Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

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Alucard1191
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Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Alucard1191 » May 29th, 2019, 6:37 pm

Hello VGC forum world.

Thanks for being a great source of information, you guys have answered all sorts of questions for me over the months since I've joined up, and I have another one today.

I've been playing my Dreamcast lately, rediscovered my love for MvC2, and the system has a really hard time. The music doesn't work on half the levels, there is slow down at times, and you just hear the system working really hard. It is audibly loud, even with the volume turned up on the game.

MvC2 is also the only game I have that seems to work. I can kind of get Soul Caliber to work, and Zombie Revenge and Crazy Taxi don't read at all.

While some of the disks are clearly scratched, MvC2 is flawless, and it still has all sorts of issues running. Is there some kind of maintenance guide out there on how to keep these old systems running well? Every so often my Saturn has weird things too. (like not recognizing the memory cartridge.) As our beloved old systems become older, how do we care for them?

(Side note, props to those of you that are into 70's and 80's systems... those must be hell to keep running.)

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby VideoGameCritic » May 29th, 2019, 6:52 pm

It really is a job keeping all my systems running. Fortunately I own so many that no system in particular takes a lot of abuse.

When I have an issue I usually ask my electronic engineer friends to take a look. Often they can fix it. When that fails, there are repair services on ebay for many specific systems. I had both my Virtual Boy and Turbo Duo repaired that way.

Unfortunately the Dreamcast has always been one of my most error prone systems. I'm pretty sure I've been through two or three, and always keep a spare. You may want to buy a used one off ebay. I'm pretty sure it's the system at fault and not the games. The Dreamcast disc reader is infamous for going bad.

Good luck and keep us posted.

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Rev
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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Rev » May 29th, 2019, 7:38 pm

To test if the game itself is the issue or if it is the console I would recommend downloading an ISO of the Dreamcast game, burn it to a CD, and try playing it on your console. Since the Dreamcast was not secure enough, this should work easily enough.

Sometimes the issue may be the disc even if there are no scratches on the disc. Not sure why it does this but I've run across this a few times.

Alucard1191
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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Alucard1191 » May 29th, 2019, 8:05 pm

I also happen to have a really fancy looking disc cleaner/resurfacer kit, anyone had luck with those? I remember once upon a time one of my friends had one and it destroyed most everything he used it on, so I've been hesitant to try.

Alucard1191
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Joined: November 16th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Alucard1191 » July 4th, 2019, 1:07 am

Well... update. And not a good one.

My Dreamcast seems to have officially crapped out. It won't read any of my games. I only have 5 at this point, (several didn't make it up in my move from California... ugh.) but 2 weeks ago I played Zombie Revenge, which wasn't working for literally years and the Dreamcast read it, so I thought the thing was actually working better. How wrong I was.

Now, in my trial and error process of trying to make things run, I tried my disc resurfacer that I've mentioned before... and... it definitely made my MvC2 disc worse. Even if I buy a new Dreamcast, I'm not sure my MvC2 will work after using that disk doctor thing on it... :/

Which brings me to my thought process: Replacing the Dreamcast isn't that expensive, under $60. I could probably set that aside in a weekend of tips... but there is no guarantee at this point that MvC will even work, which is the main game I play on there.

Which brings me to thought 2. I've advised and been advised to just get games on more up to date systems. Most games on the Dreamcast have been ported to other systems, so maybe I should just get 360 versions or PS2 versions of the games I have/used to have?

What would you all do in this situation? Buy a replacement Dreamcast and hope for the best with my old games? Or just replace my small collection of games on other systems over the next few months?

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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 4th, 2019, 1:11 pm

What you've described is a Dreamcast system that was on its last legs. The games were probably fine.

Replace your Dreamcast. I'm pretty sure your old games will work.

Buttermancan
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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Buttermancan » July 5th, 2019, 4:07 pm

VideoGameCritic wrote:What you've described is a Dreamcast system that was on its last legs. The games were probably fine.

Replace your Dreamcast. I'm pretty sure your old games will work.


This makes me think of my poor Xbox 360. My mum and brother bought it for me back in 2008 for my birthday. The disc drive hasn't worked since 2015 and I still use it for Netflix and a few digital games. I will be sad when it finally dies which I think could be soon !!

Alucard1191
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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby Alucard1191 » July 16th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Update: My new Dreamcast arrived yesterday, and I gave it a shot.

It works great. Games that were having a really hard time, like Soul Caliber, work fine. And MvC2 works better than ever, even though it now looks way more scratched thanks to that disk doctor. All the music works, it runs at full speed, (I didn't realize I was getting a bit of lag before.) and the very first time I played I beat my buddies high score which I've been trying to do for the last 6 months. (My friend plays in actual fighting game tournaments, he's really good at these games, beating his high score says a lot to me. Very excited)

I also purchased a reproduction of MvC2 and it works as well, but not as well as my original. It has longer load times, and you can hear the system struggling with it. Oh well, so I have a back up of the game in case I screw up my original, and my original is working better than ever!

So happy to have a working dreamcast again. Hopefully this one lasts me another 10+ years like the last one did.

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Re: Maintenance on old systems. (Dreamcast specifically)

Postby VideoGameCritic » July 16th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Sounds like Dr. VGC was right again!


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