Atma Xplorer

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Installing WiiFlow on your Wii

Having been tired of playing just Guitar Hero, Wii Sports and Mario 64 on our Wii, we decided to softmod our wii to install the Homebrew Channel and a USB loader. The very first loader that I found was Waninkoko’s USB loader 1.5. It worked fine for a few games but eventually failed to load several of our titles. After a bit of searching and asking around (thanks to zetagear :D), I found Wiiflow.

What is WiiFlow?

WiiFlow is a GUI-based USB Loader that allows play images via games on an external hard drive. WiiFlow, in it’s current form is fully open source after Hibernatus (Wiiflow‘s creator), left the project after completing version 1.1, and released the source code to the community.

Important Note: Wiiflow 2.1 is now available for download. Head on to the guide on installing Wiiflow 2.1 on your Wii for the updated version of this guide :).

Here’s the WiiFlow USB loader in action

Changelog since 1.0:

  • Fixed the black screen bug
  • Fixed the bugs with IOS 222 rev4, updated to 3.0C version of ehcmodule/dip_plugin
  • Improved memory management :
  • Bigger themes are supported, about 150 HQ covers can be displayed simultaneously
  • Secured game loading, wiiflow now guarantees there isn’t any conflict between itself and the apploader
  • Faster music volume adjustment
  • Improved external ehcmodule management : now it should be in sd:/wiiflow/ehcmodule#.elf where # is the IOS revision number (not tested)
  • You can change data paths in wiiflow.ini
  • Removed the short lag when you select an alt dol
  • Opened the source code

WiiFlow 1.1 Features:

  • Fast and easy to use
  • Stable (according to testers)
  • Doesn’t flicker on old TV
  • Compatibility close (if not equal) to Configurable USB Loader (= best compatibility)
  • Properly supports the 3 latest versions of IOS 222
  • Comes in two flavors : running under IOS 249 or IOS 222
  • Parental control
  • Themes
  • Installed on HDD if you have a FAT partition
  • Sounds and music
  • Cover downloading, HQ (1024×680) and localized
  • Ability to display more than 100 covers on screen (HQ covers)
  • And other little things…

Are you sold on the features yet? If you are, here’s what you need to install WiiFlow. If you’re not versed with the jargon that this post uses, stop before installing anything and post a question first. Unlike a PSP Phat which can be easily revived once bricked, it’s quite hard to do the same for a Wii so BE VERY CAREFUL.

WiiFlow Requirements:

  • A softmodded Wii
  • Working Homebrew Channel
  • A working cIOS (cIOS38Rev14 or cIOS38Rev17 recommended)
  • SD Card with at least 100MB free (or a FAT partition on your USB HDD)
  • WBFS formatted USB HDD
  • WAD Manager on your SD Card

WiiFlow Installation

WiiFlow can be installed either on your SD Card or on your Hard Disk, both have advantages and disadvantages so I’ll give you a run down of both.

If you want to install WiiFlow on your SD Card, you can have your Hard Disk fully formatted to a single WBFS partition. However, the SD Card needs to ALWAYS be inside of your wii if you need to play. You can launch WiiFlow via HBC or a Forwarding Channel.

If you want to install WiiFlow on your Hard Disk, you need to have two partitions on your Hard Disk. The first partition should be formatted n WBFS while the second partition should be in FAT or FAT32. Take note that you need to make the WBFS partition ACTIVE or else WiiFlow won’t be able to detect it. If you’re wondering about the size of the partitions, make sure that the FAT/FAT32 partition is greater than 1 GB. This is because you’ll be playing your themes, game covers, music, etc on this partition so you wouldn’t want to run out of space :).

Now on with the installation.

How to Install WiiFlow on your SD Card

This is the most basic installation of WiiFlow:

    • Copy all the contents of the installer package into the root of your SD Card. To check if you did it right, you should get the following path
    • Place your SD Card inside your Wii, boot it up, run the Homebrew channel and Run the WAD Manager.

hen load WAD Manager from the list of applications. When asked what IOS version to use select IOS249. Install ‘WiiFlow Static Channel IOS249-WFHW.wad’ and restart the Wii when done

  • On the WAD Manager select IOS249 and install ‘WiiFlow Static Channel IOS249-WFHW.wad.’
  • Wait for the Installation to Finish and you’re done.

Now to on how to install WiiFlow on your Hard Drive

How to Install WiiFlow on your Hard Drive

  • Copy all the contents of the installer package into the root of your FAT/FAT32 partition. To check if you did it right, you should get the following path
  • Copy the boot.dol file from the apps\WiiflowR25_249 directory and place it on the root of your hard drive.
  • Place your SD Card inside your Wii, boot it up, run the Homebrew channel and Run the WAD Manager.
  • On the WAD Manager select IOS249 and install ‘WiiFlow Static Channel IOS249-WFHW.wad.’
  • Wait for the Installation to Finish and you’re done.

Installing Game Covers for WiiFlow

This one is pretty easy as a community site, WiiTDB (that stands for Nintendo Wii games database… not sure how that happened though). All you need to do is search for your game, download the cover that you want (full, 3d or the plain 2d) and copy it to the appropriate folder.

