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** A -How To- Guide on Hacking & Running Homebrew on the Wii. **
Editorial by 
October 28, 2008, 06:45:08
Since this can all be very confusing, we’ll start by getting the Homebrew Channel on your Wii first. Once we get that on your system. Adding applications will make more sense later on.

There really is no worry here but there is always a 1 in 1million chance of something going wrong. Just follow the directions and you should be fine. But first I would just like to get the disclaimer off my chest anyway to protect my own ass.


Okay, here we go…

What You Will Need

- A Nintendo Wii of course (chip or non-chipped, it doesn't matter)
- An SD Card formatted for FAT16 (You cannot use an SDHC for this initial setup)
- A copy of The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii version not GameCube)
- Computer with an SD Card Reader
- Software that can extract .rar/.zip/.tar/.gz…like WinRAR

Why Are We Doing This?

What we will be doing is taking advantage of a security flaw discovered in TLoZ: TP. This will allow us to get the Homebrew Channel installed into your main system menu. From there you can run homebrew applications to do all sorts of things with your Wii.

Including but not limited to;

- Backing up & dumping your Wii & GameCube games to a burned DVD disc
- Playing .ISO backups Region Free
- Watching DVD movies
- Loading VC & WiiWare game files (.WAD’s) without going through the Wii Shop Channel
- Playing emulators
- Playing homebrew games
- Loading other homebrew applications, and more!

So let’s get started!

Step 1: Backup & Copy Zelda save to an SD Card

First you may want to backup your twilight save if you have one and you still care about it.

Go into Setting -> Data Management -> Save Data -> Wii then save data and copy the twilight save to your SD Card. Connect the SD Card to your computer by a SD Card reader or a built in reader, inside the "private" folder there is another, just keep click on the folders until you find the save. Move the BIN file to a safe location.

Now download the Twilight Princess hacked save. For firmware 3.2 and prior versions.
(Note: Later on when we use this, you may need a GameCube or Wavebird controller to operate the prompts for this older version)

or if you have wii firmware 3.3 download this version
(Note: This version can just use the Wii controller I believe)

Extract it using your own .ZIP extractor. I use WinRAR so I would right click the .ZIP and choose "Extract to twilight_hack_v0.1_beta1".

WinRAR will produce a folder called "twilight_hack_v0.1_beta1".

Inside that folder there are four .BIN files. You will need only one. They each correspond to the region you live in and the version of Zelda that you own.

Locate your version by reading the inner circle text. Now select the correct file from “twilight_hack_v0.1_beta1". For example, if I am from Europe I would pick rzdp0.bin from "twilight_hack_v0.1_beta1". Then copy the save from "twilight_hack_v0.1_beta1" into the SD Card where your last save was. Remove the old file and rename the new one to data.bin

Step 2: Copying the Hacked Save back to your Wii

Now take your SD Card and place it inside the Wii's SD Slot.

Power on your console and go to settings -> Data Management -> Save Data -> Wii and at the very top there is a Tab called "SD Card" select that and pick the save, select "Copy". After a few seconds it will be done, you can go ahead and Erase this save from your SD Card as you don't need it anymore.

Step 3: Installing the Homebrew Channel using Twilight Princess

Bring you and your SD card back to your computer. Completely wipe the SD card. It is now time to get the Homebrew Channel installed. Homebrew software comes in either .DOL or .ELF format. Click Here to download the latest version of the Homebrew Channel (beta 9 as of 10-25-08). Extract the contents to a folder once again. If it isn't already, rename the .DOL to "boot.dol" and place it in the root directory of your SD Card. You do not need wiiload folder on the SD card. Don’t worry about what that is for now. Just the boot.dol is needed.

Put the SD Card with the new boot.dol file on the root back into your Wii system. Start up Twilight Princess and choose the first save. You will be near Link’s house. Run up to the guy standing in front of you and begin a conversation to activate the hack. Once you do this the screen will go black and white scrolling text will appear. Let it do its’ thing and wait while boot.dol (the Homebrew Channel install) is setting up and getting itself ready to take your next inputs.

