[USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

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Robbie
rebel
Posts: 19

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#81 » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:43 pm

Thank you aupton.. I will give it a try tomorrow :D

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Xiden
Outrun
Posts: 1143

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#82 » Sat May 05, 2018 1:23 pm

Something I think I'd like to offer USB GDrom users is a service. One that ensures their usb stick is formatted correctly, and preload it with tons of gdis and firmware updates. This would be a plug in play solution for the usb side of things that I can test with my DC usbgdrom ahead of time and make sure everything is working properly.

Basically all I'd ask for is you cover all shipping costs and the cost of a usb thumb drive unless you supply your own. Though I recommend a 128gb drive or more.

PM me if this interests you :)

Superfly
noob
Posts: 3

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#83 » Sat May 26, 2018 8:10 am

Hi there everyone,

I'm experiencing a temperamental USB GDROM and wondered if this is a common thing?

My issue is that the unit boots into its menu system inconsistently and I have to keep reseting the console until it decides it wants to boot. Sometimes removing the VMU seems to jolt it into working (but this could just be coincidence). Once it has booted, all of my installed GDI files play perfectly.

Anyone else getting this? Anyone have a fix or advice? Any help would be much appreciated.

Relevant information:

PAL Dreamcast as base unit / 12v PSU mod / Internal battery holder mod / LED mod / Toro VGA box.
USB GDROM internal USB
(bought in the last 6 months) updated with latest firmware "black background" (same issue with "blue background" firmware)
128gb SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB 2.0
(formatted with FAT32 Format, allocation unit size 4096 (games had sound and boot issues at higher allocation)

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Xiden
Outrun
Posts: 1143

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#84 » Sat May 26, 2018 7:42 pm

Superfly wrote:Hi there everyone,

I'm experiencing a temperamental USB GDROM and wondered if this is a common thing?

My issue is that the unit boots into its menu system inconsistently and I have to keep reseting the console until it decides it wants to boot. Sometimes removing the VMU seems to jolt it into working (but this could just be coincidence). Once it has booted, all of my installed GDI files play perfectly.

Anyone else getting this? Anyone have a fix or advice? Any help would be much appreciated.

Relevant information:

PAL Dreamcast as base unit / 12v PSU mod / Internal battery holder mod / LED mod / Toro VGA box.
USB GDROM internal USB
(bought in the last 6 months) updated with latest firmware "black background" (same issue with "blue background" firmware)
128gb SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB 2.0
(formatted with FAT32 Format, allocation unit size 4096 (games had sound and boot issues at higher allocation)


I haven't had these issues myself. One thing that might help: Unseat the usbgdrom, clean the contacts and reseat it, make sure its securely in place. If its a power issue, remove power supply, clean contacts and make sure its getting a solid connection as well. Sounds like your software is setup right.

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Xiden
Outrun
Posts: 1143

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#85 » Sat May 26, 2018 7:43 pm

curious are you using a VA1 Dreamcast?

Superfly
noob
Posts: 3

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#86 » Sun May 27, 2018 6:14 am

Hi Xiden,

Thanks for help. I believe my Dreamcast is a VA1 model. I've custom painted the case so I don't have the original stickers anymore.

I took your advice and stripped down the USB GDROM and cleaned all the connections before re-mounting. Unfortunately, I get the same results. Sometimes it boots into the file selection and sometimes I just get a static Dreamcast logo.

It seems to be just a random occurrence that I can't track down to a hardware issue. So.... I'm now thinking software? May I ask, what file structure do you use on your USB / Hard drive? Also, is there a quick way to return to the file menu from within a game? Like a soft reset button combination?

Sorry if this is all obvious stuff but I'm new to using the device.

Superfly
noob
Posts: 3

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#87 » Sun May 27, 2018 11:36 am

Hi again,

Okay.... a quick update on my boot problems. It seems that the issue is with the SanDisk 128gb Cruzer Blade USB that I'm using. I grabbed an old HP 8gb USB and thought I'd give that a go to rule out the stick as a problem, and boom.... it boots first time every time!

I'm thinking that it's something to do with the design of the USB. The SanDisc has an all plastic construction and the HP has a more traditional metal connector socket. It could just be that the SanDisk's connection to the USB port is just not as snug as the HP's.... who knows?

Anyway, I hope this is of use to anyone else experiencing this issue. All advice and support has been gratefully received.

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Xiden
Outrun
Posts: 1143

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#88 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:23 pm

RXShorty wrote:Hello all,

I had some troubles from time to time with my USB GDROM from MNEMO but always find a way to resolve them with the help from some others.
So here we go with some information:

Latest firmware: firmware update v 2017/09/05
But you can also view the older and hotfix firmwares on Google Drive Archive
Latest hotfix: fw-18-04-18(O)

The USB GDROM is a mod created by MNEMO.
With his mod it is possible to load GDI's, ISO's and CDI's from a USB storage device.
From MNEMO's website


USB GDROM.jpg

Description/Features:

- USB 2.0 Host
- any USB media up to 2 TBytes: USB Flashstick, USB HDD, USB-SD
- FAT32 (long file names supported)
- unlimited sub-directories with any names
- 100% compatible (about 600 games was tested by DC community)
- CDDA implemented
- Images: GDI, ISO, cdi
- «Region free» can be ON or OFF (you can launch any GDI images(NTSC/PAL/JP/EU/US) at your console)
- flexible «Swap Image» feature
- compatible with VA0 & VA1 model (all consoles with GDROM connector. VA2 has integrated GDROM Controller)


Installing the USB GDROM



So basically you replace your laserunit with the USB GDROM mod.
The first version of the USB GDROM had a external USB port which neede some cutting in the Dreamcast casing.

