Potentially Destroyed Game Card - Need Help

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by TCJJ, Jul 3, 2011.

Jul 3, 2011
  1. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    Okay, so I volunteered to fix a copy of Pokemon Diamond that this little kid at school had that he broke. He buys all of his games second-hand from EB Games, so I thought maybe it was an issue with dirty contacts. However, I think I've made things severely worse, and I need to know if there is a way to fix it.

    First of all, one of the plastic guides on the cartridge had been twisted out of shape. I tried to twist it back in place, but it was somehow twisted (without breaking) and it didn't budge. I decided to just cut it off - after all, as long as the contacts touch the pins, they should work fine. The game still wouldn't be recognised (we tried it in his DS Lite multiple times but at home, I've been trying it in my 3DS with no luck).

    Then I decided that the plastic guide DID have some significance and tried to superglue it back on. I must have been really tired, because that is the biggest mistake ever. I got the necessary rubbing alcohol a few days later to clean the contacts, only to find that the case was almost impossible to get open, as the superglue had got up the front of it and stuck the chip and case together. I managed to get it all apart, with some plastic still superglued to the chip. I managed to scrape most of it off, however.

    I have another DS game of my own, a Guitar Hero one, that I don't really care about, so I pulled it apart so as to use its case as a replacement. Unfortunately, the superglue had covered a bit of the contacts so that didn't help. I tried to scrape as much off as possible, and I thought I had most of it off - enough for it to work. I used the rubbing alcohol and dried the chip, then put it in the new case but.... still nothing.

    Also, to test my theory about the plastic guides not being important, I put the Guitar Hero chip inside Pokemon Diamond's broken case, and my 3DS recognised it (by this point, even more of the plastic guides had broken off, too, whilst I was trying to get it open). So I'm wondering what exactly the problem with the chip was in the first place. Maybe it was just dirty but the superglue made it unreadable.

    However, I decided that the superglue was the problem, and resorted (stupidly) to a fine sandpaper to get it off. Then I realised the contacts with superglue on them that I was rubbing were loosing their gold plating, so I stopped.

    So at this point, I think I've pretty much destroyed any hope of getting this game to work again, but I NEED to find a way. If anyone can help me, I'd greatly appreciate it. The school holidays over here start at the end of the week, and they're three weeks long, so he wants it back to play it, and I told him I could fix it. If only it were as easy as the last DS game I fixed, but apparently not...

    Pictures:

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    Click Here for Full-resolution pictures (RAR download)
     
  2. raulpica

    Supervisor raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

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    Hm, I need first to actually see in which conditions the pins are.

    Try to take some macro'd pics of the contacts with a digital camera or something and post them here.
     
  3. Anne Noise

    Member Anne Noise GBAtemp Regular

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    Without pictures, I'd have to say it sounds like you rocked the shit out of that poor cart.
     
  4. indask8

    Member indask8 New Member Forever

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    Did you tried other cards on that DS?

    Because by putting this broken cart on the DS you might have bent the slot-1 pins, thus rendering the DS unable to read games.

    Otherwise, give us some pic as stated above.
     
  5. Schlupi

    Member Schlupi Gbatemp's Official Earthbound Maniac™

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    Pics, plz.

    Also... maybe he needs a reality check and needs to realize he has to take better care of his stuff. [​IMG]

    If you can't fix it you can't fix it. explain how much work it was, and you did the best you could. Can't ALWAYS please errybuddy.
     
  6. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    Okay, I'll go take some pictures now and chuck them in my first post.

    Other DS games work fine in his system and my 3DS. The pins don't seem to be bent in the cartridge slot as far as I know, and he only uses official games (no flashcards or knock-offs).

    I'd agree he has to take better care of his stuff though. It's crazy - all these kids with DS Lites and DSis. They get all dirty and grubby. I told him to get his parents to help him clean in but nothing. I feel like ripping it out of his hands and cleaning it myself.

    I still don't really like the idea of buying a DS console second-hand and every game second-hand, especially when you're prepared to buy a decent amount of games (and some shitty ones at that), but I guess that's just my opinion.
     
  7. serenade.63

    Member serenade.63 GBAtemp Fan

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    I bet the game went through the washer and dryer for the contacts guards to have bent without breaking it would have taken heat, and obviously the water from the washer destroyed the cart. This means it was a lost cause from the get-go. Just my theory though.
     
  8. Vulpes Abnocto

    Former Staff Vulpes Abnocto Drinks, Knows Things

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    Practice saying this phrase:
    "Despite all my best efforts, there was no possible way for this cartridge to be salvaged."

    Say it into a mirror a few times, until you get the sad/serious look perfected.
     
  9. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    Haha, good advice. I might be able to do it without practice though. I mean, I'm pretty disappointed I couldn't fix it, so I think that'll make a good sad look. I'm just hoping there's no "YOU RUINED MY GAME!" or his parents come after me thinking that or anything.

    EDIT: Forgot to say that I have now uploaded photos, although that's kind of obvious. I was trying to resize them correctly, but Photobucket is being glitchy today and I can't zoom the pictures to 100% again after GBAtemp automatically scales them when I use the BBcode tags. Oh well. I'll upload the full-resolution pictures in a RAR just in case anyone wants those instead.
     