When it is time to install you will notice ACCEPT & CANCEL is color coded Green & Red. Follow the instructions. Pressing “1” on the Wii Remote will ACCEPT so do that. It will prompt you again to ACCEPT a second time so do that as well. It is now installing the Homebrew Channel to your Wii System Menu. Now follow the command prompt to restart your Wii.

If everything went okay, you will now see the Homebrew Channel when you enter the system menu. Congratulations! You can go ahead and delete the hacked Zelda save from your Wii system memory and put your old Zelda save back on if you wish.

Summary: Extra information about running other Apps like the Homebrew Browser

The Twilight Hack you just ran can only load one boot.dol or one boot.elf at a time and it doesn't let you choose the homebrew application you wish to boot if you have two or more of them on your SD Card. This is why I prefer the Homebrew Channel because you can have multiple applications on your SD card. Wipe your SD card and make a folder called apps on the root for your SD card.

If you have a wireless router, the Homebrew Browser is a good application to start with. It will download homebrew apps to your SD card and organize the directory structure and check to see if you have the latest version all automatically.

First Click Here to get it. Extract and copy the homebrew_browser folder and place it within the apps folder on your SD Card, go put it back in your Wii, and start up the Homebrew Channel. Run the application and you’ll be connecting online to a plethora of more apps you can get.

If you don't have WiFi internet access, you will need to download the applications manually to your computer and place them in your apps folder on your SD card. I will list more download locations later. We will also discuss how to get some .WAD files ( VC/WiiWare games ) loaded into your system. Then lastly we'll cover how to play games on burned discs.


That should give you enough to play with for now. I will update this later with more information.

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Posted: 10/28/08, 06:45:08    
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Oh yeah, have any of you experience any occasional delays between screens? Like when accessing the Wii settings or exiting out one of the channels. The screen will stay black but you can still hear the Wii menu music. Reminds me of the few bugs that the DVDx player had. Holding down the power for 4 seconds is the only way to start over. I may just going a head and delete the last remnants of HB that I have on my SD.

Posted by 
 on: 04/14/09, 23:04:52
I leave my WiiConnect24 off. Having that off has fixed any weird lag in between screens.

Posted by 
 on: 04/19/09, 23:28:56
Too bad we can't send each other the HBC channel. I'm tempted to downgrade then re-update my system again. Been checking back every other day on wiibrew for a new workaround hack for HBC

Posted by 
 on: 04/25/09, 21:37:00
Been thinking about developing my own Homebrew finding a new hack and sharing. Thing is I wouldn't want to brick my own Wii. I wonder if similar to the Twilight Hack if there are any other first generation titles with exploits?? The likes of Wii Sports, Red Steel, Escape From Bug Island...Hmm.

Posted by 
 on: 05/08/09, 01:45:13
Escape From Bug Island has an exploit. It exploits you out of the $10 you spend on it.

Posted by 
 on: 05/08/09, 20:04:52
The Bannerbomb exploit by comix I think was the name was posted briefly on wiibrew.org today I saved that zipped folder for it. I wanted to go back and read the direction as how to launch it, but now everything related to it has been deleted. It's used to launch homebrew applications on ver 4.0 or something, but not install Homebrew. The bootmii should be able to do that soon i read. I'm gonna search my browser history.

Posted by 
 on: 05/10/09, 05:55:53
Well it seems the system update 4.0 thru Nintendo seems to prevent any new exploits all together. There have been 2 new ones released over the past several weeks that fail in installation and or opening. Damn. I stayed up to the late hours this morning trying these workarounds and different versions. I still want Fatal Frame 4 and Disaster:DOC still. Oh well...

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/09, 21:02:27
They both work and I have HBC again. Easy...so easy just like before with the first installation I was making a small tiny error. The exploit was there but wasn't launching properly due to my error making the current 4.0 update catch it and not let me launch the file. Didn't give up and figured it out after 2 days. Ha! Awesome. I have the essential applications downloaded. So FF4 and DDOC, TvsCapcom and other imports here I come! I like pimping out the functionality of my Wii a little kinda giving it its on personalized uniqueness without going overboard.

