There are other questions similar to this one I'm asking, but my situation is different from the other questions asked on this site....

I've owned and played this Nintendo 64 for about 10 years now, and have played numerous games on it. One day I was playing MK4, then turned it off to let the kids play with their games. The next day, I go to boot up MK4, but it won't boot the game up.

Specifically, I can insert a game, turn on the system (red LED lights up), and instead of the game booting up, a red hazy screen fades in as if a game WASN'T inserted. I've tried all of my games, TLoZ: OoT, SM64, 007, Perfect Dark, and many other games, and it still does the same thing. I've tried blowing through the connectors in the system AND in the game (though it's not recommended), no change. I've tried cleaning the connectors with alcohol and eliminating any dust on the connectors, no change. I've tried taking the Expansion Pak out and cleaning those connectors, no change. I checked my wires, they appear to be fine (video is going to TV). Then I tried just leaving the system and powers supply unplugged for about 7 minutes, but no change.

I asked the kids if they did anything to it, and they said no. No drinks were spilled on it, and it wasn't bashed or battered in any way. When I went to go turn it on the next day it wouldn't boot up for nothing. The reason why I ask if it's fried is because I've noticed many other times that the system would be left on for extended periods of time, and sometimes it would be left on with no game in it. I've also noticed that the youngest would sit there and reset the game over and over again to see the intros of the games. Sometimes I would also see the youngest just rip the game out of the system at random (and sometimes leave the power on for extended periods). But they've been doing this to the system and games for about 2 months now. The oldest tells me when they do it, the games just boot up after turning it off and back on. When I left MK4 alone for the kids to play their games, could that have been the final straw and the system finally just burned up? I can imagine that repeated resets, game unplugs, and extended on times with no game in it can't be good for the system.

Does anybody know if a N64 can be fried when it's treated like this? Can anybody tell me of other steps I can take to try to revive this system? This system is sentimental to me, being a part of my childhood and all that.

Edit: I noted this earlier. If I unplug the power pack, then plug it back in WITHOUT PLUGGING THE POWER SOURCE INTO THE SYSTEM, I can hear and feel an faint click in the power pack itself. Is it supposed to do that when its plugged in after staying unplugged for a second or two?

UPDATE: Did a little research and found out that the power supply has three different pins that distribute power to the logic in the N64. If one of these pins don't supply power, then the N64 will not function correctly BUT will turn on. Somebody had my particular problem on another forum. He solved it by replacing the power pack. I will do a test later to see if the power pack is the problem

  • 2
    If you've owned this N64 for around 10 years now (since 2010), that still leaves most of a decade since the system was built (Google suggests that worldwide production of N64s stopped around 2003.) I assume therefore that this is a second-hand unit? Perhaps something that a previous owner did to it has finally caught up to it. Although, even without mistreatment, things do wear out over time and 17 years (optimistically) seems like a good run.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 14:57
  • Thank you for answering sir. Yes, it was second hand. I am in my early 20s right now, I grew up with it, ESPECIALLY TLoZ: OoT... I know that in the past ten years, this system has seen lots of games, and lots of different storage units. But it always played games flawlessly, and all accessories (controller pak, rumble pak.) Also worked flawlessly. The common denominator is that within the last two months, small children got to play with the system (I noted before they were resetting the system over and over). I just hope someone has a trick that I haven't tried yet.
    – KALI99
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:33
  • I already tried all the common things to get a N64 working again. None of them worked. There are a few uncommon solutions that are possible, but it involves taking the system apart. Also, read my edited post above, I added some info.
    – KALI99
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 15:34
  • 1
    If you truly suspect that a circuit component is broken, you could buy a replacement motherboard on eBay and swap it in. Replacing the motherboard is actually really straightforward, ifixit.com/Guide/Nintendo+64+Motherboard+Replacement/1608
    – Atav32
    Commented Aug 27, 2020 at 18:46
  • Thank you for the suggestion. But I want to see if I can revive my system as it sits. Maybe see if there is ANY test I can do to prove that the MOBO is fried, or if it's a power supply problem (Read Edit Above).
    – KALI99
    Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


Have you maybe tried with a different expansion pack?

My SO bought a N64 in a garage sale and if I remember right, the issue was pretty much the same. Red light is on, but nothing of worth is outputted. And if I remember right we bought a third party expansion pack and that made it work.

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