Sega DreamCast Read Issue?

Discussion in 'Other Consoles & Oldies' started by Lucifer666, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. Lucifer666
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    Lucifer666 all the world needs is me

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    The Fourth Dimension
    So today I hooked up my Sega DC of almost 15 years.

    I put a disk in, and the DC doesn't register it.
    I thought maybe the disk is too damaged/scratched, so I tried a bunch of others.

    From my entire collection of about 30 games in pristine condition, only about 5 of them worked, so disk condition isn't an issue.

    I just downloaded and burt Sonic Adventure onto a blank CD-R (the Sega DC has no anti piracy mechanism)

    I put it in while the DC is on, it recognises that a game is in. When I hit play, the DreamCast just resets.

    Also, sometimes when I've actually managed to get into a game, rarely it would just restart randomly during the game.

    What is going on? Is my disk drive faulty? Is there any quick and simple fix to all of this? I'd hate to see my DC go like this.

    Thanks in advance guys
     
  2. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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  3. Gagarin

    Gagarin GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Sorry for hijacking subject, but I have the same problem. I read couple month ago that there is a way to upload different OS to dreamcast and play backups of SD adapters. Did anyone try it?
    My Dreamcast does not boot discs at all :(
     
  4. slingblade1170

    slingblade1170 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Strange issue, I have a dreamcast as well with no reading problems like you guys are having. Does it constantly read those 4-5 games or just sometimes?
     
  5. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Why would you start with a procedure that may very likely cripple the system completely if performed incorrectly and with the wrong tools? The OP should start with simple things.
    • Clean the lens with a cotton bud doused with a tiny bit of high-proof, clean spirit or CD lens cleaner. Often times after a long period of not using the system, the lens is covered with a layer of dust/dirt or becomes otherwise stained which prevents it from properly reading discs, even if it's not visible to the naked eye
    • Check whether or not the disc drive ribbon sits firmly in its slot - often times ribbons become loose which then influences readouts as the lens moves up and down the rails
    • Check whether or not moving the system as it reads the disc, tilting or flipping it has any effect, which may point at damaged rails in the optical drive
    • Use only quality CD-R's for your backups - sometimes Tesco Value discs just "won't" work right and there's very little you can do about it without unnecessarily straining the laser. Cheap discs make poor backups
    Only after you've narrowed down a problem and there is no other solution can you resort to laser calibration, and you shouldn't do it blindly or you expose yourself to the possibility of burning the laser eye and destroying the disc drive irreversibly. Never try to treat an undiagnosed patient and do your best to operate with a scalpel, not a meat cleaver.
     
  6. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Because common sense would do basic checks first and the fact that he mentioned its 15 years old. 99% of the issue would be a laser failure, which is not rocket science to figure out. I own 6 dreamcasts and one since 1998 and its a common issue like with all Dreamcasts and you will see a lot having this issue or had the issue at some point. Google will show this
     
  7. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Its called Dreamshell and its piss poor. I have a SD card and Dreamshell and the compatibility is low and what does work, is not exactly great. Not touched it since the day I got it
     
  8. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    It's not too hard and you don't need to flash anything :)

    I am considering doing it myself, I have 3 Dreamcasts and this seems like a wonderful mod.

    Edit: I did read that you can install it right to the BIOS, so you can flash a Dreamcast... wild lol

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamshell
     
  9. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Yeah, it's practically more of a homebrew loader, only a couple of games work properly and there are some things you could do to improve it like ripping the music out, but that sort of breaks the experience.
    The fact that he's 15 actually increases the possibility that he'll c*ck it up, which is why I'm simply saying that doing some maintenance first before pulling out the big guns would be a better idea. :P I have an incredibly old Dreamcast, but I keep it in good condition and it hardly ever has disc reading issues - practically only when the CD-R is terribad or when the disc is scratched. :) Re-calibrating the laser is a delicate procedure and should be a last resort when nothing else works, performed with extreme caution etc. - it's best if he's aware of the risks before he does it. ;)
    Just as a complete side note, this is a common misconception. Sega Dreamcast does have anti-piracy measures, similar to the Sega Saturn. The reason why some Dreamcasts read backup discs is because they're not burnt as GD-ROM's but as Mil-CD discs, and not all Dreamcasts are compatible with this format.

    Here's a useful list:
    I'm afraid that I can't post the source since it's a ROM site. ;)
     
  10. retrofan_k

    retrofan_k GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Still using Dreamshell, which is crap. Wait for a proper ISO loader that emulates the GD-ROM, which is apparently is being developed similar to the PSX ISO loader that is in alpha/beta stage
     
  11. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    It's in the works, yes, but I'm not entirely sure if it's going to be released. The demand for such hardware for retro consoles is pretty limited, which is a shame because this would be an ideal solution for extending the system's life expectancy substantially, if not almost indefinitely.

    More information here: http://gbatemp.net/threads/dcio-prototype-in-the-making.355314/
     
  12. Dhampir

    Dhampir Junker

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    Realigning my laser worked for me when I had this problem. I followed this guide.
     
  13. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

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    All very true, but it's worth pointing out that the incompatible Dreamcasts seem to be pretty rare.
     
  14. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Still, something worth noting when trying to buy one - better safe than sorry (and very disappointed), right? ;)