How To Remove Nintendo Screws- a Tutorial

Includes but not limited to: SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, Game Gear and I guess the Virtual Boy.

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
bicostp
Moderator
Posts: 10491
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:47 pm
Steam ID: bicostp
Location: Spamalot
Contact:

How To Remove Nintendo Screws- a Tutorial

Post by bicostp » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:13 pm

How to Remove Nintendo Screws
Nintendo uses special security screws on their cartridges and consoles, mainly to kep people from disassembling the systems and potentially injuring themselves or frying their consoles. For those of us who do take Nintendo systems apart for the sake of making handhelds, this is a major problem. However, there are many ways to remove the screws.

There are 2 kinds of Nintendo screws, dubbed the "Tri-Wing" and the "Inverted Hex" screws. The Tri-Wing looks like a phillips slot, but it only has 3 wings instead of 4. The inverted hex has an odd-shaped bump on the head, sort of like the end of a hex bit. The screwdriver for it is sort of like a normal hex screw head.

Image
The Inverted Hex screw, AKA "GameBit"

Image
The Tri-Wing screw

There are many, many ways to remove these screws. I will try to list most of them.

Melt a Pen
Take an ordinary Bic pen and remove one end of it, so you get a tube. The end with the pen tip comes apart easiest. Simply hold the tip, along with the plastic trim over it, while pulling it out of the pen. The ink tube will be attatched, but no ink will spill if you do it right. Then, take a lighter, candle, or match BE CAREFUL WITH FIRE. KIDS, GET AN ADULT TO HELP YOU and soften the end of thew pen until it looks soft. Then quickly jam it onto the screw head and carefuly turn it to back the screw out. Don't leave the pen still for too long ot it might fuse with the case. Repeat the process from the melting part for each screw, unless the pen looks like it can withstand another screw.

Buy a Screwdriver
This is the best method if you're going to be taking apart many, many Nintendo screws. The only downfall is price. I, and many other people here, have seen a lot of people get frustrated and give up, just because they don't want to buy a screwdriver. Just search eBay for "Nintendo Screwdriver", and it should come up with that you're looking for. The screwdrivers shouldn't cost any more than $10.

Modify an existing screwdriver
This really only applies to the tri-wing screwdrivers, but you, might find an existing screwdriver that has a close-enough bit to the screw you want to open. For the tri-wing, you can always try filing off one of the prongs to make a Nintendo screwdriver, but it won't be an exact match just yet. You might need to do some filing and bending to get it to fit just right. Or you could just use a very small flathead screwdriver to open the tri-wing screws.

Heat up the screw
I have heard about this working. Very simply put, it involves taking a soldering iorn, heating up the screw, and pulling the screw out of the shaft with pliers. You would probably need a more powerful iorn than the $10 RadioShack models to do this, but I could be wrong. Just hold the tip on the screw long enough untilo it's a bit loose, then quickly take a pair of pliers and try to puill the screw out. This works because it softens the plastic that the screw is holding.

Dremel
I know this works woith some systems. Just take a Dremel tool (or a drill and a saw) and curt away all the plastic around the screw heads. I don't recommend doing this to a Game Boy.

Brute Force
Thios just involves cuttinhg, drilling, pulling, yanking, and playing that the system will open. It's dangerous and somewhat barbaric, but it may be your only option if you can't get the screws loose by any other means. Again, this is not the best solution if you're opening a Game Boy.

If anyone has any other methods, feel free to contribute.

Sticky, please! :D

Please? :wink: [/b]
Last edited by bicostp on Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Sparkfist
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6754
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:12 am
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Post by Sparkfist » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:22 pm

Ah wrong forum, could one of the mods (havent memorized who yet) move this to the SNES or N64 forum.
vskid wrote:Nerd = likes school, does all their homework, dies if they don't get 100% on every assignment
Geek = likes technology, dies if the power goes out and his UPS dies too

I am a geek.

User avatar
bicostp
Moderator
Posts: 10491
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:47 pm
Steam ID: bicostp
Location: Spamalot
Contact:

Post by bicostp » Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:25 pm

ah. Oops. :oops:

I guess it could be moved to the N64 and then to the SNES section, so there's a way to get to it in every Nintendo-related section...

BTE Luc and Nos are the NES mods.

