Reminder: Playstation Plus price will increase in September. Now might be the right time to renew (note: you help support this site by using our affiliate links, but you don't pay anything extra)

Sega Dreamcast: how its security works and how it was hacked.

Acid_Snake

I like beer.

92 Responses

  1. Mars says:

    Fun read Acid, can’t wait for more hacking history.

  2. Pirate Cat says:

    Dreamcast <3.

    At Zorak: NullDC does a decent job (occasional graphical weirdness aside).
    http://code.google.com/p/nulldc/
    http://www.emucr.com/2012/04/nulldc-svn-r141.html

  3. thevoiceover says:

    Like many here, I still have my DC (actually 3 of them) and bb adapters, vmus, and tons of games that I own legit! This was a great machine (even got FreeBSD running on it) SH4! I can say though that all the original hacks came from some guys with a special scsi burner that had gd-r firmware on it. Anyone remember the 90minute cd-r discs? They were able to rip and create a “boot” disc. these guys were called wither utopia or echelon (can’t remember.) it wasn’t until phase 2/3 that they figured out how to burn a “bootable” disc.

    Regardless, this system (developed by M$ w/ Sega) should have done better and I think Sega should have NEVER got out of the HW world.

  4. Reshiram says:

    Here’s what. I get about the Dreamcast:
    1. Its the only 3d game that was better than the ps2 because of Rainbow Six.
    2. Its the only System that can play audio from most games (CD player) if you guys didn’t know that. And now y’all saying it can be hacked? That is amazing

  5. Reshiram says:

    Sorry I mean better than ps1 lol

  6. shapeshifter0100 says:

    Great article Acid_Snake!! Must say I have been a playstation person for a long time with psps and ps2 fats…but looks like the other console scenes were more interesting than psp and ps2 scenes.hope to read more such interesting articles in the future too!!

  7. Tonakai says:

    This was an incredibly interesting post, Acid.

  8. Beak says:

    Great article. Enjoyed learning some about the Dreamcast.

  9. m_101 says:

    The GD-ROM were also burned in a reverse way and the GD-ROM Reader of the Dreamcast would also read in a reverse way.

    Standard CD-ROM Reader read CDs clockwise. Same for burner.

    Since the Dreamcast would read the GD-ROM anti-clockwise, tricks had to be used to properly burn ISO and such using standard CD Burner.

  10. 9rockky says:

    Dreamcast is the only console from Sega that’s not suck…

  11. atreyu187 says:

    The DC never used PSO to dump games. ypu are confused with the Gamecube and the PSO exploit. We used a coders cable fashioned out of a system link cable and teraterm to dump disc back then. It took about 24 hours per disc. Nw days we use the BBA and httpd-ack to dump a disc in under 30 minutes. And it has been proven time and again that using a PC to dump doesn’t give accurate results and why no one uses it as it isn’t a true 1:1 dump.

  12. zorlon says:

    I only came here due to one of my images being used, I honestly don’t care about that I was just curious (the nice label shot with the blue Mil-CD text that I put there myself) and the red marking out the important part of the label

    I do however find it odd that you state that v2 is not Mil-CD compatible after all the place you got the image from actually states that the v2 is a 50:50 version as it was part way through the production of the v2 consoles that Sega removed Mil-CD compat from there consoles, so the best way is via the date on the US models, PAL models do not have a date and I have never seen a v2 PAL console

  13. zorlon says:

    Oh and Mil-CD’s did get used officially only in Japan though

    I have a bunch of those myself, they are just video CD’s in effect but used SFD to encode the video, the sound for those are produced via CD-DA (Digital Audio Tracks)

    These are much higher quality to actual Video CD’s

    The menu for those is very basic, much the same as the CD player that is built into the Dreamcast, no Fast Forward or rewind, just skip forward/backward

    There are 3 extra’s on the menu, “Menu” “Info” “Internet”

    Menu = Video Track Menu it just has some very basic info on each video included

    Info = Track/Time/Status (e.g. PLAY STOP PAUSE)

