Do optical drives in older consoles have bad quality/error tolerance?

KleinesSinchen

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Are optical drives in older consoles not as good as those in computers, particularly full-sized computer drives, not slim laptop versions (which also gave me trouble sometimes)? Why did I get this impression? I’m not talking about problems like GameCube not properly detecting (never intended to work) DVD-R, requiring laser tweaks. No, original pressed discs for the consoles.
I got a lot of my games very cheaply used and often in bundles. So it is no surprise some game discs came in very bad condition – scratched up. In my experience consoles handle scratched games very poorly.

  • Mickey’s Wild Adventure (I think it was Mickey Mania in the US region), PlayStation 1
  • Winx Club (PlayStation 2 DVD)
  • Resident Evil Zero (GameCube)
All of these discs look horrible! The games loaded, but had long loading times, stuttered and crashed soon. None of my PlayStation consoles was able to correctly play the games. On one console I’m very confident to say that the laser is almost good as new; never has had any problems with good discs.
No Wii or GameCube was able to rip Resident Evil Zero with CleanRip.
Consoles: Three times fail. (Or even more as I tried multiple units of each console type)

Put the heavily scratched discs into computer drives:
  • Mickey Mouse: Drive went to full rotation speed and read without struggling from beginning to the end. Burned to CD-R → Works like a charm on PS1.
  • Winx Club: Same as above. Ripping at full speed, ESR Patcher, DVD-R → Works.
  • Resident Evil: Compatible old IDE drive by LG was able to rip the disc (Redump verified). It took a lot of time, but this is expected when dumping GC/Wii discs.
PC drives: Three times success.
Consoles are also made for children. Many children are not exactly known for being very careful, so I expected the consoles to be fault tolerant and have good readers and error correction. But to me it seems consoles can handle way less errors than a CD/DVD-drive in PCs. Those drives can be bought for less than €15 new sometimes.



Am I missing something here? Do you have similar experiences – or do you disagree? Anybody got actual facts about this?
I would be grateful for any information/stories/experiences.
 
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tmnr1992

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The first console with a disc drive that a bought was a PS1. It lasted 5 years playing discs fine, after that the games would have audio and graphical issues, take a very long time to load or just not load at all

I also bought a Gamecube brand new and it went bad after a few months, most games would crash at a specific point or have glitches, although I suspect the problem was not the disc reader because text would look garbled in the console's menu. I bought another one not long after that, and it lasted more than 4 years of frequent use, then I stored it for about 6 years, and then my brother used it for another 3 years, so that's 7 years of almost daily use.

My Wii is the one that has lasted the least, the disc drive only worked for 2 years. Six months after that the bluetooth module died as well. But by replacing the module and using an HDD to load games I continued to use the console for another 7 years, then I put it away after getting a Wii U, but it still works to this day.

So from my experience disc drives are very inconsistent. They either last a very long time, or die very soon.
 
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Hello.:)

Experiences from my Console "Archive":

- 3 PSX (different Modells) with Modchip - reading perfect when burned with
these
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B076KVMCC4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0000AKGUN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Verbatim CD-R and 4x Speed.
8x and 16xSpeed is also working.
Making Backup´s from Original PSX Games is not really hard with todays Tools/CD/DVD Readers/Burners.
I can say,never had Issues with the PlayStation (1).:)

That was the "good" Part.

- Dreamcast - All of my 3 GD-ROM (1xYamaha / 2xSamsung) Drives are near finished....also used the Verbatim CD-Rs with 4x.
"Normal" Rips/Redumps that fit on that 700 MB CD-R are still working.
But using bigger ones like this
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0002U9RQQ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
because of "bigger" Dreamcast Images and non of the Drives are longer able to read it.
After using such burned CD-R I have to use the Calibration Disc and after that it is a 50/50 Percent Change,the Drives are working again.Manual Laser Calibration (with the Screw) is also no longer working.
And by the Way - the loudest Drives from all.....
So I changed to the GD-EMU Way.:)

- PlayStation 2 - From the FAT Modells all Drives are still working reliable for Original Games.
With Scratches on the Disc they are sometimes "freezing/hanging"
Backup DVDs with ESR Patch are also working.Only using Verbatim DVD-R burned with 4x Speed.
I have changed here the Games Loading to the HDD Way.
Making Backups from Original Games are also not really hard with todays PC Drives/Tools.

The Slim Modell with Modchip works near perfect.Reading really everything (CD-Rs/DVD-Rs and Original Games of Course).

