Sundriver SATA HD Review
Note: All our sundrivers come preprogrammed with the latest software
Posted on 6th Sep 2010 @ 12:53 AM
All in perfect order, looks very good, but I am used to nothing else from D2Sun to be honest. After this obvious part, here are some more interesting details, the way the drive gets placed and connected it perfect! No room for it to move around, there is a little opening so you can push the drive in gently.
Installing it into the Wii is very easy, the spot where you would find the DVD-ROM drive is now used to place this piece of equipment. Though this means you loose the drive altogether, it makes up for one tidy and solid installation! It is one with the Wii and to be honest, who needs the dvd drive if you can use a harddrive with all games on it anyway? I know I am done with that!
Now I tested the Sundriver before screwing it back together, when using a no name brand adaptor the Wii didn't start when trying to power it up, but when I used a Nintendo original adaptor it powered up perfectly fine! This shows how big differences in quality of adaptors can be, bad power supplies can hurt the equipemnt you power it with, so it is wise to always use Nintendo original power supplies with your Wii's, modded or unmodded! OK, back to business, when powered up and connected to the PC, the Sundriver application finds it and uploads games like advertised. Takes about 4 minutes per full Wii game and about 1.5 minute per GameCube game.
Now I connected it to the TV and tested some Wii games: Mario Party 8, Super Paper Mario, New Super Mario Bros. and Zelda Twilight Princess, all worked flawlessl, quiet and FAST! Wow, loading has never been this fast and quiet! I like that about this way of modding.
Next I tested a few GameCube games: Super Mario Sunshine, Zelda the Windwaker, Wario World, Star Wars Rogue Leader and Zelda Collector's edition. All played flawlessly, but for Zelda Collector's edition, when trying to start any of the games, it goes in some kind of debug mode. I am sure this will be possible to solve with a firmware upgrade, knowing D2Sun though!
After all the testing I closed up the Wii and this is the result!
Using the eject button to power up the Wii, using the reset button to select a game and using the eject button again to confirm the game selection works very easy and intuitive.
Some minor critical notes:
- when programming games you have to program them one for one, it would be VERY helpful if you could make a list and program that list, saves a lot of time and would be very convenient.
- when programming a game into a slot where there is already a game programmed to by accident, you do not get a confirmation button and the former game is gone. A confirmation button would be very welcome for slots that already contain a game.
- sorting games is only done by slot number, it would be very convenient if this could be user selectable through the Sundriver application.
- I believe all of the former points can be solved by updating the menu/firmware, the next one can't: the USB port is fitted a bit too low and because of that it lightly pushes on the front lid of the Wii, not a big deal, but it should be possible to solve in the next batch of production I think.
My personal conclusion about this product is the following: SUPER product! I will not use DVD discs anymore now! This way is so much more convenient, no more sifting through discs which take a lot of space or become scratched, very quiet and fast operation! Thanks for this very nice product again D2Sun!
Sun Driver (sata version) arrives!! Very nice and simple retail packaging and a couple hdd's ready to be tested http://wiinewz.com/forums/public/sty...ult/tongue.gif
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Installation is very simple (no harder than replacing the drive) http://wiinewz.com/forums/public/sty...ault/smile.gif The fit for power, flat cable and sata data/power are all very solid (sata connections are especially tight which is nice because I've some cheap sata connectors on other devices where the cable can fall out if bumped)
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2.5in hdd fit's nicely as expected. The tight power/data connection and 2 mounting screws are more than enough to keep the hdd in place and secure.
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A good look over Sun Drivers PCB shows of the quality from manufacturing.. all connections, components, etc are clean and there is no slop left over or bad solder here!
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NOTE: (Sun Driver may come shipped to you with switches all set to "ON" please REMEMBER switch them all away from led -> to take advantage of the GC "SunDiskMenu01.ISO" to switch games)
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Some sexy photo's of Sun Driver's led showing status. Old face plate mod for SunDisk http://wiinewz.com/forums/public/sty...ult/tongue.gif .. will probably do some nice mod for Sun Driver soon also http://wiinewz.com/forums/public/sty...fault/wink.gif
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Installing games and configuring Sun Driver is easy and fast.
Power on Wii with "Eject" button and 4 switches to the right and GC Menu app comes right up!
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GC Menu is nice and simple select the game you want and Wii reboots with selected game loaded into disc channel http://wiinewz.com/forums/public/sty...lt/biggrin.gif
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I found this product easy to use and with 3 way to change games it is very convenient way to store and play your games.
Upon first connecting the usb data cable to pc drivers were automatically found and installed, SunDriver_Programmer_V2.0.exe worked as expected and loaded games quick.
All tested drives worked except:
Western Digital model: WD2500JD-22HBB0 (250gb 3.5in hdd)
I was able to install game images and game cube icon even show for SunDiscMenu but trying to run it only ever rebooted the wii. I spent hours trying to make this drive work but with no success.
Problem games? Well Mario Party8 isn't working for me but i have not done any troubleshooting for it yet, and it's not a 1:1 backup so I can't say with any certainty that it's good.
So over all quality, value, ease of use, and products design innovation for it to completely replace your dvd drive make it an obvious and wonderful option for those looking into drive mods. Also I can't speak for everyone, but thinking over the years at how many optical drives have failed me compared to hard disc drives and HDD's always seem to last longer.
Final thoughts?... Having tried many of the current solutions on the market this one is by far my favorite so far.
I think the sundriver is a great product one which I would recommend to others.
I got the SATA version and tested it with a Samsung 500Gb 5400rpm 2,5Inch Harddisc.
First I tested it with a PAL Wii Firmware 4.2E which was already patched to be able to play homebrew and backups.
90% of the PAL Games worked for me except a few of which I tested with several versions of the games:
(I checked al games with WIU 1.1 for correct size and EUROPE REGION)
NOT WORKING PAL GAMES:
- Mario Party 8
- Super Paper Mario (gamecube version)
- Super Paper Mario (Wii version)
- Zelda Collectors edition (als show me the debug mode as TheForce81 also got with his sundriver)
Because I had a homebrew enabled 4.2E Wii I decided to completely set it back and downgrade my Wii to version 3.2
After the downgrade to 3.2 I again tried the NON Working games tested with hacked Firmware 4.2E.
The downgrade to 3.2 standard Firmware didn`t solve the problem of the non booting games.
I am still not able to start a super paper mario or any other game from my top list.
When I boot the sundriver through the EJECT button it shows the intro animation of the game in the top left Wii channel.
When selected the led of the sundriver doesn`t react and the wii completely locks up (have to reset by holding the power button several seconds)
Aside from the non boots the product looks good and is easily fitted in the Wii and in combination with the samsung harddisc it stays very cool and boots the games super fast!
Maybe some things to consider for future sales:
- Some people didn`t place the flatcable the right way the first time, maybe you could press the word TOP on the blue part of the flatcables.
- In the manual the right settings for the switches (all to the right away from the led) perhaps with a picture.
- A small tutorial how to boot the programmer program as administrator and to start it before connecting the USB Cable
Does the programmer USB tool (not the program) come standard with the sundriver?
I have the programmer flatcable, but I didn`t receive a USB programmer with my sundriver
(blue usb stick like programmer as shown on the photos of TheForce81)
I Would like to get my hands on such a programmer.