Sega Dreamcast/Boot ROM

From Sega Retro

Back to: Sega Dreamcast.
The Dreamcast logo rendered when the console boots in Japan or the US.

All variants of the Sega Dreamcast come pre-installed with a boot ROM - an interface which appears when the console is given power. GD-ROMs and CD-ROMs require time for verification and loading, which depending on the quality of the disc or drive, can take several seconds. The boot ROM manages this, while also informing the user that the console is working. It fulfils the same function as seen with the Sega Saturn's boot ROM.

Usually, if the console detects and verifies a disc, the Dreamcast boot ROM is limited to a introduction and jingle, after which the game loads. Should a compatible Dreamcast disc not be detected (detection also requires the console's lid to be closed, as the disc will not spin otherwise), the user does not see the logo animate and is taken to a menu.


The Dreamcast's menu is much the same as the Sega Saturn's, allowing users to play music CDs, adjust the contents of VMUs and configure a few global settings, such as the system's time and language. The Dreamcast will prompt the user to set the time on boot up if the clock battery is non-functional, and the user can set the individual times of inserted VMUs.

While the Saturn perhaps over-compensates in terms of menu features, the Dreamcast has a very simple CD player. Rather than any elaborate visualisations when playing, the user simply sees a 3D spinning disc, however, if a Dreamcast game has a CD soundtrack and an appropriately named image on the disc, the console will render a virtual disc label.

The menu is the same across the world, however in PAL regions, red Dreamcast logos (and the back button) are switched to blue.


Hidden content

Main article: Sega Dreamcast/Boot ROM/Hidden content.

Technical information

ROM dump status

System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments


Sega Dreamcast
Topics Technical Specifications (Hardware Comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and Legacy | Internet) | List of Games
Hardware Japan (Special) | Europe | North America | Asia | Other regions
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller (Third-party) | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third-party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third-party)
Controller Connectors DC Tsunaident 123 | Dream Connection 2 in 1 | Dream Connection 4 in 1 | Dream Connection II | Super Converter 3 | Total Control | Total Control 2 | Total Control Plus | Total Control 3 | Total Control 5
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Treamcast | Third-party
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora