Friday, June 24, 2011

Web Stuff Friday: Uber-Geek Edition

So, what have I done with my precation (that's a preliminary vacation used to burn some vacation hours and take care of stuff so we are a bit more ready for the summer)? I hacked my Wii!

Why hack a Wii? Our basement has video game stuff strewn about. Controllers, disks, and various accessories are everywhere. Disks are particularly hard to keep track of and I am constantly worried that a disk will sustain one scratch too many and will go down for the count.

The solution is to take a USB hard drive, connected it to your Wii, then install all your games to the hard drive. The result is that (with the right software) you can run all your Wii games without touching a disk.

How to Back Up and Play Your Wii Games from an External Hard Drive at Lifehacker got me started. Unfortunately, the process didn't quite work for me, so I resorted to...

Softmod ANY Wii, which really got the ball rolling for me. But first, I needed to get access to the inner workings of the Wii, so I went to...

Return of the Jodi, which explains how to use Lego Star Wars Original Trilogy (Jack did the game work to make it happen) to install the Homebrew channel using the Hackmii installer. With Homebrew installed, I went to the Softmod ANY Wii guide and followed the instructions (really closely) to get the system set up. The USBLoader (the software that allows you to install games to and then play them from the USB drive) they suggested didn't work for me, so I went back to the Lifehacker article and installed USBLoader GX, which works like a charm. I even got it installed as a new channel, so our Wii main screen has a channel I can select to view all our games in an interface that looks like the iTunes album cover browser.

Now all our Wii games are on the external hard drive, so the disks are in a case on a shelf, where they will stay forever. Next up: Finish installing new closet doors, clean the van, and maybe even clean the garage.

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