getting NES to work

CDF Major General
CDF Major General
Joined: 1:08 AM - Dec 19, 2010

4:45 PM - Apr 27, 2014 #1

Ever wish you can get the feel of playing a NES game but on the actual system, vs an emulator that you have to download? Well Nostalgia wins, and there is a way of fixing that old box of a system.

The problem actually is not what 90% of people think it is. The system has trouble working, not because of dust or grime, but because of a little thing called the "72-pin". See, with all cartridge gaming systems, the game itself connects to this 72-pin and is what makes gaming possible. The reason, in the NES case is because after years of playing, in some cases, leaving the game in the system after shut off, or ramming the cartridge into the system, causes a simple to fix problem with the 72-pin. Replacements can be bought if you know what you are looking for, OR you can fix it yourself.....either way, you'll be in for a bit of a fight. See, the reason the NES eventually stops working is the prong on the 72-pin are supposed to spring back together once a game has been pulled out. Over time and reasons stated above, the metal prongs lose that ability to spring back up. THIS IS REPAIRABLE!

There are youtube videos and how-to's all over the internet, but I am gonna give a bit of a summery on what you are gonna have to do.

1. Open up the NES:
this means taking screws out of places you didn't think possible to get the shell off. I suggest having different size Phillips head screwdrivers (i personally used a powertool). This is where a majority of the battle to fix your NES lies. Forewarning, do not be afraid of breaking the system, this damn thing was built to be tough and last for ages.

2. Seeing the guts:
Just when you thought it would be easy, it gets a bit harder. There is now a metal plate covering the motherboard to the system. This was installed to prevent Microwaves from disrupting the playing pleasure. This too has to come off.

3. The inside:
Once the metal plate is off you can now see the 72-pin, but keep in mind, you now have to take the Motherboard out.......UNSCREW ALL DA SCREWS!!! Once the motherboard is set free, you now have to get the 72-pin off the motherboard, this might take a bit of effort........ok I will admit it.....taking the 72-pin off will make the final boss of any game on the hardest setting seem like a cakewalk......but you have to do it.

4. Fixing the 72-pin:
Hopefully you have a safety pin or a sewing needle with you. This is where things get tedious. you have to use that safety pin to pull up every prong of the 72-pin back towards the center. Again, be careful, but remember....built to be tougher then a Duralast. After all the prongs are set, use a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol, This will clean the 72-pin up a bit. I would also suggest taking the time to clean the motherboard in case some goop build up. (IDK any other way to describe what I found....more like a white filmy substance). Leave everything out to dry for a bit. Once that has happened, simply put everything back into place (Yes, this may be slightly difficult).

5. Have fun:
Once everything is back into place, you (should) be ready to play those old NES games. Just remember to use a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol to wipe the metal of the cartridge. This will not only clean the part needed to connect to the 72-pin, but can actually promote connectivity.

I suggest looking up on youtube how to do this effectively, more for the visual actions, the steps I gave are accurate. I did this to my own NES and now I can play pretty much any of the old games I want without having to download an emulator and either take up memory on my CPU and decreases the chance of getting a virus from an Emulator do to 0% (lol)

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Julius Quasar
CDF General
CDF General
Joined: 4:39 AM - Apr 09, 2009

7:43 PM - Jun 23, 2014 #2

I remember the AVGN and countless other people on youtube mentioning that, and it's pretty awesome! I always wondered how to actually revive the old NES.

*drops an old school TV set on my foot while trying to hook up an Atari 5200*

*hops around in pain*