    Internet = the usual web browser

    A few Official Mil-CD’s have extra audio tracks to what is used when the disc is booted and the video played

    These extra tracks can be played by the music player of the Dreamcast or in any other CD music player

  14. zorlon says:

    Also original Mil-CD’s had protection built into them, though this obviously did not stop us finding out how they created the Mil-CD format anyway.

    there is a PICTURES, folder (no it does not have any pics in it) that contains JACKET01.00J JACKET01.00N JACKET01.00S JACKET01.00T asides from the first file the rest of these files can not be extracted from the disc correctly, as I don’t know the exact method but I know the method Sony used for these PSX CD’s that has the same effect I will use that as an example.

    PSX CD’s use a header that is part of the disc rather than a direct part of the file (Sony used that for XA files and containers) these headers are targeted on those files but is only created when the disc is created not when the files are created, so although these header are directly linked to the files they are not part of the files and will cause an error on extracting, though the data can still be ripped you can’t then re-use that data on the target console.

  15. zorlon says:

    We have method of reading GD-Rom discs direct on PC

    3 variations of doing that (look at the redump wiki for info on that, myself I wouldn’t bother there, that and most GD’s are dumped now)

    Via Dreamcast we have a few options

    PSO not required or used as stated that is a GC method

    Network streamed the data direct from a GD to a Netwrok connection BBA or LAN modem required (You can possibly use the phone modem as well, using modded drivers ect ect on the PC side)

    DC coders cable (another direct connection to PC via a serial port, the Dreamcast end is just the serial port that was used for link up)

    SD Card (used via the serial port)

    There are possibly other methods as well asides from those

  16. zorlon says:

    Overburning is not going to destroy anything and you can’t get 1GB of data to even fit a 99min CD-R it is not possible, you can only get an extra few bytes to copy over using overburn I don’t even think you can get a full MB out of overburning, but I don’t remember the exact amount of data, your burner will only go so far before letting you know it can’t burn any more and give up then fail to close the disc, because there there is no room to burn the close info

  17. zorlon says:

    P.S. even if you have GD-R’s and a burner the Dreamcast can not boot these, you require a GD-R boot disc

    I will stop now I could possibly go on, most the info seems fine but there are some things that are either totally wrong or are miss leading

  18. Lance says:

    Excellent read, cheers !

  19. Chicky Ficky says:

    I burned my Roms using Alchol 120% or something similar. My Shenmue 2 worked fine, I just went to Youtube and followed directions, back in ’09 though. Nice article and thanks for the comments. Very informational.

  20. Krutonium says:

    I don’t know where you got the idea that overburning works like that, but a couple of notes:

    A) It will not burn out any lasers. that isn’t how it works
    B) It will not allow you to burn that much extra data – All it is doing is burning more data into the 50MB or so of Buffer Space that is otherwise reserved.

  1. July 18, 2015

    […] like video playback. Immediately after a recover of a Dreamcast, hackers found that they could completely bypass a need for GD-ROMs and force a console to play unchanging CDs as if they were Mil-CDs. This meant that any Dreamcast […]

  2. June 21, 2016

    […] on a real CRT television, for that authentic 2001 console gaming experience). We can thank the Dreamcast’s extremely broken copy protection technology for that little wrinkle and for the widespread piracy that helped doom and/or popularize the […]

  3. June 21, 2016

    […] on a real CRT television, for that authentic 2001 console gaming experience). We can thank the Dreamcast’s extremely broken copy protection technology for that little wrinkle, and for the widespread piracy which helped doom and/or popularize the […]

  4. June 21, 2016

    […] on a real CRT television, for that authentic 2001 console gaming experience). We can thank the Dreamcast’s extremely broken copy protection technology for that little wrinkle and for the widespread piracy that helped doom and/or popularize the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most comments are automatically approved, but in some cases, it might take up to 24h for your comments to show up on the site, if they need manual moderation. Thanks for your understanding