User:Mbc07/Wii Menu Saga

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Revision as of 03:09, 14 July 2014 by Mbc07 (talk | contribs) (Tested again with some WiiWare and VC games from my own NAND dump, confirmed channel management bug)
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Quest Log for System Menu testing (all hours based on GMT -4)...

DAY 1 (2014/07/04)

[03h03]: I'm probably crazy but I really want to test all System Menu versions in Dolphin now that ES_Launch is finished (and as I already explained here). First thing is getting WADs from all publicly available versions. Lucky enough, NUS Downloader 1.9 has a built in script to download all System Menu versions so I don't need to manually choose every version and hit "Download". Given we currently have 38 different version averaging around 20MB each (and taking in consideration that I have a shitty ISP), this will take some hours. Anyway it's veeery late, so I'm going to bed, leaving my laptop doing what laptops downloading System Menu from Nintendo servers should do :P

[17h20]: Download finished, looking right now for a folder with 38 WADs averaging 840MB. Trying so set up my testing environment and get WADs from some Channels, however, FIFA World Cup is happening here, right now. Trying to make some progress but it'll be a little hard with all that World Cup noise ¬¬"

DAY 2 (2014/07/07)

[11h00]: Testings were going to start today but I found a strange issue with my Windows install causing any app using DirectX or OpenGL to instantly crash (confirmed this behaviour with Dolphin, some Modern Apps and all my PC games). Reinstalled GPU drivers but nothing changed. Since I'm too bored to inspect this and find the cause, it's time to reinstall Windows from zero again (*sigh*). Postponing testings until I fix that...

DAY 3 (2014/07/13)

[14h34]: It took some days but now everything is set up and working fine, testings start today. Currently the latest Dolphin build available is 4.0-2109, so I'll stick with it until I finish all System Menu testings. I'll also use a portable.txt file to make sure I isolate the build I'll use for testing from my custom settings that I generally use with Dolphin. The system specs already are listed in my user page and all settings from Dolphin will be the default ones. I'll also wipe "User" folder every time I switch to a new System Menu version.

In this first wave of tests I'll follow this list to set up the testing environment:

  1. Install System Menu WAD
  2. Install Mii Channel and Opera Internet Channel WAD
  3. Set GC Memory Card A and B to two copies of my own GC MemCard (to test Save Management)
  4. Enable SD Card in Dolphin and try to move/load channels/saves from virtual SD (only in System Menu versions that allow doing that).

Then I'll follow 3 runs doing the following:

  1. First run: load Wii Menu, test all settings options, test GC save management, boot a channel, return to Wii Menu, boot a game, return to Wii Menu, try to manage Wii saves
  2. Second run: load game, return to Wii Menu, try to manage Wii saves, load game again.
  3. Third run: load Wii Menu, manage Wii saves, load game, return to Wii Menu, load channel.

If it's a System Menu version capable of loading channels from SD Card, I'll try that too. For games I'll use Super Smash Bros Brawl (which uses copy protection in their save) and Donkey Kong Country Returns (normal save). I'm sticking with these two games because they don't need IR pointer so I can just use the Wiimote (my sensor bar is screwed) and because they have skippable intros (will save me some time).

For GC saves I'll download some GCIs from other regions since I own save files only for NA and PAL games, it'll be an issue with JP or KOR versions of System Menu. I'll keep updating this page with results, stay tuned...

[18h03]: Just finished my testings with v97 (2.0U). Since it's the first test I did, I'll use these problems as the global ones and then add notes to specific versions that doesn't show this behaviour (if I found any).

Problems found so far:

Disc Channel and GC games: Disc channel now can recognize GameCube games but won't boot them. Before ES_Launch fixes it wouldn't even recognize them, so, this is somewhat an improvement (need to add that bit in the current problem description already listed in System Menu)
EULA for online services: When changing country/region in System Menu or when setting a new connection setting, it'll warn that you need to accept EULA again. If you don't have EULA channel installed in Dolphin NAND, a popup saying that you must perform a System Update will appear. If you have the EULA channel it'll just show the EULA to you and then accepting it will bring you back to Wii Menu. If you don't have EULA channel and don't accept the System Update, Wii Games that still work online (like Just Dance games) won't let you use any functionality because you haven't accepted the EULA.
Format Wii Memory: Choosing Format Wii Memory in System Settings works. After formatting, a popup saying that the Wii will be turned off will appear, choosing OK will result in a black screen with FPS 0 VPS 60. Manually stopping emulation and then loading Wii Menu again will cause Dolphin to show some popups about missing entries from SYSCONF but then Dolphin will boot to the same one-time setup that occur when you turn a real Wii on for the first time (sweet). After finishing the one-time setup, most of the SYSCONF popups will stop appearing, however, Dolphin will still keep complaining about entries IPL.PGS (related to progressive scan) and IPL.E60 (related PAL60 mode) when opening emulator settings or booting Wii Software until you manually toggle them at least one time through Wii Menu Settings or until you manually delete User\Wii\shared2\sys\SYSCONF to let Dolphin regenerate that file.
System Update: For my surprise, choosing System Update in Wii Menu will corrupt some files and leave Dolphin completely unusable. When you try to update Wii Menu, it'll actually start downloading but one second later it'll stop with error 32004 and show a popup saying it'll return to Wii Menu. Some seconds later, a black screen, a Dolphin error about HLE Function call then a crash ("Dolphin stopped working, blablabla"). From here, every time you boot Wii software with Dolphin, a lot of SYSCONF popups will appear, and that may be followed by an instant crash ("Dolphin stopped working"), but sometimes it just works. From here, the only solution to fix that was completely wiping NAND path (User\Wii), only deleting SYSCONF didn't work (needs further testing)...
Wii Message Board: Wii Message board is working fine, however you can't send messages to any contact you register (the button will always be grayed out) and the Play Time only register softwares you used correctly if you boot them from Wii Menu and after playing the selected title you come back to Wii Menu by pressing home. Further testing would be trying to send a message to the Dolphin's Friend Code (I can't do that because my Wii is dead)...
Save Management: GC Save management working flawlessly, without any issue. Wii saves that aren't copy-protected can be copied to and from virtual SD Card without any trouble at all. I also put a exported save file from a real Wii inside the virtual SD Card and Dolphin successfully imported it back through Wii Menu too. One thing that didn't work was copying channels to the SD Card, the copy always fail ("The data wasn't copied"). Also, deleting any channel through Wii Menu will corrupt NAND. Going back to Wii Menu or any other further booting to it (either from Dolphin or from Home button when playing a game) after deleting a channel will result in a "The system files are corrupted. Please refer to Wii Operations Manual for help troubleshooting." message. The only fix is completely wiping NAND path too...

Everything else you can do in Wii Menu worked fine, without any issues...