HowTo: Fix a resetting Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcasts can develop a nasty problem which causes them to randomly reset themselves during gameplay. Here's how to stop it from happening.

[Part 1: Before we begin] [Part 2: Disassembly] [Part 3: Screws!] [Part 4: Power supply woes]

DISCLAIMER: I, nor anyone here at Consoleia, take any responsibility for any damage done to your console, through this proceedure or any other. Should anything happen, it is entirely your own fault. Proceed with caution. If you have any doubts as to whether you can perform this operation, seek a professional to repair it themselves.

Oberon: So, your Dreamcast keeps resetting itself?

This is an annoying problem, with a solution that isn't obvious from the symptoms. You can't predict when it's going to happen, just that at some point, it will - which is intensely irritating if you've just reached an important stage of a game with no save point nearby. Arrrgh.

Luckily it can be fixed - the information I'm about to tell you has been available on Usenet for some time. Still, it's such an incredibly useful tip that I'm going to write it here, with the miracle of a digital camera providing pictures. Hang onto your seats.

Before we begin: Tools required

Before you start tinkering away with your DC, you're going to want a number of things to ensure that things go smoothly:

  1. A good set of screwdrivers: There are screws to be removed and replaced, and you're going to want to keep them in reasonable shape for the next time you want to open up your console (to install a modchip, for example). Make sure you've got a quality set to use before you start.
  2. An anti-static bracelet: If you do a lot of computer and console repair, chances are you've already got one; if you don't, do so. Static discharge is often fatal to delicate pieces of electronics, and your Dreamcast certainly won't appreciate a zapping.
  3. Anti-static bags/mat: This operation does involve removing components from the console, and they're going to have to be stored somewhere. Better safe than sorry.

Got all those? Then let's proceed to the next step...