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Berty
4th August 2006, 03:01 PM
The Sega Naomi, Naomi 2, Chihiro and Tri-Force all employ the same drive used by the Sega Dreamcast. However, purchasing a new GD-Rom drive unit costs about $160USD; which works out to be a tinsy bit more than buying 5 or so second hand Dreamcast’s.

http://www.cowboyberty.com/images/Pics%20from%20camera%20139%20EDIT.JPG

The good news is that depending on the error code that your GD Rom system is giving you, repairing the drive using cannibalised Dreamcast’s are a real and cheaper possibility.

If you have got a GD-Rom drive giving you an error message “Cannot Detect GD Rom Drive” and you are 100% sure that you have checked all connections, then I’m afraid that this guide can’t help you as you need a rare and expensive part which unfortunately, is not part of a Dreamcast.

The broken GD-Rom drive in question belonged to George, and it was giving the error message “Cannot Access GD Rom Drive”. I fired the system up and could not hear any activity other than the fan spinning. However, I took the cover off the drive and taped down the lid sensor. The drive was spinning but the laser assembly could not move. Diagnosis; either burnt out motor or bad servo board.

It is important to note that there are two main types of GD Rom drive that I have come across. The one of Georges on the left has got a whole DC GD lens unit in it, complete with all relevant connectors to do a 1:1 swap with a Dreamcast. You will know if you have this version unit if there is a “3.3v” logo stamped onto the metal. Also, in the next pic, you can see boxed in red is the DC’s GD connector.

http://www.cowboyberty.com/images/Pics%20from%20camera%20140%20EDIT.JPG

On the right is the second / (earlier?) version drive. It does not have the connector needed to do a 1:1 swap and you will have to full dissemble a drive to get this to work with swapped DC parts. Look at the difference in connectors (in red); this will be a dead giveaway as to what version you have. You can still swap parts in this version, but the DC drive will need to be fully disassembled and made to fit the different housing.

http://www.cowboyberty.com/images/Pics%20from%20camera%20141%20EDIT.JPG


Right, now here comes the fun part….

I’ll call the drive on the left Vers. A and the drive on the right Vers. B.

Vers. A Repair.

Simple unscrew and remove the drive from the Dreamcast as a whole unit. Do likewise in the GD Rom unit and switch the parts. The Red/White cables will need to be tucked away so as not to get in the way of the lid sensor.

If you have need to change the servo board (which I had to) you will need to fully disassemble the DC unit, removing all the metal shielding pieces. You will find three cables, a long ribbon cable, a two pin cable and a four pin cable. You will need to disconnect all of these, insert the new servo board (next picture) and place the cables back in exactly how you found them. Ensure that have tucked the red and white wires away so not as to interfere with the lid sensor.

http://www.cowboyberty.com/images/Pics%20from%20camera%20142%20EDIT.JPG

Vers. B Repair.

If you have got a stuffed servo board in a Vers. B. then you might have more trouble, as there is no input for the lid sensor on the DC unit. I have not tried doing a servo board repair to this model yet.

However, if you have only got a stuffed lens unit then you are in luck. Grab your DC again, remove all the screw surrounding the GD Drive and remove from the board. You will then need to gently scoop the black GD Drive unit out of its surroundings, don’t worry it isn’t bolted to anything. Lift it out far enough so that you can gain access to the ribbon cable. Remove the cable from the drive as you will need to use the existing cable in the Naomi GD Drive unit.



Once you are at this stage, you will need to remove all of the upward facing screws from the bottom of the DC GD unit. There are also two screws hidden underneath a piece of black foam –just remove the foam as you wont need it.

You should have access to the servo board and its at this point where you can remove the four and two pin connectors. You should now have the drive by itself with those two connectors still hanging of it.

Remove the crapped out drive from the GD unit, be careful to only disconnect the ribbon cable from the drive. You will also need to remove the two and four pin connectors from the Ver B’s servo board.

Now, before placing the DC unit in the cradle, you will need to reconnect that long ribbon cable. The best way to do this is by moving the laser assembly to the middle of its run, then place your fingers on either side and force the ribbon cable in; shiny side down. It will be a bit annoying doing this as you only have got so much give to work with. After you have done this you can reconnect the two and four pin connectors and re-seat the drive.

So long as your DC unit worked before removing it, you should now have a fully working GD Rom unit drive and saved yourself some major $$$. Keep in mind that new DC drive units are still going to be around $40 AUD from HK suppliers, but it still works out to be a whole lot cheaper than buying new.

PS George, i managed to fix your drive mate :D

EDIT... I will have more detailed pics later.

feeras
4th August 2006, 03:54 PM
Berty,

Very interesting article. Thanks for that. Just an aside question. You mentioned there were HK suppliers for DC Drive Units for $40. I'm wanting to source one of these. Could you please tell me who these suppliers are?

Cheers,
feeras

Berty
4th August 2006, 04:09 PM
You can either try excellentcom or xinga. I have never dealt with xinga before, but i have heard that they are reliable.

staceyamusements
4th August 2006, 06:21 PM
The Sega Naomi, Naomi 2, Chihiro and Tri-Force all employ the same drive used by the Sega Dreamcast. However, purchasing a new GD-Rom drive unit costs about $160USD; which works out to be a tinsy bit more than buying 5 or so second hand Dreamcast’s.


The good news is that depending on the error code that your GD Rom system is giving you, repairing the drive using cannibalised Dreamcast’s are a real and cheaper possibility.

If you have got a GD-Rom drive giving you an error message “Cannot Detect GD Rom Drive” and you are 100% sure that you have checked all connections, then I’m afraid that this guide can’t help you as you need a rare and expensive part which unfortunately, is not part of a Dreamcast.

