Aleron Ives wrote:Your laser is getting weak. You'll probably need to adjust the laser's strength to make it read CDs again (which will shorten the lifespan of the laser).
Aleron Ives wrote:No. CD-Rs are less reflective than pressed discs, so the inability to load a CD-R when GD-ROMs work fine is a clear indication that your laser isn't powerful enough to bounce light off of a CD-R anymore. If you keep using that Dreamcast without adjusting the laser, it will eventually become unable to read GD-ROMs, too. All lasers burn out eventually, and the only way to extend the useful lifespan of the laser is to adjust the potentiometer that controls its strength. Forcing the laser to become stronger means that it will burn out completely sooner, but if it's too weak to read discs, anyway, then you have nothing to lose at that point.
Aleron Ives wrote:Optical discs work by bouncing light (from a laser) off the surface of a disc. A pressed disc (like a GD-ROM) is very shiny, so even a very weak light can bounce off of it. A burned disc (like a CD-R) is less shiny than a pressed disc, so only a strong light can bounce off of it. Your laser is weak, so you can bounce light off of shiny GD-ROMs, but you can't bounce light off of dull CD-Rs, so the Dreamcast thinks your CD-R is blank and can't read it. You need a stronger laser. You can get a stronger laser by adjusting your existing Dreamcast or buying a new Dreamcast.
Aleron Ives wrote:You use a screwdriver to turn the little screw on the laser assembly, which controls the brightness of the laser. Look for a tutorial on YouTube before you open your Dreamcast.
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