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artphotodude
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Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by artphotodude Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:09 pm

Like a number of people, the Wii U has been for me a bitter pill when it comes to basic things like storage and file handling. There are SCADS of discussions about power, y-cables and the like, but I might well have stumbled onto a very real bug in the system causing at least some of these 160-.... errors.

Needing more space I picked up a 128GB Flash Drive made by SanDisk and this particular drive has a very responsive indicator light that not only shows when it's transferring data, but also when it puts itself to sleep, after non-use. Well the Wii U often will throw an error with this USB relating to it being disconnected and will often go to black screen 160-0106 (forcing a reboot). This ALWAYS happens when doing continuous reads or will in a "preparing" state getting ready to do something like copying files.

The USB at each of these moments will go to sleep, and simply not wake up. This has been perfectly repeatable. What it points to is a sync-bug in the Wii U when it falls behind during an operation and fails to re-sync before the USB looses interest.

While not every USB is "Power Smart" and goes to sleep, it is likely that most will still suffer from this Sync problem and loose-contact with the system making it think the drive has been removed.

USB is NOT a great technology (when compared to others like Firewire or eSATA), and leans very hard on processors - which of course is a bit of a problem for Wii U - using the same IBM PowerPC "G3" technology as Apple's colorful Y2K iMacs and Nasa's Casini Spacecraft, but a proper I/O controller on the board would have made a huge difference here. And Better Yet, the SD card should have been usable as primary storage for Wii U and not legacy Wii files.

This is easily Nintendo's weakest effort (My first system was a Virtual Boy, and it worked MUCH BETTER THAN THIS).

Everyone says: "just go by a Switch", BUT NO THANKS. It doesn't have much of the software I bought the Wii U to have (mostly great indies), and why the heck would I reward Nintendo's previous incompetence with MORE MONEY??
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Last edited by artphotodude on Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeAwesome
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by JoeAwesome Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:47 pm

While I've seen this error many times, and agree it really, really sucks, what solution is there besides a SSD or USB stick (which is not recommended)?
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artphotodude
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by artphotodude Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:58 pm

JoeAwesome wrote:While I've seen this error many times, and agree it really, really sucks, what solution is there besides a SSD or USB stick (which is not recommended)?

That's a GREAT question. Sadly, unlike the Xbox 360, you can't say keep your save files in a safe place on the internal storage, while leaving the arguably more expendable game-files on external - they all must live in the same folder! AND you can't use more than one USB. There's just no excuse for it all.

The answer however is to keep intense, demanding games like "Smelda: Death of a Child", "Wario Fart 8" and "Bayonetta 2" (sorry no joke for that one) on the internal storage and everything else on a really reliable (like Hitachi) external spinning drive) and also copy everything onto a 2nd Backup Spinning Drive.

Ideally, it would be best in operation to copy stuff currently being played to internal from backup and only run off internal memory.
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JoeAwesome
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by JoeAwesome Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:04 pm

artphotodude wrote:Ideally, it would be best in operation to copy stuff currently being played to internal from backup and only run off internal memory.


That's essentially what I'm doing. Even transferring files to a HDD can cause that error to pop up if the file's huge.
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artphotodude
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by artphotodude Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:27 pm

JoeAwesome wrote:
artphotodude wrote:Ideally, it would be best in operation to copy stuff currently being played to internal from backup and only run off internal memory.


That's essentially what I'm doing. Even transferring files to a HDD can cause that error to pop up if the file's huge.

True - That's why keeping those installed from the start and just either moving smaller games when desired or running smaller ones from external is best. I wonder how a mirrored RAID might do? There seems to be at least some corruption involved in the problems, as a drive will be working great and then suddenly screw up like it is loosing the file-tree. A raid would auto-repair if something like that occurred.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:49 am

So a couple things here, and please forgive me if I missed something.

First off, why are you using a flash drive? Nintendo was very clear that flash drives shouldn't be used for extra Wii U storage, only external HDDs with an external wall-supplied power source.

Second, have you tried using an actual hard drive, or is this all based solely on the fact that a storage solution that Nintendo straight up told you probably wouldn't work didn't work?
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artphotodude
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by artphotodude Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:07 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:So a couple things here, and please forgive me if I missed something.

First off, why are you using a flash drive? Nintendo was very clear that flash drives shouldn't be used for extra Wii U storage, only external HDDs with an external wall-supplied power source.

Second, have you tried using an actual hard drive, or is this all based solely on the fact that a storage solution that Nintendo straight up told you probably wouldn't work didn't work?


This has actually been an excuse from the Big 'N'. There are just as many reports of problems with spinning Drives (have had two myself). In the last instance, I was in the middle of downloading two big games when the WiFi cut-out and the files didn't "Pause" the download as they were supposed to, and now the files cannot be downloaded to that hard drive because the files there are corrupted, and also cannot be deleted! The biggest issue with a USB Flash Drive would be the need for a Y-cable to share input power from another source (which nobody with think to buy till it was too late), and the possibility of energy-saver tech like mine had in the O.P.

A big part of these problems is likely the way the Wii U works without a Partition Map. The Wii U appears to keep the block locations for each item in it's internal memory (the reason why you can't move a hard drive from one Wii U to another) and so say in the case of an SSD that must shuffle items around as things sharing data-blocks are deleted, Nintendo is probably right that it would be a bad fit. Also, there is, over time a problem with removed/corrupted files becoming undeletable in the system memory as well, requiring a boot-loader OS to delete them, to then enable them to be moved back to system memory (wrap your head around that!).

They seem to have had only one focus - making piracy as difficult as possible, and felt that the ability to redownload games would make-up for any deficits in usage, but had that been the case, game-saves should have been savable to a different location (like system-memory) rather than going down with the games in a ball of fire when they screw-up.

Basically the Wii U is a Rube Goldberg machine running off Gerbils in Wheels.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:10 pm

artphotodude wrote:AND you can't use more than one USB.

You can use two external drives.
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artphotodude
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by artphotodude Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:17 pm

ElkinFencer10 wrote:
artphotodude wrote:AND you can't use more than one USB.

You can use two external drives.


Not on my Wii U. Whenever I have two Externals of ANY type attached, it forces me to the Data Management screen.

If you can, it is likely you have a bug in your firmware.
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Re: Wii U USB problems - NOT JUST ABOUT POWER...

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:43 pm

I mean, you can only use one at a time for active memory writing and reading probably due to the processing issues you mentioned, but just move the games you don't normally play to a second drive and switch which hard drive you have connected if you want to play those. Sure, it's inconvenient, but it's hardly an insurmountable obstacle.
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