Wii U kiosk demo PC Ubuntu box

Discussion in 'Wii U - Homebrew' started by kokoski, May 28, 2019.

  1. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    I've been searching for answers for two years with no luck, thought why not ask here. I came across a Wii U kiosk in 2017, it came out of a store that had closed shortly after the Wii U launch. It has a demo console that appears to be PC based, and works/looks like other demo consoles I've seen. It has a bunch of very amazing demos on it, only half function. The rest give me an error message. Here's the kicker, the demo console came with this silver box. It appears to be a PC and has a 320gb hard drive in it. When plugged in with an hdmi it gives an ubuntu screen. Anyone here that is familar with Ubuntu, would this be the hard drive my console is looking for? The only info I could find was from 2011 where it was speculated that demo kiosks pre-launch didnt have an actual console, it was a dummy that had a pc underneath running demos. Could it be a pre-launch demo pc like the article speculates and how can I unlock it to see what is on it. I can't post the link but google Ubuntu powering demo booths. I tried creating a usb key from some advice when I first got it, inserted it and it just gave me the Nintendo logo as seen in the pic below. Any help from all you linux pros would be appreciated, ideally I'd like to get the demos up and running and perserve whatever is on the hard drive.

    I tried posting in the Linux thread but thought it was better just to make a new topic instead.

    The serial on the menu in the first pic is also totally different than any others I've seen in searching. It has PC at the end, all others don't seem to have this.

    IMG_3321[1].JPG IMG_3297.JPG 21106624_936882773127188_1215596457865964769_n. IMG_3285.JPG IMG_3286.JPG IMG_3298.JPG IMG_3299.JPG IMG_3300.JPG
     
    Last edited by kokoski, May 29, 2019
  2. blackkawa

    blackkawa Member

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    This is pretty interesting, maybe we could use this on further development of the wii h linux?
     
  3. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    If I can unlock the drive, people are more than welcome to whatever is on there. The article I referenced speculated this pc was running Wii U games using peripherals, so if there's any code in there that helps anyone in any way I'd just be happy knowing what's in the box, videos, demos or nothing. The Nintendo splash screen I've gotten suggests there's something. All my reading also suggests this is v1 of demo "consoles" for kiosks to prevent leaking of actual Wii U's prelaunch, and when launch happened these were all taken back and swapped for an actual console. That still doesn't explain why the demo console I have says PC in it, unless that was also a very early version of a demo console for the kiosk. I haven't seen that on anyone else's menu screens, I've watched quite a few videos. I was half hoping there was like a Nintendo rep lurking around that had more info.
     
    Last edited by kokoski, May 28, 2019
  4. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    The PC it's running on is x86 but the error screen matches the proper Wii U full stop

    I don't know if the HDD is encrypted however this is just strange given Nintendo never developed for x86 using retail hardware, and the binaries on the machine could be really interesting.

    Before gutting the machine if that's what you end up trying, I'd go and post this on ASSEMBLER - you might get some luck there in terms of people familiar with this stuff.
     
    Last edited by lisreal2401, May 28, 2019
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  5. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    I'm not looking to gut the PC, just unlock it. I tried posting 2 years ago on assembler and no one had any idea what it was or how to unlock it.
     
  6. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    If you can, I'd open the thing and get as many pictures of the inside as you can. As is it seems like nobody has the ability to get it booting as it should, but this sort of thing feels like a hardware attack is the only method to get it anywhere, and make a new post asking if someone would want to try and get it running? I honestly think you either can wait for something to happen or send it to someone known who might know more or at least has an idea of getting it booted. The key it's asking for is likely stupid rare/destroyed.

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

    Actually - is mirroring the hard drive image something you'd do?
     
  7. Whovian NineThreeSixNine

    Whovian NineThreeSixNine Advanced Member

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    If you can, I would LOVE to see this shipped to someone for the HDD to get dumped, but iirc it's wanting a USB with the encryption key.

    Don't quote me on this, but I would find it fascinating if someone could try.
     
