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Nintendo DS Lite Broken Hinge Scenario

Nintendo DS Lite Broken Hinge Scenario 

Over the last two years there have been a large number of cases with the Nintendo DS Lite hinges cracking, then snapping or breaking off.
If you are one of the unlucky ones with one of these there isn't a lot you can do unless it's still covered under warranty.

The problem does happen with all colours, but is very prone to happen to the White DS Lite. It seems there was a "bad batch" of White Nintendo DS consoles that hit the market place just under two years ago.

What to look for:-
The crack normally starts on the right hand side (looking at screen) the hinge closest to the power LED. This almost always starts off as a hair line crack which seems to take less than two or three weeks to become a full split in the plastic.
Once it has fully broken off, it can become hard to use the DS.

Intermediate Fix:-
Try keeping an elastic band around the DS when it's closed, this will stop it falling apart.
You can also use tape to hold the hinges down, but I wouldn't recommend this if you are planning on sending it back.
Please do be warned, that once you see these signs, it will break off: don't just leave it thinking it will be ok.



What can you do about it:-
1) Take it back to where you purchased it from
2) Failing that, contact Nintendo direct (they now have a support site for this fault) which you can find here:

Nintendo Service Centre  UK


3) If you are out of your warranty and have tried these ideas without any luck you can try a site like eBay. Empty cases for the Nintendo DS Lites have come down in price a lot over the last 4 months.
Bare in mind you will need to be capable of taking the DS apart to fit the new case, normally all the tools (screw drivers etc) do come with the cases being sold (again do check with the seller first).

If you have abused your DS and managed to break it by doing something silly, like sitting on it in your pocket, dropping it, letting the wife borrow it (ok I was joking about the last one) then this will more than likely show up when it's inspected.
Be warned if this is found, you can be charged by Nintendo for any repair done.

While I would like to think that they have now sorted this problem out, it still seems they haven't.
Our family got hit by this bug, when we first found it we thought one of the kids had dropped it. After further investigation we found this to be a very common fault with the White DS Lite.

After many weeks of trying to find out what to do we contacted Nintendo who then very promptly sent out a package to put the DS in to have it posted back to them.
It was repaired and returned within about two weeks (which I was more than happy about).
However, three months later the same problem occurred again in the same place.
We then sent that one back (again really fast turn around from Nintendo) and now hope this is going to be the last time.


As a side note, we have 3 DS consoles in our house, 1x Black, 1x Pink & 1x White
The black and pink get used a lot more than the white one ever has and we bought them over a year before the white one.

The good news is, once you have sent your DS back to be repaired, Nintendo do reset the warranty date to another 12 months
To be honest though, if it breaks a third time on us, I will insist they change the colour which they say they wont do, but I will keep you posted.


Although our findings have pointed towards this fault mainly being on the right hand side (power LED side) there has been other cases on websites with the fault on the left hand side (same side as the power socket).


Handy Links Again
Nintendo Service Centre  UK

0870 6060 247

Have you had any hinge problems with your Nintendo DS?

To get a more neutral view of the damage done to the DS's we have taken random screen shots from around the net to show the extent of this.

Rasher | 28th June, 2008
TGK's picture
Rasher... Did you know that the DS lite is the new version of the DS?
Originally Posted by TheGingerKid View Post
Rasher... Did you know that the DS lite is the new version of the DS?
And the relevance to this post is?
TGK's picture
Just a little MSN convo we had
Rasher's picture
yes m8, fully aware the lite is the new version,
it was you asking what a NDS was for some reason not me
Originally Posted by Rasher View Post
yes m8, fully aware the lite is the new version,
it was you asking what a NDS was for some reason not me
I dunno kids these days.

They think they know everything when really they know nothing.
Fat Tony's picture

Neutral Dynamic System?
Extremely good post and topic, being a nindie retailer, i have never heard of this happen in my expierence, most returns to us happen regarding calibration issues and battery issues.

