Creating Wii Channels from USB Loader

Thursday, August 27th, 2009 @ 9:23am

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!

Prerequisite Steps

  • 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:

  • sd:/apps/usbloader_cfg/boot.dol
  • sd:/apps/usbloader/boot.dol
  • usb:/apps/usbloader_cfg/boot.dol
  • usb:/apps/usbloader/boot.dol

Forwarder Installation

  • 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.

12 Responses to “Creating Wii Channels from USB Loader”

  1. chakakhan800 said
    Nov 9th, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    I have done all of this to the exact instructions and when i go to boot the game it says unable to load game. I tried installing rev13 but it made it impossible to even use cnfg usbloader so i reinstalled rev14 and back to the same problem. The game will show up in the wii menu after installing the wad but when i click on it it says Unable to load game. I tried four different games, guitar hero 5, guitar hero metallica, wiiplay and wiisports. I have a feeling its not the games. Any advice? Im on 4.2u modified and all that jazz. Thanks

  2. Jason said
    Nov 10th, 2009 @ 8:05pm

    First of all, check to be sure you’re using the correct dol file (usbloader ios249.dol) when you’re creating the channel. If that still doesn’t work, try downloading this wad (WiiSports) to see if it works.

    If running the WiiSports channel works, it may be an issue with YAULCT. I’ve actually switched to a different channel creator and will probably modify this tutorial at some point to use it instead. Crap has more options that YAULCT and seems to be updated more frequently. If you use that and it’s successful, let me know and I’ll be sure to update this sooner.

  3. Anonymous said
    Jan 28th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Finally, I did it, thanks a lot

  4. Anonymous said
    Jan 28th, 2010 @ 7:54pm

    Something went wrong…
    The channel of the game is there but the game does not load.
    Could you help me?

  5. Anonymous said
    Jan 28th, 2010 @ 8:06pm

    I tried your wii sports wad but with the ff error:
    Custom IOS cannot be loaded.

  6. Jason said
    Feb 3rd, 2010 @ 8:40am

    I think the “Custom IOS cannot be loaded” means you may not have cios 249 correctly configured. More recent tutorials have been using cios 222/223 which allows you to format your hd as FAT instead of WBFS, so be sure you are using the correct one.

  7. Anonymous said
    Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:10am

    I was able to install cios 249.
    It now loads up to the reminder to put wrist strap only, then hangs.
    Some of the disc in the disc channel could not be read which plays before.
    How do you configure cios249 ?

  8. Jason said
    Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:53am

    What channel creator are you using? CRAP or YAULCT?

  9. jaimepulido said
    Apr 11th, 2010 @ 10:52am

    how do you move wads to the USB hard drive?

  10. Sim said
    May 18th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Hi Jason thx for a really nice guide, i been trying to install a channel for some games ah descriped in the guide, it worked with the first one i tried but the 3 other wad files wont install and i get a error -1029 from wad manager 1.5.

    Thanks in advance

  11. tony said
    Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:45pm

    hey…i can get the game on the channel with no problem…but when i go to play the game i get this error: cannot open: sd:/apps/usbloader_cfg/boot.dol….

    but this app is there…please help

  12. booty said
    Feb 9th, 2011 @ 12:04am

    you need to go into the SD directory where the app is, the loader is looking for the folder usbloader_cfg/boot.dol
    but the folder u have the cfg boot.dol is under different name probably usbloader, rename it to usbloader_cfg and u should be fine