- GameCube - No longer in use.Honestly I do not remember on any Troubles for the Game Ripping Process with CleanRip after built in a Xeno GC Chip.
The only really reliable Mini DVD-Rs were these Verbatims
https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B000E6HFXA/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
burned with 4x Speed.No other miniDVD-Rs are working for me (DRE Error).
I have never tried to Rip a Gamecube Game on the PC (because of no really compatible AND working LG Drive)

- Wii
Verbatims with 4x Speed but not really use Discs.All Wii´s which are capeable to read DVD-Rs Drives are still working.
Since I had a Wii -> always USB Game Loading.:lol:
Ripping/installing Original Games with USBLoader GX or Configurable USBLoader MOD.
Game Disc Reading works good (since we know we have to change the Loader´s IOS).:D

- Xbox (First Modell)
Always installed Original Games with DVD2Xbox on the modded/bigger HDD (Drive "Reliability" a few lines further)
"Other Stuff" transferred with FTP Tools.
Never ripped a Original XBox Game (I think it needs a special DVD Drive/Brand with a special Firmware).
Never burned a Game/ISO.
Actual I have only 1 - 2 really working DVD Drives left....
Strange,these Drives are "modifed" PC Drives and were the Drives from all my Consoles with the highest failure Rate.
Did some Cleaning/Laser Calibration......:sad:
Thompson - all "dead" now.
Philips - very unreliable and no longer in use
Samsung - Best but only 1 Drive left.
Hitachi/LG - also only one in Stock but still working great.
One Modified PC LG GDR-8163B Drive also still in use and working.


In total,my personal Experience:
The GameCube Drive was the worst optical Drive Experience (maybe Thompson for the XBox too) when it comes to Backup Games.:)


Thank you.:)
 
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KleinesSinchen

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playstation is notorious for dre (disc read errors). I think there was even a lawsuit regarding it for both ps1 and ps2.
Would be interesting if you (or anybody) got a source for this.

@tmnr1992
Drives wearing down is yet another big problem and I don't think there is much that can be done. Yet again I can say that I've never seen a worn full-sized drive on a computer – even when in use almost daily.

@alexander1970
Don't have any XBox. That is sad result.

- PlayStation 2 - From the FAT Modells all Drives are still working reliable for Original Games.
With Scratches on the Disc they are sometimes "freezing/hanging"
So you got the same problem as I did.
In total,my personal Experience:
The GameCube Drive was the worst optical Drive Experience (maybe Thompson for the XBox too) when it comes to Backup Games.*****
GameCube and DVD-R aren't a loving couple. Frequent DRE.
==============

Thanks for the replies and the experiences.

Of course it is the best to retire the drives nowadays and use some other method of loading games (ODE, USB, network, SD2SP2…). But just think back to the time those consoles were new. There was no alternative. My impression is that some scratches can ruin the very expensive game discs from the perspective of the consoles while they are technically still readable. Combined with the copy protection not allowing to just put in backups by default this is simply not okay.
Maybe Nintendo was right after all when sticking with cartridges on the N64. Those things are almost like tanks.
 
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godreborn

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Would be interesting if you (or anybody) got a source for this.

this is taken from wiki:

upload_2021-5-2_7-19-48.png
 

Silent_Gunner

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Optical Drive Emulators should be used to replace disc drives in all of the old consoles.

I understand that discs are cheaper than cartridges, but honestly, given how modern games don't even have a functioning full game on the disc proper without a Day 1 update, I seriously think we should go back to cards/cartridges as opposed to relying on a piece of equipment with a lot of moving parts that, should something go wrong, the entire system's functionality goes out the window without hacking it.
 

godreborn

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Optical Drive Emulators should be used to replace disc drives in all of the old consoles.

I understand that discs are cheaper than cartridges, but honestly, given how modern games don't even have a functioning full game on the disc proper without a Day 1 update, I seriously think we should go back to cards/cartridges as opposed to relying on a piece of equipment with a lot of moving parts that, should something go wrong, the entire system's functionality goes out the window without hacking it.

I know a lot of people were excited when we found out the switch would be using cartridges. I think a lot of people miss them.
 

FAST6191

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Varies with model within the range, even more so if you did want to ponder hacks and burned discs (see original xbox for one there).
First gen if they were ironing out kinks in the process and general approach, especially for Sony when they were trying to flog their formats and media playing options ( https://techcrunch.com/2006/11/06/sonys-phil-harrison-talks-playstation-3-shortages/ ), then tended to see failure rates allowed to be higher.
As time wore on, supplies got better and demand went down a bit then quality control tended to get better.

Compared to standalone full fat PC drives of the comparable timeframe. Most of those by this point were burners so there is that to consider in this. However generally PC stuff blew it out of the water by about mid PS1 (early PS1 stuff we generally saw a lot of burners with lifetimes around a year) -- but for a bit of dust on the lens many such things for me still work, no shocker at all to find consoles seriously troubled. Read quality even with lifetime was usually better -- I had plenty of discs with read errors on consoles rip just fine at several times the console's max read speed.
 
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