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Wii U Hard Drives 
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Post Wii U Hard Drives
In an effort to prepare for more downloads, I've begun looking for options on USB Hard Drives for my Wii U. I know there are many options out there, but I was curious what others are using before I make my choice. Nintendo recommends we do not use flash drives nor USB-powered portable drives, so that limits my options, and it also seems to drive up the price a bit. On their website, Nintendo also gives a list of 1 TB and 2 TB drives they have tested, but I'm wondering what works in "real world" tests. So, what drive(s) have you used? What is/are the brand(s), size(s), and price(s)? And would you recommend it for others?

(On a side note, if we get enough input, this might make it beyond just a personal inquiry, and turn into a blog post to help even more people.)

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
hattrick wrote:
In an effort to prepare for more downloads, I've begun looking for options on USB Hard Drives for my Wii U. I know there are many options out there, but I was curious what others are using before I make my choice. Nintendo recommends we do not use flash drives nor USB-powered portable drives, so that limits my options, and it also seems to drive up the price a bit. On their website, Nintendo also gives a list of 1 TB and 2 TB drives they have tested, but I'm wondering what works in "real world" tests. So, what drive(s) have you used? What is/are the brand(s), size(s), and price(s)? And would you recommend it for others?

(On a side note, if we get enough input, this might make it beyond just a personal inquiry, and turn into a blog post to help even more people.)


I want one sooner or later, but yeah the prices are somewhat daunting. With more titles I expect to get digitally coming closer to release, it will be a coming up quick purchase. I am also wondering on this. I have an older 320 GB hard drive that I mean to empty (haven't done it yet) and had planned to use it with the Wii U, but wasn't sure if it's a good idea.

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Fri Aug 16, 2013 1:21 pm
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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
I know they say you can grab a Y-cable and use a portable USB-powered drive, which I have an extra one or two sitting around, but I don't know if that will slow it down. It seems like it might, due to the cables/drive needing to balance data and power. I'm assuming, following Nintendo's recommendation, that a separately powered drive is better.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
I have a 1TB WB My Passport portable hard drive that I use that is nice and small. I did have to get a Y cable for it, but with the cable it works fine. No issues in slowness or anything aside from the fact that Nintendo's downloads in general aren't very fast. But so far I've downloaded a bunch of games with no issues. One of the things I wanted is something small and portable since I carry my Wii U around, so it's perfect for me.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
DarkWIsh, do you think the Y cable is slowing your downloads, or do you think it would be slow even with an external power source? I know that my current download/install speeds are a lot faster than yours, even though you have fiber and I just have cable. Could going to an external, even with AC power slow mine down considerably?

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
hattrick wrote:
DarkWIsh, do you think the Y cable is slowing your downloads, or do you think it would be slow even with an external power source? I know that my current download/install speeds are a lot faster than yours, even though you have fiber and I just have cable. Could going to an external, even with AC power slow mine down considerably?

I don't think it's the Y cable. I initially didn't use a Y cable and I downloaded some games. The system kept freezing up at times and I'd sometimes get errors when loading games, so I tried a Y cable and that fixed it. But from what I remember, the download speeds weren't really different after I started using a Y cable. I've also never downloaded directly to the system so I can't really compare that.

The only difference in download speeds I noticed is that Pikmin 3 recently seemed to download faster, but that's probably because Nintendo added more servers or something.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
I saw the price drops on the drive I wanted. A WD Passport I think. Whichever one is on Nintendo's recommendation list (I pasted the serial number code into amazon and brought me to the WD drive page.

I got 1 TB, doubt I'll fill it. Bring on Wii U Fit download!

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Gamer Greg wrote:
I saw the price drops on the drive I wanted. A WD Passport I think. Whichever one is on Nintendo's recommendation list (I pasted the serial number code into amazon and brought me to the WD drive page.

I got 1 TB, doubt I'll fill it. Bring on Wii U Fit download!

I think that's the exact one I have since I have a 1 TB WD My Passport. It works well with Wii U, I've had no issues (after using a Y cable). I've downloaded a bunch of games already and of course I'm no where near filling it up. I doubt I ever will too, but I think it's good to not have to worry about storage.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
DarkWish wrote:
Gamer Greg wrote:
I saw the price drops on the drive I wanted. A WD Passport I think. Whichever one is on Nintendo's recommendation list (I pasted the serial number code into amazon and brought me to the WD drive page.

I got 1 TB, doubt I'll fill it. Bring on Wii U Fit download!

I think that's the exact one I have since I have a 1 TB WD My Passport. It works well with Wii U, I've had no issues (after using a Y cable). I've downloaded a bunch of games already and of course I'm no where near filling it up. I doubt I ever will too, but I think it's good to not have to worry about storage.


Does it require the Y cable? Seemed to be set up fine so far. Haven't moved anything over yet.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Gamer Greg wrote:
DarkWish wrote:
Gamer Greg wrote:
I saw the price drops on the drive I wanted. A WD Passport I think. Whichever one is on Nintendo's recommendation list (I pasted the serial number code into amazon and brought me to the WD drive page.

I got 1 TB, doubt I'll fill it. Bring on Wii U Fit download!

I think that's the exact one I have since I have a 1 TB WD My Passport. It works well with Wii U, I've had no issues (after using a Y cable). I've downloaded a bunch of games already and of course I'm no where near filling it up. I doubt I ever will too, but I think it's good to not have to worry about storage.


