Hardware WII U external hard drive recovery

Drak

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Hi, 2 weeks ago, I tried making a backup data from my WIIU external hard drive. While the WIIU was closed, I unplugged my external hard drive and plugged it in my computer. I saw that Windows wasn't detecting it (Windows 10).

So I tried plugging it in my second laptop (Windows 7). Still no pop-ups and it didn't seem to detect the drive. So I went to disk management and I saw the drive as "unallocated". So I didn't want to touch it. I didn't format it. I didn't do anything.

When I plugged it back to WIIU to see if I could do another form of backup, it wasn't detected either. I actually had a pop-up that asked me if I wanted to format the drive to be compatible with the WIIU. I pressed cancel or no and closed down the console.

This is sickening.... Nintendo not having a form of cloud save data is really crazy to me. I have many many hours of save data with no backups. What started as a simple prevention measure ended in a demising result. I'm supposing my second computer automatically did something do the hard drive so it lost the link with the WIIU.

For now I just unplugged the drive and did not touch my WIIU since then. I'm hoping there's some sort of solution to this.

Please help.
 
Last edited by Drak,

killmister2

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AFAIK, the only way to backup your WiiU stuff is by plugging in another USB device, and use the WiiU Data Management to copy games and/or saves from one drive to another. Just remember that any native formatted WiiU drive can only be used on the same WiiU.

Nintendo doesn't offer any form of cloud save because there is no fees (like PS+ for Sony).

If your WiiU ask you to format your drive, then you most probably are SOL, sorry.
 

Nimrod-002

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you shouldve used savemii to backp saves to sd card or ftpii_everywhere to copy the saves folder via wifi. i dont know if windows edits the partition table without asking the user first, that would be pretty scummy.

your vwii saves are safe fyi
 
Last edited by Nimrod-002,

killmister2

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you shouldve used savemii to backp saves to sd card or ftpii_everywhere to copy the saves folder via wifi. i dont know if windows edits the partition table without asking the user first, that would be pretty scummy.
We aren't in the homebrew section, so I guess OP wants to know official ways to backup his saves. But indeed, those with a homebrew entrypoint can use savemii or ftpii_everywhere to do the job.
 

Drak

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Indeed, my console has no homebrew or hack. And it's too late now.

I thought there was a way to reput the "link" between the WIIU and external drive?
 

Captain_N

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Of course the computer cant read it, its an encrypted file system. You can clone the entire drive to another using a pc and drive imaging software like Acronis ture image home. i have cloned wii u formatted drives to another drive. so i know it works. Windows will not mess with the partition it cant read unless you tell it to or there is some kind of software or virus that tries to write to the drive.
 

Drak

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Of course the computer cant read it, its an encrypted file system. You can clone the entire drive to another using a pc and drive imaging software like Acronis ture image home. i have cloned wii u formatted drives to another drive. so i know it works. Windows will not mess with the partition it cant read unless you tell it to or there is some kind of software or virus that tries to write to the drive.

So what would be the step by step?

1- Buy another external drive;
2- Format that Drive with the WII U;
3- Copy the data from the old hard drive to the new one with a special software?

Am I reading this right?
 

Captain_N

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So what would be the step by step?

1- Buy another external drive;
2- Format that Drive with the WII U;
3- Copy the data from the old hard drive to the new one with a special software?

Am I reading this right?

I not sure if cloning it would work. Since the wii u is asking you to format it, cloning will just result in the same problem. If you can get the wii u to read it in data management then you can use the wii u to copy the saves to another drive or system memory. You can even use flash drives to make copies.

I dont think there is any software that will work with the wii u format. that program dumps wii u saves to your pc but it does not copy it back. kinda pointless really. If you format the drive with the wii u it will kill your data. Id be nice of there were such tools but given the lack of wii u support i doubt there will ever be. Im not sure how to get your data off the drive.

I'm guessing when you plugged it in something mussed of corrupted the data on the drive. If you want you can read the drives SMART Data with crystal disk info and post it. I can see if the drive has any signs of failing
 

Drak

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I not sure if cloning it would work. Since the wii u is asking you to format it, cloning will just result in the same problem. If you can get the wii u to read it in data management then you can use the wii u to copy the saves to another drive or system memory. You can even use flash drives to make copies.

