Guide: Soft Modding the Wii and using a USB Loader on 4.3

After getting a new set of component cables for my Wii I decided since the Wii was essentially EOL it was time to soft mod it. This has breathed some new life into my Wii and has been an interesting experience. But after getting it all to happen I learned something important, there is almost no instructions out there on how to get all of this to work correctly. The little instructions there are seems to be outdated or written to be as vague as possible. So here is my attempt to help anyone who wants to soft mod their Wii and as a bonus how to rip and load games via a USB drive.

Part 1: Exploit for 4.3U

You are going to want to use the LetterBomb exploit which is for the newest Wii Menu 4.3U(E/J/K) and luckily the easiest exploit I have ever seen for the Wii.

You are going to want to go to here
This is the easiest way to do the exploit as well, there are other instructions out there but this works with little to no hassle.

Read up about the exploit first, just to get an over view of what you are doing.
Now go to

Turn on your Wii and go to your system settings and grab your MAC address and type it into the boxes. Also make sure the “Bundle the HackMii installer for me!” is selected. Now I have no idea what the difference is between cutting the red or blue wire is (maybe I missed that instruction but I doubt it) but lets just do what I did, fill in the Captcha and click Cut the Red Wire and your download will begin.

Now all you will need to do is unzip this archive and move the contents over to your Wii SD card root. If you are worried about damaging your Wii Save files and other information I’d suggest backing up the entire SD card or placing this exploit on a different FAT formatted SD card and then moving the files installed after the exploit is finished to your original Wii SD card.

Ok put the SD card into the Wii and turn it on like normal. Go to the message board and go back to the previous days until you see the red letter (probably will just be going back one day) and then click on it. This will reboot your Wii and begin the exploit and install process.

You are going to want to follow the instructions on the screen. Make sure you install both the Homebrew Channel and the HackMii installer. Once you have done both of those you will have no more options then to close the installer and restart your Wii.

Once you reboot you should be met with the BootMii loader which gives you the options of booting your Wii, going straight to the Homebrew Channel, exploring the SD card or setting some options. Play around with this if you want (You’ll need a Gamecube controller to explore the menu) but make sure you boot to the Wii menu and check that the Homebrew channel installed properly to your Wii Menu.

If all of this is ok, the congrats your Wii was soft modded properly! it is suggested that you go to your Wii settings and turn off WiiConnect24 to avoid any accidental updates that could undue all of this.

Prior to the next step you can back up your Wii NAND in case you brick your Wii by doing the steps wrong or just something accidentally goes wrong. To do this go back to the BootMii menu (either by a reboot or by clicking the Home button in Homebrew Channel), then scroll over the the Settings (the two cogs). Then select the icon with the SD card and Green arrow; this will download your NAND to your SD card (provided you have room).

Part 2: Installing USB Loader GX and Getting it to Work

Finding information about a proper USB loader is like searching for BigFoot. Finding out what you need to do to get it work after you install one is even harder!

I chose to use USB Loader GX, it had good reviews and what I saw of it I liked the most.

To get USB loader on your Wii you’ll need to grab the proper files of course. So go here and download the Easy Installer for Windows. If you don’t have windows you’ll need to grab one of the all in one packages, click on that link and grab the one for ios249.

If you have the easy installer, just put your SD card in your computer and follow the instructions. Don’t select to install the Channel files or the cheats files, hit next and once it is done you’re good to go.

Next you’ll need to download and install the cIOS d2x files to your SD card. These files will allow you to flash new IOS information to your Wii NAND that allows the USB loader to run and for games to boot up. Go to this link download, unzip, move to the SD card apps folder. The apps folder should of been made when you installed the USB Loader GX.
You’ll need your Wii to be online for this to work. You’ll need the cIOS bases installed on your SD Card if your Wii is not connected.

Go here

Download that and unzip all the WAD files to the root of your Wii SD card. After that you put the SD card back in and go to the homebrew channel then run the installer like before and follow the original instructions. I have not tried this personally but it should work! Make sure your NAND is backed up before proceeding. 

Ok, insert the SD card back into the Wii and and go to the homebrew channel. Click on the d2x Ios Installer and lets begin that. You should be running ios58 and it will select that for you. You will now begin to select each numbered slot and install into the proper base. Make sure you have d2x-V7-final selected for each install

Follow this chart in order!
version: d2x-v7-final
base: 37
slot: 245
Press A and wait for it to complete, then select the select the next slot, press A again to continue.

version: d2x-v7-final
base: 38
slot: 246
Press A and wait for it to complete, select slot then Press A again to continue.
version: d2x-v7-final
base: 53
slot: 247
Press A and wait for it to complete, then Press A again to continue.

version: d2x-v7-final
base: 55
slot: 248
Press A and wait for it to complete, select slot then Press A again to continue.

version: d2x-v7-final
base: 56
slot: 249
Press A and wait for it to complete, select slot then Press A again to continue.

version: d2x-v7-final
base: 57
slot: 250
Press A and wait for it to complete, then Press A again to continue.

version: d2x-v7-final
base: 58
slot: 251

Press B to exit once you are done with this one!

