How to Repair a Nintendo NES With a Red Blinking Light

By Erin McManaway

The Nintendo Entertainment System is a home gaming system console that was released in the U.S. in 1985. Because it is an older system, it may display issues such as a red blinking power light. This blinking light is most often caused by damaged or dirty pins on the 72-pin connector inside of the system. If the connector is dirty, you can clean it. However, if it is bent or damaged, you may need to replace it with a new connector.

Turn the NES system upside down and unscrew the six screws using the Phillips-head screwdriver.

Turn the NES system right side up and carefully remove the top of the console by pulling it straight up.

Unscrew the large black RF shield and remove it by pulling it straight up off the console. You should now see a flat, black cartridge caddy.

Unscrew the eight screws holding the cartridge caddy to the console’s mainboard. You should now be able to see the 72-pin connector.

Clean the metal connectors with the cloth and the rubbing alcohol to remove any grime or buildup. If the connectors are not bent or broken, you may reassemble the NES after cleaning.

Use a screwdriver to carefully reposition any bent connectors. If the connectors are too bent or damaged, you may need to replace the connector completely by pulling the connector out of the motherboard and inserting another in.

Reassemble your NES and test it using any NES cartridge. The NES should no longer display a blinking power light when playing.

Tip

You can purchase a new connector from online or retail video game vendors who specialize in older consoles such as the NES.

About the Author

Erin McManaway holds a B.A. in professional writing from Francis Marion University, where she earned the Richard B. Larsen Memorial Award for Business and Technical Writing. She has worked in materials development, media and information technology in the nonprofit sector since 2006. McManaway has also been a writer and editor since 2008.