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Sega Dreamcast Burning / Backup FAQ
by dole
- [Site] - version 2001.08.14
    News and Version History
Introduction and Brief History of the DC Scene
General Questions / Quick FAQ
Getting Started
The Utopia Boot CD
Finding Games
Downloading and Unpacking
Burning Preparation and Image Formats
Burning CDIs with DiscJuggler 2/3
Burning CUE/BINs with Fireburner
Burning CUE/BINs with CDRWin
Burning CUE/BINs and CDDA with Nero
Patching and Burning with Nero
Converting and Fixing Images
Copying and Playing Burnt/Copied Games
Burning Errors / Troubleshooting
Buffer Underruns
ASPI Problems
DiscJuggler: Can't click on Start
DiscJuggler: Illegal Field errors
Other questions
Newer Non MIL-CD DCs and Workaround
Enabling VGA support
Removing the Echelon intro
Where can I find a hacked PSO key/keygen?
Do CDRWs work on Dreamcasts?
Clearing the Dreamcast internal memory
CDDA and Downsampling
NTSC/PAL Video formats and other misc.
Downloads and Links
Credits / Disclaimer
Burner Compatibility List (short)
Padus DiscJuggler FAQ
Echelon Selfboot Tutorial

0. News and Version History

2001.08.14 - just revising, editing and cleaning. i again apologize for the stupid popups and banners... i know they're annoying. some portions are still incomplete, such as the selfbooting section amongst others... i'll get around to them someday. The Non MIL-CD section has been updated, as well as some other sections.

2001.07.17 - i need to dig up the article, but there are less than 700k DC units left on shelves worldwide, a few months ago, there were 2 million. there were a rumored 7 million units produced, with 2 million being Japanese exclusive. needless to say, the Dreamcast with it's awesome development platform and quality games will definitely be a collector's item. much respect to the homebrew dev teams, keep the great emulators and games coming!

In other official Sega news, although production has been discontinued, Sega has announced that they WILL service Dreamcast units for the next 6 years.

2001.06.xx - According to reports all over the internet, Sega has announced that it will be developing 118 games by March 2002, with 53 games spread across Gamecube, Xbox, and PS2 and the remaining 63 will be going to the Dreamcast. (Thanks to MosDef of dcwarez.)

2001.06.01 - better explanation on WHY you can't do a direct CD-to-CD copy of original DC games. updating is in limbo.
2001.04.20 - some cleaning, revised sec 3.5 and 6.1, added secs 6.5 and 6.6.
2001.04.12 - first public version.

1. Introduction and Brief History of the DC Scene

The Sega Dreamcast was released in the USA on Sep 9 1999, the Utopia Boot CD was created by Wildlight of Utopia and was released on Jun 22 2000. It ushered in the age of Dreamcast piracy, with Utopia releasing Dead or Alive 2 and Soul Calibur in the next two days, then Kalisto released Evolution on the 26th and continued to flood the DC scene with games, mastering the art of the self boot and DiscJuggler with their release of Dynamite Cop on Aug 19 2000, until Sept 02 2000, when they called it quits, claiming Sega had offered them stock options to stop releasing DC games (note that their other console groups like the PSX remained and remain in full swing.) Only 2 days afterwards, Echelon released Flag to Flag CART Racing, and quickly filled in the gap left by Kalisto, releasing most of the major games in the scene and going forth with new tools like the Echelon Selfboot Kit. Kalisto came out of hiding on Nov 09 2000 to release the highly anticipated 4-CD Shenmue. Eurasia, Hooligans, Paradox, Paradiso, Drastic, NBC, Accession, CCS, MiniMe, Stone Arts, Infinity, Lightforce, Aphex, R18, Genius, Krema, Ecko, and last but not least, Klone, to name a few, have all provided many quality US and import releases where Echelon may not have had access to the games or interest in releasing them.

The scene was wild and rampant until December when Kalisto and Echelon were expected to release at least one game daily. In January, new releases started coming few and far between, since most of the games that could have been ripped had already been ripped. In mid-February 2001, Sega announced the end of Dreamcast unit production would take place on 31Mar01 citing the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars, and many third party companies scrapped their DC games in development even if they were near completion for more viable platforms, such as the Playstation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Microsoft X-Box. In late March, Sega announced that they were planning on developing Sega games for other platforms, namely the Microsoft X-Box which was a no-brainer since the Dreamcast's inclusion of MS' WinCE. Mar 31 2001 came with a whimper, and the Dreamcast scene continues slowing as the number of slated games decreases...


