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Thread: Philips cd-i - skipping and crashing on a game with no visible scratches or scuffs

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    Default Philips cd-i - skipping and crashing on a game with no visible scratches or scuffs

    Posted this in my previous thread, but it didn't seem to be noticed.

    I have a pristine-looking copy of The 7th Guest, the rerelease version in a standard jewelcase. Not a single scratch or speck on the disc.

    The music will occasionally start skipping throughout the game, and EVERY time you enter the coffin room after completing the basement maze, the game will crash. I've heard about the initial release being incompatible with certain cd-i players, but nothing about the rerelease. I have two other cd-i games, Apprentice and Litil Divil, and both run without any problems at all. This is on a Philips cd-i 370 (portable system w/ integrated digital video card).

    I did find this article: http://cdii.blogspot.com/2007/06/cd-...ssues-can.html
    in which the author states the existence of bugs only affecting the 370, but does not mention The 7th Guest.

    Do you think this is an issue of incompatibility, a defective copy, a problem with my system, or what?

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    I have heard that there are alot of compatibility issues between different models. But i like to think that its the cdi deciding that IT cant even stand to play cdi games.
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    I don't suppose you have another model of CD-i to test it on?

    --Zero

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ze_ro View Post
    I don't suppose you have another model of CD-i to test it on?

    --Zero
    Hahaha, no, no I don't.

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    maybe the CD lens just needs cleaning
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    But i like to think that its the cdi deciding that IT cant even stand to play cdi games.
    Then the CD-i launch a long and painful sequence to convert itself into a VHS player.

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    I know this problem, which more or less only affects FMV games and audio/video CDs (more general: everything that constantly streams data from the disc). However, I only experienced it on CDM12-equipped CD-i 210s. It's cause by the grease drying out, so that the laser can no longer move fluidly and often lose tracking. Re-grease will fix it. Owning a 370 myself, I can tell you that this won't be an easy task, though.
    Last edited by WindowsKiller; 12-18-2008 at 11:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindowsKiller View Post
    I know this problem, which more or less only affects FMV games and audio/video CDs (more general: everything that constantly streams data from the disc). However, I only experienced it on CDM12-equipped CD-i 210s. It's cause by the grease drying out, so that the laser can no longer move fluidly and often lose tracking. Re-grease will fix it. Owning a 370 myself, I can tell you that this won't be an easy task, though.
    Thank you. When you say it won't be easy, how not easy are we talking? Could I permanently damage the system if I fuck up? I'm not the most mechanically-inclined person. For a point of reference, I was only able to replace the cartridge connector in the NES with very detailed instructions with pictures, and wouldn't be able to do something like replacing the timekeeper battery in a normal cd-i.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboblyndsae View Post
    Could I permanently damage the system if I fuck up?
    That can always happen, unfortunately. But the hard part here is that unlike with the VCR-sized CD-i players, everything in the 370 is tightly packed and you have to remove the pcb in order to remove the drive mechanism. The rest is not that hard. Remove the cover from the drive mechanism, clean the steel rail on which the laser moves, and re-grease it. Just don't touch the lens, nor apply any force to the moving parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindowsKiller View Post
    That can always happen, unfortunately. But the hard part here is that unlike with the VCR-sized CD-i players, everything in the 370 is tightly packed and you have to remove the pcb in order to remove the drive mechanism. The rest is not that hard. Remove the cover from the drive mechanism, clean the steel rail on which the laser moves, and re-grease it. Just don't touch the lens, nor apply any force to the moving parts.
    Cool. Could you be more specific, or maybe provide me with some pictures of a 370's innards with the parts labeled? In return, you could have my, um, undying gratitude.

    Edit: On a side note, should my Timekeeper battery die, would it be easier to replace in this than in other systems? I think reading something to that effect is what made me specifically want a 370, but it's just now dawning on me that that might not be true.

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    I would gladly provide you photos, but I don't have any. I wasn't able to find some with Google's picture search either.

    As for the Timekeeper battery, on the bottom of the CD-i 370 you'll find a small hatch that you can open. Behind it you'll find the battery. Replacing it couldn't be easier.

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    OK, OK, I've given this some more consideration. If the game is crashing at the exact same INSTANT every single time, and it's a point fairly late in the game, the problem has to be the game and not the system, doesn't it?

    I looked more closely at the disc and there seems to be a faint circular scratch toward the center of it—it's really easy to miss, and is the only mark on the disc. That's probably enough to do cause this problem, right?

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    Not necessarily. If a scratch it hard to see for the human eye, it's even harder to see for the laser. And the error-correction can cope with even severe scratches rather easily.

    If the grease has dried out, there will be places on the rail that are hard to pass for the laser. So it is very possible that this causes a crash always at the same point in the game.

    But if you're unsure, you can test it easily. Insert an audio CD that has absolutely no scratches and let it play from the beginning to the end (it should be close to 74 min., no single or maxi, those are to short). If your problem is caused by dried-out grease, you'll get clicks and jumps while the audio plays. Even better would be a video CD, as that would simply freeze as soon as the laser lose tracking.
    Last edited by WindowsKiller; 12-19-2008 at 04:13 AM.

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    Sounds like XBox360 lazer burn. I would try not moving the console when the disk is spinning
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    It's not laser burn! Call it what it is.... disc gouging. The laser didn't do anything to the disc, it was the optical lens physically scratching the disc as it was being read.
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    OK, I tried a second copy of the same version of The 7th Guest, and it crashes at the exact same spot.

    Could someone with a 370 and a copy of the rerelease version of The 7th Guest (come on, there have to be some others) check to see if this happens to you? This might just be an incompatibility with this specific system, and if someone else can repeat this, I'd like to document it on at least one of the major cd-i sites.

    Use the Room Select Code, and the coffin room is on the far right of the first row. Another peculiarity with my playthrough I didn't notice until looking at the walkthrough—I never had to do that infamous cans puzzle in the kitchen. The kitchen was "solved" as soon as I entered it on a new playthrough.
    Last edited by aboblyndsae; 12-22-2008 at 08:45 PM.

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    The exact same spot on 2 discs, that feeds more into the grease theory. Part of collecting these classic systems is not being afraid to get into it and try, be careful and attentive and you will not hurt anything. I do not have one or I would certainly try to snag you photos. I will keep an eye out though.
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    I've got three versions of the game (US promo, US retail, German retail) and they don't crash on my 370. I've only completed the German version, but it's unlikely that the language matters.

    Would you please do the audio/video cd test I recommended earlier?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindowsKiller View Post
    I've got three versions of the game (US promo, US retail, German retail) and they don't crash on my 370. I've only completed the German version, but it's unlikely that the language matters.

    Would you please do the audio/video cd test I recommended earlier?
    Yes, I forgot about that. I'll do it tomorrow.

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    I was JUST about to write that it passed the audio CD test when it started skipping. It was working fine until I had the idea to rapidly switch between tracks. It started skipping not long after that. Guess it's pretty clear what my problem is then.

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