Wii U Forum

Topic: Wii U Basic Unofficial Troubleshooting, Solutions, & Tips

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sonicfan1373

1. Posted:

I have been looking through these technical issues that people have been reporting a lot and based on my personal experience as well as somethings reported by other people here are some unofficial troubleshooting tips and explanations. These are meant to be safe tips and they should not effect your warranty.

Problem #1-Network Problems:
The Wii U's network stack is terrible right now, when there is an interruption in the network (even if it is a small one which is normal in wireless networking) can cause the entire system to freeze. This is the most common problem I have seen with Wii Us that freeze so far and it was the problem that I personally experienced when I got my Wii U. Nintendo really has to improve this and they can through software updates.

Symptoms:
1. Random freezes on WaraWara Plaza.
2. Freezes or slow loading times in eShop, Miiverse, Internet Browser
3. Multiplayer sessions abruptly end
4. Closing a game connected to Miiverse, leaderboards, or multiplayer online sessions will freeze system or cause an infinant loading screen.
5. Freezing will occur on video on demand applications like Netflix
6. Downloads from eShop keep getting interrupted

Diagnosis (it does not have to include all symptoms):
1. Disconnect the system from Wi-Fi and play games that are connected to Miiverse like New Super Mario Bros U to see if freezing continues. If you have a game that freezes a lot on you give that a try as well as sometimes games are performing online functions that you might not be aware of.

Solutions (try each or a combination of until your problem is solved):
1. In my experiences, while the Wii U is designed for the Wireless N (802.11N) standard, it cannot maintain a steady connection with an N hotspot in certain conditions (such as when you move the Gamepad far from the console, the console will try to adapt the connection to maintain a connection with the Gamepad but at the cost of your console's connection with the internet). Therefore, change your router settings from N to G to see if it makes a difference (it made a huge difference for me as console freezing dramatically dropped especially in multiplayer sessions and Netflix, but I still sometimes run into network freezes from time to time). If you do not know how to configure your modem or router do not touch it and get someone who knows to help you.

2. If you are still having problems try using a Wii LAN Adaptor if you have one handy to connect using an Ethernet cable to your modem or router.

Problem #2 - External HD Problems:
Certain external hard drives can cause issues like freezing and strange behaviour in games. These include external HDs that use the console as their primary source of power (these HDs either come with a single male USB cable or a dual headed USB cable and they have not external power supply [you do not connect them to an outlet]). However, even some HDs that use an external power supply (ones that you connect to the Wii U through USB and to the wall using a power cable) still take some power from USB and at times this can be above what the Wii U can handle (especially if you have an older enclosure). Also, sometimes the issue is that people are using USB 1.0 HDs or (worse) USB sticks which are extremely slow and can really effect how quickly games start, load, react, and close.

Symptoms (it does not have to include all symptoms):
1. Freezing when downloading content from eShop
2. Freezing in WaraWara Plaza especially when app tiles are loading
3. Freezing when a game is starting
4. Random freezing in games (especially on load screens, but even in other places as some games load in the background )
5. Freezing when console is closing an application or an infinite Wii U Menu loading screen.

Diagnosis:
1. Move the titles that are freezing from your external HD to the Wii U's internal flash storage. Unplug the external HD from the Wii U's USB port. Try out the games from the Wii U's internal flash storage to see if freezing and infinite Wii U Menu loading screen is resolved.

2. Download something from the eShop (like a demo of a game or a game you have already purchased) to see if any freezing occurs while the app is downloading to the Wii U's internal storage. Again make sure that your external HD is not connected to the console when doing this.

Solution:
1. If you tried the above steps and you saw freezing subside then it would be best to get a new external HD, preferably one that has its own power supply. I recommend that you search on Google to see which HDs have worked for other people and which ones have not. I remember Nintendo also made a few recommendations of their own so it would be worth checking their website for more details. Make sure you are buying a USB 2.0 storage device (or a USB 3.0 device that is compatible with USB 2.0)

2. You might also be able to get an inexpensive external HD enclosure that is powered through an outlet. You can remove the hard drive from your old enclosure and put it in your new enclosure. Like Solution #1 use Google and Nintendo's own forums to see which enclosures work best. If this seems to technical for you then follow Solution #1 or Solution #3 or find someone who knows how to do this. Make sure you are buying a USB 2.0 storage enclosure (or a USB 3.0 device that is compatible with USB 2.0)

3. If you do not have the budget for another external HD or an external HD enclosure + HD then you should stick with using your Wii U's Internal Storage.

Problem #3- USB Peripheral Issues
This again is related to the Wii U's limited USB power . Certain USB peripherals like keyboards, chargers, external HDs and flash drives (as discussed above) can use too much power if used alone or if used in conjunction with other peripherals.

Symptoms:

1. Random freezes in games and system menus especially in ones that use a peripherals connected to the system (not the Gamepad but directly to the Wii U console through USB).

Diagnosis:

1. Disconnect all peripherals from the console (anything connected to the USB port and even the SD card) and see if it makes a difference in the software that is freezing or the random freezing that is constantly happening.

Solutions:

1. If you freezing is fixed by disconnecting everything then start reconnecting peripherals individually to see if any of them are causing the problem alone, then connect them all one by one to see at what point the freezing starts which should indicate how many USB peripherals you can connect at the same time before the console starts to freeze.

