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Thread: Broken Genesis Cartridge?

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    Cherry (Level 1) Red Hedgehog's Avatar
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    Default Broken Genesis Cartridge?

    I'm new to the Sega Genesis. In fact, I've only had one since Friday when I found a Model 1 with AC adapter in a thrift store for $6. I've been using my NES RF switch to test it, but am hoping to find an AV cable for it.

    Anyway, I've picked up a few Genesis games through my collecting period and have been testing them. I do a standard Q-tip and rubbing alcohol clean of the exposed cartridge contacts before testing them. Most have worked fine after doing this. For some, the screen went black when I tried them, but a second cleaning fixed those problems.

    Except for one cartridge - Streets of Rage 3. At first, it exhibited the signs that really dirty games did. However, then it changed its behavior (still not working) as has done so through 6 cleanings.

    What happens now is this: When I turn on the system, the standard licensing message appears, then fades, then the screen is black for a second or two and then turns completely red and nothing further happens. Sometimes, the screen would just go black and stay black after the licesning message, but in the past two tries it has been red.

    Given these symptoms, can anyone tell me the likely problem? Do I just need to make the cart cleaner? If I need to open it, what tool do I use? Or is it just a dead cartridge and I should find a new copy?
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    Banana (Level 7) SkiDragon's Avatar
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    I was just having this problem, and I was playing the game through a 32X. Cleaning it again and taking out the 32X fixed the problem.
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    Probably stating the obvious here, but the cartridge port of the Genesis itself should be cleaned now and then too. A credit card with a piece of thin cloth folded over it (and daubed with a cleaning solution) does the trick. Insert up and down, not from side to side.

    There's the possibility the Genesis cart port is just bent out of shape to the point that it's fickle. I've seen this happen. I had a few early models that were this way no matter how much tender loving care I bestowed upon them. Try another system.

    As for opening the cartridges themselves, Sega carts use a 4.5mm gamebit commonly found on ebay. Once the board is out I find that scrubbing the card edge with a stiff bristled brush and isopropyl alchohol yields better results than q-tips.

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    Adding to the last post made, since you just bought this system, I would go to a local retailer (Walmart, K-Mart, Sams Club, Radioshack) and purchase some air duster. From there you could open the case and just blow out all the crap that has gathered inside the unit. Try to note where the screws go, its pretty standard, but its never fun to realize you have an extra screw left over!

    ALSO, when you open the case, there is probably going to be an assload of metal surrounding all of the main components, that is for an RF shield, just becareful not to bend it too much if you have to, or else the case might not fit right

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    Get a gamebit, open it and clean it good.Out of hundreds of games, that didn't work only twice for me.In those 2 cases I replaced the cap and that fixed them.

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Here's what I have to do all the time.

    Put the cart in and try it. If it does not work move it slightly and try again, and so on and so on!

    Another good tip is to not always put a cart that is not working well all the way down into the cart slot. I have a few games for this system that will NEVER play if insert all the way into the cart slot (however, i would like to point out, most games do). I recomende putting them in about half way, where you can fell and know that the cart is in enough to be read and not in that area where it is not in there enough and will not work (believe me, eventually you will form a true bond with your Genesis system if you love it and play it enough and then you can tell when you've reached the proper point!).

    I know that I sound crazy and all, but this has ALWAYS worked for me, friends have even called me over to places before to get some games working on some systems, and this has ALWAYS worked for me! You just gotta find that Sweet Spot!

    To make sure you heard me,

    YOU JUST GOTTA' FIND THAT SWEET SPOT!!!

    Just try it. Trust the crazy Genesis loving Sega fanatic!

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    Put the cart in and try it. If it does not work move it slightly and try again, and so on and so on!
    That sounds a bit dangerous to me. I wouldn't want to take any risks in frying that little rom on the inside of that cartridge. Yes, I know the chances of that happening are slim, but there is always that one time, that it actually will happen. You wouldn't have to do what you are talking about at all if you would just clean the connectors inside the Genesis.

