Wii dual NAND flash hack


[ChipD] successfully installed two NAND flash chips into his Wii. He can keep the stock firmware on one and then flip a switch if he wants to boot using the other chip with a modified firmware. This hack is fairly straight forward. All it took was someone with steady hands to try it out. The new NAND chip is identical to the original and was salvaged from a flash drive. The chips were soldered as a stack except for the chip enable pin. The chip enable from each chip is attached to a small switch to toggle between which is active. You could use a TSOP socket to swap the different chips, but it wouldn’t fit inside the Wii case. This little switch could be hidden easily next to the GameCube ports.

Comments

  1. tiuk says:

    nice to see a real hack

  2. This hack is so straightforward it’s hilarious. We’ll be seeing dual-core microcontrollers next.

  3. Edward Nardella says:

    Wow that is sweet, I didn’t know there were custom firmwares available for the wii, thought you had to launch TP at every boot to access homebrew.

  4. Jaykie says:

    @nardella:
    there isnt.

    But now they have the ability to test to make changes to the wii without having to buy a new one if they fail.

  5. Psion says:

    This reminds me of hacks made to the TRS-80 Model I to add lower-case letters or speed the computer up.

  6. Mike says:

    I’d like to see someone complain about this being a hack or not being a hack, because it is the perfect definition of a hack. It is so brilliant, yet utterly simple and one of those things that make you go “duh! why didn’t I think of that!”

  7. Dzugavili says:

    Quite similar to the XBox 360 modchip or the PSP chip, both of which were so god damn obvious that no one noticed.
    I can’t wait to see where this is going, but he really needs to add an easy-flash interface for this to be a spectacular hack. The only issue right now is that he has to take them out to flash them. Perhaps wiring two platforms into the case would be an option?

  8. Carpespasm says:

    This is really cool. I wish I had a steady enough hand to solder surface mounted chips. Just not reliable enough with it to trust myself. Great to see someone use chip stacking though. Isn’t that how people used to add more memory or storage to old computers and video games?

  9. morcheeba says:

    Hey carpe! Chips this size can be a pain – I use a $200 stereo microscope from ebay & that helps a lot. Also know that flash memory chips typically use only 1/2 of their pins, so if you mess up, look at the schematic and see if it actually matters.

    I added 32KB of memory to my TI Basicalc http://www.datamath.org/graphing/ti-74.htm
    .. but it’s a lot easier to do when it’s in DIP packaging! Here’s its PCB:
    http://www.datamath.org/graphing/jpeg_ti-74.htm

  10. @Solenoidclock:

    1. There are already multicore microcontrollers like Parallax’s Propeller.

    2. This approach wouldn’t work for “dual core MPUs.” But would work to switch programs running on the MPU, barring you don’t flip the switch mid-execution.

  11. Princessb89 says:

    Nice. It takes a lot of guts to put solder to a $250 console.

  12. This is a great hack. U really have guts dude to do this. Give me more info and i think i’m ready to do same.

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