Disassembling the Nintendo 64 (without special tools)

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This guide will help you open the console and remove the protective barrier to the motherboard so that it can be accessed.

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Edit Step 1 Motherboard  ¶ 

  • You will need a kitchen lighter and a plastic pen shell, and you will want to do this outdoors to allow the plastic the burn into the air instead of trapping it in a room. Heat the tip of the empty pen shell until it melts into a glob.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Stick the pen into one of the 6 holes on the bottom of the Nintendo 64. When it reaches the screw, press forcefully for about three seconds and then let go.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Allow the pen to reform and solidify around the screw for 4 to 5 minutes. If done correctly, the pen will mold completely around the specialized screw and grip it so that it can be twisted out.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Grip the pen and, pushing down forcefully, being to twist it loose (to the left) as if you were using an actual screwdriver. The screw should come out with the pen as shown in the picture if done flawlessly. If not, you can still manage to get the screw out without it molding completely.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Repeat the melting and re-solidifying process 5 more times for the rest of the screws, and the console will be ready to be opened up for repair.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Open the outer shell of the case if it is not already opened. For a how-to on that, go here.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Once the case is off, turn your attention to the silver plate covering the green motherboard underneath. Begin unscrewing the screw connecting the plate to the motherboard.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • The motherboard is now free to be worked on.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Nintendo 64 device page.

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