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Shutting Off Wii U During Massive Update Bricks Console

By - Source: Kotaku | B 67 comments

Don't turn off the Wii U during its massive update...

Though the Wii U's only been out for mere days, owners are already reporting problems with bricking their console.

This issue's caused by turning off the Wii U during the middle of a massive update—reported 5 GB according to GTTV's Geoff Keighley—required to access all of the Wii U's online content. Considering that this update would take most anywhere from an hour to five hours to download, it's understandable as to why some users would apply the update, see that it's taking longer than expected to apply, and decide to ignore the warnings of not shutting off their console during an update. After all, shutting off most consoles during an update is usually harmless, since the changes can usually be rolled back and the update can be re-applied.

LA Times's Ben Fritz was apparently one of the victims of Wii U bricking. After shutting off his console in the middle of the massive update, he found that he was unable to reset or reverse the damage.

"So is there some secret way to hard reset a Wii U? Cause mine is totally busted," he tweeted.

"Warning: don't unplug your Wii U during the 2 hour plus software update or the console stops working," he added, later complaining that the Wii U never warns the user of the long update.

For now, it doesn't seem like there's a way to reverse the issue. According to Venturebeat, the issue isn't something that Nintendo can resolve remotely. Bricking your console means that you'll be forced to send it into Nintendo for repair.

So if you recently grabbed up the Wii U, but haven't applied the update just yet, be sure to apply the update when you're absolutely certain you won't shut off the console or lose power to the console. Otherwise, you may just end up with a glorified paperweight.


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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    igot1forya , November 20, 2012 5:10 PM
    LOL 5 GB would take over 12h to update on my internet connection.
  • 17 Hide
    sliem , November 20, 2012 5:12 PM
    That's a stupid move by Nintendo (5GB update). Also bad design (power failure during update = bricked? that's a big fail)
  • 15 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , November 20, 2012 5:06 PM
    5 GB? That is huge, twice more than downloading Windows 8 RC.
Other Comments
    Display all 67 comments.
  • 15 Hide
    jupiter optimus maximus , November 20, 2012 5:06 PM
    5 GB? That is huge, twice more than downloading Windows 8 RC.
  • 4 Hide
    assasin32 , November 20, 2012 5:07 PM
    Seems like Nintendo had a bit of an oversight on what happens when you turn off the console during an update. Hopefully they get together and fix it so you don't brick the thing when you turn off the console during update. Preferably a small quick solo patch before any other update so this happens less.

    Beyond that all I have to say is I am happy I haven't gave my family member wifi to their Wii U yet or else were probably be one of these people with a bricked Wii U. Little kid + probably 7 hour update on our connection, yeah I can guarantee you he would probably turn off the console thinking it was broken. Heck I would if it didn't tell me how much was being downloaded i would assume it just froze.
  • 8 Hide
    house70 , November 20, 2012 5:10 PM
    Nintendo should warn users if unusually large updates are pushed. Windows always warns about the same issue during updates, and for a PC there is always a way to restore it without having it sent in to the manufacturer.
  • 24 Hide
    igot1forya , November 20, 2012 5:10 PM
    LOL 5 GB would take over 12h to update on my internet connection.
  • 6 Hide
    j2j663 , November 20, 2012 5:12 PM
    So this is a report from one guy?
  • 17 Hide
    sliem , November 20, 2012 5:12 PM
    That's a stupid move by Nintendo (5GB update). Also bad design (power failure during update = bricked? that's a big fail)
  • 13 Hide
    theconsolegamer , November 20, 2012 5:16 PM
    Welcome to yesterday

    Those who bought the 8GB version because they though it was the cheaper option are up to some serious butthurt LMAO
  • 2 Hide
    guess who , November 20, 2012 5:19 PM
    "absolutely certain"?

    There is no such thing, even on the grid.
  • -6 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 20, 2012 5:19 PM
    Do think it's bad that this happened to anyone, but at the same time, you are willingly taking a risk ignoring the warning. You're not supposed to speed. Everyone speeds and no one seems to ever get caught. Can't really be mad if you speed though and are the unlucky one to get caught. Not a one-to-one example, but the warnings are there for a reason. Beside, isn't there usually a way to cancel the update before just shutting the system off? Or just show some patience and let it finish updating. It's not like a computer that you likely have a dozen other things you can do o it. Do feel bad for those who now have shiny new bricks, but like I said, ignoring warnings is a gamble you take at your own risk.
  • 9 Hide
    TheViper , November 20, 2012 5:29 PM
    It's only 1 GB (882 MB to be exact)

    And removing the power from any device while installing a firmware update can render them bricked. This is not a Wii U problem but an electronics device problem.

    That's why they have warnings on all of them.
  • 3 Hide
    unksol , November 20, 2012 5:31 PM
    j2j663So this is a report from one guy?

    Worse. Apparently it's a report based on one twits tweet about how he ignored the warning and bricked his device. (and I am sure plagiarized like all Toms news articles)

    Yes it's a bad design but why on earth would you shut it off? And i am sure it.was installing something at the time not just downloading. That's his own fault

  • -6 Hide
    freggo , November 20, 2012 5:35 PM
    Talk about lazy engineering.
    I'd expect that from something made in Detroit, but not from a Japanese company.
    Let's hope this is only a single mishap and not a sign of declining engineering quality.
  • 14 Hide
    brianvan , November 20, 2012 5:43 PM
    Doesn't it download the update first, verify the checksum and THEN actually do the firmware update? Good god if that's not the case.
  • 3 Hide
    omnimodis78 , November 20, 2012 5:49 PM
    Nintendo has always made is super clear not to turn off the console just during saves, so I can only imagine how clear they make it not to turn off the system during an update. Although, if it can take hours, does the warning message actually notify the user that the update could take that long? If not, then it's definitely something Nintendo dropped the ball with; and I'm sure they will rectify the oversight.
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2012 5:50 PM
    Wait, there's no little red button you push in with a paper clip to restore factory defaults? And have their coders ever heard of a Progress Meter? Maybe a little visual cue would help here, that's why you don't skip the UI Design phase of your project. This is just such failure, Nintendo is seriously slipping.
  • 2 Hide
    xaephod , November 20, 2012 5:51 PM
    They should have a recovery mode which is hardwired into the device.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2012 5:52 PM
    That's why you don't make 5GB updates, and you put enough ram in the darn thing so the whole update loads into memory before being installed. Nothing can be bricked this way.
  • 2 Hide
    bigdragon , November 20, 2012 5:58 PM
    5GB update? That's not an update. That's a whole new OS! Shockingly poor design from Nintendo here. I love their games, but I would be absolutely furious about such a large and time-consuming update. I want game consoles to be ready the moment I'm sitting down to play. I hate it when they pop up ridiculous mandatory updates several GB in size (that's aimed at you too, Sony). Get out of my way and let me play my games. Some days I really miss simpler systems like the SNES or PS1.
  • 5 Hide
    TheViper , November 20, 2012 6:00 PM
    It was less than 1 GB, not 5 GB.

  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 20, 2012 6:10 PM
    If an update is that massive Nintendo needs to release a Disc to update the device or smart card download from a PC. Alla Service pack style. I know its a bit old school but lets face it I would rather have to pay $5 for an update disc then risk bricking a new console. Also worth noting that this shows a lack of quality control or even a readiness for market at Nintendo. The Rush for a holiday release was probably a mistake on their part given the evidence that the console over promised and under produced what they released. The updates should have been given more time and not been a part of their advertising blitz when the system was just NOT ready yet (AS ADVERTISED)
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