Dreamcast not reading discs

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Posts: 3

Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#1 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:49 pm

hey guys i need help

i have a dreamcast and it stopped reading discs, i took it to repair on a local store and this is what the guy said

he first calibrated the laser on the dreamcast = no success
then he took the cd drive of another working dreamcast and put it on mine = no success
then he took MINE dreamcast's cd drive and installed on another dreamcast = it worked

so the problem is on my dreamcast and its not on the CD drive and not the laser
does someone know what is it? and how to fix it?

also is not the disc lid either i opened it up and tested in every possible way

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Posts: 1

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#2 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:17 am

That's pretty interesting, I have been having a similar problem. Seems to be that a lot of peoples systems are buggering off in this fashion, but for most people the problem is easily remedied. I unfortunately cannot answer your question, perhaps you should try making sure all the ribbon wires in your system are connected. I would also suggest that you take some of that good old compressed air and blow the ever-loving sh*t out of all the components. Dust collecting up over the years can definitely cause problems.

At least you've narrowed down the problem a bit eh? This is all coming from someone who is in the midst of his own salty DC problems and there isn't an end in sight yet. Good luck though.

Arabian Night
Posts: 332

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#3 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:06 pm

I've heard of capacitors going out. Even one tiny capacitor not conducting the right type of voltage could cause the whole thing to malfunction There are a ton of little ones in there. One day every single system will go out because capacitors do not last forever. In the future someone will have to start a business that changes capacitors in old but relevant hardware like this.

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Wrath of Khan
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Posts: 602

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#4 » Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:12 pm

Ah well, i tried to fix my dc. The conflicting youtube video tutorials did not help.
A ribbon became irrevocably detached. It wasn't going to re-attach. Stupid tiny screw was too small and fragile for a pliers- the laser could not be calibrated this way - I got pissed and totally trashed the dreamcast -it's in the bin now. I'm off to e-bay to snare a cheap replacement.

It's not worth paying somebody to repair it as the cost is the same as buying a replacement unit.

Posts: 13

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#5 » Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:08 pm

I need a litle help in something I wanna try, I already tried to do the potentiometer trick 2 times without any luck, to check if the laser is the issue, problem is no matter how small a screwdriver is or even a tweezer is, I never get to turn the damn red thingie, plus I swere that it never moved an inch and I think I may have damaged it a little bit while trying but it's not anything special as far as I know, still any suggestion on how to do it better?

I'll also remind that I have a PAL model, so it has diferent components from the north american dreamcasts. Unfotunetly most repair videos out there are from NTSC machines and even on ost websites it is the same thing.

Posts: 3

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#6 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:55 pm

3 years later update

my old laser died, so i bought a replacement laser and it started working again but it has one trick

it seems like it need to heat up before playing anything, so i just leave the dreamcast on for a few minutes, playing some music CDS (these work fine) and then i try playing some games and if finally works

i still don't know what is happening, maybe its the capacitors like OGDCFAN99 said but i have no idea which one needs to be replaced

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Posts: 821

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#7 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:36 pm

Did you try and clean the rails the laser moves on and then re lubing them? You could try tilting the dreamcast and see if that helps.

One of my saturns does that. If I raise the front up about an inch then it will play games. Otherwise it doesnt recognize them as a game disc. Just audio.

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Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#8 » Mon May 20, 2019 1:50 pm

The-Amazing-Mr_V wrote:You could try tilting the dreamcast and see if that helps.

One of my saturns does that. If I raise the front up about an inch then it will play games. Otherwise it doesnt recognize them as a game disc. Just audio.

Tilt or raise the console, to make the console play games. I've heard about this method a few times before. :)
It makes me wonder, if when manufacturers make these disc drive products, if there is some component in them, that is not leveled or balanced inside of them, that causes some of these, disc not reading problems. :geek:

Posts: 3

Re: Dreamcast not reading discs

Post#9 » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:53 am


i was thinking about it and how i had to leave my dreamcast turned on for so long to make it read discs, then when i opened it i noticed that it had a lot of capacitors on the power supply

then i thought "what if its a faulty capacitor that's not giving the exact current?

i rushed to google to search about this and i found this video


so since changing capacitors would be really cheap i decided to give it a try

now everygame runs everytime 100%

here's the list of capacitors changed on the power supply

Dreamcast Power Supply Capacitor List:
This is a list of capacitors, values, and sizes based on US region boards I own.

Models Confirmed:
PC BD KTN PWR UNIT MTM 1717962A Mitsumi
PC BD KTN PWR UNIT PANA 1717962A-X1 Panasonic

Loc Value Pitch Diam Height Digikey Part No.
C3 200v 100 uF 8mm 15mm 25mm 493-13280-1-ND
C52 35 v 470 uF 5mm 10mm 20mm 493-1582-ND
C54 10 v 2200 uF 5mm 12mm 20mm 493-1271-ND
C58 10 v 3300 uF 5mm 12mm 25mm 493-1505-ND
C59 10 v 1000 uF 5mm 10mm 15mm 493-13427-1-ND
C56 10 v 470 uF 5mm 8mm 11mm P19697CT-ND
C53 16 v 470 uF 5mm 8mm 11mm P15731CT-ND​

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