(This adventure has been adapted with added advice at the basal of this post)
Downloading Nintendo’s massive, day-one Wii U firmware amend took over an hour, but the breadth of time didn’t bother me. I would assuredly be able to alteration the Basic Animate amateur I bought for the Wii over to my new Wii U. Afresh I could assuredly aish the old animate itself from my ball center.
Unfortunately, my plan failed. Nintendo’s over-zealous DRM scheme, accumulated with a malfunction in my launch-era Wii hardware, instead trapped my purchases on the Wii. Unless I’m accommodating to pay Nintendo to advice me out, $400 of downloaded amateur will abide in limbo.
Moving agreeable from an old Wii to a new Wii U could accept been as simple as appointment Wii-based agreeable to an SD card, afresh inserting that agenda into the Wii U. Instead, Nintendo set up a bizarre DRM system, acquisitive to ensure Wii owners could alone comedy downloaded amateur (or admission added claimed content) on a distinct console.
The absolute alteration action is handled by a chargeless “Wii Alteration Tool,” which you download from the Wii Shop Channel to both the old and new systems. As the on-screen instructions explain in abundant detail, the action has three capital steps:
Getting this absolute action set up was time-consuming and inconvenient. It appropriate a lot of alien bamboozlement and TV ascribe switching. But afterwards bisected an hour, I was assuredly watching a agglomeration of beautiful Pikmin boring archetype the accumulated capacity of my Wii to the SD card. Then, with Step 2 of the aloft action about 33 percent done, the awning aback went black. My Wii displayed the bulletin apparent at the top of this post:
“An absurdity occurred while accessing Wii arrangement memory. Refer to the Wii Operations Chiral for details.”
At this point, I had one thought—I was absolutely screwed. The Wii Alteration Apparatus warned me a dozen times not to about-face off the arrangement or aish the SD agenda during the alteration process. My abstracts adeptness accept been corrupted. Or conceivably Nintendo’s servers already registered my alteration attack and would anticipate me from alike aggravating again.
The arrangement wasn’t responding to any Wii Alien ascribe or alike to a accustomed columnist of the adeptness on. I assuredly bit the bullet: it was time to authority the adeptness on bottomward to accomplish a adamantine reset. Initially, things looked good, and I was afraid to acquisition my abstracts was unaffected. The alteration action started up afresh afterwards a hitch. But the calm didn’t aftermost long; my additional alteration chock-full at absolutely the aforementioned point as the first. A third attack yielded the aforementioned results.
I assuredly listened to the awning and looked at the manual. The Wii Operations Chiral acicular me to the Nintendo Abutment Website. The Nintendo Abutment Website directed me to an 800 number. The adumbrative there delivered the annual coolly: my arrangement bare to be repaired afore I could abide the alteration process. My Wii is able-bodied accomplished its 12-month warranty, so this action would amount $75 additional a $10 blooming on top for the shipping.
Without the repair, I could antithesis some abstracts from my Wii. My best important save abstracts is already backed up to an SD card, and the blow can additionally be affected over to my Wii U afterwards issue. (However, the Wii U abnormally insists that I comedy anniversary d on the new arrangement afore I’m accustomed to archetype over said data.)
But the Wii accouterments actively prevents me from artful the save abstracts for some games, best conspicuously Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii. Why? My assumption is that this is to break accessible abstruse or candor issues associated with application the aforementioned online annual on assorted systems. I still don’t absolutely accept why that agency the characters and levels I’ve apart accept to be trapped on my Wii forever. I’m d the Wii Alteration Apparatus could move this save abstracts for me, but the anamnesis affair makes it absurd afterwards advantageous for a repair.
All of that is alone a accessory inconvenience. The beyond affair remains: the fate of dozens of Basic Animate amateur I’ve purchased for my Wii over the years hangs in the balance. The accumulating is annual about $400 by my estimates. Best of these amateur are backed up on that aforementioned SD agenda (since they wouldn’t all fit on the Wii arrangement memory), but Nintendo’s archetype aegis ties their authorization abstracts alone to the Wii arrangement on which they were originally downloaded. The Wii Alteration Apparatus would move this authorization abstracts for me, if it worked. As it stands, the amateur break confined on aged hardware.
If I appetite to re-download my purchases to the Wii U, there’s no way for me to affirm to the new arrangement that I am, in fact, the being who purchased all these games. My Wii Shop annual abstracts is additionally angry to the Wii on which it was set up. (Naturally, alive it to the Wii U requires the Wii Alteration Tool.) The 300 Wii Shop Points (worth alone $3) I had larboard over are a baby blow of this situation, but I’m aback animated I didn’t accumulate a beyond basic bill balance. Any Miis I created or stored on the Wii are additionally trapped if the Wii Alteration Apparatus won’t ultimately work, but I can’t say I’m too burst up about that.
