Introduction

When games have been in storage or used for years on end, they need to get a good dose of TLC. In extreme cases you need to crack them open to get everything. It can be tense opening up a loved game in the fear that you'll destroy it.

Alternatively, you can open up a game no one liked and make it into an innocuous enclosure for something else.

On the bottom front corners of the cartridge you should see two screws using the 3.8mm "Gamebit" screwdriver bit. A 3.0U Spanner bit can also get them out. Once the screws are out, slide the front part of the plastic casing down to clear the tabs on the top of the case.
  • On the bottom front corners of the cartridge you should see two screws using the 3.8mm "Gamebit" screwdriver bit. A 3.0U Spanner bit can also get them out.

  • Once the screws are out, slide the front part of the plastic casing down to clear the tabs on the top of the case.

  • The two halves of the case should open easily.

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At this point the game board and pins are freely accessible.
  • At this point the game board and pins are freely accessible.

  • Here you can fully clean the pin set and inspect for damage to the circuit board.

  • Cleaning the pins is the easiest part; use a cotton swab and either a rich mixture isopropyl alcohol or Brasso. Other people swear by an eraser(the white kind), but it can lead to damage if you're not careful. Personally, Brasso works the best.

In regard to cleaning the contacts, DO NOT USE A PENCIL ERASER!! Because of the abrasive nature, the eraser on a pencil will actually wear off the gold coating on the contact, exposing the tin underneath, which will cause corrosion and bad contact. This can also cause electrostatic discharge, which can destroy the chips and render the game useless. Use a cotton swab and alcohol, but NOT a pencil eraser.

Jon Fukumoto - Reply

Step changed to reflect Note.

Some use the big block white erasers or the malleable grey art erasers, not pencil erasers. While I really do not like it either, it is an option for those with limited resources

BWest -

Hello I have a snes game that isn't working. I've already tried cleaning the pins. some of the gold lines from the pins look a light colour, like they're corroded maybe? Could this be broken beyond repair? Any help please

Peanuto - Reply

I’ve cleaned over 600 games by using a square white art eraser, & 91% isopropyl alcohol. This method has worked extremely well and hasn’t damaged the games in any way. It’s safe and effective. As far as using Brasso I don’t recommend it. The same goes for toilet bowl cleaner, windex, stove top cleaner, or bleach. Yeah I’ve heard it all. With the white nonabrasive art eraser and 91% isopropyl method the risk of damaging your games is extremely low.

Kevin Keene - Reply

NOTE: The top edges of the board are made asymmetrically so it can only go into the casing one way. Near the Blue Circles Games with battery backup (allowing for save games to be stored in SRAM) allow access to the battery at this point for replacement.  Most of the time the battery is a button cell: CR2032.
  • NOTE: The top edges of the board are made asymmetrically so it can only go into the casing one way. Near the Blue Circles

  • Games with battery backup (allowing for save games to be stored in SRAM) allow access to the battery at this point for replacement. Most of the time the battery is a button cell: CR2032.

    • The battery is soldered in. You will have to break it out and re-solder the new battery in.

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Conclusion

To reassemble the cartridge, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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BWest

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