Running Burned ISO Images on the Wii

Note: We now have a video tutorial on the Wii part of this method, courtesy of AFK797! You can find it here.

Introduction

In the past, the only solution to run burned Wii games through the Disc Channel was to use either a modchip, which isn’t feasible for everyone as it involves opening the Wii and potentially soldering, or something like DARKCORP, which might have worked, but there are a few problems with it:

  • It replaces every IOS with a cIOS. Something is bound to go wrong.
  • If you have DARKCORP installed, HBC will flip upside down and HackMii installer will refuse to work, and you’re in a pickle if you reset your Wii with DARKCORP installed.
  • If the installation messes up, your Wii is once again in a sticky situation.

This is why it’s not recommended to install DARKCORP.

Really, you shouldn’t be using DVD backups at all. USB just does the job better.

Regardless, I decided to go on a quest and do some experimenting to see if there was a better way to accomplish what DARKCORP does. Turns out, there is!

Prerequisites (if you’d like to do this yourself)

  • Proper cIOS setup (see https://wii.guide/cios)
  • Priiloader 0.9 beta 1 or newer
  • Official Wii game disc
  • CleanRip
  • A USB or SD to store the rip
  • DVD drive that can burn to DVDs
  • ImgBurn
  • A Wii that has a disc drive that can read DVDs (see https://wiidrives.com)
  • Blank DVD

Creating a burned Wii game

Before I started experimenting, I needed to actually burn a disc.

In order to do that, I had to first legally obtain an ISO. CleanRip was my method of choice.

I used CleanRip to rip my Wii Party disc. If you can, get the full ISO. If you have to do it in chunks, it’s not a problem, you’ll just have to copy them together later on using Command Prompt. Google how to do this.

Then, I used ImgBurn to burn the ISO to a blank DVD.

Now I was ready to begin experimenting on my Wii.

Getting the burned Wii game to work

My first experiment was going to System Menu Hacks in Priiloader and enabling the “Force Disc Games to run under IOS249” hack. After that, I went to the Disc Channel and inserted my burned disc. After many seconds of the spinning discs, I got the error we know too well. “Unable to read the disc”.

However, I didn’t stop there. I went back to Priiloader, and while keeping the hack I enabled previously enabled, I went to Priiloader settings, went to “Use System Menu IOS”, disabled that, and then set the System Menu IOS to 249. Be careful, this step could leave you in a brick if you use an IOS that is a stub. Then, I saved settings.

Now, back to the disc channel. I’m greeted with the familiar Wii and GameCube disc joined by the text prompting me to insert a disc. So that is exactly what I did. I inserted my burned disc. The discs on the screen start to spin, and spin, and spin some more. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the discs disappeared, and I was greeted by the wonderful Wii Party banner.

I started the game, it loaded to the menu, everything was good.

So I had found a way to boot burned discs from the Disc Channel without DARKCORP.

This method does do something very similar to what DARKCORP does. The difference is, rather than replacing every IOS, we’re simply making the System Menu use a different IOS than it normally would. In this case, a cIOS. Because we’re not replacing any IOS, it’s a lot safer.

Warnings

I tried this on a Wii without BootMii as boot2. I took the risk so you don’t have to. In the end, it was all fine, but I still would recommend having BootMii as boot2 + a NAND backup before you try this, since you are messing with the System Menu.

I have no idea what side effects changing the System Menu’s IOS would have. My guess is that if you use RiiConnect24’s Wii Mail, it would stop working since it relies on IOS80. Also, it’s possible that certain games would be affected. I’d recommend that you use this to load a backup game, and when you’re done, return all the settings to normal.

Using standard DVDs can and will put extra stress on your Wii Disc Drive’s laser, which could cause premature wear, meaning you’ll have to replace the drive sooner rather than later. If you’re not okay with that, just USB load.

Per the subreddit rules, piracy is not condoned, and you should be obtaining your game ISOs legally.