Posted by 
 on: 05/16/09, 21:01:37
A SSBB exploit has been found by Comex, but no official name has been given and the exploit is yet to be released. This exploit isn't system menu related so it will be definately be harder for Nintendo to fix. They will have to come up with a way to safely and securely fix this exploit in memory on sight. The exploit is done in the custom stage builder and replaces the stages with a hacked one.

Posted by 
 on: 06/05/09, 11:24:41
" Latest IOS (CIOS) installed already. (Do not get any updates until you get this first)"

I wonder when the new official system update will come out? I'm sure those wonderful wiz kids out there will develop a special cIOS for that whenever it surfaces. I can wait for a newer one to be released. Right now I've got the semi best of both worlds maybe because I updated before carefully reading this post 3 months ago. System menu 4.0 can be softmodded without actual system downgrade. My 4.0u currently can install custom channels and menu themes without "errors writing to nand". Though when placed to the SD card the channels still won't launch unless they're left on the main system menu still. Way around that limitation would be to move all my official channels to SD and leave the custom ones until a workaround for the next official update is released. Though at one time I considered downgrading before the newer exploits came along to get my HBC back. I wouldn't want to redo the system update, a part of me feels slightly iffy. The Big N may have tweaked the 4.0 update a little since a few months ago before another big release...possibly. Wonder when that will be and what will be new? Right now I'm currently working on theme development projects... At one time to cater to my major craving to play Fatal Frame 4 and its previous games I had started working on a Wiips2 emulator about a month and a half ago since my brother moved out and took his ps2 with him. Then had a change of heart and dumped the project. Plus my Wii is the only one I could test it out on. Though I have brick protection I wouldn't wanna spend most my time experimenting with it than actually playing it.

Well last night/early this morning I decided to go for the best of both worlds and painlessy re-updated, but not through Nintendo of course keeping my current cIOSs'. I didn't have to actually downgrade and re-update again since I had a cIOS on it already, but I did anyway to get rid of any possible system menu impurities ("system files are corrupted", though they really weren't) from hacking the official update. I used the "4.0hacktool" to get the best of both worlds. Now I can drop custom channels to SD launch them and move them back and forth.

Posted by 
 on: 06/11/09, 07:34:53
Okay, still having trouble installing custom channels etc. though your'e Wii has already been hacked? But you don't want to downgrade?? One dooesnt't have to downgrade the System Menu at all.

Homebrew already installed
SD Card
Back up your SD Card and leave only the files from the rar pack on the Card.
Network connection (Ethernet doesn't work. Possible reason Nintendo discontinued the USB Connector?? Hmm. Thats what I used.) I'm sure a manual installation can be done too, network install is more convient.


Download this pack ---> 4.0 softmod

Unrar the pack.

Rename the "downgradeIOS35.dol" to "boot.dol" and copy it to your SD card under apps/DVDx

Rename "WadManager1.4.dol" to "boot.dol" and copy it to your SD card under apps/WADManager

Place the "wad" folder on the root of the SD card

Put the SD card back in the Wii, and run the Homebrew Channel..

Select DVDx and choose "downgrade IOS35" (skip step 2 and 3)

After that is done, exit back to the Homebrew Channel

Launch the Wadmanager

Choose all of the default settings and install "IOS35.wad"

Exit to the Homebrew Channel and launch WADManager again.

When it asks you which IOS to use, choose IOS35

Install CIOSv7.wad

Run wad manager again. Tell it to use IOS249.

Install IOS36.wad, and BUL3g.wad. No need for the HBC.wad if you already have it.

You also can update to CIOS Rev 10. Now theres a CIOS38 rev13/13b


Put your files back on the SD

Now you should be able to install wads on 4.0 with out getting "error writing to nand"

Posted by 
 on: 06/13/09, 23:24:06
For the ones who do Homebrew Nintendo has released System Menu 4.1 in Japan. This new menu update was built on June 24th, 2009 and released on July 3rd, 2009. Of course the usual warnings apply, updating is not recommended until more information is known about its effects on Homebrew. Also the Bannerbomb exploit still works!

