Sega Saturn Modchip Troubleshooting

Sometimes there are a few things that can be overlooked when installing a Saturn Mod chip that can cause problems.
If there is something wrong with the installation you may find that your games boot to a Audio CD Player.
If your Saturn modchip installation seems to be giving your problem go through this check list:

  • Make sure you are using the correct set of instructions. Since there are a few different types of Saturn models, you need to make sure you are installing the correct way for your Saturn.
  • Make sure all the neccessary connections are clean. Make sure there is not any stray solder that could cause an electrical short.
  • You may want to look over the Soldering Guide to look for tips you might find helpful
  • Ensure that your system cannot play original games in addition to backups. If your Saturn can play originals with the chip in, it is most likely an issue with the burned CDs themselves.
  • Ensure that the chip is in the slot all the way. Sometimes a chip may have a hard time going into the slot and feels like it needs extra force to cram it in there. If this is the case, you may need to file down the edges of the slot plug.
  • If you are attempting the A+B method, try soldering to the chip on the mainboard instead. The A+B method is supposedly not a 100% sure thing.
  • If you are worried that your Sega Saturn console may be dead, you can take the chip out and see if it still plays regular games.

If you still need help, just post comments below or in the technical help forums and I’ll try to help you out. The forums will be your best bet as I will probably respond sooner and you will have many other knowledgable members at your service as well.


88 Comments

gfoxtrot says:

Hi,
today i received my modchip.I have a Saturn model 1. I made all the wiring soldering to change it ,as i read from the instructions. I installed it and the first thing i ve done was to test with an original disk. It works perfect. But when i insert a burned disk i get the audio player or usuitable game disk(this has to do with the region). I ve checked the region of the iso which is European, but nothing any idea???

Thx

gfoxtrot says:

Found the problem. It seems that when the console comes together the upper part presses the chip(down)and it loses some of the contacts. Today i am gonna buy a cable to install it horizontally.

Thx

sg1 says:

Hey racketboy i purchased a chip for my saturn…it looks just like the one in your tutorials.i bought it last fall,had a game technitian (yeah right rip off lol)do it for me anyhow i got it back from him, without a backup to test and of course it didnt work. so i tried to make my own cdr…..and no luck, so i put it away….i decided to look around a few days ago again,since i had put it away and this is what is doing. he soldered the a-b together,the original game would go to cd player as well so i removed the chip,and it worked great. i plug in the chip and it doesnt work, goes to cd. after of messing with the chip, filing it to fit and what not… i tried a couple more times,now with the chip in and an original game,it doesnt even go to cd player anymore,it just says checking game and thats it. if i take out the chip,it works good….any help…..im buying another chip just in case..thanks

Jeff says:

Just wanted to share this with all of you in case you are having problems. I have a Model 2 32 Pin system. I used the A+B method (bridged) and it did not work. I got the splash screen then checking disc then cd player and two green cubes. I am using known working discs (tested with swap method). Originals still booted fine but not backups. I am not new to mod chips and have been installing chips for more than 10 years (ps1 days). The bridge was fine (multimeter) and the ribbon cable was all hooked up. So I tried a second Model 2 32 Pin system to see if that would work. Still nothing. I finally decide to just try to remove the A+B bridge and connect the signal to pin 14 and it worked great! every game every time! So basically I see statements that say the A+B method works 99.9% of the time and I had it fail with two systems then I must either be very unlucky or the 99.9% is an exaggeration. To take the extra step and install the one little signal wire to pin 14 is worth it. Its very easy anyway. I have installed 20 wire ps2 chips and 30+ wire wii chips and they were not fun at all. Two wires (power + signal) is nothing!

Gallery says:

My saturn is a white japanese Model No. MK80219-07
Power source:200-240 50/60Hz It will be suitable with your modchip

Gallery says:

My saturn is a white japanese Model No. MK80219-07
Power source:200-240 50/60Hz It will be suitable with your modchip???? I am waiting for your answer I need order two pieces if is ok

DogP says:

I picked one of these up a while ago, and it seems to be having a minor problem. It’s a US Model 2… when I try to boot from a CD-R, it tries to read for a while, and eventually goes to the CD player screen, either detecting a music CD, or none at all. Very rarely it’ll boot fine, and occasionally it’ll give the Licensed by Sega screen, then drop back out to the CD player screen.

Here’s the weird part… if I’m at the CD player screen and pop in an original, it almost immediately says “Start Application”. If I then pop it out and put in the CD-R, it also almost immediately says “Start Application” and works perfectly.

I don’t know if it has something to do with the laser… I tried adjusting it a little bit, but nothing seemed to make any difference. I’m using Taiyo Yuden CD-Rs, which are supposedly the best, and they work perfectly once I get them to boot.

I initially did the A+B, but after these problems, I installed the wire, but it didn’t make any difference.

Any ideas?

Roderick L Strong says:

Hello Racketboy. I just purchased a Sega Saturn modchip and followed your instructions for the install. I have a model 2 version and I’ve used the 14th pin as well as the A-B method and although my originals still worked, none of my backups have worked. To further troubleshoot, I backed up my original and that works perfectly so I’m thinking it’s my backups, but I’m using the A-B method. Does it actually matter what install method is used? To further inform you, my system is a US one and my original is one too but the backups are Japanese imports.

racketboy says:

It is probably just the backups — the method of mod doesn’t matter. What message are you getting from the Saturn? You might need to patch the region code of the ISOs before burning to a disc.
http://www.racketboy.com/downloads/sega-saturn-region-patcher.htm

sbiky says:

Hello.

I bought the modchip last summer, I tried to install it but it didn’t work, I followed the instructions of this page, I have a model 2 saturn 32 pins. My power supply has 5 pins, so I tested the first and second pin (starting to count from above). The console showed a menu screen with the two cubes of sound (left and right) in red colour and menu sounds changed, sounding like error or something. The disc didn’t spin or the console showed a message saying disc format incorrect or something.

I don’t know what thing I did wrong, a few days ago I tried it again but the result was the same…

I know I should have put this message before but I wanted to try again and I have not had time until now.

┬┐Can somebody help me?

Sterling says:

I have a model 2 sega saturn and installed your mod chip without issue a couple of years ago. Recently, my saturn stopped recognizing copied games without multiple tries. Now it doesn’t work at all. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong… Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

Hi there! If you’re having trouble with a model 2 64-pin chip, follow this guide:
http://www.segastyle.com/model264.html

Gearheadtocz says:

Hello, I saw a small error in the instructions for the model 1 mod.
The pictures correct with the connection of Connect Pin 6 EM78 to pin 6c
But the instructions say to “Connect Pin 6 EM78->pin 5 C”
I installed to pin 6c like in the photos and it works fine.
Just figured I would mention it so nobody else will get confused.

I also have a small problem. The chip works great with playing US and EU burnt games
but will not play Japanese burns. My console is a Japanese model 1 Saturn and I know the
burned discs are good because I also have a US model 2 with the modchip and it plays them just fine. Any Ideas?

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