Usb Loader

Configurable USB Loader will copy your games to hard drive and let you play them

USB Loaders allow you to rip your own discs to an external USB hard drive and then run them from there. This will minimise load times, generally improve performance and means you can switch which Wii game you want to play without leaving your couch.

We highly recommend Configurable USB Loader (known as Cfg for short) as it has the most features and the best customisability of the many USB Loaders available. Other loaders can be found here.

Configurable USB Loader does not require a hard drive, but it is recommended for installing games. If you just want to use it for region free, then choose SD when you are given the option.


The new version of d2x allows you to bypass IOS reload. That means the handful of games that didn't work before (Metroid Prime Trilogy, Sam and Max, CSI: Deadly Intent, House of the Dead, etc.) now work perfectly.

What you should install first

What you need

  • SD or SDHC Card
  • USB Drive (Recommended for installing games but not required and not required for launching discs)

Preparing your hard drive

You will install your games onto a partition of the hard drive (or an SD/SDHC card). As of the v62 series, that partition can be formatted as WBFS, FAT32, NTFS or EXT. If you want to use the Dolphin emulator, you should use NTFS, but otherwise it is recommended that you use FAT32. If you want to play GCN games with DIOS MIOS, you must choose FAT32. The final choice is up to you. The following sections will provide some info about each format type and why you might want to use it or not use it, as well as information on how to prepare your drive for that format if you do want to use it.


This is a format type created specifically for Wii games, however it is no longer recommended. It is not compatible with GCN games. There are slight instabilities when deleting games on drives of this format and you cannot use the partition to store other files (i.e., it can only store Wii games).

There is one minor benefit in WBFS that it supports drives with a sector size of 4k. These drives are very rare, but other format types may not work on these drives.

If you do want to format to WBFS for some reason, you can use the GParted tool to prepare your drive for formatting to WBFS with Cfg.


This is the most compatible format type and is required if you want to install GCN games. It can store any Wii games and you can store other files on the same partition if you like. This format type is supported by all operating systems. The only real negative is that it has a file size limit of 4GB. This won't affect games as they are automatically split, but perhaps it might affect other files you want to save on the same partition

Your Wii games need to be installed to either a FAT partition or a WBFS partition on the drive. Most external drives come formatted as FAT32 and do not need to be reformatted for use with the loader. If you wish to format a drive to FAT32, this tool is recommended if you are using Windows (the partitioning application that comes with Windows won't create a FAT32 partition of a large enoguh size). GParted or any other partitioning application can also be used.


NTFS is a Windows drive format standard and Windows probably formatted your drive this way if you use it. It allows for large files and is quite fast. Unfortunately, other OSes do not have full compatibility for this format and it is not currently compatible with GCN games. This is the choice you want to make if you want to rip games for use with the Dolphin emulator as well as play them from the hard drive. Also, Cfg has some problems with case sensitivity when using NTFS drives.

If using an NTFS drive, you need to add the following options to config.txt or meta.xml. See the Configurable Options page for information on how to do this.

  • ntfs_write = 1
  • fat_split_size = 0

If you want to use the Dolphin emulator, you should also add the following option to the same file to get Cfg to write games as .iso files instead of .wbfs. Note that the games will fill more space on the drive, but Dolphin does not currently accept .wbfs input, so it is necessary.

  • install_partitions = iso

You can format a drive to NTFS using most partitioning applications or Windows.


This format covers ext2, ext3 and ext4 formats. These are the formats most commonly used for Linux systems. These formats have the same benefits as NTFS.

EXT support is currently read-only, so there is no way to write games to the drive except via your PC, making it a poor choice. It is also incompatible with GCN games.

Note that ext support is very new (started in December 2010) and there may be bugs.

You can format a drive to an ext format using most partitioning applications or Linux.

