How to Fix a Loose Nintendo DS Screen

Written by nick grimes
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If the top half of your Nintendo DS starts to sit too loosely, or refuses to lock into place in its open position, the console's shell has probably become worn or damaged. Nintendo give a generous warranty on its DS products, but if you are outside this warranty, or you relish a challenge, it is possible to perform your own repairs. Almost all hinge malfunctions in the Nintendo DS are due to a faulty shell that has become damaged around the hinge, so the best fix is to transplant the hinge mechanism into a new shell.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Nintendo DS
  • Digital camera
  • Tri-wing screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Nintendo DS replacement shell
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Silicon adhesive

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  1. 1

    Lay out all parts on a clean surface. Use the tri-wing screwdriver and Phillips screwdriver as appropriate to undo the seven screws holding the rear of the bottom half of your Nintendo DS in place. Gently pry the rear off and remove it.

  2. 2

    Use the Phillips screwdriver to undo the four screws holding the green motherboard in place. Carefully use the needle nose pliers to disconnect the screen and microphone cables and remove the motherboard. Reach around and push lightly on the Nintendo DS's bottom screen to pop the motherboard out of place. Gently lift the motherboard out of the shell.

  3. 3

    Undo the small screw revealed by removing the motherboard to detach the top screen from the bottom. Pry away the rubber pads concealing the four screws on the front face of the top screen panel and use the Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew these screws. Remove the front facing of the top screen.

  4. 4

    Remove all inner components from the inside of the top panel. Remove all remaining components from the bottom panel as well, placing them carefully to the side to make replacement easy. The touch screen is held with adhesive, so gently pry this away. Take note of how all components of the hinge mechanism fit together, in particular the small wire loop that protects the cables from the hinge.

  5. 5

    Fit the hinge mechanism into the new shell, noting that each component will only fit if it is inserted correctly. Use channel lock pliers to press the hinge into place and a screwdriver to tighten the hinge to your liking. Fit the other components into the top and bottom halves of the shell. Use a small amount of silicon adhesive to fit the bottom screen into place. Use a small dab of this same adhesive to hold the nut of the battery door in place. Replace all screws to complete shell replacement and hinge repair.

Tips and warnings

  • It's a good idea to take photos as you go with your digital camera, so you will have a good idea how the components are meant to fit together when you are replacing them in the new shell.
  • Pay close attention when removing cables of your Nintendo DS that are insulated with a sponge layer. This sponge must be replaced carefully and all cables insulated thoroughly to prevent the cables from short-circuiting.

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