Through repeated use, the hinges on your Nintendo DS handheld console can become bent or even broken, and your DS may not open or close properly. To fix a broken hinge, you will need to completely replace the outer plastic shell of the DS, which includes the hinges. Replacing the shell requires disassembling several different parts of the DS.
Power off the Nintendo DS and close the lid. Flip the unit over so that the bottom half is visible. Use the Tri-Wing screwdriver to remove the seven screws on the bottom of the plastic shell.
Lift the bottom half of the plastic shell off the DS and set it aside. Remove the four screws holding the motherboard to the casing. Disconnect the cable at the upper-left end of the motherboard.
Pull the motherboard out of the casing. Remove the screw at the top of the case that holds the screen in place.
Flip the DS back over and open the lid so that you can see the top screen. Remove the four screws located on the left and right sides of the screen. Pull the plastic case off the screen.
Push the screwdriver through the broken hinge adjuster at the left or right side of the DS. Lift the screwdriver upward toward you to remove the hinge adjuster and the remaining plastic casing.
Set the top half of the new plastic shell onto the DS screen. Grip the left hinge adjuster with a pair of pliers and carefully squeeze it until it snaps into place. Repeat the process on the right hinge adjuster.
Replace the screws you removed and turn the DS over. Reconnect the motherboard and its cable. Set the bottom half of the plastic shell on the DS and reconnect the screws.
Channel lock pliers work better than standard needle-nose pliers, as there is less chance of damaging the case or the hinge adjuster. You can acquire a Tri-Wing screwdriver and replacement plastic shell through many online gaming parts retailers.
When purchasing a replacement plastic shell, remember that the DS and DS Lite shells are not compatible. Taking apart your DS to fix the hinge will void the warranty provided through Nintendo.