Sunday, May 03, 2009

Kendall breaks the Wii and I learn how to take it apart

A few days ago, our Wii staring making a loud noise when we tried to play games on disc. Downloaded games on the hard drive played fine, but anything put into the disc drive wouldn't work.

This trouble happened to coencide with the disappearance of the SD card we use for the Wii. I'd taken it out and laid it next to the system so we could look at pictures from our camping trip on the TV, but later I couldn't find it to put it back in. I might not have even connected the two, but Misty asked Kendall if she'd taken the card, and Kendall told her, "yes." When asked where she'd put it, Kendall pointed to the disc slot on the front of the Wii. I picked the system up and shook it gently, and I thought I could hear something moving around inside.

I called Nintendo and found out that they charge $85 for repairs and our Wii would be gone for about two weeks, so I wanted to see if I could fix the system myself. My warranty expired about a year ago, so I wasn't worried about voiding it by opening up the Wii.

When I went to do it though, I found several strange three-pronged screws that I couldn't remove. I turned to the Internet and watched a couple of tutorial videos on how to open up a Nintendo Wii and learned that I'd need a tri-wing screwdriver. Neither Home Depot, Lowe's, nor the little hardware store near my house carried such an item. A quick search on eBay turned up plenty though, and every one of them mentioned "Nintendo Wii / Nintendo DS" in the title, so obviously that's the main thing anyone wants such a screwdriver for. I ordered one for $2.45 (shipping included).

Yesterday was the big Wii surgery. I used my new tool, along with a Phillips-head screwdriver and a razor blade to disassemble the Wii, finally extracting the rogue SD card from inside the CD Rom drive. We made a video of the process, which even if you're not interested in the how-to aspect, you should watch to see Kendall's admission of guilt. Asked if she was ever going to do this again, Kendall replied, "yes." At least she's honest.

Wii Surgery - Opening Up a Nintendo Wii

If you just want to see the parts with the girls, watch the first 2 mintues, then skip to 10:23. We had to send them out of the room for most of the process because they were getting too rambunctious.

When the Wii was put back together, I ended up with one leftover screw, so obviously I'm not a tech expert. Still, having saved $82.55, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

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