The Game Boy Advance SP will not turn on ¶ 

You cannot get the Game Boy Advance SP to turn on.

The battery is drained ¶ 

If your Game Boy Advance SP wont turn on, but everything seems to be in working order, your battery might just be completely drained. This is normal if the device hasn't been used in over two months or if the device is mistakenly left powered on after use. Charge the device for three hours. Make sure the socket you plug the charger into has current flowing through it and also make sure the charger is in working order. The lower LED on the side of the Game Boy Advance SP should glow an amber color while charging.

The battery is dead ¶ 

If, while charging the battery, the lower LED on the side of the Game Boy Advance SP does not glow; there is a chance that the battery is dead. This can happen from excessive over charging and normal usage years after purchase. (Nintendo would not specify how long they expect their batteries to last.) The solution to a dead battery is replacing it with a new battery.To replace a dead battery, please see the Installing a Battery Guide.

The power switch is broken ¶ 

If the battery is in working order, but the Game Boy Advance SP does not turn on when you flip the power switch, then the power switch may be broken. The tabs that connect the switch to the device are delicate and can be broken easily if you drop the device. The power switch tabs cannot be repaired, but the entire power switch can be replaced and working with little effort. To replace a broken switch, please see the Installing a Power Switch Guide.

The buttons only work when they are pressed down hard ¶ 

"The buttons only register in the game when they are pressed harder than what is normally necessary."

The buttons and the track pads have dust between them ¶ 

If your Game Boy Advanced SP has recently been in a sandy or dusty area, there may be dust between the buttons and the track pad which would cause a loss of connection to the motherboard. To clean out the dust, you can try blowing air into the buttons. If blowing air into the buttons does not improve the button control, you may need to clean the pads by hand. For steps on how to safely remove the Game Boy Advance SP's tracks pads, please see the Installing Track Pads Guide.

The track pad is worn out ¶ 

If you have been rough with your Game Boy Advanced SP, your system's track pads may be worn out. A worn out track pad needs more pressure from the button to reach the motherboard than a new track pad needs. Without a strong connection between the track pads and the motherboard, your Game Boy Advance SP will be sluggish and partially unresponsive to the buttons you press. To replace your beat up track pads, please see the Installing Track Pads Guide for steps on removal and installation.

The buttons are not working ¶ 

"The buttons do not respond at all when they are pressed down."

The buttons are broken ¶ 

If the tips above on fixing the track pad do not help, you may have broken buttons. Broken buttons can be the outcome of dropping the device, leaving the device out in the sun, or using too much force while playing games. This problem may require you to replace some or all of the buttons, depending on which are responsive. For steps on how to replace the buttons, please see the Installing Buttons Guide.

The speaker does not produce sound ¶ 

"The speaker is silent and will not change when the volume switch is raised or lowered."

The game is broken ¶ 

If you put a game cartridge into the Game Boy Advance SP and the sound does not work, put a different game cartridge in and listen for sound. If the second game cartridge has sound, your original game cartridge may be defective. Fortunately, your Game Boy Advance SP's speaker is in working order, however you will probably need to buy a new game cartridge to replace the broken one.

The speaker is broken ¶ 

If the speaker will not produce sound no matter which game cartridge you place in the device, your speaker may be broken. Spilling liquid into the speaker holes or sticking something through the holes can cause the speaker to lose connection with the motherboard and thus lose sound. In both cases, a new speaker is required To replace a broken speaker, please see the Installing a Speaker Guide.

The brightness switch does not change the brightness on the screen ¶ 

"The button that has a sun engraved into it (the brightness switch) has no control over the brightness of the screen."

The brightness switch is broken ¶ 

If the brightness switch is being pressed, but the brightness of the screen does not increase or decrease, then the switch might be broken. Possible causes include dropping the device, leaving the device in the sun, pressing the brightness switch too hard, spilling liquid on the device, as well as normal wear and tear. This small, frail switch is not easily repaired, but it can be replaced simply. Please see the Installing a Brightness Switch Guide for instructions on replacing the brightness switch.

2 Comments

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I have a GBA SP model AGS 001 that powers on then suddenly shuts down after about 15 seconds. After verifying battery was good, and terminals were clean, I inspected the on/off switch, and verified it to be in good working order. I then used a cell phone camera to magnify and inspect the motherboard and found a problem not mentioned on any other site. I understand motherboards are cheep and readily available online, and in most cases it is easier to simply replace the board than to fix components. That being said, inspection of board location Q4 showed a hair line crack in the diode. The diode is marked 76 and cross reference identified the part as BAS70-06 which can be purchased on Amazon or E-bay etc. for less than $10 including shipping. I will let you know how it goes when the part arrives even if only in the interest of expanding the knowledge base.

Brian - Reply

Success! The replacement diodes were slightly longer by aprox. 1 mm (or less), but within reason. I will verify voltages against another AGS 001 and post the results next time.

Brian -

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