSector : 4096

    Somehow, I was able to change the logical sector size. I created a small text file on the disk, and the size on disk was 64KB, much larger than the actual file. This proves that the allocation unit size was set to 64KB, which should work. I am now in the process of copying all of the Wii and Gamecube games to the drive. This process could take more than a day. When this is done, the drive should be MBR, have one FAT32 partition, 4K sectors and 64KB allocation units.

    What is interesting is that when I attempted to convert the Seagate drive to MBR and format it with Paragon Hard Disk Manager, it only showed the first 2TB as being usable. Clearly, this Western Digital drive is doing something different, but it remains to be seen if it will actually work once the games have all finished copying.
     
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  15. drybones99
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    drybones99 Member

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    UPDATE: All of the games have finished copying, and finally, I was able to load all of the Wii and Gamecube games off of one partition. I am now in the process of adjusting various other settings in USB Loader GX, downloading all of the artwork, and organizing the games. In conclusion, the solution is to purchase a 4TB Western Digital Passport Drive if one is not on hand, convert it to MBR using Windows Disk Management, format the entire 4TB of unallocated space as a single FAT32 partition with 16 sectors per cluster (4K per sector times 16 sectors equals 64K per cluster), and then copy all of the Gamecube and Wii games (Wii games using Wii Backup Manager).

    Next, I will attempt to set up the save data and then I will try to set up the WiiWare and other Wii Shop Channel content that I have downloaded in the form of .wad files. Is it possible to run these through USB Loader GX, or is there a better way? I have a 128GB SD Card in my Wii which runs all of my Homebrew software in addition to the 4TB Western Digital drive that stores all of my Wii and Gamecube games.
     
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