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Hardware Mods WiiKey FAQ

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Made by Raffles of www.wiinewz.com

Q. What is a WiiKey?
A. Basically, a WiiKey is more commonly known as a “mod chip” for the Wii. It will, amongst other things, allow you to play backups of your Wii and GameCube games (subject to certain limitations).

Q. Can Nintendo tell if I have a mod chip installed?
A. The WiiKey uses a method to hide itself from prying eyes. This is known as ‘stealth’ mode. This also includes internet access.

Q. But I have seen a thing on my Wii that mentions ‘devices’. Are you sure it can’t be detected?
A. Very sure. That disclaimer was Nintendo’s attempt at scaremongering – you can ignore it.

Q. Will a WiiKey work with my Wii?
A. This all depends on which version of the DVD controller chip you have. WiiKey’s only work with versions DMS, D2A and D2B. If you have a D2C, then you will need a D2CKey (or similar) – see Home - d2ckey for more information on D2CKey.

Q. How do I find which version I have?
A. Try entering your Wii’s serial number in to this site and see what pops out. Of course, the only way to be 100% certain is to open your Wii (or get someone else to) and have a look.

Q. That site says I have 'cut legs'. What does that mean?
A. Some D2B chips have three of their pins snipped off. This means that you can't fit a WiiKey in the usual manor. Fitting is still possible - but this involves grinding down some of the drive chips resin. Take your Wii and WiiKey to a professional installer as this is not a job for an amateur.

Q. I'm brave enough (or stupid enough) to have a go at my 'cut legs'. Is there a guide?
A. 'Cheeky Monkey' from the late ConsoleWorkshop.co.uk created a great instruction pdf. A copy can be found here

Q. Where can I get a WiiKey?
A. Have a look for a list of authorised dealers. Note – if you buy from another source (as you are quite entitled to do so) you could end up with a clone chip.

Q. What is a ‘clone chip’?
A. Clone chips are chips that look and feel just like the real thing – but, in fact, are not. Using a clone WiiKey may cause you all sorts of problems later on, so try and make sure you get a 100% genuine WiiKey.

Q. Is my WiiKey a genuine one as I have the ‘WiiKey’ hologram?
A. The hologram is not a guarantee that you have a genuine WiiKey – as many of the clone chip suppliers also cloned the hologram.

Q. OK – I got my genuine WiiKey. How do I fit it?
A. As the WiiKey is very small I suggest you use someone who is skilled in soldering small surface mount components. You can try it yourself – but don’t blame me if you make a mess of it.

Q. I am going to do it myself (I think I can solder). Which method is best?
A. Personally, I go for the ‘long wire’ method as this gives you more flexibility when it comes to mounting the WiiKey and isn’t quite as sensitive to soldering mistakes. There are other methods – ‘short wire’ and ‘quick solder’, but these can lead to problems – as it requires you to go very carefully with the soldering.

Q. What is ‘long wire’?
A. Long wire is simply soldering wires to the points on the WiiKey – and then soldering the other ends to the relative points on the DVD drive board. This means that your soldering iron spends less time on the delicate solder pads – which can only be a good thing.

Q. I soldered it but I’ve been told I may have “lifted a pad”. What did I do?
A. This usually occurs when you leave your soldering iron on the DVD drive board for too long (or you simply have your soldering iron too hot). What you may have done is melted the glue (laymen’s term) that holds the solder point on the DVD board to the board itself and pulled the pad off. This means that there is no longer a connection between the pad and your DVD drive controller chip. You will probably have to solder the wire to the relevant leg on the controller chip now. I suggest you take it to someone who knows about soldering small components before you do any more damage.

Q. Right, it’s all fitted – what now?
A. First thing to do is check your connections (preferably using a meter that detect short circuits) – then check them again. Be VERY careful not to pull on the wires too much – as this could lead to you lifting a pad.

Q. All checked and passed – what now?
A. Check that originals still work as they should. If originals don't work - check all the connections to the DVD drive and the WiiKey again.

Q. My original worked – what now?
A. Check that an old 'back-up' from your region works. I say 'old' as lots of the newer games have some form of updating/checking built in. Games from 2006 - will be fine. If originals work - but the 'back-up' doesn't - re-check your fitting again.

Q. What does ‘from my region’ mean?
A. Simply put, if you have a PAL (European) console – then use a PAL game. If it is a NTSC-U (USA) one – then try a NTSC-U one etc.

Q. My old ‘back-up’ worked – yippee! Can I now try new games?
A. Not so fast. You will probably need to update your WiiKey to the latest stable firmware (currently v1.9s). This is available from here - but, don’t burn this just yet (see below).