The broken GD-Rom drive in question belonged to George, and it was giving the error message “Cannot Access GD Rom Drive”. I fired the system up and could not hear any activity other than the fan spinning. However, I took the cover off the drive and taped down the lid sensor. The drive was spinning but the laser assembly could not move. Diagnosis; either burnt out motor or bad servo board.

It is important to note that there are two main types of GD Rom drive that I have come across. The one of Georges on the left has got a whole DC GD lens unit in it, complete with all relevant connectors to do a 1:1 swap with a Dreamcast. You will know if you have this version unit if there is a “3.3v” logo stamped onto the metal. Also, in the next pic, you can see boxed in red is the DC’s GD connector.


On the right is the second / (earlier?) version drive. It does not have the connector needed to do a 1:1 swap and you will have to full dissemble a drive to get this to work with swapped DC parts. Look at the difference in connectors (in red); this will be a dead giveaway as to what version you have. You can still swap parts in this version, but the DC drive will need to be fully disassembled and made to fit the different housing.



Right, now here comes the fun part….

I’ll call the drive on the left Vers. A and the drive on the right Vers. B.

Vers. A Repair.

Simple unscrew and remove the drive from the Dreamcast as a whole unit. Do likewise in the GD Rom unit and switch the parts. The Red/White cables will need to be tucked away so as not to get in the way of the lid sensor.

If you have need to change the servo board (which I had to) you will need to fully disassemble the DC unit, removing all the metal shielding pieces. You will find three cables, a long ribbon cable, a two pin cable and a four pin cable. You will need to disconnect all of these, insert the new servo board (next picture) and place the cables back in exactly how you found them. Ensure that have tucked the red and white wires away so not as to interfere with the lid sensor.


Vers. B Repair.

If you have got a stuffed servo board in a Vers. B. then you might have more trouble, as there is no input for the lid sensor on the DC unit. I have not tried doing a servo board repair to this model yet.

However, if you have only got a stuffed lens unit then you are in luck. Grab your DC again, remove all the screw surrounding the GD Drive and remove from the board. You will then need to gently scoop the black GD Drive unit out of its surroundings, don’t worry it isn’t bolted to anything. Lift it out far enough so that you can gain access to the ribbon cable. Remove the cable from the drive as you will need to use the existing cable in the Naomi GD Drive unit.



Once you are at this stage, you will need to remove all of the upward facing screws from the bottom of the DC GD unit. There are also two screws hidden underneath a piece of black foam –just remove the foam as you wont need it.

You should have access to the servo board and its at this point where you can remove the four and two pin connectors. You should now have the drive by itself with those two connectors still hanging of it.

Remove the crapped out drive from the GD unit, be careful to only disconnect the ribbon cable from the drive. You will also need to remove the two and four pin connectors from the Ver B’s servo board.

Now, before placing the DC unit in the cradle, you will need to reconnect that long ribbon cable. The best way to do this is by moving the laser assembly to the middle of its run, then place your fingers on either side and force the ribbon cable in; shiny side down. It will be a bit annoying doing this as you only have got so much give to work with. After you have done this you can reconnect the two and four pin connectors and re-seat the drive.

So long as your DC unit worked before removing it, you should now have a fully working GD Rom unit drive and saved yourself some major $$$. Keep in mind that new DC drive units are still going to be around $40 AUD from HK suppliers, but it still works out to be a whole lot cheaper than buying new.

PS George, i managed to fix your drive mate :D

EDIT... I will have more detailed pics later.
Thanks mate.Your a super whizz repair genius.Will send down a dimm pcb so you can compare and repair your pcb.

Davefjedi
4th August 2006, 08:25 PM
Berty
I have no intrest in dream cast or megadrive stuff or what ever but I thank you on behalf of all the others who do from your pics and descriptions i belive i could do a swap over.
Well done i enjoyed reading and found it quite intresting im a bit pizzled(mmm beer) but hey!
this is what this forum is about shareing knowladge (lol thats not spelt right)
Good job
dave

XiTaU
4th August 2006, 10:10 PM
what i wanna know is where you are finding these $30 dreamcasts.

Berty
4th August 2006, 10:40 PM
what i wanna know is where you are finding these $30 dreamcasts.

US ebay

Lachlan
9th September 2006, 06:08 PM
My Naomi 2's GD drive motor turned out dead, followed the instructions on this thread and I know have a working GD drive.
I also got my fully dead DC laser and swapped out the motors in the half dead ex-Naomi GD drive and it now works aswell.

It seems my long dead DC actually had a purpose.

thundr51
10th September 2006, 01:39 PM
I think I'll give the a try tomorrow as I've got 2 gdrom that I'm fairly certain i've fried (mostly because I don't know anything about electronics and I don't have a complete power cable. Anyway, when powering up my naomi I can't get past the "initializing gdrom" message. The fan is working but that's it. Any ideas?

edit: Couldn't wait and decided to open it up anyway....

No dice. Servo board is fried. Took the DC apart and didn't see another servo board.

Sega tech 3, me 0

I need to stop playing...:(

Berty
10th September 2006, 03:39 PM
I have got a couple of spare servo boards. I can fix your drive up for you if you want. Send me a pm if you are interested.

footix
31st October 2007, 03:02 AM
hehe this just saved me a rev B drive! thanks a lot!

Prof
31st October 2007, 06:40 PM
what i wanna know is where you are finding these $30 dreamcasts.

Next time I'm at the tip store, I'll have to pick up a few :D:D