Dreamcast won't read certain games, even if in near perfect condition

edited December 1969 in Sega Dreamcast
Hi all! I need some help. To explain my story briefly, it didn't read anything so I recalibrated the laser and now it reads games.<br /><br />I've never modded my DC so there isn't any interference in it. <br /><br />However, I'm faced with a strange problem. There are certain games it won't read. I've tried adjusting the laser again but it must've been too close when I did because it didn't even spin the disc so I assume a hardware hack was implemented to prevent disc and lens damage so I put it back and its reading the other games fine still but still not certain games.<br /><br />The games that don't work are Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead II, Virtua Fighter 3TB, Soul Calibur and Mortal Kombat Gold. The only game out of that list that has proper scratches is Virtua Fighter. All the other games are in near perfect condition so I'm very puzzled to why they aren't working.<br /><br />So is there any way to get them working? If they need proper cleaning, what kind of liquids should I use? (white spirits ok to use?).<br /><br />My other option was to buy a new laser but I'm hesitant about that because of the ribbon connected to the drive so can anyone tell me how to remove it and put it back on again because I don't want to risk removing it and then never being able to put it back on again. <br /><br />Thanks.


  • This is a laser issue. Sadly the laser recalibration trick is only a temporary stop gap measure. I do find it interesting that the games you're experiencing trouble with were all initial release titles.<br /><br />As for the laser, don't buy only the laser assembly. If you go the replacement route then replace the entire, modular, GD-ROM Drive. Only has three or four screws holding it in the system and its as simple as plug and play. Otherwise you'll wind up having to perform a messy and delicate proceedure to replace the laser assembly, for which replacement of that alone may not resolve the issue.
  • Well, what about the ribbon though? I mean, isn't that connected to the motherboard?
  • You know what, lucky for you I just remember that I made a guide on how to do this some years back.<br />http://www.segaforums.com/psoarchive/strat/<br /><br />And no, the ribbon cable doesn't connect to the motherboard. It connects to the mainboard of the GD-ROM.
  • see, tweeg is the man. he just happens to remember solutions.
  • Thanks for that guide Tweeg :D. I'd do that but I can't find any GD-ROMs for sale and I noticed that you said in your guide that in order for the swap to work, both consoles have to be either revised editions or pre-revised editions which is a problem for me as I can't really remember when I got my DC. I've had it for some years actually, I can't really remember when I got it but I've checked my save games and nothing dates back before 2001 so I must've at least got it late 2000. <br /><br />I suppose I could ask the seller when he got his and just calculate if its revised or not or would any of you know where I can get a PAL GD-ROM? :).<br /><br />I've found a guy who sells new R48 lenss which is definitely compatible with my console and I was told that its easy to remove the the ribbon cable and put it back on (or as he said, plug out and plug back in) but I wanted to confirm it with you guys if it really is
  • Oh, the label on the bottom of Dreamcast is dated with the month and year of manufacture. Note this picture:<br />label.JPG<br />
  • Yea, my DC has trouble too lately. It sucks...
  • I looked but there is no mention of what series or manufacturing date on it :(. The sticker is there, I didn't remove it but it just says class 1 laser product and shock warning.
  • Ok, I've decided to replace the lens so can anyone tell me the instructions on removing the ribbon cable and putting it back on.
  • Ok, I've noticed something else on the sticker at the top which is the model no. which is HKT-3030 so if I find another dreamcast with this number, would its parts be compatible with mine?
  • HKT-3030 Is the generic model code assigned to all PAL/EU released Dreamcasts. I believe it would work as the only major change made to the PAL/EU systems was that they switched part way through the life-cycle from being made in Japan to being made in Indonesia. Not sure if any of the PAL/EU systems were made in China.<br /><br />For absolute best chance at success I'd attempt to try and match it up with at least another system with the same country of manufacture origin. Those final revision consoles that got released here in the U.S.A. that weren't able to read CD-R's were all made in China.
  • Right, I've decided to go with the lens replacement so can anyone tell me how to do it? I'm aware of the whole ribbon cable problem but are there any guides on how to do it. Thanks.
  • the machines made before 2000 were made in japan for the most which is what i have they also are very capable of playing pirated games. I think of this way i got my dreamcast from a friend who had it for years it'd play none of his games so he bought a new one i got the old one for free it worked for me though some games would not play so to remedy this i pirated the games i had that wouldn't work and they worked like a charm.
  • same kinda problem here...<br />i have a seldom used dreamcast that i recently took outa the closet.<br />i recently got last blade 2 with one light scratch and a few marks and it doesn't read at all. it did manage to play the intro once. i thought the dc was dead, so i poped in project justice for a test run and i have a blast. no last blade 2 though.  wtf<br />same issue with marvel vs capcom. these two game don't work. every other game with scratches work such as jet grind radio. i have about 30+ dc games.<br />so irritating.  :curse:<br />i did manage to test marvel vs capcom on a used black dc, and it didn't work either. disc looks official and has sega enterprise copyright info on read side.<br />so i dunno if there were released games that were defected from the start or if there's something about these discs that get corrupted.
  • Not aware of any data coruption issues. It's just that the discs are super sensitive to scratching due to the physically tighter data density of the discs themselves. There is a problem that tends to creap up with age in the the laser control circuitry that causes it to not be able to focus properly on the GD-ROM data, which is why many disc read error plagued Dreamcasts can still read data from regualar CD's.
  • hummm...<br />i may try to attempt a lens calibration when time allows. thanx 4 info!<br /><br />would you think getting a scratched disc buffed would damage or even destroy the data present on the gd-rom?
  • If you are referring to getting a disc professionally resurfaced then it's worth a shot. I've had about an 80% success rate with the game I got professionally resurfaced.<br /><br />Don't use the home "buffing" units, they will render a GD-ROM disc useless 90% of the time.<br /><br />The two issues here are:<br /><br />1. Resurfacing makes the disc physically thinner in the thickness aspect. In some cases this makes it to where the DC may have an even more difficult time focusing on the data.<br /><br />2.  Disc buffers, such as Disc Doctor, leave visible scratches all oer the discs surface. Adding new scratches rarely fixes the original issue, which is scratches. GD-ROM data is stored on less physical space, so the laser must focus on a far more fine point than it would need to for a standard CD/CD-ROM disc. Even the smallest scratch can be harmful for a GD-ROM disc.
  • I too noticed this I had to replace about 6 dc games that wouldn't work cause of light scratches, luckily the 20 or so games I own right now all work
  • If you go the replacement route then replace the entire, modular, GD-ROM Drive. Only has three or four screws holding it in the system and its as simple as plug and play. Otherwise you'll wind up having to perform a messy and delicate proceedure to replace the laser assembly ugg boots classic, for which replacement of that alone may not resolve the issue.<br /><br />fine....
  • What is this, a smart bot? I am not clicking that link.
  • LOL. Ugg boots will help your Dreamcast for sure.
  • Did it at least know what it what talking about?
  • My dreamcast doesn't play sonic adventures, but crazy taxi works. those are the only 2 games I have.<br />I'm ready to find a new game or burn SA to another disc or I NEED ADVICE <br /> :crap: stupid computer...
  • I have a dream cast which doesn't play sonic adventures. It's the only game i have besides crazy taxi.<br />Info: Manufacture date is 1999 october,model is HKT-3020,white,new 72 pin connector,(72 pin connector I was kidding, thats an NES.)I canhack it if i need to.
  • Your disks regional settings may be different from the machines. Thats all I can think of, Tweeg might have more.
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