The disc drive is a component in the Wii. It is designed to read DVDs in specific, unlike a wide variety of DVD drives, the Wii's drive does not support CDs. The drive has a locking mechanism in the center, which pulls down when a disc is inserted. There are also latching mechanisms, which pull back for Wii discs, and stay in place for holding GameCube discs.
The Wii disc drive is the most likely component to fail in the Wii due to aging and moving parts. Inside the disc drive, the most likely component to fail or to wither in performance is the lens.
If the disc drive is incapable of reading discs well, it is recommended to clean the lens. This can be done by using a q-tip and isopropyl alcohol, and gently cleaning the lens using the q-tip. Gentle means gentle, so it is not recommended to go any harder then it should be.
Dust buildup can happen at the rod section inside the drive, which can be cleaned out with a q-tip.
Assuming that the disc drive needs to be totally replaced, there are about three or four screws (depends on model) holding in the drive. After removing these screws, unplug the disc drive and gently remove the ribbon cable.
MN102 Serial Writer
This is the interface used by 9 & 6 wire mod chips to patch the drives firmware.
It looks as though Matsushita tried to disable this interface in the D2C and newer drive controllers. A clock glitch allowed mod chip vendors to defeat this protection and use the "Serial Writer" to inject firmware.
Here is a description of the "Serial Writer" protocol commands used by most modchips. The modchip sends commands (and optionally data) to the drive controller which responds with its status
Command Packet Format
XX is the Command
YY is 10 bytes of data
CC is the 8 bit checksum (add first 11 bytes modulo 256)
Command Byte OR'ed with result
01 = OK 02 = Bad Checksum 04 = Failed
Complete list is 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,90
20 SecretKey Send Secret Key to unlock drive. This is the first command to be sent and enables all the others. The Secret Key is located at 0x80800 in the DVD controllers memory, if it is set to FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF in the DVD controllers memory then no check is made
20, KK, KK, KK, KK, KK, KK, KK, KK, 00, 00, CC
KK is 8 bytes of secret key CC is the 8 bit checksum
30 Download Data Downloads data to the DVD controller's RAM
30, 00, PP, PP, PP, LL, LL, 00, 00, 00, 00, CC
PP is a 24 bit ptr (MSB first) LL is 1 16 bit length (MSB first) CC is the 8 bit checksum
The DVD controller then expects to receive length bytes of data followed by an eight bit checksum
[Length bytes], CC
NOTE: It is not important if the second checksum (for the data) since it has been downloaded to RAM anyway, seems ARGON/D2Pro uses checksum = 0
40 Execute Downloaded Data This always follows a 30 command and causes the DVD controller to jump to the download address
40, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, 00, CC
CC is the 8 bit checksum
70 Upload Data Uploads data from the DVD controller's memory
70, 00, PP, PP, PP, LL, LL, 00, 00, 00, 00, CC
PP is a 24 bit ptr (MSB first) LL is a 16 bit length (MSB first) CC is the 8 bit checksum
The DVD controller then sends length bytes of data from ptr followed by an eight bit checksum
[Length bytes], CC
Modchips do the following with my D2C drive:
1) Send SecretKey 20 2BFCDE02F3FECA60 0000 42
2) Read 1 byte from memory location 0x08838E (I am guessing, drive type?) 70 40 08838E 0001 838E0000 DB 71 DF DF (1st DF is data byte, 2nd DF is checksum)
3) Writes 0x49 bytes to 0x008032 30 00 008032 0049 00000000 2B 31
4) Executes the code at 0x008032 (& maybe resets drive) 40 00000000000000000000 40 41
5) Send SecretKey 20 2BFCDE02F3FECA60 0000 42
6) Download 0x1312 bytes to 0x40C000 30 00 40C000 1312 00000000 55 31
7) Executes the code at 0x40C000 40 00000000000000000000 40 41