Installing the USB GDROM is pretty easy, the only soldering needed is for placing the lid switch on the new USB GDROM board.
This is needed if you play multidisc games or want to use things like codebreaker.
Xiden has a nice post about how to do this already here on Dreamcast-Talk.
At the moment you can buy the board with the lidswitch preinstalled!
Though this should also be possible with a button combination.
When use Button as Lid switch - Put this file to USB (I have not tested this yet)


Preparing your USB storage

To get your USB drive working you will need to format it in FAT32 with 64k clusters.
MNEMO provided me with a tool that runs on Windows: fat32formater
FAT32.jpg
Be sure to format your device with 64k clusters!
Most problems with not booting games is caused by not having the right FAT32 64K cluster format.

After the format is ready you need to download root_init.rar and unzip it on the root of your USB Drive.
The folder can be handy for putting games in it but if you want to organize different it is up to you, just be sure Launch DASHBOARD.iso is located on your USB device in the root folder.


Upgrade the Firmware

To upgrade the firmware visit MNEMO's website: http://3do-renovation.ru/USB-GDROM_Controller.htm
Download the latest firmware and unzip it.
Copy the USB-GD_fw_**-**-**0.bin to the root of your USB device.
Boot your Dreamcast and select the upgrade file in the menu and open it.
Upgrade will start, please don't turn of the system!
After the upgrade is done the system reboots.



Electrical mods to reduce heat
When you have installed your USB GDROM mod your Dreamcast loses the GD-ROM unit that uses the 12V .
This causes the PSU to heat up.
I tried gaming with it for serval hours without issues but it did get really hot.
So I tried putting in a resistor on the 12V pins and it works pretty well for me.
It still get's hot but not as insane as the first time.

I used a 300 Ohm 1/4W resistor like in the video above (Starting at 1:40).

Another possibility is replacing the PSU with a PicoPSU.
This option is probably the best option to get things fixed but it requires some more work.

A PicoPSU 60watt will do, more is just overkill from what I have read.


Buying the USB GDROM
So you are interested buying a USB GDROM from MNEMO?
Go to his website: http://3do-renovation.ru/How_to_buy.htm
Use his order form (please note paypal only).
MNEMO is trustworthy so please be patient about the responds from MNEMO.
It sounds sketchy but a lot of people received their USB GDROM without any problems. 8-)


Handy links
Thanks to Xiden:
Wanted to add the following usb gdrom items
Both these auctions have ended but if you emal the seller collingall2005 on ebay he will likely sell you a kit.

Installl guide https://m.imgur.com/a/WcHjT

A usb gdrom bay insert
http://m.ebay.com/itm/272678068291

Here it is on thingverse
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2302737

Fan mod - It is specifically built for the Noctua NF-A4x10 5V fan
http://m.ebay.com/itm/Dreamcast-silent- ... HING_ENDED

Here it is on thingverse
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2308549

PicoPsu mount
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2308511


Troubleshooting
  • CDI's work but GDI's won't load - If after update GDI Images not working-that means you need also additional update. https://yadi.sk/d/bjF1gxE7rFQt2
  • Games won't load but the menu starts - Reformat your device with FAT32 and 64 clusters
  • The Dreamcast heats up - Check out above for a Resistor mod or PicoPSU mod.


MNEMO's own support guide:

USB-GDROM Tech guide
If your device working bad or not working: http://3do-renovation.ru/USB-GD_Tech_guide.htm

1) format USB with cluster size 32k or 64k
2) Try different USB Flashstiks
3) Clean Power connector of console (6 pins)
I clean it every 3 month else USB-GDROM and GDEMU working bad or sometimes not working at all.
(if you are too lazy- just reconnect Power Supply few times.)
4) Try another console

Thanks Xiden for all the extra information!

Any extra information is appreciated! :)


Found a critical issue that can cause USB-GDrom to fail. A bad DC internal battery. This is something we will need to add to the guide :) Once I replaced the battery no more issues occurred. However if you dont want to replace it, you can unplug your dc for 60 seconds and plug it back in and turn it on and everything will boot fine. This fixes random USB-GDrom resets and blank screens :)

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Xiden
Outrun
Posts: 1143

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#89 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:23 pm

FYI I let MNEMO know to add it to his list of troubleshooting as well.

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RXShorty
fire
Posts: 84

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#90 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:32 pm

Sweet! Thanks again.
I also having some problems when booting after a time not using the Dreamcast and still didnt replace my battery.
Going to add it to my to do list!

Just got back from Japan and scored some maracas! :)
DreamOn!

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