Wii Disc

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This article describes the logical layout of data on a Wii disc.

Disc Format

Start Size Name Description
0x00000 1024 Header
0x40000 48 Partitions information
0x4E000 32 Region setting
0x4FFFC 4 Checksum


The first 0x400 bytes are like the GameCube disc header format.

Start Size Name Typical Value Description
0x000 1 Disc ID Wiidisc_IDs
0x001 2 Game code
0x003 1 Region code 'E' = USA | 'P' = PAL | 'J' = JAP
0x004 2 Maker code
0x006 1 Disc ID
0x007 1 Disc version
0x008 1 Audio streaming
0x009 1 Streaming buffer size
0x00A 14 0x00 unused?
0x18 4 Magicword 0x5D1C9EA3
0x020 64 Game title though most docs claim it to be 0x400 the Wii only reads 0x44 which will be padded by the DI driver to 0x60
0x060 1 Disable hash verification and make all disc reads fail even before they reach the DVD drive.
0x061 1 Disable disc encryption and h3 hash table loading and verification (which effectively also makes all disc reads fail because the h2 hashes won't be able to verify against "something" that will be in the memory of the h3 hash table. none of these two bytes will allow unsigned code)
0x080 380 Padding 0x00

Partitions information

The Wii disc format uses partitions, mostly one is used for updates (the 1st) and the 2nd for the game.

Start Size Description
0x40000 4 Total partitions in the disc
0x40004 4 Partition info table offset, Address is (value << 2)
0x40008 4 Total 2nd partitions in the disc (optional)
0x4000C 4 Partition info table offset, Address is (value << 2)
0x40010 4 Total 3rd partitions in the disc (optional)
0x40014 4 Partition info table offset, Address is (value << 2)
0x40018 4 Total 4th partitions in the disc (optional)
0x4001C 4 Partition info table offset, Address is (value << 2)

Partition table entry

Start Size Description
0x0 4 Partition offset, Address is (value << 2)
0x4 4 Partition type: 1 for an update partition, 0 otherwise.

Each partition starts with a Ticket followed by the TMD followed by three certifications.

Offset 0x00000000 is considered as the start of the partition.

Region setting

Start Size Name Description
0x4E000 4 Region byte 0 = JAP, 1 = USA, 2 = EUR
0x4E010 1 Region JAP byte Set to zero if 'Region byte' is set to 0
0x4E011 1 Region USA byte Set to zero if 'Region byte' is set to 1
0x4E014 1 Region EUR byte Set to zero if 'Region byte' is set to 2

Note : Blanking all 'Region JAP byte', 'Region USA byte' and 'Region EUR byte' will work too.

TMD and Certificate chain

offset size description
0x00000000 0x2A4 Ticket
0x000002A4 4 TMD size
0x000002A8 4 TMD offset >> 2
0x000002AC 4 Cert chain size
0x000002B0 4 Cert chain offset >> 2
0x000002B4 4 Offset to the H3 table >> 2 (size is always 0x18000)
0x000002B8 4 Data offset >> 2
0x000002BC 4 Data size >> 2
0x000002C0 varies TMD

Partition Data

Partition data is encrypted using a key, which can be obtained from the partition header and the master key. The actual partition data starts at offset 0x20000 in the partition, and it is formatted in "clusters" of size 0x8000 (32k). Each one of these blocks consists of 0x400 bytes of encrypted SHA-1 hash data, followed by 0x7C00 bytes of encrypted user data. The 0x400 bytes SHA-1 data is encrypted using AES-128-CBC, with the partition key and a null (all zeroes) IV. Clusters are aggregated into subgroups of 8 clusters, and 8 subgroups are aggregated into one group of 64 clusters. The plaintext format is as follows:

Start End Length Description
0x000 0x26B 0x26C 31 SHA-1 hashes ("H0", 20 bytes each), one for each block of 0x400 bytes of the decrypted user data for this cluster.
0x26C 0x27F 0x014 20 bytes of 0x00 padding
0x280 0x31F 0x0A0 8 SHA-1 hashes ("H1"), one for each cluster in this subgroup. Each hash is of the 0x000-0x26B bytes, that is, of the 31 hashes above. This means that each cluster carries a hash of the data cluster hashes for each of the clusters in its subgroup. Every cluster in the subgroup has identical data in this section.
0x320 0x33F 0x020 32 bytes of 0x00 padding
0x340 0x3DF 0x0A0 8 SHA-1 hashes("H2"), one for each subgroup in this group. Each hash is of the 0x280-0x31F bytes above. This means that each cluster carries a hash of the subgroup hash data for each of the subgroups in its group. All 64 clusters in a group have identical data in this section. Bytes 0x3D0-0x3DF here, when encrypted, serve as the IV for the user data.
0x3E0 0x3FF 0x020 32 bytes of 0x00 padding

If you're having trouble seeing how this works, here's the algorithm:

  • For every 0x400 bytes of user data (plaintext), apply SHA-1. Store the resulting table of hashes.
  • Aggregate 8 clusters. Apply SHA-1 to the table of data hashes that you've just created above for every cluster, and build a table of the resulting 8 hashes. Store this table in each of the 8 clusters.
  • Aggregate 8 subgroups (64 clusters). Apply SHA-1 to the table of hashes of each subgroup (note that every cluster in the subgroup shares this, so you only compute the SHA-1 once per subgroup). Build a table, and store a copy of this table into every one of the 64 clusters.

Finally, the global hash table ("H3"; which the partition header points to) contains the SHA-1 hash of the last table of each group in the disc. This table is not encrypted, but it is signed. To build it, take bytes 0x340-0x3DF from any sector in each group in the disc, apply SHA-1, and simply store all of the resulting hashes consecutively. All in all, each sector includes enough information to trace itself back to the master SHA-1 hash table. As a result, the entire disc is effectively signed. If anything is changed, the Wii will immediately crash (if the master hash table has been updated), or it will crash when it reads any sector in the modified group (if the group tables have been updated), any sector in the modified subgroup (if the subgroup tables have been updated), or any modified sector if no SHA-1s were updated.

The signature is stored in the TMD. The TMDs for the disc always have one content. The type of that content seems to be always 3, and the SHA1 hash is the SHA1 of the entire 0x18000 bytes of the hash table. The TMD is signed using Nintendo private key. That makes basically impossible to run modified discs. Trucha Signer uses the signing bug to bypass the TMD signature checking, so the SHA1 hash of the master table can be updated, and modified discs can be booted.

To decrypt the user data at 0x0400-0x7FFF, again use the partition key, but this time take the IV from bytes 0x3D0-0x3DF in the encrypted SHA-1 block.

Known Wii discs

On the Title Database you can find some info about different game discs

Methods to boot a disc

As far as we know there are 2 methods to boot a game.

Method 1 is R (manual boot)
Method 2 is 0 (autoboot)

The Wii BootMe tool (created by CorteX) lets you change the way wii images boot.