1.1. General Questions

First of all, there is no modchip required to play backup Dreamcast games. The current modchip allows play of imports exclusively, but has no special code for CDRs. All games are playable without any hardware modification. Some of the earlier releases require a bootdisc (the Utopia Boot CD), but most games are fully self-bootable. Sega has manufactured newer Dreamcasts that will NOT boot the majority of releases and the Boot CD, but there IS a workaround. See this section for more information.

Second, YOU CAN NOT DIRECTLY COPY THE GAMES FROM THE ORIGINAL DISC. It's not the same as PSX - you can't rent a DC game and do a CD to CD copy. It simply doesn't work. You HAVE to download the images. Regular CD-ROM drives are incapable of reading the high-density sections of GD-ROM discs, and rumors of 'hacked cd-rom firmware' to read GD-ROMs are just that: rumors.

Why, you ask? CD Technology 101: CDs are much like vinyl records, the data stream goes around the CD in one big spiral, the CD spins, the data gets read off the CD by the laser. GD-ROMs use CD technology but the space between the data 'grooves' are closer together than on normal CDs (thus, the High Density sections.) This allows more data to be fit on a normal CD while having the bonus of providing Sega with a rudimentary hardware copy protection scheme: normal CD-ROM readers can't read the game data off the GD-ROM. Thus, an original GD-ROM to CDR copy is impossible.

So, if you can't just copy the games, where do they all come from? The release groups use a few methods, the most popular being the Broadband Adapter method, but we'll discuss the Serial Cable method first.

The release groups buy or make the serial cable (also known as the Coder's Cable) that goes from their DC to their PC: the cable and software downloads the entire GD-ROM (using the DC's special GD-ROM laser tech) to the PC, where the group can work on removing CD checks (software copy protection), bugs, add PAL/NTSC/VGA functionality, and other goodies. Downsampling (check the appendix in this FAQ) is sometimes necessary to make the game fit on a normal CDR. The game is then packaged/imaged for release, the release is spread by their couriers to internet sites and other users and ultimately into your hot little hands.

The biggest drawback to this method is the speed: the maximum transfer rate of a regular PC serial port is 115200 bytes a second. An normal size of a larger game is 1GB. 1GB = 1024MB = 1048576KB / 11.5KB/s = ~91180 seconds / 60 = ~1519 minutes / 60 = ~25 hours. So an average smaller game takes around 12 hours to rip, which makes the Broadband Adapter a necessity...

The Broadband Adapter physically replaces the 56K Dreamcast Modem and allows you to plug a Ethernet cable into your Dreamcast, so you can have the data transfer speed the DC was destined for, either for web browsing or the handful of games that support it. The Broadband Adaptor also has the very big bonus of being able to link the Dreamcast to your PC... the software again downloads the entire disc to the PC, but usually in less than an hour. The Broadband Adapter, sadly, is not being sold by Sega anymore and supplies are running out, in effect jacking up the prices of the adapter by retailers and auctions on eBay.

Most releases come in ".CDI" format, which is a Padus DiscJuggler image file. CDI images are used because the enable the games to be selfbootable, so a separate Boot CD is unnecessary. Make sure you get a copy of DiscJuggler from //

Some releases are in BIN/CUE format, which is burnable with CDRWIN at // These CUE/BIN releases are not selfbootable and will require the Utopia Boot CD.

Once you get the files of a release (usually files .001-.0XX with an NFO and SFV file), you will need WinRAR to unpack them (hardly anyone uses ZIP for formal releases). Get WinRAR at //

Get a copy of SmartFTP for browsing your newfound FTP sites. For IRC, get mIRC or Polaris IRC. There are many channels there with plenty of Dreamcast games.


2. Getting Started

2.1. The Utopia Boot CD

Starting with finding, downloading and burning the Utopia Boot CD should give you a good idea of the regular routine necessary in burning DC games. The Utopia Boot CD is available from DCCopyWorld and usually in either DiscJuggler or Nero image formats. The difference between 1.1 and 1.2? The 1.2 was just hacked to display a different screen and has the VGA Patch already applied, although version 1.1 has the advantage of displaying the game's CD graphic onscreen when loading, the 1.2 just displays a generic image. The official Utopia released 1.1 does NOT have the VGA patch applied.


2.2. Finding Games

DC Games can be found in many places:

Public/Private FTP sites
IRC FServes/DCCs
Filesharing programs (Direct Connect, Napster, Aimster, Gnutella, Swapoo,etc.)

This FAQ will not cover the use of FTP, IRC, and Filesharing programs as many of them have FAQs and tutorials already.