Q. I’ve heard that the discs won’t be recognized by my Wii. Is this true?
A. Sort of. When Nintendo released version 3.0 of the Wii’s firmware – they included a little section that rejects certain GameCube discs (the WiiKey discs are in GameCube format). If your firmware is less than version 3.0 – then you can use the discs.

Q. How do I know what version of Wii firmware I have?
A. Start up your Wii and go in to the Wii settings menu. Now, in the top right of the screen is your Wii’s firmware version (ending in a ‘E’, ‘U’ or a ‘J’ depending on which region your Wii is from).

Q. I seem to have v3.0 (or v3.1 or 3.2) – can I still use the config disc from above?
A. No – for reasons mentioned above. Don’t panic though – help is at hand. Currently, there are 2 main methods for getting the config disc to work. One is to use GCOS (which requires access to a GameCube controller) and the other is to use a Hex’d version (which involves burning 2 DVD’s). You need to use either of these to turn 'region override' to 'on'. Once turned on, you should be able to run the 'standard' update & config discs.

Q. What is GCOS and Hex’d?
A. GCOS (GameCube Operating System) is a program written by emu-kidd to enable users to create multi-game discs (amongst other things). GCOS discs are still recognised by the Wii firmware (ie. they didn’t get blocked by firmware 3.0) – but you will need a GameCube controller to use them. Hex’d discs are discs that have had the DVD header changed to fool the Wii in to thinking it is a normal GameCube disc. Trouble is, the Hex’d disc won’t load on it’s own – it stops and asks you for the original config disc – this is why you need 2 DVD’s – one Hex’d one and one ‘untouched’ one.

Q. I have a GameCube controller. Where is this GCOS disc then?
A. You can download a GCOS v1.3 config disc from here.

Q. I don’t have a GameCube controller. Where is the Hex’d disc then?
A. A pre-Hex'd disc is available from here - thanks to ‘vapochill’.

Q. I changed my settings and re-ran the config disc. All my settings have reverted back to default. Why?
A. Actually, no they haven't. As part of the 'stealth' mode of the WiiKey - the settings are never actually read from the chip itself (otherwise this would make detection very easy - and nobody wants that). The config disc ALWAYS reports the default settings. Chances are your preferences have been saved.

Q. Well, that’s the config disc issue sorted – what about the rest?
A. If you followed the instructions above, then the update discs from here should now work fine. If they don’t – then try the above methods again.

Q. I’ve tried the above methods and put ‘region override’ to ‘on’ – what’s next?
A. Download a copy of the v1.9s update disc from here and burn this on to a DVD.

Q. My DVD burning software insists that I’m making a CD and not a DVD. How do I convince it otherwise?
A. Some burning software can’t understand why you would want to burn a DVD that’s so small in size. Try burning the padded-out files from here - these should fool it.

Q. Can’t I just use a CD – and save on DVD’s?
A. No. Wii’s do not recognise CD’s at all. It is DVD only.

Q. It's now on a DVD. But my WiiKey refuses to upgrade to v1.9s. Any ideas?
A. This could be all manor of things. The most common is a bad burn. Try another copy - but burn this at 4x, on a DVD-R using Verbatim (or equivalent). I only suggest this, as this combination works for me.

Q. I've done numerous re-burns - but it still won't work. Any ideas?
A. This is where it gets tricky. If your back-ups are working - and you don't care about GameCube games or Super Mario Galaxy (or Mario Kart Wii or Super Smash Brothers Brawl), then leave your WiiKey at it's current level. If you 'must' have the latest firmware then it could be anything - from a clone chip to bad fitting to a broken Wii etc. Everyone is different. Try posting your exact problem in the forums at WiiNewz - someone there may be able to help.

Q. I now have working copies of the v1.4 config disc – and I’ve update my WiiKey to v1.9s – can I play my new games yet?
A. Almost there. If your Wii’s firmware is less than v3.2 – then update it via. the internet. This will give you a Wii with the latest firmware (v3.2) and a WiiKey with it’s latest stable firmware (v1.9s).

Q. My Wii isn’t connected to the internet. Is there any other way to update my Wii’s firmware?
A. There are a few games known to update your Wii. Just make sure you use one from your Wii's region (see below).

Q. My Wii’s firmware is stuck at v2.2 (with no way of updating) – can I still play the newer games?
A. Yes you can – as long as they are from your Wii’s region. If they are from another region you could end up with a bricked Wii. You have been warned!

