What to do with a broken DS Lite?
March 28, 2009 6:26 PM   Subscribe

I thought I was the luckiest thrift-store shopper ever when I found a Nintendo DS Lite at Value Village for $10, complete with box, instruction manuals, and spare battery. Of course, it doesn't work....

The DS Lite appears to be borked. When I plug in the AC adapter, the yellow indicator light comes on and the unit appears to be charging, but the DS will not power on. Nothing appears on the screen, and no sounds come from the unit at all.

The warranty on the unit has expired, and my understanding is that Factory Service from Nintendo will cost $75, which is more than I am willing to pay to get this working. I am in Canada.

Does this sound fix-able? If not, what should I do with my DS?
posted by oulipian to Technology (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Dissect it and post pictures on the web.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:33 PM on March 28, 2009

Turn it into the nerdiest wallet imagineable.
posted by battlebison at 6:55 PM on March 28, 2009

It's a long shot, but it might be worth trying another AC adapter in case that's the broken bit. You can get a cheap off-brand one at GameStop.
posted by danb at 6:57 PM on March 28, 2009

Best answer: Out here in the PHX metro, I know of an old used games shop where the guys in the back can repair almost any console or handheld you can drag in. I would recommend that you ask around at some of the independent games shops (not the big name chains) in your area to see if they know of anyone like my guys.
posted by phredgreen at 6:59 PM on March 28, 2009

phred has it. Look for a crusty mom-n-pop used-games place. If they can't fix it, heck, you're out a burger and a beer.
posted by mindsound at 7:06 PM on March 28, 2009

Thirding phredgreen's suggestion. Our local independent video game guys can diagnose all kinds of problems (diagnosis is almost always free). Once you get a diagnosis you'll know whether it's an easy and inexpensive fix or whether you should just toss it.
posted by amyms at 7:14 PM on March 28, 2009

Pull the battery entirely, then wait for a minute or two, then put it back in. Should prompt a hard-reset. Hey, it's worth a shot.
posted by box at 7:35 PM on March 28, 2009

Response by poster: box: Thanks for the suggestion, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

The indicator light only comes on when the AC adapter is plugged in - when it's just the battery I can't get any response at all from the DS. Both batteries are the same way.

I should note that these results are with an empty DS - I don't have any games to test it with. Based on past experience with Nintendo products, I'm assuming that the power button not working at all (nothing on the screen and no sound) is not normal behaviour for a game-less DS.
posted by oulipian at 7:59 PM on March 28, 2009

Yeah, the DS would normally still power on, even without a game in it.
posted by box at 8:01 PM on March 28, 2009

I'm wondering, from the way you describe it, if it isn't that both batteries are all-the-way dead. I had a laptop a while back that, when the battery stopped holding a charge at all, stopped functioning even with the AC adapter plugged in.
posted by box at 8:02 PM on March 28, 2009

That also might explain both why the Value Village sold it for ten bucks and why the original owner got rid of it.
posted by box at 8:03 PM on March 28, 2009

dealextreme.com has parts for cheap...no, they are not OEM, yes, everything I've ever bought from them has functioned.
posted by legotech at 9:00 PM on March 28, 2009

The DS Lite does turn on without software in it. Its set-up functions and pictochat (wifi console-to-console chat client) work without external software.

Normally, when charging an amber light comes on, and when it is fully charged the light turns off. Does the light ever turn off? If not that might indicate a battery issue being the first place to look. Normally it takes a few hours, less than 5.

When working normally the power switch slides upwards and then returns to its original position with a spring action. Repeating the same action turns it off.

The batteries are fairly cheap. As suggested by others a friendly game store would probably at least let you test a fresh one in it.
posted by nanojath at 9:18 PM on March 28, 2009

I'd sell it on ebay, a search for "broken ds lite" returns several broken ds's, fetching between 30-$40 and bidding hasn't even ended yet.
posted by glenno86 at 4:14 AM on March 29, 2009

Response by poster: nanojath: The light does eventually turn off if I leave the unit charging, but the DS still won't turn on. The power switch works properly.

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone. I think my best bet is to bring it to an independent game store to see if it can be inexpensively repaired, as phredgreen suggested. I'd considered eBaying it, but I'd much rather have it fixed.
posted by oulipian at 6:07 AM on March 29, 2009

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