Wii U Memory Failure 160-0103 (never modded)

john25601600

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Hello,

I am writing to ask for some help regarding a bricked Wii U system.

My Wii U Deluxe (32 GB) has been sitting unused for 5+ years. I decided to get it out the other day, but upon startup, I immediately get a black screen with a 160-0103 error code, suggesting a system memory failure. The device was never modded and was fully functional when it was last used. Researching through the forms, it appears that the issue is due to a corrupted eMMC, specifically the NAND, that is caused by a firmware bug. There seems to be a lot of information about fixing the issue when it caused by modding, such as CBHC, but not when the error occurs naturally.

I have come across a procedure for dumping the contents of the eMMC chip to a computer by soldering wires from the eMMC pads to an SD card adapter. I have a lot of soldering experience and am fully willing to try this method. However, it also seems like the eMMC is encrypted, and must be decrypted with the otp.bin file which must be dumped from the TSOP which is a separate surface-mount chip on the motherboard.

My questions are...

If I am able to dump the eMMC and/or otp.bin file, is there anything I can do to repair the NAND? If so, how would I go about dumping the otp.bin file?

I know that for the regular Wii, there are ways to download a fresh copy of the NAND through Ohneswanzenegger given that the keys are intact. Is there something similar I could do with this Wii U and flash the fresh or repaired copy back to the eMMC with the hardwood method? If needed the system is on version 5.3.2U.

Apologies if any of this information is incorrect or has been reiterated elsewhere. I'm new to the forms.
Let me know if there might be any way to salvage this system!

Much appreciated!!!
 
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KleinesSinchen

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that is caused by a firmware bug
Firmware bug? There was a discussion about a possible connection to Smash Bros if I remember that correctly. But a (firmware) bug will hardly be the culprit when the console was inactive for years. My guess is limited data retention time of NAND.

If I am able to dump the eMMC and/or otp.bin file, is there anything I can do to repair the NAND?
Theoretically, if it is "just" data corruption over time, reflashing might help. Pretty hard to do without a backup (unmodded console). I'm not sure the needed tools exist. @godreborn discussed a question for decrypting and re-encrypting a NAND dump from one console to another (but I didn't follow that thread and don't know the result).
The thing might be more complex. Compare to 3DS where CTRTransfer was developed for repairing severe damage. My knowledge of these topics doesn't go very deep. On 3DS it involves CMAC verification (GodMode9 can fix CMACs). I might be completely wrong here.
As very few people are able to restore a Wii U NAND (no software method) there aren't any firmware repair tools (at least none that I know of) beyond CBHC repair.

If so, how would I go about dumping the otp.bin file?
You won't have access to the software methods as the error stops you from using them. No idea how to get otp otherwise. We're not supposed to get it in the first place – it is part of the %§$"$ DRM. I don't think BluUBomb is applicable here because the dev stated it wouldn't help on CBHC brick – which is basically the same situation.
 

john25601600

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Thank you for you in-depth reply. That was extremely helpful. I didn't know NAND flash could become corrupted so easily.

I have also heard about Super Smash Brothers sometimes causing this issue, although this game was never played on the system. It seems as if having a copy of the otp.bin file is crucial to making any kind of progress on this system, and without it the eMMC dump would not be useful.

Does this file live in the same eMMC chip that would be dumped with the SD card reader method that I mentioned, or is it stored elsewhere on the PCB?

I've read about using Teensy 2.0 to dump other chips on the motherboard. Could I possibly get otp.bin that way, or are there no known hardmodds that can extract the file?

Also, if I were able to boot into the Wii menu by holding 'B' on startup, are there any software routes that I might be able to take to get this file?

Now, I shouldn't need otp.bin if I just wanted to dump and re-flash the eMMC with the same NAND copy. It might be worth a try if nothing else is possible. Perhaps the re-written data will be easier for the Wii U to read.

Thank you again!
 

godreborn

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well, there's one safeguard, sorta, but it's not official. it's cbhc. it can save you from things as long as you have a backup of them from before things went bad. it only works for certain things though, like the wii u menu, which is on the mlc partition, it will still work even if that's corrupted. I'm still using a wii u theme by MikaDubbz on my wii u since August, and I play my system daily. no issues. it's a dark theme with blue highlights, which I love! no issues. and, I've been using a vwii theme using wup server to get it on there, which is slow as shit btw, but I've been using that for like 5 years. no issues.
 
