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Why is my GameBoy Color spontaneously turning off during gameplay?

My GameBoy Color has an issue with spontaneously turning off during gameplay, regardless of which game I’m playing. There is no audio, no screen, no light that indicates the power is on when this happens. I’ll be playing a game, then suddenly there’ll be a *pwik* kind of sound (for lack of better words), and the system just shuts down.

Here’s what I’ve checked and know is NOT the problem:

  • Dust in the gamepak - I know because I tried the blowing trick for both the gamepak and the slot. No luck with resolving the issue.
  • Improperly inserted in the slot - I’ve tried taking the gamepak out and putting it back in, and double checking that it was inserted properly. Neither of these helped.
  • The gamepak itself - it works just fine on the spare GameBoy Color.
  • A bug/glitch in the game - I’ve double checked to see if certain actions/locations trigger the issue and does not seem to be the case.
  • Accidently switching power to off - I’m not that careless while playing games, and the switch is still in the on position each time I checked to make sure my hand didn’t slip and accidently slide the switch to off.
  • Batteries - I immediately changed the batteries after the first couple times of this happening, but doesn’t help the issue.

What could be causing this and how do I repair it myself?

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first! don’t blow into the cartridge or the slot on the GB. spit particles won’t do it well. use canned air or a qtip with alcohol on it.

second i’m not super familiar with gameboy circuitry but if you distinctly hear a popping noise that would lead me to believe it’s either an overheating component or a short happening.

one thing u can try is see if the battery prongs are maybe not pulled out enough to make a good connection to the batteries anymore. if they’re not making good contact that could be the issue. may want to try gently pulling they contacts out a bit and see if that helps.

if not your only other alternative would be to open the GB up and then try and turn it on and try to listen to where the popping comes from when it shuts down or get a thermal camera to find the spot.

post updates please!

EDIT:

have you tried using only the power cable and see if it does the same?

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No, the battery contacts were not the issue. I'm not sure what you mean by a power cable, mine doesn't have one.

What I *did* do is try out this big-brain idea of mine (not) and tried to clean the Gameboy Color just in case the issue was dirt/dust on the inside, and so of course the screen now no longer works - no idea how it happened, but there's just a blank or black screen now. When it's a black screen, sometimes there's a thin white line dividing the screen. The sound is fine, and when I put a game in, I can hear the normal game music, so the game itself is working fine. Not sure if the power would spontaneously shut off anymore or not... T^T

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@The Legend of Zelda try resetting the ribbon cable to fix the screen, also look at the pins on the motherboard where the ribbon seats also

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Try and replace the motherboard. That should help. That is the only other way you can try and fix it. All of the other troubleshooting methods didn't work, so, salvage another GBC motherboard and see if that works, if not, there's no way to fix it.

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The Legend of Zelda さん、ありがとうございました!
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