These are images I never shared before. I use it to help me calibrate
It's common for Dreamcast reader to get bad after some time. However,
the cases I saw could be fixed by calibrating the reader. There is a
screw on the lens block that you can adjust, and depending on what you
do there you'll make it read better or worse. I'm lacking photos at the
moment, so you'll have to look somewhere else for the location of this
screw, and for instructions of how to change them.
What I noticed, is that bad readers have difficulties recognizing multi
session discs (selfboot discs). What also noticed is that it also
depends on where the second session start. Some readers won't work fine
for most releases (where second session starts near the beggining of the
disc), others will have difficulties with discs where session starts
close to the end of the disc (too many CDDA, or big games generated with
bin2boot). If that's your case, calibrating your lens should fix it (I
take no responsability though xD).
These discs can help you calibrating your reader. They're Dreamcast
layout discs with extreme cases: second session starting in the
beggining and in the very end of the disc. If can know if they were
recognized correctly by the noise Reader does. If you keep changing the
reader's screw, you'll notice that there's a point where it recognizes
great the first disc, but won't read the second disc. There's also a
point where the opposite occurs. You'll need to find a point where both
discs are recognized fast, that should be the ideal adjustment.
Since these discs you'll be used as reference, I recommend recording
them on a nice CD-R brand in a moment close to the calibration. I mean,
don't try to use the damaged ones your recorded one year ago on the
cheapest CD-R you could find.
I calibrated my reader twice on my 2000 console during its lifetime,
using these discs on the second time. My Dreamcast is still awesome. I
played for 3/4 years intensively, and used it for all my releases, so
you can have an idea of how long these things can last if you