Original Post

I bought a VB last year with four games, had some fun with it, and just got back into it. I soldered an AC adapter into the battery pack so I don’t have to mess with batteries, and I just bought Mario Clash. But, of course, all of a sudden my VB is acting up. It gets horizontal lines from time to time and has that dim mirror image on one eye piece. Since I see no mention of a fix for the mirror image on the eye piece in this forum, should I even bother trying to keep my VB working? I could just go buy another VB, but then how long until it starts dying? It kind of seems to me like with all the malfunctions happening with the systems, that are now ten years old, maybe it’s time to just let the system go. It’s obviously not built very well and almost impossible to fix.

18 Replies

I see your point. Personally, I think we should re-make the virtual boy since nintendo don’t seem to want to.
I disagree with you saying the virtual boy was badly made, though. I think it is a good piece of workmanship in both design and efficiency. I’ve only had my vb for a few months but it still works perfectly. You have to consider the experimental nature of the console as well. I mean, it is pretty impressive that they even managed to last this long without messing up…


How can ANY video game be considered efficient? It’s not like you are producing anything with it. But, I still get your point. It could have been designed a little better as far as ergonomics though. Mainly with the stand. After playing for a while (2-3 hours) I feel like I just walked out of a SLAYER concert. My self made Lamp-O-Tron solves that.

Try to remember that pretty much any VB that you buy is in used condition. Even if it wasn’t played with much, there is no telling how often it may have been dropped or thrown around before it reached your hands. You could just do like I do and own 4 VB units. If one dies, I’ll try and fix it. If I can’t, then I have 3 back ups πŸ™‚

I meant that its efficient in terms of power consumption. I play my VB atleast once a day and I change the batteries monthly. I think thats quite impressive.
I agree that the stand is pretty poor, but the VB wasn’t intentionally designed that way, was it? Isn’t it true that they only made the stand because they thought people would walk into things if it was strapped onto the head?
Lamp-O-Tron’s look pretty cool. Unfortunately, I’m a complete retard and can’t make one for myself. I did make a headstrap today though. Its pretty cool but it does make me feel really dizzy and nauseous. Especially if I move my head. Is this normal? I hope I can get over it, because Red Alarm looks damn good when playing it with a headstrap…

Well what’s to stop a second Virtual Boy I buy from dying on me? I took good care of my current one, and all of a sudden it stopped working well. I just don’t see the point in buying more virtual boys when all they seem to do is break after a while.

It seems to me like you just have bad luck when it comes to the virtual boy. My first Vb I bought a couple of years ago still works. Since then I got three more and they all work.

Just treat your virtual boy with care ^_^

If you’re able to open the VB up, I can tell you how to fix the display… otherwise if you’re in the US and want to mail it to me, I can fix it for $30 plus actual return shipping, and I’ll offer a 90 day warranty (cheaper/better than Nintendo when they were repairing, and now they’ve stopped repairing VBs πŸ™ ). I’ve repaired about 8 displays so far, and they’re all still holding up after several months (I’ve got 9 months on my personal VB), and I personally think it should last at least a few more years.

For those wondering, I’m working on an article for repairing these on my website, so once I get my webspace back, this will be in the grand reopening πŸ˜‰ . I’ve also been considering offering the repair service on ebay, since everyone seems to be having the problem, and more and more people are actually worried about buying a VB and having it crap out on them, so if they could get their display refurbished for about the same and maybe even less than the cost of another system (which might die right after they get it), people might find it worth it… what do you guys think?


Only if you do ours for free. πŸ˜›

But yeah, people may be willing to pay cash to have their unusable VBs repaired.
…But then again, if they sell them cheap because they think they’re faulty, more reason to buy them, fix them and resell them at a profit. πŸ˜‰

Yeah, but not many people really list “broken” VBs. Some do, but I’d think that most people just throw them away and either buy another or sell their games off.

The Ebay repair idea is not a bad one, DogP. But, people may not be willing to trust you with it. They may think it’s some sort of scam or something. Not everyone knows you are trustworthy. All you can do is try.


I think that’s an awesome idea dogp. and as for ppl trusting you with their vb, well That’s why ebay has feedback forums.
besides if you can’t trust strangers you meet on the internet WHO can you trust these days?!?

jk on that last part, really but awesome idea. I say go for it.

