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Disclaimer: I'm not sure if this is on topic but I'll try anyway. If not, tell me and I'll delete this question.

I have a Nintendo handheld console (New 2DS XL in my case) and the upper screen is broken. Obviously warranty doesn't cover this but I'd still like to get it repaired. Unfortunately I cannot find anyone in my country (Latvia) who would be willing to do it. I found YouTube instructions and 3rd party replacement parts on ebay, but I'd like to keep that as the last option. Seemed risky.

I tried contacting Nintendo in their support chat, but they're split in webpages for specific countries and I couldn't find a "global" webpage. So I went for the UK page (still close and speaks English), but they said they only repair devices from the UK and they cannot speak for other countries. So basically, no help there either.

Has anyone had a similar experience and have you found any solutions beyond self-repair or buying a new console?

2 Answers 2

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As a hobby, I refurbish old Nintendo handhelds and I've even replaced (cough, multiple, cough) screens for my wife's cell phones over the years. I can't speak for the 2DS XL, but replacing internal components can range from "easy" to "killer, expert mode!" I joke a little, but it truly is amazing how complex some components sometimes fit together in electronic devices but if you get lucky, some are simply placed within a housing assembly and can be as easy to change as unplugging a wire, and pulling out and snapping in a new component. That's getting to be rarer and rarer, but it does still happen from time to time.

Many people have repaired their own gaming hardware and had good success. However, if you feel that buying the components and fixing the 2DS yourself is to great a risk, I completely understand. Considering your circumstances I'd recommend you check around your town, or the nearest one, and see if you can find an independent electronics shop. Maybe a place that sells televisions or appliances. Go there, ask to speak to a manager and tell them your problem. They probably do not offer in-house repair, but if it's an independent shop and you can speak to the head manager or the owner, there is a good chance that they may be connected with people in the community who have done electronics repair.

I can't speak for Latvia, but living in the US, electronics repair is a dying art but some of us enjoy keeping it up as a hobby. Tech is often too disposable for us today, so the need for the skill is dying. But, there are still people who know how to fix things and even if they are retired, they might enjoy taking on a project like this just for the experience.

If you can get a local contact for someone who has done electronics repair, give them a call and see if they are willing to give this repair a try. Let them know you'll order the components and once they arrive, you'll deliver everything they need for the repair, and all they will have to do is the replacement work.

I know this isn't a great answer, but it sounds to me that your real problem is finding someone capable of doing the work. If Nintendo repairing the item isn't an option, then you will have to find someone who can. People who do this as a side-gig or as a hobby are rare, but there's a good chance that more than a few people in your town were possibly once electronic repair technicians and those potentially older, retired individuals still tend to enjoy dabbling in the field when they get a chance.

As a last resort, you could try to go to an independent cell phone repair shop. Again, I say find an independent one because if it's a chain store they probably won't be allowed to help you with specialty hardware. However, if there is an independent shop and you walk in and show them your system and tell them you're willing to buy the hardware and deliver it for the repairs, they may consider doing such a repair. Even if you can't find an independent shop, maybe, if you can talk to the local repair technician, you might be able to persuade him to do this repair as a side-gig.

I really don't see there being any other options but, honestly, I don't think you're completely without a solution. It may take a bit of searching and asking around in your local community to find the right person, but I'm sure they are out there.

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  • I've replaced one phone screen myself and I've checked videos and I think I can do it, but there are several places where glue is involved which seem risky for me to take apart. That's the reason I wanted a professional to do it. If they're used to pulling apart glued pieces then there's less of a chance they'll break it. And if they do break it even more, they'll either compensate me or fix the extra damage for free. Or so I would hope.
    – Vilx-
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 15:36
  • I did check around for local independent shops, but there are few that claim that they can fix game consoles and the two that I found declined the job. I got in touch with Nintendo UK but they were unwilling to help. Now I've taken up emailing their Poland distributor. They at least asked me for a picture of the broken screen, but haven't replied to that yet. Will see. As for independant repairmen - I doubt they would be willing to offer any compensation if they screwed up the job, so I might as well save a few bucks and do it myself. In the worst case, I'll have more money for a new console.
    – Vilx-
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 15:41
  • Nevertheless, good answer, have an upvote!
    – Vilx-
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 15:42
  • Thanks for the upvote. Unfortunately, your circumstance by it's nature will limit you. The best option you might have is to find that repair person who's willing to try who does it independently. If you already have the screen you can tell them you won't hold them liable if they can't finish the repair. Yes, you can try it yourself but when you have no experience, it's going to be more difficult for you to do rather than them. If no one will take the job, then yes, you'll have to do it yourself... Or just buy a new system. Sometimes you have to count your losses and start over.
    – RLH
    Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 14:11
  • Also, if you do buy a new 2DS, can still sell the broken one so long as you outline the damage. You may not want to try and repair it, but other people will give you, say, 50% of the going used rate of a working system and they will try to repair it. I am that guy who does but broken hardware on occasion to refurbish. You can use that money to offset the purchase of another unit.
    – RLH
    Commented Feb 16, 2020 at 14:14
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An update, a year later!

In the end, I couldn't find anyone to repair my console, so finally bit the bullet and ordered the screen on eBay to repair on my own. It arrived fairly quickly and then... it just sat there until today. Yeah I was lazy. But not anymore!

I am happy to announce, the repair was a success!

So now I can share some tips with other people who might go down the same path in the future. I followed this video to know what I'm getting into. My comments:

  • The first annoying part were the Y00 tri-wing screwdrivers that are needed to open the case. I ordered a screen replacement that supposedly came with these tools... only to find out that they are absolutely shit. Well, at least the screwdrivers were. The plastic picks are a nice addition to my toolbox. But the crappy screwdrivers just couldn't find enough purchase in the tiny screws. So I had to spend an additional 10€ for a decent set of screwdrivers, also from Ebay. But those then worked just fine. Just be careful, those screws are both tiny and tight. You can ruin their heads easily.
  • If you watch the video carefully enough, you'll notice that the guy disassembles waaaay too much, There's no need to remove the main board. Just remove the back plate and then go straight for the hinges (and the cables that come from the upper part).
  • The hinge without the cables doesn't come out easily, but the two halves can be wiggled back and forth and the hinge can be pulled out slowly that way, millimetre by millimetre. You don't need to remove the camera plate to remove the hinge.
  • Just like the guy in the video, when I tried to pry the screen off, I got to see the "liquid" part in "Liquid Crystal Displays". Well, more like a thin greasy layer. (Don't worry, not toxic, unless you eat it or something. Just wash your hands with soap) The thing was SUPER easy to separate into layers. Until the front layer that is, which was attached to the plastic with the nastiest adhesive of all. I did get it off, but in the process also broke the front layer (glass!) into zillion tiny pieces, many of them the size of dust particles. BE WARNED. Do this inside a plastic bag and be extra careful not to cut yourself! If you have any better methods to get rid of it, do try them. I tried heating with a hairdryer, but it didn't seem to do much. Maybe I just don't know how to do it. Anyways, this was the hardest part and I also scraped the black back of the clear plastic front. Not pretty, but a small price to pay.
  • The replacement screen however has no need for an adhesive. It stays in place just fine, there's not much room for wiggling in there. And if you ever need to replace it AGAIN, it will be much easier.
  • When putting things back together, don't forget to put the volume knob back in. It's embarrassing.
  • When putting the volume knob back in, don't forget to take out the SD card again before opening the console. Turns out, a chipped SD card doesn't work. I also do feel lucky that it was just the SD card and not something else.

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