WiiFlow won't run Wii Game from SD Card.

Discussion in 'Wii U - Hacking & Backup Loaders' started by AmyGrrl, Oct 11, 2014.

  1. AmyGrrl

    AmyGrrl Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    I have Zelda Wind Waker 32GB Deluxe Wii U. Currently running 5.2.0. I used Lego Batman to install the Homebrew Channel. Installed d2x-v10-beta53-alt-vWii. USB Loader GX and WiiFlow will boot Wii Games from a USB Stick. However if I attempt to load a Wii Game from a SD Card using WiiFlow it just restarts back to the vWii main menu. Do I need to install something else to make it work? Not sure what to do at this point.

    Currently I have a 2.5" 500GB USB Hard Drive connected to my Wii U that I use for eShop downloads as I was running out of space. Using a USB Y Cable so both USB Ports are used. So my plan was to get a PNY 256GB SDXC Card and just run Wii Games from that. I originally wanted to use the Hard Drive for both Wii U/vWii until I learned that couldn't be done. Which is why I wanted to go with the SD Card route so I wouldn't have to swap USB Storage Devices. WiiFlow is suppose to support loading Wii Games from an SD Card but it just doesn't want to work for me. Would like to get this working with the 4GB SD Card I have now before I spend the money on a large capacity SD Card.

    I do wish USB Loader GX supported booting Wii Games from a SD Card. Because of the way the Wii U work limiting a device for Wii U or vWii only. I think its a much better loader and it looks nicer than WiiFlow.

    Anyways, Thank you a head of time for any help given.
  2. unaxtzero

    unaxtzero Newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    United States
    Are all 4 of the USB ports on your Wii U being used?

    Most people , or at least it is recommended, have two separate hard drives for the Wii U and the vWii.
    1 dedicated for Wii U content, 1 for vWii along with the SDCard required to load apps.

    I am not sure if USB Loader GX Supports loading games from the SD Card, if you can select that somewhere. I do know that you are absolutely required to put all Wii Games in the WBFS folder on the root of the drive.

    Make sure that your wii games are installed to a WBFS folder at the root of the SDCard, regardless for the time being for troubleshooting's sake.

    You can customize the paths in WiiFlow to point to wherever you put the Wii Games on your sd card. Just make sure you set them up in the paths.

    I will go ahead and tell you that you may need to try beta52 instead of beta53-alt as you have it.

    Beta52 is seems to be more compatible with older hard drives, sd cards, and just weird scenarios where you are trying to do something odd with one of the loaders.

    Beta 53-alt is nice as it provides for multiple usb support so its great if you can get everything set up and working, but unfortunately if something isn't working for you... Try and go back to beta52 and see if it works.

    Also, you do not need to install ALL of the slots. Off the top of my head, I don't even remember what 250 and 251 are used for. 249 is the core one you are going to point all of the loaders to.

    In fact, if you try beta52 and still have issues. Go into each loader and specify that the IOS you want to load is 249. Both are set to auto by default.
    I have noticed that by specifying the IOS desired, it can get around some weird quirks.

    Now what I would highly recommend is you not to do what you are doing. I would highly recommend, in my own personal opinion which might actually be a bad idea, is to have separate hard drives for each mode and an SD card for your apps and other settings. Have your high capacity games loading from your hard drive and the small apps or loaders on your SD Card.

    You can use a Y cable for both the front and back USB ports. There are 4 total. Plug in the vWii Hard drive to the back ports (for maximum compatibility when the loaders are trying to scan for where your hard drive is). Plug in the Wii U hard drive to the front ports.

    You will get annoyed with having to unplug the vWii hard drive cable when booting into Wii U mode, but you don't have to unplug the 2 usb plugs. Just unplug the part that goes into the hard drive, leave the 2 usb cables plugged into the back.

    If you need to recharge a Wii U Pro Controller, you can unplug one of the vWii USB plugs when you are in Wii U mode since the vWii Drive isn't being used in that mode anyway. If recharging in vWii Mode, unplug one of the Wii U Hard drive usb plugs as the Wii U hard drive wouldn't be used in that mode.

    You can stealth the drive you would use with the vWii, but then you have to worry about each individual loader being compatible with this change... I found it just easier to take the 2 seconds to unplug the cable instead of worry about loader problems.

    I do realize that my recommendation does not solve your issue, but it is something that you can think about in the future.