User avatar
Lucretius
Moderator
Posts: 4009
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 7:25 pm
Location: *undisclosed*
Contact:

Post by Lucretius » Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:39 pm

Done! :D
-Luke

User avatar
Turbo Tax 1.0
Portablizer Extraordinaire
Posts: 4772
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 6:19 pm
Location: Delaware, no sales tax
Contact:

Post by Turbo Tax 1.0 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:09 pm

i also found it helps to put a little solder on the screw you are heating up and it really helps using G-Forces method of heating the screw when you open NES carts or in fact any other cart so they dont turn up like this
Image

my 2 cents
when life gives you lemons make flux
Image
snesp mk4

User avatar
Sparkfist
Forum Administrator
Posts: 6754
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2004 7:12 am
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Post by Sparkfist » Wed Jul 20, 2005 3:40 pm

To help cut down on the posts and questions about how to open the SNES/N64/NES(carts), I made this thread a stickey.
vskid wrote:Nerd = likes school, does all their homework, dies if they don't get 100% on every assignment
Geek = likes technology, dies if the power goes out and his UPS dies too

I am a geek.

User avatar
rawls
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 11:34 am

Post by rawls » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:14 pm

I used a caribiner (those clip things mountain climbers use). I found a cheap one my work gave to me and popped the clip part out and the grooved part (along with a little downward force) got the screws out no problem.

Here is some pics:

Image

Image

User avatar
nos_slived
Higher Idiot
Posts: 3476
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:32 pm
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by nos_slived » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:25 pm

We should also have this in the N64 forum, because it comes up a lot there too.
Image

User avatar
Triton
Moderator
Posts: 7395
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 12:33 pm
360 GamerTag: triton199
Steam ID: triton199
Location: Iowa
Contact:

Post by Triton » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:47 pm

my method of choice in removing inverted torx screws (i think that is the more correct name, hex screws are shaped different) is to use medical hemostats such as this Image
what you do is grab the head of the screw and lock them and simply twist them out, its easy and doesnt damage the case, you can get these porbably from a hospital for free, they recycle them after use so just go and ask for one, they might give you one, or just give yu a funny look (these are also called a "roach clip" by certian types of people) i got several of these from a doctor friend so good luck
ImageImageImage
Visit us at Portablesofdoom.org

User avatar
xriverfalconx
Posts: 481
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 12:57 pm
Location: Vana'Diel - Titan Server
Contact:

Post by xriverfalconx » Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:52 pm

I just bought one of those cheap flat screwdrivers that are made for glasses and filed off the ends so it looks like so:

Image

Works like a charm on this and MANY other screws!

User avatar
usbcd36
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: Inside Samus's arm cannon [gulp]___ Gender: Male

Post by usbcd36 » Wed Jul 20, 2005 5:52 pm

As I said before,

usbcd36 wrote:I have actually found that many stores sell the tri-wing, so it's easy to find now, but the problem is really with the GameBit screws (as they're called). My personal favorite method is to take a file to a plain flat-head 'driver, or if you're hi-tech, find a "snake eyes" screwdriver that will fit around one pair of notches in the screw (if you don't know what that means, a "snake eyes" screw is commonly found in elevators, which my uncle works with occasionally, and has two square holes, one on either side. His favorite method is to clamp two 3/32 drill bits in a vicegrips and unscrew them that way, but that doesn't work if the screws are recessed.)


My GameBit screwdriver: Image

JackFrost22
Sir Posts-alot
Posts: 4186
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:10 pm

Post by JackFrost22 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 1:03 pm

I started writing a melted pen tutorial and even have pictures that will also be up on my site, Use the clear crystal BIC pens it takes a couple pens/trys to get a good mold, but I opended an N64 with the same pen all four screws.

User avatar
usbcd36
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: Inside Samus's arm cannon [gulp]___ Gender: Male

Post by usbcd36 » Mon Aug 01, 2005 3:02 pm

The N64 has 6 gamebit screws on the bottom.

User avatar
Sweebez
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:07 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Post by Sweebez » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:39 pm

i dropped hot solder in the screw hole, and it popped right open!
I didnt even have to touch it; it opened on its own.

To close it, i held it shut, and i put the tip of my soldering iron to the screw.
This essentially heated up the plastic around it, and when it cooled,
it was perfectly conformed!

User avatar
demonofaj
Portablizer Extraordinaire
Posts: 2553
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:52 pm
PSN Username: ajsen1gma
Steam ID: demonofaj
Location: NYC (718)
Contact:

Post by demonofaj » Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:30 pm

USBDCS, did you solder off the end or what?
"Life's a female of the dog species, then you die.."

Post Reply