Do NOT hassle the release groups, whether through e-mail or irc, for places to download games. Check around on Dreamcast sites such as Dream On: Dreamcast Portal for places to download games. FTP sites and Website links can sometimes be found on Dreamcast messageboards. Some of the bigger forums and messageboards (like isonews and dcwarez) have 'No Requesting' policies: DO NOT ask where you can get or find the games from. Make sure you READ the forum rules and FAQs for the particular messageboards BEFORE posting! READ other newbie posts to see why others get flamed and USE COMMON SENSE!


2.3. Downloading and Unpacking

Original releases by the major groups will almost always be in RAR format, chunked into 20MB files, and be named "e-dayusa.001", "e-dayusa.002", and so on. If it's not in RAR format, more than likely it's either repacked by someone else or it's been ripped my a smaller/minor group. Starting RAR file extensions can also be .RAR, .R00, or .R01, but the first file will almost ALWAYS be .001 or .RAR.
Get WinRAR to open RAR files.

ACE files are used by some minor groups or personally repacked games. ACE files are WinACE compressed files, and their file extensions in succession are .ACE, .C00, .C01, and so on. WinACE compressed files will NEVER have .C00 or .C01 as their starting files.
Get WinAce to open ACE files.

NFO files included with the games are the groups' text files and release information. These files are readable with Notepad or any other plain text editor, and give useful notes and information on the game's release. NFO files are not necessary to burn the games, but sometimes contain crucial instructions needed to burn the game. Many NFO files for released games are available from // or //

SFV files are also usually included with the games... these files are plaintext files with CRC error checking information. They're used to determine if archive files have been corrupted, or if there are files missing. Without the SFV files, the only way to see if the game archive is good is to unarchive it. If no error messages are returned, the archive is fine. SFVs are not necessary to burn the games.
For more information, read isonews' SFV FAQ.
Get WinSFV32: Mirror 1/Mirror 2/Mirror 3, PDSFV, or QuickSFV (highly recommended) to open SFV files.

ZIP files are sometimes included with the release, these usually contain scans of the CD covers, the CD itself, game manuals, or other supplemental game information.
Get WinZip to open ZIP files.


2.4. Burning Preparation and Image Formats

After you unpack the files, you will probably have one of the following formats:

.CDI (may contain UNPACK.EXE/INJECT.EXE) (Padus Discjuggler 2/3 image)

CDI's are exclusive to DiscJuggler and are the defacto standard for Dreamcast games. CDI's, as a rule, are almost always selfbooting games, meaning that no Dreamcast Boot CD is necessary to play the game. DiscJuggler was the first program discovered that could easily backup the DC game's specialized CD layout information, and thus making the copied games able to selfboot. Nero can also burn selfbooting games from an image, but DiscJuggler was favored by the ripping community and became the standard.

Click here for DiscJuggler burning instructions.

.CUE/.BIN with UNPACK.EXE (GoldenHawk CDRWin/generic image)

CUE/BIN packed games are a generic format and require a Boot CD to play. CUE/BINs and the programs that support them lack the ability to duplicate the special cd layout needed to make a game selfbooting. CUE/BINs, however, are more versatile in that you can burn them with many different programs (CDRWin, Fireburner) and also able to unarchive them to view/hack/patch the files within the game. The CUE file is plaintext and can be viewed with Notepad or any other text editor, and contains the layout information for the BIN binary image.

Sometimes when CUE files are loaded, the burning program will error and ask the path/where to find certain files, such as game data, or mp3/wav files for audio tracks. Whoever packed or repacked the game may have screwed up and not bothered removing their personal path information out of the .CUE. You must exit out and manually edit the .CUE file with Notepad or another text editor. When you view it, you'll see that some of the entries have directory paths before the filename. Directory paths are NOT necessary in this case... delete them, leaving only the filenames, save the CUE and reopen it in the burning program.

Click here for Fireburner burning instructions.
Click here for CDRWin burning instructions.

.ISO (generic image)

ISO files are also generic formats much like CUE/BIN, and can be burnt from CDRWIN, Adaptec Easy CD Creator, Fireburner, and many other programs. While the community would probably never release a DC game in ISO format, knowing what an ISO file is is helpful when it comes to manually dummying files, patching and manually burning games.

Formats can sometimes can converted to other formats, which can be helpful if you run into problems burning a game, or need to patch a game. CDI2Nero, available from // will convert a DiscJuggler image to a Nero image. Please note that image size does NOT matter. MANY game images are over 700MB, and can be burnt to 80min/700MB CDRs with NO problems. At the time of this writing, no game has been released that requires larger than a 80min/700MB CDR, although 90Min/800MB and larger DO exist. Images much smaller than 700MB, like 100-200MB or so and usually in CUE/BIN format are games that have NOT been dummied.


3. Burning
Please note: The DC CANNOT read CD-RW's without hardware adjustment. Don't bother trying to test burning games out on them.


3.1. Burning CDIs with Discjuggler 2/3

'Auto Insert Notification' should be switched off (unchecked) in your burner's settings:
Go To Start :: Settings :: Control Panel :: System :: Device Manager tab :: CD-ROM :: select your burner :: Settings :: uncheck The 'Auto Insert Notification'. The help file for DiscJuggler also recommends checking the following drive settings: 'Disconnect', 'Sync data transfer' And 'DMA'.

Also ensure DiscJuggler is set to take 80Min CDR's (in DJ's Options).

If the CDI came with a UNPACK.EXE and INJECT.EXE, then run the UNPACK program first to unpack the mp3/wav audio files. UNPACK should close itself when it's finished. Then run INJECT to inject the audio files into the CDI image. You may delete the mp3/wav files when INJECT is finished.

  1. Run DiscJuggler
  2. Go to 'File' and then 'New'
  3. Choose 'CD Image to CD Recorder'
  4. Now click the 'Source' button (it's the icon) and locate the .CDI file and press 'OK'
  5. In the 'Action' box choose 'Write'
  6. Click 'Start'

If you find that your burner isn't supported by DiscJuggler or it seems like you can burn but get errors, check the CDI2Nero section.

Note: Some CDI images created in DJ3 will NOT work in DJ2. After selecting the source CDI, DJ should automatically display the number of sessions (should be 2) and the image's volume label. If you get an error in the log window saying "session information could not be found, using user defined settings", do NOT burn the cd as it will NOT work.

Modifying the user settings will not help either as you cannot specify the settings for each session. Selfboot Dreamcast images usually have 2 sessions, the 1st being a Audio/Mode1 session with multiple CDDA tracks, and the 2nd being a CD-XA/Mode 2 session with one track containing the game data.

Sometimes converting to Nero using CDI2Nero will allow you to burn the image.


3.2. Burning CUE/BINs with Fireburner

If there was an UNPACK.EXE included with the CUE/BIN files, run the UNPACK to unpack the mp3/wav files needed for the CDDA.

  1. Run Fireburner.
  2. Click on Visual Cue Burner/Binchunker (should be the leftmost button.)
  3. In the Visual Cue/CD Track Layout, rightclick and select Load Tracks from *.CUE.
  4. Select the .CUE file. The tracks will load in the window.
  5. Rightclick on the Track Layout again, and select Burn/Test Burn.
  6. Uncheck Test Burn.
  7. Click Burn/OK.


3.3. Burning CUE/BINs with CDRWin

If there was an UNPACK.EXE included with the CUE/BIN files, run the UNPACK to unpack the mp3/wav files needed for the CDDA.

  1. Run CDRWin.
  2. This section incomplete.


3.4. Burning CUE/BINs and CDDA with Nero

Once you've used 'IsoBuster' on the .BIN and patched it if needed, if there was an UNPACK.EXE included with the CUE/BIN files, run the UNPACK to unpack the mp3/wav files needed for the CDDA.

  1. Run Nero 5.0
  2. Choose 'Mixed Mode CD'
  3. In the 'Multisession' Tab select 'No Multisession'
  4. In the 'File Options' Tab select 'ISO Level 2 (Max of 31 chars)', 'Mode 1', 'ISO 9660' And 'Joliet'. Leave the others unchecked.
  5. Leave the 'Volume Descripter' and 'Dates' tabs alone.
  6. In the 'Burn' tab select 'Write', 'Finalize CD (No further writing possible!), 'Write Speed' as you choose and 'Number of Copies' as 1. Leave the others unchecked.
  7. Select 'New'
  8. Find the folder with the files extracted using IsoBuster (if necessary), and highlight all the contents of that folder and drag them across to the top box in Nero.
  9. Make sure that all files including the ones in folders have their 'File Priority' set as 'High' except the dummy file which needs to be set as 'Low'. To do this, highlight the files, rightclick on them and choose 'Properties' and set the 'File Priority' as 'High'.
  10. Find the folder where the .WAV Files were UNPACKed, and drag them across to the bottom box in Nero, make sure there in the correct order.
  11. Select 'File' and then 'Write CD...' and then 'Write' again.


