The Dreamcast Trouble Page
On & off, my Dreamcast would occasionally reset back to the Dreamcast logo screen right in the middle of a game, without any warning whatsoever. At first I thought it was something wrong with the game I was playing, but it wasnít. This went on for a few weeks, until one day, I decided to crack out Dead Or Alive 2, and it wouldnít go past the Tecmo screen. I couldnít think what the heck was wrong. I cleaned the laser, the games nothing seemed to work.
Lucas wrote to me, saying that he had trouble with his Dreamcast also. Hereís what he said:
i read your sdc troubles section and had trouble with mine just 2 weeks ago. it kept on freezing as soon as the action started. it could go through 15 mins of titles screens but as soon as you pressed start and the gameplay began... splat. no moving image. i solved it with the help of an ebayer who advised i blow hard on the hole where the fan is? and it worked.
Thanks for your info, Lucas. It sounds like your fan jammed up, which is bad news. I think the fan may be connected to the cooling pipes in the Dreamcast also that contain that liquid for the SH-4 & the Power VR. But donít quote me on that one.
Iíve also had some trouble with V-Rally 2: Expert Edition the disc seems to be a bit iffy. If you have any info on bodgy discs, and the like, Iíd like to hear from you on that too. Currently I can only recommend fixing scratches with a proper method that fills in the cracks. Please remember also that the Dreamcast has 2 soft pads inside that may brush on the disc to prevent it from being scratched on the plastic. So if you do use anything to fill in the gaps, keep in mind that if it hasnít or doesnít dry properly, it may rub off into the Dreamcast itself. Sega recommends a commercial CD cleaner, but be warned, some can make the discs worse than they already were. You might want to consider taking it to a place that professionally resurfaces the GD.
Also note that you canít easily back up your Dreamcast discs, simply by whacking them into the computer. Most computer CD drives wonít go near the game area because they already detect the end of the data area on the 1st part of the disc. This is followed by audio & finally the game data, which may also include further audio tracks. In some instances on the outer area, there may be data, followed by audio, followed by more data. Due to the constant speed nature of the Dreamcastís drive, itís apparently necessary to put some files that need faster access on the outer part of the GDs. The game data area also has finer tracks than standard CDs.
There are ways to make a backup of your Dreamcast games, but due to the amount of piracy that goes on, I wonít be listing anything about it. Steer clear of these rip off companies that claim they have software to back up your video game discs, and DVDs to CDs also. Some are so obviously bodgy, and I even saw one that claimed you could play PS 2 games on your XBOX and the XBOX games on the PlayStation 2 & even the Dreamcast! Yeah, right If you think thatís a laugh, one even claimed to back up PlayStation 3 games! That might be alright if the console actually existed. (At the time I wrote this, it didnít.) One site even claimed to have (& I quote): GAME-SWITCH SOFTWARE - X Box, Gamecube, PS, PS2 Games will play on any game console! Mmm, really? Well, I sure would like to see Dead Or Alive 3 running on my Atari 2600. Now is that false advertising or what?
My latest problem is that my GD-ROM drive has failed. Although Iím not exactly sure what component died. Anyway, the motor no longer spins the disc round, and on my last usage it made one of those all too familiar smells of something getting fried. Now Iím on the look out for a good condition 2nd hand Dreamcast for spare parts. Although I need to see it working 1st, which may be a problem. Hmmm. And if I have no luck, I guess Iíll have to find a replacement drive on the ínet somewhere. Luckily the GD-ROM drives are as easy as pie to remove from the console. My one required the removal of 3 screws and a a lift on the right hand side with the screw driver to separate the socket dealie.
If youíve discovered any other faults with your own beast, send me some e-mail, and Iíll include other problems on the page. If you know solutions to the problems, then thatís an added bonus.