Partitioning your drive with GParted Live CD

Note: these instructions are for adding a WBFS partition to your drive. As of v36 of Configurable, this is no longer needed as FAT partitions are now supported. These instructions can also be used to create FAT partitions, just replace the references to "unformatted" to make them "FAT32".

GParted is a free Linux application available in Live CD form that will let you partition your drive so it is ready for a USB Loader. A Live CD is just an OS on a disc (or USB drive) that you can execute on a PC instead of its normal operating system. This will not harm the PC or the existing OS in any way, unless you intentionally choose to format your PC's hard drive (pay attention to avoid this).

This page discusses creation and use of a Live CD. For Live USBs and other install methods see this page.

What you should install first

  • You will need a program that can burn (NOT just copy) .ISO images to a disc.
    • ImgBurn is a good, free choice for Windows users.

What you should decide first

Before you start partitioning your drive, work out what sort of partitions you want on there. It is a good idea to leave at least part of the drive formatted as FAT to allow for you to still use the drive for storing other data from your PC or other devices.

It is also possible to store homebrew and the files of a USB Loader on the FAT partition of a drive instead of the SD card, so maybe you should leave 1GB for that just in case. The decision really ends up with how many Wii games you own.

At the time of writing, I have just over 40 games taking up just over 100GB. Most newer games are about 3.5GB if you include their update partitions, but some games are very small (< 100MB). I have chosen to make my drive 250GB, which should last me to the end of the generation. Depending on your purchasing habits, you should either make the Wii partition larger or smaller to suit.

What you need

  • Spare burnable CD/DVD
  • USB drive to be partitioned/formatted
  • A PC that supports BIOS operating systems (Windows/Linux or a recent Mac)

What to download

  • THe GParted Live CD image from this page
    • You can download either the .zip or .iso versions. Ensure you extract the zip file first if you choose it.
    • This tutorial was written using v0.4.4-1. Newer versions are available and should work similarly.

Installation procedure

  1. Burn the .iso image to the blank CD/DVD.
    • Be careful that you burn the image to the disc and don't just burn the .iso file itself
  2. Check the contents of the burnt disc to ensure that it contains several files and folders. If it only contains the .iso file, then you did not follow the previous step correctly.
  3. Have the drive you wish to format plugged into the PC and then reboot the PC and choose to boot from the disc
    • This will happen automatically on some machines
    • Check for messages as your computer boots to see if there is a key you should push for a "Boot Menu" or "Boot Options"
    • If you have an older PC, you may have to edit the Boot Order in the BIOS to make sure the CD is booted before the hard drive. BIOS is typically accessed by pushing the Delete key or F12 key during startup (a message will usually tell you what to push). Check your Motherboard's manual for more info.
    • Some MACs can't boot non-Mac OSes in this way. You will need to partition using Mac tools.
  4. From the menu that shows up, choose to boot GParted Live (Default Settings)
  5. If you have a QWERTY keyboard, you can choose "Don't touch keypad". Otherwise, select your keyboard type from the full list.
  6. Select English by pushing Enter (it is default)
  7. Select screen resolution (either choose the default or push 1 followed by Enter to choose a specific resolution)
  8. Wait as GParted starts and scans your drives
  9. Use the drop-down box at the top-right of the GParted window to choose your USB drive to be formatted. It will typically be /dev/sda.
    • Warning: DO NOT choose /dev/hda here. That is your PC's hard drive.
  10. You will see your drives existing partition/s. You need to make space for your Wii games. This can be done by either of the following actions:
    • Delete partitions - choose an existing partition and delete it if you want to use all it's space for Wii games. Existing data on the partition will be lost.
    • Resize partition - shrink a partition either at the front or back to create room for a new partition on the drive that can be used for Wii games. Existing data will not be lost as long as there was enough empty space within the partition.
  11. Once you have a large enough segment of unallocated space, select it and choose New
  12. Create the new partition with the options "Create as: Primary Partition" and "File System: unformatted".
  13. The sequence of steps that will be performed to accomplish everything you have requested is displayed at the bottom of the GParted window. Review that now to ensure it is correct
  14. When you are happy with the sequence of steps, push the Apply button
  15. Follow instructions for any remaining prompts and wait for the partitioning to complete
    • Note: this could take hours for some actions, like moving large partitions.
  16. When done, move your drive back to your Wii and start USB Loader. It should detect and format the unformatted partition you just created to WBFS and start working.
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