You should now be ready to run USB loader GX.

But we have one more step before you should try.

Part 3: Formatting your USB hard drive

You will need WBFS Manager to do this, and it will come in handy later if you want to install ripped Wii game ios files from your computer. Go here and download the proper 3.0.1 for either your x36 (the x86 files) or x64 system. This program does not work with Linux or MacOS so if you have those you’ll need to have something like WINE running.

Install WBFS to your computer and then plug in your USB drive. First format your USB hard drive to FAT 32 to start with a clean slate. Once that is done, open up WBFS manager, make sure your USB drive is selected and format it again. This should take no time at all since the drive is already clear but it will now be ready to be read by your Wii and USB Loader GX and WBFS. It can not be used on your computer anymore without WBFS manager opened.

Now take that USB Hard Drive and plug it into the usb slot closest to you left side of your Wii. Boot up your wii, go to the homebree channel and you should be good to go. If USB Loader GX won’t boot you did something wrong with the d2x files, if it doesn’t recognize your USB Drive close the program, switch usb slots and try again. If it still doesn’t work you should reformat it.

I’m assuming everything worked so with USB Loader GX open insert whatever game you want, you’ll now see the on screen prompt to install the game. Select yes and wait for it to rip (shouldn’t take too long, most games aren’t actually near the 4.7 GB disk size they are burned on Animal Crossing Wii for example is 0.35 GB).

Once it is finished, you can now take out the disk and boot the game for the USB. Your disks and disk drive can now take a break from being used and abused!

Once you do all of this and chance your NAND you might notice some games (even the older ones) saying you need to update before you can play them. You don’t and you shouldn’t or you”ll brick your Wii. Since you can rip your games you should avoid playing from the disc when they ask for this and just rip it to the hard drive to play from there.

Legal Junk:

This guide is for soft modding your Wii for your personal enjoyment. I take no responsibility if you brick your system. Be advised that soft modding your Wii does void your warranty. I also do not advocate piracy, this guide for USB Loader GX is for saving your game disks and disk drive not for getting free games on your system.

  • Thereza Lynn Clover

    i did this worked great but a friend took my wii on the internet and now my modded games wont work.. after i open the usb channel my remote turns off if i try turning it back on it just blinks…any suggestions.

    • Kevin Willingham

      What do you mean by USB channel? Some apps/channels require the use of a Gamecube controller or the hard button on the system. Such as BootMii.

      • Mark

        I think he means that when you boot the game you want from the usb loader the screen just flickers and does nothing, just a black screen. Im having this problem too, i follow all your steps (after trying alot of stuff myself) but still, just a black getting pretty tired of this. Do u have any suggestions on what this could be?

  • Paito Anderson is broken, what is the filename so I can search it up some place else?

    • Kevin Willingham

      cIOS d2x

  • Frank

    Absolutely brilliant guide. My boy just got a new Wii with a drive that can’t read backup disks.

  • Q Mannan just to let you know this is broken mate no file

  • sarbz

    cant you just make a youtube video this would be a lot easier

  • Jack Davis

    How do you get a forwarder or shortcut or whatever it’s called onto the Wii menu so I don’t have to load Home Brew channel (2 clicks) and then load USB Loader GX (2 more clicks) EVERY time I want to play a game?

  • andrew ritchie

    took care of all of the above, and my usb loader still won’t recognize my usb flashdrive. Verified that it was compatible with usb loader tried the above steps and many others but still no luck in getting USB loader to recognize the drive. Any suggestions?

    • ghost

      Make sure you have it in usb slot #1. If you aren’t sure which one that is try them both.

  • Jordan

    Thank you very much! Very well put together walk-through. I had a hard time finding a good guide to backup my discs. One thing I would mention is that you need a hardwired gamecube controller to navigate the menus in d2x IOS Installer. This threw me for a loop when trying to use only the wii remote, kept thinking my Wii was locking up and my Wii remote would shut off.

  • Andre

    ok so I got everything, and I downloaded a wbfs file of smg2 to play with. I try to put it on and it won’t locate it, wut do I do?

  • aakshu

    it really works
    thanks a ton.

  • Fame

    Superbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb……. thakx bro

  • Ran

    I follow the instruction, and work. but after a few days and run a official Super Mario bros, the USB loader is no longer work. Every time when I load my games, it said error” saying to take the disc out, turn off the wii and read the manual” Any idea?

  • Grateful Person

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I already had the usb loader and my games copied to my 500Gb hard drive, but they would not boot; it kept falling back to the main wii menu everytime I tried. I can now play my european bought games on my north american wii – YAY!!! installing the d2x-v7-final into slots 245 – 251 did the trick. Why do NONE of the guides tell you this?? crazy! I agree, they are very poorly written and very confusing.

    Thank you again :)

  • LoisV

    We had a family member do all of this stuff with the mod. But my kid did the dreadful “update” when she inserted a disk. The wii was not connected to the internet at the time. And now we cant get it to play the games on the usb loader. What do we do now?

  • George A. Wilde This link is no longer available. So what do I do? Havent started the mods yet