Heheh… yeah, I’ve been thinking about it… obviously I’d be making a little bit of money doing it, but of course I’m not really looking to get rich. I just kinda figured nobody else offers a service like this, and it could turn out to be a worthwhile offering. I do a lot of stuff with arcade machines, and there are a lot of people that do similar things for arcade PCBs and stuff, so I figured it’s worth a try. Here’s what I was thinking:

$15 fee for opening the VB, plus $15 to fix one display, $25 to fix both (total $30 for one, $40 for both)… this includes a replacement display if the display is unrepairable (but the problem must be the flickery LED). I won’t work on previously hacked/messed with systems… if I open the system up and see that it’s been messed with, I’ll close it up and send it back refunding the display fee (I don’t mind if someone opened it, but if the wires are kinked/broken, obviously someone was already in there and screwed it up). I’d suggest them shipping the game to me before paying, then they know what return shipping will be, and can add the exact price to the repair cost, otherwise shipping anywhere in the US will be $10. Only the headset needs to be shipped, no accessories or extra parts are needed/wanted.

The display(s) would be warranteed for 90 days from date of repair… after 90 days if the system breaks again, the VB opening fee would be waived (even if it’s for the other display). Although other problems w/ the VB are rare, I will also note that I offer other repairs. Typical turn-around times would be less than 1 week.

I figured I’d make some unique marks in several locations and log them in a spreadsheet to make sure people couldn’t cheat the system by swapping the serial number plate on the bottom, or open it and swap displays, etc. I was also thinking of a warranty void if seal broken sticker with my site logo and address, along with the date and display fixed. Then if someone goes to sell it, they can say that the display was repaired on whatever date, and the system carries the warranty/reduced repair fee.

Any other suggestions? Anything you don’t like about my plan? I’ll probably list the service on ebay this weekend and see if anyone shows any interest.


This is a great idea!

What about mods? For example, converting the link-port to RJ-45.

You could also find a source for some phillips-head screws that will replace the security ones, and offer a set of them for a small, additional fee, or as a separate “repair-less” service for those that just want to be able to open and close their VB w/out making a screwdriver.

I hope it turns out well for you!


I’ve actually replaced my screws with phillips heads. Problem is I can’t remember what size they were. They came in some large pack, either 20, 50 or 100. Got them at the local hardware shop so they should be easily available.
I’ll have to try and find the box they came in…

Yeah, I was thinking about offering some other mods, but I haven’t really thought of any that are worth doing… I figure most of the people that actually care about the mods can probably do it themselves πŸ˜‰ . And I also considered the screw replacement option, but then I remembered why I’m having to open it, and not them… because they don’t have a security bit, and I don’t want them messing around in there damaging the fragile LED bar cable πŸ˜› . I also replaced my screws with phillips head screws, but none of the places around me had the right length, so I had to grind off the tips to make them work.


Do you just use the method of wrapping electrical tape around the connection from the ribbon to the circuit board to fix them? I don’t think my displays themselves are bad, because the dim reverse image on mine comes and goes with the lines, it’s not constant. I just tried a new game in mine after letting it unused for weeks, and it works well now.

Actually, I’m using a heat method now, and it seems to be working better than the other few ways I’ve tried. I’ll get the whole document uploaded once I get my webspace back though.


I’ve got two broken VBs and a friend of mine has a broken one. This would definitely be something I’m interested in, if you were to set up a store or something. Maybe it’ll last another ten years after it’s fixed.

BTW, I listed the service on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=8242316325&rd=1&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&rd=1 . I’m not sure whether anyone will buy it, but I guess we’ll find out.

Ryu: if you’d like me to repair them for you, send me an email: DogP@comcast.net … shipping 3 at a time would probably save quite a bit on shipping, and I’ll do both screens on all of them for $15 per system if you want to be my Guinea Pig.


Hello everyone. I know there are pros and cons to changing the screws, but this is the perfect replacement screw for anybody interested. I keep them in my personal use V.B. for easy access.

Pan Head – Phillips
4 x 1/2

Hope it saves some trouble.


Write a reply

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.