Nintendo Wii Freezes On Startup

I wrote yesterday bashing Microsoft and the Xbox 360’s failure rate being absolutely ridiculous. And while I didn’t mention the comparison between the Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii’s failure rate, I probably should have because little did I know last night I was going to be greeted with a dead Wii. The best part is that while I was at Best Buy yesterday picking up a new Xbox 360 to replace the one that broke, I grabbed a Wii Motion Plus to try out with a, um, “backup” of Wii Sports Resorts, but of course when we went to fire up the system it would freeze after about 5 seconds and nothing would respond.

Yeah yeah, probably my own fault for modding my Wii, but I’ve never had any problems with it up until this point. I own a few games and only have a few “backups”, I really only have the Wii for when people come over and for my g/f who doesn’t like playing the 360. Needless to say it doesn’t get used very often, but we were looking forward to Wii Sports Resorts seeing as how Wii Sports was such a hit. So the problem first started when I tried to eject Punch Out! which is the last game I played, once, for about an hour, the day it came out. The system wouldn’t spit out the disc. When I pressed eject the blue light on the cd drive lit up, but there was no noise, nothing, the disc just sat in there… awesome. So I turned the system on completely to see if it would even read that game in the Wii Menu, but as soon as I press “A” and it goes to the Wii Menu, it freezes.

Now depending on how fast I press “A” determines how long I can play around with the controller on the Wii Menu before it locks up, so I tried navigating to the settings as fast as I could to format the system, but alas I’m not that quick. So my next inclination was that the game in the drive was messing things up for some reason. Maybe the system was trying to read the game and it was causing it to freeze up. Seemed like a good theory to me seeing as how the eject button wouldn’t spit the game out and all, so I decided I needed to get that disc out and then everything would be fine. Yup, that was a bad Idea.

When there is a game in the system the disc drive is protected by these 2 little metal pieces that, I’m guessing, are there to make sure you don’t jam another disc in the slot while there is already one in there (obviously doesn’t work considering the amount of threads I read online of parents pulling 3-5 discs out of the slot when the system wasn’t working). So after doing some reading on the internet it seemed like my only options were to either open the system completely and remove the disc or use a tweezers and/or butter knives to pry it out. Well neither option sounded like it could result in anything good, but the system was shot anyways so what harm could I really do.

I didn’t want to dig around for my tri-wing screwdriver needed to open the Wii (it came with the modchip) so I just started jamming butter knives in there to get the disc out. And while it did work and the disc did come out, the system itself still thinks there is a disc in there because those 2 metal slot-blockers are still down not allowing me to insert another game, and on top of it, the system still locks up right away. So through process of elimination I’ve determined that it wasn’t the disc itself that was causing the problems, but something else. I haven’t figured it out completely yet, but it sounds like maybe the system was saving data the last time I turned it off and something got corrupt or something like that, but I am an avid gamer and know better than to turn the thing off when it’s saving so I’m not really sure how that could have happened so I’m going to go ahead and assume there was some power surge that fried something inside. The Wii was just plugged into the wall and not a surge protector and I do live in a fairly old building, so that sounds like a good explanation. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to tear the thing apart trying to find a loose wire or something. Maybe the ribbon cable to the disc drive fell out, I remember it being pretty touchy when I had it apart before.

So I’ve had 2 consoles burn out on me in 2 days, but so far the Playstation 3 is still going strong and I don’t expect it to die out anytime soon. And as for the Wii, unlike the 360, I’m not terribly upset that it died. For one it was a gift 2 years ago, two, it never gets played outside of trying out a new game once, and three it’s not worth $250 to replace when I just spent $200 on a new 360 that gets played every day. So tonight I’m going to open up the system and see what I can find, hopefully, like I said, it’s just a loose ribbon cable or something that I can easily fix otherwise I have another dead system to sell on eBay…. awesome.

Anyone else have Wii problems that you were able to fix without sending it to Nintendo? Due to circumstances mentioned above that’s not really an option.