A Nintendo community
by the fans!
  Forum main
** A -How To- Guide on Hacking & Running Homebrew on the Wii. **
Editorial by 
October 28, 2008, 06:45
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.

URL to share (right click and copy)
10/28/08, 06:45
Why not sign up for a (free) account?
Well I figured people can just add comments by well... commenting. Kind of like how a lot of programmer forums work, the code is posted in the main body and then the programmers expand upon it in their own comments. You end up having to read through the whole thread to get all the details, but it works.

I'm trying to limit the amount of stickies (one of my pet peeves is boards where half the main page is stickies) but what I am planning on doing is giving it a link in the menu up above so anyone can find it easily. "Homebrew" or something.

I'm assuming you are going to be adding the links to where you find the files to use?!

PS. That's so bizarre how you actually use Twilight Princess and "play" in the game to get it started, ha ha.

Posted by 
 on: 10/28/08, 07:09
Alright it's linked from the main menu up top.

Are these files used updated constantly or what? I was going to say we could host them here, but if they have to be updated a lot we would probably get lazy about it, might make sense to just keep linking to sites who focus on this stuff.

Posted by 
 on: 10/29/08, 19:19
I think we have 6 gigs of server space. I'm not 100% sure on that though. Eventually I want to set things up so any user could upload anything they want, period, up to a certain MB limit... but that'd be more "personal" folders.

On a sort of general note though, I think it is somewhat pointless for the Negative World to try to do things that dedicated sites do better. I'd imagine there have to be sites that keep a constantly updated library of the .wads, right? So we could like... try to have our own library which (probably) wouldn't be updated as much as the dedicated sites... or we could just link to the libraries of the sites who keep on top of this stuff.

Or is like ROMs where you have to jump through like 800 hoops before you actually get to the file, and you're lucky if they don't send you off to porn sites first...

Posted by 
 on: 10/30/08, 21:54
Hmm, we could probably host some stuff here. Let me think about the best way to set things up. I could pretty easily set up a page where just you could upload files but I'm trying to stop programming specific stuff (that was my mistake with the old Neg World) and start thinking forward and programming more open ended things. Which probably comes back to setting it up so all users could upload files. Not sure when I will get to that though.

Posted by 
 on: 10/31/08, 07:28
Well I can set up an upload page set up a single page pretty quickly if we do need to host files, but I more mean like... forward thinking. Deciding who can upload what longterm and the likes. Eventually I want to set up a feature where users can upload their own music, art, whatever but I haven't worked out the details yet... so I'm trying to mentally decide the best way to set uploads up.

Posted by 
 on: 11/01/08, 23:15
Damn, I might do this just for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom...

Posted by 
 on: 11/15/08, 12:34
Update - I did do this for TvC, works great.

Mind-numbingly easy to set-up too.

Posted by 
 on: 02/10/09, 11:35
yay somebody used my write-up!

Posted by 
 on: 02/10/09, 19:38
Well the way NOA is being completely terrible with localizing, I may end up doing so as well eventually. No pressing need at the moment but I swear... if a year from now we still aren't seeing Disaster and Fatal Frame 4...

Posted by 
 on: 02/13/09, 22:27
i can't download the homebrew installer from the site
the site seems to have an extremely slow server. could Zero possibly make Negative world a Host this file so i can download it? Plz plz plz.

Posted by 
 on: 03/03/09, 09:39
Never mind the sever is fine now for some reason. o well

Posted by 
 on: 03/04/09, 08:54
I have trouble copying the hack to my wii system memory from SD card. It won't copy. I'm sure theres away new hack or something

Posted by 
 on: 03/15/09, 08:28
I found my error. Can't wait for an updated dvd/mplayer so the in DVD options can be used and such with the wii-mote.

Posted by 
 on: 03/16/09, 06:22
This needs a bump.


If you have followed the instructions up top in the past, do not upgrade to Wii Firmware 4.0 traditionally thru Nintendo. I'm hearing you will brick your Wii. There is a work around to get v4.0 on your system without damaging your hombrew or ability to install .wad's. When I find the correct .dol, install and test it myself I'll post it here. Hopefully in the next few hours.


P.S. The new 4.0 will break the ability to install the Homebrew Channel using the Twilight Hack above if you haven't already done so. I'm hearing Homebrew Channel itself is fine with the work-around, but you will have no way of putting it back on after upgrading to 4.0 if you choose to remove it.

