Simple Guide to Understand Wii Modding



The Wii is run on what is called IOS or Input Output System. There are many different versions of IOS and even custom versions or cIOS. IOS are not dependent on each other and only one IOS can run at any given time. IOS can however call on another IOS to run.

When you are at your Wii System Menu you are using what is called the System Menu IOS. If you have a problem with the SM IOS then your system menu is not functional.

System Menu - IOS
3.0/3.3 - IOS30-v2576
3.4 - IOS50-v4889
4.0/4.1 - IOS60-v6174
4.2 - IOS70-v6687

Each games require a certain IOS to run. For example New Super Mario Brothers Wii requires IOS53-v5406. The Wii Shop Channel requires IOS61-5405… and so on.

Original Firmware Version 3.2 and earlier contained IOS which had a bug allowing the running of unsigned code. This bug is best known as the trucha bug. Starting with Firmware Update 3.3 Nintendo started introducing IOS which had the trucha bug fixed. Then with Firmware 3.4 all IOS were updated and trucha bug was no more. This became a problem for users of ealier modchips which relied on this bug. There was a fix, use Wii Patcher to patch the game before buring to dvd-r. This trick is known as fake signing.

In order to softmod a Wii consule the Hackmii installer uses new bugs to install the Homebrew Channel, Bootmii and DVDx. However Team Twizzers is not going to publicly release their methods. So for every other app we need IOS which contain the trucha bug. To do this you need to either have an original firmware 3.2 Wii or use Trucha Bug Restorer to patch IOS36 to contain the trucha bug. This will allow apps to run using IOS36.

Original Wii games run from disc channel. When a game is loaded from the disc channel the required IOS is called upon and the game runs. However when you use a backup launcher such as NeoGamma or a USB Loader to load games from dvd-r or an EXT HDD, you need a universal IOS for games to use. This is where cIOS comes into play. The first cIOS was developed by waninkoko, he modified the original nintendo IOS37 and installed the cIOS to slot 249. So cIOS37 is actually IOS249. There are now several cIOS and they are all installed to IOS slots above 200.

Its not really confusing is it. To exploit the Wii you need IOS with trucha bug. Then to run games you need cIOS [or most common IOS249].

The Wii uses little apps called .dol. These dol exist on all games and original nintendo apps. This is why when you load apps from HBC they are dol files.

A wad is a package of files which are installed to the wii. Its similar to a zip or rar file used on your computer. You use Wad Manager to install or uninstall the contents of a wad file.


A pre-compiled theme that will only work on the region and firmware it was made for. It can also come in the form of .csm, and can also be referred to as the starting “system app”.

Note: This differs from a homebrew “app/application”.

[B][U]App/application [/U][/B]
A homebrew program developed to run on the Wii, from brick recovery programs to simple games.

[B][U]Backup [/U][/B]
A copy of a Wii game, burned onto a blank dvd. Often used to prevent wear and tear damage to original discs.

[B][U]Banner [/U][/B]
Animated graphic that is displayed on a channel’s icon and startup screen in the system menu. A channel with a corrupted banner can cause a banner brick.
Banner brick[/U][/B]
A type of brick that occurs when a wad has been installed that contains malformed or corrupted images. It is identifiable by either a black screen appearing after advancing past the health warning screen, or by displaying the message “The system menu files are corrupt.”

Bannerbomb is an exploit used to run homebrew on your Wii. It will crash your wii, and can load an .elf or .dol (it’s safe, don’t worry) This is generally considered to be the superior way to install homebrew on your Wii, compared to the Twilight Hack.

[B][U]boot0 [/U][/B]
First phase of coding the Wii runs at power up. It is burned directly into the CPU, so it cannot be modified. Its function is to initialize the hardware and load boot1.

Second phase of coding involved in the boot process. The program is stored in flash memory, but is verified against a digital signature stored in boot0, so any modification of it will brick the system. Because of this, the signature checking bug in boot1 cannot be patched in existing units, although new units have started to ship with a fixed version.

[B][U]boot2 [/U][/B]
Final phase of the boot process. This program is responsible for loading the system menu.

[B][U]Bootmii [/U][/B]
Bootmii was created by Team Twiizers, and is one of the best/THE best method of brick protecting your Wii. It can be accessed before the Wii Menu, which enables you to recover from bricks.

Bricking your Wii, means to make your Wii inoperable, or it doesn’t operate properly. Eg, Your Wii won’t turn on. It’s called a ‘brick’ because the technology that you have just ‘bricked’ is now as useless as an ordinary brick. There are several types of bricks for your wii, such as Full Brick, Semi-Brick, Banner Brick, etc.

[B][U]Case mod[/U][/B]
A type of physical modification that can be performed on a wii. It usually refers to the removal, enhancement, or swap of the “case” that encloses the wii’s hardware, often to improve the aesthetics of the system.

[B][U]Channel [/U][/B]
A wii application that is bundled in a .wad, which contains a Banner, Animations, and Sound, that are loaded from the System Menu. Used for launching wiiware, VC, and some homebrew.

[B][U]cIOS [/U][/B]
A Custom IOS for Wii.

