Hardware Nintendo Switch Self-bricking cases

Dartz150

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Ok, so here I'll explain a problem that surprisingly, I found around google to happen way too much and even more amazed that it hasn't been discused here on GBATemp that much.

It started one year ago, one of my friends left his Nintendo Switch with me because it no longer started, so he gave it as dead, and told me that I could use it for "repair replacement pieces" (he has money so doesn't really care, he ended buying another one lol) because he knows that sometimes in my free time I offer to repair electronics to people close to me for free just because I enjoy doing it and for fun, I have wide knowledge and experience with them, specially videogame consoles. As I haven't had any Nintendo switches sent to me for repair or something, I just let it on my drawer to collect dust until needed.

Now, two weeks ago, another friend came with a similar issue... his Switch would refuse to start, just stuck at the boot logo. I finally took the other one from my drawer just to find out that it suffered the same problem. I then started to make several tests to both, including:

  • Charging tests. Both consoles shift the current correctly from the charge port when connected and detected, so no issues with the charge port.
  • Docked tests: Both consoles charge fine while docked, but upon trying to power them on, the green light on the dock just makes a tiny flash and the switch powers on its screen, leaving it with the said boot logo forever.
  • Battery tests: Unplugged the batteries, swaped them but all ended in the same results.
  • SD reader tests: Swapped SD readers, cleanned conectors, everything led to the same results.
  • Fuse checks: All fuses are completely fine and give continuity.
  • Video and charge chips test: Completely fine, continuity signal beeps.

So I gave up, ended googling the issue and to my surprise, SEVERAL SWITCH OWNERS suffered the same problem.

In all cases, the causes and symptompts are always the same:

  • Can happen to any console RANDOMLY, hacked, unhacked and even with the "improved battery" model, it seems that there's no information about this happening on the Lite model.
  • Console left in sleep mode while docked.
  • After undocking it, an error message appears.
  • Console shuts down by itself.
  • Stuck at Nintendo boot logo forever after trying to power it on.
  • recovery mode boot sometimes works, but in the majority of cases it still gets stuck at the boot logo.
  • Letting the battery to completely drain doesn't help.
  • Joycons weirdly still get paired to the console.

And some users have found a temporary solution to this doing:

  1. Left the battery to run dry completely, and by that it meas that you should let the console to stay uncharged for about two or more days.
  2. Charge it while DOCKED, and wait until the battery icon fills up a bit with green.
  3. Power it on WHILE DOCKED.
  4. The console will power on because who fricking knows.

But after that, some other users report that after successfully returning the console to life, after a hard reboot or putting it to sleep, the bootlogo of death returns.

So I managed to boot one of the faulty Nintendo Switches I had with me, but then the last I said happened, now it is stuck at the boot logo again, so I'll need to wait again to let the battery drain completely, but now the other just refuses to charge the battery, but that's something I will look later lol.

And according to this Ifixit post, it seems that the main culprit is the WiFi Chip, and needs to be reballed in order to fix the issue, its still no guaranteed judging by the last comment on there.

I know that the quickest workaround would be to send it to Nintendo and get it fixed/replaced by them, but in my country we have several limitations to the point that is better to just buy a second hand Nintendo Switch anyway, so I feel somewhat upset because of these reasons:

  • Is kind of shitty that every Nintendo Switch out there can brick by itself withhout any fault from the user,
  • Now I have the fear that this could happen to my own Nintendo Switch.
  • In my country, Nintendo warranty Policies are litteraly useless because ther are a lot of intermediaries.
  • the console is so expensive to have such abysmal issue hapeening by itself for no fricking reason, leaving poor players with expensive paperweights.
I will send the second faulty Nintendo Switch to a lab speciallized in chip reballing and hopefully they can fix the WiFi chip, then say to my friend to switch the console to Airplane mode before putting it to sleep or rebooting it, but before I do it, does anyone that had run with the same issue know about another workaround?

Man, this really fucking sucks, and I would like to know if someone else here has ran into the same issue, or what do you think about this?

Edit: A picture of the Nintendo Switches just for proof, the one at the top is my Switch and is the enhanced battery model.

20200916_152028.jpg
 
Last edited by Dartz150,
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susi91

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In case that switches are exploitable, I would test a linux-based OS, see if it's really the wifi chip...
 

Gisillo

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Yeah, that really sucks. I've had the same problem for about a year but I haven't been able to turn it on at all. I don't have the knowledge or tools to reball the chip and that doesn't guarantee fixing the problem so I gave up (if you find something please let me know)
 
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