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Most fragile CD based systems?

Fragile Broken Malfunction

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#1 travistouchdown OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 7:44 PM

What do you think they are?

I was reflecting on the price of Sega CD games the other day and wondered to myself "how many working Sega CD's are even left?" It's sort of a problem, the reliability of some optical drive based consoles. I bet there will still be working heavy sixers by the time the last Sega CD model 1 has died...

What are your top "fragile" systems to note and what is it that makes them this way?

#2 StopDrop&Retro OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:10 PM

I think only the Model 1 Sega CD is known for its high attrition rate. These CD based systems seem to improve as they go on with the design.


Personally, I find the PS1 to be the most fragile. I have three SCPH-1001 systems and none of them work. I've tried replacing the lasers and they just break again or reject them.

#3 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:15 PM

What are your top "fragile" systems to note and what is it that makes them this way?


So do you still mean CD based as in the title or in general now.  I think you meant in general now since comparing the CD systems to the heavy sixers.  If wrong I apologize.


I'm going to say the fat model 360s are the most fragile systems do to the RROD issues, and a lot of CD systems will be working after those have died.

#4 BillyHW OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:18 PM

Isn't the Jag CD really fragile?

#5 Gabriel OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:25 PM

Model 1 Sega CD is fine.  It's not perfect.  It's not up there with a Panasonic FZ-1 3DO in durability, but I'm on only my second and it has been in service for 17 years or so.


I have yet to encounter a Model 2 Sega CD that can get through Dark Wizard or Shining Force CD without disc failure.  They also have a nasty habit of throwing themselves out of alignment and grinding discs.


Dreamcast is pretty bad.  I had several drives fail on me.  Then when I was trying to get a replacement (when that mattered to me), I went through about half a dozen with bad drives.


PS1 has the legendary issues requiring it be flipped upside down to work until it eventually fails completely.

#6 SignGuy81 OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:30 PM

I've owned the Sega CD but never have had the Sega CDX, and I bet that one would be the worst since it was a portable unit that probably got thrown around a lot.

#7 Eltigro ONLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:41 PM

I think I have seen someone say that the CDX is fragile...  I've also heard stories about the TurboGrafx CD... issues with gears or caps or whatever...


Only one I've personally had problem with is my original Playstation that got to where I had to turn it upside down to read a disc.  It was apparently something that happened a lot.  My PS3's drive doesn't work, but I got it that way and I don't know how common a problem it is. 

#8 Tanooki OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 8:47 PM

I thought the CDX was notable for being a ticking time bomb, but so are the TG CD/Duos considering the absolutely horrid capacitors all those NEC systems had.  At this point anyone buying one that hasn't been recapped CD based, console, or the handheld best know how to do it themselves as it's a matter of time and not much.

#9 fiddlepaddle ONLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 9:07 PM

My CDX has worked fine for many years, but I don't wear it on my hip. 


My Game Gears, on the other hand, all (maybe 20?) seem to have gone bad. 


My Turbo Express lost it last year.

#10 Tempest OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 9:14 PM

I've only had problems with my Sega CD model 1 (reads discs but eventually skips and stutters) and my Dreamcast which just plain died. I'd like to get my model 1 fixed up though since I think it looks better than the model 2.

#11 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 9:14 PM

The PCe had those horrid yellow gears. Funny the original stock Turbografx PCe systems never suffered from bad caps, only the CD systems. Game Gears had bad caps, Sega CDs, but not the model one Genesis. Pretty much everything not made by Nintendo in the early 90s suffered cap rot due to bad Taiwanese caps. None of our 80s consoles did this, and Nintendo used Japanese caps in theirs during the 90s.

#12 Blazing Lazers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 3:31 AM

Dreamcast, based on a sample size of multiple ones that I've owned. It could just be bad luck that I've had with these, as several were units I picked up for cheap at various Goodwills.


I've had fairly good results with other systems I've owned, for the most part. The one that really impresses me is my Saturn- it's seen some real use for many years now, yet still works like a champ. I wish Dreamcasts had been built as well.


PS2 systems and Original Xboxes are some that I've had reliability issues with. It seems to be what particular model the system is. Fat PS2s do not have the same reliability as the Slims, and some versions of the Original Xbox seem to hold up better than other models with particular disc trays.


The one thing I have noticed that is consistent across all platforms is that toploaders seem to last longer than tray loaders, and work more reliably. The only two exceptions are Dreamcasts and (supposedly) Jag CD units, though mine have always worked fine. My toploading FZ-10 3DO, Sega CD Model 2, Saturn, Gamecube, Slim PS2, PS1 (portable), PS3 Slim, have never had issues. Even my Duo and Jag CDs have held up, though they don't see regular use.


