[USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

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Xiden
Gold Lion
Posts: 1611

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#221 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 4:22 pm

Capone1423 wrote:Unfortunately I didn’t get any feedback from Mnemo. Does anyone have any alternatives in fixing this and flashing the firmware. I want to get off the brick

Thanks



Edit: have you tried the official latest firmware on his website?

He can be slow to respond sometimes. However if you goto the first post in this thread, there is a Google drive archive of previous firmwares. Maybe you can bump firmwares up from the next available date from yours

Capone1423
shadow
Posts: 7

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#222 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:38 pm

Xiden wrote:
Capone1423 wrote:Unfortunately I didn’t get any feedback from Mnemo. Does anyone have any alternatives in fixing this and flashing the firmware. I want to get off the brick

Thanks



Edit: have you tried the official latest firmware on his website?

He can be slow to respond sometimes. However if you goto the first post in this thread, there is a Google drive archive of previous firmwares. Maybe you can bump firmwares up from the next available date from yours


Hi,

yes, tried the latest FW from his website. I also tried the previous firmware from the google drive link on the fist page, to upgrade from year to year. The 2017 FW was working the 2018 and the latest aren't. The DC will reboot and the go into the music player. I habe board version 5, dont know if this is an old or newer version

Capone1423
shadow
Posts: 7

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#223 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 5:26 am

Hi folks, quick update, I’m now on the latest firmware. Dt mnemo helped me to fix it. I have to update a firmware First which was between the 2017 and 2018 firmware which was not found here in the google drive
Last edited by Capone1423 on Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Xiden
Gold Lion
Posts: 1611

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#224 » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:03 am

Capone1423 wrote:Hi folks, quick update, I’m now on the latest firmware. Dt mnemo helped me to fix it. I have to update a firmware First which was between the 2017 and 2018 firmware which was found here in the google drive


Glad its fixed :)

Renaissance 2K
noob
Posts: 1

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#225 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:10 am

Hi everyone. I've lurked here for a while but posting my own USB GD-ROM troubles.

I have a Dreamcast with a USB GD-ROM, DCHDMI, and DreamPort (alternative power supply with Bluetooth controller support). Shortly after installing the DreamPort, after a few successful play sessions, the USB GD-ROM stopped booting. The console hangs on the Dreamcast logo for a few minutes before taking me to the BIOS/menu screen.

Most of Mnemo's troubleshooting tips aren't useful unless the device can boot. I did, however, clean the power supply contacts - both by repeatedly removing/inserting the power supply, and by using DeoxIt - to no effect. At this point, I was thinking I had killed the USB GD-ROM, either by shorting something during one of the other mod installations or by triggering a nascent incompatibility between it and the DreamPort.

I picked up a second Dreamcast recently to help with the diagnosis and confirm if the USBGDR was indeed dead. Surprisingly, this is what happened:

- The second Dreamcast works with a stock power supply and USBGDR. (!)
- The first Dreamcast works with the DreamPort and the stock GD-ROM.
- The first Dreamcast works with a stock power supply and stock GD-ROM.
- The first Dreamcast does not work with a stock power supply and the USBGDR.

Any thoughts on where to go from here? The USB GD-ROM is clearly not dead, but there's something about the first Dreamcast that is keeping it from booting.

RadicalLink
noob
Posts: 2

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#226 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:27 am

Hi guys. I just wanted to share my experience with MNemo's USB GDROM.

I bought the device for a brand new Japanese VA1 Dreamcast and after installation; the Dreamcast always go to the CD Player and not to the main menu of the USB GDROM.

Then I acquired a US VA1 mobo with a Bios chip mod. After installation; I was able to to go to the device menu but the text and folders were always showing as garbage regardless of the USB drive used.

Then i got a Japanese VA0 Dreamcast from a friend. Installed the USB GDROM on it and it worked flawlessly without any issues and I was able to update the firmware to the latest release.

