Dreamcast:Playing Game Backups

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The Dreamcast does not require any hardware modifications to run CD-R based game backups. The built in security on a Dreamcast can be bypassed by either using a boot disc (such as Utopia) or modifying the game files to make it self boot by utilizing its MIL-CD format. Backups can be converted into self booting .CDIs by using BootDreams with the Audio/Data format selected.

Disc Brand

You will need to use CD-R discs. Generally the go-to brand is Verbatim.


You will need to use CD burning software capable of writing .CDI images. The CDI format exploits Dreamcast's built-in support for MIL-CDs to execute code (i.e., launch a game binary). In some cases, these rips are identical to their GD-ROM counterparts (commonly seen in GDI format). However, more often audio and video is either downsampled or removed altogether in order to conform to the 700MB size limitation imposed by standard CD-ROMs.

ImgBurn is one such program that is free and can run on any version of Windows, Windows 95 and later.

You will need an add-on to ImgBurn so that it can burn .CDI images, which can be installed with the instructions below.

  1. Download File:ImgBurn-
  2. Extract the files and run "SetupImgBurn_2.5.7.0.exe".
  3. Proceed through the install and note the "Destination Folder" that it installs to.
  4. Copy the three files inside the extracted "ImageBurnDC\Dreamcast CDI Plugin" folder into the ImgBurn install directory that you previously took note of.


  1. Open ImgBurn and click "write image file to disc".
  2. Click the folder icon in the top left and choose your desired .CDI file.
  3. Here you can set some optional settings.
    • In the bottom right of the screen, you can change the burn speed. There is some debate as to whether it matters or not for getting successful burns. The general consensus is that the burn speed should be as slow as possible for older (pre-2010) drives.
    • You may want to check the Verify checkbox so that when it finishes burning, it will read the entire CD again to ensure that the data on the disc matches th source file. This may save you some headache if you have a bad burn that is not immediately noticeable.
  4. Press the burn button in the bottom left (file pointing to disc) to begin the burn. When it finishes, the disc is ready for use in your Dreamcast using your preferred boot method.