Notes from inside your Wii

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HBC release for a new Wii U

December 7th, 2012 by dhewg · 36 Comments

Update: HackMii Installer v1.2 with The Homebrew Channel v1.1.2 now available, see below

Another year, another console, another Hackmii Installer!

Despite all of the anti-reverse-engineering tricks we put into our last installment of the HackMii Installer, Nintendo managed to find the IOS exploit we used to install The Homebrew Channel and fix it sometime within the last two years. There never was a Wii system update for this, the fixed IOS versions can only be found on a Wii U.

They also blocked our old title ID. Consequently, we have a new release with a new version of The Homebrew Channel; this will install on both Wii consoles, and inside the virtual Wii sandbox inside the Wii U.  The currently used IOS exploit is courtesy of tueidj.

Please note that this is not running in full Wii U mode; running this on a Wii U will probably work just like on a Wii. (See if you can find any differences, we can all try to hack the Wii U together from inside Wii mode!)

Also, due to technical limitations of the virtual Wii mode, BootMii will not work on a Wii U. If we are able to resolve this, we will make a new release with BootMii support.

As usual, grab the new installer here.

If you’re unsure what do to with the installer, see this wiki page for a general tutorial on how to setup homebrew on your Wii, and this one at the brand new wiiubrew.org for savegame exploits that still work on a Wii U.

Unfortunately some bugs snuck into the v1.1 release, which are now fixed in v1.2:

  • PAL 50Hz (576i) video mode now works properly
  • BootMii/boot2 can be installed again on newer Wiis. This does not mean what you think it means. v1.1 had a bug that made BootMii/boot2 available to fewer Wiis than v1.0. v1.2 fixes that. If your boot1 is not vunerable, you still can’t and will never be able to install BootMii/boot2.
  • Icons load again in The Homebrew Channel

Sorry for the inconvenience.


Tags: Wii

36 responses so far ↓

  • 1 BluPhant // Dec 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Sweet! Great work! Glad to see development is still active on the project.

  • 2 aaron44126 // Dec 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Awesome. I haven’t tried it yet, but I suppose DVDX will not work anymore? Does the Wii U still read DVDs?

  • 3 DRaGMaRe // Dec 7, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Great Work!
    I installed bootmii and HBC on my Wii.
    But HBC not display application banners.

  • 4 JoostinOnline // Dec 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    While I’m glad that you’ve found a way to install the HBC on the vWii, I can tell you that it is full of bugs, at least on the original Wii.
    1) First it told me I could only install Bootmii as IOS (which isn’t true)
    2) When I went into the BootMii section, it only offered to install BootMii as boot2.
    3) After updating the HBC, I went back to find that about 3/4 of my icons would not show up. I looked into it and it seems only icons that are lower case (icon.png instead of ICON.PNG) are displayed.

  • 5 dhewg // Dec 7, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Thanks for the reports. So far we found two bugs that snuk in due to updated libraries:
    1) Screens set to PAL 50Hz (576i) are broken
    2) Some icons won’t show up

    Both will be fixed shorty, sorry :\

  • 6 Ben Whitman // Dec 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I just packed up my WiiU to head home for Christmas break. Can anybody confirm whether or not AHBPROT access works on the WiiU?

  • 7 tech3475 // Dec 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Nice, thanks for the continued work.

    I wonder if Nintendo will continue to patch exploits though or if they will give it indifference like the original Wii from now on?

  • 8 JoostinOnline // Dec 7, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Thanks dhewg, but what about the bootmii installer?

  • 9 dhewg // Dec 8, 2012 at 1:34 am

    JoostinOnline: Should be fixed too, apparently it detects some real wiis as sandboxed wiis 🙂

  • 10 JoostinOnline // Dec 8, 2012 at 11:04 am

    “BootMii/boot2 can be installed again on newer Wiis”
    Looks like you made an oopsy. I assume you either mean “on older Wiis” or “Bootmii/IOS”

  • 11 joaozin12 // Dec 8, 2012 at 11:05 am

    please i cant install bootmii/boot2, only have option in IOS. And version HBC is 1.1.2 right?

  • 12 Shinypaper // Dec 8, 2012 at 11:22 am

    It says here that it gives newer Wiis the option to have BootMii as boot2 but the installer will still only offer installation as an ios. I am on a newer black wii with Boot2 v4 – maybe I have missed something and it’s only SOME of the newer Wiis?

  • 13 cmb // Dec 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Thanks for getting this working on the WiiU. Only thing I really wanted to do was be able to watch my movies from WiiMC (via NAS), and now I can again. Thanks again.

  • 14 azjarcha // Dec 8, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Anyone got it to work with Letterbomb? Because, when I open the letter I just get a bunch of weird symbols.

  • 15 winmaster // Dec 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

    @azjarcha Letterbomb does not work on the Wii U. You will have to use a game exploit, such as Smash Stack or Indiana Pwns.

  • 16 norbyte // Dec 9, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Thanks for the new HBC. I remember the first releases for the Wii. But I wonder why the Wii U will be hacked from inside (break out of sandbox mode) instead of reverse engineering the Wii U part itself. The Wii was also hacked in that way. I remember also the first video of demonstrating bootmii (which was not the led). Is that not possible anymore?

  • 17 Muzer // Dec 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

    @confused people:

    I think dhewg just didn’t word it too well. There were some slightly newer Wiis that still had vulnerable boot1s which were wrongly detected as sandboxed Wii Us with the previous version; this fixes it, so these newer Wiis are now once again compatible. It doesn’t add any extra compatibility compared to older versions of the Hackmii installer.