One other system that I'm sure to be the only one mentioning here is the Memorex VIS- they're remarkably well built and I make a point of testing it once or twice a year and have never had an issue. Whatever could said of its games, the system itself is the gold standard for build quality.

#13 travistouchdown OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 4:20 AM

I believe any system with tray based loading is more prone to failure due to the addition moving parts.

For example the Sega CD model 1, 3DO, CDi, Xbox, PS2, early Xbox 360, etc.

That being said, there are the occasional top loaders with design weaknesses as well, PS1, Jag CD, the occasional Dreamcast.

#14 GoldenWheels OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:27 AM

I went through several fat PS2s. DRE.


Oddly I NEVER had to flip my PS1 over, ever.

#15 xenomorpher OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:40 AM

The only PlayStation system that gave me problems is the PS3, but that was due to heating issues like my original XBOX 360.

I have two original XBOX systems with bad DVD drives but you can just hot swap any compatible drive. It's not really an issue for me since they're soft modded. Had no issues otherwise.

My one Dreamcast I had for years does have a temperamental laser that I managed to adjust to read "back up" games. My other one acts up occasionally, but works great after cleaning the lens and disc. I would love to get a SD or USB replacement for it and my Saturn, which acts up occasionally, but the price and wait has held me back. Plus I like using GameShark cheats and have no idea how that would work.

I do have a GameCube that will occasionally mid-game give me a dirty disc error or whatever, but works fine after a disc and lens cleaning. It did it during Eternal Darkness, and I thought it was the game messing with me. I waited a good three minutes before I turned the system off.

The oldest system that I originally own is a PS2 from around 2001 and that has never gave me any problems. I had it knocked over from a dresser while a game was running, and only scratched the disc a little. It and the game that was scratched work flawlessly to this day. I must be lucky.

Edited by xenomorpher, Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:45 AM.

#16 Cafeman OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:47 AM

Not sure, but my Sega CD Model 1 still works flawlessly. I've had 1 Saturn and 2 Dreamcasts fail. I picked up 2 used Sega CD model 2 units, neither worked. All my other systems never had a disc problem.

#17 Silverfleet OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:54 AM

Here are the only disc systems I've had issues with:


Sega Saturn: I bought one from a friend around 1997. It was an early launch console. One day, the laser started binding up, making games unplayable. Frustrated, I picked it up about waist high and dropped it flat on the ground. And you know what? THAT FIXED IT! It still works fine to this day.  :lol:


Playstation 2 (Fat): Remember when it came out and you couldn't find them? They were sold out in my area until around March, when I finally found one. I played the thing almost every day and used it for DVD playback. A little over a year in, it started having trouble with PS1 discs and purple bottom PS2 discs and would only DVD-based media. There used to be a trick where you would put scotch tape on games in a cross pattern, and that would act as a counterweight to keep games spinning properly, and that worked for a while. About 2 years in, the drive completely died. I replaced it with a Slim when those came out, and that works fine to this day. I have 2-3 other Fats and one of them does the ol' Disc Read Error too. 


Xbox: I have a spare Xbox that has trouble opening the drive door. The drive still plays discs fine.


Xbox 360: RRoD. Just like everyone else's. I bought mine in 2007 and it made it all the way until about 2014, so I think it had a good run. After that, my second one, this time the 1st smaller redesigned model, ate a hard drive. I'm still pissed about that. 


I haven't had issues with anything else. I have a pile of PS1's from launch consoles to the last revision before the PSOne mini, and they are all fine. I've had 3 Dreamcasts, including launch consoles, and they were OK. My Model 2 Sega CD that I picked up grungy and untested for $15 even works, as does my Goldstar 3DO.  I consider myself lucky. 

#18 save2600 OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 7:35 AM

All CD based systems are going to be problematic sooner or later. Bought a new homebrew for the PCE a while back and was horrified to hear how it was working the laser transport back and forth. An RPG too, so you can imagine all the dinking around that way. Needless to say, has sat on my shelf ever since. No need to go out of my way to ruin these delicate things and little wonder gears get stripped out with games like that.

Goofy file systems, limited memory for caching, resources scattered inefficiently, slow drives, reading errors due to people's mishandling of the format - combination of these things and more, make optical based storage my least favorite when it comes to gaming.

The Amiga CD32 has proven to be about the only one that I can comfortably say hasn't given me too much trouble (if any) all these years - from generic CD-r's to original silver media, guess I've had extremely good luck.

