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Howto fix your old NES from the blinking red power light and flashing blue screen


Do you own a 8-bit NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) that no longer plays the cartridges? Does the red power light flash on and off while the screen blinks blue? Well, hopefully this article will help you fix your NES without having you turn blue in the face from blowing into the cartridge. My son and I went to our local Goodwill over the weekend and we found a 8bit NES along with 15 games. He's only 6 and has never played a NES so I thought it'd be cool for him to own a slice of console history. We bought the NES console and it looked pretty rough and I was positive that it probably wouldn't play any games before it got a good deep cleaning. I was right. :) We got home, plugged it in and got nothing but a blinking red power light. Here's what we had to do to get it working:

Cleaning the cartridge:

The first thing we tried was cleaning the Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge. What works for me is a scrubbing the cartridge connectors with Cerama Bryte (yes, the stove cook top cleaner). You can pick up Cerama Bryte & Q-tips from your local grocery store or order it online here: Buy Cerama Bryte and Q-tips.

Step 1) Shake the Cerama Bryte bottle as directed. Put a little dab of Cerama Bryte on the Q-tip.
Step 2) Spread the Q-tip with Cerama Bryte onto both sides of the cartridge pins
and wait about 30 seconds.
Step 3) Using a clean Q-tip, scrub the pins back and forth and make sure you use
a few clean Q-tips.

Cleaning NES cartridge with Cerama Bryte and Q-tips

After a few mins of scrubbing, this is what your Q-tip will look like:

Dirty Q-tip after cleaning a Nintendo cartridge with Cerama Bryte and Q-tip

Most of the time this works, but if it doesn't, follow the steps below to open up your NES to either clean the pins or replace the entire 72 pin connector.

After a few mins of cleaning the cartridge, we tried it out and still got a blinking red power light and blue flashing screen on the NES. This tells me that the pins on the connector isn't making contact with the cartridge and needs to be cleaned. This requires a little more work, but it's fairly easy to do.

Here's a video showing you how to remove the 72 pin connector to clean it.

Click here to buy the Brasso used in the video. Brasso works just as well as Cerama Bryte.

Remove all 6 screws from the bottom of the NES.

NES 8-bit console before opening

NES with top off

Remove the screws from the aluminum shield so that you can get to the 72 pin connector.

My son removing the screws to take off the shield

After cleaning the 72 pin connector we tried out the NES and it worked! Here's my son playing his new games:

Son playing Duck Hunt after cleaning the NES

Son playing Excitebike after cleaning the NES.

Son playing Super Mario after cleaning the NES.

 

IF ALL ELSE FAILS you can replace the 72 pin connector. Amazon sells 72 pin connectors at a reasonable price. Click here to buy a 72 pin connector.

Replacement 72 pin connector for NES

 

 

 

 

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