    Right now you go back and write beta-52 and then see if things load. If they don't, make sure you have specified the Wii Game path in WiiFlow.

    After path changes and such in WiiFlow, always press the Home Button on your controller and select reload cache. Get used to that, its important!

    If you still get nothing, try specifying IOS 249 as the IOS you want to use and restart WiiFlow and then reload cache.

    This should work, if it doesn't then there might be something else going on. But I am sure this will work for you, must think positive.

    The Wii U can detect negativity and frustration, if you stay positive then things start to magically work... :) Hope this helps and have a great day.

    Edit: Oh and just as a general note, and this may not even apply at the moment but it is something weird to remember about the Wii U and USB hard drives...

    If you find that your drive isn't getting detected, whether you have it plugged in the front USBs or the back USBs, try swapping your Y-Cable's usb plugs around. Unplug each from the ports and swap the plugs.

    I don't mean take the plugs and plug it from the back and into the front or front and into the back, I mean just swap the two plugs from wherever they are currently plugged into around. For example in the back, unplug the Y cable's 2 usb plugs from the back and swap where they were plugged in. They aren't specifically labeled USB PORT 0, USB PORT 1. So it is hard to know which is which. But just swap the plugs around and try to see if the hard drive gets picked up afterwards.

    Same with the front as well. Often times just swapping the plugs around results in a drive getting recognized, whether it be that the data+power plug wasn't getting recognized or the power only plug wasn't getting enough power. Who knows...

    It is hard to explain this since they aren't labeled, instead of saying swap the USB plugged in port 0 with 1 and 1 with 0 in the back. But I think you get what I mean.

    I really wish nintendo allowed you to upgrade the internal memory. You may be wondering why you can't, that is because there isn't a hard drive inside. It is solid state memory on-board. I guess we should be thankful they at least put that in the Wii U instead of forcing everyone to buy hard drives by default.

    32GB is just not enough for the Wii U.
  3. AmyGrrl

    AmyGrrl Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Thanks! I will try beta52 and see if that works. Thanks for the tip on how to get WiiFlow to refresh its cache. I couldn't figure that out. WiiFlow does detect the Wii Games on the SD Card. Its just when I go to launch a game it reboots back to the vWii main menu. I'm really hoping I can get this working with the SD Card. I really didn't want to get a 2nd hard drive, but I will if its the only way to get it working. I will update this post after I try a few things.

    Thanks so much! Switching to beta52 worked! The games booted right away from the SD Card. Now I can get the larger SD Card. Hopefully USB Loader GX will be updated with SD Card support in the future.
    unaxtzero likes this.
  4. unaxtzero

    unaxtzero Newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    United States
    Great to hear it worked!

    Yeah beta52 is a bit more friendly sometimes, but don't be too dismayed, you can install both beta52 and 53 and simply point your loader to whichever slots you installed to.

    For example, in the guide: http://gbatemp.net/threads/simple-guide-to-install-cios-on-vwii-backup-nand-and-keys.339890/

    It says:
    Well 56/249 is the main cIOS that you use in the loaders.

    The guide says to install all three cIOS bases to 249,250,251. For compliance's and compatibility's sake, you can continue to do that.

    But actually you don't HAVE to install 57/250 and 58/251 unless you need them.

    I would personally recommend 56/249 and 57/250 to be safe as 57 contains the USB2 module, however I am not even sure if it is used at all and actually its usefulness might be depreciated in the Wii U vs the Wii.

    cIOS base 58/251 is used only by Dragon Quest X along with networking additions, but if you have no inclination to play Dragon Quest X then you can probably avoid this base.

    So that means you can actually install beta53 to 251 if you wanted to.

    You actually have 3 more open slots past 251, so it is possible to install both. Though I wouldn't recommend it, it is never recommended to use more slots than you need. You should try to keep your slot usage down to a bare minimum to avoid problems with future updates from Nintendo or homebrew developers.

    But anyway, for helpful knowledge's sake for you and for anyone who reads this in the future...

    It is possible to install both iterations of the cIOS bases. Meaning:

    beta52 to 56/249, beta52 to 57/2510, beta52 to 58/251.
    beta53 to 56/252, beta53 to .... so on and so on.

    The important thing you must always remember is that your absolute most important cIOS in each of these is your 56 one, if you install beta52 56 or beta53 56 to 249, then make sure you tell the loader that if you encounter any issues. You can specify what cIOS you want to load in both WiiFlow and USB Loader GX.

