If you followed my previous post on attaching a USB hard drive to your Wii, you now should have the convenience of loading games directly from your hard drive without ever having to worry about swapping discs. Yet having to load the Homebrew channel, then going through to your USB loader can feel cumbersome sometimes. Getting channels to go directly to the games, or the USB Loader is easier than you would think.
You obviously need to have the Homebrew Channel plus a USB loader installed before you can do any of this. If you don’t, follow these steps then come back here once you’re done. Please note that the steps here can and might damage your Wii! I very highly recommend you install BootMii into boot2 and back up your NAND before attempting any of the following steps. Should anything go wrong, you have a backup you can fall back on, otherwise you are continuing at your own risk!
- Download and install WAD Manager.
- Create a “/wad” folder on your SD card (must be on the root of the card!) Any channels that you want to install must be placed here or else the WAD Manager will be unable to find them.
There’s two options from here on out, and you’re welcome to do both. You can just install a usb forwarder channel that will allow you to access your USB Loader from the main menu, or install channels for individual games so that they show up on the main menu.
Installing USB Loader Forwarder Channel
There’s quite a few USB forwarder channels out there, but they all do pretty much the same thing. A USB forwarder channel looks in specific directories for an installed USB loader and tries to run it. The advantage of this is that it makes it simple to upgrade your USB loader without ever having to mess with the forwarder channel, since you can just swap the boot.dol to a newer version.
To make things easier, you can download the one I use: Universal Forwarder Channel by Narolez. This forwarder looks in the following locations for a USB Loader boot.dol:
- Copy the .wad file to “sd:/wad”.
- Load up WAD Manager in homebrew, find your wad, and choose to install.
You should now have the channel correctly installed, and should be able to access your USB loader directly from the main menu! If at any time you need to uninstall the channel from your Wii, you can follow the installation steps above, choose the same wad file, then choose to uninstall and the channel will be removed from your system.
Installing Channels for Individual Games
Installing games already on your USB hard drive is pretty simple, just be sure you already have the games loaded onto you hard drive via USB Loader. You also need to download CRAP in order to assist with the channel creation.
Channel Installation Steps
- Plug in your usb hard drive to your computer.
- Launch CRAP.
- Select the drive letter of your USB hard drive, i.e. J:.
- Choose the game which you wish to create a channel for.
- Select a loader. Most of the time you should be fine with using USB Loader 1.6, but you may need to use a different loader depending on what options you want to apply to the channel.
- Click on “create channel”
- Your wad will be saved in the WAD directory of your CRAP folder, so you will need to copy/move this wad to your USB hard drive.
- Plug your USB hard drive back into your Wii, load up WAD manager via homebrew, find the wad you just created and install it.
- If at any time you need to uninstall this channel, simply load up the WAD manager, find your wad, and select “uninstall” instead of install.
You should now have a channel listed on your main menu for your game, and you can repeat the above steps for any additional games you wish to install.
There may be an occasional issue with a couple of games depending on what version of cIOS38 your are currently running. cIOS38 rev. 14 unfortunately breaks dual-layed disc compatibility, so games such as Smash Bros. Brawl or Metroid Prime Trilogy will not work in USB Loader. Wii Sports Resort will not work via the channel method if you >13 installed, so you may want to pick and choose what cIOS38 you are running based on what games you want to install as channels.