[B][U]cMIOS [/U][/B]
A Custom IOS used for gamecube games

[B][U]Code Dump [/U][/B]
A crash that displays code, (normally looks like random letters and numbers), helps identify problems with applications and games.

[B][U]Comex [/U][/B]
Creator of the Bannerbomb hack, also created a version of the Twilight Hack involving the stage loader in Super Smash Brothers Brawl.

[U][B].csm [/B][/U]
A precompiled theme, that will only work on the region and firmware it was made for. Also known as a .app

The most common way executable format of loading homebrew on your Wii. Similar to .elf.

[B][U]DVDx [/U][/B]
A homebrew application that installs a hidden “channel” which can be used by other homebrew applications to access home burned and factory pressed DVD content without the need for a modchip.

[B][U]Elf/.elf [/U][/B]
An .elf file is an executable file for your wii. Similar to a .dol file.

[B][U]Emulator [/U][/B]
An Emulator is a program that simulates a different type of hardware. Eg, Snes9x, is an Emulator that simulates a Super Nintendo on your Wii.

Full brick
A type of brick that occurs when the system menu is fully corrupt. They are identifiable either by a pure black screen upon booting the wii, or an Opera error message upon booting the wii. Unless sufficient brick protection has been previously installed on said wii, full bricks can be devastating, as sometimes SaveMii will not even work.

[B][U]HackMii [/U][/B]
An installer which is used with BannerBomb which allows the hacking of your Wii. The installer includes BootMii, The Homebrew Channel, and DVDX.

[B][U]Hardmod [/U][/B]
Hardmodding a wii is the process of installing a modchip in your wii, enabling you to play backup games. This is an alternative to softmodding a wii, and until softmodding became mainstream, was considered to be the most reliable method of modification.

[B][U]Hash [/U][/B]
A way of verifying file integrity, often as a security measure. A hash function is used when examining a file, outputting a short string or integer. This value can be stored for later comparison. If the file has been altered, repeating the same process with the same hash function will produce a different result. When the result is compared to the stored value, if it does not match, it is an indication that the file cannot be trusted.

The Wii’s integrated graphics chip, manufactured by ATi.

[B][U]Homebrew [/U][/B]
Homebrew is unofficial software, created by ordinary Wii owners, without the help/use of Nintendo. Homebrew is the stepping stone for hacking your Wii, and is very useful for applications and games.

[B][U]Homebrew Browser [/U][/B]
An application which allows you to download the latest homebrew applications and games all through your Wii. You don’t need to take your SD card out, or use a computer. You can also delete homebrew you no longer want.

[B][U]Homebrew Channel/HBC [/U][/B]
The Homebrew Channel (often abbreviated as simply “HBC”) is a method of loading homebrew onto your Wii. Allows you to run .elf and .dol files without the need to run exploits, such as the Twilight Hack or Bannerbomb, everytime.

[B][U]Infectus [/U][/B]
A modchip that can read and write data to and from the Wii’s internal NAND. Very useful for hacking.

[B][U]IOS [/U][/B]
An acronym for Input/Output System, used for operating the Wii.

[B][U]IOS249 [/U][/B]
Custom IOS (cIOS) developed by Waninkoko. This Custom IOS is an IOS modified to add new features not available in the official IOS. It has been created to be used ONLY with homebrew software. Most commonly used for loading backup and USB loader applications.

[B][U]ISO [/U][/B]
An image file. Wii games are usually in this format, and can be burnt to a disk to make a backup copy of a game.

[B][U]LU64+ [/U][/B]
Newer Wiis that were shipped in later 2008. In order to lower production costs, Nintendo redesigned some of the hardware, consequently lengthening the hardware load times. These new Wiis have updated IOS and a new version of Boot2v4. The new Wiis may be incompatible with older IOS versions and the bug which allowed the hacking of boot2 is fixed.

An IOS used for Gamecube games.

[B][U]Modchip [/U][/B]
A small device containing firmware, that is soldered or clipped onto your Wii, enabling you to play backup games.

[B][U].mym [/U][/B]
A theme file that can be combined with almost any system app to become a .csm, usually firmware specific, not region specific, example a 3.2 mym will not work on a 4.0, but a 4.0 will work on a 4.1. It’s in .zip format renamed to .mym

[B][U]MyMenu [/U][/B]
A pc program that merges a .mym and a system app to make a .csm/.app.

[B][U]MyMenuify [/U][/B]
A homebrew app that installs .csm files onto your wii.

The NAND is the Wii’s internal storage. Where everything important is.

[B][U]NTSC-J [/U][/B]
Region coding for Japan. See “region”.

[B][U]NTSC-U [/U][/B]
Region coding for North America. See “region”.

[B][U]PAL [/U][/B]
Region coding for Europe. See “region”.

[B][U]Preloader [/U][/B]
A program that loads before the System Menu. It allows you to use ‘hacks’ on your wii. Eg. Region Free Games, Region Free Wiiware/VC, Disc Autoboot, No Menu BGM, etc.

[B][U]Twilight Hack [/U][/B]
A saved game hack, that was loaded from the game “The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess”. This was the original way to Softmod Wiis, allowing you to install the Homebrew Channel.

