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Introduction

If the game card reader is malfunctioning due to any issues (such as broken connection and/or unresponsive behavior), this replacement guide will help you replace the it.

  1. Ensure your device is powered off before proceeding. Failure to do so may result in electrical shock or damage to the device.
    • Ensure your device is powered off before proceeding. Failure to do so may result in electrical shock or damage to the device.

    • Place the 3DS upside down. Remove the game card, headphones, charging cable, stylus, or anything else that may be connected to the device.

  2. Using a JIS #0 screwdriver, loosen the two black screws on the back.
    • Using a JIS #0 screwdriver, loosen the two black screws on the back.

    • The screws are held in place by captive washers and should not be completely removed.

  3. Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.
    • Once the screws are loosened, pry open the back cover.

  4. The battery is located on the left hand side of the 3DS - to remove, use the small gap located at the top-middle and pull up with a pointed tool.
    • The battery is located on the left hand side of the 3DS - to remove, use the small gap located at the top-middle and pull up with a pointed tool.

  5. Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the six 6mm screws around the edges of the secondary cover.
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the six 6mm screws around the edges of the secondary cover.

  6. Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well. Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well.
    • Using tweezers, carefully pop out the rubber bumpers located at the top side of the 3DS. Removing them will reveal another two 6mm screws. Remove these screws using a JIS #000 as well.

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  8. To separate the cover, carefully lift it up and away from the hinges (in order to clear the headphone port), then pivot it towards the hinges to expose the circuit boards. Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard. Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard.
    • To separate the cover, carefully lift it up and away from the hinges (in order to clear the headphone port), then pivot it towards the hinges to expose the circuit boards.

    • Don't fully remove the cover yet, or you may damage the delicate ribbon cable that still connects it to the motherboard.

  9. Use a pair of tweezers to lift away the two plugs that latch the L/R/ZL/ZR button ribbons to the motherboard. You can now remove the back cover completely and set it aside.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to lift away the two plugs that latch the L/R/ZL/ZR button ribbons to the motherboard. You can now remove the back cover completely and set it aside.

  10. Using tweezers, gently pull the gray clamp underneath the circle pad ribbon connector upwards from the right side. Then slide the ribbon out of the ZIF connector.
    • Using tweezers, gently pull the gray clamp underneath the circle pad ribbon connector upwards from the right side. Then slide the ribbon out of the ZIF connector.

  11. Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove the two 8 mm screws securing the circle pad.

  12. Lift the circle pad casing upward to remove it. There will be some friction, but it should not require excessive force.
    • Lift the circle pad casing upward to remove it. There will be some friction, but it should not require excessive force.

  13. Locate the gold terminal plug with a red cable at the top left of the motherboard. Using your fingers, carefully pull the plug straight upward to remove.
    • Locate the gold terminal plug with a red cable at the top left of the motherboard. Using your fingers, carefully pull the plug straight upward to remove.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the single ribbon connector.

    • Don't do what we did -- be very careful not to pull on the red cable.

  14. Using tweezers, gently pull the five marked ribbons out of the ZIF connectors along the sides of the motherboard. Note that these ZIF connectors are held in place by friction and do not have locks -- lifting the flaps on these connectors will break them! Three of the ribbon connectors have plastic clamping flaps that cover the ribbon to prevent slippage. Use the tweezers to flip them up before ribbon removal.
    • Using tweezers, gently pull the five marked ribbons out of the ZIF connectors along the sides of the motherboard.

    • Note that these ZIF connectors are held in place by friction and do not have locks -- lifting the flaps on these connectors will break them!

    • Three of the ribbon connectors have plastic clamping flaps that cover the ribbon to prevent slippage. Use the tweezers to flip them up before ribbon removal.

    • When reassembling the device, be sure to flip the ZIF clamps back down.

    • While the SD card reader is shown as removed in this photo, it is optional for the removal of the motherboard.

  15. Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.
    • Using a JIS #000 screwdriver, remove six 4mm screws along the edges of the motherboard.

  16. Carefully pivot the motherboard 90 degrees toward the hinges to reveal two more ZIF connectors on the underside of the motherboard. Both have latches that must be flipped up. The left, longer latch is black; the right, shorter one is white. Flip up the flaps, slide the ribbons out and remove the motherboard.
    • Carefully pivot the motherboard 90 degrees toward the hinges to reveal two more ZIF connectors on the underside of the motherboard.

    • Both have latches that must be flipped up. The left, longer latch is black; the right, shorter one is white. Flip up the flaps, slide the ribbons out and remove the motherboard.

    • Note which way the ribbons slide into their connectors carefully, as they are different.

  17. Remove five 5mm screws from the game card reader panel using a JIS #000 screwdriver.
    • Remove five 5mm screws from the game card reader panel using a JIS #000 screwdriver.

    • The game card reader can now be removed and replaced.

Conclusion

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

9 other people completed this guide.

Jacky Loh

Member since: 04/02/2015

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1 Guide authored

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Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 24-4, Lancaster Spring 2015

CPSU-LANCASTER-S15S24G4

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7 Comments

I bought a replacement card slot and it has the small flat cable connector not on the top right like on your photos (and in my New 3DS XL) but on the right oriented to the right, see https://abload.de/img/cardslot_sintech_2....

Does anyone have any insight on different revisions of the card slot? Where can I buy a card slot like the one in the photos here? Thanks in advance.

Uwe - Reply

Will I be able to complete this process with a PH00? I don’t have have a PH000 or any JIS screwdrivers.

Luke - Reply

You don't have to take the entire board out to replace this

Skyler Davis - Reply

Are you sure?

Kevin Canto -

That is true. I just changed mine easily without removing the whole mainboard..

battlepengu -

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