Gameboy Games Not Loading?

While most DMG Gameboys (Dot Matrix Gameboy) are still functioning a growing number have dead pixels or the game fails to load.

Displaying a scrambled Nintendo Logo

This particular unit had sticky residue inside the game slot, as a result all games crash or fail to boot.
My goal is to gain access to the game slot connector and clean it. Before attempting this method try cleaning the game cartridges first.

Let's get started

1.  The Gameboy shell is held together by 6 TriWing Screws. You'll need a special tri-wing tool to remove these. Some early production gameboys have standard phillips screws.

2. After removing all 6 screws SLOWLY pry apart the two halves. Pay close attention to the photo below. A short data ribbon holds the two sections together. Gently pull the ribbon out of the connector before moving to step 3.

3. Next we need to remove the two screws (illustrated as red dots) below and slowly lift the back board from the case.

 4. Carefully lift the board to gain access to the game cartridge connector.

5. This process may look barbaric but cleaning 28 year old connectors requires scrubbing. I simply dipped the toothbrush is electronics cleaner and scrubbed away the dirt. For stubborn corrosion some report great success with paste made from baking soda and water.

It may take several passes to completely clean the connector, make sure all parts are dry BEFORE reassembly.

To reassemble the gameboy simple follow the steps in reverse order.

Clean all your games before inserting them into this newly cleaned connector.


  1. This blog is BOMB! Very helpful.

  2. What's a good 'electronics cleaner' to use?

  3. Just what my DMG needed. I used 95% pure alcohol with great results. Thanks!