Sega Mega Drive / Genesis

Check the dumping hardware overview for a list of known preservation hardware.

If you need help, please come chat with us on the VGPC or No-Intro discord servers.

There are numerous dumping tools available for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis games, several for sale and many, many more open source electronics projects. 32x games can be dumped like normal carts, but for Sega CD games you can use the general disc dumping guide.

The cheapest option is a RetroBlaster, followed by the Retrode2.

Important Notes

  • Unopened games should have their ROM and save data dumped before attempting to play them. This avoids inadvertent modification of the data and helps preserve the game in its unused/“factory” state. Note in your submission whether the physical media was sealed and include a photo of the cart/packaging in its sealed state, if possible.
  • You should clean the physical media's electrical contacts before trying to dump it, and dump it twice, checking if both dumps match using a file comparison tool or calculating the SHA256 of each file and comparing those values.

Hit Save! has RetroBlaster cart dumping kits available for community members to borrow.

The RetroBlaster software currently only supports Windows and is available on the RetroBlaster github.

Make sure the RetroBlaster voltage switch is set to 5V (not the 3V setting).

Connect the Genesis adapter to the RetroBlaster. To seat the adapter, firmly but gently push the adapter in until the pins are no longer showing.

Insert the cartridge or PCB into the adapter, with the cartridge label facing the activity LED.

Open the RetroBlaster software (click Run if you see a security warning about the publisher not being verified) and navigate to the Genesis tab.

Click “Dump ROM.” Choose the location and filename for your ROM.

The activity LED will turn on on the RetroBlaster board. A progress bar will indicate the status of the dump, and information will be displayed on the 'status' log when the dump is complete.

You can also dump the SRAM from this same tab, by clicking the “Dump SRAM” button.

This is a super simple system that works really well, and is affordable and readily available. See our hardware page for shop links.

  1. Plug your game into the Retrode2.
  2. Make sure the voltage is set to 5V.
  3. Connect the Retrode2 to your computer.
  4. The Retrode2 should now show up as a regular USB drive, and you can copy the ROM from there for further analysis.

The Open Source Cartridge Reader (OSCR) comes with Mega Drive / Genesis dumping capabilities by default. Visit the OSCR wiki for proper settings, and dumping instructions.

See instructions here for NES / Famicom dumping using the RetroFreak, the same setup applies to dumping Sega Mega Drive / Genesis.

Most games use 4.5mm Gamebit screws, but less commonly use T3 (1.20mm) security torx or (rarely) tri-groove screws. After removing the screws, lift the back off and remove the PCB from the two pegs.

Once you've dumped your games, it's time to generate and submit metadata to a preservation project for validating and cataloging. See the dump submission instructions for more information.

  • carts/sega/mega-drive-genesis.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/03/10 22:42
  • by hiccup