3.5. Patching and Burning with Nero

Patches can be found at //


  1. Make a folder and put the .bin, .cue, .ppf and applyppf.exe in
  2. Open MS-DOS Prompt
  3. Type 'cd\whatever' you called the folder (eg. cd oyal rumble)
  4. Now type 'dir' to make sure all the files you need are there
  5. And Type applyppf <binfile> <ppf file> eg. applyppf kal-wwfr.bin wwfr.ppf


  1. Run Nero 5.0
  2. Choose CD-ROM (ISO)
  3. In the 'Multisession' tab select 'No Multisession'
  4. In the 'File Options' tab select 'ISO Level 2 (Max of 31 chars)', 'Mode 1', 'ISO 9660' And 'Joliet'. Leave the others unchecked.
  5. Leave the 'Volume Descriptor' and 'Dates' tabs alone
  6. In the 'Burn' tab select 'Write', 'Finalize CD (No further writing possible!), 'Write Speed' as you choose and 'Number of Copies' as 1. Leave the others unchecked.
  7. Select 'New'
  8. Find the folder with the files extracted using IsoBuster, and highlight all the contents of that folder and drag them across to the 'ISO 1' box.
  9. Ensure that all files including the ones in folders have their 'File Priority' set as 'High' except the dummy file which needs to be set as 'Low'. To do this, highlight the files and rightclick on them and choose 'Properties' and set the 'File Priority' as 'High'.
  10. Now select 'File' and then 'Write CD...' and then 'Write' again.

GotenTrunks2K on dcwarez's message boards mentioned that DAO or TAO isn't specified in the above instructions. I'd recommend TAO but I'm not sure... if anyone knows, e-mail me (link at bottom) and I'll credit you.


3.6. Converting and Fixing Images


3.6.1. CDI2Nero

DiscJuggler will just not work with some burners. CDR drive manufacturers try to stick to the industry standards but sometimes leave out certain features... burners will support write methods such as Session-At-Once, Disc-At-Once, and Track-At-Once, or maybe one or two of these methods, but not the crucial ones needed for DiscJuggler. Or perhaps you're having problems with a DJ3 image and DJ3 won't work properly on your machine, but DJ2 works fine. CDI2Nero may help. CDI2Nero comes in 2 flavors, DAO (Disc-At-Once) and TAO (Track-At-Once), if one version doesn't work properly for you, try the other. Usually you'll be able to convert those pesky images over to a usable format.


  1. Download CDI2Nero here.

    If you have an Unpack.exe and Inject.exe with the .CDI, run the Unpack.exe and then the Inject.exe, you must do this before using CDI2Nero.

    Also some games need to have the small track removed from the beginning for which you need 'Trackmerge'.

  2. Run CDI2Nero and a box will appear asking you to select the .CDI.
  3. You'll be prompted to rename the new .NRG
  4. You can double-click on the new .NRG file to open it in Nero (and skip to Step 8) or...
  5. Run Nero and in 'CD-ROM (ISO)' Mode select 'No Multisession'.
  6. Press 'Open' at the bottom right.
  7. In the next box that appears change the filetype to 'CD-Image (*.nrg)' and select the .NRG you just created from CDI2Nero.
  8. On the next screen uncheck 'Simulation', select the Write Speed you wish.
  9. Press 'Write'
  10. You may get a message that says something like 'Really use Disc-At-Once instead of Track-At-Once to produce a more accurate but less compatible disc?', Select 'Yes'
  11. Burning will start.


3.6.2 CDIRip

(text taken from DeXT's CDIRip website, edited lightly for english and grammar.)

CDIrip is a small tool which will scan and extract the contents of a DiscJuggler (both v2.0 and v3.0 versions) image. These images end with extension .CDI, hence the name.

Many people have trouble with these images because of the lack of recorder support DiscJuggler has, so the purpose of this tool is to allow people to burn these images with another recording program, such as CDRWin. I would recommend this program because of its good support for ISO and WAV track images. CDIrip will automatically generate a cuesheet ready for this program. Anyways, other software can be used, such as Fireburner, WinOnCD and cdrecord.


3.6.3 CDIFix

See also 5.4. DiscJuggler: Illegal Field errors

(text taken from DeXT's CDIRip website, edited lightly for english and grammar.)

This is a small tool which fixes multiple audio track images containing "short" tracks (i.e. those below 302 sectors in size) so all recorders are able to burn them properly. It has been found that some burners out there cannot burn tracks smaller than 302 sectors. Please note that only multiple audio track images are supported!

This is a new version which now supports any number of contiguous short tracks and also 150 sector tracks, and adds some Windows dialogs so it's easier to use.


3.7. Dummying

Dummied games and dummy files refer to the practice of filling out the center of the CD with empty space so that the game data is pushed to the OUTSIDE of the CD. CD-ROM readers read the data on the OUTSIDE of a CD faster than on the inside... Non-dummied games take longer to boot, load, and sometimes have the ill effect of not being able to load the game textures fast enough during play, resulting in missing textures, slowdown, and general visual weirdness. Dummy files are also the reason a 13MB RAR'ed game (like Neo Golden Logres) can expand to be a 700MB+ CDI image.

