Can You Copy Dreamcast Games on Your PC?

I’ve had a few people ask me lately if you can copy your original Dreamcast games onto your PC and then burn them onto backup CDs.

Techincally, the answer is “yes”, but it’s not what you think. (Let me explain in a bit)
Basicically, I just give the answer “no” because it’s more complicated, time consuming, and expensive than the make it worth it.

Let me explain…

First of all, all retail Dreamcast games use a special disc format called a GD-ROM (more info). To make a long story short, a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive cannot read information off of a GD-ROM.

In addition, a GD-ROM holds about twice as much as a CD-ROM. So even if you got the information off the GD-ROM, it, in most cases, would not fit on a CD. And you cannot put it on a DVD because the Dreamcast cannot read DVDs.

The only way to rip a Dreamcast game to a PC is to have the game in Dreamcast and connect the machine to your PC using expensive connection hardware and software.

THEN, once you have the data onto your PC, you have to, in most cases, compress, cut out and/or downsample (reduce the quality) of the audio and video so that everything fits on a CD.

Even after you have reached that point, you need to go through a significant amount of hacking just to get the game to boot on the Dreamcast.

So the moral of the story is that you are just better off leaving this process to the few groups that have experience with the subject. If you want a backup copy of your Dreamcast game, you should just obtain an existing rip from somebody else.

Even if you have some extremely rare game, all you have to do it announce it to the Dreamcast community, and some experienced ripper will do it for you 🙂

If you have any addtional question, corrections, or comments about ripping Dreamcast games, just use the comments option below.

28 Comments

  1. Neptune says:

    The serial cable isn’t all that expensive and is easy as hell to build 🙂 BBA method is much more simplified but more expensive. Anyone got a cheap BBA for me? 😀

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey does anyone know how else to get online for PSO besides the code breaker or the adapter? I’ve been lookin for over 2 years for a dreamcast code breaker, but i can’t find any. Anyways if anyones got either of them ill be willing to buy!!

    PLEASE HELP ME OUT!!

  3. Thad says:

    Thanks for the information; it’s…informative.

    If memory serves, I read several years back that the people who got Skies of Arcadia to fit on CD’s actually compressed the entire game and built an on-the-fly decompression engine. A clever solution, but adds nasty load time and creates problems with music sync.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering if anyone has ever ripped the game “D2” and released to onlin.e I’ve looked some places but can never find it, I heard the game was too big to rip but I don’t buy that because there are a lot of movies in the game. And even if you couldn’t downgrade the movies it seems like you could have a place where you swap the disc.

  5. Anonymous says:

    i have ripped over 100 games. the very last game i ever looked at was D2. it has been ripped before with some success, someone even did a 5 disc rip but i think it had problems, but i wanted to take a look at it anyway as all my ripping began long after the dreamcast died and i just wanted to learn how to do it. i had the original and it was 4 discs. i took a look at all 4 and found that it would be quite possible with some work but honestly i was just burnt out so i deleted the files, sold my bba on ebay, and moved on to other things. my suggestion is that D2 is one of the few games that i recommend just having the original because a rip of it removes to much. later.

  6. Anonymous says:

    u guys are way to cool
    thanks for the answer by the way when there s will always be a way.

    unhappy though that i have to get all of the above then decompress what can u do when u live in shoe
    roger that
    and good luck all on ur journey.
    just like a game
    lifes a game

  7. Anonymous says:

    simple cable ripping

    dcpprip

  8. chris says:

    I have a copy of virtual on 2 on dreamcast and i wish to play it on chankast as i no longer have a dc and there are no seeding torrents. The only torrent i found was 182mb and it said self boot and wouldnt work. Please someone help me to rip my game or post a torrent etc. email me at chrisdnewton1@aol.com with helpful advice or post here.

  9. modesty says:

    can someone tell we can find copies of back up dc games online. also i have back mavel vs. capcom 2 on cd-r how can i make copy of that. that will booth.

  10. Truest1 says:

    Can Any 1 Tell Me Where I Can Get The Cables And Nessesary Software To Backup And Burn Dreamcast Games?

  11. Ziim says:

    Looking for info… I got about 50 Dreamcast games I would like to backup to original GDrom only. Most are import japan games. I donot have the broadband adapter, and do not wish to spend 300 on one to rip games. Any links to coders cables that will work would be appreciated. Also is there a huge speed difference between coders cable and broadband backup? I was reading this http://www.racketboy.com/retro/sega/dreamcast/2007/05/the-pristine-dreamcast-backup-preservation-initiative.html and believe these rips need to go up to preserve them.

  12. racketboy says:

    Don’t know of any off the top of my head, but you might want to ask in the forum…

  13. Joseph says:

    “If memory serves, I read several years back that the people who got Skies of Arcadia to fit on CD’s actually compressed the entire game and built an on-the-fly decompression engine. A clever solution, but adds nasty load time and creates problems with music sync.”

    If you compress something, save it as compressed and then uncompress it (ie convert it to the original specs of resolution and potential quality) it will stay the same as if you’d just read it compressed. When you compress video/audio you lose information, unless you’ve got some sort of witch powered magic uncompressor that information is unattainable.

  14. Richard says:

    Actually if you make the trap disks you can rip Dreamcast games with a regular cd rom drive. all you do is use an iso maker program and put in a audio cd with one track then as it’s ripping take the top off the cd rom drive and put the dc game in. look online for the “gd-rom ripping kit”

  15. Anon says:

    Joseph, I think what was meant by “compression” was that akin to lossless WinRar compression rather than typical audio compression like mp3 or vorbis.

  16. Thatboygutter says:

    1. Can I play DC games on my PC From a emulator and where do I find DC games. ROMS OR BOIS
    2. Can I play DC games from the origanal CD on my PC
    If I have the DC emulator

  17. holmes says:

    I have a mester system/ game gear emulator for dreamcast its works fine and is self booting. howe do i make a copy of it. Iv tried making a direct cd to cd copy using nero. But it doesn’tr work on the dreamcast. please help

  18. Teancum says:

    Actually it is now possible to rip Dreamcast games with certain drives. I haven’t actually tried it yet but I have a Samsung SH162D on order to try it with. Here’s the guide
    http://forum.redump.org/topic/2620/dreamcast-gdrom-dumping/

  19. Vili says:

    dudes you making it VERY complicated O.O
    a friend of mine uses this program http://www.gamecopywizard.com/?hop=76777
    he haves almost every program on the planet including Dreamcast so he has probably used it for it as well. it is said that it can copy it :X

  20. tester says:

    Gamecopywizard is just a scam and does not work. Don’t listen to that guy. Probably works for them.

  21. sanxsait says:

    I’ve heard Game Copy Pro is capable to copy games, and I tried it, it really works. http://www.copygames.org/game-copy.html

  22. Dave says:

    And only $29.99 to find out it doesn’t actually work……

  23. Blah blah says:

    Okay, I NEED Bangai-O for the Dreamcast. I have tried to burn 3 different “rips” of it and for some reason, none will burn. It’s the only game that ever will not burn… I’ve burnt like 60 other DC games… I noticed it has something like “42 audio tracks” and when trying tob urn with bootdreams or discjuggler it seems to only recognize a few. Someone needs to do a good, working bangai-o.

  24. neeraj says:

    Hey does anyone know how get Skies of Arcadia on pc

  25. Shawn Baker says:

    How many people still have their Dreamcast?

  26. racketboy says:

    A lot, actually. The Racketboy and the retro-gaming community is quite passionate about the Dreamcast