Reading this has brought to my attention that if a customer in my workplace encounters this then its a statistic added to the pile that nintendo should address.

Hopefully with the new sku's (colours) of ds's then this should not be an issue.
Edit, Interstingly enougth, could some one point me in the direction this was a multi location issue as in, was it european consoles or just american consoles that suffered from this ?
This very thing happened with my little sisters ds, i thought she had just been rough with it till now.

She got a mate to try and fix it though, so now its knackered
Fat Tony's picture
I very sadly fell victim to this today. The fact my serial number is missing means I won't be able to get it repaired.

Very bad end to a very bad week.

Rasher's picture
man, i am sorry to hear that
out of interest, how old is it?
Fat Tony's picture
Couldn't say. Got it second hand over Christmas over in Florida. 'Snot like I paid much for it so it isn't too gutting but I'm still pretty upset 'cos I can't get a replacement yet. There's always been a crack over the left hinge but today the entire right hinge just tore off. I wasn't even being rough with it, I just opened it
Rasher's picture
again, sorry to hear that man
and again,
dare i ask what colour this DS was?...
Listy's picture
you can buy new cases for them :P dunno how you feel about replacing it yourself think there was lad on hexus who made thread about it

Fat Tony's picture
Originally Posted by Rasher View Post
again, sorry to hear that man
and again,
dare i ask what colour this DS was?...
As white as a KKK member's semen

Sad thing is, even with the DSi out, second hand DS Lites are still selling for £80-£90 quid. Insane. This means I cannot afford to replace it, and I don't favour my technical skills enough to dismantle it and fit a new case.

My fix for now basically consists of wrapping a wristband around it - it's thicker than an elastic band so it holds it securely - then when I play I have to rest it on something or hold the top screen. What I'm gonna do is get some superglue and "fix" the top screen tight against the bottom alone the groove between the hinges. It'll mean I can't close it but it's all I can really do until I can replace it.
Fat Tony's picture
Superglue job done, gonna go across the grooves again tomorrow to make sure it's as rigid as possible. Feels pretty solid though - far too chunky to carry around in my pocket but for flights and stuff it'll fit in a bag easily.


And as an added bonus I was able to glue the hinge back into place. Woo!
Rasher's picture
Tony, been looking on eBay, and there is quite a number of kits
If you want to buy any of them kits, and post your DS off to me, i would be happy to fix it for you (for free).
Fat Tony's picture
Is that gonna be possible with it superglued as tightly as it is? I've literally sealed the top screen to the bottom, you cannot close the DS as it is. If you can do that then that's ace, I will be taking you up on that offer as soon as I have some spare pennies, thanks!

Moving onto how it's looking, it's still sealed incredibly tightly and it's completely rigid - no squeaking or creaking when it's gently bent, and I did a few gentle test drops and it's holding up brilliantly.

TGK's picture
Originally Posted by Fat Tony View Post
My son had a white nintendo ds lite that broke, which we won in a comp, so had no receipt to varify date we got it.

I had a pink nintendo ds that broke at the hinge but had it too long to return...

I had a new nintendo ds lite to replace my broken one for christmas and it has broken already. My other half is taking it to Argos today to see what they say... It has had an outer case on it to protect it all the time Ive had it because it came as a nintendogs package... Quite disappointing to be honest..
Metal Ed's picture
i bought a black ds off a colleague because her the hinge had snapped. She'd already bought a brand new shell and tried to repair it, but got freaked when unclipping the ribbon cable for the top screen.

Repairing them isn't that difficult if you are patient and have a reasonably steady hand. It took me a couple of hours. I've replaced the case on two now. Give it a try, there are plenty of tutorials around on the web.
Well Argos wont replace it, apparently they used to do a straight swap, but now they send it away to nintendo... so fingers crossed i should get a repaired one back...
Rasher's picture
windyfishface, that's really good news if they have sent it back
I hope they sort it for you.
it takes around 7-14 days to get back to you normally

please do keep us updated
Well that is really bad they want to charge me nearly £54 for a repair because they say the hinge is not covered on the warranty!!