I'll rephrase...If you want the Homebrew Channel, be sure to put it on now before upgrading to v4.0 as this could be your last chance for a while. If you do put Homebrew on, now just wait a bit longer and we'll get you the 4.0 work around so you can still have all of its' features.

Again, give me a few hours here...

Posted by 
 on: 03/26/09, 19:22
Alright...How to install System Update 4.0 and keep all functions (including loading from SD with hacked wads)

What You'll Need:

* Homebrew Channel installed already
* SD Card
* Latest IOS v8 (CIOS) installed already. (Do not get any updates until you get this first)
DOWNLOAD HERE --> http://www.yafaze.com/wii/ciosrev8installer.rar
Install the included .wad with the WAD Manager or place the folder containing the .dol Into the Apps folder and run with HBC.
* This patched IOS60 file. Download Here --> http://www.yafaze.com/wii/4.0hacktools.rar

Instructions: For all system menu's

Put the contents of the rar file on the sd card.

Open Homebrew Channel and run IOS60 installer, when it boots it will ask the following:

"do you want to download and install IOS61?" SAY NO PRESS B
"do you want to download and install IOS60?" SAY YES PRESS A
"do you want to patch IOS60?" SAY YES PRESS A

After it's installed IOS60 it'll ask:

"do you want to download and install the newest shop channel?" SAY NO PRESS B.

Restart Wii.

You are done simply connect to the internet by doing a connection test and download 4.0 update.

Now you can move your Virtual console games to SD and see if they boot (Don't put Homebrew Channel or BackupLauncher on the SD Card at first)

If they don't boot from SD Card something went wrong so repeat the install of IOS60 using the .rar provided.

Posted by 
 on: 03/27/09, 05:25
okay fixed. Thanks goes to the guys hosting the download links. I was the guinea pig and this indeed works. Best of both worlds. All the joy of the new 4.0 update while still keeping my Frankenstein Wii intact and capable to do all the naughty things it can do.

Hey Zero... I can't delete old posts anymore?

Posted by 
 on: 03/29/09, 22:17
Only other function I want for my Wii now is to play Japanese and European imports. I saw the AnyRegionChanger. What specifics need to be changed in order to permenantly fix the Wii to play the 3 main regions of NA, JP, and EU? I won't need to apply this knowledge right away but whenever I do decide to import it would be nice to know ahead. Knowing also ARC can brick my Wii if I were to make a mistake. In the youtube video demonstration there wasn't a demo of the Disc channel game boot up function. The person did demostrate going back in and reconfiguring the settings for the shop channel if they wanted to change the region. Im sure that this isn't needed for the Disc Channel everytime one wants to play various regions in their game collection...is it??

Posted by 
 on: 04/10/09, 11:17
'Hey Zero... I can't delete old posts anymore?'

Oh yeah sorry, I still have to fix that, there was a weird bug where it would delete most than just the one post and for the life of me I couldn't figure out why so I shut it down for the time being. If you really want to get rid of something you'll just have to edit it out for now.

Posted by 
 on: 04/11/09, 01:23
Yeah going thru the normal Disc Channel is not an option. Search for WiiGator's Backup Loader 0.3
It will run NTSC US, JP & PAL EU burned discs. I've been playing Disaster Day of Crisis since last fall.

WiiWare is even easier it just works when installed with the WAD manager. I've had the Japanese version of Gradius Rebirth many many months before it released here in the US.

Posted by 
 on: 04/12/09, 21:48
Heres the case. I just recently got back online after a few months. I now use satellite connection. I moved my Homebrew Channel to the SD card temporarily cause I felt like it may have somehow interfered with a few online activities like the Wii update. I finally got the most recent Wii Update, but when I attempted to move my HB from my SD back to the Wii memory the file wouldn't move. The system doesn't crash or anything , but you just can't move it or copy the file back to the Wii Menu or launch it from the SD menu though its there. It may possibly may operate while offline, cause the function I used it mainly to access was the DVD playback capabilities.Nothing major, but I'm sure theres away around it.

I'd already read this and I'm now reading the above post again about the 4.0 update and may have screwed myself out of the Homebrew. Oh well, I still want to play Disaster and Fatal Frame 4 darn it and Nintendo making changes with the 4.0 still doesn't change that at all!

Posted by 
 on: 04/13/09, 20:00
  Forum main