This frequently asked questions page lists the most common problems associated with using Wii homebrew and does its best to provide solutions for you the reader. If you are having problems, chances are the solution to your problem(s) is present in this guide. Please at least skim through this guide before you ask your question to other people. Because, like I said before, the answers to your problems are most likely in here.
Will installing homebrew damage my Wii?
Updating the Wii is statistically more likely to cause a brick than installing homebrew. Additionally, installing homebrew offers brick protection that Nintendo's code fails to provide.
Homebrew will not result in a ban from online services either (even when installed to internal memory), and all data prior to installing homebrew will remain intact.
Do note, however, that other software (namely cIOS installers and WAD managers) may cause issues, and should not be run. Such software is not documented on this wiki.
Will Nintendo refuse to fix my Wii if I have homebrew installed?
Yes. However, they no longer fix Wii's in the first place, and homebrew users generally fix hardware issues themselves to avoid having to deal with Nintendo.
Can homebrew be uninstalled?
Yes. If any software refuses to uninstall, it can always be manually deleted.
Is it illegal to install homebrew?
No. However, downloading pirated games is. Playing backups is also illegal under the DMCA and EUCD, as it breaks the Wii's copy protection. Neither downloading nor playing backups is supported here.
Does Homebrew cost money?
No. Everything is absolutely free. If you have paid for homebrew, you have been scammed.
So, what will I gain from installing homebrew?
Homebrew unlocks a wide variety of things, such as emulators and custom games. A list of apps that can be run can be found here.
What does this word mean?
We have a glossary of terms here: Glossary
What System version do I need to install homebrew?
Any version will work. However, it is recommended not to update to 4.2 or later (even if you do not plan on installing homebrew), although if you are already at 4.2 or later, you are safe to update and should NOT downgrade.
This is due to the fact that the update process for installing 4.2 is known to brick consoles, even without homebrew installed. To access 4.3 features, use tools such as WiiSCU and DOP-Mii to update the safe components.
Will you help me install my modchip?
No. Modchips are not supported here.
What kind of an SD card should I use?
As long as they're formatted to FAT 16 (FAT) or FAT 32, most SD cards should work for you. All SD cards smaller than 256mb will not work for you because they are too small to be formatted properly. If you are still unsure which type of card to use, this page may help you: SD/SDHC Card Compatibility Tests.
What is the root of my SD card?
A place on your SD card that is not inside any folders.
In general, how do I install homebrew?
First, you run an exploit. The exploit crashes the Wii and runs unsigned code in the form of a .dol/.elf file on the root of your SD Card. If that unsigned code is the hackmii installer, you can then install the Homebrew Channel or BootMii.
Twilight Hack Questions
Can I use a backup of Twilight Princess?
You should be using a legitimate copy of the game. We do not support backups/piracy here.
Can I use the GameCube version of Twilight Princess?
No. You need the Wii version of the game.
I cannot copy the Twilight Hack from my SD card to my Wii
Make sure you have a normal Twilight Princess save file in your Wii before you copy over the Twilight Hack. Also, it cannot be be copied if you are on firmware 4.0 or higher.
It's not working
Make sure you are using beta 2 of the Twilight Hack if you are on 3.4 firmware and beta 1 if you are on firmware below 3.4. Make sure you have the correct region of the Twilight Hack on your Wii.
Why should I use Bannerbomb instead of the Twilight Hack?
System Menu 4.0 and its successors have rendered the Twilight Hack useless. Bannerbomb is capable of working on every system menu up to 4.2. 4.3 fixed the exploit BannerBomb used. Also, some people feel that it is easier to use than the Twilight Hack. Finally, it does not require you to purchase a specific game.
Bannerbomb is freezing on me, what do I do?
Below are some typical scenarios and options in case Bannerbomb freezes on you:
- If you are on System Menu 4.1 or lower, do not use the SD Menu; instead go to Options -> Data Management -> Wii Channels -> SD Card. For 4.2 use SD Menu.
