Region Free Gaming and Avoiding Disc-Based Updates with StartPatch

This page discusses StartPatch which allows you to make your Wii region free and to avoid disc-based updates on games such as New Super Mario Bros. Wii. These games include an update that has a very small chance of bricking your system (this chance is the same whether you have homebrew or not). It also helps to stop games that include a 4.2 update, like Super Mario Galaxy 2, from stubbing Hermes' IOS222/223, although this is not a problem if you use the d2x install currently suggested in the tutorial. Performing this update should ensure the disc no longer ask you to upgrade your Wii when you play them normally.

If you use a USB Loader to play your games, you do not need to do this. If you don't like installing stuff to your Wii, there are other alternatives for Region Free gaming which also block updates.

Important Information

If you use this technique, it is important that you disable ALL patch options before ANY type of upgrade of your Wii's firmware.

What you should install first

What you need

  • SD Card

What to download

  • StartPatch from this page for your Wii's region and firmware version from this page.
    • Your firmware version and region can be found on the Wii Settings page, reachable by pushing the Wii button at the lower left of the menu, then settings. It will be displayed at the upper right corner of the screen (e.g., 4.1U for a US region Wii on version 4.1).
    • An alternative download link for 4.3.1U of StartPatch can be found here
    • An alternative download link for 4.3.1E of StartPatch can be found here

Installation procedure

  1. It is strongly suggested you make a NAND backup with BootMii before performing this procedure.
  2. Extract the file from the download and store its contents in sd:/apps
    • The download files for various versions of StartPatch use different extract methods. WinRar should extract most file formats you are unfamiliar with.
    • After this step you should have a subdirectory in apps that contains a boot.dol and possibly other files. If this is not the case, rename the .dol file that will be in the download to boot.dol and store in a subdirectory of the apps directory.
  3. Start StartPatch with the Homebrew Channel
  4. If asked which IOS to use, choose IOS236 with left/right and push A
  5. If you get an ES Identify error and you can't choose an IOS here, you will need to install/reinstall d2x but choose IOS38 as base, or Upgrade to firmware 4.2 first.
  6. Read the warnings and push A to continue
  7. If it is present in the list, select to "Skip the Update Check" with A and push A to confirm
    • You may find that this name doesn't exist in the list but something similar does. Use your common sense here to determine which is the correct patches to block updates
  8. If it is present in the list, select to "Block Disc Updates" with A and push A to confirm
  9. If it is present in the list, select to "Block Online Updates" with A and push A to confirm
  10. If you want to make the Wii region free, select the "Region Free" patches with A and push A to confirm
    • These region free patches usually come in groups of 5 or so, numbered 1/5, 2/5 etc. You must install all the patches from a group for the patch to work.
  11. Do not apply other patches unless you know what they do (the download page for StartPatch and the readmes help). Applying patches that you don't know about may result in bricking your Wii.
    • In particular, it is highly recommended that you do not apply any of the patches that relate to removing the Health Screen or cosmetically altering the Wii Menu. These are often untested and are not very useful, and WILL brick your Wii if they are not properly implemented and tested. The screens are there for a reason, and while they may be annoying, removing them or altering the looks of the menu are not worth the risk of completely bricking the Wii.
  12. Once you are done with your selections, select Save with A and A to confirm and your patches will be installed


  • Perform this before ANY firmware upgrade that you actually want to perform
  • Simply remove all the hacks you chose before in the list (follow the prompts to do so) and Save


  • This isn't working for me.
    • It seems some versions of StartPatch no longer work. 4.0U in particular has failed to work for some people. In this case, the best plan of attack seems to be to upgrade to 4.2 safely and then use the 4.2U version of StartPatch.
  • Do I need this if I play games with a USB Loader
    • No.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License