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Friday, September 24, 2010

Repairing the L + R buttons on Nintendo DS

The most common failure I've seen is that either the R or L button stop working on Nintendo DS and DSlite.  I've not opened a DSi yet.

Basically I've found that you just have to disassemble the DS, blow it out and splash the button with some rubbing alcohol.  That has worked every time.  The odd thing is I can't really figure out what has gone wrong.  If I use an ohm meter on the switch, they always seem to work.  Maybe dirt has gotten in that falls out when the DS lite is disassembled.

Anyway, you need a Tri Wing screwdriver, available on ebay for less than $5.  You can get by with a small jewelers flat head if you force it into the screw.  It is do-able but a bit difficult if the screws are stuck in tight.   The tri wing is worth the investment.

You have to take out the battery and all the screws under it.  You have to pry off the two rubber feet and there are screws under them.  There is a small screw near the game slot too.  Take them all out.

Gently pry open the case.  The L R buttons have a small spring, be careful you don't lose it.  It likes to fall out as you are taking the DS apart.  Watch the power and volume buttons.  The little plastic slider will get out of position and you should make sure they are still working before you put all the screws back in.  You might have to futz with them to get them back into position.

Of course, if your DS is relatively new, like less than a year, I have sent them back to Nintendo and they have replaced them, very few questions asked.  Just go on the nintendo website customer support and fill out an RMA.  I've found that if you avoid talking to anyone and get to the step where you just send it back, they will fix it even if it is borderline your fault.   If you phone or even email in too much depth, they will tell you that the repair isn't covered and charge you.

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