I wonder what particular new features this menu update has?

Posted by 
 on: 07/03/09, 20:36:25
Today Nintendo has released 4.1 for US/EUR. Same forementioned rules apply for this update as well if one is a Homebrewer until further is known about the US/EUR versions of the update.

edit: Just received a message about it on my message board. Ha.

Posted by 
 on: 07/16/09, 08:22:10
What is the Bannerbomb exploit?

You seem to be more on top of this than I am. Maybe you want to make a new thread updating the "how-to" for homebrew since so much has changed. Zero I'm sure can re-link it under "ETC" at the top.

Posted by 
 on: 07/17/09, 09:59:05
Bannerbomb was a temporary way for launching Homebrew applications after the 4.0 update until a new exploit was found when the Twilight Hack was disabled. It could launch Homebrew from any system menu. The exploit works by using a malformed banner to crash the Wii and run code to load the boot.dol placed in the root of the SD card. Nows its used to launch the Hackmii Installer to install Bootmii, DVDX and HBC.

It all could be put here I guess. Your'e the Negative World Homebrew pioneer or something. *L* I had never even heard of Homebrew before, but was looking for ways to enhance my Wii a little, play imports like on my previous consoles and this was perfect. I just never bothered to post the bannerbomb Homebrew installation. I thought most that Homebrewed knew of it? Hmm. Yeah, you didn't make the mistake I did with losing it when the official update was released a few months ago and updated thru Nintendo. I know I had to wait for a new exploit and I'm sure many others did as well. I know I was happy when the bannerbomb came out. I kinda keep myself updated with that information just in case. I was thinking of doing the whole install process all over again just to dowload the new official 4.1 update. I'm hoping it will fix whatever bugs 4.0 had.

Posted by 
 on: 07/17/09, 12:31:10
Waninkokos Firmware 4.1

Edit: If any errors occur during the update repeat the update until it fully downloads all ios' sucessfully and finishes the full installation process.

Posted by 
 on: 07/17/09, 23:20:32
Thanks PTK.

For everyone else remember to rename the contents inside the .zip to boot.dol and place it in a folder inside SD root/apps

Posted by 
 on: 07/18/09, 03:07:38
I almost forgot to mention.If you used the pre-loader previously on 4.0 the system hack settings can't be used with the 4.1 update. The preloader can be installed since both menus use IOS60, but the system menu hacks settings that are brought up from the "hacks.ini" file on the root of the card won't even come up. I tried adjusting the numbers for this specific menu 4.1 which are versions 448(Japan), 449 (USA) and 450(Europe). I got nothing. So I did some time traveling (Bootmii/boot2) from a nand back up I did just a few days ago and effortlessly went back to 4.0U until a new menu/pre-loader is developed. I'm ready to go back to 4.1 at anytime. Just I need the pre-loader for the option to enable "Skip disc update check" cause my overseas Disc want to update and I know that would be stupid. Though I have bootmii, but still...

Posted by 
 on: 07/18/09, 14:21:37
After all of that I am hesitant to install 4.1 now but from what I am reading we need it for wii sports resort?

When you say pre-loader, are you refering to gecko os with the backup loader built in? 4.1 destroys the ability to use this? I gotta say all I really need are HBC & wad manager at the moment.

Posted by 
 on: 07/20/09, 00:03:10
No Pre-loader v0.29 used for the system menu hacks. With the many features like region free wii disc, region free channels, region free wiiware/vc from sd, skip disc update check, load any system menu version etc. It still has a bug that leaves the disc spinning in the disc channel when exiting back to the Wii menu after playin a game.

Last night I saw someone else had come out with their firmware 4.1 updater. It had a feature that did a system check for bricks after updating. I don't see it up now. I've never had a problem with any of Waninkoko's stuff anyway.

Posted by 
 on: 07/20/09, 05:51:13
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