I tried the USB GDROM again on the Bios modded US VA1 mobo and it worked without any issues.

I tried the USB GDROM again on new Japanese VA1 Dreamcast; same issue; it goes to the CD Player.

From my experience; I guess that the USB GDROM might be picky when it comes to the mobo bios. It would be helpful if somebody of the experienced forum members can share their opinion on this.

I did not have any issues with power supplies. I have tested 100V original PSU and 220V original and knockoff PSUs. I am currently using PicoPSU on the JAP VA0 and US VA1 Dremacasts, The JAP VA0 with USB GDROM and US VA1 with Clone GDEMU.

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megavolt85
MegaDeath
Posts: 221

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#227 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:39 pm

RadicalLink wrote:It would be helpful if somebody of the experienced forum members can share their opinion on this.


Your console's BIOS does not support loading MIL-CD
On GDEMU this problem is easy to solve, and for USB-GDROM only the replacement of BIOS

User avatar
Xiden
Gold Lion
Posts: 1611

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#228 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:48 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 2019/06/06 - Which removes the "Time-Bomb" - Thanks Xiden for the information!
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.
  • USB GDROM won't work correctly, sometimes not booting and/or loading games - This can be caused by a bad DC internal battery


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! (again!)

Any extra information is appreciated! :)


Something cool to share, I may do a separate post for this as well. It's a video showing how to compress gdi games (no loss of quality) it simply trims out the unnecessary padding Sega added to make most games exceed 1Gig. This allows usbgdrom and gdemu users to store more games on a USB drive or sd card!

https://youtu.be/C9A9ngXgAJo

RadicalLink
noob
Posts: 2

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#229 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:49 am

megavolt85 wrote:
RadicalLink wrote:It would be helpful if somebody of the experienced forum members can share their opinion on this.


Your console's BIOS does not support loading MIL-CD
On GDEMU this problem is easy to solve, and for USB-GDROM only the replacement of BIOS



Thanks for your reply. Yes exactly, I figured out that this was the problem. I might plan to replace the bios chip on the JAP VA1 Mobo later.

Just to note that the USB GDROM before updating its firmware (blue menu) in my case did not work properly on a US VA1 Mobo with the Devkit Bios. It only worked when it was updated to the current firmware release.

Cyberonix
shadow
Posts: 7

Re: [USB GDROM] Troubleshooting & Firmware updates

Post#230 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:31 am

I was wondering if anyone has encountered a particular problem that's plagued me after applying certain firmware updates. My Dreamcast has a 1TB Western Digital HD I attached. When I first installed the GDROM unit this drive would not load games. The menu would come up but I couldn't get games to run (at least the few I tried). I could select a game and it would start to load but as soon as it finished it would start a infinite loop where the Sega logo would appear for a few seconds, then the screen would go black for a few seconds, then the Sega logo would reappear and start the logo/black screen cycle over and over until I powered the unit off. As a side note I detached the HD and repeated those same steps using a USB thumb drive and the same game(s) loaded perfectly.

I then updated the firmware to the latest version at the time (it was a few versions ago). After updating it the hard drive started working properly but the thumb drive no longer worked. I thought that was weird but since the plan was to use the HD anyway I wasn't too concerned.

Enter the on-going issue... Each time a new version of the firmware was released I'd update my board to keep it current but this would either "break" or fix my board. Specifically it would cause certain games that worked fine on the previous firmware to start doing the Sega logo/black screen loop again. I'd be stuck until a new version of the firmware released and miraculously those games would start working again.

I'm back to that same problem again. The previous firmware seemed really stable and I wasn't planning on upgrading to the "2019/06/06" version until I read about the firmware time bomb. Now I'm back to the loop. Running Ecco The Dolphin or Crazy Taxi works perfectly while running Mortal Kombat puts me in a loop.

I've tried doing a full FAT32 / 64K format and re-adding the games back but I'm still encountering the same problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

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