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Thread: Trouble playing Dreamcast games - what's the fault?

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    Default Trouble playing Dreamcast games - what's the fault?

    Hi guys,

    I recently bought a Japanese Dreamcast from eBay. I also got 2 games from a seperate seller (Shenmue 2 and Eternal Arcadia).

    Everything seemed okay but unfortunately my games crash.

    I'm trying to determine if the console is at fault or the games?

    I have observed something interesting. Shenmue 2 crashes everytime I get to a certain part of the game (when the kid who stole your bag is going to show you where it is). Would this imply it's a problem with the disc as opposed to console?

    I would appreciate any insights.

    Thanks,

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    first of all, look on youtube on how to clean the laser assembly.
    (don't do this line til last resort: potentiometer calibration if cleaning fails)
    okay, are they retail games? (gdi)
    if so, the only real way to test the disks, is to dump them via sd card, or network stream. (there's other mods to do it, expensive and way off track)
    if the gdi dumps without fail, it's something related to the software/hardware settings.
    if it doesn't, could be a damaged retail, or dirty/screwed lens.
    the spot repeating strikes me as possible done in disk?
    POSSIBLE, NOT certain.
    gdi to sd dumper, get that, and write it to disk (imgburn) and boot it up.
    you will need a serial socket to sd card reader to dump retail disks.
    there's nw options, searches will help if you have a bb card for the dc, otherwise, sd card reader. (internal or external.)
    ....
    of course, if you refer to backup games/RIPS, try other images (cdi/iso) and/or a different media.
    backup games are out of my realm, retail player only. (working on getting gdi-usb)
    ...
    if you can get access to another dreamcast, try the disks on that, if the exact same bs happens there, good chance the retail is dead/bad write for backup.
    all the best!

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    Hi amiga1200, thanks for the reply.

    Yes they are retail games.

    Unfortunately I don't have the tools to burn discs and so on.

    So do you think it might be an issue with the disc? Like I said it always crashes at the same bit.

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    impossible to be certain at this point.
    clean the disk if you haven't done so already.
    the lens may also need a clean. (or tweak if the worst? mail order a new gdi assembly?)
    that's the joys of optical medias, no way to nail it.
    play the game without any progress, it MAYBE a bad save, has been known to happen in rare cases, just that is a straw clutch if ever there was one.
    ...
    if you don't have access to another dc/and or the relative extras, can't say sadly.
    ...
    ask at a dedicated dreamcast forum as well, more the merrier.

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    It could well be the disc itself and sounds that way to be honest

    though yes if you had a CD burner you could play backups with ease on most model Dreamcasts but as you don't no point in going into that

    If we presume the disc is ok though you can try
    1. cleaning the laser lense rubbing alcohol or even nail varnish remover applied with a cotton bud aka cue tip just make sure the thing is dry before trying and discs after (takes seconds)
    2. fine tuning the dreamcasts laser pot, multi meter comes in handy for this but is not required

    google and or youtube the hows if you like, both are simple to do, 2nd is slightly more complex, also avoid turning it too far either way it should only be in very small increments

    Something to think about but there are alternatives to a GD-Rom drive now like the GDemu that is an internal SD card reader and replaces the GD-Rom drive or the GD USB drive that again replaces the GD-Rom drive with a USB port

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    Okay, I've just ordered Blue Stinger. If that doesn't work it's the console.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorlon View Post
    It could well be the disc itself and sounds that way to be honest
    Hi are there any easy methods to clean the disc? It looks in immaculate condition but I could always try.

    I have Mr Muscle and Flash on hand.
    Last edited by Leaf; 27th-October-2016 at 16:09.