Nintendo will be getting a really nasty letter from me as I am an adult and have taken care of my nintendo ds, and this is number 3 that has bitten the dust.. They dont deserve to have my business if they cant repair it for free...
Rasher's picture
thanks for keeping us updated:

that is really bad trying to charge you £54 to repair a fault which is caused by them.
as i have said in my other posts, we have three DS's
Black, Pink and White
the black gets used the most, the while the least....
yet the white has been sent back 3 times now

We can help you track down some repairs you can do your self if you like m8?
i rang them yesterday to express my disgust and they said they would ask the repair centre to revisit my ds. Had a message left today to say they will only charge the minor repair charge which is still about £30, as the case is not covered... My ds has had a clear hard plastic outer case on it from purchase so I still dont feel that I should have to pay anything. If they wont repair it I will boycott all nintendo stuff and take my cash elsewhere. Its a shame my husband bought it for me cash otherwise I would have involved the credit card company...

It was bought 07th December 2008, so you would expect it to last longer than it has... and without the plastic outer case the inner workings are useless, so to disregard the plastic case is totally ridiculous... I shall be writing to nintendo to express my disgust and I shall be posting in as many places as I can the facts about what has happened...
Fat Tony's picture
My superglue fix is still holding strong, lol. Just got weird looks going through security at the airports.
took some advice and as i bought it from argos, they are the ones that have a duty to repair or repace the item... So have written to them and sent the letter recorded delivery and quoted the sale of goods act and the fact that items are supposed to be of reasonable quality to last a reasonable amount of time... So will await reply and post when i have an update.. The consumer direct website are the ones who log your case and give you a number and will help you if you need it...
Came across the site googling for broken hinge on DS Lite to see if it was a common problem, seems it is , some excellent info thanks.

Purchased this on (red case) from Currys just less than 12 months ago, developed the dreaded crack across the casing near the hinge and then small piece of plastic became detached. Top screen now has no hinge resistance.

Took back to Currys and they sent it off to Nintendo for assessment. Nintendo now telling Currys this is not under warranty stating......

Thank you for sending your customers product for testing. The fault we have identified is not covered by the Nintendo warranty and therefore is chargeable. To enable this product to be repaired please obtain payment from your customer and provide approval for us to proceed with the repair, by signing the approval to proceed box below and faxing this form to us on 02392 383444.

If your customer does not want us to proceed with the repair, please sign the repair un-paid box and fax the form back to us on 02392 383444

If you have any queries regarding this item or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0870 6060247

Fault Diagnosis

Item : DS lite-Red
Fault : DS Lite Major
Fault Code : Broken Hinge
Price : £53.85 GBP

Yours sincerely
Nintendo Service Centre
How on earth can they expect me to swallow that the hinge, an integral part of the DS, a part that determines its functionality cannot be covered by warranty? The unit has had not impact damage at any time and after reading around here and elsewhere on t'interyweb it is blatantly obvious it is an underlying design fault on many machines.

Have attached a pic for reference and other people who have experienced this problem and will be contacting Nintendo/Currys and kicking off big time.

I am also Admin on the free consumer rights help forum Legalbeagles and I will be posting about this on there and will also try to keep updated on here as to my progress.

Great site, good info, as Arnie says.........."I'll be back"
reply i logged my fault with consumer direct 08454 040506 they give u a case number and make it official. They advise you what to put in the letter too...

If u ring nintendo and express your disgust they will reduce the charge to the minor fee, but i dont think any cash should be parted with...

Nintendo are away with the fairies when u say about posts on forums with same problems they say it was a bad batch in 2006. They need to get a life and accept responsibility. Mine is still at the hairline crack stage but my old ds had a great chunk out the same...

I rang them today and right on que they disputed that the fault was inherent and tried to blame it on either impact damage or straining the hinge by opening the upper screen "too far". I refuted that neither had occurred and that the DS was only subject to careful use.

