Topic: Wii to Wii U transfer question

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Hi folks!

I can't seem to find an answer to this, so I was wondering if someone could help me out:

I have way too much WiiWare and VC stuff on my Wii to store it on the System Memory. So it's on an SD card. However, the system transfer process seems to be telling me that I can only transfer over stuff that is on the System Memory.

So, is there a way to do the copy off the SD card, or am I going to have to go through the process of copying sections of my content at a time to Wii System Memory, and then in to Wii U?



If I remember correctly, you can transfer all the licenses from the Wii to Wii U and then play the games off your SD card. I never tried it myself, but I think that's how it works

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I believe that there is an article on the site that details the process. I wish I could provide the link, but I'm low on time. Hope that helps.
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Phew! It took me a few minutes to trawl through the news stories, but I think I've found the one in question. - Indeed, the original source - Polygon, sourced it from the WiiU manual, which I have right in front of me.

First of all, it says if the data has been moved to an SD card, you are recommended to delete it off of there. While this may sound worrying, I reckon since the transfer sends across your "Wii Shop Activity", then you can simply go into the shop and re-download all your games. Just be sure to write down every single game you own so that you can find them quickly.


I too have a lot of data saved to my SD card and would very much like to see it safely transfered to my new Wii U.

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From the WiiU manual:

Software on the Wii console that has been deleted or moved to an SD Card
The Wii Shop Channel account activity will be moved to the Wii Shop Channel on the Wii Menu of the Wii U console. If you have deleted any software acquired through the Wii Shop Channel or moved it to an SD card, please redownload it (free of charge) from the Wii Shop Channel on the Wii U console.

So really, all you have to do is follow the instructions (clear your SD card before the transfer) and then redownload everything again. Be sure (if you're anything like me - with loads of VC) to note down which games you need to redownload before you delete the contents of your SD card.

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Some other important things to note at least one of which is really annoying and which aren't documented in the process such that I think a Nintendo Life Wii Transfer Guide would be in order:

1. As you've noted edhe, only data on the internal Wii storage will be transferred; NOTHING on the SD will be if you have channels or save data there, so before you initiate this process you'll need to do a thorough fridge clear. There is some data that still won't be copied per an advisory that pops up, but save data for games with online components are covered (my Bit.Trip Complete and Samurai Warriors 3 data transferred without incident).

2. What is not advertised very well is that you cannot fill your internal Wii storage before proceeding. This is for a couple of reasons, one of which hasn't been previously reported that I've seen. Firstly you need around 85 blocks for the Wii Transfer channel you'll be installing on your Wii and secondly (and this beggars belief) the Wii U only provides the equivalent internal storage of a Wii for use in Wii mode - that's right, if you have a load of Wii downloads you will not only have to download them again, but also download them to an SD card in your Wii U and run them from the SD card menu in Wii mode on your Wii U. And yes, just like on the Wii you'll need to keep as many blocks open in the virtual Wii's paltry memory allocation as the largest game on your SD card or you can expect a prompt to clean your fridge!

I discovered this after trying to run the Transfer from the Wii and getting a message that the Wii U didn't have enough storage for all my downloads - despite having over 3GB free! Having just launched the Wii channel on the Wii U and deleted the transfer channel there (since I no longer need it) I now have only 100 blocks free and the online Wii channel manual states that you may need to put software on the SD card - guess it's good I didn't bin it!

3. Though the transfer for the Wii is amazingly fast (far faster than moving data to SD from Wii normally) copying from Wii to Wii U in the final stage isn't - in fact it was nearly as slow as downloading Nintendo Land from the eShop. Even better it crashed %14 into the process with a message that "an error has occurred, please turn your console off and on" except that my power button did nothing and the Gamepad wouldn't reconnect so I had to pull the plug. Thankfully when I restarted and launched the Wii channel and then fired up the transfer channel again it detected a copy had been running and asked if I wanted to continue. I said yes and it picked up where it left off. The transfer does save files first, which were my main concern, but I was pleased the transfer completed eventually.

Reassuring to know that once the data is off the Wii you don't need to panic about a system crash on the Wii U nuking your data, but man am I not impressed that Wii mode is plagued with the same memory management issues as a real Wii. Would have been nice to be able to use part of the internal memory as a virtual SD card at the very least. I think I'm just going to bag a whole lot of downloads - I'm just not doing the SD shuffle any more.

Hope this helps!

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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This is such a mess. Emailed Nintendo about it already so they update this!!

Two problems:

1. I need to have 2 SD Cards (with plenty unused space) because i have 282 Wii download games/channels, and the Wii SD Card menu, and apparently the Wii U SD Card menu as well, because it's a dumb copy, have a stupid limit of 240 channels/games. All games would fit on one SD Card, but Nintendo did never add more pages to the SD Card menu.
Indeed, this problem wouldn't exist, if this lame Wii Mode could have the 8 or 32GB of Wii U's memory.

2. My other problem would be resolved as well if Wii U's Wii mode had more memory. Since I have 282 Wii downloads and 162 Wii retail games on top of that, their save files alone generate more data than the tiny 512MB Wii memory can handle. I have to move save data to SD Card everytime I get a new Wii game. I do this with games that I have completed. Now will I lose this data in the transfer process? This is not about cleaning up the fridge. This is about making huge sacrifices. Half of my gamesaves would be lost. I'm not even sure if I want to transfer my precious Wii game collection under these conditions.

Nintendo should update this as soon as possible. That was a BIG disappointment!

Thankfully everything else about the Wii U is amazing.

Edited on by SKTTR


Wow, I never heard of anyone having so many files, but I can see how that would be a problem. If you only leave save files that can't be copied to SD in your Wii internal memory, you should be able to transfer those to your Wii U, and I assume since save files that could be copied to SD could always be used with the same game in another Wii you would be fine having copies of your other saves on SD and using those on your Wii U.

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Wow, I knew you were a big WiiWare fan skttr, but that's pretty extreme. I expect you're in an extreme minority, but of course being such a dedicated fan this isn't much of a reward. Like iphys says I'd think you could safely restore saves which you could normally copy on Wii. That means anything that's got a block because of online content will only get copied via transfer channel. Other folk have already confirmed that any games on SD from your old Wii definitely cannot be read from the Wii channel on Wii U, so you'll have to re-download all that stuff to SD cards again.

Of course once you run the transfer you won't be able to run your downloads on your old Wii anymore as the shop data gets wiped, so you cannot do this partway and only copy some saves and keep the games there. You won't be any worse off, but I expect it will be extremely time-consuming - assuming you really want all those downloads. Bottom-line you can make the transition, it's just down to whether you want to spend the time.

For myself I can live without a lot of my VC content as I bought most of it for my Japanese Wii as well. I'd be very surprised if the entire catalogue of my Japanese Wii ever exists in the eShop, but we'll see! The WiiWare games I regarded as most likely to get play we're then puzzle games and Space Invaders Return (or whatever it's called).

Edited on by Sean_Aaron

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