The big Destructoid games hardware fixing thread


Report your hardware woes, and see if someone can help you out!

We’ve all experienced that sickening feeling when we’re geared up to dive right into our game of choice, and something goes pop. Or boom. Or flashes. Or whimpers. Games hardware, unfortunately, doesn’t last forever, and repairs or even full replacements can be necessary at times.

Yet we are all busy people, and we can’t always get our repairs sorted out straight away. Sometimes problems are more difficult than removing a couple of screws and nipping down to the local hardware store for a cheap replacement part. Sometimes the solution IS that easy, but we’re nervous about opening our pride and joy up, or we’re just a little bit shit at this sort of thing – nobody gives you a DIY aptitude manual on your 18th birthday, after all. Unless your dad is Ron Swanson. Finally, it might not even be a case of fixing something that’s definitively broken, but instead wondering if we’re missing a trick when trying to get a specific function to work.

And Destructoid’s strength is its community, right? So, why not put that force for good to work and discuss those niggling problems we’ve pushed to the back of our mind, or those big repairs that seem to be going nowhere? Let’s share our stories and lend each other a hand in the comments section! Who knows – you might save someone from replacing an entire unit or making a costly false move when trying to get something fixed.

To break the ice, I’ll share a few of the ongoing problems I havewith my weird menagerie of old-ish games consoles and what I’m trying to find the time to investigate. A lot of it could probably be solved with a cursory Google search, but hey, why not cut your teeth on something easy, commenters? Let’s go!

Busted thin PS2 CD drive

I am a bit of an idiot when it comes to buying retro or bordering-on-retro consoles, and sort of presume there are boxes upon boxes of them sitting unopened in a warehouse somewhere. As a result, I presume if they go bang in the night, I can just get myself a replacement – no need to spend money on one in good nick. So, when I realised it was going to be a big hassle to transport my beloved fat PS2 from the UK to Germany, I thought I’d get a thin one in “akzeptablerZustand” (acceptable condition), and use it for modding purposes when I finally got hold of old faithful.

Two problems: my fat PS2 is still very much sat stoically in place in my old bedroom in my parents’ house (not collecting dust, because my lovely mum knows her basic console maintenance); “acceptable condition” was quite a generous description. The thin PS2 worked fine for about two months, when suddenly, it went from playing Silent Hillbeautifully to refusing to load any CD-based games.

Now, this is not actually a deal-breaker for me. I have a PS3 – it sounded like it was about to take off when I ran Vib Ribbonon it using custom music a couple of weeks ago, but nonetheless, it plays PS1 games. I’m just curious as to how the CD drive could fail but not the DVD drive, and if there would be any way to patch it up. I like the idea of trying to get as much longevity out of my consoles as I can, and it would be a neat activity to try to get the CD drive working again. Particularly since the issue of voiding the warranty on a PS2 has long since evaporated.

Help! My strange Chinese capture card doesn’t work with my PS4!

And it should – that was how it was advertised, and apparently other users bought it specifically for their PS4, experiencing no problems.

OK, this thread is fast becoming a sorry tale of why Charlotte is a complete numpty for buying cheap shit, but when I needed to quickly capture some footage from my PSTV and had no money, I bought an Abox, instead of doing the honourable thing and ponying up the cash for an Elgato. I got a 1-to-2 HDMI splitter, connected everything together in a horrendous spaghetti-monster-like cluster of wires, stuck a memory stick into the side of the capture card, prayed to Shuhei Yoshida that nothing would set on fire, and away I went. And it actually worked! The HDCP had been successfully stripped, and some quite lovely 720p footage split into 2GB files went onto my memory stick.

In principle, I should have two options with my PS4: either switching off the HDCP on the PS4 itself and then directly connecting it to the capture card, or using the splitter route that works flawlessly with my PSTV and not switching off HDCP. (Note: it was actually a bit of a miracle that I got the right splitter for my PSTV, so if anyone is having any trouble with this, hit me up for suggestions.) Neither seem to work; I just get a black screen.

If anyone can think of a step I’m missing, or something obvious that I’ve overlooked, let me know! It’s not been a critical problem just yet, because you can record up to 60 minutes of footage straight onto your PS4 without the need for a capture card, but it could become a problem if I want to record longer gameplay sessions. Perhaps when I get a memory stick large enough to hold all the resulting files.

50 First Dates, but a Pokémon Yellowcartridge

I’ve told this story before in my lost save files article: my Pokémon Yellowcartridge is extremely forgetful. It will only run for about 10-15 minutes before it resets itself. I always presumed it was a dead battery? But thinking more about the problem and seeing people “abuse” dead game batteries for the purpose of speedrunning Pokémon games, I’m not sure that is the problem – having a dead game battery just stops you saving; it shouldn’t restart the game.

If it were a SNES or N64 cartridge, it would be worth just unscrewing it and giving it a thorough clean inside with rubbing alcohol, to see if that makes a difference. As it goes, Game Boy cartridges are a bit fiddlier. It might just be better to buy a new cartridge or play the game on an emulator, but I don’t want to give up on a game I’ve had for at least 17 years. Any pointers?

Countless scratched discs

This is a simple one to bow out on: I have a couple of discs that don’t work at all because they are so heavily scratched. Bizarrely enough, a game I bought off eBay – to be fair, for next to nothing – arrived in such a poor condition it won’t play at all, and the seller put a packet of Haribo in the case, as if that would make up for everything(?!). Luckily, it was Syberia, and the PS2 Classics version for the PS3 came to PS Plus not long after, so I didn’t miss out on a pretty decent adventure game.

Back in the UK, disc resurfacing services seem pretty commonplace at any games shop or library – or, at least they did when I was a child/teenager. In Germany, I have absolutely no idea where to go to get my discs fixed. It just doesn’t seem to be a thing anymore. I’ve heard of the old toothpaste trick, but I’m sceptical. If anyone has any home remedy tips on fixing scratched discs, I’d be happy to hear them, though I doubt anything is a real long-term solution.

If you have any ideas on how to fix my fairly elementary hardware problems, give me a shout in the comments down below! And, most important of all, don’t forget to share your own hardware issues and help out your fellow commenters. Happy fixing!