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    well if you have already tried cleaning the laser lense that I would personally try first (even if you just use a clean cloth or cue tip/cotton bud with just a dab of water, then dry to do so) especially if the disc looks ok, then look to get a disc cleaning kit or you can use a fine fiber cloth starting from the inside ring (the hole) wipe to the outer of the disc, I tend not to recommend that because if something is on the disc or the cloth you have a chance of creating scratches (be careful of cleaning products though and certainly not rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover on a disc, it will melt)

    you can also ask in second hand stores that sell pre owned CD's DVD's Games ect if they they use a professional disc cleaning machine and if they can offer a disc cleaning service to you as some use high end professional disc cleaners (totally different to what you will find in local stores)

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    Hi Zorlon,

    So I can just use a little water to clean the lens? I could try that.

    Also with the disc, shall I just dab it with water and dry with a tissue? I don't have any cleaning kits and would rather find a solution now instead of ordering one and waiting.

    Thanks guys,

    EDIT - Another thing that might be of note, when I switch my Dreamcast on it takes about a second for the light to come on. Is this normal?
    Last edited by Leaf; 27th-October-2016 at 16:33.

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    could just be a little dusty/dirty inside, it usually is just about instant on normally

    Is there a power difference between Japan and your country, because that could also make a difference


    use a tissue damp then dab if you like then wipe with a dry tissue and dab any more damp left if there is any, the lense is glass you just want to avoid scratching it when you clean it, so as long as it is soft tissue you are fine and make sure no fibers are left behind from the tissue

    what you don't want is water on the inside either so make sure you use a very small amount of water, maybe even make some drips on a serface and use a tissue to pick a single drip up with.

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    check the power coupling, the mains switch block attached to the mains transformer. (two pin rectangle)
    my first dreamcast, had this issue, it's a known possible fault.
    if the power switch coupling isn't properly seated to the mains board, it can arc, bsod the console...
    even cause phantom resets.
    that was an easy fix, made sure it was plugged in correctly.
    ...
    i'm not gonna put out my personal possible solutions, too risky, and not taking responsibility. (dreamcast forum again)
    ...
    found a pair of console maintenance vids, novice/intermediate level.
    NOT my work.
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    Thanks for the advice Zorlon.

    I've experienced a slight progression. I booted up Shenmue 2 again and tried to avoid doing what usually makes it crash. Instead of following the kid I just allowed him to walk away until the game prompted me to replay the scenario.

    By doing this I actually managed to recieve the bag at last, I've never been this far without the game crashing.

    After saving, the Dreamcast reset. It just started up again.

    So does this mean the Dreamcast is at fault? Could it be a lens issue?

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    ^^ see my above.
    it could well be a lens issue?
    perform basic maintenance on the console, preferably by competent personnel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amiga1200 View Post
    check the power coupling, the mains switch block attached to the mains transformer. (two pin rectangle)
    my first dreamcast, had this issue, it's a known possible fault.
    if the power switch coupling isn't properly seated to the mains board, it can arc, bsod the console...
    even cause phantom resets.
    that was an easy fix, made sure it was plugged in correctly.
    Hi. Yes the seller mentioned this, 'PLEASE note - you must use a step down converter with this - it will fry the machine if you don't! Let me know if you need help finding one (they're around £15). Thank you '

    With his guidance I bought one. It seems to be plugged in correctly though.

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    it's not what i meant at all. (staffer covered it as well)
    was referring to the wire that leads from the mains switch IN the console.
    as for the ac/ac converter, can't comment on the adaptor looking things, only know about industrial transformers...bigger scale and heavier loads. (1000gbp upwards boxes, for sensitive gear found in hospitals and the like. same premise.)
    as for what you have, just make sure you DON'T juice 250 of her majesty's horses down it.
    instant mains transformer burnout.
    yes, stick with the ac/ac converter you have, NO UK mains in that puppy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by amiga1200 View Post
    it's not what i meant at all. (staffer covered it as well)
    was referring to the wire that leads from the mains switch IN the console.
    Oh I see now. I think it's plugged in properly.

    I've been making baby steps with my Shenmue 2 progress. I get to play about half an hour at a time before it crashes. Luckily you can save anywhere in this game.

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