Full Covers go to:

  • USB:\wiiflow\boxcovers
  • SD:\wiiflow\boxcovers

2D Covers/3D Covers

  • USB:\wiiflow\covers
  • SD:\wiiflow\covers

The problem for this method is that a single game can have multiple covers, (e.g. Super Mario Bros. Wii has a PAL edition, and multiple NTSC editions). Unless you’re sure of the version of the game that you have, you have to download multiple covers which can be taxing :(. The alternative? Use this useful software: WBFSSync.

WBFSSync allows you to manage the WBFS partition of your Hard Drive, detects the appropriate 6-digit id code of your game (which you can use to download the cover from WiiTDB) and most importantly, download covers for you :).
Need huh?

That’s all there is to it. If you have any questions, post them in the comments :

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Comments ( 35 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. tim.alvani tim April 6, 2010 Reply


    I am new to all this, so after some help.

    I have a white wii 4.2e. I think i have installed the homebrew channel ok as it comes up and detects applications on the SD card.

    However when I want to install WAD manager it comes to the screen to select the ios version and I select ios249 and press A to install, however the screen freezes and the light on the controller goes out. It forces me to shut the wii down, after several attemps I still get the same problem freezes, can any one help please : [email protected]

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade April 6, 2010 Reply

      Which WAD are you trying to install? Be sure to run the CiOS installer before running the WiiFlow installer.

  2. ruhul96 megapad May 8, 2010 Reply

    you have to install TRUCHA to stop your wiimote turning off everytime, than you can install cIOS rev 19 and all the ios and so on.

  3. kenrickfernandes kenrick June 18, 2010 Reply

    is the korean wii same as the japanese wii ? .. i have an option to buy a second hand korean wii . but then i? walked into a store and i saw the japanese wii for just 1 or 2 grand more . and the jap wii happens to be cheaper than the american wii . but the guy told me not to take the jap wii because if im connected to the net via wifi or infra red the jap wii blacks out and the whole motherboard has to be replaced.

    another thing is if i do purchase the jap wii everything will be in japanese. i saw a youtube video of this guy with a jap wii and then he put a mario kart english dvd inside and even the instruction on how to use the controller were in jap . am i wrong ? is the jap wii not good . i mean i can soft mod it right ?.. i also found he has the? neo gamma loader in it . is tht good

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade June 18, 2010 Reply

      I’d actually recommend the Japanese Wii over the Korean one because there’s a universal unbricker for Japanese Wiis. Once Korean Wiis are bricked, they’re good as paper weight :(. If you’re worried about accidentally bricking a Wii from connecting to the internet, there’s a way to block updates so you use your net safely but it requires HBC to be installed first.

      As for region lock, most USB loaders (even Wiiflow) can bypass this restriction 😀

  4. kenrickfernandes kenrick June 18, 2010 Reply

    thanks alot for the information . but if i purchase the japanese wii . it has neogamma loader installed? how good is the loader ? ..

    secondly the japanese wii will have japanese menus and stuff right ? so how do i go about all that ?

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade June 18, 2010 Reply

      That really depends on where you’re buying. Some shops will install the region patcher (just so that the Wii becomes a US wii with english menus) and a USB loader of your choice. If not, you need to install HBC, the region patcher and your usb loader of choice in that order.

  5. kenrickfernandes kenrick June 19, 2010 Reply

    which is the best loader according to you ? i would also love to play games from my pen drive rather than the dvd . since my dvd burner is not working .

    the guy who im buying it from already has neo gamma r7 installed . so obviously the hbc is already installed. i saw him strting up a game with neogamma.

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade June 19, 2010 Reply

      It depends on your preferences, I haven’t tried neo gamma and only have experience with Wiiflow and the original USB loader by wakinoko so I can’t really recommend one :(. As for videos, your Wii can play divx/xvid encoded videos with the proper homebrew app.

  6. kenrickfernandes kenrick June 19, 2010 Reply

    thanks bro . you have simply been awesome with helping me with your speedy replies. : ) .

    do you still own a wii ? .. personally i love playing 3rd person games . like dmc and ninja gaiden . too bad the wii doesnt have those kind of games. how do you like your experience on the wii . is it fun . do always game s require you to stand and play.have you tried motion plus ?

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade June 19, 2010 Reply

      I still have my wii and I love it :).
      Currently still playing Monster Hunter Tri (bought the wii specifically in anticipation of that game, haven’t regretted the decision ever since :D). Yep, the Wii is fun. The graphics aren’t comparable to the PS3, Xbox and the PC but it’s boat loads of fun. To date however, there’s only a handful of games that I could recommend on the Wii but that’s not really an issue considering you can still play old game cube games on it ;).