- If Bannerbomb freezes before the prompt "Load boot.dol/elf?" try a different version.
- If you run Bannerbomb and get the prompt "Load boot.dol/elf?" and it then freezes, confirm that you have a boot.dol or boot.elf in the root of your SD card (same as with the Twilight Hack). If it is there, try another homebrew application, but most likely Bannerbomb will not work for you.
- If you are on any 3.x System Menu and you're having trouble running Bannerbomb, you could give up on Bannerbomb and try the Twilight Hack.
Indiana Pwns Questions
Can I use a backup of LEGO Indiana Jones?
No, you should be using the original copy. Backups are not supported or condoned by WiiBrew.
I have some problems...
- Make sure you are using the correct region of the hack
- Make sure you are looking at the second character in the art room
Smash Stack Questions
I have some problems...
- You need to remember that this exploit only works if you are using a US NTSC version of the game and Wii.
- Make sure you have renamed your entire original "private" directory on the SD card to "privateold" or something similar.
- Make sure the Smash Stack "private" folder has been copied to the root of your SD card and you have a valid .elf file in the root directory.
Homebrew Channel Questions
When installing the Homebrew Channel it fails to find boot.elf or boot.dol
Make sure the Homebrew Channels boot.dol file is in the root of your SD card. If that still does not solve your problem, try a different SD card. Some SD cards are simply not compatible with exploits. SD Cards smaller than 256MB will not work. Note: SDHC cards cannot be used to install the Homebrew Channel from an exploit if the Wii itself does not support them.
Where are my apps? The Homebrew Channel is only a screen with bubbles.
Make sure that you have these three basic things set up for apps on your SD card:
- There is a folder in the root of your SD card named apps. NOTE: apps is case sensitive. It can not be named APPS, aPpS or anything else other than apps in all lower case letters.
- Make sure that no more and no less than one folder is between the apps folder and the boot.dol or boot.elf file of an application.
- Make sure that each of your applications have a path that looks like: /apps/afolder/boot.dol or /apps/afolder/boot.elf
Also, make sure you are using a correctly formatted SD or SDHC card or USB device. (The card you used to install the Homebrew Channel will also work to run apps from).
Invalid Wii App
Convert the .elf file of the application to a .dol file with the ELF to DOL Converter.
I have another question...
Read the official HBC FAQ to find your answer.
What is BootMii?
Reading the BootMii page on WiiBrew is the best thing you can do to learn what BootMii is.
Do I need to install BootMii?
No. Installing BootMii is completely optional. However, it is highly recommended that you do install it. It has many benefits and there isn't really any reason not to.
I have another question...
Read the official BootMii FAQ to find your answer.
After Homebrew Installation
Is it safe to update my Wii?
Yes. The current updates will not ruin (brick) or hurt your Wii in any way on account of homebrew being installed on your Wii.
Is it safe to leave WiiConnect24 on?
It doesn't matter, as WiiConnect24 has been discontinued. If you wish to experience WiiConnect24 functionality again, use RiiConnect24.
I am looking for an app that...
Please refer to the complete list of Wii Homebrew Applications here: Homebrew Applications List If you can not find an application that does what you are looking for it is either 1) Not supported by WiiBrew or 2) It doesn't exist. NOTE: New applications are being created just about every week so check back often.
Downgrading is not recommended. Every Wii system menu version will work equally well with homebrew at the moment and the risk of downgrading is not worth the reward.
For Even More Help
This FAQ stinks! It didn't solve my problems!
Please refer to all of these WiiBrew pages for further assistance:
I still have problems/questions/concerns
Please post a topic in our WiiBrew Forums and you will be assisted shortly after.
I don't have time to read! I need help NOW!!! Like, this-instant NOW!!!
Please go to the IRC. The server is EFNET (irc.efnet.org) The channel is #wiihelp. If you do not have an IRC client you may use mibbit to access the IRC with this link: Mibbit WebIRC. When you get to the channel, please remember to read the rules by typing "!rules" without quotes in the channel.