Subject: RE: dreamcast without GD-ROM drive
To: Dreamcast Dev NetBSD List <>
From: RC5Stint <>
List: port-dreamcast
Date: 08/01/2001 12:18:41
> I have a dreamcast without a working cd-rom drive. is it possible to
> boot netbsd or linux over the network (BBA or DIY adapter) or could
> games be loaded over ethernet?

To boot code over ethernet with a stock Dreamcast, you would first need to
boot code from disc, and then this code can grab the other code over the
wire.  So without a GD-ROM drive, you really are in a Catch-22, even worse
than chicken before the egg.  There are many eggs available (ip-slave,
dc-load, and perhaps more,) but you can't hatch them. ;-)

The only other way would be if you modified the ROM to host a network boot
loader, perhaps getting a kernel over with BOOTP or something similar.  Once
the kernel was booted, it could grab the rest of the OS over NFS.

Even if you modified the ROM, you won't be able to boot standard games over
ethernet this way.  All standard games make calls to the original ROM, and
this solution effectively does away with it.  You could modify the standard
games' code to make calls to a modified ROM, and make them load and grab
files over the network, but it would be a really huge undertaking.

I think has replacement GD-ROM drives.  Check other gamer
suppliers in your area for prices first, though.  Shipping from Hong Kong to
Germany probably sucks big-time.  Also, used Dreamcasts might be cheap
enough nowadays that you probably can afford a new one over a replacement