View Full Version : Playing cd-rs kills dreamcast?

January 18th, 2007, 19:02
So I bought a dreamcast about 2 weeks ago. It was working great, I had been using a few emulator discs as well as regular games. Yesterday I woke up and went to go check on my seaman. In the middle of loading my game it froze. I tried restarting, only to have the console restart itself everytime the lens would start to read. The thing is, I hadn't used a cd-r in it for probably two days before this, but when I took it back to the place I got it, that's what she blamed it on. She told me that playing cd-rs on it would ruin it, which I find it a little unbelievable that a few cd-rs would destroy the lens in under 2 weeks. I got a new dreamcast, now i'm not sure if I should continue to use cd-rs. If anyone knows the truth behind this, please help me out here.

January 18th, 2007, 19:33
I really doubt that is what caused this problem.....

January 19th, 2007, 01:32
I've heard stuff that CD-Rs can mess up the drive if you burn them at maximum speed and use them in your Dreamcast, but I'm not sure if this is true. Just to be safe I burn all homebrew and backups (of games I own) at 8X speed.

January 19th, 2007, 01:35
You don't have any problem if you use CD-R's for homebrew games/emulators.

January 19th, 2007, 02:07
I've heard quite a few tales of how cd-r's can mangle the dc's gdr, I recently lost my first DC (well, it still sort of works, but onyl really with emulators) to the 'reset' illness that can plague some of them

I think it's partly down to the machine's 'character' than to using a cdr a few times ( two weeks is not a long time for it to be messed up.. i was using cdr's in my old dc for quite a few months before it started resetting (and i didn't get it new)). Also, to add another hearsay to the thread, cdr's usually are read from nearer the centre of the disc, causing the motor to do more work AND 'back-up' games aren't written properly for the drive to read economically, thus shortening it's life... So I read somewhere.

That or your dc was a dud. ;)

January 19th, 2007, 02:11
Back-ups can be very hard on the DC's laser, as, when you try to burn a commerical game onto a CD-R, it pretty much puts the files on the disc in backwards order (since GDR's were written from the outside inward), causing the laser to work very hard to reach each necessary file.

Emulators and other independent software very rarely harm the laser in the DC, as the majority of that type of stuff is loaded into the DC's memory for long periods of time, and requires the DC to access the disc itself very little.

January 19th, 2007, 13:08
In addition to what's already been said, I'd add that the Dreamcast was actually made to read CDs, so in theory it would not have any affect on the GD-ROM drive's life-span. Just like playing Audio-CDs (CDDA), playing homebrew on CDRs isn't a problem at all and won't affect the laser.

However, as Curt pointed out, reading backups that aren't dummied does wear out the laser pretty quickly - simply because it's beeing used more than on GD-ROM.

More info on the technical downsides of using backups:


The Dreamcast's laser isn't the best. It definitly will wear out sooner or later. Luckily the process of re-calibrating the laser is VERY easy and will give your Dreamcast literaly unlimited lives. :)

January 19th, 2007, 20:00
re-calibrate? I did not know you could do that. Do you have a link to a tutorial on how to do that? Just in case this dreamcast decides to die as well.

beetroot bertie
January 19th, 2007, 21:23
Laser calibration tutorials:



January 19th, 2007, 23:27
Hey speaking of dummying, I got some homebrew on a disc aswell has a dummy file I from BootDreams, but the thing is only 1kb big! Is that normal?

January 20th, 2007, 06:20
No. It's a bug I noticed too. You gotta delete the old dummy file each time you change the change the content of the folder. Otherwise you gotta disable the auto dummying if you already have a properly sized dummy file.

BootDreams creates a proplery sized file by calculating in all the files in the folder you're about to burn. But it seem that it doesn't notice that there already is a dummy file, so it's attempts to create a new one that comes out at 1kb which then overwrites the existing file.

Which version of BootDreams are you using ? I know it occurs with 0.61, but I am not sure if the latest version has the same problem.

Let's hope Fackue reads this and fixes it ;)

January 20th, 2007, 20:21
Its version 1.01a and their is no dummy file, Im trying to make a file of the new QuakeDC.

January 21st, 2007, 05:17
Ok I updated BD, and it made one that fit, but how does it help? Won't the DC read over it anyways when it is searching to see what it is?