In order to dummy and/or selfboot a game, it must be in a usable format. Luckily it's fairly easy to make an image of a DC game even if it's already burnt out.

CDRWin to rip (selfbooting? manually remove audio sb track from cue)

AutoDummy method:

When using this method, you will need a CUE/BIN image or CUE/ISO image.

  1. Run AutoDummy.
  2. Click on File > Open Cue Sheet
  3. Locate your CUE sheet
  4. Select the CD Size. If you plan on making it selfboot, be sure to allow 3-4 minutes for the selfboot files.
  5. Click on File > Save

Your original CUE/BIN/ISO will be replaced with a CUE and dummied BIN/ISO. If you wish to make it selfbooting, proceed to the next section of the FAQ - Selfbooting.

Alternate (older) manual method:

For this you'll need:

  1. Put all downloaded files in a new/temp folder
  2. Open 'WinRar' and find your new/temp folder with the files
  3. Rightclick on the '.001' (or sometimes .RAR) and select 'Extract from selected archives'
  4. Leave these settings alone, click 'OK'. This will create a new folder inside the new/temp folder with the files. If the files are a '.BIN' and '.CUE' (You might also have a 'Unpack.exe' file, If so do steps 5, 6 & 7, and then go to the Burning with Nero section. If it's a '.CDI' (You might also get a 'Unpack.exe' and 'Inject.exe') go to Burning with Discjuggler)
  5. Make another new/temp folder called something like 'New Game'
  6. Open 'IsoBuster' and choose 'File' and then 'Open File Image' then find the folder WinRAR just made and then change the 'Files of type' option to 'CDR-Win (*.BIN)'
  7. Select the '.BIN' file and choose 'Open'
  8. Highlight the files that have just appeared and rightclick on them and choose 'Extract Files' and then choose the 'New Game' folder and press 'OK'
  9. Go to the 'New Game' folder and rightclick on it and choose 'Properties', this will tell you the size of the folder, to burn it it needs to be about 650MB! Usually there about 300MB so you need to make a dummy file.
  10. Open Dummy File
  11. Press on 'Pick Location', and press on the 'New Game' folder and then on 'OK'
  12. Choose the size of the dummy (eg. 200 = 200 MB - so if the 'New Game' folder is 350 MB, make the dummy about 295, i don't make it exactly 650MB
  13. Press 'Build'
  14. Burn with Nero.


3.8. Selfbooting

Bin2boot is available from //
Read the Echelon Selfboot Tutorial


4. Copying and Playing Burnt/Copied Games


Almost any CD copying program will copy Non-Selfboot games since they have no special session layout or information. Many CD copying programs will copy Selfboot games. Recommended programs in order of success:

Padus DiscJuggler
NTI CD Copier / PSX Copy
Adaptec CD Copier

Copying a Selfboot game with DiscJuggler:


  1. Open 'DiscJuggler'.
  2. Select 'New' and then choose 'CD Copy from the Same Recorder'
  3. Insert the game you want to copy into your burner
  4. In the 'Action' box choose 'Write'
  5. In the 'Advanced' tab choose 'Overburn' and leave the other settings as they are
  6. Hit 'Start'. It will create a temp image on your hard drive.
  7. Insert a blank CDR in the drive
  8. Press 'OK'



If it's a selfboot game, simply put it in the Dreamcast and power it on. If it's a non-selfboot, load the Utopia Boot CD first, wait for the reindeer to appear, eject and replace the Utopia Boot CD with your non-selfboot game, close the lid and it should load as normal.

The easiest way to determine if a game is selfboot or not, power the DC up with no game... when the DC menu appears, insert your game, close the lid. After detecting, select Play. If the game plays, it's selfboot. If the message "Please insert game disc." appears, it's non-selfboot.

IMPORTANT: If you're using a VGA box, please read the VGA section BEFORE using the Utopia Boot CD!!!


5. Burning Errors / Troubleshooting

5.1. Buffer Underrun Errors

Slower burning speed, different media
Defrag hard drive
Need buffer underruns suggestions here - previously was just cdi2nero


5.2. ASPI Problems

ASPI probs? make sure its updated: //


5.3. DiscJuggler: Can't click on Start

Make sure you have a blank CDR in the recorder (stupid, but it happens.) If the problem persists, you may try installing Nero, then CDRWin, then DJ. This problem is a common occurance with HP 8250i recorders. (credit goes to vel on cdrom-guide.) Also check the DiscJuggler FAQ.


