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DavidDayton
(more a nerd than a geek)
(09-13-2007, 07:12 AM)
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Edit: Please replace NOA in the thread title with NCL - aside from service techs not bothering to preserve data, this rant/thread is entirely dedicated to oversights made by NCL... as pointed out to me, quite clearly, by a GAF friend.

As some of you may recall, my Wii system froze... then died.

I got back a repaired unit today... with the flash memory erased, of course. As I sit here retransferring saved games and Miis (for the various folks who play), I feel extremely irked at several design choices which just make like more annoying. Never mind that the flash memory was wiped when it was the drive unit that was bad... certain aspects of the firmware design make little to no sense, or serve only to make things more annoying if you have a problem with the system.

I thought I'd do two things today... vent, and list some "lesser known" odd choices in Wii firmware design. Perhaps someone on GAF with some connections will decide to pass this information on to someone -- there's always a chance NCL doesn't KNOW about a few of these, I suppose.

Anyway, here we go.

1. Why can't I actually backup my save data?
Yes, you can copy (nearly) any saved games to an SD card. However, some games (Wii Play, Wii Sports, and possibly Mario Party 8) also tie your saved game to individual Miis. Delete the Mii associated with saved progress in Wii Sports and the entire profile is gone - permanently. The same goes for online stats/progress/friend codes for Mario Strikers players -- delete the Mii (OR HAVE YOUR MEMORY WIPED DUE TO REPAIR) and your online stats are all lost... even if you import the Mii back into system memory and restore the saved data.

As best as I can tell, in the reserved (and hidden) system memory, there must be a special database kept of all active Miis on the system... and, presumably, some sort of data is kept in the system regarding some games (Wii Sports?). If you delete the Mii (or wipe the memory), this "hidden" internal record is lost. Now, for all I know, Nintendo is using internal game tracking for some long term project or later Channel Release, and the "hidden" Mii stats are for that; however, it makes little sense to make backup saves useless by deleting the "real" save record in memory.
Is it too much to ask for the ability to do a "real" system backup? Nintendo encrypts the data like crazy anyway... let me do a COMPLETE data record on an SD card, just in case.

2. Why is the Wii system ID (used for Wii address book "friend codes") changed when the memory is formatted?
The Wii has two internal "permanent" IDs that I know of -- the MAC address (used to lock Store purchases to your system) and another internal Wii system code (used to identify the system a Mii was created on, among other things). Wiping flash memory doesn't change these - I know, because I had to format my system. If you do wipe the memory, your store purchases can still be downloaded and you can transfer Miis back to the system for editing, but your entire address book is gone. Why? What sense does that make?

3. Why do your repair centers replace Wii "guts" and wipe/replace the memory while making no effort to preserve any of the data?
Yes, I've heard that there are magical repair centers sequestered away at NOA in Washington -- at these places, competent servicemen will backup/transfer your data to a new system before replacing old components. You'd think this would be a standard occurence, or that the regional repair centers NOA routes repair orders to would be able to do this as well, right? Pfft.

4. FIX THE STUPID SYSTEM-CRIPPLING E-MAIL GLITCH!
Okay, so I broke from my listing convention, but I'm a tad annoyed by this. As you know, you can link the Wii to a standard e-mail address for exchanging pictures and messages. Some e-mails sent to the Wii can, however, freeze the Wii... very, very badly. The system keeps the downloaded message in memory, and will attempt to display/process it every time the system is turned on - and freeze every time, rendering the Wii useless. (Please Drinky, no commentary here.)

Is the glitch rare? Yes -- I've only come across 9 cases of this so far, but in every case it was caused by the same thing, an e-mail sent from a computer. Something is wrong in the parsing/display engine for external messages, and it would be nice for NOA/NCL to fix that little problem... or at least provide a way to "clear" message memory without eternally erasing all other data on your system AND changing your Wii address code.

...

Now, thanks to the glories of would-be hackers out there, I'm busily importing backup copies of Miis to my Wii (after manually changing their hidden system ID code, thus reenabling editing and such). I next plan to contact all the folks who USED to be on my address list, so as to reenable Metroid Prime activity and to be prepared for future games. However, I'm irritated that there appears to be no way to ACTUALLY back up your system information, saved games, and Mii / Mii profiles on the Wii. Now, I'm somewhat hopeful that the "Mii game data stored in hidden memory, not the save file" thing isn't going to happen in future titles (Wario Ware and Metroid Prime both keep all your save data and let you reassign a Wii to the saved game), but I can't be sure... and that makes it a bit frustrating to look forward to several years of Wii gaming. I don't LIKE having to create new Miis, replenish my address book, and restart entire games because the Wii locks up (randomly) or gets repaired... and there really should be a reason I have to.

