This guide is presented as a tool to help you in the diagnosis and repair of your Nintendo NES system. Please read through the guide and choose the problem that is most similar to your own. If at any time you have additional questions please feel free to contact us at Retrocircuits@gmail.com.
The power light just blinks
If you have a Nintendo NES front loader (NES-001) there are several potential causes of this problem.
1) Faulty 72-bit pin connector
2) Dirty game contacts
3) 10NES system is active
If you are finding that most of your games refuse to boot-up then the most likely problem is a faulty 72-bit pin connector.
1) 72-Bit Pin Connector
If some of your games work and others don’t the most likely problem is the game’s contacts are dirty. You can test this theory by cleaning the contacts of the game with rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips and retesting your system. If the games still fail to consistently work then it might be either the 72-bit pin connector or the games might need a stronger cleaning reagent. We recommend that you purchase the Nintendo NES Complete Repair Kit
1) Nintendo NES Complete Repair Kit
Lastly the problem is the 10NES system if the following occurs. If the title screen of the game pops up, although the system keeps resetting itself then this is due to the 10NES system. You can read more about it here. The best way to solve this problem is to disable the 10NES system. There are quite a few good online guides that discuss this procedure.
My system will not power on
Firstly please check the power light on the front of the system. If the light is on then your system is indeed powered up, although the video is not being displayed. If the light doesn’t power on then you will need a new power adapter.
1) Nintendo NES Power Adapter
My power light is on, although I don’t see anything on the screen
Firstly, please check to make sure that your cables are indeed hook-up appropriately. If you are using an RF adapter please make sure that you are on the right TV channel. If the cable is appropriately hook-up and you are tuned to the appropriate channel then a replacement cable is recommend. AV cables are easier to use and provide superior video and audio quality and therefore they are the recommended replacement part.
1) Nintendo NES RF and AV Cables
The graphics are distorted or garbled
This can be a complicated problem, which requires some work to diagnosis.
Firstly you need to determine if it is the individual game or the system itself that is causing the problem. The way to determine this is by the number of games that are affected. For instance if all or most of your games display distorted graphics then the system is the problem. If one or just a few games are causing you trouble then the games are the issue.
Most games are garbled
If most of your games are displaying distorted graphics then you most likely need a replacement pin connector. If you have a Nintendo NES front loader (NES-001) then a replacement 72-bit pin connector is the best solution. If you have a Nintendo NES top loader (NES-101) then a replacement system is the best option.
1) 72-Bit Pin Connector
Some games are garbled
If some of your games are garbled and others play correctly it is most likely because your games are dirty and need a good cleaning. We recommend that you use a Q-Tip and some rubbing alcohol initially to clean the contacts of the cartridge. If the Q-Tip gets dirty then you know that your contacts needed a good cleaning.
If your games are dirty we recommend that you purchase and rubbing alcohol doesn’t prove to be effective enough we recommend our cleaning kits.
1) Nintendo NES Game Cleaning Kit
My controller’s buttons do not work well or at all
Firstly please check the cable from the controller to the system. Make sure it doesn't have any rips or cuts. If it does you will need to replace the controller. We sell replacements on our website
1) Nintendo NES Controllers
If the cable is intact the rubber pads underneath the buttons are worn out and need to be replaced. Underneath the buttons there are rubber pads that depress every time you press the button. As you can imagine with usage these wear out with time. We sell replacement pads on our website.
1) Nintendo NES Controller Repair Kits
Not seeing your question answered?
Please contact us at Retrocircuits@gmail.com for assistance.