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Warning: New Wii Update May Brick Consoles

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 36 comments

The latest Wii firmware update addresses hackers but also bricks legit consoles. Go Nintendo go!

Nintendo Wii owners who received notification that a new firmware update (4.2) is available need to hold off on upgrading. The company recently released the update to address those who were running the Homebrew Channel, a modification that enables users to load applications not sold by Nintendo. The special channel appears as a standard icon on the Wii interface, and once loaded, will display a list of applications loaded on the SD card.

But the drawback to the new firmware update is twofold: it disables the Homebrew Channel, locking hackers out of their naughty, unofficial applications. The update also "bricks" legitimate Wii consoles, leaving them utterly dead in the water, a brick of metal and plastic so to speak. Nintendo's technical support forum is currently lit up with reports that consoles are locking up while downloading the update, and will not reboot when unplugged and restarted; NeoGAF is also listing similar reports, with "non-HBC" Wii owners claiming "bricking" as well.

"The problem appears to lie with an incredibly shoddily programmed update to boot2 of the Wii," reads this forum announcement on NeoGAF. "boot2 is basically the area that "starts up" the Wii. According to the people who have developed HBC, the code for Nintendo's updated boot2 is prone to making write errors, therefore making the possibility of bricking your Wii extremely high, whether or not you have ever hacked or modified your Wii."

Nintendo tech support is telling consumers with out-of-warranty consoles that the cost of repairs will have to come out of their pocket, however Nintendo officials have remained quiet in regards to the overall infliction caused by the update. However, if this becomes another "red ring of death" situation, Nintendo may change its mind and fix "bricked" consoles on the company dime instead.

In the meantime, don't install the update, and stay tuned for more info.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    AIstudio , October 1, 2009 3:52 PM
    I cannot beleive in this day and age that companies can screw up your equipment like this and expect you to pay for repairs. Even if your equipment is out of warranty.
    It was caused solely by there action and nothing else.
    I am sure in a court of law that this is unacceptable and borders on malicious!!!!!
    Just my 2 quids worth
  • 13 Hide
    tayb , October 1, 2009 5:03 PM
    Bricked my Wii. Thought nothing of updating the Wii why in the world would I go online to make sure it wouldn't brick it before downloading a simple freaking update? I guaran-damn-tee you that I will not be paying a penny to fix this machine and if I don't have a working console back in my apartment within 30 days, free of charge, there will be a lawsuit.

    Right now my call is being "escalated" to someone higher up because I put up a humongous stink when I was to pay to fix what Nintendo did to my console.
Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    AIstudio , October 1, 2009 3:52 PM
    I cannot beleive in this day and age that companies can screw up your equipment like this and expect you to pay for repairs. Even if your equipment is out of warranty.
    It was caused solely by there action and nothing else.
    I am sure in a court of law that this is unacceptable and borders on malicious!!!!!
    Just my 2 quids worth
  • 1 Hide
    koss64 , October 1, 2009 4:14 PM
    Im thinking of getting a Wii for me and my girlfriend, ill definatly keep an eye on this.
  • 3 Hide
    zerapio , October 1, 2009 4:15 PM
    AIstudioIt was caused solely by there action and nothing else.

    I don't think the company is acting maliciously at the moment. Nintendo probably needs to do an internal investigation to find out if they're at fault or not. It seems that's the case and I believe that Nintendo, like Microsoft, will end up covering this issue on their dime.
  • 5 Hide
    shadowkazama , October 1, 2009 4:17 PM
    Please tell me they are taking the "update" off line until this is fixed. I can see a class action suit beginning to boil, unless they start to handle it better. :( 
  • 8 Hide
    erichlund , October 1, 2009 4:22 PM
    Nothing new. Sony "bricked" my PS3, then wanted $150 to fix it. I spent the $150 on a Blue Ray player, and the PS3 is in the closet, where it will stay until I probably decide to take it to the electronics recycle center. Don't like the classic "game" controllers, so I'm just going to be a PC gamer.
  • 6 Hide
    jgiron , October 1, 2009 4:23 PM
    So Nintendo pushes out an update, breaks it's own product (the Wii) and the consumer has to pay to get it fixed? I sense the beginning of a lawsuit.

    Because if they can do this any company can. Your precious cell phones would become useless paper-weights and your computers becomes garbage.
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , October 1, 2009 4:28 PM
    Hmm two howevers in the last paragraph. I think I wouldn't write an article that way.

    Anyways this update also blocks people out of the USB iso loader but I think people were launching that through homebrew channel.