Does it require the Y cable? Seemed to be set up fine so far. Haven't moved anything over yet.

I didn't have a Y cable initially and my games frequently froze or gave an error when I loaded them up to play. Not always, but often. I decided to try a Y cable and have had zero issues since. So I think not having sufficient power to it was definitely the cause of those issues and I would say that yes you should get a Y cable for it.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
DarkWish wrote:
Gamer Greg wrote:
DarkWish wrote:
It works well with Wii U, I've had no issues (after using a Y cable). I've downloaded a bunch of games already and of course I'm no where near filling it up. I doubt I ever will too, but I think it's good to not have to worry about storage.


Does it require the Y cable? Seemed to be set up fine so far. Haven't moved anything over yet.

I didn't have a Y cable initially and my games frequently froze or gave an error when I loaded them up to play. Not always, but often. I decided to try a Y cable and have had zero issues since. So I think not having sufficient power to it was definitely the cause of those issues and I would say that yes you should get a Y cable for it.


What type of Y cable is it? How is it hooked up? I've never used one before, so trying to think how it's set up. Does it replace the connection to the drive? Or does it link the power of the Wii U with the drive (like to the power outlet).

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Gamer Greg wrote:
DarkWish wrote:
Gamer Greg wrote:
DarkWish wrote:
It works well with Wii U, I've had no issues (after using a Y cable). I've downloaded a bunch of games already and of course I'm no where near filling it up. I doubt I ever will too, but I think it's good to not have to worry about storage.


Does it require the Y cable? Seemed to be set up fine so far. Haven't moved anything over yet.

I didn't have a Y cable initially and my games frequently froze or gave an error when I loaded them up to play. Not always, but often. I decided to try a Y cable and have had zero issues since. So I think not having sufficient power to it was definitely the cause of those issues and I would say that yes you should get a Y cable for it.


What type of Y cable is it? How is it hooked up? I've never used one before, so trying to think how it's set up. Does it replace the connection to the drive? Or does it link the power of the Wii U with the drive (like to the power outlet).

The one I got replaces the cable that comes with the hard drive. One end goes into the hard drive, while the other ends go into the back of the Wii U.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Gamer Greg wrote:
What type of Y cable is it? How is it hooked up? I've never used one before, so trying to think how it's set up. Does it replace the connection to the drive? Or does it link the power of the Wii U with the drive (like to the power outlet).

Here's the one I got and it works just fine: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JIOHDE.

The singular end is connected to the hard drive, and the other end with the two USB connectors is connected into two USB slots on the Wii U. I just used the two on the back.

Here is the hard drive I got: http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Portable ... 006Y5UV4A/. Is this the same one you have? Basically, this one doesn't have a power cable, just one USB cable. This is connected to the Wii U and powers it. So what the Y cable does is take that one USB cable and connects it to the Y cable so that you now have two USB ports connected on Wii U instead of just one. This gives it extra power which is now sufficient to power it.

If your hard drive has its own power source (not just USB Powered), then you don't need a Y cable. But if you have the same one I do, then a Y cable is needed to give it that extra power.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
DarkWish wrote:
Gamer Greg wrote:
What type of Y cable is it? How is it hooked up? I've never used one before, so trying to think how it's set up. Does it replace the connection to the drive? Or does it link the power of the Wii U with the drive (like to the power outlet).

Here's the one I got and it works just fine: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000JIOHDE.

The singular end is connected to the hard drive, and the other end with the two USB connectors is connected into two USB slots on the Wii U. I just used the two on the back.

Here is the hard drive I got: http://www.amazon.com/Passport-Portable ... 006Y5UV4A/. Is this the same one you have? Basically, this one doesn't have a power cable, just one USB cable. This is connected to the Wii U and powers it. So what the Y cable does is take that one USB cable and connects it to the Y cable so that you now have two USB ports connected on Wii U instead of just one. This gives it extra power which is now sufficient to power it.

If your hard drive has its own power source (not just USB Powered), then you don't need a Y cable. But if you have the same one I do, then a Y cable is needed to give it that extra power.

Here is the Y-Cable I got. It even mentions Wii U, so I thought it'd be worth it. Haven't had one problem yet.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005M0 ... vecucom-20

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
I haven't used it yet, but it does have it's own power cord:

http://www.amazon.com/Book-External-Dri ... ACW0010HBK

So it sounds like I may not need it. It has a power cord and it has the USB cord.

However, I should try to test it. I'll be getting at least 1 Wii Sport

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Gamer Greg wrote:
I haven't used it yet, but it does have it's own power cord:

http://www.amazon.com/Book-External-Dri ... ACW0010HBK

So it sounds like I may not need it. It has a power cord and it has the USB cord.

However, I should try to test it. I'll be getting at least 1 Wii Sport

If it has its own power cord, then you should be fine without a Y cable. Issues arrive when it's not sufficiently powered by USB, but yours isn't USB powered, it has a separate power cable. So you don't need a Y cable.

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Post Re: Wii U Hard Drives
Turns out the one I had bought to replace the one in this thread was not compatible with the Wii U. So I ended up plugging in my old harddrive from years ago and it actually works. So not sure why I was so set on a new one, perhaps I was worried it wouldn't work; who knows. This one is only 500 GB, so I should be fine.

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