View Full Version : Trouble reading burned discs

August 3rd, 2010, 20:06
Hello all, and thanks in advance for your help. I've been interested in the homebrew scene for Dreamcast for quite a while, but haven't been able to get everything working. After my most recent attempt (which seems very close to working), I figured I should ask for some help.

I'm using my old Dreamcast that I got for Christmas back in the day. It was manufactured in September, 1999 and is labeled "(1) NTSC U" on the sticker. From what I've gathered looking around this site and others, it should be perfectly capable of reading from CD-Rs and running homebrew software.

I have no interest in playing pirated games or running anything illegal on my Dreamcast - I'm rather proud of my DC game collection, gathered over the years through clearance sales and ebay. I've been drawn to the homebrew scene this time by the concept of being able to launch minigames from my VMUs on my television (specifically Chao Adventure 2), as my VMUs are once again out of battery power and I dislike having to get rather expensive replacement batteries just for the sake of naming my chao in SA2!

(I assume that Dream Explorer (http://bswirl.kitsunet.org/vmutool/release/about/) is legal and within the rules of this site. I apologize if it is not)

I've been using the guide on the Dream Explorer site for burning a selfboot image (http://bswirl.kitsunet.org/vmutool/release/help/burncd.php), but I can't get the disc to read on my Dreamcast. I've tried a few brands of CD-R, including some printable discs and others, but nothing has worked so far. At best, the Dreamcast starts to read from the disc, makes some (slightly concerning) throttling noises, then gives up and goes to the system menu. The noises from the reader sound like it's straining while trying to read from the same spot on the disc. A different disc resulted in a black screen following the Dreamcast logo and what seemed to be (rather loud) loading noises, but the system quickly reset itself. I've been hesitant to poke around with it myself as I don't want to wear out or break the reader.

Does anyone have any tips or thoughts about what might be wrong? Do any brands of CD-R work better than others? Have I misidentified my Dreamcast's model? Should I be concerned by the loud noises from the disc reader (it's pretty noisy with official discs too)? Are there repairs or modifications (i.e. replacing the internal battery) I could do to help it work?

Thanks in advance for any help!

August 3rd, 2010, 22:08
I did some more searching around these forums and decided to try cleaning the laser with some alcohol and clearing out some of the dust inside the system. Lo and behold, it seems to be working now!

I just took out the four screws that hold the case together and carefully blasted the insides with a can of compressed air, making sure to clear out the fan and the area around the laser. The laser itself I cleaned by dipping a Q-tip in isopropyl alcohol and gently wiping the lens. After everything was put back together, it worked like a charm!

Sorry if I wasted anyone's time here. Perhaps this info someone will be able to solve their own problem.