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Old 11-10-2015, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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How to troubleshoot a Wii?

I have a Wii unit that I've been using for a few years to play Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. I went to use it last night and got a disk error. Tried turning the power off and on, pressing the reset button, and then I left it unplugged all night. No luck.

I think the next thing to try would be inserting a different Wii disk; maybe I can find someone to borrow one from or buy a cheap used one somewhere. I've seen mention of a Wii lens cleaning kit; is a dirty disk reader a common problem?

Any other ideas for how I can troubleshoot the Wii? Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2015, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wintertime View Post
I have a Wii unit that I've been using for a few years to play Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. I went to use it last night and got a disk error. Tried turning the power off and on, pressing the reset button, and then I left it unplugged all night. No luck.

I think the next thing to try would be inserting a different Wii disk; maybe I can find someone to borrow one from or buy a cheap used one somewhere. I've seen mention of a Wii lens cleaning kit; is a dirty disk reader a common problem?

Any other ideas for how I can troubleshoot the Wii? Thanks!
Depending on the age (and amount of use to some degree), it's probably a worn out drive. It wouldn't hurt to try a lens cleaner, but I'd doubt it does the trick. Older models had an issue with the readers being under powered and didn't last as long as the later ones.

Another option would be to change the lens. There's a tutorial on youtube on cleaning it yourself, if you wanted to give that a go:


My year 1 Wii died from CoD Black Ops, which was notoriously hard on disk drives. The game was so big and loaded so often the drive was almost constantly spinning and... after a couple play sessions I got the black "error has occurred eject the disc" which then became "Unable to read the disc" every time a game was inserted. I picked up a second hand one off of craigslist for like $20, which is probably your easiest solution.
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Old 11-11-2015, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information, Voodoozen. I think my unit is about three years old. If I were to get a second-hand one, I should probably make sure that it's fairly new, right? Else it might die fairly soon itself.

Once I get things running again, should I eject the Wii Sports disk when I'm not using it?
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Old 11-12-2015, 07:09 AM
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Thanks for the information, Voodoozen. I think my unit is about three years old. If I were to get a second-hand one, I should probably make sure that it's fairly new, right? Else it might die fairly soon itself.

Once I get things running again, should I eject the Wii Sports disk when I'm not using it?
hmmm, 3 years... If you had said it was from 2007-2008 I wouldn't have been surprised, but that's not very old to have a drive failure. I still think that's what it sounds like, but you may be able to bring this Wii back with some minor tinkering. If you're comfortable taking yours apart (it's honestly pretty simple) I'd vote trying the fix yourself. Replacement Wii disk drives go for <$20 on eBay, 30 minutes removing a few screws and you're done. Plus if it doesn't work you're only out $20 and you can just convert it to a homebrew machine

Another thought: did you have updates on (yellow light on when powered down)? That's been known to cause issues with some consoles. Taking the games out when it's off isn't a big deal really, that shouldn't cause any short lifespan failures like the laser or disk drive dying.

As for a used unit, if it's not too old you should be fine. Anything newer than 2009 should be ok. But as with anything used, try it before you buy it!
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Old 11-12-2015, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, maybe I'll try replacing the drive. Thanks for the suggestion.

I don't think I ever powered it down. Anyway, it doesn't have an Internet connection, so it couldn't have downloaded a bad update.
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Old 11-17-2015, 09:15 AM
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Okay, maybe I'll try replacing the drive. Thanks for the suggestion.

I don't think I ever powered it down. Anyway, it doesn't have an Internet connection, so it couldn't have downloaded a bad update.
Sorry, I should have been more specific there. Bad updates were rarely an issue for Wii, but the console can get pretty hot in standby mode (yellow light when turned off, showing WiiConnect24 is enabled). Standby doesn't use much power, but it disables the fan, which was especially hard on some components if the unit was in a cabinet or didn't have enough airflow space to stay cool without the fan. Not sure if that was a contributing factor here, if memory serves it caused more issues with the GPU and caused dots or artifacts on screen.

Good luck - If you're moderately tech-savvy I don't expect you'll have any issues at all. Keep track of the screws!!
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:16 PM
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Double post...

Last edited by Leo_Ames; 11-17-2015 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 07:31 PM
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Not sure if this is verboten to mention, but some people that have this issue have gone the Homebrew Channel route to bypass the disc drive completely rather than repair or replace their original Wii.

And WiiConnect24 is defunct, so definitely disable this pointless and now useless feature if you haven't already. It has been known to cause GPU damage since as said, the fan doesn't work when the console is powered off and the heat from the WiFi module isn't dissipated like it should be. Doubt it's responsible for your disc drive issue though.

Note that even if you never took the system online once, it's enabled by default and is creating heat any time that the system is connected to power unless you own a Wii Mini which lacks a WiFi module. Your power LED if it's disabled should be red since as Voodoozen said, yellow means that WiiConnect24 is enabled.

And while you're offline now, on the off chance that wasn't always the case and you actually have DLC here, don't throw your console away if you replace it. Not only can you still enjoy Virtual Console downloads and the like since we're just talking about a dead disc drive, but you leave open the option of doing a content transfer to a Wii U if you ever upgrade (Wii to Wii transfers never were offered, sadly).

And note that if you crack this open and attempt to repair it, Nintendo won't touch it if you then decide to contact support and pay for it to be repaired. I doubt that's an option that you were considering given the price of used Wii's, but worth mentioning just in case.

Last edited by Leo_Ames; 11-17-2015 at 07:39 PM.
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