Nintendo DS Lite Repair Guide


Billy Mays
Staff member
I recently received a quasi-broken one of these in on trade, so I thought I'd write up a guide on how to repair the DS here.

This guide refers to the DS Lite. I do not know if the "phat" versions would be similar, as I've not dealt with one of those yet, however the techniques should remain the same.

Furthermore, this guide currently refers to the partial disassembly of the unit, and repair of the touchscreen connector. As I need to repair this thing, or take it apart for the information, I'll add to this original post.

Tools needed:
A tri-wing screwdriver Contrary to popular belief, you don't need one of these if you don't have one. We'll cover that later.
Soldering iron with a SMALL TIP. Very important.
A pencil.

The only part of the case we will be removing at this current time will be the lower cover. To remove this, you will need to remove the battery cover and battery as well, because there are a couple screws underneath the battery.

If you notice, some of those screws (my unit for some reason had a mixed screw type, mini phillips and tri-wing) will be tri-wing. If you have a tri-wing screwdriver, you're in luck, go ahead and remove the battery cover, battery, and the remainder of the screws.


If you do NOT have a tri-wing screwdriver, you're probably still ok, if you have a good selection of electronics screwdrivers. A VERY small flathead driver will work just fine, but it's important to note that you must exert a good amount of downward force while removing the screw. I was able to remove all of mine in this fashion with no difficulty at all.

Once removed, you will be able to see the connector towards the bottom of the unit. It is a ribbon cable that is no wider tan 1/8" wide. You may ask yourself... how am I going to solder that thing to the motherboard?

It's easy enough when you know the right technique.

Remove what I believe is the wifi module by pulling straight up, gently. It's the metal box that is right next to the touchscreen connector. The white cable that attaches to the DS' motherboard just pops on and off, so remove it by pulling firmly up.

Once those two items are removed, you should be left with this:


Also, video:

You'll notice that I've also applied flux to the pads of the connector. You can do this by applying a liberal amount with a pencil. Once that has been done, take your soldering iron, your solder, and pick up a small ball of solder on the tip of your iron. Once you have done this, slowly drag the tip of the iron across the pads on the PCB. You'll see the pads accumulate solder as they turn from a copper color to a silver color.

Once you have the pads covered, clean the rest of the flux off with a paper towel. Get as much off as you can, but don't worry about it if you can't get it squeaky-clean - if nothing else, the stickyness will help keep the ribbon cable steady as you position it for soldering.

Once you have it cleaned off, take your ribbon cable and position it so that the pads line up. This is probably the most crucial, and the most difficult, part of the repair. It's awfully small. But, the pads on the PCB have two small spots of solder on each side of where the cable should go, so that provides a good point of reference.

It is important that you leave a small bit of the traces visible at the top of the cable.

Once you have it lined up, pin it to the PCB with a pencil to keep it from moving, and to provide downforce while reheating the solder. Once you have it pinned, slowly drag your iron across the visible traces of the touchscreen connector pad on the PCB.

Drag it two or three times; when done, you can let go of the pencil. Try moving it around a little with the tip of the pencil; if it doesn't move, you're good to go! If it does move, repeat the last couple steps until you get it right.

Congrats! Any questions, please ask. I also made a small video of me applying flux to the pads, I'll be uploading that to youtube and posting later.

This guide will be added to as repairs are needed on this unit. Also, I will be adding more pictures later - my camera doesn't like being wiggled while shooting.
thanks for the guide mate.... i have one question to ask you and that is what actually the twiring or whatever the screw driver looks like cuz i have no idea about i thought i would ask the does the nintendo ds lite screw driver looks like this one ....which i linked here...