    For example: if you have problems with beta52 56->249 and you installed beta53 56->251, you can set USB Loader GX or WiiFlow to force load cIOS 251 and that will load your beta53 56 instead of beta52 56.

    It may or may not solve all problems with incompatibilities, and likely any other problems you may encounter will be due to application issues on a case by case basis... Which can be pretty common... Luckily, the wii/vwii is so old that you should be able to do a google search and find the solution to any problem you may encounter as others may have faced the same problem.

    Lastly, I realize you probably don't like wiiflow. I personally do like USB Loader GX and started there but WiiFlow is a bit more compatible and allows you to load plugins. If USB Loader GX had plugin loading and custom paths for everything like WiiFlow did, I would use that instead. USB Loader GX is definitely far more friendly to use than WiiFlow, it just looks aesthetically better and it's gui is set up far more friendlier.

    However most development on Wii Homebrew has ceased as the platform is pretty old, most people have moved on to other development on other platforms. So you won't likely see too many updates.

    Someday the cafe/Wii U will be unlocked and we will probably see a resurgence in homebrew development on the Wii U and maybe the vWii mode as well. But until then, no one really cares about the vWii/Wii :( I really am thankful to all those homebrew developers out there who still stick around, code, and still answer questions that come up. They don't get enough credit for still staying around after all these years and helping out.

    This is a helpful post about the difference in loaders:

    This is a link to the Abz WiiFlow Master Pack, it a pack with plugins for emulators for the WiiFlow along with Cover Art.
    But be warned, it can often lead you down a rabbit hole of game rom and cover art organization that may be extremely frustrating. I won't go into it, it is another thread on its own, but all I have to say is Fuzzy File Renaming will become your savior:


    Good Luck and enjoy!
    MattKimura likes this.
  5. AmyGrrl

    AmyGrrl Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Just a little update. I finally picked up the PNY 256GB SDXC Card a few days ago. Put 12 Wii games on it to test and they all booted just fine. Was surprised to see Metroid Prime Trilogy works properly. I could select the difficultly and it loaded the game. It's been a few years since I have used a Wii or did any Wii modding. I'm really happy with how everything is setup now. Just need to give Nintendon't a try now.
    unaxtzero likes this.
  6. unaxtzero

    unaxtzero Newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    United States
    A kind of funny coincidence is I am actually starting to load more and more off of the sd card instead of the usb drive because of how fast things load and there is less compatibility problems with some loaders versus running off of usb.

    Moral of the story is you probably made the best decision with going with the sd card. I will probably follow your decision and get a bigger sd card. Would be worth it for all the wiiflow plugin emulator cover art and such.

    Loading plugin cover art from a usb hard drive randomly can result in wiiflow freezing permanently and corrupting the cover art folders... Or whatever else folders wiiflow was using... So let me go ahead and warn you...

    If wiiflow, or any other homebrew, freezes while reading/writing to your sd card or usb drive... It may, but not always, corrupt the files and contents of whatever folder or files in use at the time of the freeze. This only sometimes occurs but its devastation is readily felt afterwards. It may never happen to you or anyone, but it doesn't hurt to be aware of the possible problems that can be encountered.

    You will know if you have suffered this if after a nasty freeze in a homebrew application you then reboot and then try to reload your vwii homebrew and it gives you weird behavior or spits out errors. This means that probably files are now missing or corrupt.

    If this happens, you should immediately then hook your sd card or usb drive up to your computer and windows may say the drive needs to be repaired. If it doesn't, open up the drive and look around to see if you are missing folders or files, or some of your folders or files are named as some garbage like úíóó87áähg .

    Normally if windows asks to repair the sd card or usb drive upon plugging it in, it should recover the lost files and folders. If it doesn't and you see that the sd card or usb drive has files or folders that are corrupt or missing, you have to run a chkdsk (check disk command) manually and you may be able to recover some of that was lost but will lose some files and folders that windows can't recover...

    So far this has only happened with my usb hard drive only in wiiflow, but I am loading a lot of cover art and games off of the usb hard drive mostly. It could happen to the sd card as well if I start to load off of the sd card and then wiiflow freezes then, I just haven't yet tested... It really sucks to lose all of your cover art for over a hundred roms especially after having to name all the art files manually to match the rom names... Let this be a lesson to others out there, back up your roms and arcade assets!!!
  7. PaoloMat

    PaoloMat Newbie

    Dec 3, 2014
    I tried to hack the vWii on my Wii U, followed all the steps on the guide (https://gbatemp.net/threads/full-vwii-softmod.339899/), thanks to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and after that, installed WIIFLOW CHANNEL FORWARDER INSTALLATION following that guide.