[B][U]Region [/U][/B]
The region of a wii, dictated by internal code (which can be rewritten).
NTSC-U = North America
PAL = Europe
NTSC-J = Japan

[B][U]SaveMii [/U][/B]
(Also known as “SaveMiiFrii”) A method used to access the disc channel and bypass the system menu. Often used to unbrick wiis by loading a burned disc with recovery tools.

[B][U]Scrubbed [/U][/B]
A Wii game that has been ‘scrubbed’, has removed all the unnecessary ‘garbage data’ from the Wii Game (or the .iso) to make the files smaller for storing the game on your computer. It is done using WiiScrubber, and you must reinstall all the garbage data to your .iso, before burning it. The game is not edited in any way.

[B][U]SD Card [/U][/B]
SD Cards are used for storage on digital cameras, music players, and Wiis. Now can be used for launching Wiiware and Virtual Console games.

[B][U]SDHC [/U][/B]
A SDHC is a SD card that is 4gb or over. It stands for Secure Digital High Capacity. SDHC Cards were supported only after the 4.0 update.

[B][U]Semi brick [/U][/B]
A type of brick that can occur after updating a wii firmware through a game disc, or installing a corrupt system menu theme (also known as a “theme brick”). The system menu can then contain (an) error(s) that prevent it from accessing certain areas, such as the settings menu, or even the system menu itself, by displaying the message “The system menu files are corrupt.” This message is often garbled and usually unreadable, which makes it easy to differentiate it between a banner and semi brick.

[B][U]Softmod [/U][/B]
Softmodding a Wii is basically to allow your Wii to play backup games, emulators, homebrew, etc. without the use of a modchip.

[B][U]Softmii Tweak [/U][/B]
A homebrew app that installs .app files onto your Wii.

[B][U]Stack [/U][/B]
The memory of a program. As one declares pointers and integers, the computer sets aside memory for each. That memory then “stacks” itself on the last declaration. Think about stacking up building blocks and each block is a piece of memory.

[B][U]Stack Overflow [/U][/B]
Bad coding that makes the stack crash. There are a number of ways to do this. It can lead to an exploit in some cases. An exploit using a stack overflow is sometimes called a “Stack smash” attack.

[B][U]Starlet [/U][/B]
The unofficial name for the ARM co-processor located in the Hollywood, which is responsible for the peripheral access and security control.

[B][U]System Menu [/U][/B]
The Wii’s main interface, where you load channels, games, homebrew, and change settings from.

[B][U]Team Twiizers [/U][/B]
The team that created many hacks for the Wii including The Homebrew Channel, BootMii, Mplayer, PatchMii and The Twilight Hack.

[B][U]Theme Brick[/U][/B]
Obtained when you install a corrupt .csm or .app file and get either a black screen, a screen with foreign letters (possibly Chinese characters), or a pink and black striped screen. 99% are fixable with SaveMii.

[B][U]Theme [/U][/B]
A “theme” is a way of customizing your Wii system menu, among other things.

[B][U]Ticket [/U][/B]
An encryption key that is used to read the title it belongs to.

A “title” is a Wii game on a disc, a Wii channel, or a Virtual Console game. A title is identified by a unique title ID, an 8 byte (4 character) long code used for title identification. All titles are encrypted for security purposes.

[B][U]Trucha/Fake Sign [/U][/B]
A “Trucha Bug/Fakesign” is homebrew that exploits a bug in the Wii’s firmware, which in turn allows you to run homebrew properly on your Wii.

[B][U]USB Loader [/U][/B]
An application for your Wii which enables you play ISO backups from a WBFS-formatted USB devices connected to the Wii.

[B][U]Virtual Console/VC [/U][/B]
Games from older consoles, that are available for download from the Wii Shop Channel. Similar to a game run from an Emulator.

[B][U]WAD [/U][/B]
A .wad is a file format that channels, updates, and IOSs are stored in.

[B][U]WAD Manager [/U][/B]
An application, developed by Waninkoko, that allows you to (un)install WAD packages. The application displays all the available WAD packages in a storage device to choose which WAD to install or uninstall.

[B][U]Waninkoko [/U][/B]
A very talented and renown developer/coder who has bought to the Wii hacking scene such applications as WAD Manager, USB Loader, cIOS Revs, Custom Firmware Updaters, IOS Downgrader, NAND Emulator… etc

A special format for a hard drive that is used for loading games on your Wii through your preferred USB loader. Stands for Wii Backup File System.

[B][U]Wii Optical Disc (WOD)[/U][/B]
The Wii optical disc is a media format designed by Panasonic. It looks like a standard DVD yet is created in a way that only the Wii is supposed to be able to read it. However the following DVD Rom drives can read it as well; GDR-8082N, 8161B, 8162B, 8163B, 8164B. The media is a 8.5GB, 12cm DVD based medium.

Smaller games that are sold for a cheaper price, compared to retail Wii Games. They can be downloaded from the Wii Shop Channel.


much needed bump


forgot about this thread, found it on google search while looking for something else LOL