Monday, June 28, 2010

How do I disassemble my Gameboy Color?

This is a question I found myself asking not to long ago;I looked around the web a little, but I didn't find any really easy, beginner level tutorials.
So, I have decided to put a short step-by-step tutorial together.

Here is a list of what you'll need to get started:
One Triwing (tri-prong) screwdriver.
I purchased mine from, but you can get them from many places across the web.

One small phillips "jeweling" screwdriver.
This came bundled with the triwing screwdriver I bought on ebay, but again you can purchase them else where on the web.

A small container
You will need this to keep from losing your screws.

First you're going to flip your Gameboy over, so it is on its front, and remove the battery cover.

Now, if you look at your Gameboy, you will see there are six screws holding it in place.
2 towards the top, two on each side of the middle, and two inside the lower portion of the battery case.

Start removing the screws by gently applying pressure downward and to the left, using your triwing screwdriver.
I should mention that you should be careful about stripping out the screws, you don't want to have this happen because then it's a real pain to get the screws out.

Once you have removed all the screws you can gently lift the back case off revealing the electronic innards of the Gameboy.

From here, if you look at the lower half of the Gameboy, there should be three phillips screws, holding the main circuit board in place.
Go ahead and remove these three screws.
Also remove the on-off switch at this stage, it should just fall right out of its notch.

Now look at the top of the Gameboy, you should see a little gold ribbon that connects to the board through a white plastic piece.
On each side of this white piece there should be a little gray lever, gently push the levers up, away from the middle of the Gameboy, and they should just click their secondary, unlocked, position.
Carefully tug on the gold ribbon, by pulling outward; it should pull out with little restraint.

You can now remove the main circuit board and place it to the side.
There should now be three rubber pieces visible, remove these by softly tugging them upward.
This should reveal the buttons of your Gameboy.

Congratulations, you have now successfully dismantled your Gameboy.

Now, here is a quick list to follow when reassembling your Gameboy.
1. Replace all of the buttons and rubber contacts as they were.
2. Place the main board back on top of the buttons. (Note, it should slide right into place, no need to force it to fit.)
3. Slide the gold ribbon back into place inside the white plastic piece.
4. With the ribbon in place, slide the levers into the lower, locked position.
5. Put the on-off switch back into its notch, so the two prongs facing inward go over the switch on the main board.
6. Replace the three screws into the lower half of the board.
7. Put the back cover on, so it fits over the front half of the case.
8. Screw in the six triwing screws.
9. Place a set of batteries and a cartridge into the Gameboy and give it a test run to make sure everything works.

If you have problems with... it may be because....

Batteries keep popping out - Check to make sure the two screws in the battery case are fully tightened, and at their lowest point.

Screen issues - Check the gold ribbon, as this is the connection between the Gameboy's board and the screen.

Buttons won't work - Check the rubber contacts between the plastic buttons and the main board.

Problems with on-off button - Check the little piece next to the board, and make sure the two prongs are fitted over the white plastic lever extending off the board.

Thanks for reading, if you have questions or problems leave a comment, or email me at