    The only thing I didn't is cIOS236 INSTALLATION.

    Also, There's a particular.

    My 2.5'' 250GB Hdd is partitioned, 150Gb in wbfs containing my backup games, and 100Gb NTFS for my data.
    Could be this a problem?

    I would try to use this HDD in this way both for games and maybe also for download from the Wii U?
    Is this possible?

    Anyway, when I try to start WiiFlow, the vWii reboots and nothing happen.

    Thanks for the answer!
  8. unaxtzero

    unaxtzero Newbie

    Oct 8, 2014
    United States
    Hey there, it sounds like you set yourself up for problems with that hard drive set up. Basically here is the deal.

    You need to treat the Vwii part of the wii u as standalone, separate. If you think of it that way, you realize your limitations and what may or may not be possible.

    What I mean is basically, you will have to have a separate hard drive dedicated to the Vwii and it would be best to have only a single partition that is formatted to fat32.

    As I of right now the Wii U formats an entire hard drive which prevents multiple partitions from being possible, it occupies the entire hard disk. Additionally, the Wii U will complain that you need to format any other hard drives connected to it when in Wii U mode. This is why you see threads about "stealthing" a hard drive. Stealthing essentially hides the hard drive from Wii U mode at the cost of incompatibilites in homebrew not recompiled to support it.

    Generally it is easier to just unplug the vWii hard drive while in Wii U mode than stealth it and have to worry about if various homebrew applications have support to see the hard drive. When you are a newbie, the less complications you may encounter, the better. So have the hard drive for the Wii U plugged up while in Wii U mode only. Then plug in your vWii hard drive and unplug your Wii U hard drive while in vWii mode so only the vWii hard drive gets recognized. vWii hard drive in the rear of the console. Wii U hard drive can be plugged in the front usb ports.

    Get a working set up first, then complicate things after so you know exactly what could be the problem.

    So basically... You're going to have to either have a dedicated hard drive for the vWii or invest in a large sd card for the vWii as discussed in the replies above.

    Any hard drive you use with the vWii, format to fat32 single partition.

    The reasoning for fat32 is maximum compatibility across homebrew applications. You can use NTFS but you do so needing to recognize that you may encounter possible problems. Remember how I said the less complications at first, the better.

    You will encounter file size limits with fat32 but wbfs managers can break up game files into fat32 compatible files. Other large files, such as movies or archives will have to be dealt with by you.

    Now again, you dont have to do what I say, you partition the hard drive so one partition is for the vWii and another is for other uses, such as partitioning one fat32 for the vwii and another partition ntfs for general use with pc files if you still need that hard drive for other things.

    But just realize that you may encounter problems and then you have to troubleshoot what the problem is. The less possible problems to troubleshoot at first, the better.

    It seems silly to dedicate an entire hard drive for the Wii U and then another complete hard drive for the vWii, but when you realize that the vWii is another console side by side to the Wii U then it makes more sense logistically.

    The vWii can not read or write to Wii U partitions and the Wii U always wants to format the entire physical hard disk. People have speculated of ways to fool the Wii U into only formatting a part of a hard disk so you can add another partition on the same drive for the vWii, but that idea hasn't gone anywhere tangible yet. That idea may be possible, but would require hardware intervention probably via a RAID controller.

    At the end of the day, most people just say it is simply easier to dedicate a separate hard disk to the vWii instead of worrying about ways to make a single hard disk work via complicated partitioning methods.

    Hope that clears things up a bit, I know it isn't what you may have wanted to hear but that is the state of things. Unless there has recently been major changes I haven't seen lately.
    greenkoala likes this.
  9. Mistah Spoon

    Mistah Spoon Member

    Sep 10, 2016
    United States
    Sorry for commenting on this old post. I have the same problem, you know: Wiiflow boots to the wii channel menu. So I install 52 cISO, and put the ISO type to 249. Instead, I get a black screen. So, I then try to use a 32GB USB stick. It would work, right? I put in some games, hide the USB with UStealth, and then I stick it to the back of the Wii U. I then start up Wiiflow and try to change the game path to the USB. However, the USB is not read at all, just the SD card as an option. What am I doing wrong?? The USB stick??
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