Friday, May 15, 2009

BootMii: Understand it before you install it

Forward: The purpose of this post is to explain what BootMii is, what it does, the risks of installing it, and why or why not it is right for you to install it now (pros and cons folks). Don't misunderstand me; BootMii is an incredible piece of software, and I think everyone should have it installed. However, I also don't think that people should immediately install it without truly knowing anything about it either. Sure, Hackmii has posted about it 10 or 20 times by now, but not everyone has read those posts. In fact, some people running off to install BootMii didn't even see it on WiiBrew or HackMii.

With this in mind, if you see someone like what I've described above, please link them to this post as I'll try to make this post the most thorough, complete, and easy to read description of BootMii. I'm also including a long list of links for additional reading for anyone interested.

Preface and fair warning: If you are short of time, impatient, or just plain lazy at just read the pros and cons of installing BootMii so that you'll understand at least a little bit more than you did before you came to this post.

What is BootMii?

BootMii is a versatile program that will allow one to load The Homebrew Channel, run unsigned code, and backup and restore their Wii's NAND (Read: The ultimate method of brick recovery) It was released by Team Twiizers at Hackmii on May 13th, 2009.

How is BootMii Installed?
BootMii is installed via the Hackmii Installer. When installing BootMii with the Hackmii installer, you can choose to install it one of two different ways; It can be installed as boot2, or it can be installed as an IOS.
Boot2 is the third stage in the Wiis booting processes. It occurs just after the Wii has been fully initialized to the point where it can run code; But before any code made by Nintendo is loaded. When you install BootMii as boot2, BoooMii will load and run before the Health Warning Screen and System Menu if your SD Card is inserted in your Wii.
An IOS is one of many low level Input/Output Systems that run on the Wii's coprocessor. When you install BootMii as an IOS, you must use The Homebrew Channel to load and run BootMii. Obviously then, installing BootMii as an IOS instead of boot2 does not offer nearly as great of brick recovery ability as installing BootMii as boot2 does. At the moment, you can only back up your NAND with BootMii installed as an IOS; You are not yet able to restore the NAND at this point in time with BootMii installed as an IOS.
Keep in mind that most newer Wii's can not install BootMii as boot2, but instead can only install BootMii as an IOS. If your Wii has a serial number LU64... you will most likely (most definitely) only be able to install BootMii as an IOS.

How does brick recovery work?
Your Wii's NAND is your Wii's internal memory. BootMii allows you to backup your Wii's NAND on an SD Card. Then, should anything ever happen to your Wii (like if you brick it) you will be able to launch BootMii and restore the Wii's NAND to what it was when it was working. Thus, your Wii is unbricked.
However, if you have BootMii installed as an IOS, you may not be able to access BootMii to restore your Wii's NAND depending on the seriousness of the brick. Furthermore, at the moment, you can not restore your NAND with BootMii installed as an IOS, only create a backup of it. Again, only users with BootMii installed as boot2 can both backup and restore their Wii's NAND.

Pros of installing BootMii as boot2

  • Complete Brick Recovery by allowing you to backup and restore your Wii's NAND
  • Hopefully, you will always have a way to run unsigned code on your Wii, no matter what happens to Bannerbomb or the HBC.
  • You can access the HBC more quickly

Pros of installing BootMii as an IOS
  • You can backup your Wii's NAND
  • A way to run unsigned code

Cons of installing BootMii
  • Its still in beta form, so there's a risk that there could be an unknown bug in it that could brick your Wii
  • Its still in beta form, so it's impossible to know what, if any, effects it may have on your system menu (although, there shouldn't be any).

36 comments:

  1. Thanks for explaining about the ios and boot2 :P

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  2. Thank you for the comment :)

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  3. should i install bootmii as ios on a lu64?

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  4. My worry is that a future system update from Nintendo could easily target bootmii and custom code in boot2. I guess that's the downside to the cat and mouse hacking game.

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  5. First anonymous: Install it as boot2 if you can, but if not install it as an IOS.

    Second anonymous: While it's possible, it would also be extremely difficult to do. We'll probably see a slew of updates that dont touch bootmii before we see one that does.

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  6. Just thought I would let you know that with the new version of hackmii you can uninstall bootmii, thereby completely reverting you back to factory defaults (if you backed up your nand before soft modding anything else). You may even use the new version of hackmii to uninstall the old version of bootmii.

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  7. While I appreciate your explanation of this tool. It is by FAR easy to follow.. you state on here that using bootmii you can backup your nanad, then restore it using bootmii. 2 other times you stated you cannot do this. For the sake of noobs, you should a little more clear about this.

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  8. SethG911: Thanks for reminding me to update the post :D

    Anonymous: I take comments like your very seriously. So after intense rereading what I wrote with intense scrutiny, I found not one, but two flaws in my writing that I believe were what you were referring to. Suffice to say I've fixed them and cleaned up the post in other areas as well.

