View Full Version : Dreamcast disc reading and reliability

01-06-2020, 06:40 PM
Hey guys, I haven't posted here in forever but I lurk pretty often. I dug my Dreamcast out after not playing it for years and started getting into the homebrew scene. I am really enjoying the system and games but find my Dreamcast isn't as reliable as it used to be. It plays all the homebrew games no problem but is very picky about original games. Neither of the Tony Hawk games will play and I just got a nice looking Hydro Thunder that won't start up at all. Others start up but have issues. The discs have faint scratches but nothing deep or bad looking.

Basically I'm wondering if this happens with all of them or if some models are more reliable than others? I would like to pick up a second system and see if it will play more of these games. I'm interested in the black Sega Sports one. Not sure if those are better or worse?

I'm used to cartridges being nice and reliable and it is frustrating not knowing if a game is going to work when you buy it online. I don't want to give up on the Dreamcast as I'm enjoying it but any help on looking for a better one would be appreciated.

01-07-2020, 05:32 AM
What issue do you have? A very simple and common problem, is the lid closed switch which don't do contact correctly.
Generally in this case the console randomly turn back into the main menu, like if the lid was opened. In this case try to play by keeping the lid pushed down.
Just start by cleaning a bit the power contacts. The DC is very susceptible to this small problems.

With original games, you mean original GD-rom right? Not original games on burned CR-R.

01-07-2020, 05:08 PM
You could go tje whole hog and get an ODE, there are a couple to choose from. I'd higjly recommend one, I use the GDEMU.

01-13-2020, 12:24 AM
I think this ended up being more of an issue of there being a problem with the early copies of Hydro Thunder. Now my system seems to play everything most of the time except Hydro Thunder and the Tony Hawk games. Sometimes the other games will play but the music won't work. I'm mainly a Genesis guy and not used to the problems with cd games. Still thinking about buying a black Dreamcast to have an extra and I've always thought those ones looked cool.

01-13-2020, 12:43 AM
There was a batch of early DC games that didn't have a protective coating. A simple scratch could pretty much make the games unplayable. Ready 2 Rumble boxing had a re-issue that had that protective coating. It was labeled as "All new".

01-13-2020, 04:01 AM
Disc reading is usually very reliable if the discs are okay (little to no scratches) and not dirty and the lens is clean in my experience and I have a couple of Dreamcast consoles that all work about the same in that regard. The Dreamcast isn't very tolerant of scratches as some other game consoles of the era were but depending on the game it might not even be an issue.

If a game is giving you trouble and has light scratches and you can't see light shining through the disc when held up to a lamp than you can take your discs into a record store or used video game shop that re-surfaces CDs for a small fee.

That said, if you got a nice clean original copy of Sonic Adventure with no scratches and the music doesn't skip than the laser is a-okay.

Virtua Hunter
01-13-2020, 04:46 PM
I have one DC game, disc is just pristine apart one scratch near the center (where the OS-boot data is stored), it only boot 1 time on 10-20 tries :(

01-13-2020, 05:21 PM
I have one DC game, disc is just pristine apart one scratch near the center (where the OS-boot data is stored), it only boot 1 time on 10-20 tries :(

Well, that might be where the problem is, either you're unlucky to have a picky DC or that scratch really is the problem.

01-13-2020, 09:46 PM
I have one DC game, disc is just pristine apart one scratch near the center (where the OS-boot data is stored), it only boot 1 time on 10-20 tries :(

My copy of WWF Attitude is like that, though there are no particularly serious looking scratches. It takes about half a dozen tries to get it to boot. Also, my PAL launch day copy of Virtua Fighter 3tb has always had freezing problems when playing the bonus videos. The reason is probably that the disc looks like Swiss cheese when held up to the light.