For years I've burned/ripped countless titles online and played them on my original hardware. It wasn't until two years ago I was aware the quality of CD-R affects the hardware/console itself.
Most of my back-ups I've played were burned on HP (blue dye) blank CD-R - some Memorex.
My Dreamcast lens started reading over most of my back-ups, but will play GD-ROMS fine.
Now as for my Saturn, I have bought and used the hardware since it's USA release (1995) with actual games. Then I internally modded it 2004 - nearly ten years ago. It always played back-ups fine until 3 years ago. Now it has a hard time reading actual games. It usually freezes, then sometimes plays the audio. I tried a dozen of my back-ups, again burned on HP CD-R, 1/10 worked.
My question is, is this normal for a old console to wear out lens overtime? or are back-ups doing more damage? is it reversible? I plan on buying JPN SATURN and buying original games in the coming years.