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Nintendo's upgraded version of the Nintendo 3DS. It features bigger screens, longer battery life, better pixel density, and a better design.

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Blue light, black screens, nothing else

A friend gave me his 3DS XL since it was having problems reading game cards. I was able to fix that easily. After that I opened it up just to clean the inside since it's pretty old and dirty. After I reassembled it, it wouldn't turn back on. The blue light turns on and stays on, the screens turn on but stay black, and nothing else happens. I double checked all the connections on the inside and they all seem fine. The battery is super bloated, so I assume it's a power issue. I tried using my own battery but it still had the same problem. I tried turning it on with and without the SD card, and with the charger plugged in. When I plug in the charger without the battery, the orange light turns on for a few seconds, then turns off. The 3DS doesn't have homebrew, it's all vanilla. Since it's not mine, I'm willing to do everything I can to fix it, even if a part needs replacing. Please let me know if you have any recommendations.

EDIT: I tried booting the 3DS in "safe mode" by holding L+R+A+up on the dpad. The same thing happens, but now the yellow wireless light is on too.

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This rarely happens to stock consoles, but I think you might be dealing with RTCBug. If so, the fix is about as straightforward as it gets.

  1. Power off the console
  2. Take out the game card (leave the sd in)
  3. Lay it down somewhere, turn it on, and leave it alone for 15 minutes. If it boots by then, you're all set.

If that didn't work, it's time to check for f000000b corruption. Turn the DS on, wait 30 seconds, and press POWER. If the shutdown menu appears (grey screen with the Power Off button), you'll need to install boot9strap via ntrboot to fix this. Otherwise, next option.

If neither of those work, we'll need to start looking for hardware damage. How far did you disassemble the thing? Knowing which parts you took off should give us a starting point

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Thank you very much for the help. Unfortunately, neither of these worked, it's still just blank screens.

I disassembled most of the 3DS, I removed every connection from the motherboard and put them back on. I replaced the bottom screen LCD and the battery. I did not remove anything past the motherboard and bottom screen.

I was informed by someone in the Nintendo Homebrew Discord that the motherboard most likely has a power issue and needs replacing. That might be the issue, but I'm curious what you think. Thank you again.


@mikeylorr I'd hate to just write off the motherboard, but I admittedly don't have a ton of ideas. The first and easiest thing is to check the IR board. It's installed upside-down in the guides, so make sure yours is connected properly.

Second part's a bit of a pain. Go back over all the cables you disconnected and make sure they're not cut or otherwise damaged. If they are, obviously replace them. (Make sure they're seated properly too, but i assume you did that already)

If you're comfortable sharing your discord username, I could probably find the conversation and double check that they didn't miss something


@darthmango Turns out, I did have the IR board upside down, I feel pretty stupid, but at least I figured it out. It turns on now, but the top screen won't display. I replaced it but still no display, I'll make a separate post about it.


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