I thought that I would write a FAQ on semi-bricking, seeing as I haven't found any comprehensive ones so far. Many people will probably know most if not all of this, but some will not, and if this helps just one person I will be happy!
What does semi-brick(ing) mean?
If your Wii is semi-bricked, you will not be able to access the 'Settings' menu. Other functions (i.e. reading discs) will still work.
How does semi-bricking occur?
Semi-bricking happens when you update your Wii menu software using an update from a different region (this obviously requires either a Freeloader or a modchip). For example, if you have a PAL Wii at v2.2E, and you put in an NTSC game which updates your console to 3.x (such as Super Smash Bros Brawl or Super Mario Galaxy), you run the risk of a semi-brick.
How can I avoid a semi-brick?
The only way to avoid the risk of a semi-brick completely is to only play games from your region. However other methods are described below.
- Update your Wii via the Internet, thus ensuring that you have the latest firmware version for your region. Any disc should therefore not ask you to update. Obviously this is not desirable in all cases, as version 3.x stops things such as GC Action Replays from working on unmodded Wiis.
- Use the Wii Brick Blocker (requires .NET framework 2.0) to strip the update out of the image before burning if you wish to load a backup from a different region. The software is in French, but it is fairly self explanatory. You can change the language to English by clicking on 'Langue' and then 'Changer la langue', selecting 'English.lng' and then clicking OK. Load the image, click on 'read info' if you wish, and then 'Patch'.
My Wii is already semi-bricked, what do I do!
The options available to you really depend on whether your Wii has a modchip installed:
My Wii is unmodded, what now?
In this case, you will need to find a game from your region with a later firmware update (if you were updated to v3.3 you're out of luck until Nintendo release a new firmware version)
My Wii is modded, what now?
A modded Wii can be un-semi-bricked more easily, using the update disks
released by Bushing at hackmii. Download the correct disk for your region, burn and run on your Wii.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Please remember, however, that this applies only to semi-bricked consoles, none of this will work for fully bricked Wiis.