Nintendo Switch Repair Fail

    The flimsy USB port on my Nintendo Switch fried. I weighed 3 options;

  1. Send it out for repair
  2. Buy a new one
  3. Try to fix it

     Since I was educated by the "fuckit, I can't break it any worse" repair school, I decided to purchase a $2 3rd party replacement part off Amazon. Its unbelievable how much people charge to fix Nintendo Switches. The USB port getting busted seems to be a pretty common problem. At some point in the past I had some luck replacing the USB port of an Amazon Kindle Fire, so I thought I probably had a pretty good shot at getting the Switch working.

    After the part arrived I spent a few weeks watching how-to Youtube videos, reading over how-to websites, and generally increasing my knowledge of the innards of the Nintendo Switch. Then I spent about 2 hours very carefully taking it apart and noting the different part numbers.  I soon realized the motherboard was some weird limited-run version that was only sold in... Asian markets? Wtf. I bought it new. Odd. But this articular version of Switch Motherboard is really hard to find spare parts for, not that Switches are easy to find parts for in the first place. But this motherboard, it was literally impossible. The only sources I could find for the particular components of this version of the Mobo or even just a replacement Mobo, were some caches of long ago E-bay auctions for junk parts; and one REALLY REALLY sketchy ad on alibaba. Either way, the parts, even if they were actually for sale, were more expensive than just buying a new Switch. Armed with that knowledge, I proceeded with my plan.

Adventures in MicroSoldering

I got the Switch and all its various components taken apart. Then I fired up my trusty old soldering gun making sure to use the finest tip I had available. I have to say, getting the USB ports off without damaging these things is a BITCH. The USB ports for Nintendo Switch motherboards have a weird design and quite a few contact points where they are soldered directly into the motherboard, its extremely difficult and time consuming to remove them. Nintendo Switches are definitely not made to be repaired. But after a lot time, patience, and trial and error, I got the USB port off without damaging the motherboard.


    I popped the new USB port on and it fit perfectly.  I carefully soldered all the connections into place. I pieced the electronic components back together, and it worked when I plugged it in to test it! The battery was charging and I got it up to 5%. I was feeling pretty happy, so I carefully put the Switch back together with all 5 million of its tiny black screws.

I Suck at Microsoldering

    So right after I carefully put the Switch all back together, I plugged it in again, thinking it would charge and life would be good and I could say "hey i just fixed a fucking nintendo switch," But right when I plugged it in and turned it on, I realized I'm not really that good at micro-soldering. In fact, I learned I'm really, really, really extremely bad at it. 


    I plugged in the Nintendo Switch, turned it on, and immediately something shorted and fried. I could smell that "burning electronics" smell and bunch of smoke poofed out of the USB-C port. Knowing those rechargeable batteries can straight up explode, I reflexively chucked the whole thing out the window. It spun as it sailed through the air, like some kind of smoking frisbee, and landed it my yard. It sat there for a little bit smoking, like it was some soldier in Vietnam popping smoke to bring the Hueys in.


    I let the Switch sit out in my yard for a while. Overnight, actually. I had spent about 6 hours fucking with it already and when it started smoking, I was just totally over it. The next day I went out and did an autopsy. The motherboard inside was totally melted, as well as the wifi chip. And the plastic backing of the LED was pretty toasty too. The poor Nintendo Switch was DOA.

 Que Sera

    Really, it would have just saved a lot of time and effort to just to pick up an extra day at work and pay the couple hundo for a new Switch cuz that was a lot of my free-time ill never get back.


    Nintendo is a racket. I'm buying a new Switch next time one of these fucks up. And the 2 year protection plan bullshit that I hate. Just in case. Fuck.

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