Hardware Which Disc Drive Works best with Older/Worn GC discs?

Sallyquent

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2 years ago, our family Wii's disc drive broke after some soft-resetting on SSBB, so recently we decided to replace it with a new one we ordered. It ran Brawl and newer/better condition Gamecube discs alright, but some of our older and most played games (some which are not even worn out at all) would give errors, so we decided to send it back and now we're unsure of which one to get instead. I have a theory that because the ribbon cable connecting to the lens/laser on the new one we ordered is smaller than the one that was in the original drive our Wii was using, it is operating with less data or power running through the cable making it less able to scan through the scratches on our older/most used discs. However, the thing that confuses me is that some of the disc drives listed on Amazon have Lenses/PCBs that look just like our old one use to, but specifically say they are "unable to play older Gamecube games", which makes me wonder if my theory is accurate.

I did some research on this site called wiidrives as to which type we were we using originally because before it could read some of our Gamecube discs with absolutely no errors and even read those with errors better than this new one we got - and I discovered that after a time we sent our Wii for repair, they replaced the disc drive with a newer D3-2 type. The kind we ordered was a D4, which is overall newer and smaller. Which kind do you all think will work best with these few old discs? They did bring some errors on the original drive we had in the Wii by the way, like for instance, on Mario Party 5 getting on a Bowser space would bring about an error so we'd have to try our best to avoid him, but I know they generally worked better, because some of them had no issue at all. Do you think my theory about the laser is right and we just need to get that same type again? Or is there some other reason these Gamecube games didn't work (Wii games worked fine on D4 drive by the way) and don't work on drives that look the same as our old one?
 
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KleinesSinchen

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First of all: I do not know if any type of Wii disc drive is considered to be better in reading original discs than others. Most troubles I heard of were about dual layer discs like SSBB, not GameCube which are all single layer. The drives from the Wii consoles without official GameCube functionality are not able to mount mini-DVD on a physical level.

From my experience GameCube and Wii drives are in general not very good at reading damaged discs (and burned media). Taking age and possibly countless hours of operation in account this gets even worse. I own one GameCube disc that none of my consoles (different drive types) was able to read – forcing me to use an LG-8164b and Rawdump on a Windows XP computer to successfully rip it.

The only occasion where I use the Wii disc drive is when I get a new game – to copy it on HDD. The games load faster, don’t have any read errors, the discs don’t scratch up and the laser does not wear down.

If your Wii does not read discs for whatever reason it is most likely cheaper to get another console than ordering multiple drives and trying to get it working again.
 
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Sallyquent

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Well, the plan was, actually, to use Cleanrip on the Gamecube games that didn't work and make copies, but when I tried it, would stop halfway and say, 'No Seek Complete' (whatever that means) or 'Kernel Read Error'. This is why I think it's the smaller sized laser because there are certain games that I feel like would have ripped easily before our drive broke - like Mario Party 6 for instance. I don't ever remember that having trouble on our Wii system (except on our Gamecube it once had a muted audio glitch) but on the D4 drive it wouldn't boot up at all - whereas our oldest and most scratched - up disc of all would actually get pretty far. (on D4 drive) so I do think, actually that there is a difference between the types of drives and how well they are able to read the discs. Actually I think I just figured it out - The ones on Amazon that say they can't read Gamecube discs are probably pulled out from used Wiis and are wearing out a little bit, although they do say they're new - I don't know - but really, there has to be a drive that can function more like the one we use to use.. so does anyone has anything else to say before I look for one that is closest to our old one?
 

Naendow

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I think the best idea would be to dump the games on another Wii and play it from Nintendont after that. As far as I know every Wii drive is doing pretty much the same job as long as you use the original disc.
 
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KleinesSinchen

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You don't think that there is any difference between the drives, though?

Honestly: I don’t know.

What I do know is that optical discs of any kind may look fairly good (not badly scratched) for our eyes and drives still are not able to read them – and vice versa.