    To clarify for you and other readers, only bootmii installed as boot2 can backup and restore the NAND. ATM bootmii installed as an IOS can only backup the NAND, not restore it. (Twiizers is working on it though)

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  9. hello i want to know how to load boot file

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  10. Unless your boot.dol/elf was compiled under MINI (AFAIK, there aren't any publicly available yet) you'll need to boot into the HBC and then launch your boot file.

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  11. can someone give me a tutorial on how to uninstall bootmii, my brother isntalled it, he said he installed it with boot2 with the hackmii instaler and that my wii is channel 4.1, please can anyone help

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  12. Hi Arikado and thanks for the infos.
    I have a 3.4u wii and was wondering about upgrading before HBC, after HBC or no upgrade at all ?
    Pros and cons of upgrading ?

    Thanks

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  13. Hey hey... As of right now, I believe I have bricked my wii. I believe I have the latest update of the wii, and after that, I installed a wii 4.0 system menu csm file. After my wii restarted, it skipped bootmii somehow, showed the warning screen, which in the custom screen's case: Mario, and then the screen just went blank. I had bootmii perfectly installed before; it always ran before the system menu, but now there is no bootmii. What happened?

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  14. If you have installed BootMii as an IOS but then wish to install it via Boot2 is it safe to repeat the procedure this time selecting Boot2?

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  15. thx man...i look for this information for a long time..appreciated...

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  16. Homebrew newbie here.
    Ive just installed homebrew channel and would like to know if I should also install bootmii?
    Are there any problems if I dont?
    I saw someone post in a forum that its recommended to install bootmii beta 4 if your on 4.2.
    So should I or not?
    Thanks.

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  17. Hi I have installed Bootmii as IOS and trying to backup, but how do I navigate into the bootmii menu? The game-console keys (power / reset) don't work. They do work; but retain their original functionality (Reset / Eject) while power key is no-op. Is there any other way to backup NAND?

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  18. please could you tell me if there are any wii serial numbers that are not compatible with the bootmii.
    Thanks

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  19. Any serial greater then or equal to LU64

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  20. If I install Bootmii as IOS the only way is to backup NAND ? It is not possilbe to restore NAND ?

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  21. As stated in the article, you can back up with the IOS version of BootMii but you can not restore with it ATM.

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  22. I have a 4.1u wii, softmodded using hackmii installer, but, COULD NOT install bootmii into boot2. I installed cIOS 249 using wad manager, and the had the ability to install bootmii into boot2, can backup and restore my NAND perfectly. Anyone else seen this happen?

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  23. Hi, I'm very curious about the post before because I cant install bootmii as boot2 neither as IOS. My wii version is 4.0E and is not a LU64 version. can someone else tell me if the work around described in the post before is secure?

    please answer to:
    masterdays at gmail com

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  24. Hello I actually have to questions...
    #1 Is there any way with v4.2 to install boot2...
    instead of ios.
    #2unrelated...
    I have homebrew browser installed and it loads but once I click download on anything it freezes and I am forced to kick the wii...
    No not really but I turn it off via the power button on the actual console.

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  25. Thank you so much, It was so helpful.

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  26. Thanks. Great explanation that I have not seen elsewhere.

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  27. You can restore a nand from BoootMii IOS version. Saying you cannot is not true. It has been done and verified. Its just that you will have a brick for sure if it fails during the restore.

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  28. @anonymous
    At the time I wrote this, it wasn't true. If it is true now, please provide me with some proof that it is.

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  29. Ok, so installing BootMii as an ISO only allows you to backup NAND. So what is the point of backing up the NAND if you can't restore it? I am running 4.2E. Will installing BootMii brick my Wii??

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  30. Hello and thank you

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  31. Hi, i need help, when i instal HBC do i install everything when it boots up the first time?
    This is what comes up:
    1.install HBC
    2.DVDX
    3.BootMii

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  32. "Ok, so installing BootMii as an ISO only allows you to backup NAND. So what is the point of backing up the NAND if you can't restore it?"

    I'm wondering about this too.

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  33. this will probably sound dum so please give me a good comment as i am new


    if i install boot mii as a ios because i have a new wii and it bricks i cant restore it ??

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  34. Awsome Explanation ive been hacking wiis like theres no tomorow for the purpose of home brewing apps and ive never new of boot-2 diference VS ios lol i guess i got caughtup and never read it now i did and im happy ive always used boot 2 never had a problem with it thanks for clearing that up

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  35. You can restore a NAND from an ios install of Bootmii, you just need another piece of software. Look up priiloader.

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  36. Thank you! I appreciate you clearly explain what mean to install BootMii!

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