How I broke my broken DS while fixing it

Discussion in 'NDS - Flashcarts and Accessories' started by MartinAustin, Oct 18, 2007.

Oct 18, 2007
  1. MartinAustin
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    Newcomer MartinAustin Advanced Member

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    So about three weeks ago or so, the left shoulder button on my Nintendo DS Lite stopped working. Being the evil genius that I [think I] am, I decided I’d fix it myself. No way was I going to pony up $75 to Nintendo for a $129 system. So I set about my task.

    Now, as some of you may or may not realize, all Nintendo products, from the original gameboy through the Nintendo Wii, require a special screwdriver with three points (often called the Tri-Wing Screwdriver). Ever looked for one in your local hardware store? Let me save you the trouble; they don’t have it! So I bought one from some dude on eBay, and 10 days later it shows up. Next time I promise to check to ensure it’s not shipping out of Hong Kong.

    Now that I have the tools of the trade, so to speak, I can get down to business. I load up a video of disassembling the Nintendo DS from YouTube, and study what the gentleman is doing. Feeling confident that I’ve got this under control, I setup shop in our living room, on the coffee table. As you can imagine, the wife is thrilled at this point.

    I take out all of the screws, only four of the eight requiring this stupid screwdriver that cost me $6 and 10 days to get. I carefully pull off the back of the unit, careful not to dislodge the shoulder button that I’m trying to repair. No problems so far. Once the back is off, I can clearly see that there is nothing obviously different between the two shoulder buttons, so I get brave and lift up the motherboard (which is coincidentially connected directly to the touch screen, which makes me nervous).

    After closer inspection, there doesn’t appear to be any type of connector issue whatsoever, so I ease the touch screen and motherboard back into place. Being the nervous guy I am at this point, I jimmy the battery onto the back, holding it with my hands as I power on the unit. Touch the screen, get a response, breathe a sigh of relief. I turn off the system and replace the back shell, feeling there is nothing more I can do here.

    Keep in mind, at least an hour has transpired while attempting this fix, and the McDonald’s I brought home is getting any warmer. So I heat that up and take a break.

    [Dramatic pause as time passes]

    After eating, I pick up the DS thinking I might play a quick game of Puzzle Quest (great game, go buy it @ Target). I attempt to slide the power switch to on … and nothing. Bewildered, I turn the system on it’s side and look at the power switch. I slide it again, and can immediately feel that it does not have the usual resistance that it used to. My first thought was pure dismay. “What the shit?” I asked myself aloud.

    I open the DS back up, only to find that I broke the plastic on/off switch (not the whole thing mind, just the little plastic nub that sticks out). I can’t recall exactly, but I thought I heard cash register sounds playing in my head. I was able to superglue the nub back on the switch, and everything works fine, but damn if I didn’t have a scare.

    So what am I left with? Yep, a Nintendo DS with a busted-ass left trigger. No DK King of Swing for me.
     


  2. MC DUI

    Member MC DUI GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Oh well at least you had a go (You've got more guts than me!) and at least your DS is still mostly functional.
     
  3. Ktaro

    Newcomer Ktaro Advanced Member

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    hahahaha! [​IMG] sorry didn't mean to make fun of you I just recognize myself when I tried to fix my PSP. So my PSP's LEFT TRIGGER stopped working too and I was like oh crap @@; so i tried putting it in my own hands and opened it by myself took out the left trigger and saw that there was a bit of dust between the trigger and the chip thingy just blew on it a bit and it worked perfectly again ^^..............And then half a year later I dropped my PSP so the sound stopped working now having the confidence of fixing it again I tried being smart and pull the whole display part out....turned out it wasn't such a smart idea after all ^^; I successfully broke the sound AND video display by pulling out that thing you insert the cable to on the mother board of the PSP ;; so I mean i broke the sound and display....but other wise it works great! *cough* [​IMG] oh ya and then I got a DS lol [​IMG]
     
  4. tyasawa

    Member tyasawa GBAtemp Regular

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    =).. i broke my power switch too.. before that my boyfriend broke the vr (goes off buy other ds the next day).. err.. im waiting for a broken ds to be shiped, i bought one with broken hinge for 40 bucks so we can 'operate' the ds again (hope we dont make the same mistake)
     
  5. Friction Baby

    Member Friction Baby GBAtemp Fan

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    Yeah what they do NOT tell you in the disassembly videos for the DS Lite is when putting the unit back together you have to slide the sound slider completely to the right and make sure the power slider itself is pointing in the right direction (IE..the arrow pointing up, putting this arrow pointing down will surely break the DS power switch), make sure the plastic slider for the power is positioned towards the bottom of the DS and angle the ds when placing the bottom and top piece of the DS together. I have broke two power switches till I figured this out and never had a problem since [​IMG]
     
  6. Wii_DS.

    Banned Wii_DS. ウォリアー

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    LMAO. That sucks.

    I broke my DS Phat when i was try to fix the top screen. I chucked it in the bin and got a DS Lite 10 days later.
     
  7. squeaks

    Member squeaks GBAtemp Regular

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    Last console I disassembled was the old Gameboy in black and white.
     
  8. JacobReaper

    Member JacobReaper I Love You....

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    for serious dude you've got more guts than me xD when i was trying to fix the spring on my R4 i nearly fainted from trying.. my heart was racing and everything, [​IMG] anyways, at least you tried :S
     
  9. MartinAustin
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    Newcomer MartinAustin Advanced Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I agree with you, Friction, they need to mention that stuff on the disassembly videos. Surely they realize by the sheer volume of views they have that people are using their video before disassembling their machines? Bunch of assclowns.