      No, not all games require you to stand up while game but some games have some creative work with their motion control scheme (Mario Kart for example, you have to hold the Wii mote sideways and control it like a steering wheel :)). As for motion plus, it’s a useful add-on but not all games support it :(. I won’t suggest getting one unless there’s a game you want to play that has motion plus support. Hope that helps 😀

  7. kenrickfernandes kenrick June 19, 2010 Reply

    while i loved my xbox 360 to bits i was always open to the idea of the wii . also i must let you know that i do not belive its the graphics that make the game good but its rather the gameplay/story 🙂 …. so lets see how long the wii can keep me entertained . while most people say wii is just a novelty and is fun for 2 months .. i will have to see that for myself . sadly im not looking forward to play game cube games ….

    can i ask you one thing ? the entire world is saying wow E3 owned sony and ms . nintendo had the best conf ever ??? dude really ? how is that even possible .they showed us zelda(not looking forward to it) pimkin and DK country and golden eye. i mean how could they have won with that line up ? apart from the 3DS which was introduced what have they done for now(present) for the wii and the nds in this conf

  8. the3vampires Loik June 28, 2010 Reply

    Um… Where do i get the files to install wiiflow and where can i get games? Thanks 4 ur help 😀

  9. scarycat_meow noob August 21, 2010 Reply

    Why do we have to download “wiiflow static channel IOS249.WFHW.Wad twice because it’s written in two steps…need help here.

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade August 22, 2010 Reply

      Whoops, I missed that on the edit. Thanks for the heads up. It’s fixed now

  10. inishmore mejdet August 29, 2010 Reply

    Can anyone help?
    Am new at this and have loaded wiiflow to eliminate the need to keep loading discs. Have put covers on but they are not sized correcvtly. How can I fix this?


    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade August 29, 2010 Reply

      Which folder did you put them in?

      • inishmore mejdet August 30, 2010 Reply

        Have two folders – box covers and covers. I put the 3D covers into the boxcovers folder.


        • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade September 1, 2010

          I think the problem is the size of the images since you’ve placed them in the appropriate folder. Are you getting your images via WiiTB manually? Or are you using a program like WFBSSYnc?

        • inishmore mejdet September 2, 2010

          I have been downloading the images manually.

  11. rebeccaamybell rebecca bellrebeccaamy September 17, 2010 Reply

    This isnt working for me. ive tried it so many times but when i go to run the wad manager the wii remote disconnects and everything freezes .. please help asap .. i just dont know whats going wrong

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade September 18, 2010 Reply

      What’s your current Wii firmware?
      Try installing WiiFlow 2.1 instead of this one 🙂

  12. kevho.72 Kevin October 6, 2010 Reply

    I need help – new to all this.

    Have loaded HBC and it appears to be working.

    Followed all the above on loading wiiflow onto the SD card but dont get the file SD:\wiiflow\language.ini anywhere??

    Ive tried to launch wiiflow on HBC but it doesnt recognise the USB harddrive plugged into the back?

    Any help would be appreciated.


    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade October 6, 2010 Reply

      1.) Did you properly copy the wiiflow installation files onto your sd card after extracting them.
      2.) Have you formatted your hard drive properly (the primary partition should be WBFS

  13. mccoshjohn John October 8, 2010 Reply

    Hi there,
    I have installed the homebrew and now need to install a WAD but which one do I choose as there are so many… all i want to do is be able to play dvd copied games. Would appreciate your help. Thanks

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade October 8, 2010 Reply

      I’d recommend switching over to the installation of wiiflow 2.1 instead of this guide which is for 1.1

  14. ipodsandskins Shady30 October 15, 2010 Reply

    I’m using wiiflow 2.1, although when I use the update function, it downloads, goes to saving and from here just freezes. What am I doing wrong? Also downloading covers, it says saving to usb/wiiflow… but it also freezes. It’s driving me nuts! Any help? Thx!

  15. mdpgc2008 MDPGC October 21, 2010 Reply

    want to install on a version 4.1U for the first time (not updating), should I just load WiiFlow 2.1 or do I need to start with 1.1 then upgrade.

  16. Diamondketo Diamondketo October 24, 2010 Reply

    I’m only using a hard drive and i don’t want to use a sd card. Is there a way to put covers on hardrive for WBFS. Also how do i install games faster. i;m using wireless connection and its taking along time. i only have about 5 games and that video have a ton of games.

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade October 25, 2010 Reply

      You need to keep separate partitions on your drive (for Wiiflow 1.1 that is) and install your games on the WBFS partition and copy wiiflow and your disc covers on the fat32 partition.

      • diamondketo Diamondketo November 12, 2010 Reply

        i knew that part already. How do i download games faster and im using a internet plan. also can you give me a list of website or games that works and that are fun

  17. day_trader999 long December 13, 2011 Reply

    Hi there, Im a newbie. I softmodded my Wii already. Now I would like to play these games I copy from my friend hardrive. Understand I need Wiiflow. Got all the files requirements you suggested. help on (Copy all the contents of the installer package into the root of your SD Card)??. Do you mean unzipped all the files and put on the root of my SD card?. How do I install WAD manager? Didn’t see it in Homebrew. My son are so anxious to play these games but it took me almost 3 days and still stuck at this point. Please Help. Thank you very much.

    • atmaxplorer sylv3rblade December 13, 2011 Reply

      1.) Yep, copy the unzipped contents of the files onto the SD
      2.) To install the WAD Manager, Put the wad of the channel in the wad folder on the SD card/USB device
      3.) Run the WAD Manager from HBC

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