Repairing a DS Phat?

Discussion in 'NDS - Console and Game Discussions' started by Blaze163, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Blaze163

    Blaze163 The White Phoenix's purifying flame.

    Nov 19, 2008
    Coventry, UK
    Lali ho!

    My girlfriend just bought an old style phat DS off eBay. She wants to play that 'Art Academy' game, among others, and as I have an old Cyclo DS EVO no longer in use, it works out cheaper for her to buy a cheap DS and download a tonne of games than to buy individual games to play through my 3DS. System cost a mere £21. Bargain.

    The description says the hinge case is damaged and as such it occasionally 'pops out', but works perfectly. Is that just an issue with the case or does the entire hinge need replacing too? If so, is it as simple as I was told? I'm to understand that replacing a hinge and the case is as simple as getting a Tri-Wing screwdriver (they're only a quid), unscrewing the old case, prise off the old hinge, slot the new one in, then slot the system into the new case and done. Is that the case, or does it require more advanced techniques and risky fiddly electrical tinkering?

    And finally, if I give you genres she likes, can you suggest any games I might have missed? She likes...

    - Racing games. I've got her Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing already. Any decent ones like Need For Speed?

    - Puzzle. I got the entire Layton series, Picross 3D, Super Scribblenauts and the Phoenix Wright saga.

    - Platformers. I went with Mario 64, New Super Mario Bros, Drawn to Life 1+2, Kirby Superstar Ultra and N+.

    - Random piss-abouts. I went with Elite Beat Agents (probably Ouendan 1+2 as well), Art Academy and Cooking Guide she requested, Animal Crossing, Magician's Quest Mysterious Times, and Electroplankton.

    - RPGs. Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Golden Sun and Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor.
  2. Ace

    Ace GBATemp's Patrick Bateman

    Apr 8, 2009
    Having replaced the case on my DS Phat, I can tell you it's a liiiittle bit harder than it does seem at first. Remember that a machine has put those screws on in there so no one will enter. Let that set the tone for the entire operation.
    The ribbon cables also rip somewhat easily, so taking an extra lot of care here actually pays off. The screens are obviosly VERY fragile, so you must apply minimal pressure to them when necesary.

    One major issue that can occur is that the hinge doesn't fit properly, so it will creak or/and stay in place and not feel like the original DS. This is not a problem if you play it at an angle, but it does add a cheapy feel to it.

    Having said that, you may bump into a VERY frustrating issue with ordered case replacements: they have defects. This means that your case may come with screws and additional items, but they will not fit, either being too small or too big. I personally fixed this by wrapping some screws in plastic wrap to thicken them and make them fit. The ones that were too small, I took a very small Phillips screwdriver and started carving the plastic to make it thicker. Obviously, it's case-to-case, but you can never be too sure.

    On top of that, you may want to use as many of the original parts as you can, such as buttons. The ones that come with are never quite as good.

    There's a whole lotta downsides and upsides, but I can tell you, it's really worth it if the cursed hinge is broken.