My aunt gave me her old nes, it was really dirty. I opened it up, cleaned it really good, cleaned the games too. I had to get a new power pack and av cables for it. I plugged everything into my TV (had to plug it into a mini av to hdmi adaptor) every game I test it with gives me the red blinking light, than when I press reset a image pops up, but there's random white bars going down the screen. I've done some research and I think it's the 72 pin connector, but I've looked at it and none of the pins are connecting. I also have trouble with the nes loading without controllers, whitch is odd because the nes has to have a controller in it to load properly.

UPDATE I put in a different 72 pin connector out of a old nes, I'm still having the same problem. I think both pins have been pushed down after games have been left to sit for too long. Would Boling fix that? Or should I just buy a new pair off amazon?


2 Answers 2


The most common failure of the NES is the 72-pin connector. In short, the pins get bent "open" from the cartridges in the slot after much use and stop making good contact. The blinking power light is the symptom you'd see. Many people felt that blowing in the cartridge would help, but it rarely did anything to help as it was more the re-insertion that would do the trick (but also had the downside of getting the cartridge contacts dirty from the moisture). Best way to help avoid this problem is to not leave games in the NES when you're not playing them.

For what it's worth, the machine wasn't "working" when you pressed reset; you were just observing what the machine does when the reset line is pulled. However, it had some value in that it did demonstrate that the machine could display some kind of image since the bars is what you'd expect. But, I would feel that the blinking power light is more indicative of a somewhat healthy NES since it is a status indication of some sort.

It seems that you've come to the conclusion that the 72-pin connector is worn out, but instead of ripping it from another you could buy a new one from Amazon instead. Good soldering skills will be required!

  • 2
    The blinking power light is the error state when the 10NES region/authorising lockout chip fails to authenticate the cartridge. A likely reason for this is, again, the 72-pin connector. Part of the reason this is such an issue is because of the NES's unconventional means of loading games actually putting a lot MORE force on the connector than Nintendo expected. I might be wrong, but I believe it's possible to bend the pins back down so that they're almost touching the others, and you'll likely find it much improved.
    – Muzer
    Nov 29, 2016 at 13:49
  • I'll buy one if my spare 72 pin at home dosent work, I pulled it from a water damaged nes one of my buddies gave me. The pins didn't looked bent when I pulled it so we will see.
    – Justin
    Nov 29, 2016 at 13:54
  • @Justin Alternately, if the connector isn't too bad, sometimes just disabling the 10NES chip is enough to get everything working since its the bit that's most sensitive to a weak cartridge connection. Basically you just need to cut pin 4 on the chip marked 'CIC' on the NES motherboard, but you can find detailed instructions here link
    – mnem
    Dec 3, 2016 at 18:18
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    @mnem: If the power light on an NES doesn't blink when powered on without a cartridge, would that be indicative of a bad 10NES chip?
    – supercat
    Dec 8, 2021 at 23:23

I've been working on it. Cleaned the pins and games another time. Plugged in the nes with the case opened, was still getting the lines. I pushed on the game a little and it all went away, worked perfectly fine. I think someone left a game in the nes for too long and it pushed the pins down, I have a spare at home I'll put in next weekend.

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