What to download

  • Configurable USB Loader v70 or later from this page, although the latest download links are listed below.
    • Configurable USB Loader releases come in two varieties, .zip and .dol. If the latest version is a .dol version, also download the latest "release" version from the same page which will always be a .zip.
    • v70 .zip can be downloaded directly from here.
    • The v70 .dol can be downloaded directly from here.
  • If you want to download and play GCN games, v70r37 or later of Configurable USB Loader Mod from this page

Installation procedure

  1. Unzip the Configurable USB Loader .zip file and copy the contents of Cfg_USB_Loader##/inSDRoot to sd:/ where ## is the version number.
    • You may be asked if you want to merge the directories. Answer yes.
    • After this step, you should have a folder called sd:/usb-loader which contains some files and subdirectories and another folder called sd:/apps/USBLoader that contains boot.dol and some other files.
    • On a Mac, you might need to copy the contents of the directories separately. You want to merge the apps folder in the .zip with the one on your SD card, not replace it.
  2. If you downloaded a .dol file as well (the mod version if you downloaded both types), rename the file to boot.dol and replace sd:/apps/USBLoader/boot.dol with the renamed file.
  3. Edit meta.xml to use your chosen IOS using the instructions in the next section
  4. OPTIONAL STEP: If your drive is formatted as FAT32 or NTFS, move the sd:/usb-loader and all of its contents to the USB drive's root directory (so you will have usb:/usb-loader instead).
    • This directory is used for game box images and so on and they will load faster if you perform this step.
    • Ensure you move the files and not just copy them. Delete the folder on the SD card afterwards if you copy instead of moving.
    • This step can also be performed at any future time by just moving the folder across if you want to try it out on the SD card first.
  5. Start the Homebrew Channel and run Configurable USB Loader.
    • If you get an IOS249 is a stub message, then redo the meta.xml steps, perhaps choosing a different method.
  6. You may be asked to select device and partition
    1. Select your device as either SD (if you don't have a drive) or USB if you do
    2. Select your partition from the list that you want to use
    3. Select other options and ensure IOS is set to 247, 248 or 224, depending on what you chose in meta.xml
    4. Confirm the screen to start the loader
    5. Once you are at the GUI, point at the bottom part of the screen to bring up the menu bar and select Settings
    6. Select System in the next dialog
    7. Select Save Settings to save your choice of device and partition.
    8. Push B to return to the GUI and start enjoying Configurable USB Loader

Meta.xml steps

These steps need to be performed to make Configurable USB Loader try to launch IOS248 or IOS224 at startup. If you do not perform these steps, you will get an IOS249 is a stub message when trying to use the loader. There are several options that you can use.

Perform only one of these bulleted sets of steps (your choice):

  • Download a pre-configured meta.xml for IOS248:
    1. Download the pre-configured meta.xml (right-click the link then choose Save Link As or a similar option).
    2. Replace sd:/apps/USBLoader/meta.xml with the downloaded one.
  • On a Windows machine, you can use the Configurator, included in the Cfg zip package you downloaded:
    1. To start the Configurator, execute the CfgLoaderConfigurator app which will be located in sd:/usb-loader if you followed the above instructions.
      • Alternatively, extract the usb-loader directory in the zip file to your hard drive to get a copy of the Configurator.
    2. Select the Global Options 3 tab.
    3. Select either 248 or 224-mload from the ios drop-down box depending on your preferred choice of IOS (248 is recommended).
    4. Ensure the check box to the left of the ios box is now checked (it should have done so when you selected the ios option).
    5. Select the Meta Arguments tab.
    6. Click the Global Options 3 check box to make it checked
    7. Click the Read meta.xml button and select sd:/apps/USBLoader/meta.xml, then push OK.
    8. Click the Write meta.xml button and push OK to replace the existing file with the one with a new included option.
  • On any machine, open sd:/apps/USBLoader/meta.xml in your favourite text editor and do the following:
    1. Find the line </app> towards the end of the file.
    2. Depending on which ios you want to use as default (248 is recommended) add one of the lines below before </app>:
      • <arguments><arg>ios=248</arg></arguments>
      • <arguments><arg>ios=224-mload</arg></arguments>
    3. Save your changes to meta.xml.
    4. Configurable USB Loader is now ready to be used. Check the information below to see how to use it.

Using the Loader

  • Your drive MUST be connected in the USB slot closer to the outside edge of the Wii.
  • The GUI has menu options that will appear if you select a game or point at the top or bottom of the screen.
  • Push D-Pad Down to change the display mode of covers. Once you find your favourite one, save settings via Settings…System…Save Settings and it will be default at startup.
  • Push the + button to install a game from your Wii's Disc Drive to the USB drive.
  • Push the - button to access a menu that lets you delete games from the drive or run discs.
  • Use A to play or 1 to enter the options menu of an installed game
    • In the GUI, you can change options after pushing A
  • You can download covers for all your installed games at once in the options menu.
    • Select the download all covers option and push D-pad right.
  • Read README-CFG.txt in the zip file to see how to configure Configurable USB Loader to suit your needs or go to the Configurable Options page for simpler instructions.
  • As stated in the installation instructions, the /usb-loader folder can be present on either the SD card or the USB drive (as long as the drive is formatted as FAT32 or NTFS). It will work faster on the USB drive, so it is suggested you move the folder to there if it works on your drive.

