GD-ROM Ripping Stuff

Welcome to my extensive section about GD-ROM disc ripping. However, you won't find any guides on ripping them with the rare and expensive Broadband Adapter, the coders' cable (very slow, unless you use the USB-to-serial adapter modification, which requires disassembly and soldering), or the Dreamcast's 56K modem (also very slow). Instead, these pages are dedicated to ripping GD-ROMs using standard, PC-compatible CD and DVD drives using the "swap trick" method. This isn't entirely new information, as there are numerous guides available on how to do this on the Net, which other people have written over the last few years.

However, most of the guides are not only hard to come by, but also not entirely clear on certain points, so I decided to try and tie up all of the loose ends, and also provide a single location to obtain those guides. First off, you can get all of the guides I (and others) have collected over the years from inside this folder. You'll probably want to read all of them, as they're all slightly different in their exact methods.

Secondly, I have written some documents to tie up all the loose ends within the original guides. These include information on how to perform tasks related to ripping GD-ROM discs (e.g. making selfboot CDI files to use in Chankast), and to test many different drives to see what models are any good to use with the guides.

Finally - please note that your mileage may vary with this method. Unfortunately, as with the other GD-ROM ripping methods, it's not perfect as it only works at its best with certain drives (specifically, one DVD-ROM drive), but I (and others) have managed to dump some games in a working state, so you might want to consider this method if no other options are open to you.

(P.S. This guide is intended to provide readers with a relatively simple means of backing up their own Dreamcast games, and not to distribute copies of games to others (often known as "piracy"). If you do not understand this, please read this article for clarification.)


02/11/2010: Some rewriting of the contents of this page has taken place, since I can now write a lot more professionally - and clearly! - than I used to when I started this website. Hopefully I will rewrite the main guide one day so that it incorporates the actual GD-ROM dumping process seen in the other guides, although I can't guarantee when this will happen.

28/05/2008: An actual update - well, sort of. As I've been re-coding all of the site for XHTML 1.0 Strict compliance, I figure I would do some actual useful work, so I converted the old text file, Second Drive Compatibility List, into a HTML document, while also tidying up a lot of my comments, the presentation of the file, and so on. Hopefully, this will be a bit more useful now!

(Really) old news is available for viewing here.

Site Sections

The Main Guide (read this first) - This guide tells you how to prepare for carrying out the ripping process described in the numerous rip guides (which you can download from there), plus detailed instructions on burning (and making) GD-ROM trap discs.

Other Essential Guides (read this next) - Goes into things you'll want to do after / if you've managed to dump any DC ISOs with your CD/DVD drive, like verifying for corrupted files, and making self-boot CDI files for play in a DC emulator. There's also detailed instructions on how to rip, convert and split CD audio tracks that may be present on a GD-ROM, but if you're using Chankast, you might want to skip that bit, since making a CDI image file with CD audio tracks is beyond my abilities (apparently).

Drive Testing Results - A big table of results of drives used with the ripping process. This contains all drives that I have personally tested, while other drives tested were e-mailed to me by readers, or collected from online forums.

Second Drive Compatibility List - This file combines a compatibilty list from a Spanish website, and lists from other websites I have since lost track of, presented in a more tidy layout and with more drive details, e.g. model numbers and firmware revisions, filled in, so that it's more useful and accessible.

Lite-ON LTD-165H - Alternate Firmware Testing - My attempts to flash the best drive I have for ripping GD-ROM discs with alternate firmware revisions (older and newer than the original one), to see whether it made any difference to data extraction performance, particularly on certain discs (the game ChuChu Rocket! was troublesome to rip, for example).

GD-ROM Ripping Toolkit (DOWNLOAD ME) - a small package that I have assembled myself with all the necessary utilities to go with the ripping guides by StateS, Yursoft, and so on. Some stuff in here is also relevant in the guides I have written on this site.

Contact Details

Any questions, comments or corrections? Send an e-mail to this address:


Boring Copyright Stuff

Unless otherwise stated, all of this information was written by Rob Watts (aka RobbyW / STC-Fan) ©2004-2024 or adapted from sources who have helpfully contributed information to this document. You may not use any information from this website without written permission.