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KleinesSinchen

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Does this file live in the same eMMC chip that would be dumped with the SD card reader method that I mentioned, or is it stored elsewhere on the PCB?
Hmmh. It is very well possible that console unique keys are inside the CPU. I don't know for sure.
https://www.copetti.org/writings/consoles/wii/ (← Ctrl+F search for OTP on that page about Wii)
The method "key inside CPU" is common practice. Although I have zero Apple devices and zero interest in them, I sometimes watch the interesting videos by Jessa Jones (Ipad Rehab). She mentioned that in case a board is completely shot she transplants the NAND and the CPU onto a donor board as a "ultima ratio" to salvage customer data.
The unique keys being hard to get is part of the DRM. Imagine there was a simple data chip with the console-unique keys. An attacker could have replicated it and done the following within the first month of the Wii U existing:
  • Legally buy and download games for $1000 on eShop
  • Clone the keys+NAND to other consoles illegally and sell them for profit
And this without CFW, without hacking and without understanding or breaking the DRM.
I fear there is nothing that can be done unless an entrypoint for homebrew/CFW is found which allows us to start our own software BEFORE the official operating system. We need full system control at boot time, not "only" after the big software is loaded.

I fully agree with @N7Kopper: There aren't many Wii U consoles and they seem to be failing for various reasons like this one as well as your example of the dreaded 160-0103 "There is a problem with the system memory". Just put "Wii U 160-0103" and "Wii U 160-1400" into image search. Enough results. Nintendo of Europe still offers Wii U repair if I remember that correctly. Don't know anything for Nintendo of America. Nintendo support in general has become far worse in the last few years, especially regarding outdated systems.
 

john25601600

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If it was truly never modded, would Nintendo still fix it, even for a fee? There are only so many Wii Us out there, every one scrapped is a preservation issue.
Thank you for your reply,

I did call Nintendo US and they apparently do not repair or replace Wii U consoles anymore, even those with this known fault. Nintendo Europe reiterated that as well.

Regarding the preservation, I certainly have no plans of scrapping the console, especially since this one was rarely used. Perhaps someone will eventually find a fix.
 

john25601600

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@KleinesSinchen

Thank you for the detailed response!
It now makes more sense why access to Homebrew is needed to get the otp.bin key files.

A call with both Nintendo US and EU confirmed that they no longer repair or replace Wii U consoles, even those with the 160-0103 error.

At this point, it seems like my best bet is to possibly boot into the vWii menu via the 'B' button shortcut. There are common methods of loading home-brew into the Wii U through vWii alone, and maybe that will give me the ability to dump the keys in a similar manner to BootMii on the old Wii.

Aside from that, I certainly have no plans of scrapping the console, especially since the hardware is fully functional. Perhaps someone will eventually find a fix.

I will keep the form updated if there are any developments.
Thank you for your help!
 
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KleinesSinchen

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I did call Nintendo US and they apparently do not repair or replace Wii U consoles anymore
Grrrrrrrr!
That is a point that regularly makes me angry. When do we need hardware service and/or parts the most?
a) When device is brand new and still for sale​
-- or --​
b) When it is a few years old and not in stores anymore​

The illogicality behind this…

It seems,Nintendo in Europe (Austria/Germany/Swiss) are still repair Wii U´s:
Did you actually ask them? Pages on their internet site don't mean much.
=====================
To the persons responsible for this at Nintendo: If you ever read this, just give us a signed boot image to reinstall the OS from SD. Every stupid $50 smartphone offers restoring the stock operating system from SD, from fastboot, from EDL or whatever. Why can't we reinstall the OS? Or is your solution for this problem: "Wanna buy a Switch?"



Edit:
====
At this point, it seems like my best bet is to possibly boot into the vWii menu via the 'B' button shortcut. There are common methods of loading home-brew into the Wii U through vWii alone, and maybe that will give me the ability to dump the keys in a similar manner to BootMii on the old Wii.
The Wii mode is running in a kind of sandbox. It is easily possible to access the Wii part from the Wii U mode (wuphax). Never heard of the other direction. The brilliant people behind all the homebrew software and exploits will most likely have had look at this early on (as the vWii was hacked before the main Wii U mode).
Maybe there is some information about this on wiiubrew.org
 
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@KleinesSinchen

Thank you for the detailed response!
It now makes more sense why access to Homebrew is needed to get the otp.bin key files.

A call with both Nintendo US and EU confirmed that they no longer repair or replace Wii U consoles, even those with the 160-0103 error.

At this point, it seems like my best bet is to possibly boot into the vWii menu via the 'B' button shortcut. There are common methods of loading home-brew into the Wii U through vWii alone, and maybe that will give me the ability to dump the keys in a similar manner to BootMii on the old Wii.

Aside from that, I certainly have no plans of scrapping the console, especially since the hardware is fully functional. Perhaps someone will eventually find a fix.

I will keep the form updated if there are any developments.
Thank you for your help!
Very strange...