#19 CatPix OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:41 AM

It's weird how people name the PS1, when the issue with laser only affected the early RCA models.

PS1 are rock solid to me.


Tho it would be interesting to know how they were used.


I remember people complaining about PS1 failure... When they would only play burned games on them with the "open lid and swap disc at boot" method.

Oh, you mean that if I drive my car with the handbrake on and keeping on first gear, it will break sooner??


My PS2 lasted me 8 years before the DVD drive went out of alignment too badly : and even then it could still read discs : the issue was that I could tune it for DVD or CD reading, but it couldn't read both anymore at the same time.


I still use the PS1 that my brother got used in 1999, doesn't skip any FMV and manage to read most badly scratched discs (which again, bring me back to PS1 users : How in the hell did they manged to scrape their discs like that? I've got some discs that looked like someone used them as the pad on an orbital sander. If they treat their discs like that, how badly treated is the console?)

Some system are notorious for failures, but the CD/DVD/BR mostly reveal that most people are careless and just treat their consoles like shit.

I'm always staggered to find game pads with tooth marks or crushed corners with the seller saying "Ah, I used to throw it all over the room" I mean, are you serious?

Who does that in real life?

#20 jhd OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 9:41 AM

Oddly I NEVER had to flip my PS1 over, ever.


That has been my experience, too. I have an original PlayStation console -- I don't know the model number, but it includes the link port --  that I purchased second-hand in about 2004. It continues to work just fine laying right-side up. My PS 2 slim (bought new in 2009) has also worked without any problems. 


Note that neither system is really, heavily used. (I will play an RPG intensely for a few months, and then nothing for an equally long stretch.) 


Because they were available cheap on clearance, I also have NIB backups for both systems in case either eventually fails. 

#21 BassGuitari OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 10:32 AM

I must be lucky because I've never had a problem with any of my CD systems: Sega CD (model 2), X'Eye, 3DO, Saturn, PlayStation, Dreamcast, PS2, Xbox, Wii...even the JagCD I'm hanging onto for my brother works.

Well, I did have one problem with my first PlayStation (one of the early "audiophile" systems, as I guess they're called) when the black plastic piece with the bearings that holds discs in place broke and so discs wouldn't spin, and therefore not read. But that was probably my/my brother's fault--kids and rough handling and such.

#22 Black_Tiger ONLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 11:55 AM

Playstation and Playstation 2 were the worst. Orher console CD-ROMs developing issues years or decades after their intended lifespan doesn't make them "fragile".

Seemed like most people had problems with Playstations and PS2s while they were current.

#23 Professor Gull OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 11:57 AM

This got me thinking of a few items that might be of additional concern on this but first let me share my experience with cd based systems.


Model 1 and model 2 Sega cd. I have both and have fixed both. Sadly the model 2 Sega cd's do have a tendency to fry their fuses and the model one has lots of moving parts but if you have ever done VCR repair its very similar in its repair motions.


3 Sega Saturns and 2 have had laser replacement which is fairly easy and cost effective else they run like champs. My Original PS1 also runs like a champ but can overheat but that was my fault when I soldered in the chip so I could play imports.


Flash forward to something a little more modern. I have 2 dead Gamecubes and 3 dead Original Xbox's. I know for a fact that 2 of the Xbox's need a drive replacement but that's just not worth it. The gamecube's though were a real surprise in not being able to pinpoint a solution to issues. One reads discs fine but automatically shuts itself off after some time. The time varies and is not consistent and I tried temperature monitoring and that was not a factor either so I am at a loss. The other one won't read at all and I have tried a new laser with no improvement either.


So here are my considerations. Older units while more prone to failure are much easier to fix than newer items that have way too many components to trace check and troubleshoot. So in the long run after repairs will there still be more older running units than more recent ones?

#24 JaguarVision OFFLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 4:01 PM

For the 360 it was only the early entry level fats that were a problem and it wasn't really with the CD drive but more the hardware

The PC-FX can break it's laser if you play more than 3 hours in a row.

#25 Video ONLINE  



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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 4:51 PM

I'd say psx. Its the only system that in its production run lifetime, I could reliably expect to have to buy one every year. Don't know about psone as I still have mine, but it came out after the ps2, so it didn't get near the usage. I had 6 of those.

I've had three 360's die on me, but got roughly 3 years out of each.

One original Xbox, couldn't handle 8 hours a day for more than 5 years LOL. That was a day one system too.

I got other systems, but none have failed yet.

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