To brick a Wii is to damage the console in a way that it can no longer be used properly, usually beyond repair - as in 'A bricked Wii has all the electronic functionality of a brick'. To put it simply, fully bricked Wii consoles do absolutely nothing. The term is often used in situations where modifying a system's firmware (without necessarily making any alterations to the machine's hardware) has caused it to become inoperable.
Fixing a brick generally comes in three steps; the first step is identifying the brick, the second step is launching homebrew, and the third step is using this homebrew to load a recovery tool.
If a brick cannot easily be fixed, it is not recommended to trash the console. As Wii's are no longer in production, many people will probably be interested in a bricked console to repair or conduct research on. Instead of trashing the console, sell it online or ask a community (such as RiiConnect24) if they are interested in investigating the brick.
- 1 Identifying a brick
- 2 Prevention
- 3 Other recovery methods
Identifying a brick
If the health screen is the last screen seen, then the brick is either a banner brick or a mail brick. To test this, hold + and - when pressing A; if the system still refuses to boot, it is a banner brick, otherwise it is a mail brick.
If "Error 003" appears on the screen, then it is an Error 003 brick.
If an Opera error shows, then it is a System Menu brick.
If Priiloader is installed, and it boots, then this is likely a System Menu brick, and can easily be fixed.
If BootMii is not installed as boot2, and the brick is a full brick, it is worth attempting to use a SaveMii Dongle to recover; if it works, it is a System Menu brick. Otherwise, it is or is equivalent to a low-level brick.
Finally, if an existing BootMii-boot2 installation fails to boot, then this is a low-level brick.
- Only install updates for your own region.
- Play your own region
- Playing games or using Wii Menu channels from other regions shouldn't cause any problems, but in exceptional circumstances something could go wrong
- Games and Channels from other regions will not function without modification
- DO NOT DELETE CRITICAL SYSTEM FILES
- DO NOT INSTALL SYSTEM FILE MODS
- Unless, you have a VERY good reason
- DO NOT INSTALL UNOFFICIAL CHANNELS
- Unless, they come from a TRUSTED source and REALLY serve a useful function
- Malformed channels (especially the banner part) can make your System Menu crash on boot
- Loading apps from a SD Card is much safer
- Ensure that you know what you're doing before you install or run any homebrew apps
- Especially, those with the "Homebrew Dangerous if Misused" banner on their page
- BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN USING:
- DO NOT TOUCH YOUR Wii's POWER SOURCE/BUTTON WHILE UPDATING/INSTALLING SYSTEM CONTENT
- (e.g. BootMii NAND backup)
- ESPECIALLY DURING AN ELECTRICAL STORM
Other recovery methods
If a Wii becomes bricked, there may be a way to unbrick it.
Using a Recovery Disc
The disc check can be bypassed.
This allows you to boot Recovery Software from a disc.
NOTE: This method is outdated and has a lot of requirements:
1.) A semi-working System Menu.
2.) A fully working System Menu IOS.
3.) ILLEGAL copies of the old repair disc.
- Won't work on updated systems, because IOS16 was stubbed and homebrew discs require the Trucha Bug inside the correct IOS or that IOS has to ignore signing completely.
Using a savegame exploit
If you do have a copy of an exploit save ALREADY on the Wii, and an authentic exploitable disc, you can use this to boot recovery software as well. This also requires:
- A semi-working System Menu.
- A fully working System Menu IOS.
- Some way to still boot game discs.
- A recovery homebrew app on the root of the SD card, named boot.dol
If you do not already have a savegame exploit on the Wii's NAND, there's a method to get it on the Wii NAND after a brick:
- Spam the NAND with savegames until it's nearly full. Alternatively, if you have internet access on your Wii, Wii Shop access, and channels you can redownload (unless your NAND is already almost full), you can download a bunch of channels until there's little to no space left.
- Try to install another channel, the Rabbids Go Home Channel, the Mario Kart Channel, or the Wii Fit Channel.
- Use the option to go to data management and copy the savegame over. (And don't forget to delete the savegames/channels you spammed earlier when you're done!)
- Once the savegame is copied over, boot the game, use the exploit, and use the recovery homebrew you copied earlier to recover the Wii from the brick.
Using Smash Stack
If you have a copy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, you can boot recovery software as well.
- Some way to boot game discs
- A recovery homebrew app on the root of the SD card, named boot.dol
Simply copy the Smash Stack stages over to the SD card, and load the level editor as usual.
- Configured to boot something other than the System Menu
Simply boot a recovery program the way you would any other. if you have Priiloader installed, but it boots to the System Menu then try holding down reset when you turn on your Wii, after a few seconds of holding reset the Priiloader menu should appear.
- NAND backup
- BEFORE the Wii bricks
It's advised to backup your NAND right after you install BootMii.
If you installed BootMii as boot2, then simply go to the second options screen and choose the second icon which can recover from the brick.
Using a NAND Programmer
- Soldering many wires to the Wii's motherboard
In order to use a NAND Programmer/Infectus to rewrite the flash directly you will need to know your Wii's NAND keys.
WC24 title booting
WC24 title booting can be used to fix banner bricks. The types of bricks this can fix is similar to the "recovery mode" menu. That menu can be triggered by holding down all D-Pad buttons on the GC controller plugged into slot 4, a tab inside the controller needs removed in official GC controllers. Every time the file at the boot mail entry URL installed by wc24app is updated, every Wii that already downloaded the boot mail would download again and wakeup for title booting again. The entry URLs that wc24app installs includes the consoleID, this can be used to send unique content for one Wii. If you need the boot mail content for the entry installed by wc24app to be updated to fix your bricked Wii after it already downloaded and booted with the mail, contact Yellows8 on the talk page, or send an email to yellowstar6 at gmail dot com. To repair a Wii with WC24 title booting, the following requirements must be met:
- Like the "recovery mode" menu, sysmenu IOS must be working correctly
- HBC must be installed since the boot mail would boot HBC, WC24 title booting can't boot discs.
- Sysmenu needs to be working without completely crashing to allow shutting down to idle/"standby" mode
- Before the brick occurs, you need to run wc24app v1.1(currently from SVN or this build) on the Wii to install the boot mail entry, and to enable the WC24 title boot flag. The title boot flag is never cleared or set after file creation by Nintendo software, this flag is only cleared by Nintendo software on file creation. Nintendo announcement mail can't be intercepted and modified since that mail is RSA signed.(Modifying that mail is only possible if the sysmenu IOS has the signature check patched or has the fakesign bug, and any other IOS that run when the mail is newly downloaded/downloaded when mail is updated would need the sig patch or have the fakesign bug.)
Sending it to Nintendo
This option is the least desirable for homebrew users, as Nintendo will likely send back a different console, with your personal settings/Wii Shop account transferred and the latest updates installed. Additionally, Nintendo is no longer repairing any Wiis, so this is not even a last resort anymore.