  8. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    Here you go. There is a usb cord coming off the Wii U console which leads me to believe they work together. The box is just PC guts with a laptop hard drive. I'm not comfortable mailing this off to a stranger, it might be the only way I can get half my demos functional and I would have to trust it makes it back. Again, my demo console works when the two boxes aren't connected, but everytime I try to play some of the demos it hits the error screen, the videos and other demos work fine off the internal storage of the system.
    IMG_4969.JPG IMG_4968.JPG IMG_4967.JPG
     
    Last edited by kokoski, May 29, 2019
  9. maddenmike95

    maddenmike95 Advanced Member

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    Really interesting... x86, this needs to be properly investigated. I wonder if it's emulating the demos.
     
    Last edited by maddenmike95, May 29, 2019
  10. lisreal2401

    lisreal2401 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Even if the drive itself isn't able to be decrypted, there's nothing stopping OP from completely making a image of the entire thing. There's a possibility that if the drive is only looking for something hardware based the data itself wouldn't be any more/less difficult with just the data alone.

    Sending the unit to someone would obviously mean a person that has a ton of credit in preservation. If you genuinely can't get it open in any other capacity I'd find a person you're confident who wants to try.
     
  11. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    I have zero clue on how to clone a linux based HDD. Is there a particular program that would work best? I'm assuming I'd need a second external HDD to copy the image onto. My first preference would be a way to crack it open and see if it's just a giant paper weight. It's like trying to solve a puzzle of how all the pieces fit without any clues and without knowing if I'm missing any pieces. Might try to hook the HD straight up to the demo console with
    81kc+FSv18L._SL1500_.
     
    Last edited by kokoski, May 29, 2019
  12. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Regular

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    That may be a very bad idea. Wii U can only read its own partition types and asks to format, who knows if a kiosk version will even ask.

    I think win32diskimager should dump a copy of the disk if you're using windows and have enough space. Did you even connect it to your PC yet?
     
  13. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    I was paranoid of accidentally formatting it when trying to connect it.
     
  14. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Regular

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    That shouldn't happen. Be mindful of sending images rather than dumping with diskimager or dd and that's it. Even a format should be recoverable. If you just want to explore try using a linux machine or use ext2read on windows
     
  15. DeadlyFoez

    DeadlyFoez XFlak Fanboy

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    Use norton ghost to clone it
     
  16. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    So a buddy just mentioned trying to make sure all the cords from the console were connected, I didnt have the ethernet cord plugged in every time I've tried previously. I dont know if I had just put the usb in a different spot this time, but when I turned it on, it went to the Ubuntu screen, checked the hard drive for errors, it's never done that before, then proceeded to log in. The console might be the usb key? The demos still dont work, but when I swap inputs on the TV from the console to the silver box, it now displays this screen and nothing else happens. I'll have to mess with this more tomorrow. Maybe there are other wires I've just missed buried in the back, there also a coaxial wire coming out the back of the console.
    IMG_4972.JPG IMG_4971.JPG IMG_4970.JPG
     
    Last edited by kokoski, May 29, 2019
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  17. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Regular

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    Try plugging a keyboard on the silver case and do ctrl+alt+F1 to F7. Also your room is a mess
     
  18. Radius4

    Radius4 GBAtemp Fan

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    You don't need ghost or anything, you just need a computer and an ubuntu live cd
    Connect the drive to the box

    Optionally get a second hard drive (you can dump the whole thing to a file if you have enough space)
    Open gparted (noob friendly way to tell which drive is which)

    Note the name of the drive (it should be something like /dev/sda)

    Then do

    dd if=/dev/sda of=image.img
    Replace sda with the name of the drive you found in gparted

    If you have a second drive note the name of the target disk too
    Then do

    dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb
    Replace sda with the name of the drive you found in gparted for source and sdb with the name of the drive you found in gparted for dest

    Safest route (less possible screwups) is the first one. You're just dumping a disk to a file, just make sure that the target filesystem has enough space
     
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  19. kokoski
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    kokoski Member

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    lol that's cold, the rest is spotless, I just ripped what was inside the kiosk out :P
     
  20. bodefuceta

    bodefuceta GBAtemp Regular

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    Jesus christ how much of a nice idea it seems to recommend someone who never used linux to use a live cd just for dd, of all things, on a potentially rare drive.
     
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