I (unfortunately) like to try to fix things by myself.

Not really my hard drive, but might as well be!

It’s been a while since my last update. Right before the lunar new year my computer went into a tizzy and decided it wasn’t going to boot anymore. (This was when I was in the process of copying all the important files onto my wife’s ipod so that I could format the thing as the computer had been acting up all week.) Well suddenly the computer shut off by itself and wouldn’t boot. It said that there was no boot.ini file. Previous IT experience told me that all I needed was a boot disk to boot up the computer, continue removing my files, then reformat the thing.


So, as we traveled to Jindo for lunar new year, we made a stop in Gwangju at her sister’s house. There I made my boot disk. The problem lingered on and on in my mind for the entirety of the Lunar New Year holiday. When we got back to Seoul, I popped my boot disk into the computer and… and… and…?

And it still wouldn’t boot. I figured that I had made the boot disk incorrectly and decided to take it to a professional.

Today I took it to the same place that has fixed my backlight 3 times since I have been in Korea (once for free because it broke so quickly after I had had it replaced.). Immediately the guy working there said my hard drive was broken. He could tell from the sound. If I had known that from the beginning I wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of worrying about how I am going to re install the OS AND get my files out. I got a new hard drive installed.

Luckily for me he said that I could still be able to get the files off of there by taking it to a data recovery center. They will basically take apart my old hard drive and put it in some new casing and attempt to remove the important files and burn them to a DVD for me. I hope that they can do that. I’ll find out tomorrow.

Not my DS ( I have a DS lite) but this is kind of what the problem was like.

While I was waiting for my new HD to be installed, I decided to try and tackle another problem, since I was in the Electronics district. My Nintendo DS had a screen with blotches on it, because the machine was dropped by a running toddler, cracking the top screen.

At first, the screen had some tiny blotches along the crack, and was still playable.  By today (months later)the blotch took up the entire upper left sixth of the screen and was growing.  Games were still playable provided no reading was required.  Today I decided I was finally going to get it fixed.

I got several quotes from game stores for the cost of fixing the screen.  The cheapest was about 90 bucks.  A new DS lite is probably $150.  There was no way I was going to spend more than half of the cost of a new one to repair my old one.  So, I bought only the screen for $25, and a special screwdriver to remove screws that were made specifically so that they would be hard to remove ($3).

When I got home I started to reinstall my English OS on my computer and get to work on fixing my DS (without the benefit of any tutorials).

I’d done this kind of thing before, with no tutorials, fixing  buttons on my Super Nintendo controllers, replacing the pins on my NES, etc.  Back then my house was messy and I often lost screws in the shag carpet that my house had.  The result was that my things always got fixed to working order, but they looked a little incomplete.  I remember my NES actually had no grey top half by the time we were done playing it regularly.

Anyhow, I began to take out all the screws in the bottom portion of the DS (because I figured that his is where the motherboard was housed.  Removing the bottom part was not at all difficult, and I could see exactly where the top screen connects to the mother board. So I removed that part, then got to work on opening the top part.

As I got the top part off I made a disappointing discovery.

The DS lite’s speakers are soldered to the top screen.

It makes sense now that I think about it, to have as few wires as possible coming from the bottom part to the top part.  The speakers get their signals and power from the cable that connects the screen to the motherboard.

I was far too into the process to turn back now.  I decided that since I don’t have a soldering iron, I’d replace the screen only and save the speakers for another time that will probably never come… that or I will cannibalize a broken DS, that still has a functioning top screen.

So… I put everything back together and…and..


It works.  Sound is still available with earphones, which I tend to use anyway.




5 Responses to “I (unfortunately) like to try to fix things by myself.”

  1. Local Search and Find…

    Local Search and Find…

  2. ah, sigh… i know what you mean about fixing things……. ugh… man…. the last 2 weeks have really emptied my wallet >_<

    those screwdrivers for DS are great, i bought one from HK and fixed my DS (the L button) as well as a few other peoples DS'

  3. HOLY COW. you know. this response has NOTHING to do with your post. but i had just logged onto yahoo instant messenger. something that i RARELY do. and i’m like yuginishuge- who the heck is this person? why is this person on my contact? beside your username… it had a link directing me to your blog here. anyhow, thats how i ended up stumbling on your blog…

    and like holy cow. your married?! like wow. congrats man…

    • Heh. Glad to see you again. I still find a little time for Yellowworld now and then. How about you?

      • nothing against that site. but while i do drop by a few times every now and than, i feel i dont really connect that well on there anymore when it comes to the so called “asian american” general population participating on there. i perhaps lurk more than participate. i like participating on igoo more. its more korean centered and koreans participating on there instead.

        of course, no need to spread my thoughts around. as i find yw to still be a respectful site, non the less…

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