My experience is that gaming consoles in general are not good at reading damaged discs while full-sized PC drives (not laptop) often gave me better results. If no other Wii/GameCube will read the disc(s) in question, you may have more success with one of the compatible LG drives mentioned here: https://wiki.gbatemp.net/wiki/RawDump
Be aware that all these are fairly old (IDE) drives.

Capturing the condition of this DVD with a scanner was not easy. In reality the disc looks much worse. (No, I was not the one who did this to the poor DVD!)

PlayStation2_DVD.jpg


  • The PlayStation 2 was able to start the game. Loading took forever and it crashed soon.
  • A computer drive made some funny noise as if it wanted to say “You got to be kidding me!” but read the disc from the beginning to the end (and made a fully working copy).

In the worst case you might need to replace the disc(s) – or download the games from illegal sources. Downloading games you paid for is still illegal but I personally would not have a bad feeling about this. Do not ask where to obtain copyrighted material as this is against the forum rules.
 
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Sallyquent

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Hrm.. well, I hate to say it, but we're going to need a new disc drive anyways as I damaged both the new disc drive and our original one trying to swap the PCBS - the wires connecting to both motors need to be soldered back on. I guess if a new one still doesn't read those handful of games like the old one use to then I'll consider getting one of those PC disc drives or maybe a new lens for the Gamecube.. I just thought I'd clarify if anyone else thinks or knows there to be a reason why this D4 drive we got doesn't seem to perform as well as the D3 D-2 drive we use to use did. We had been playing these games on our old, failing Gamecube in the time the Wii wasn't working, and we can't help but wonder if maybe our method of trying to get them to read by manually spinning the discs and closing the lid with the power on wore them out. Also, I'd just like to mention that the D4 drive we got is suppose to be largely 'based' on the components of the D3 D-2 drive - which is the one we use to use - and yet it didn't work the same, the only real difference being the smaller sized PCB and lens cable.
 

ChibiMofo

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Keep in mind that the last Wiis (the Wii Mini and all sold after Nov 2011) could not read Gamecube discs at all. They did not have the mechanism inside the drive for grabbing the smaller Gamecube discs as that would have been pointless since those Wiis could not play Gamecube games and did not have Gamecube ports. So hopefully the newer (and smaller) drive you ordered is not one of those.

Given how easy it is to find GCISO's on even the Internet Archive of all places, I'm not sure why you'd fuss with all of this though. There are easier and more reliable ways to play GC games on Wii here in 2019.
 
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Sallyquent

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I think it was intended for newer Wiis, but like I said it was based off D3 D-2 and that could do Gamecube - and it DID do Gamecube for us, but just not our most used discs. You know, there are also a lot different types of lasers that all these different drives use, regardless of whether they are in drives that look the same as ours - and I think that's probably what it is, because it's really the only part that comes in direct contact with the scratched discs. I guess my question should have been which LENS works better with old/worn Gamecube discs, but who would really know that - I'm sure not too many people have more than Wii and are keeping in check with the serial code printed on each one. I suppose the safest bet would be to just find one with the same serial as ours if that's what worked before. And by the way, I know that it would be easier to rip the games and play them on Nintendont, and I tried to do that, actually, but the reason I would rather get a Wii disc drive that can read these old discs is because we want to play all our Gamecube discs and all of our Wii discs on the same system where all of our Wii save data is and it's kind of hard to get them all out and onto a Wii U. And, I can sort of only afford one thing at a time - so if we get the PC drive won't we only be able to back up Gamecube discs and not Wii discs? I guess if it does, I would have to try and transfer all the save data anyway, but I sort of feel like it might be easier to just try to find another drive similar to the one we use to have that ran some of these discs fine.
Keep in mind that the last Wiis (the Wii Mini and all sold after Nov 2011) could not read Gamecube discs at all. They did not have the mechanism inside the drive for grabbing the smaller Gamecube discs as that would have been pointless since those Wiis could not play Gamecube games and did not have Gamecube ports. So hopefully the newer (and smaller) drive you ordered is not one of those.

Given how easy it is to find GCISO's on even the Internet Archive of all places, I'm not sure why you'd fuss with all of this though. There are easier and more reliable ways to play GC games on Wii here in 2019.
e
 
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