  • 18 Muzer // Dec 10, 2012 at 10:20 am

    @norbyte: It’s true that the first real homebrew for the Wii was run from Wii mode, not from Gamecube mode. However, much of the information required to run Wii homebrew, including the encryption keys, was dumped from the GC homebrew sandbox via the Tweezer Attack (a pair of Tweezers was used to access and dump the extra RAM which was not cleared, and so left in the state it was when the system menu exited, containing code that could be reverse engineered along with (quite unnecessarily) keys). It’s possible that some not insignificant information about the Wii U useful in hacking could be discovered in a similar (but probably not identical; Nintendo usually learn from mistakes) fashion from within the Wii sandbox. Alternatively, it could be possible to break out of the Wii sandbox in some fashion. I don’t know how it works, I’m not sure if anyone does yet.

  • 19 dhewg // Dec 11, 2012 at 4:44 am

    Yeah, I could’ve been a more clear on the boot2 issue…

    v1.1 had a bug, and couldn’t install BootMii/boot2 on a few Wiis (where it could with v1.0).
    That’s fixed with v1.2.
    v1.2 won’t install BM/boot2 on more Wiis than v1.0 would – that’s just not possible.

  • 20 emailtoid.net/i/13ddb761/… // Dec 11, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    so where are the installation instructions specific to wiiu?

  • 21 JoostinOnline // Dec 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    @dhewg Then why don’t you modify the blog to make it clear?

  • 22 emailtoid.net/i/13ddb761/… // Dec 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    I can’t get it to work.
    I put smashstack on an SD card with HBC.
    I boot smash bros, I go to the stage builder. Nothing happens. If I click SD card, Contents, the Wii U hard freezes

  • 23 jwatzman // Dec 12, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Since Nintendo has patched the IOS vulnerability you used until recently, do you have any plans to write up the details of the exploit? Your past posts about previous exploits have been fascinating.

  • 24 Sven // Dec 13, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Let’s do the usual challenge: Once someone reverse engineers our installer and send me a rough description of the vulnerability (sven@fail0verflow.com) I’ll write a nice post (or get someone to write that post :-P) about how it all worked.

  • 25 smooth@blupromo.com // Dec 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    hi i have installed the homebrew channel on the wii u but there ar no application banners am i doing something wrong?

  • 26 hrvat36 // Dec 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    Can’t install HBC on Wii U. Getting error:

    IOS versions: Installer: 58, HBC: 0
    starting preparations

    device id: NG241107d8
    something weird happened (ffffffff)
    This IOS can not be trusted (2147483652).
    preparations done!

    This installer can NOT continue!

    There is no usable or vulnerable IOS installed on this Wii.
    Please note that we will not use fakesigned IOSes due to
    security reasons. Only unpatched versions will be used!

    Any suggestions?

  • 27 themod23 // Dec 20, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I started the installation of the New HomeBrew on WiiU and it got as far as downloading software. Then it froze. PR00 00000000 gPR08
    Exception (DSI) occurred!
    GPR00 00000000 GPR08 91C3FDC8 GPR16 91C1D580 GPR24 00000020

    wish I could just post the picture.
    any ideas?

  • 28 moinonono // Dec 28, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Hi all,
    First of all I will like to thank you all HackMii crew. Fantastic work have done here.
    I have installed Homebrew on the new Wii U, but I’m quite afraid of what can or can’t do with it.
    Can someone tell me where are the limitations in Wii U to do things without any brick??
    And how is going on the improvements of backups load?

    Thak you all the HackMii team, and keep up this fantastic proyect!!

  • 29 hrvat36 // Jan 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    Problem solved. Can’t explain it but when I tried using a different SD card it installed on the first try. Both the old and new SD cards are 2GB, so not sure why the old one caused the HBC installer to fail out. So for anyone running into the same issue just try a different SD card.
    For anyone wondering the old SD card was a SanDisk Ultra II that worked fine in my old Wii, and the new one is a plain old SanDisk Class 2.

  • 30 Hypershell // Jan 27, 2013 at 12:16 am


    I have a launch Wii, just attempted a Wii-to-WiiU transfer and got the “error accessing Wii memory” screen in the middle of it. If it was not for BootMii I’d have had have permanently lost a great deal of my console-locked save data, which I had to randomly delete before I eventually found the culprit (Rabbids Go Home save file; restored from BootMii and deleted ONLY that, and all was well).

  • 31 Suigintou // Feb 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Heads up, if you use some fake extension controllers when trying to install Bootmii IOS or Homebrew Channel, there will be a exception and it will crash. Feel free to reply to me if you need more info.

  • 32 KingLewy // Feb 21, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Awesome! Thank you guys for all the hard work you’ve done on this scene. I look forward to seeing what you can do with the Wii U 🙂

  • 33 openid.aol.com/kyscifikid // Sep 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Cool! I jumped the gun when I got my Wii U and transferred all my Wii data over to it. But now that I’ve played around with softmodding my Wii, I really want to get my “special” game saves back on the Wii. For example, SSBB and Animal Crossing can’t normally be transferred to SD card and backed up.

    Is there some way I can use this new exploit to get hold of those game saves again? I really want them back on my old Wii.

  • 34 HyperHacker // Dec 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Are Bootmii/HBC still worked on at all? The bug tracker is down, and I’ve managed to reproduce some SD card corruption/mounting issues pretty reliably: http://pastebin.com/5TbiJ0Ju

  • 35 WalleWalle2002 // Aug 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Just an idea:
    To exploit the Wii U, maybe you guys should look into the channel in Wii mode that exits Wii mode (Return to Wii U menu). That channel, since it can interact with the Wii U from Wii mode, might have some code in it that you could use to pipe code through to the Wii U.

    Or, you could write data to the hdd of the Wii U via Wii mode.

  • 36 marcan // Nov 22, 2014 at 2:13 am


    The only thing that the “Return to Wii U menu” channel does is reboot the console.

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