Dreamcast - Dreamshell - HDD Assistance


New Member
Aug 18, 2020

First just wanted to say it is an absolute pleasure to be part of this forum with other like minded people. I am hoping someone one here can possibly help me with my frustrating problem with my newly modded Dreamcast. I am reaching out as a lot of members, I’ve noticed, have tons of experience when it comes to modding their dreamcast and I need your help as this is getting very exhausting and frustrating and I can’t seem to boot any game even though they are listed as compatible: Someone please help me?? Thank you!

1. My Dreamcast has the IDE controller attachment on the back (44pin ide) that with an adapter I can connect into a 40pin IDE on the back of a hard drive.

2. I am able to get to the point where I can boot the Dreamcast into Dreamshell just by using the hard drive only. Used the SD card but no longer need that anymore as I have the hard drive access.

3. DreamShell does load up however I then encounter these rather frustrating issues:

a. First, most of my dreamcast games are in CDI format and how do I go about converting them into ISO without running into the black screen issue when I load using the ISO loader.

b. I tried the ISO make pack several versions from the original on the dc-swat.ru website all the way up to v2.4. What is the best procedure to covert from my CDI files (I can mount them using Daemon tools), does it have anything to do with the IP.BIN file, if so, please tell me what to do with this? Or Can someone provide an easy to walk through guide on how to convert CDI mounted images into ISO format for loading off the hard drive, not SD card.

c. I tried converting and creating ISOs using the ISO make pack v2.4 that was provided only to find that when I tried starting them up off the hard drive, they freeze with a black screen and it’s becoming so frustrating. Also these games I am trying DO work because according to the Dreamshell IDE compatibility spreadsheet, they are COMPATIBLE. So I don’t know what I am missing or doing wrong??

d. Also another issue I find is my Dreamshell on Dreamcast keep reverting back to Japan NTSC and anytime I use the Region Changer program to set it to NTSC USA, ENGLISH, still keeps reverting back to JAPAN NTSC format.

e. So I have done all I can and I just want to be able to load all sorts of dreamcast games off my IDE hard drive, not the SD Card (as this is slower due to the Serial Port connection), would someone be able provide a FULL and easy to use GUIDE to me, you can send me a private message or via email if you like that can walk me through the following:

i. USE the ISO Make Pack v2.4 to convert mounted CDI images into ISO images and what to do with IP.bin and 1st_read.bin, am I supposed to use the LBA batch file or the descrambler, any help would be appreciated??

ii. What folder do I put the games onto the hard drive and how to save the region change from Japan NTSC to USA NTSC English, permanently?

4. I noticed that a lot of these posts on this forum is almost 5 to 10 years ago as we are currently in 2020 but I hope I am not too too late in asking some expert advice from people who have had way more experience in booting games off their IDE hard drive dreamcast and being able to play games without any issues, I hope it’s not too late for me to ask this question as I really need some help, desperately!

5. If anyone can please get back to me on any solutions to the above converting CDI to ISO images to properly boot off the hard drive not SD using DreamShell and to permanently change the region from Japan to USA English, I’d be very grateful and thankful. Please help me resolve as this is prob the hardest mod that I have ever done and I keep running into dead ends constantly, so nothing's working.

So please someone help me, I’d be extremely grateful??? !!! Thank you!
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