    Silly Nintendo will never learn though. Just let people do what they want with hardware they bought. My wii just sits because the updates make the piece of junk work worse every time there's an update coming out. There's much, much better consoles to buy than a wii.
  • 5 Hide
    tmax , October 1, 2009 4:30 PM
    I downloaded the software with no issue. I must have been lucky.
  • 6 Hide
    d_kuhn , October 1, 2009 4:34 PM
    We're so upset that anyone out there would actually do something COOL with a Wii that we're going to poop out a shoddy patch to end any and all coolness... and if we brick a few Wii's in the process - well it's WORTH it!
  • 1 Hide
    ssalim , October 1, 2009 4:40 PM
    They better pay for bricked legit customers for their stupid update, no matter their warranty status.
  • 13 Hide
    tayb , October 1, 2009 5:03 PM
    Bricked my Wii. Thought nothing of updating the Wii why in the world would I go online to make sure it wouldn't brick it before downloading a simple freaking update? I guaran-damn-tee you that I will not be paying a penny to fix this machine and if I don't have a working console back in my apartment within 30 days, free of charge, there will be a lawsuit.

    Right now my call is being "escalated" to someone higher up because I put up a humongous stink when I was to pay to fix what Nintendo did to my console.
  • 7 Hide
    TheViper , October 1, 2009 5:04 PM
    Quote:
    Nintendo tech support is telling consumers with out-of-warranty consoles that the cost of repairs will have to come out of their pocket


    No they are not.
    Quote:

    Hello,


    Some of you have reported problems with your Wii console after updating to the Wii System Menu 4.2. The symptoms most people are describing usually occur when the Wii has been modified. However, some of you also mention your system has never been modified.



    We'd like to help get your system working properly again. If you're experiencing problems with your Wii console after downloading Wii System Menu 4.2, and you believe your system has not been modified, please give us a call. If we find that you have a normal system and the update caused your system to not work, we'll repair it at no charge.

    Please call our Customer Service Department at your earliest convenience, 1-800-255-3700. We are open 6 AM to 7 PM, Pacific Time, 7 days a week.



    Thank you,
    NOA_Tech_Jane


    Come on Tom's. First the snide "Go Nintendo Go" remark and then flat out lying about the repair fee.
  • 8 Hide
    tayb , October 1, 2009 5:15 PM
    TheViperNo they are not. Come on Tom's. First the snide "Go Nintendo Go" remark and then flat out lying about the repair fee.


    Well that right there is pretty f-ing ridiculous considering I was just told there would be a charge to have my console repaired. Maybe they need to send out that email to all of their customer service reps. Good to know at least but that would have saved me ten minutes of yelling on the phone.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , October 1, 2009 5:25 PM
    Quote:
    If we find that you have a normal system and the update caused your system to not work, we'll repair it at no charge.


    Translation: if we feel like repairing your console, we will. Otherwise, we will blame it on you.

    Since they are making the determination of whether it was modded or not, and they are the ones that will have to pay to fix it, what motivation do they have to admit it wasn't modded?

    -Dan
  • 2 Hide
    CChick , October 1, 2009 5:27 PM
    koss64Im thinking of getting a Wii for me and my girlfriend, ill definatly keep an eye on this.


    Your girlfriend should dump you for your stupidity
  • -6 Hide
    CChick , October 1, 2009 5:28 PM
    erichlundNothing new. Sony "bricked" my PS3, then wanted $150 to fix it. I spent the $150 on a Blue Ray player, and the PS3 is in the closet, where it will stay until I probably decide to take it to the electronics recycle center. Don't like the classic "game" controllers, so I'm just going to be a PC gamer.


    You know there is a service mode right? smartass.

    suckers cant handle console rofl.
  • 7 Hide
    Major7up , October 1, 2009 5:31 PM
    I have not updated mine, have not even used it for over a year, been sitting on the shelf in favor of my xbox 360. If I had updated it though and it became bricked I would be suing nintendo. There is a reasonable expectation from consumers that updates released by nintendo directly will improve their devices and no break them. They cannot expect us to pay for their mistakes.
  • 2 Hide
    warmon6 , October 1, 2009 6:17 PM
    Well luckily i not having this problem. Although next time I'll be more careful before uploading the update right away.
  • 2 Hide
    ssalim , October 1, 2009 6:29 PM
    Never had a wii. It's a gamecube with new toy and face but hefty price albeit recent $50 price cut. I'll stick with my PC and X360.
  • 1 Hide
    techguy378 , October 1, 2009 6:52 PM
    Say what? Nintendo doesn't allow people to install apps not sold by Nintendo? I can install whatever apps I want on my PS3 even if they're not sold by Sony. This is not a hack of any kind and is fully supported by Sony.
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