5.4. DiscJuggler: Illegal Field errors

This problem is sometimes issued when the CD Recorder encounters a track it cannot burn, the most common of which are tracks less than 300 blocks long (4 seconds). While some burners can burn these tracks with no problem, some recorders cannot. Use CDIFix (more info here) or TrackMerge on the CDI to fix this problem. If the error still occurs, you might have some success with CDI2Nero.


6. Other Questions

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. Take the ISO that "mkisofs" produces and put it into the directory where you have Bin2Boot.
  9. 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.

The Utopia Boot CD's main screen (with the reindeer) will display fine on most TV's, but the screen is in some special resolution/refresh that many monitors cannot handle, some monitors may actually be permanently DAMAGED when attempting to display this screen. Boot the Utopia Boot CD with the monitor DISCONNECTED from the VGA box. Replace the Boot CD with your non-boot game, wait 30 seconds for the game to load or check your VMU to see if the game is loading, THEN reconnect your monitor.

Self-boot games
Not always, the person who patched the game to self-boot has to enable the option to use the VGA-box when they patch the IP.BIN file. Also, if you still have the *.CDI file you can hex-edit the file. Just follow these steps:

  1. Open FILENAME.CDI in your favorite hex editor. And do a search for "KATANA".
  2. Scroll down a little until you see the string "JUE" (see vgafirst.jpg).
  3. Change the number string after "JUE" to "0799A10" (see vgasecond.jpg).
  4. Save your new file.
  5. Burn, and enjoy on your VGA box.

Note: the pictures are from the CNN re-release of Soul Calibur.


6.3. Removing the Echelon intro
Credits to jc of dcwarez.

Some people may wish to remove the Echelon intro for one reason or another, a major one being that the intro sometimes screws up the sound/music initialization in their rip of Unreal Tournament (making it emit a nasty screeching sound until a game is started).
(Following example applies to DOA2LE. You can use a similar method for the other games, but the file size will be different.)

  1. Extract the 1ST_READ.BIN file from the CDI or your CD.
  2. Fire up your hex-editor (I like HEdit or Hex Workshop) and open 1ST_READ.BIN, go to offset 0xF0000 and copy the Hex all the way to 983040 (the end).
  3. Make a new file 1929928 bytes large, and paste the contents of the clipboard into it.
  4. Save the file, and place it into a directory (ie, C:\SELFBOOTDOA2LE), and extract the data from the CD or the CDI file into that directory as well. Now just follow ECHELON's self-boot tutorial and re-image the CD.



6.4. Where can I find a hacked PSO key/keygen?

There are NO generic or common working keys or keygens available. The Phantasy Star Online key, or serial, becomes dependent on your Dreamcast's system date/time and network settings. Clearing out your network settings will render your PSO savegames USELESS. You must contact Sega to obtain a new key to play online again, and you have to start over from square one. When someone uses a key it gets registered with Sega, and becomes valid for that DC only. Some people have rented the game from video stores and successfully obtained keys, others buy the game to get the key and return it, however many stores have either been instructed to NOT accept returns on PSO, or already have policies in place barring it. Needless to say, if you like the game and plan on spending a good amount of time in it, BUY the game. It's the only surefire way to play online.


6.5. Do CDRWs work on Dreamcasts?

Some Dreamcasts will read CDRWs out of the box, but many won't. There are a few guides available on how to adjust the laser's gain to read CDRWs, but if done improperly, it will read CDRWs but NOT read CDRs or original DC GDROMs, or sometimes won't read both. If you have the know how, you should adjust the gain pot resistance to 544 ohms. (Thanks to: ramencup, arrid, faceless, and rattrap for the thread on dcwarez.)


6.6. Clearing the Dreamcast internal memory

You can download and burn the FlashReset utility out with Nero.

Or use one of the following browser methods:

To clear out the serial number and access key you need to reset your Dreamcast memory.

WARNING! If you reset your memory and you have been online with Phantasy Star Online you WILL NOT be able to go online with Phantasy Star Online anymore.

There are two ways to reset your internal memory, which are dependent on which browser you have. Here's how you do it:

If you have the browser that came with your Dreamcast:

- Turn the Dreamcast off
- Put the controller in port B
- Turn the Dreamcast back on
- When you see the white screen that says "SEGA" in big, blue letters, hold down X and B on the controller (it's the screen right after the Dreamcast screen with the red swirl)
- Hold down the buttons all the way through the Planet Web screen
- Upon reaching the next screen, the memory is reset
If you have the browser that comes with the Dreamcast Magazine:

- Turn the Dreamcast off
- Put the controller in port B
- Turn the Dreamcast back on
- After selection "Web Browser 2.0" from the menu, you should see a screen with the Dreamcast controller
- Hit A to advance, then immediately release A and hold down X and B on the controller
- Hold down the buttons all the way through the Planet Web screen
- Upon reaching the next screen, the memory is reset


Some forms have fields with arrows and an x. How do I select an option?