What is normal (technically non-problematic) as of system update 3.0.0:

1. It is normal to get a "Please Wait" message with a USB logo whenever you close an application and return to the WaraWara Plaza (before the latest system update, you would get the same message but you could not interact with the plaza)

2. It is normal to wait longer for an application to launch after you closed another application (if you closed an application and returned to the WaraWara Plaza and you immediately pressed on another application it will take a few seconds before you get the game's opening splash screen, some people get worried because in these few seconds WaraWara Plaza does not respond to your touch).

3. Closing certain applications (namely ones that are in the middle of a network session [like a multiplayer game or a video streaming app] or system settings) will still take a longer than other apps.

4. It is normal to get an orange light when you turn the console off. This means that the console is performing stand-by functions (downloading and installing software and updates)

Do Nots:
1. DO NOT open your console. If you feel your console's fan is not working or if the system is making strange noises (the disk drive will make noises under normal conditions, I am talking about noises you would no expect) or if you get a blinking red light when you try to turn the system on or your system freezes in any random software after a specific period from a cold start then that means there is most likely some hardware fault which means you should take advantage your warranty and send the system to Nintendo, if you open the console then that voids your warranty. Once you send the system in for repairs to Nintendo they will extend your warranty or give you a new console (with your downloads intact). Also, we are all early adopters, and we should be aware that hardware faults are not uncommon to launch consoles that are ironed out as the console goes through its lifecycle. The Gamecube had its lens issue, the Xbox 360 had RROD problems, the Wii had the contaminated lens issue, etc. The point is we should promptly take advantage of our warranty if any issues come up as we typically pay more for a launch system and we are taking a risk by investing in them early on.

2. DO NOT use the lens cleaning kit for the Wii to try to clean your Wii U's disk drive.

3. DO NOT clean the surface of the console or dirty disks with anything wet or moist (this may seem like a basic piece of advice but I know people who take dramatic measures to keep dust and fingerprints off of black electronics [like the Wii U Deluxe Set], if a bit of moisture drips into the console through the vents then that could be it)

4. DO NOT insert dirty disks into the system (again another basic piece of advice for every console owner which can help your system last long)

5. DO NOT update and unplug the console from the outlet (the Wii U has no restore mechanism to reinstall its firmware if the one on it get corrupt)

Tips:
1. Dust and heat will kill electronics. So keep your Wii U in an open space (not a locked shelf) to let the heat out and dust the surface with piece of dry cloth to stop dust from accumulating. Also, make sure that you do not block any of the console's vents.

2. If you can, try to keep the Gamepad close to the console. When you take it far from the console the console will try to maintain its connection with it and it will do so at the cost of maintaining a stable wireless connection and with the Wii U's ability to handle network interruptions the way that it is now this can cause freezes.

3. If you have recently had a power outage it would be wise to wait a few days before updating your console just as a precaution as the Wii U cannot restore its firmware if an update has gone wrong.

4. Try using USB 2.0 (or USB 3.0 drives compatible with USB 2.0) external HDs with their own power supply with your Wii U. Avoid using SD Cards in a USB SD Card reader or USB sticks as they tend to quickly wear out and create performance issues.

I hope this helps some owners who are dealing with freezing and other issues with their Wii U and I hope Nintendo takes the appropriate steps to fix this problem. Feel free to add any other tips and steps to this forum if you feel they would be useful to your fellow Wii U owners (other than the usual sell your console or do not buy a Wii U, we get plenty of that already by just searching Wii U in Google). Also, if you experience any strange freezes and have some time on your hand mention it here and even report to Nintendo (it can really help them when they are making stability updates to games and to the system), make sure to include which portion of the game or system menu froze, what was connected to your system at the time, how you were connecting to the internet (Wi-Fi [if so which standard B, G, N]), LAN adaptor), and whether the game was running from a disk, internal storage, or external HD and flash.

sonicfan1373

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Tasuki

2. Posted:

What a nice write up this should be stickyed. I am sure it will help alot of people out.

My Backlog

Proud owner of a Blue 3DSXL
Proud owner of a Deluxe Wii U
Proud owner of an Xbox 360
Proud owner of a PS4

Currently playing: See my Backlog.

Nintendo Network ID: Tasuki311

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sonicfan1373

3. Posted:

Thanks, I based this on things I observed and things that worked for me. I hope that others will find this useful and hopefully contribute so everyone can enjoy their console while Nintendo is working on updates (and games :P)

sonicfan1373

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LonDonE

4. Posted:

WOW well done, you are doing a better job then nintendo lol

LonDonE

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LonDonE

5. Posted:

also i wouldn't advise anyone use a sdhc card via a usb adapter, i have had 2 usb adapters go dead after using them on my wii u, its a shame that nintendo don't allow us to create a partition in our hard drive, and then to allow the wii u to format the partition, thus not losing any valuable data, i have a 1tb external hard drive, i use it on all my devices, i have all my movie's and music collections, my wii back ups, home brew, my back ups of my 2 ps3 consoles, and no way i will let my wii u format the whole drive and lose all my data, i just wish i could create a partition of say a 150gb, and let the wii u format that instead, but no nintendo have to be awkward, looks like i will have to buy another cheap external hard drive for the wii u specifically!!

LonDonE