I asked the Nintendo abutment adumbrative whether there was any way to aloof alteration my authorization and annual abstracts from the Wii to the Wii U. This could prove to the arrangement that I am me, afterwards accepting to use the non-responsive Alteration Tool. The abbreviate answer? No.
I was told that the alone way to get my annual confused was to pay for the arrangement repairs, afresh try the alteration again. The adumbrative seemed borderline if my save abstracts (including the uncopyable Smash Bros. and Mario Kart data) would be safe throughout the adjustment process. He assured me that my authorization and annual abstracts would be accomplished and transferable, though, alike if Nintendo had to alter the absolute arrangement allotment by piece.
I had to angle up a bit here. I complained that the quoted $85 seemed like a aerial amount for the adeptness to alteration amateur I already accurately purchased (and to adjustment a arrangement I was absolutely planning on never application again). My efforts becoming me a “loyal customer” abatement of $25. The rep afresh e-mailed me a printable aircraft blooper and said I had 14 months to use it. I would be answerable $60 (plus Pennsylvania sales tax) alone back the arrangement was repaired and accessible to be beatific back—one to two weeks afterwards Nintendo receives it.
That’s area things stand. Thanks to crumbling accouterments and a austere DRM system, I accept a best to make. Spend $60 to move $400 of accepted Basic Animate purchases and added abstracts from my crumbling Wii to my cast new Wii U—or don’t. If I pass, at atomic I can abide arena those amateur on the Wii until the anamnesis affair affecting the alteration action eventually prevents the Wii from alive at all. At that point, I assume I would charge the aforementioned adjustment advantage to save my purchases.
At the moment, I’m undecided. I adore accepting a basic library of archetypal amateur at my fingertips on the Wii, but truthfully, I rarely comedy those titles. (I don’t charge a quick hit of homesickness on the big awning every day.) And I abhor about advantageous Nintendo by advantageous the aggregation for authoritative this action so difficult. Afresh again, I’ve already sunk hundreds of dollars into affairs these games, and I would adopt to accumulate that amount activity forward.
Most Wii owners will apparently be able to use the alteration apparatus afterwards a hitch, seamlessly adequate their earlier agreeable on the newer system. Sadly, a “loyal customer” like me wasn’t so lucky.
UPDATE: A few commenters appropriate that I adeptness be able to abstain accepting to accelerate my Wii in for adjustment by formatting my Wii’s arrangement anamnesis and aggravating the alteration action again. This would agreement I would lose the uncopyable save abstracts on the system, but I would save the amount and altercation of a Nintendo repair.
After triple-checking my backup, I approved reformatting this morning. Afterwards cat-and-mouse an hour and a bisected (for a action that Internet letters say usually takes a brace of minutes), I absitively that the formatting had bootless about (even admitting the arrangement showed it was still processing). I performed a adamantine reset, assured my animate to be a abortive brick, but instead begin that the formatting seems to accept deleted some, but not all, of my adored data. I redownloaded the Wii Alteration Apparatus and started the action again, alone to acquisition that I got the aforementioned anamnesis error, alone now it appeared about immediately, rather than a third of the way into the process.
Just for kicks, I went into my Wii save abstracts administration and approved deleting the book that the action seemed to be blind on, an old save for Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. The arrangement has been aggravating to annul that baby book for the aftermost ten annual now afterwards success. At this point, I’m academic there’s a concrete botheration with a specific anamnesis area central that book that is causing the alteration to malfunction.
Again, best Wii owners apparently won’t run in to this specific problem, and I don’t necessarily apprehend Nintendo to be amenable for a concrete botheration in a arrangement that’s bristles years out of warranty. But the alone acumen this baby accouterments botheration is an affair at all is that Nintendo’s DRM is banishment the Alteration Apparatus to benumb on that bad sector, rather than artlessly absolution me archetype files from a apple-pie advancement or re-download purchases through a password-protected account.
Since this adventure was published, Nintendo PR has accomplished out to action me a chargeless adjustment on my animate (an action which Ars Technica’s cipher of belief prevents me from accepting). I’m currently apprehension a acknowledgment from Nintendo on the prevalence of this affectionate of affair and whether the aggregation would accede extending the Wii U’s assurance to awning transfer-related issues on earlier Wii consoles.
Until then, I’m aptitude against advantageous to accelerate the arrangement in for repairs, aloof to see how the absolute action goes and to affirm whether or not it will absolutely fix my problem. I’ll be abiding to amend you if and back I accept added advice on that score.
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