You may want to clear the internal memory of your Dreamcast system. To do this, make sure the Dreamcast Network browser disc is in your Dreamcast and your controller is plugged into the B port. Turn on the system, and immediately hold the X and B buttons on the controller down until the initial screen appears.


7. Glossary / Terminology

7.1. GD-ROM

GD-ROMs use Yamaha technology and can hold 1.2GB of data on a normal CD. CD-ROMs hold their data in binary format, in one continuous 'groove' on the CD, much like a record player. The big difference between a GD-ROM and CD-ROM is that the GD-ROM's 'grooves' are packed closer together than the groove on a normal CD-ROM, and the GD-ROM uses special CD session layouts. (unverified)


7.2. CDDA and Downsampling

CDDA means that the game has the original CD Digital Audio tracks from the original game. When a 1.2GB game won't fit on a normal 700MB cd, sometimes groups will downsample the audio or video. Downsampling is the practice of reencoding FMV/video files or digital audio at lesser quality to save space. Sometimes the groups must leave the digital audio off completely, resulting in empty tracks and missing game music.


7.3. NTSC/PAL Video formats and other misc.

USA/Jap - NTSC 60hz
Europe - PAL 50hz

VGA - Game supports the VGA Box/cable. The VGA Box allows you to hook your Dreamcast to a VGA monitor.

SCART - video lead commonly used in Europe.

Multi/Multilang - Game has multiple in-game language options.

Ripped - common with cd audio and movies. If an intro is 'ripped', the physical movie is deleted and an empty file is put in it's place, so the game will still access the file as if nothing is wrong but the original intro is omitted to save space.

Repack - when a game is deemed unplayable due to the releasing group missing a copy protection point or something similar, they may issue a repack which is usually a full working re-do of the release. In contrast would be a patch where a user can apply or reburn a patch to their broken copy to make it fully functional.


8. Downloads and Links

DC News & Forums - for reviews, previews, and Sega news.
Swirlvision - Sega news.
Gamefaqs - for all your video game strategy FAQs and codes and cheats.

ISONews - for release information, NFOs, and messageboards
DCWarez - for release information and messageboards - mostly dead now
CDROM-Guide - helpful, clean, low spam messageboards
DC Copy World - for patches and other utilities

DC CD Covers

DC Tools / Utilities / Development
Marcus Comstedt's DC Development Page - the original - home of BIN2Boot - home of CDIRip & CDI2Nero
Xena's DC Selfboot Toolkit - great page!
DCEmulation - good newbie FAQs and DC emu news
Jules' Dreamcast Development Site - good news
Hitmen Console - one of the early DC dev groups
Hydras World

VMU Games/Development
Booyaka - VMU gamesave forums and developement

CDR Software Downloads
Padus - home of DiscJuggler
GoldenHawk - home of CDRWin
Ahead - home of Nero Burning ROM
IgD's CDR Portal - home of Fireburner - CDR Software Downloads (cracked & full version)
astalavista - crack search engine

Dream On: Dreamcast Portal


9. Credits / Disclaimer

This FAQ is a compendium of many different FAQs, pages, and message board threads available on the web, I've just taken time in cleaning it up and trying to make it as concise and informative as possible. Credits go to their original authors. I am collecting *NO* money off this. Any banners or popups you see here are the result of using free ISPs, or redirection and stat tracking services.

Many thanks to the groups listed in the introduction for the initiative and hard work in ripping and cracking the games, thanks to the sites listed in the links above for the passing of knowledge and information, thanks to the non-lamers in the scene for helping others and keeping things moving.



A-Dog (sicboy) darque xblahx DJ Monkeyboy
DJ Motion (isonews) jc (dcwarez) ramencup (dcwarez) arrid (dcwarez)
faceless (isonews) rattrap (dcwarez)    

This FAQ is intended for educational purposes only. Using any of the knowledge given to you by reading this FAQ is YOUR personal responsibility. The author claims no liability or responsibility in how others use this FAQ. This FAQ is NOT to be sold under any circumstances. You break it, you bought it. No shirt, no shoes, no service.
Please e-mail or sign my guestbook with suggestions, corrections, or to be credited for a section I may have ripped off. Likewise, if you wish to use any part of the DreamFAQ or mirror it in it's entirity, please let me know.

� 2001 dole. All rights reserved.


The information contained herein is provided as-is. No warranties of any kind are expressed or implied; use of this information is solely the responsibility of the persons accessing this document. The author will neither assume responsibility for illegal or other misuse of the information contained herein nor damage done to humans, animals, plants or facilities.

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