Thanks for reading. If any of you used to be on my Wii list, feel free to add my new system code (6533 9124 2037 5193) and give me yours again. If anyone wants to pass along this troubled gamer's problems to NOA, feel free to use your industry or press connections to do so. Maybe, just maybe, NCL/NOA can fix a few of these things.

Edit: It's worth noting that I -did- get my system repaired in returned in one week. I do commend NOA and their repair facilities for that.
Last edited by DavidDayton; 09-13-2007 at 08:52 AM.
Gamer @ Heart
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:24 AM)
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Wow, this thread got ignored....

I know this post doesnt really help, but...uh...yeah....sorry for your situation.
VOOK
We don't know why he keeps buying PAL, either.
(09-13-2007, 07:26 AM)
VOOK's Avatar
Yeah man all valid complaints, I have complaints against my local branch of Nintendo but complaining does nothing, Nintendo is too busy rolling in there billions of yen to give a shit.
Firestorm
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:27 AM)
Firestorm's Avatar
No, the Wii is infallible. You're wrong.

Also, it looks like I'll never add an e-mail address to my Wii.
disappeared
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:28 AM)
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NOA doesn't care because at the end of the day, it prints money.
Ganondorfo
Junior Member
(09-13-2007, 07:28 AM)
Namco keep announcing these tales of games...
Muppet345
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:29 AM)
Make it stop overheating holy christ
EktorPR
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:33 AM)
EktorPR's Avatar
Oh God...please illuminate the minds of those in charge of repairing my system. Let them restore all my game saves, Miis and VC games to my repaired/refurbished/new Wii.

I didn't make any backups, so...you could say I'm kinda' worried.
Bidermaier
Member
(09-13-2007, 07:36 AM)
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all virtual console games but the Turbograph ones are interlaced here in Europe. No progresive glory for us. Needless to say they low like crap on a HDTV setting.
etiolate
Banned
(09-13-2007, 08:06 AM)
etiolate's Avatar
David, just get married, have babies and then let the wife complain. Nothing scarier for a CEO than an angry mom on television denouncing your product.
Tenbatsu
(09-13-2007, 08:09 AM)
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Here in Singapore its the worst. 3months warranty for a local Wii and its selling at way over-priced bundled with shitty games. All thanks to the local distributor.
Infernal Monkey
Member
(09-13-2007, 08:15 AM)
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It took Nintendo Australia five months to fix my Wii, five months. And by fix, I mean sent it back without fixing it at all. Beat that!
tetrisgrammaton
Member
(09-13-2007, 08:20 AM)
nintendo america gave me a new wii with all my old info, even save states, preserved. also they sent me a free wiimote
Jiggy
Got lost looking for
a hentai sim forum
(09-13-2007, 08:28 AM)

Originally Posted by DavidDayton

Now, thanks to the glories of would-be hackers out there, I'm busily importing backup copies of Miis to my Wii (after manually changing their hidden system ID code, thus reenabling editing and such).

How is this done?
hirokazu
Member
(09-13-2007, 08:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by DavidDayton

Now, thanks to the glories of would-be hackers out there, I'm busily importing backup copies of Miis to my Wii (after manually changing their hidden system ID code, thus reenabling editing and such).

How do you do that?? :0
DavidDayton
(more a nerd than a geek)
(09-13-2007, 08:58 AM)
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For the folks asking about the Mii reimporting thing...

1. Grab The Wii Data Management Library. This is a utility that lets you link your Wii Remote to your computer via bluetooth, and then import/export Miis from that controller.

2. Grab AJ's Mii Editor. You can use this to edit each Mii. Doing so lets you view the Wii ID code engrained in each Mii.

3. Import a Mii from the old system and then create and import a Mii from the new system. Check both. They should have different system ID codes. Edit each old Mii so that its system ID code matches your new Wii, then transfer back to the controller and dump 'em in Mii Plaza.

The only issue so far is that I appear to have 2 out of 10 Miis per remote that have issues and can't be sent to the Wii after I change the system ID code. I don't know if this is a glitch in the software, a random mismatched checksum, or what. You CAN preview all the stats in the AJ Mii Editor and then recreate the Mii on the Wii, using the exact data, though.

This won't save Wii Sports games -- even if you reimport the same Mii, you still lose the data.
hirokazu
Member
(09-13-2007, 11:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by DavidDayton

For the folks asking about the Mii reimporting thing...

1. Grab The Wii Data Management Library. This is a utility that lets you link your Wii Remote to your computer via bluetooth, and then import/export Miis from that controller.

2. Grab AJ's Mii Editor. You can use this to edit each Mii. Doing so lets you view the Wii ID code engrained in each Mii.

3. Import a Mii from the old system and then create and import a Mii from the new system. Check both. They should have different system ID codes. Edit each old Mii so that its system ID code matches your new Wii, then transfer back to the controller and dump 'em in Mii Plaza.

