RetroPie – Sega CD Crash on Load, No Redbook Audio

Symptom

The SegaCD emulator crashes when loading disc images and/or you don’t hear redbook audio when running games.

Cause

The most common cause crashing is incorrect usage of the SegaCD BIOS images, audio problems are caused by using the wrong emulator and using the wrong format for audio files.

Solution

  1. Hit up Google and download a pack of SegaCD BIOS images (sorry, can’t provide them here!) Most packs will include a variety of images but we only need one from each region (U = USA, E = Europe, J = Japan.) Each BIOS file should be 131,072 bytes, if you have a choice for BIOS version I recommend the version 1 files over version 2 for the best compatibility and better loading music.
  2. Rename your ROM files as follows: “bios_CD_U.bin“, “bios_CD_E.bin” and “bios_CD_J.bin
  3. Copy your ROM files to “/home/pi/RetroPie/BIOS
  4. Before transferring your SegaCD images to the RetroPie you need to have your audio tracks saved as uncompressed WAV files. Neither Genesis/Megadrive emulator is setup to process¬†MP3 files on the fly. Use Audacity to convert files to a signed, 16-bit PCM WAV file. Files should be name as follows: DiscImageName <track number>.wav. IE, your data image is “Snatcher (USA).iso“, your audio tracks will be named “Snatcher (USA) 02.wav“, “Snatcher (USA) 03.wav“, “Snatcher (USA) 04.wav” and so on. Don’t be alarmed if there isn’t a first track among your audio files, the data track counts as track #01.
  5. Change the default emulator for SegaCD titles to lr-genesis-plus-gx by choosing a disc image from EmulationStation, pressing a button while the grey loading box is onscreen and choosing the “Select Default Emulator for SegaCD” option.

If you continue to have problems loading games try downloading a different set of BIOS files and be absolutely certain you’re naming them properly and transferring them to the right directory.

External Resources

RetroPie guide to SegaCD setup: https://github.com/retropie/retropie-setup/wiki/Sega-CD

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