Saturday, 26 May 2007

"Advanced" Networking on the Wii - Fixing Error Code 52130, 52131 or 52132

I've had my Wii since December 2006 and to be quite honest its had at most, 20 hours of on time. Considering in the time since Christmas I've spent 60 hours on Oblivion on the 360, the New Nintendo Super Console hasn't had much action at all from what you might call a hardened gamer.

Today I'm on "Leisure Support" from home, which gives me a chance to catch up with all those nerdy jobs I never get around to, like installing this new PCI SATA controller in my PC to boost me up to half a terabyte of storage, and sorting out the WiFi issues I was having with my Wii.

To be honest, the Wii online for me is a bit like having internet access on the phone. Its a bit of a gimmick every now and then, and more frustrating because of the crappy 480p screen on my 1080i capable TV. Whats even more frustrating is I can't even use the Wii as a Wireless Pandora box thanks to Opera not utilising the limited amount of memory on the Gamecube Wii well enough, but somehow it manages to play YouTube content.. oh and Last.FM seems to work too.

In any case,wireless on my Wii has never really worked properly, probably due to the advanced setup of my network, or so I assumed until today. I've updated once or twice but its been insanely slow when it has worked and rather than Google for the problem, I've left it as I was really that bothered in the first place. The Virtual Console being the CashCow/joke it is can fuck right off and everything else online-wise is just shit.

I run a Linksys WRT54G with the custom DD-WRT firmware on it.. and what an excellent piece of firmware it is too. My wireless network is setup with Mac filtering and encrypted with WPA and I assumed thats what the Wii was having trouble with... that or the fact I only have about 40% signal strength according to the DD-WRT for the Wii when I tried to fix by assigning an IP address with DHCP.

What I've found worked with the Wii was for me to switch the router to channel 1 and to change the DNS to an external range... *shrugs* .... god knows why it worked but it did... maybe the Gamecube Wii has issues with non-unique channels on a network and doesn't like to query an internal DNS..who knows..

If you are having problems with the Gamecube Wii online with the error codes 52130, 52131 or 52132, you will already know the Nintendo official explanation is practically useless telling you to "ensure your wireless interference is not causing the problem". How exactly could you do that without some advanced tools for detecting the signal strength or noise levels, things that most standard router firmwares don't actually have... and the fucking Gamecube Wii certainly doesn't have anything other than that shitty error code!

The real solution is to try and change you wireless channel to either 1 or 11. Either of those channels should solve any potential interfering external networks as they are solus wireless channels. For some reason my Gamecube Wii spits the dummy out on channel 6.

I also changed my DNS to an external DNS like for example. As I did this at the same time as changing the wireless channel Im not 100% sure which solved it! :) (Im also too lazy to delete one and see it was the other that did it...)

Finally, from a network admin point of view, I would also recommend using static IP addresses, turning off DHCP on your router, setting up Mac filtering and limiting the amount of connections you can have at once to the amount of wireless applications your household needs.

This is just good advice for wireless networking security in general and is infinitely better advice than just turning on encryption and thinking you're secure.. and if you're only using WEP then god help you!

Consider this wireless networking analogy. You have a nightclub with protection to get in. WEP Encryption is like having bouncers on the door that will let you in by SHOUTING the password at them... the trouble is it makes it pretty easy for anyone listening to hear the password, say it to the bouncers and get in.

By turning off DHCP, setting up MAC filtering and limiting the amount of connections you can have, your bouncer has now boosted his IQ by 30 points, putting him just over the "retard" boundary! He now checks peoples membership to the club (MAC filtering), he won't just give out free membership to hot sluts who just asked for a membership card (DHCP) and even knows when the club is full!

You still might want to have a club password that can be either SHOUTED (WEP) or whispered (WPA, WPA2 or ideally WPA2 with RADIUS detection) for that added protection, but if we can limit who we actually let in too, rather than letting any old fool in with the right password, were going to have a much safer nightclub. Encryption will also black out the windows so no-one can see how bad your dancing is from the outside... you can hopefully now see why you might want to learn a bit more about wireless networking, and consider changing your password thats still set to "password"..

The MAC address of the Gamecube Wii can be found in Wii Settings -> Internet -> Console Information.


Anonymous said...

external DNS did it for me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice on changing the DNS. It worked like a charm ... I wasn't able to change the router channel, so the sole DNS change worked.

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