Hello, I recently acquired a Dreamcast and am having this error whenever I attempt to play a game. It is not the common "malfunctioning closing lid" error, as I get this error even while holding the closed lid indicator latch down manually after having taken the chassis off my Dreamcast. What happens is that after powering the console on and holding down the latch, the laser will move into place and the disc will start spinning, but it will only spin for approximately 3 seconds before I get the error.
I am assuming that this is also not the common "uncalibrated laser / potentiometer" issue that involves tightening the small screw on the laser, as based on my research, I believe that if I had this issue, the games would not be spinning up at all (while in my case, they are). Can someone verify this for me?
After spending some time looking through the archives of this and other forums, the only case I've found of someone suffering from an issue quite like mine is this thread where the OP's problem turned out to be a broken ribbon wire connecting the laser to the console. He was able to diagnose the issue from the fact that when powering on without a disc, he could see no red laser shining to read a disc. Indeed, when I power my DC on without a disc (and hold the latch so the motor spins), I don't see a red laser either.
Because my ribbon seems to be in fine shape, I am assuming I simply have a burnt out laser that needs to be replaced. Is this a common issue, and does it sound like the source of my problem to you experts here? Should I attempt to clean my laser with alcohol, or disconnect / reconnect the ribbon before I run out and replace the laser? Could my issue not actually be a defective laser, but possibly the potentiometer adjustment issue that I wrote off so quickly?
Thanks for reading and for the help...