    I really am kind of disappointed that I can't play King of Swing.
     
  10. CrEsPo

    Member CrEsPo GBAtemp Regular

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    Good read, thank-you for the post. It sucks that you weren't able to repair the left trigger, but at least you didn't break anything else in the process. Well, you fixed the power so technically didn't break anything.

    I think it takes a lot of nerve to open up a console, especially when they're so expensive. I know when I got my M3 Lite and I wanted to switch the casing I was so nervous doing even such a simple task. All you do is take the chip out and place it into the new casing and only someone who purposely crushes the chip would mess this up. However I'm still nervous.

    Speaking of triggers, I think there's a lot more too them then meets the eye. I had a trigger break on my PS2 controller before and I went out and bought a new controller. Since I had the new controller already I thought I might as well take a look inside. I unscrewed the controller and played around with it. If I remember correctly I think the material used was either worn out or broken. I remember something being pushed in and when I fixed that and put the controller back the left trigger seemed to be working better, but went back to broken state after a while. I also think I broke something while looking inside as well [​IMG].

    By the way, which video were you watching? Would be interesting to view [​IMG].
     
  11. piepants

    Member piepants GBAtemp Regular

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    Heh, I can sympathise with you there, I broke the power switch on my DS trying to repair it too. Luckily it was only my spare DS.

    Check eBay, you should be able to pick up a replacement switch for a few bucks if you feel confident with a soldering iron.
     
  12. jgu1994

    Member jgu1994 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Lucky you got it working again, but you got ripped off SO MUCH for your triwing screw driver. I mean, 6 bucks? They are at so many online stores for like 90 cents. Yes thats cents with a c.
     
  13. jusane

    Newcomer jusane Member

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    yeh man i get so damn nervous when i disassemble electronics (my ps2 haha)

    lol "What the shit!?"
     
  14. fishwilson

    Newcomer fishwilson Newbie

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    Awesome story [​IMG] and well written too. Taking things apart is quite the fun really - its putting them back together that is the tricky part. I just love to see how my precious consoles look under the hood. So far I have had a peek at the Dreamcast (tidy and pretty - well organised) the xbox (like the insides of a pc) the ps2 (holy crap what a mess - that this thing even runs still is a mystery to me) the saturn (pretty tight like the dc) the NES (running on ancient tech and looks the part too - more like an old transistor radio or radiator on the inside) and of course the DS phat and the LITE which both are pretty clean on the inside. After taking apart a couple of them, soldering a bit and stuff its not so intimidating to do it anymore, but the first time I was kind of shaky because they are just so small, esp. the ds lite with those tiny springs on the R/L triggers and all. But most easy to break are the ribbons when you try to pull it through that tiny opening between the screens arrgggh!. I have broken at least two of them before i got it right. [​IMG] My advice to anyone who wants to take things apart: Take a photo of how things look before you change anything - take photos all the way when you are about to remove anything - that way you can always go back and see how it was supposed to be.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ShadowStitch

    Member ShadowStitch Devilot's Tubtoy

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    Nice job on having the guts to actually take apart your system -- there's always a few stumbling blocks when learning things like that, taking apart things you've never delved into before. Hell, I've wholesale KILLED systems on accident before. Like the time I blew up a Sega Saturn and was flash-blinded for a half hour. But that's another story.

    I had that same shoulder button snafu a few months back, but thankfully my DS lite was still under warranty and Nintendo fixed it without complaint. HOWEVER, I also had the same problem with an old SP, (What can I say, Harvest Moon is hard on the shoulder buttons) and I managed to repair that one myself. It's not impossible to desolder the existing pressure switch and pop in a replacement, as long as you're careful. I replaced both of them on the SP so they'd match, and it works better than ever!

    And for anyone else thinking about trying this... you don't really NEED a tri-wing screwdriver; a flat head screwdriver of the proper width (or filed down a hair) will bridge two of the three divots in the screw head, and turn it just fine.
     
  16. DarkAura

    Member DarkAura Offline

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    Lol, I'm like that too. I hate taking things apart to fix them, cuz I always think what if I screw up? But then, sometimes, it's a better alternative than paying the company to fix it.
     
  17. JacobReaper

    Member JacobReaper I Love You....

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    exactly.. [​IMG] but then again, there is a possibility you'll break it [​IMG]
     
  18. DarkAura

    Member DarkAura Offline

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    That's why I freak when doing surgery! [​IMG]
     
  19. shinji257

    Member shinji257 61396C68206D61737465722072616365 :3

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    Nice. Glad it didn't get in any worse shape than it already was. I have 2 Nintendo DS lites (as shown in my sig). The black one is likely to fall victim to a case mod here soon. Hope it goes well. On that note I need to go out and get Final Fantasy 12 for the DS as no one has dumped it yet [​IMG]
     
  20. Life101

    Newcomer Life101 Newbie

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    I have never, ever been so grateful for the PSP in my life.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I read your post, thought for a bit, and imagined my left shoulder button as an old glitchy NES cartridge. Just like riding a bicycle I raised my DS to my lips, blew across the opening, and turned it on.

    I made it all the way to level 2-2 in DK King of Swing, with only one gold coin missed, all with only DK's right hand. What do I see next? A Two-Handed switch! My frustration ends here, and the shoulder button solution has been found.

    Just blow on it!

    I needed to register, to make sure I could thank you for your noble sacrifice.

    Life101
     

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