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On March 21, 2008, Nintendo added a new version of the Wii firmware -- IOS37 -- to the Wii update servers. This version of the firmware has a fixed signature-checking function. This update has only been released in the US, not EU or JP. This update has been released in the US and the EU, JP status is unknown. In the EU, it was released bundled with the previous WiiWare update.

Simplification for those who don't understand what's written below:

  1. The latest update only includes IOS37.
  2. The system menu currently doesn't use this IOS37.
  3. The signing bug is still effective. (Update June 17, 2008: IOS30 now contains the signing bug fixes Edit: October 23, 2008: Every IOS has the signing bug fixes now)
  4. The only reason this info is public is because we're watching Nintendo closely. It does not affect you.

When a title (game, channel, etc) starts, it tells the system menu (using a field in the TMD) what version of the IOS it needs to run on -- to support this, the Wii stores all previous firmware versions. (For most Wiis, this will be IOS9, IOS11, IOS13, IOS15, IOS17, IOS20, IOS21, IOS30, IOS31, IOS33, IOS34, IOS35, IOS36, and now IOS37).

As of March 22nd, no software uses IOS37 -- the System Menu currently uses IOS30. Initial speculation was that an updated System Menu would use IOS37.

What does this mean?

  • Once the system menu is updated to use IOS37, "Trucha-Signed" discs -- or channels -- will stop working, as will the Datel FreeLoader disc. This has been confirmed.
  • At that point, "homebrew channels" would be considered "invalid" by the system. marcan now contends that having one installed and going to an update using IOS37 will brick your Wii, giving a "The system files are corrupted" message.
    <marcan> I just performed some magic and confirmed that having the homebrew channel installed and installing an update to the system menu that uses the IOS37 will brick your wii, unless Nintendo specifically addresses this problem in a new system menu. There is a simple way of avoiding this: simply delete the channels before updating.
    For some reason, I cannot reproduce the problem. I must have been too tired that night. As it stands, current system menu running under IOS37 with a homebrew channel installed does not cause bricking. Marcan 18:10, 26 March 2008 (PDT)
  • Other versions of IOS are not affected.
  • To sum all this up, the update will NOT break anything. The latest update does not actually use IOS37, so updating will be safe until a future update is released.

Q & A

Will this block my Trucha Signed discs or my Freeloader disc?

No, not yet. Not until another update is released, at which point we will have to re-evaluate.

Can we delete this update?

It might be possible to write a program to delete IOS37, but there's no point. Once an update that needs this firmware is released, either your Wii will redownload it, or will simply not work at all.

Can we patch it?

Maybe; this would take a considerable amount of effort. Firmware patches and bricking consoles go hand-in-hand, making it risky to develop patches and risky to install them.

Can we avoid it?

No, not if you ever want to update your Wii's software.

What effect will this have on a homebrew channel?

Once the system menu is updated to use IOS37, if you have any installed homebrew channels then the Wii will refuse to boot.

Is this an April Fool's joke?

No. Why would we want to joke about this?