The only issue so far is that I appear to have 2 out of 10 Miis per remote that have issues and can't be sent to the Wii after I change the system ID code. I don't know if this is a glitch in the software, a random mismatched checksum, or what. You CAN preview all the stats in the AJ Mii Editor and then recreate the Mii on the Wii, using the exact data, though.

This won't save Wii Sports games -- even if you reimport the same Mii, you still lose the data.

Awesome! Don't have a specific use for it right now, but this might come in handy in the future. Thanks!
nightside
Member
(09-13-2007, 11:47 AM)

Originally Posted by tetrisgrammaton

nintendo america gave me a new wii with all my old info, even save states, preserved. also they sent me a free wiimote

same here (substitute NoA with NoE..well..nintendo italy:lol)
Lobster
Banned
(09-13-2007, 11:49 AM)
Im pretty sure they just give you a new wii.
mcgarrett
Member
(09-13-2007, 12:27 PM)
Did you ask for your data to be saved?
zigg
Member
(09-13-2007, 12:34 PM)
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Originally Posted by mcgarrett

Did you ask for your data to be saved?

Should you have to?

The "tying to system" idea is not a bad one--but it should have an extra level of indirection; when you unbox a brand-new Wii you should be creating an account that can be moved from system to system.

I understand there's DRM at work here for the downloaded software, but using a hard system ID for player-created data like Miis and saves is just plain dumb.

Unfortunately, I'm guessing it's too late to fix this. It's compiled into so many pieces of software already...
mcgarrett
Member
(09-13-2007, 01:15 PM)

Originally Posted by zigg

Should you have to?

In a perfect world? No. In the real world, yes you do. Have you never dealt with anyone in the service industries before?

If the OP is passionate enough about his saves to come here and write a bible about how awful Nintendo is, I hope he was diligent enough to take the 10 seconds it would require to ask about them when he was speaking to the service representative on the phone.

Not a guarantee that his data would be saved of course, but at least his rant would be justified.
Last edited by mcgarrett; 09-13-2007 at 01:19 PM.
Booda
Member
(09-13-2007, 02:34 PM)
Sucks that you had a bad experience. I'm surprised they didn't back up your data. When I called in to have my Wii replaced (bad gfx chip), the rep I talked to made it a point to ask if I needed my data transferred, and made sure I understood the ramifications when I said I didn't. I called in on a Thursday night, was on the phone with them for maybe 10 minutes total, and my cross-shipped replacement unit arrived the following Monday. It was one of the best customer service experiences I've ever had in the tech arena.

I agree the whole saves/Miis/SD card backup system is frustrating, though. Elebits is another one that is apparently tied to the system it's created on; at least, I couldn't get my backup to transfer from my card to the new system.
derder
Member
(09-13-2007, 02:57 PM)
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Originally Posted by disappeared

NOA doesn't care because at the end of the day, it prints money.

NOJ prints it, NOA is just the local bank.
Boerseun
Banned
(09-13-2007, 03:22 PM)
Think of the children.
Gexecuter
Member
(09-13-2007, 04:34 PM)
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unfortunately companies doesn`t change their policies until they see some complaining from part of their costumers.
DavidDayton
(more a nerd than a geek)
(09-13-2007, 04:48 PM)
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Originally Posted by mcgarrett

If the OP is passionate enough about his saves to come here and write a bible about how awful Nintendo is, I hope he was diligent enough to take the 10 seconds it would require to ask about them when he was speaking to the service representative on the phone.

Not a guarantee that his data would be saved of course, but at least his rant would be justified.

Hmm. Me write a "bible about how awful Nintendo is"? I don't think you know me very well.

Yes, I did ask about my data being transferred, which they didn't do. A recent followup e-mail stated that:

I checked your account, and the reason that the technicians didn't transfer any data is that none was found to transfer on your old system. While we can attempt to transfer save data, we can only transfer the data that we find. I realize that the only reason you sent it in for repair is that you wanted your data saved, but the technicians did try but weren't able to do so. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Now, I'm not saying this wasn't the case, but I do find it odd that a system with a malfunctioning drive BUT fully capable of reaching the menu and loading Wii Channel content suddenly lost all that capability after being shipped by UPS... considering that's all stored in flash memory. I think it's more likely the tech did a cursory glance and didn't bother finishing his check, swapping internal units quite quickly... it was routed to one of NOA's licensed repair subcontractors as opposed to the Washington facility, so I'm a bit more likely to be suspicious.

Regardless, it's a flaw in the repair process that one would even have to request such a thing... and a double flaw when you have service techs skip such steps and report that "no data was found."

(Okay, maybe magic bitrot wiped all the memory between the time it left my house and the 18 hours later when it arrived in the repair facility, even though I was playing SMB on it before it left.)

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