  10. Razor83

    Member Razor83 GBAtemp Regular

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    Why not contact Nintendo to see if theres anything they can do? In the UK they offer a replacement game disk service for damaged 'Nintendo published' Wii games (For a fee of course) so they might offer the same service for DS games?
     
  11. NobodyAtAll

    Newcomer NobodyAtAll Newbie

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    1. Buy empty DS card
    2. Dump Pkm Diamond ROM on it
    3. ????
    4. Profit
     
  12. Nimbus

    Member Nimbus sudo /usr/bin make-me-a-coffee --nosugar --cream=1

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    ^

    This. Or better yet.

    1. Get Acekard + Micro SD
    2. Find Someone Else with a physical, real Pokemon Diamond, or Platinum card
    3. Borrow said card
    4. Dump said Diamond/Platinum card, and load onto flashcart.
    5. Return said card to owner
    6. Give Acekard to whoever you were gonna fix the original from
    7. Explain to him that you can't rescue the cart or the save
    8. Hope like heck he doesn't get angry
    9. ?????
    10. Profit!

    Seriously, wtf did he do to the cart. I've seen some buggered up ones in my lifetime, but this just takes the cake.
     
  13. raulpica

    Supervisor raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

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    Get some rubbing alchool, some paper, and rub the hell out of those contacts.

    If it still doesn't work, well, then the cart was already dead. BTW, those contacts are still fine, even if they've lost their gold plating.
     
  14. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks, I'll give it a go. That's helpful to know, too. What sort of paper do you mean? Just regular paper? Is that what I should be putting the rubbing alcohol on? I was using que tips/cotton buds/whatever they're called.

    As for dumping the ROM, I already dumped my own ROM of my own Diamond a while back, but I don't have the game any more, and I don't want to invest in an Acekard to give away. I'd rather just buy him a new Diamond. Not that I have the money for either. Hopefully I can fix this.

    I might give Nintendo a call if it doesn't work though. Despite my unnecessary dislike of Australians, Nintendo of Australia is mighty nice and helpful.
     
  15. Sicklyboy

    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    What raulpica said, the gold plating coming off of the contacts really shouldn't affect it. Despite that, the first thought to run through my mind, which is very stupid, was to tin those few contacts. Line each one with flux and hope to god you can get a very thin layer of solder on them. But that could throw the DS pins WAY out of whack, especially if the layer of solder is anything more than minute (which it would very likely be).

    If you REALLY wanted to at least make sure it wasn't the contacts that were damaged, you could always solder a small wire (28 gauge, I would say) from those points right above the contacts to ones on a working cart (or cut a pcb to temporarily use). But this would be difficult and good for not much more than checking the contacts. Also, I would test it in a less expensive system than the 3DS, lol...

    Edit - Disregard that, I am tired and didnt notice there are solder points above only certain pins.
     
  16. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    Actually, there appear to be solder points above all the contacts. I could always throw it in my brother's old DS. My old DS decided to die when I replaced the case. I think I might have destroyed the top screen when my magnetic screwdriver stuck to the back of it, as the touchscreen flashes and it just shuts off. But anyway, I'm getting off topic.

    EDIT: Never mind. Looking at my own pictures, there aren't solder points above all the contacts. When I typed that reply, I was looking at the Guitar Hero chip, which DOES have solder points above all the contacts. Odd.
     
  17. chaosdarkneo

    Member chaosdarkneo GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    This exact thing happened to my brother's game.

    It went through the wash, and it had the same symptoms/damage yours had.

    The water and heat would have killed it. There is no way to salvage it.

    Tell the kid he was an idiot for leaving it in his pocket and be off. Tell him there was no way to fix it and you are not responsible at all. If the parents come after you, tell them this:

    "Both you and your kid are idiots for not checking the pockets of his pants and throwing his game into the wash. I am not responsible for damage that YOU caused. I merely attempted to fix it. You should be glad I'm not charging a fee for you wasting my time on a lost cause."
     
  18. TCJJ
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    Member TCJJ GBAtemp Regular

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    But I don't actually know if it went through the wash. I kind of doubt it. He always puts them away in a case in his school bag. It's possible though. I wouldn't go around telling his parents they were idiots though. That'd be asking for more trouble.
     
  19. The_Dragons_Mast

    Member The_Dragons_Mast GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Well after reading all what have been said I really doubt it can be fixed but why are you worried about returning it in this condition. From what I understand when you took it was already broken & you are doing it for free. Just take it to the kid & tell him sorry couldnt fix it. If he is a nice kid he will thank you for your effort and tell you it was broken anyway but if he is one of those whinny kids and he go on crying that you broke his precious cart & you need to get him a new one just ignore him and leave. Now if he brings his parents they will be proabably angry at you for the headache he caused them & will be looking for any execuse to go mad.In that case telling them they are stupid or insulting their parenting skills like suggested would be the dumbest thing to do so just tell the facts to them in a cool voice that you took an already broken cart , did your best to fix it , failed & returned it. Now if said correctly no matter how angry they are they wont be able to say a thing to you and will just end up leaving.

    Off Topic : The bottom screen flash in your old ds means that there is no signal from the top screen which is 90% of the times a problem somewhere in the ribbon cable. So take a long on it and make sure it isn't loose or heavily bent or scratched.
     

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