Q. What is a ‘bricked’ Wii then?
A. A ‘bricked’ Wii is a term used to describe a Wii that has had an update applied from a different region that rendered the Wii unusable. The term ‘bricking’ came about as doing this makes your Wii about as useful as a brick.

Q. Can I fix a ‘bricked’ Wii?
A. You can’t – but Nintendo can – for a fee! Also, Nintendo will now know that you have had a mod chip installed – as you can only ‘brick’ a Wii with one in.

Q. What’s all this about ‘brick-blocker’ and ‘regionfrii’?
A. Brick-blocker (http://www.wii-addict.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2017) tries to remove the updates from the DVD image before you burn them. That way, the game won’t try and update your Wii (and risk ‘bricking’ it). Regionfrii (RegionFrii 1.21 - Software Headlines) patches a game – to make the Wii think it is from the same region as your Wii. However, it does not remove the update section. Use both of these with caution.

Q. I played a game from another region – and now I have 2 news and weather channels. Is my Wii ‘bricked’?
A. This can happen with various games. These games include the 2 extra channels for those that don’t already have them. Your Wii is not ‘bricked’ – but you will have to live with those duplicate channels I’m afraid unless you try this.

Q. I can’t get to my Wii’s settings – am I ‘bricked’?
A. This is known as ‘semi-bricked’. This means that your Wii is still useable – but you won’t be able to change anything. This usually means that you’ve run an update from a game that is not in the same region as your Wii. Although this is an inconvenience – consider yourself lucky that you haven’t totally ‘bricked’ your Wii!

Q. Can I recover from a ‘semi-brick’?
A. This is recoverable – but only by running an update from a game disc that is from the same region as your Wii (usually a later game than the one that ‘semi-bricked’ your Wii in the first place – if available). This method isn’t guaranteed to work – but it’s got to be worth a try.

Q. I want to play my back-up of ‘Super Mario Galaxy’! Can I?
A. Yes you can – but you will need to update your WiiKey to version 1.9g (or 1.9s) first.

Q. Why do I need v1.9g (or 1.9s)?
A. Super Mario Galaxy (SMG) contains a new form of copy protection. The game has a section that is hard coded to check for the type of media that is on. If it is not an original it gives an error. Version 1.9g bypasses this check and let’s the game run. Version 1.9s also includes this fix.

Q. So what is ‘Error #001’ then?
A. This is the error that SMG gives if you try and run it without applying update v1.9g (or v1.9s). Update your WiiKey to v1.9g (or v1.9s) and all should be dandy.

Q. I tried the update – now I get ‘"ERROR flashing. Please check your connections and try again.". Am I stuck?
A. You could be – as this error seems to appear if you have a clone WiiKey (or one that the update doesn’t recognize). Remember, v1.9g is a beta version – which means it may still contain errors and detect your perfectly original WiiKey as a clone. All I can suggest is that you go directly to v1.9s and try again.

Q. I've installed v1.9g and played SMG for a while. Now it appears that some of my 'back-ups' no longer work. What happened?
A. It seems there is more to the update on SMG than first meets the eye. It updates the Wii's firmware to version 3.0 (assuming your Wii isn't already at that level or greater). In this case, none of the original WiiKey discs will work anymore (see the GCOS/Hex'd section above). As for your 'back-ups' not working - well, the WiiKey have responded with v1.9s (believed to end the main problems associated with v1.9g BETA).

Q. What is the v1.9b recovery disc for?
A. This is to set your WiiKey back to it's default firmware - with its default settings. Some people have used this method to get their 'old' back-ups working again (just not SMG).

Q. I've heard that a WiiKey mod'd Wii can't play the original of Super Smash Brothers Brawl (SSBB). Is this true?
A. SSBB is the first game to be put on a dual-layer DVD (basically 2 DVD's bonded together). This is due mainly to the size of the game code and videos etc. The WiiKey now plays DVD-DL (aka DVD-9) originals. You will need to upgrade your WiiKey to v1.9s to enable this option.

Q. Rumor has it that v1.9s is going to be the last WiiKey update ever. Is this true?
A. Some 'beta testers' had already announced, and shown pictures of, the v1.9s update without the WiiKey teams permission (prior to it's official release). I can only assume that this annoyed them (understandably) and, therefore, the team decided to announce that this will be the last ever WiiKey update. NOTE - this is just a rumour at the moment - but the source is quite reliable.

Q. Well, I'm all up and running. Can you recommend a site for Wii box and disc labels?
A. Raffles' Wii Box Art
.
 
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It would have been nice to have asked first :S
 
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Carson

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haha, my bad dude, I thought I gave you credit. I just added it.
 
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