The good news is that Nintendo, even though my Wii's warranty expired about two years ago, is fixing my console and replacing my Black Ops disc for free.
Over at my clan's forum (I am the founder of the Gunslingers), I have been sharing my positive experience with as much detail as possible with my fellow clanmates so, if they should have the misfortune of having the same fatal disc reading errors, they can arm themselves with the correct information and not be stuck with either a repair bill or a permanently damaged Nintendo Wii console. BJS, a GS* Leader, pointed out to me that the Nintendo Wii Black Ops community at large has been going back and forth about the subject matter, and the information may be helpful for all Wii gamers. He was far too polite to start that statement with, "Hey, Selfish Bastard..."
That said, all the following information is derivative of me speaking directly with a Nintendo Wii representative. I do realize there is a lot of conflicting information about Black Ops and Wii console failures floating around. All I can vouch for is of my own personal experience on the matter and that I have, indeed, had my shipping, console's repair fees, and replacement copy of Black Ops paid for by Nintendo. I hope anyone in a similar situation as me finds the following information helpful. Here is what I have been told by a Nintendo Rep:
1.) Nintendo has an open case on Black Ops. Prior to mentioning that I was playing Black Ops when the disc reading errors occurred, the Nintendo representative was recommending that I purchase a Nintendo endorsed cleaning kit and see if that corrected the issue. If it didn't correct the problem, I would pay $75 plus shipping fees (since my system's one-year manufacture's warranty had expired) to send it to a Nintendo repair shop for them to replace the disc drive. When I finally mentioned the game, the Nintendo Representative said, "Wow. You should have told me you owned Black Ops."
2.) Nintendo will repair a Wii system for FREE if the damage is caused by Black Ops. They will pay for Fed Ex Express shipping. They will pay for replacing the disc drive in the Wii System. They will send it back with a new copy of Black Ops [This claim by Nintendo proved to be false. See "Final Update" section below for details.]. Why? Nintendo acknowledges that, although this is damage caused by third party software and my warranty has expired, it is software that is legal and bearing the "Official Nintendo Seal." According to the representative, they have had a multitude of similar cases in relation to Black Ops and, in his words, "Activision has caused us a lot of problems with Black Ops."
3.) Disc Drive Errors relating to Black Ops are NOT due to faulty Nintendo Wii consoles. Other sources have claimed that disc drive crashes have occurred only with Wii consoles with pre-existing issues or customer mishandling. Nintendo disagrees. In contrast, the Nintendo representative said certain copies of Black Ops can "put the final nail in the coffin" for older Nintendo Wii consoles, and shorten the lifespan of new Wii consoles due to frequent game freezes. Nintendo believes this is the case to such a degree that it is fixing disc drives at its own cost and seeking reimbursement by Activsion on the back end of the process.
4.) Nintendo will not fix the problem if it sees software or hardware mods installed. The free fix of the disc drive errors is not applicable if the company's techs notice software or hardware mods/hacks installed on the system, regardless if Black Ops is the cause or if you are still under your manufacture warranty.
If you are a Nintendo Wii Black Ops player and have had the misfortune to have the game cause a disc drive failure, these are the steps in which to get your system fixed, shipped, and get a new copy of Black Ops for free:
A.) Call the Nintendo Tech Line: 1-800-895-1672
B.) Tell them that you have done the troubleshooting recommended in your Nintendo Wii User Manual and the "Disc Could Not Be Read" error message still persists.
C.) Tell them that the issue occurred while playing Black Ops. At this point, the Tech should acknowledge that Nintendo will fix the issue for free.
D.) After giving the appropriate contact information, Nintendo will send you a pre-paid Fed Ex Express shipping label to your email address that you will print out.
E.) You will use that label to send just the Nintendo console (i.e.: no accessories or cables) boxed up and the Black Ops game disc in a Ziplock back.
F.) Nintendo claims that, for United States customers, you will get your fixed system and new copy of the game in two-to-three weeks, and in less time for California residents because the main repair shop is based in California.
G.) Because Nintendo is well aware of the nature of the disc drive errors relating to Black Ops, representatives are fairly sure that game data and saved files will not be lost in the repair process.
Again, I hope those of you Wii players in a similar situation have found the information of use.
[ Source & Updates - http://www.gunslingergaming.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=145&t=3769 ]
Final Update (1/20/2011): My Nintendo Wii console is fixed, plugged in, and already had a few test drives. I am happy to report that nearly all of the Nintendo Representative's promises came to being. Below is a bit of a finalized checklist of the initial claims made by Nintendo on the service call I had with them and the end result.
[+] - Initial claims matches end result.
[-] - Initial claims did not match end result.
[N/A] - Information present during end result not discussed in initial claims.
[+] Cost of Repair - The repair and shipping costs were indeed completely paid for by Nintendo. Coupled with the fact that my warranty has been expired for quite some time, this seems to confirm Nintendo's claim that they have an open case with the Black Ops game.
[+] Process Time - Nintendo said it would take 2-3 weeks for the entire process (including shipping to and from the repair shop), and even shorter for California residents. I sent out my console on 1/14/2011 and had it arrive via UPS at 4:30pm (Pacific) on 1/19/2011. That is a five day difference, which is even more impressive if one factors in that two of those days were over a weekend.
[+] Repairing the Disc Drive - Nintendo did, in fact, replace the disc drive in my Nintendo Wii console (Part # 61968, Console Assy White RVL). I have tested and confirmed the repairs.
[-] A Black Ops Replacement Disc - The disc sent with the repaired console appears to be the same game disc of Black Ops that I sent with the repair. According to the Wii log (accessed via the Wii Calendar at the bottom corner of the Wii Lobby screen), the Nintendo technicians had only tested out Black Ops in the console for one minute on 1/17/2011. Nintendo claimed that only certain copies of the game has created disc drive failures, and, due to that, I would be getting a replacement copy of Black Ops. In the description field for services performed (located on the Work Order receipt), it only noted "Exchanged System" and "Test & Insp to MFG Specs." There was no mention of disc exchange. The proceeding details seem to support the opinion that disc drive failures are more likely caused by the software creating undue and exaggerated wear and tear on the disc drive, not because of a specific glitch found on a certain generation of disc production. If true, it does not speak well for any Nintendo Wii owner currently playing Black Ops.
[N/A] Renewed Warranty - The repair comes with a one year warranty on the new disc drive. A new serial number issued for the console and a service guarantee is printed on the work order receipt. Additionally, a sticker reading, "This product has been individually inspected and tested to ensure it is of the highest quality and comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty," was placed on the the packaging sleeve wrapped around the Nintendo console.
[+] Game Data Would Be Saved - The Nintendo Representative claimed, because they knew that the damage was created by Black Ops, he was fairly certain that game data would not need to be wiped during the repair process. That claim was true. All my saved progress for all my games were still saved on the Nintendo Wii console.
[N/A] Miscellaneous Adjustments - There were a few things I needed to regain/reset after hooking up the system. I had to sync the Wiimotes, reset the Wii's clock, re-establish internet connection settings (my saved internet settings profiles were still there but it was set on a temporary one created by the techs), and re-download my Wii Channels from the Wii Shop, such as the Internet, Nintendo, Everyone Votes, Netflix, etc. With that in mind, I would recommend moving all the games you have downloaded from the Nintendo Shop onto a SD card prior to sending it out for repair because you will need to take the time to re-download those as well. A quick way to do that is to click the "Titles You've Downloaded" button on the front page of the Wii Shop menu. You just go down the list and download them again. You are NOT being charged again; once initially purchased, a person can delete and re-download the games they bought as many times as he/she wish.