Why Does Your Dreamcast Reset Itself?

The Sega Dreamcast is a tragic tale of poor marketing, mismanaged expectations, and bad luck. However, one can’t deny that it is an excellent piece of kit with some forward-looking design features that wouldn’t become mainstream until 2 to 3 years later. The console also has its flaws, being a somewhat rushed design- one of those is the infamous reset glitch.

Why does your Dreamcast reset itself? Usually, this is caused by loose connection pins inside the power supply, which can be fixed by opening up the console. It could also be a fault with the lid sensor that is supposed to detect whether the disc drive is open or not.

If you’ve failed to find any issues with the external power cables and plugs, it’s probably time to open up your Dreamcast. Don’t worry, getting those power supply pins back in alignment requires nothing more than a screwdriver. Just make sure to disconnect your Dreamcast from the wall and remove any discs in the tray before you open it.

Why Does Your Dreamcast Reset Itself?

This is due to a manufacturing flaw in the Dreamcast that causes pins inside the power supply to come loose. Especially likely if you move your Dreamcast around a lot, or set it down too hard on a table/ desk. The console itself is perfectly fine, it’s just a set of 6 connectors on the PSU that aren’t making proper contact with the motherboard pins.

Could be physical deformation, or maybe gunk buildup on the pins. Either way, you’ll need to open up your Dreamcast and take a look at these. First, you need to identify the issue. Resetting means that your Dreamcast boots into the game, but turns off randomly while playing.

It might restart by itself, or default to the home screen. Turn off your Dreamcast, and disconnect it from the wall. Then, remove the game disc because you don’t want to damage it while opening your console.

To open your Dreamcast, you need a Phillips #2 screwdriver. Turn your Dreamcast, so it’s lying upside down. There are just 4 screws you need to remove, but one of them is under the modem.

Remove the modem by pushing on its locking tab, and it should slide right off. Then, open your Dreamcast and take off the top shell. You should be able to see the power supply board on the front left (behind the controller ports).

The six-pin connector should also be visible. Unscrew the PSU and gently push the pins toward the console’s back. You don’t want to bend them, just apply enough pressure so they fit snugly into the PSU connector.

A more permanent and reliable solution is to thicken these pins by applying some solder. Don’t worry, you can do this without prior experience as long as you have a soldering iron and some solder. Check out this video for a step-by-step rundown of the process.

What Caused Dreamcast To Fail?

While the console had questionable reliability due to various issues with its fan, lid sensor, PSU, etc., it was still a very good product. And the average customer didn’t have to worry too much about these issues as they were relatively infrequent. Plus, you had the Sega warranty.

Yet, Dreamcast sold very poorly. People didn’t seem to care too much about the wide array of cool features. Because the console didn’t have a deep enough selection of quality games.

Nintendo was putting out one excellent first-party exclusive after another. Dreamcast had a few, like Shenmue, Sonic Adventure, and Soulcalibur. But it was a case of too little, too late.

Plus, Sega’s marketing department slipped up big time. Their Genesis marketing campaign was excellent, but they failed to create something impactful for Dreamcast. As a result, the console was regarded by gamers as an impressive tech demo and nothing more.

The final nail in the Dreamcast’s coffin was Sega’s confusing hardware lineup. After all, the 32X and Saturn weren’t that old when Dreamcast was released. Then you had stuff like Sega CD to make things even more confusing.

All of these consoles and accessories promised to do the same thing- provide gamers with the next big leap in technology and performance. But the release schedule was too cluttered. And Sega’s lack of focus meant that they couldn’t provide gamers with a compelling enough reason to switch from the previous big thing to the current one.

What Is The Rarest Dreamcast Game?

Dreamcast saw some bizarre releases like The Typing of the Dead and Seaman. But some titles were published in limited numbers or gained a cult following long after release, causing their prices to skyrocket on the used market. Examples include Bangai-O, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, etc.

However, the rarest Dreamcast game right now has to be Cannon Spike. A sealed copy of this game will set you back anywhere from $400 to $500. Not to mention, it is pretty rare.

Was The Dreamcast Weaker Than The PS2?

Yes, the PS2 has a faster processor and more RAM. Then again, it was released in 1998 compared to the PS2 which is a 21st-century console. Dreamcast still has some features that are absent from initial PS2 models.

Like a built-in modem, which allows it to browse the internet and play games via SegaNet. PS2 can also go online, but you need the Ethernet adapter (later models like Slim came with integrated internet). Plus, Dreamcast is better at anti-aliasing and texture compression than PS2.

Could The Dreamcast Have Survived?

One can’t say for sure, but nobody denies that Dreamcast’s true potential was never realized. Even in a landscape filled with giants like GameCube, PS2, and Xbox, Dreamcast had several unique features. It could have established a large player base with its 2-year head start if Sega focused on creating quality games and tidied up its marketing campaign.

Sega’s biggest issue was money. They were hemorrhaging cash with the failure of 32X, Sega CD, and Saturn. Plus, gamers didn’t trust the brand.

That’s because Sega kept going from one shiny thing to another within a matter of 2 or 3 years, ditching the previous product and its customer base. Unless Sega figured out how to keep gamers interested in Dreamcast, it’s unlikely that it would have survived after the launch of PS2 and Xbox.

Plus, you have to remember that both PS2 and Xbox could function as DVD players. This is something Dreamcast couldn’t do with its CD drive. Maybe Sega could have updated later models with a DVD drive, but this is all guesswork as the console was discontinued in 2001.

Is The Dreamcast A Good Console?

It is certainly the most advanced console of the late 1990s and was speed king until Sony launched its PS2. However, Sega rushed it to the market in a desperate attempt to catch up with Nintendo and Sony. Remember, the PS1 and N64 were destroying Sega Saturn in sales.

And because of this rush job, certain design defects were carried over in the final version that customers got. I’ve already talked about the faulty PSU pins. But there are more issues with Dreamcast.

You need to open your console if it keeps resetting. Run through a list of items to check- PSU pins, fan cable, disc drive lid sensor, etc. To start, open your console and remove the power supply board.

One thing worth remembering is that you don’t want to grab the PSU from the bottom while handling it. The capacitors might be holding enough charge to shock you. And while you are fixing the pins, you can also take some rubbing alcohol and clean them up.

Any gunk that’s built up on these pins might disrupt the power supply to your Dreamcast’s motherboard. So it’s a good idea to clean up these pins while your console is opened up. You should also do a power-on test after the pins are fixed before you screw the top cover in.

A malfunctioning fan can also cause your Dreamcast to shut down. If this fan doesn’t turn on, your Dreamcast’s overheat protection will kick in. And you will reboot in the middle of a game.

In certain cases, the fan turns on but it isn’t detected by your Dreamcast. Fan issues are caused by cracked solder joints in the power cable. You need to reflow these solder joints if that’s the case.

The other main issue with Dreamcast consoles is a faulty lid sensor. It’s a lever located behind the disc drive that moves when the lid is closed. If your Dreamcast thinks the lid is open, it won’t play the game.


If your Dreamcast keeps resetting, it could be one of three things. Namely, faulty contact between the PSU and motherboard pins cracked solder joints in the fan cable or a bad lid sensor. Usually, it’s the PSU pins that cause Dreamcasts to reset.

But it doesn’t hurt to check for the other two while you’ve got the console open. In extreme cases, it could be a laser failure in the disc drive. Which requires a replacement of the lens.


As long as I can remember myself I always enjoyed video games. I had amazing moments playing them and that's why I became a game developer, to create amazing experiences for the players. Read More About Me

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