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Thread: Recovering games from a WBFS (Wii game backups) drive

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    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Recovering games from a WBFS (Wii game backups) drive

    Recently, I tried to update my WBFS drive in Ubuntu 13.10. I found that no matter what software I installed, I could not mount the WBFS partition. It always showed up as "unknown partition" in any partition editor. But in my search to try to make the partition mountable, I found a way to recover my games so I could put them on a FAT32 partition (I found that WBFS partitions have become obsolete over the last few years in favor of WBFS image files).

    The first step is to create an image of the WBFS partition. Go to Disks and find the partition. Click the button that looks like gears and select "Create Disk Image...". Save the image file in an empty folder (to prevent the backup manager from searching your entire hard drive later). This may take a VERY LONG TIME. I had a 990 GB partition and it took a little over 26 hours to make the image.

    Step 2 is to convert the image into individual WBFS images. To do this you will need Wii Backup Fusion (http://sourceforge.net/projects/wiibafu/). It's available in source and deb format for linux. I used the deb 1.1 version.
    Under the Files tab, select "Load" and pick the directory that you put your partition image in. Once it's loaded, hit "Select all / none" and then "Transfer to image".
    Select the directory to dump your images to and then pick the ".wbfs" image format and hit the OK button. After the status bar at the bottom stops showing a progress bar (it will show a bar for every game, let it do all of them) you images are ready.

    Required extra step for large files: Any file larger than exactly 4GB will need to be split. This is also done using the "Transfer to image" dialog. Just click the "Split" button before hitting OK. (Just to be sure I changed my value to "3.9GB" instead of the default "4GB".) After this you will have a .wbfs and a .wbf1 file. Both are required for the game to work.

    Finally, format a disk to FAT32 and put the files in a directory named "WBFS" off the root of that disk. (This is mandatory. Loaders will not recognize any .wbfs files not in this directory!) Then it should work with your Wii backup loader. I personally use Configurable USB Loader and it works great.

    Note: If you have NTFS support on your Wii, you can use that instead of FAT32 to avoid having to split large files... but you will lose GameCube backup support. That's why I didn't recommend it.
    Last edited by sienile; January 19th, 2014 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Filling in some minor details
    MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 Motherboard - AMD A4-6300 Richland 3.7GHz (Radeon HD 8370D) - G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB - Iomega KVM - MS Digital Media Pro Keyboard
    The cure to dependency hell: apt-get install apt-file - apt-file search file-from-error

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