Tips to Get Your NES Running Again!


NES. Known also as the Famicom (“Family Computer”) or just “Nintendo”  , the Nintendo Entertainment System still stands strong today as a functioning System , and there are also companies today making reproduction NES’s . But if you’re like me and using the original products , you may have encountered problems with them , some due to age , and some due to design. You may think your old NES is worthless because it won’t function , but there is almost no way that it CAN’T be returned to functioning order ; as an added bonus , most of the methods can be used with common household products or with cheap materials.

Problems include scrambled images , the NES turning on and off rapidly , and it not functioning. This occurs from dirt / dust on the 72-Pin connector (“Cartridge reader” for those who don’t know) or on the Cartridges , and the blinking is put into action by a chip (“10NES” lockout chip) designed to lock out pirated or unlicensed Games (Supposedly , cutting the fourth pin on this lockout chip will eliminate the blinking , but I’m not willing to risk). Lastly , the 72-Pin connector may be over-worn.

Those who grew up with the NES remember blowing the Cartridge to get the Games to work with the System. That will work temporarily , but not only will the problem return , but it blows the dust and/or dirt into the insides of the Cartridge.

You will not want to blow the contacts of the Cartridge , but instead clean it with a Q-Tip or a specially designed Cleaning Swab:


It’s not required to resume function , but it is good to clean the insides if possible , but Cartridges often use special screws that can only be unscrewed with a special bit. These bits can be purchased online and are easy to find.

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Follow this guide for cleaning the Cartridge and repeat if needed. Now that the Cartridge has been taken care of , we must evaluate the 72-Pin connector.

Cleaning the dust or dirt from the 72-Pin connector CAN be done by putting rubbing alcohol on a Cartridge and putting it in the NES , but this is not really a good idea , as it is not designed to clean the System and whatever dirt on the Cartridge is possibly transferred to the Pins and vice-versa. I recommend getting a NES Cleaning Kit. I bought my NAKI NES Cleaning Kit at my favorite store for a buck , and it really helps out.


This Cartridge is designed to clean the 72-Pin connector by the included solution (likely just rubbing alcohol) being applied to the “Contacts” and the Cartridge being inserted into the NES. Also , the solution can be applied to the swabs and , as shown above , can be used to clean the Cartridge contacts.

I hope my guides help you in getting your NES running! Thank you for reading , GOD BLESS!

About Classics Rising Entertainment

Some guy. Writes about his favorite things. Is an actual human being and not a loud-mouthed-douchebot-clickbait-thousand. Heavy Metal, Video Games older than I am, and entertainment in general are my specialty. Enjoy the fellow person.

Posted on 2013/11/29, in NES and SNES, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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