I dont think there is any software that will work with the wii u format. that program dumps wii u saves to your pc but it does not copy it back. kinda pointless really. If you format the drive with the wii u it will kill your data. Id be nice of there were such tools but given the lack of wii u support i doubt there will ever be. Im not sure how to get your data off the drive.

I'm guessing when you plugged it in something mussed of corrupted the data on the drive. If you want you can read the drives SMART Data with crystal disk info and post it. I can see if the drive has any signs of failing

I transferred over here:

https://gbatemp.net/threads/wfsdump-pc-util-for-dumping-wfs-devices-wiiu-file-system.478480/page-4
 

Zonark

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DONT FORMAT THE DRIVE!!!
its normal for it to show as unallocated drive in disk management because its not a recognized format to windows
I did the following and it worked for me.
This might sound dumb but I had this issue too. What I found was that I had to completely pull power to the drive. (Unplug wall outlet.) Then I unplugged the wii u press the power button a bunch while it was unplugged to drain any stored in capacitors, then I found I also may have been using the other usb port. (If you have a Y plug try switching them plugs around.) anyways I plugged the drive in first. then the wii u. and blamo the drive came back operational. It spun up after I powered on wii u. look in data management just to make sure its all there.
 
Last edited by Zonark,

Drak

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DONT FORMAT THE DRIVE!!!
its normal for it to show as unallocated drive in disk management because its not a recognized format to windows
I did the following and it worked for me.
This might sound dumb but I had this issue too. What I found was that I had to completely pull power to the drive. (Unplug wall outlet.) Then I unplugged the wii u press the power button a bunch while it was unplugged to drain any stored in capacitors, then I found I also may have been using the other usb port. (If you have a Y plug try switching them plugs around.) anyways I plugged the drive in first. then the wii u. and blamo the drive came back operational. It spun up after I powered on wii u. look in data management just to make sure its all there.

Hey, thanks for your help! Unfortunately, I tried and it did not work... :/
 

Cyan

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Cyan is here !

I'm sorry to hear you can't access your drive anymore.
Plugging it to computer should not modify the drive, and I don't think unallocated HDD are automatically formatted, but I can't be sure. Maybe your windows10 (or 7) did something to prepare the drive to receive partitions by creating a partition table.
At least, that's highly propable it did that, because now the wiiu detects a partition table (that's why it asks to format the drive again)

what I can suggest :
1) https://gbatemp.net/threads/wfsdump-pc-util-for-dumping-wfs-devices-wiiu-file-system.478480/
(yeah, you already seen that)

2) do not edit your drive at all. read mode is fine, don't write anything, don't format.

3) we should check the sector 0 of the drive to see if it recreated a new empty partition table, or just added the table's signature (withuot modifying anything else to sector 0)


4) What's possible to test :
- see if wfsdump can mount your drive (or its image). I didn't learn how that program is working, nor if it could decrypt any part of the dump randomly or if it needs the start of the file, or all the file integrity.
- if not possible, trying to format ANOTHER hdd of the same size to get the same sector0 could help, then copy that new sector0 to your faulty drive. I can't confirm it will work, but I've read users talking about something like that. one user managed to do it, another one couldn't recover its data. I think there were a specific byte to write back (64 bytes?) but it might be another problem, not a full sector deleted (512bytes)

there's not much more you can do, sorry.
 
Last edited by Cyan,

Tomobobo

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I feel your pain OP, I have been there, lost my Smash and Mario Kart career save games about a year ago. Got really angry with Nintendo, still haven't made peace.
 

Cem99

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I have now the same issue, there were no power on my external HD, so I connected to windows 10 laptop, now my Wii U don't recognize the HD.

Did you solve your problem?
 

Cem99

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I have now the same issue, there were no power on my external HD, so I connected to windows 10 laptop, now my Wii U don't recognize the HD.

Did you solve your problem?
 

Cem99

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I have now the same issue, there were no power on my external HD, so I connected to windows 10 laptop, now my Wii U don't recognize the HD.

Did you solve your problem?
 

Cem99

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I have now the same issue, there were no power on my external HD, so I connected to windows 10 laptop, now my Wii U don't recognize the HD.

Did you solve your problem?

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

Sorry I think something went wrong, my reply is posted several times.
 

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