Ohne Titel-1.jpg
 
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Grrrrrrrr!
That is a point that regularly makes me angry. When do we need hardware service and/or parts the most?
a) When device is brand new and still for sale​
-- or --​
b) When it is a few years old and not in stores anymore​

The illogicality behind this…


Did you actually ask them? Pages on their internet site don't mean much.
=====================
To the persons responsible for this at Nintendo: If you ever read this, just give us a signed boot image to reinstall the OS from SD. Every stupid $50 smartphone offers restoring the stock operating system from SD, from fastboot, from EDL or whatever. Why can't we reinstall the OS? Or is your solution for this problem: "Wanna buy a Switch?"



Edit:
====

The Wii mode is running in a kind of sandbox. It is easily possible to access the Wii part from the Wii U mode (wuphax). Never heard of the other direction. The brilliant people behind all the homebrew software and exploits will most likely have had look at this early on (as the vWii was hacked before the main Wii U mode).
Maybe there is some information about this on wiiubrew.org
Ohne Titel-1.jpg
 
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john25601600

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@Alexander1970

I did call Nintendo Europe and they reiterated what Nintendo US said, that Wii U consoles cannot be prepared or replaced anymore. But maybe the (Austria/Germany/Swiss) division is separate? I will call during the week when the support number is available.

However, even if they do replace these consoles, this might not be a solution because:
  1. A Europe system would not be compatible with either my gamepad or games, all of which are US versions.​
  2. Setting up the repair and shipping the console to Europe might be impossible without a Europe address.
    • The German website you linked only allows you to input either Austria, Germany, or Switzerland as the address.​
 

godreborn

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@Alexander1970

I did call Nintendo Europe and they reiterated what Nintendo US said, that Wii U consoles cannot be prepared or replaced anymore. But maybe the (Austria/Germany/Swiss) division is separate? I will call during the week when the support number is available.

However, even if they do replace these consoles, this might not be a solution because:
  1. A Europe system would not be compatible with either my gamepad or games, all of which are US versions.​
  2. Setting up the repair and shipping the console to Europe might be impossible without a Europe address.​
    • The German website you linked only allows you to input either Austria, Germany, or Switzerland as the address.​
yeah, I was pretty sure, at least in the US, that Nintendo no longer repairs them. I think they stopped a few years ago. there may have even been an article on temp about it, but it was a while ago.
 

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@Alexander1970

I did call Nintendo Europe and they reiterated what Nintendo US said, that Wii U consoles cannot be prepared or replaced anymore. But maybe the (Austria/Germany/Swiss) division is separate? I will call during the week when the support number is available.

However, even if they do replace these consoles, this might not be a solution because:
  1. A Europe system would not be compatible with either my gamepad or games, all of which are US versions.​
  2. Setting up the repair and shipping the console to Europe might be impossible without a Europe address.​
    • The German website you linked only allows you to input either Austria, Germany, or Switzerland as the address.​
I contacted the chat of the German support a few times.
They are all friendly, but strictly repeat the ever same phrases that "[…] is not possible". Either their way, or nothing. If you deviate from something (in this case different country) I guess they won't help. Most likely they do not have a spare Wii U (US region) anyway. No idea if they really repair stuff. They should have repair software. There is indication for existing SD loading (factory mode).

It was different in the 1990s (and early 2000s). I wrote them a letter asking why the GBC didn't have improved resolution over the GB. They searched my parents phone number in the phone book and called me for just talking to a kid because they wondered why I was asking such questions.
Scratched my GB display lens. Called them. Nice man on the phone. Nintendo sent me some replacements for GB, GBC, GBA for a bargain. No bureaucracy, no BS, no "[…] is not possible.

yeah, I was pretty sure, at least in the US, that Nintendo no longer repairs them. I think they stopped a few years ago. there may have even been an article on temp about it, but it was a while ago.
Correct. Found this:
https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2431/p/603/c/188/kw/160-0103
:shit:
 
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You can maybe try to Registrate,start a Repair Process and check the Mark "Serial is no longer readable".

I didn't find a sign in the repair list that it MUST BE a PAL or NTSC Device.
In the worst case, you have to pay 8 euros (for the Shipment) for the return of your unrepaired device.
I am pretty sure that they will not "punish" you with the minimum repair flat rate of 57.50 euros.

But of course I can't guarantee that, who knows Nintendo's thoughts .....😢
 

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You can maybe try to Registrate,start a Repair Process and check the Mark "Serial is no longer readable".

I didn't find a sign in the repair list that it MUST BE a PAL or NTSC Device.
In the worst case, you have to pay 8 euros (for the Shipment) for the return of your unrepaired device.
I am pretty sure that they will not "punish" you with the minimum repair flat rate of 57.50 euros.

But of course I can't guarantee that, who knows Nintendo's thoughts .....😢
I don't know how this happened, but I once accidentally sent a fake wii u pro controller to Nintendo when I was trying to return it to a seller, since it was fake. they just returned the controller with an unrepaired thing checked in the paperwork.
 
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