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    I agree.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Red Hedgehog's Avatar
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    For those who care, I took the suggestions to clean the Genesis cartridge port, plus opened it up and sprayed some compressed air around (whoever had it previously, obviously had a cat). I then did another Q-tip cleaning of the game and... same thing. License screen then black then all red.

    I'll look into getting a gamebit so I can do a thorough scrubbing of the cartridge. My previous dirtiest cartridge was a Genghis Khan for NES that took 6 cleanings before it worked. This one (if dirt is the problem) has topped it.
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    Perhaps the ROM itself is corrupted, or an address line is bad. I've found that some games incorporate a checksum, and if the stored checksum doesn't match what is calculated, you generally get a solid red screen. I don't think there are an extraordinarily large amount of games that do this, I know that Sonic 1 does. That's why you had to have a Pro Action Replay switched to the middle position on some games, because the ROM that the PAR modified would break the checksum calculation, and that's why you'd enable the PAR after the game actually boots, and passes the checksum verification.

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    i have a cart with a red spot on the bottom, on the board by the pins. the cart doesnt work.......will it ever work again and how?

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    I'm new to the Sega Genesis. In fact, I've only had one since Friday when I found a Model 1 with AC adapter in a thrift store for $6. I've been using my NES RF switch to test it, but am hoping to find an AV cable for it.
    The AV Cable your trying to find isnt that hard to get,some on ebay go for $5.00 or Less,and you mean DC Adapter right,if your using an AC your Genesis will fry.If your looking for stereo sound you can either use a phono spliter to make it semi-stereo (mono only now 2 channels) or a headphone to phone adapter that will produce stereo sound. Both of these wires are very cheap.Now ask for cleaning the Genesis cartrages cue tips do work and i think preformence makes a cart that is like a rubber eraser and cleans the contacts. It works pretty well.
    "...leave love bleeding, in my hands, in my hands again..."

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    Kirby (Level 13) Push Upstairs's Avatar
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    i'd suggest playing it attached to a game genie and see what results you get.

    Sometimes, on certain games, i have had better luck with them playing with a game genie.

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    still doesnt work, im tryin to take it apart(tryin to make something to remove security screws. it looks like the last pin is only half there.

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    You know, it's amusing that someone decided to dredge up this 8 month old topic at this time.

    A few days ago, I got some new Genesis games and was cleaning and testing them. On a whim, I pulled out the Streets of Rage 3 that I had never gotten to work. I now have a 32X attached to my Genesis (it's a different one than before - a model 2) and tried it in there. Wouldn't you know the game worked fine?

    As I said, an amusing coincidence.
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    i still cant get my "lethal enforcers" to work. i think that maybe thi shas something to do with the red spots on the board.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
    You know, it's amusing that someone decided to dredge up this 8 month old topic at this time.
    Well, let's try for a 2 year dredge...

    I've got a cartridge that I'll be trying these and other tricks on. Thanks for the suggestions.

    Might even buy a EEPROM and replace for an additional "challenge"...

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    capacitor

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    I was having problems with a stubborn copy of Trouble Shooters and actually opening the cart and cleaning it fixed it right up and I have not had problems since. It is amazing what opening a cart can sometimes do.
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    Exclamation Problem here too

    sorry to ressurrect the topic again, but Im having problems with a genesis cart too.

    I got a Gaiares cart last month, on a trip. I insert the cart but all I get is a black screen, other games work fine, so the problem is at the cart.

    I tried to open it and realized that it does not have anything else besides the Rom chip, while other carts (Sonic 2 from Sega) have 2 capacitors (one ceramic and another electrolytic).
    The cart is like new, shining contacts, very nice looking PCB, like if it was made less than a year ago.
    So I decided to buy the capacitors and solder at the right places, using the Sonic 2 as a model, found 1: 47pF, but I could not identify the ceramic one, it does have just the text: ZV-50 2232

    So, any sugestion of the capacitors I need? do you think the cart will work?

    Im including a picture of it so you can have a better idea:



    Thanks !!

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