Dreamcast hard drive mod

Discussion in 'Sega Dreamcast Development and Research' started by moonchilde, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. moonchilde

    moonchilde Papa Claw & Paw

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    I'm sure this has already been covered, but has anyone had any luck with SATA to IDE converters and a small SSD? Using a SSD may seem like overkill, but it's not about the speed it's about moving parts and the fact I'll be traveling with it to tournaments and weekly casuals. Magnetic disk is not a risk I want to take with it possibly getting bumped around and going through airport security.

    I'm looking at the SATA to IDE at $9.99 and a 60 gb SSD for $17.99. That's really not bad for a seemingly simple and cheap mod. Much more cost effective than a GDEMU. Form factor is not an issue as the DC guts are going to be ripped out and the old shell retired, and placed into a new one with various mods added to it.

    I'm a little new to this, but what would I miss by going this route over GDEMU?
     
  2. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Compatibility. You loose the 100% compatibility that the other solutions provide. Japanese-Cake is actually working on removing all protections from Bleemcast PSX retail emulator discs, so we should be able to actually finally play the 3 PSX games Metal Gear Solid, Gran Turismo 2, and Tekken 3 on our GDEMU's. Dreamshell and the IDE mod is unfortunately still not 100% compatible, so there are a lot of games you won't get to play. I am not up to date with the compatibility of Dreamshell, but you have to factor that in. Once we get Bleem fully working, then nothing beats a GDEMU clone for $70 free shipping. You can get a 128gb micro sd card for about $30 and throw on over 100 games easily.

    Here is my SD card which is 100% compatible.

    https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Micr...WO/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584070138235962&psc=1

    GDEMU clones can be found on eBay.
     
  3. moonchilde

    moonchilde Papa Claw & Paw

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    I don't need full compatibility, I just need mainly the fighting games. At least for now. I'm also not interested in Bleem. Also, I didn't know people advocate buying GDEMU clones?

    Here are my goals:
    - needs to be solid for traveling
    - cheap and easy to fix
    - only need fighting game support
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  4. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    When when the guy lets the free market decide instead of taking it into his own hands and partnering with say, Stone Age Gamer to help with mass producing them, I don't have much sympathy when he allows a market of scalpers to thrive for over 4 full years when people are clamoring to get them in the first place. So yeah, no sympathy for him from me. I tried to get one for ages. Simple economics really, supply and demand made them like pure unobtanium for almost half a decade. I would have much rather been able to get it from him, but it never came to pass.

    Tekken 3 is a supported fighting game that is compatible with the official Bleem disc, so that was why I mentioned it since you said you wanted to take the system to tournaments.

    I would say it can't get more solid than GDEMU and an SD card. I mean in case it gets knocked about no need to contend with a possibly damaged drive. Other than the fan, it has no moving parts!

    Like I said above, no moving parts, not much to go wrong really. \/('-')\/

    I don't really see many major fighting games Dreamshell doesn't support.

    Here is a recent compatibility list I found by DragonCity.

    http://www.dreamshell.infos.st/

    Good luck with whatever route you go. Also, it should be stated you can still use Dreamshell with a GDEMU and serial port SD card reader to be able to have the best of both worlds. That would give you the ability to use many of the features of it. Of course no loading games from it via GDEMU, as it doesn't support loading games within Dreamshell from the device, but you could still load homebrew and apps with the serial SD card adapter.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
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  5. moonchilde

    moonchilde Papa Claw & Paw

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    Looking over the list it seems most of the stuff I would use should be fine. A $18 SSD + $10 IDE adapter and/or ribbon cable soldering job is much faster and cheaper than even the clones. I could do both eventually if I don't like the Dreamshell method, right now I just want to get up and running.

    How is the quality on the clones, for future reference?
     
  6. Anthony817

    Anthony817 Familiar Face

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    Well, since it is a clone, there is no updating of the firmware, which is par for the course with that territory on every clone device for every system. Only heard a super tiny handful of them not working on arrival, but also the official ones are like that too, and Denuan doesn't offer support or refunds to my knowledge, or a warranty for that matter.

    The guy I got mine from in England tested them fully before he shipped them out, and also offered a full 30 day warranty no questions asked. I paid almost the same price(not quite though) of the official for that peace of mind, but it arrived to my house within 5 days. And I live in Texas, so pretty far from the UK.

    Although, there should be resellers of the clones in North America and Europe that should have reasonable prices and warranties vs the official, or getting straight from China.
     
  7. fafadou

    fafadou Gutsy Member

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    I don't know when japanese_cake will finish his amazing bios... we have no news since a while.
    But the bleem! should run on dreamshell when the bios will be patched. bleem! use a 1ST_READ.BIN standard if I remember well.

    The gdemu is clearly the easier and best way to play with full compatibilty but dreamshell is free and you have a true OS.
    the compatibility rise in continue we don't have find all with actually stuff and swat is waiting for new hardware to continue a better loader.
    when it is set well, the loadings are very faster than other system due to ide/ssd speed.

    Choose carefully. Now you have two visions of things ;-)
     
  8. moonchilde

    moonchilde Papa Claw & Paw

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    I already ordered the IDE adapter and SSD. Couldn't beat the price, for $28 having SSD with no moving parts is a no brainer for a handful of games used in the tournament scene. I'll report on how well it works. If I don't like it, I can look into other solutions.
     
    maxtherabbit and MastaG like this.

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