++Using the Loader Without a Hard Drive

  • Select SD if asked during startup. If not asked, add the line device=SDHC to settings.cfg (see Configurable Options page for help doing this).
  • Push - to access the menu, this will take you to the Main Menu where you can choose to boot the disc in the drive.
    • After selecting to Boot Disc, you can push 1 to set options, allowing you to configure various video patches and so on.
  • You can make the boot method faster by adding "button_- = boot_disc" to config.txt. This will make the - button go directly to the disc launch menu.

Configuring Configurable USB Loader

The Configurable Options page details all the things you can do to configure your loader. It also provides the Configurator application that allows you to set the options in a GUI interface. README-CFG.txt in the Cfg Loader zip file also contains a description of all the options and features.

One suggested option is write_playlog=1. This will make it so that your Wii logs all played games and their times played to the Wii Message Board, just as if you had played the game from the disc. See the Configurable Options page for more info on how to set that option into config.txt.

Updating Configurable USB Loader

With v35a6 and later, this can be done with your Wii online, or you can upgrade manually.

Note that if you have never done the meta.xml steps above, you need to do so.

Online installation

  1. Start Configurable USB Loader and push 1 twice to get to the Global Options screen.
  2. Select Search for updates and push right on the D-pad.
  3. A selection of versions will come up. Choose the one you want to install and push A.
  4. The new version will download and install over the currently running version.
    • Don't worry about meta.xml here, your changes will be preserved.
  5. When complete, push any button to return to USB Loader.
  6. Exit and restart the loader to try the new version.

Manual installation

  1. Download new version
  2. Replace sd:/apps/USBLoader/boot.dol with the .dol file of the latest version (rename if necessary).
    • For .zip releases, boot.dol is located in inSDRoot/USBLoader/boot.dol from the zip file.
    • For .dol releases, the dol file you downloaded is the file you need to rename.

My game doesn't work!

  • USB Loader is not compatible with all games. E.g., games that reload the IOS will fail (see Problem Category 1 here)
  • If you get an error mentioning 002, ensure you installed the latest version of Configurable USB Loader. Also ensure you have d2x installed, which replaces the obsolete IOS249.


  • I am getting a message similar to "IOS249 is a stub, please reinstall it." What do I do to fix this?
    • Check the meta.xml steps of the tutorial have been completed. Also, ensure you have installed d2x into the 248 slot as per the new instructions there.
  • What are the difference between the 222 (e.g., cfg55-222.dol) and the 249 (e.g. cfg55.dol) versions?
    • The first IOS that is loaded is IOS222 instead of IOS249 (this is before config.txt is read)
    • The ios option has a default of 222-mload instead of 249
  • Can I use this to play imported games from another region?
    • Yes. Many will play normally, but if you have trouble, use the options menu to force video mode.
  • Can I install my GameCube games to the drive and play them?
    • Yes. You need a mod version of Cfg (such as linked above) and DIOS MIOS.
  • Can I make a channel for Configurable USB Loader instead of loading via HBC?
  • USB Loader is giving me an error about the drive when I start up.
    • Follow the instructions for "Preparing your hard drive" above
  • Every second game I play seems to crash during loading. What's wrong?
    • Upgrade to the latest verion of d2x and Cfg, making sure you perform the meta.xml steps.
  • How do I get Wii Sports Resort working?
    • Upgrade to the latest verion of d2x and Cfg, making sure you perform the meta.xml steps.
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Metroid Prime Trilogy or Metroid: Other M keeps crashing.
    • Upgrade to the latest verion of d2x and Cfg, making sure you perform the meta.xml steps. Also, if you installed the game using an old IOS, remove the game and reinstall it.
  • My instruments don't work in Rock Band/Guitar Hero/Other music game.
    • Use IOS247 or Hermes' IOS222/223 for these games. You can change and save the IOS in the game's settings within Cfg.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii doesn't work.
    • Install v48b of Configurable USB Loader or later.
  • Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands doesn't work.
    • Install v57b7 of Configurable USB Loader or later and set "Clear Patches" for the game to On or All.
  • I want to move games from a WBFS partition to a FAT partition

What Next?

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