I mentioned I had discovered this to be a common problem by researching t'interweb, he then said "we sell millions of units and only 1% have ever been returned as faulty". I said I suspected that there would have been many more, but that Nintendo will have only agreed to repair 1% under full warranty fobbing the others off as being "chargeable faults".

Again, as you guys predicted, he agreed that he would have the inspection team re-assess the fault and get back to me within 48hrs.................I can guess what's coming next............

"We will only charge you for a minor repair as a gesture of goodwill".......but I do not think this is acceptable for goods that have been in use for about 9 months. I will log the complaint with Consumer Direct as advised if this is what they try and keep everyone informed.

Many thanks again.

If we can be of help to anyone on our forum don't hesitate to come have a look, just google Legalbeagles, my username is the same as on here. If Admin could allow then I will post a direct link to he forum.
Exactly what I thought would happen.... Am waiting for a reply from my recorded delivery letter to Argos, will let you know what they say.... Although I have given them until something like the 18th of September to reply by....
I spoke with Nintendo directly, predictably they offered me a reduced rate repair at £29 odd, which I swiftly refused and insisted that as there had been no physical damage to the DS the repair should be covered under warranty and I would not accept anything less.

They went away for 5 minutes to "check with the technicians" and came back saying they had agreed to do the repair FOC but would not be able to offer me a further 12 months warranty like they normally do.

I accepted that and it should be repaired and sent back to Currys by the end of next week RESULT!!!

The day after, Currys rang me and asked what I wanted to do about the repair as they hadn't heard from me. I let them know I had contacted Nintendo directly and successfully argued for a repair under warranty. The donkey at Currys was still adamant I would have to pay them when I collected it from them as there was "no way Nintendo would have agreed to a free repair", sorry sonny, but they did and I aren't paying you a bean when I collect it.

Welcome to windyfishface over on LegalBeagles btw, nice to see you over there.
wow you are lucky mine is at Argos still "broken"

Now Im really annoyed....

Still waiting for Argos to reply....
Rasher's picture
I would like to thank windyfishface & Tools for keeping us updated

I wrote this article for the first issue of our magazine (i am not normally a writer, but really wanted to get this message out to people) magazine can be found here: page 21

The fact that we had to send ours back even after they repaired it (multiple times) shows it more than just a bad batch from 2006
it is to do with the plastic they have used on the cases, but why they repair with the same bad plastic i have no idea

as i said above, we have 3 DS's and the white one is used the least and it just keeps breaking

Again, the more people that post in this comment about it happening to them will help others and will be able to be used in defence that its a "real" problem
not this 1% BS they that Nintendo are saying.
Well I was working today, but my husband went to pick up my DS from Argos and amazingly its repaired!! Not sure what happened really because when I spoke to the person on the phone at Nintendo he said there was a charge and I told him I wasnt going to pay and that I would take it further... He said he would return it to me unrepaired...

Obviously I havent had a response from Argos, and my husband thought it was a new one because all the settings had gone, but i thought that would happen if you totally disconnected the battery?
Rasher's picture
Originally Posted by windyfishface View Post
Obviously I havent had a response from Argos, and my husband thought it was a new one because all the settings had gone, but i thought that would happen if you totally disconnected the battery?
I don't think that taking the battery out loses the settings, as we have put removable cover on all ours and swap the battery's around
and we never had to put nick-names etc back in

i am glad you have it sorted and i thank you for posting that you got it replace, this might just give others a glimmer of hope towards this issue.
My daughter's 10m old DS lite (red) had a cracked then eventually broken hinge. Sent it off for a repair which I assumed to be free under the warranty and they've billed me for £53.85!
I'm fuming. just spent an hour on the phone to a very smug young man at Nintendo customer services who said it must've been damaged by us. I'm waiting for them to call back.
The DS is now collected from Currys and no attempt to ask for payment.

