Dreamcast Teardown

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This is a guide for disassembling a Sega Dreamcast. The console used in this guide is a NTSC-U Dreamcast manufactured in May, 1999. Click on any of the images for a larger version.

You will need the following tools:

  • A Phillips-head screwdriver
  • A small pair of pliers (helpful but not required)
Dreamcast teardown 01.jpg

Open the case[edit]

The Dreamcast's shell is held together by 4 screws, one on each corner. One is hidden by the modem, so remove that if you haven't done so already. Flip the console over, and lift the top off.

The power board, controller ports, and GD-ROM drive can be removed in any order. This guide will start with the power board.

Dreamcast teardown 02.jpg

Detach the power board and switch[edit]

Unplug the power switch from the power board and remove the two screws shown in the picture. The power board connects to the motherboard through a 6-pin port on the end closest to the controller ports. Grip the board at this corner and gently pull it up and off the pins, which are physically part of the motherboard. The pins are firmly attached and require you to use some force to free the board.
Dreamcast teardown 03.jpg
The power board is insulated from the RF shield by a piece of plastic it rests on. The plastic piece comes out easily, but don't forget to put it back when you put everything back together, or you could really fuck up your Dreamcast. Then unscrew the power switch and put it aside.
Dreamcast teardown 04.jpg

Remove the controller ports[edit]

Pull out the ribbon cable, remove the four screws, and unplug the fan. The fan's power cord is in a cramped spot, so a small pair of pliers could come in handy. When lifting the board out of the case, you may need to pull the controller port face plate forward and rock the board some to get it out. The face plate may feel like you could pull it out, but you won't be able to take it out until you've removed the RF shield.
Dreamcast teardown 05.jpg

Remove the GD-ROM drive[edit]

The GD-ROM drive and its logic board are a single unit, so there is no need to remove any cables from the drive if all you need to do is access the motherboard. Disassembly of the GD-ROM drive is not yet a part of this guide. Remove the 3 screws shown in the picture. Detach the drive from the motherboard by lifting it from the bottom-right corner, as that is closest to where the two pieces connect.
Dreamcast teardown 06.jpg

Remove the RF shield[edit]

Remove the 7 screws holding down the RF shield and lift it off. The plastic peg on the center-left makes lifting the shield easy.
Dreamcast teardown 07.jpg

Remove the motherboard[edit]

You can remove the face plate now that the RF shield is out of the way. The motherboard can be easily lifted out of the case. Note that the fan is attached to the board via heatsinks, so the whole thing will come out as a single piece.
Dreamcast teardown 08.jpg
If you need to remove the bottom RF shield, there is nothing special you need to do. It comes out without any effort.
Dreamcast teardown 09.jpg
Dreamcast teardown 10.jpg


To put your Dreamcast back together, just follow the above steps in reverse order. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remember to put the face plate back before you reattach the RF shield.
  • Reattach the power switch and put its cord in place before you connect the power board