Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

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Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby Samanosuke Akechi » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:10 pm

I recently got Shenmue 2 so I right away hook up my DC,thing is that the laser doesn't want to read any disks.It will attempt to read them numerous times but nothing.I can hear the system trying to get the disk going but no luck.My model 2000 dc won't play gamesharks/bootdisks.Tried the lighter fluid trick and nothing.Would it be possible to just replace the lasers from my working one to the non working system?

Any tips would be appreciated.
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Re: Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby Deta » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:11 pm

I've had or have the same problem with my DC. Sometimes it works like a charm sometimes it doesnt. But if no commonly known tip or trick works I've found one solution for the prob. Its temporal but atleast it works for me if I just want to play little bit of my good old DC. I've noticed if you dont lock the lid and leave it little bit open the laser somehow dont ask me how starts magically read the disk and the game is ready to be played. But that's just temporal so if you want something more permanent this is not it.

Also one commonly known trick http://128bit.me/index.php?PHPSESSID=f5726963f081c14aa4d02827451afc1e&topic=17404.0
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Re: Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby shengoro86 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:51 pm

I wrote a tutorial on how to hack the Mil-CD patched dreamcasts, unfortunately the DC community sites are pretty much gone and my document is hard to find. i cant even find it. >_<

You might be able to swap the drives are they are removable, but I dont remember if it is a simple unplug and switch.


EDIT I FOUND IT
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6.1. Newer Non MIL-CD DCs and workaround
Thanks to DJ Motion from isonews, jc, OEM, and Xeal on dcwarez.

Some newer DCs have their BIOS programmed to prevent booting CD(R)s which have audio (audio boot data in this case) before the game data (formally known as the MIL-CD format, informally as the audio/data selfboot layout). Not nice, especially considering nearly all previous games - including ECHELON rips - work like this. When buying a Dreamcast, look for Dreamcast units manufactured BEFORE October 2000. There have been some units manufactured in Oct. 2000 and Dec. 2000 with the new BIOS revision that will not work with CDR's. Note that how recently you bought it and retail box type (regular or Smash Pack) do not matter, only the manufacture date of the unit, which should be visible through a small window on the Dreamcast retail box. Also identified as not working with the audio/data selfboot layout games are the Sakura Taisen and Hello Kitty special edition Dreamcasts available in Japan.

Many people have reported that there are plenty of units in the Oct 2000 - Dec 2000 timeframe that play the audio/data selfboot layout games just fine... thus the only way to check is to buy the unit and take it home and try it.

Note for Japanese DC owners (from OEM of dcwarez): My Jap DC refuses to boot the data/data selfboot format unless the total image size is below 70 minutes. Thus releases such as San Francisco Rush 2049, Deep Fighter & NFL2K1 don't work on my DC. (I have been able to get most of them to work though, by converting them to the old audio/data selfboot format.) According to Xeal this is a known problem with early Japanese models, which may explain why groups rarely use this format. It is also my experience that newer units won't boot the data/data format if the total image size is above 82 minutes (thus making it impossible to selfboot games like Sonic Adventure without ripping something out).

Addendum: Echelon's releases of NBA2K1 and NFL2K1 (and SFRush2049, of course) are already in the data/data selfboot format... other Echelon releases that use the data/data selfboot format are unknown.

The data/data selfboot solution (No modifications to console needed):
Right, so you've got your CD written and you want to make it selfboot and work on your new Dreamcast. Here goes...

1. Rip the CD with DiscJuggler to a CDI file.
2. Go in to a DOS/Command Prompt and using CDIRip, rip the CDI file so that a .CUE and .BIN file are created.
3. You can delete the .CUE file. Download a free copy of ISOBuster from the net and extract the files to a directory from the .BIN file.
4. Using IPBIN4WIN, create an IP file which corresponds to the game. It normally needs to be pointing at the 1st_read.bin file, or perhaps a different file if it is a WinCE game. A WinCE game can be detecting by checking if it has a 'WinCE' directory on the CD. If so, make sure you take this in to account when creating the IP file.
5. Now you'll need a tool called 'mkisofs'. It is included in the selfboot toolkit. Create an ISO from the files you have extracted, and the IP.BIN in the root directory. Make sure you use an offset of 0,0 *NOT* 0,11700.
6. Then you'll need to use Xeal's amazing 'Bin2Boot' tool on the ISO, which creates a selfboot CDI which puts the game data BEFORE the audio boot data. A miracle. Now the game works. It's been tested on a real non-CDR boot DC (one of the first in the UK) and it works fine.



Utopia Boot CD for NON MIL-CD DCs
MUCH thanks to jc of dcwarez (and xeal, of course!)

1. Download the cdrecord-tools, CDIRip, ISOFix, and Bin2Boot if you don't already have them.
2. Get the *.CDI file for the Utopia BootCD.
3. Extract the CDI, cdirip.exe, isofix, and bin2boot to a directory (ie, C:\JC_IS_COOL).
4. Open a DOS/Command Prompt in said directory.
5. Run the following commands:
cdirip FILENAME.CDI /iso
then do:
isofix TData02.iso 11702
6. Extract the contents of the ISO using ISO Buster into a directory with the cdrecord-tools.
7. Move the "bootfile.bin" from the directory where you were working with CDIRip to the Directory you extracted the contents of the fixed ISO.
8. Make an ISO with the following command:
mkisofs -C 0,0 -V "Utopia BootCD v1.1" -l -o BOOTCD.ISO DIR
(where "DIR" is where you extracted your fixed ISO.
9. Take the ISO that "mkisofs" produces and put it into the directory where you have Bin2Boot. Run the following command: bin2boot BOOTCD.ISO /nohack
10. Burn image.cdi with DiscJuggler and enjoy it on your "copy-protected" Dreamcast.




6.2. Enabling VGA support - BootCD and Self-boot games
Credits to jc of dcwarez.

Boot CD
The original Utopia Boot CD 1.1 does NOT contain the VGA initialization code necessary... there IS a patch for the Boot CD image that will help with some games available from dccopyworld. The Utopia Boot CD 1.2 supposedly has the VGA patch applied to it, but is supposedly NOT an official Utopia release.
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shengoro86 has received a thanks from: Samanosuke Akechi
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Re: Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby Samanosuke Akechi » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:09 am

So I went ahead to tried to switch the laser drives,but quickly noticed that one has more plugs and cords than the other.Still removed the entire drive just to see if it was covered in dust or something,Clean all around pretty much.Screwed everything back together thinking it wont work,and what do you know.Started booting up no problem.My gameshark lite and Shenmue 2 loaded perfectly.Wish I knew what the hell I did though.
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"I have lived my life as best I could, not knowing its purpose, but drawn forward like a moth to a distant moon; and here at last, I discover a strange truth. That I am only a conduit, for a message that eludes my understanding." - Ezio Auditore da Firenze
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Re: Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby Axm » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:17 pm

Sometimes its also the power supply board with its connector pins that simply need to have pressure applied to them so the connection is complete. Pluging them out and back in again solves the reset problem that then turns into the start failure problem which ive had on numerous dreamcasts in the past.
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Re: Need help fixing a dreamcast (if possible)

Postby shengoro86 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 9:21 pm

oh man, before i knew to apply pressure to those pins, my DC would reset all of the time as if it had a restart option. Annoying as hell.

Samanosuke, maybe ur gdrom just needed to be reseated. Happy to see it is working now!
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