Rasher, I pointed out to them that 1% of just 1 million units equated to 10,000 faulty units and surely this wasnt a sign of quality plastic or good design.
Tony, been looking on eBay, and there is quite a number of kits
If you want to buy any of them kits, and post your DS off to me, i would be happy to fix it for you (for free).
Can I take you up on that offer?

Nah but seriously.

I got a mate that's got two NDS lites - a salmon pink and a white one. The whites broken though (that she got first, she only got the pink one to replace the white but kept it) with the whole broken hinge (right side with the LEDs too.)
We're in NZ, apparently her mother phoned up and since it was literally JUST over warranty it would cost a small fortune to fix it. (Though reading the posts, I have a feeling that even if it was under warranty they would be lucky to get it done for free) and so now she's offering to sell it to me (the DS, charger + Sims 2 Pets) for NZD$100. So looking on TradeMe and eBay I've decided that's quite good *gasp* so.. looking for some pernament way to fix it.
Never unscrewed anything in my life that wasn't made to be unscrewed... I don't want to buy something for $100 (keep in mind I'm only just a teen and can't get a job) just to **** it up and have $100 down the drain. Looking at all the self-repair sites, they look confuzzling.

Does anyone know a decent, easy-to-follow repair site that even a young girl with no practical hardware skills could follow to repair a broken hinge? Still have the broken hinge, willing to fork out some money for a new shell on eBay... help?
Metal Ed's picture
First thing's first, how's your dexterity? The guide I followed was this one on youtube but a friend has the original images, which are higher resolution I could get and post them for you.

Changing the case is fiddly and takes patience. That said, I'm not the most dextrous or handy of people, but I have experience of working on computers which helped.

Do you know anybody that has this experience that would, at least be willing to sit with you to assist? It's a quite rewarding experience once it's done knowing that you've taken it apart and rebuilt it (minus the obligatory screw or two...j/king).

I've found this one on youtube that seems a lot more comprehensive than the one I used

This site seems to have a lot of information on it http://www.nds-central.com/

Ultimately I think what I'm saying is, if you have a little confidence, and a little help on hand, it's not too hard, but it will take TIME (4-5 hours for me if i remember correctly) and it is fiddly. There are a couple of bits that are a pain, and without patience and a steady hand might prove difficult.

I would just like to put s disclaimer here though, that if you do decide to do it, and can't get it back together, it's up to you.
I'm decent at that, I've been told that playing the piano helps for some strange reason
My dad also works with cars and bikes and builds and stuff for a hobby, he might be able to help, but he's also technophobe.. so that could be a problem.
I dunno really, I'm planning to take apart a spare Nokia phone to try and repair the screen - a loss that will suck, but as it doesn't work and never really has, if I destroy it it doesn't matter, so I'm going to see whether I can manage that.

Thanks for the videos, will be sure to check them out.
Metal Ed's picture
good luck! Let us know how you get on, and feel free to ask any more questions/shout for help if you get stuck!
Rasher's picture
Hi chaucolai
Would be more than happy to help out
Post a reply back in here if you still need help and i will send you my contact details.

also a thanks to Ed for posting the videos
Originally Posted by TheGingerKid View Post
Just a little MSN convo we had
yes m8, fully aware the lite is the new version,
it was you asking what a NDS was for some reason not me
Originally Posted by iNTOXiCATiON View Post
Edit, Interstingly enougth, could some one point me in the direction this was a multi location issue as in, was it european consoles or just american consoles that suffered from this ?
This very thing happened with my little sisters ds, i thought she had just been rough with it till now.

She got a mate to try and fix it though, so now its knackered
I fix Nintendo ds lites all the time.
I have gone self employed doing it, Gotta love kids throwing them about lol.

I buy them of ebay cheap rebuild and sell them on.
If you have kids under 7 try to get the ds Original I sell more of them than ds lites, they are more drop resistat and are good at falling down stairs just ask my son lol.

If you need a hand with anything you can send me a emither to GODARK@YAHOO.COM

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