Nintendo Entertainment System Troubleshooting
Game Console Does Not Register Game Cartridge
Your NES turns on, but the game does not register.
Dusty 72-PIN Connector
After a few years, your 72-PIN connector inside of the NES will get dusty and the pins will corrode. A dusty 72-PIN connector causes an incomplete connection from the game cartridge to the game console. They must be cleaned in order to function properly. In order to clean, follow our directions on Removing the 72-PIN Connector. Once removed, use sand paper to rub the pins.
If your console still does not register the game cartridge, a new 72-PIN connector must be purchased. Click here to purchase online. Follow our step by step instructions on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System 72-PIN Connector to help complete this process.
Dusty Game Cartridge
The spokes inside of your game cartridges may be dirty or corroded, so it is important to clean these. A common belief is that blowing on the bottom of the cartridge will help, but you do not want to rely on this routine. Blowing into the cartridge increases the moisture on the pins, causing them to corrode faster and leading to quicker long-term damage. You can purchase an NES cleaning kit here.
Dusty Game Console
Your console may be dusty, which may cause your game console to not register the game cartridge. This problem can be solved by simple cleaning of the system. Refer to our guide on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System Motherboard. Remove sticky residue on the motherboard by using a brush dipped in rubbing alcohol.
Note: Be sure the motherboard is completely dry before reassembling your game console.
Game Console Will Not Eject Game Cartridge
Your game will not eject from the game console.
Springs Not Properly Mounted
If your game cartridge does not eject, it could be that the springs are not properly mounted. You can solve this problem by following our guide on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System Springs Not Properly Mounted on Cartridge Tray.
Springs Worn Out
If you notice that your springs are no longer functioning properly, you will need to replace them. Spring loaded pens might be a good source for springs this small, but if not, you can find possible replacements here. Once you purchase new springs, follow our guide on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System Game Cartridge Tray Springs.
Controllers Will Not Register
Your system registers the game, but you cannot start playing.
Plastic Controller Harness Defective
If your controllers are plugged in, but you are not able to control the game console through the controllers, then your plastic controller harnesses are defective. Purchase a new plastic controller harness. Once you have purchased a new plastic controller harness, follow our guide on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System Controller Outlet.
Game Console has Flashing Red Light
Your NES has a flashing red light next to the power button.
Dusty 72-PIN Connector
If your power light is flashing red, there is a problem with the 72-PIN connector. This problem may be caused by dust. A dusty connection leads to the game not being able to register. If the 72-PIN connector is clean, yet still not working properly, it can be faulty which will require you to purchase a new one. To fix this problem, go to our repair guide on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System 72-PIN Connector. To clean the 72-PIN connector, use sand paper to lightly scrub the pins. Then, use thin sand paper to clean the pins that are attached to the motherboard. If your game console is still flashing a red light, refer to Dusty Game Cartridge.
Dusty Game Cartridge
Each game cartridge has pins that connect to the 72-PIN connector and over time, the pins on the game get dusty. Use steel wool to clean the pins. If your 72-PIN connector and your game cartridge is clean, but your game console still flashes red, then you will need to replace the 72-PIN connector. You can purchase an NES cleaning kit here.
Television Has Blinking Black and White Screen
Your television has a blinking black and white screen.
Worn out 72-PIN connector
The reason why your television has a blinking black and white screen is probably because you have a worn out 72-PIN connector. In order to fix this problem, purchase a new 72-PIN connector and follow our steps on Installing Nintendo Entertainment System 72-PIN Connector.
Bad RF Modulator
You know that your DC-in board is bad when the game console will not power on. The only way to resolve this problem is to replace the RF Modulator.