Mysterious brick, no luck fixing.
March 23, 2013 04:46PM
Hey everyone, I've never posted here but I hope someone will be able to help me out. I've got a Wii that appears to be bricked. I installed homebrew on it several months ago and have had no issues until now. I'm not sure what specific action may have caused the brick, as it was my roommate who noticed and brought it to my attention, and he tells me the last thing he used it for was to play a Gamecube game. I have no reason to think he was installing any homebrew apps or messing with things. It sounds as if the Wii just suddenly wouldn't turn on from one play session to the next.

So here are my basic symptoms:

A couple of notes first: BootMii is installed as boot2, and I made a NAND backup of the system when I first installed it, so when I learned of the problem I wasn't too worried as I thought I could easily recover. However....

- When the power button is pushed, the disc drive light flashes once, pauses briefly, then flashes twice. I'm not completely sure, but it seems to me that this is a different pattern than the "modded" flash pattern that I'm used to seeing indicating that BootMii is working. Correct me if I'm wrong.

- As soon as the flashes end, the Wii emits a loud buzzing noise which I think is coming from the disc drive. It lasts 2-3 seconds and sounds louder and more rattle-like than usual.

- A black screen appears on my TV. No health warning, just black. I've read about some types of bricks where the health warning does appear and one can access "maintenance mode" or something. Clearly this isn't the case for me.

So at this point I went about researching how to fix this myself. I happily found my backup folder from when I ran HackMii, complete with nand.bin, keys.bin and the bootmii folder. No sweat, right? Sadly, here's what happened when I started up the Wii with all of this on an SD card inserted:

- The drive light flashes only once this time.
- The same loud buzzing noise happens.
- Nothing appears on the TV at all. At least the black screen indicated the Wii was outputting a video signal, but now my TV just stays in the blue "not receiving a signal" state. So even worse than before, in other words.

So to sum up, black screen on startup, trying to preload BootMii doesn't seem to work even thought it is installed as boot2. (Unless I did that part wrong? copied keys.bin, nand.bin + bootmii folder with armboot, etc to root of SD card and inserted it into the Wii). Reading about other types of bricks and ways to fix them, none seem to apply to my situation.

The only other possibility I can think of is that it's a hardware failure of the disc drive. The louder, more rattling-sounding noise it makes since the brick happened might be evidence for that. I don't know if a disc drive failure causes the symtoms I'm having. It wouldn't totally surprise me though, as my Wii is very, very old (probably one of the launch units, in fact).

Thanks a whole lot in advance for any advice you can give me. Cheers.
Re: Mysterious brick, no luck fixing.
March 23, 2013 05:36PM
I don't think a disc drive failure would prevent the Wii from booting.

Can you turn on the Wii with a Wii remote, or do you have to use the power button on the console? If you can't do it with a remote, it could be the bluetooth module is gone. From what I've seen, this would prevent the Wii booting properly (although I thought BootMii still worked in this case).
Re: Mysterious brick, no luck fixing.
March 23, 2013 08:41PM
No, we read about the Bluetooth module failure thing and I believe we ruled it out. My roommate also did all the tests of things that could be wrong besides bricking, like trying different cables, plugging into a different TV etc.

It seems like the thing just won't boot far enough to get to boot2 and run Bootmii, so maybe something corrupted the boot process? But I can't imagine how that could have happened. Any tips for how I could at least figure out what's wrong would be welcome, thank you
Re: Mysterious brick, no luck fixing.
March 25, 2013 07:36AM
If you suspect the disc drive is bad, open the wii up and remove it. The wii would boot normally without a disc drive. It is rare, but possible for a bad drive to prevent the system menu from loading. Not so sure about bootmii. But if the thing is making noise, I would pull it out and see what happens. It should not be making noise like that.
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