Need Help! My NES is not working right.

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#1 Posted by Krazykid3333 (442 posts) -

I'll just get straight to the point. When I press power on my NES, the whole TV goes blue then goes black then does the cycle over and over. The red power light also blinks on and off at the same pace the TV screen changes color. I don't know what's wrong with it. Do I need to clean the system itself? I clean all my games and let them dry before playing.

Please tell me what I need to do, I really don't want to buy another NES.($60 is a little pricey for a 26 year old system)

#2 Posted by Stinger78 (5826 posts) -
It's likely the pins inside the system and not the games that has become the issue. Over time those pins inside don't "spring" back up when a game is removed - therefore there's less and less contact when inserting even the cleanest of carts. A new 72-pin connector is very reasonably priced and not the hardest thing to replace if you're handy with a screwdriver and can keep track of how things go together. There are quite a few videos on youtube on how to change the connector. Ebay is good for getting a replacement, though the one I put in came from nintendorepairshop.com. New connectors will be quite a bit more difficult to 'work' with games, but as long as the game goes in it should play each and every time you power-on.
#3 Posted by Emerald_Warrior (6581 posts) -

I'll just get straight to the point. When I press power on my NES, the whole TV goes blue then goes black then does the cycle over and over. The red power light also blinks on and off at the same pace the TV screen changes color. I don't know what's wrong with it. Do I need to clean the system itself? I clean all my games and let them dry before playing.

Please tell me what I need to do, I really don't want to buy another NES.($60 is a little pricey for a 26 year old system)

Krazykid3333

New to NES, aren't you? This is VERY typical with NES systems, even back in the day it was. You have 3 options:

  1. Buy the Model 2 Top-Loading NES. Much less blinky problems. The most permanant solution, but also the most expensive solution.

  2. Buy a new 72-pin connector and install it. This is the piece that your NES cartridges plug-into inside the NES. It reads the game. Often times, the NESs are so old that these things are just worn-out and a new one will help the problem a lot. However it won't fully help the problem, you'll still get the blinkiness, but it will happen a lot less.

  3. This is the cheapest, but also the most ineffective option: Deal with it. Many NES owners deal with this problem. Most of the time, once you get the game working, it's okay. It shouldn't turn-off mid-game or anything. There's little tricks and moves that experienced NES owners have developed over the years such as blowing into the cartridge to dislodge loose dust, or very lightly readjusting the cartridge in the NES and pressing reset. Usually you have to do this trick a few times before it works.

MOST OF ALL: Clean your NES cartridges. You do this buy using a Q-Tip and a small amount of alcohol on the end of it and swabbing the chip at the end of the open end of the cartridge. You'd be surprised how dirty these things get, especially when buying from eBay or Thrift Shops. Wait for it to dry before using the cartridge, of course. And this method works for ALL cartridge-based games giving you trouble like SNES, Genesis, Atari 2600, N64, and others.

#4 Posted by katana_duo (1751 posts) -
Ahh...I miss the good ol' days lol
#5 Posted by DevilBorg (810 posts) -
To add to Emerald Warrior's post.. DO NOT BLOW ON THE GAMES. You will damage your games over time doing that. Just push the game in, turn it on, take it out (if it doesn't work) try it again in a slightly different position. Most of them will work eventually.
#6 Posted by sayyy-gaa (4428 posts) -

Ahhh....memories. Just so you know, this is VERY common with NES systems and it even was a problem when the system wasn't that old. Everyone used to spend time trying new remedies like putting carts in the fridge, or standing the console sideways, or opening the compartment door and holding the cart down really good while firing up the system, and most of all, we would just blow on the carts.

Getting a new pin connector is your best bet, but I would really recommend getting a system by manufacturers that have emulated the nes like a retroduo. I'm not saying those are as good as nes consoles, but they are newer, built with better tech, and don't do the blinky stuff.

#7 Posted by mariokart64fan (19606 posts) -

what this guy said plus theres a system called retro duo it plays 99 percent of all nes and snes cartridges -its 50 bucks at most , or go buy the 72 pin replacment if you know what your doing if not just have help

or get a model 2 , which is more expensive or just deal with it i deal with ti every freakin time its annoying

and if you do get a off brand nes, retroduos method of playing the games is actual hardware , so ya better then the fc or the fc twin +

#8 Posted by katana_duo (1751 posts) -
The 72 pin in the toaster nes is one of the 2 major flaws with the system. Prone to oxidation and pins bending making it at points impossible to play even really clean games.
#9 Posted by KilleRotom (18 posts) -
I've got 3 solutions to this problem 1-Clean your NES and your cartridges with rubbing alcohol 2-Replace the 72-pin connector or 3-Try to wiggle the cart back and forth while it's in the NES and wait until the title screen of your game appears (it should be blinking) Then press Reset, and your game should be working. If the 3rd way doesn't work:you should try the first two ways.
#10 Posted by pills4louis (1385 posts) -

Look on Youtube for a tutorial on how to fix the 72-pin connector. More often than not, it's something which simply has to be re-adjusted. I'd personally recommend against using a flathead screwdriver, though, and suggest using a small safety pin for pressing all 36 of the double pins in the 72-pin connector. It doesn't take long. I've done 4 of these for friends (and once for my own), took me 20 minutes the first time (from start to finish; i.e. taking it apart and putting it back together), and I've gotten it down to 14 minutes. (Yes, I've timed it.)

[spoiler] (more parentheses) [/spoiler]

Just be careful with the safety pin. Tighten the pins, but don't make it too tight, as you may have difficulty inserting/removing your carts. Every NES I've fixed can be dropped from 2 feet above the carpet while playing a game and not freeze/glitch up. You'll feel like a badass the first time you do this. :)