FAQ for Upgrading your Wii
Should I update the Wii using Nintendo's procedure?
This is safe and the recommended way to upgrade the Wii, but only if you first take precautions (listed here). Read below for more information.
Should I upgrade before or after installing homebrew?
Definitely after. It's slightly harder to install homebrew on 4.3 than on earlier firmwares. You can safely upgrade after installing homebrew, instead.
A new game asked me to update, but I am already at the latest firmware version. Why is this?
Updates check everything on your Wii to see if they have anything newer than what is installed. The 4.2 and 4.3 updates will detect old versions of IOS249 and/or IOS222/223 installed on your Wii and will thus indicate an update being necessary. You can solve this issue by either reinstalling d2x and Hermes' IOS222/223 using the new installation slots currently listed in the tutorial, which are not checked by Nintendo's current update procedure, or follow the steps to Avoid Disc Updates.
Will I lose any normal Wii functionality (e.g., Wii Shop) by installing homebrew before/after updating?
No. And it is also possible to regain access to the current Wii Shop without updating the rest of the firmware.
I'm scared of bricking my console with an update. How do I delete homebrew so it won't brick?
Don't panic. Having and using the homebrew discussed in this guide installed will neither increase nor decrease your chance of bricking via update. Thus, there is no need to delete homebrew first.
My brother/significant other/idiot friend/subconscious just upgraded my Wii. Am I screwed?
Don't panic. If your Wii still boots, you are fine. The chance of bricking via update is very, very small. You may have to reinstall some of your homebrew, though. See the questions below to figure out what needs to be reinstalled.
What firmware version am I on now?
Go to the Wii Settings page and the version number will be listed at the top right (e.g., 4.1U is a US system with firmware version 4.1).
Do I need to upgrade my Wii's firmware to use homebrew?
No. In fact, it makes it a little harder to install homebrew.
What does upgrading to 4.0 give me?
SDHC card support, Wii shop access, ability to run channels that were previously saved to SD/SDHC and a fix for a bug in Wii Sports Resort.
What does upgrading to 4.1 give me?
A fix for a bug in Wii Sports Resort.
What does upgrading to 4.2 give me?
Some bug fixes in The Conduit multiplayer and a slightly faster startup time.
What does upgrading to 4.3 give me?
USB 2.0 support via IOS58. You can get this IOS through other means, though.
Is upgrading officially via Nintendo safe if I have homebrew?
The official update used to seem unsafe, but this isn't an issue any more. If you are very cautious, you can remove all risk using PART 1 of the Upgrade method first.
Is upgrading officially via Nintendo safe if I don't have homebrew?
The official update is very slightly unsafe (Equally as unsafe as if you had homebrew), although you can remove the risk using PART 1 of the Upgrade method.
Do any games contain a dangerous upgrade?
Yes. New Super Mario Bros. Wii is the first of these games and most future games do too. They contain two updates. The first upgrades you to 4.1, the second upgrades your boot2. It is the boot2 upgrade which is slightly dangerous, but it can be avoided by PART 1 of the Upgrade method. Always running the game with a USB Loader is another solution to avoid the disc update.
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (and likely further games released after it) contains a 4.2 update including a boot2v4 update. The boot2v4 update can be avoided via the same Upgrade method mentioned above. The 4.2 update will always attempt to stub your original IOS249 and Hermes' IOS222/223, but you can avoid that by following the Avoid Disc Updates technique, or by using the new d2x installation methods. Some games also contain 4.3 updates, which have the same issues as the 4.2 update games.
How do I safely upgrade to 4.2 or 4.3?
Instructions for doing so safely are on the Upgrade page. However, only perform this if you absolutely want the newer features.
Can I upgrade to a version older than 4.2?
Yes, although this tutorial no longer provides this information. It is highly unrecommended and will probably brick your Wii if attempted. There is no useful reason to do this either.
I hear 4.2 is bricking consoles. I updated and it seems fine. What's up?
The official 4.2 update bricked a very small percentage of consoles, whether they were hacked or not. Very few people were affected via the minor bug and it now seems to be fixed.
I upgraded to 4.2 or 4.3 already using the official Nintendo updater and lost all my homebrew stuff. Can I get it back?
Yes. The tutorial pages all list methods to get your homebrew back. Just go back to the start of the tutorial on the Launch page and continue reinstalling everything from there onwards.
I upgraded to the latest firmware but a game I inserted is still asking me to perform an update. Why is this?
Many games perform simple IOS updates to the official IOSes and do not upgrade your firmware. It is a good idea to install these updates. However, as of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, discs have started to include the slightly dangerous boot2 update code. To be perfectly safe, you should only run the updates on these discs after performing PART 1 of the Upgrade page.
Games with 4.2 and 4.3 updates (Super Mario Galaxy 2, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, etc.) will also ask you to update even if you already on the firmware version of the update as they are trying to delete d2x and Hermes' IOS222/223. For these games, use the new installation methods of the IOSes or use the Avoid Disc Updates method.
I upgraded to 4.2 or 4.3 already using the official Nintendo updater. What did I lose?
The Homebrew Channel may have been deleted if it was old and if so will need to be reinstalled.
BootMii as boot2 may have been removed and must be reinstalled.
IOS249 will be gone if installed in the 249 or 250 slots and needs to be reinstalled. It is suggested you install d2x instead.
Hermes' IOS222/223 will be gone if installed in the 222 or 223 slots and needs to be reinstalled.
I haven't installed any homebrew on my Wii yet. Should I install homebrew and then upgrade or vice versa?
Definitely install homebrew first. It is a little more difficult to install homebrew on a 4.3 Wii than a pre-4.3 Wii.
I'm scared that my Wii might brick when I update because I installed some potentially unsafe homebrew apps. What do I do?
Make a backup of your NAND with BootMii (preferably as boot2). That way you can restore your Wii to the way it was if the update fails. Ensure you made this backup with the latest version of BootMii or it is useless.
Once I have Homebrew Channel and d2x installed, how do I update my Wii?
Just follow the steps on the Upgrade page.