NDS:Screen Replacement

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NTR 001 Screen replacement

This is a guide for replacing the screens on an original NTR 001 (fat) Nintendo DS. The top and bottom screens are identical parts except that the bottom screen has a digitizer attached to the front of it. They can be obtained separately.

Materials Needed

  • tri-wing screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Replacement screen Ebay



  • Pry tool (recommended)
  • Tweezers


Video teardown available on The Retro Future's channel on YouTube

Replacing both screens

If only replacing the top screen, skip to step 14.

  1. Unscrew the Phillips-head screw on the battery cover on the bottom of the lower half of the system.
  2. Remove the battery. There is a gap on the GBA slot side to grab it from.
  3. Unscrew the 7 tri-wing screws. Two are in the battery compartment, one is in the GBA slot, 2 are on the hinge side, and two are on the side opposite the battery.
  4. Unscrew the 4 Phillips-head screws. There is one in the DS cartridge slot, one on either side of the cartridge slots and one under the Nintendo logo.
  5. Unplug the single black wire to the left of the DS cartridge slot by simply lifting up on it gently.
  6. Unplug the two wide ribbon cables by lifting up on the black portion then pulling the cable straight out.
  7. Unplug the 2 smaller ribbon cables that were underneath the larger one by pushing the black tab underneath the cables in the direction of the cable with either tweezers or a screwdriver. (Be careful not to rip the cable. If it does not pull free easily, try pushing the black tab out further.)
  8. The motherboard should not lift out without much force.
  9. The buttons and triggers should be removed as they are loose and likely to fall out later otherwise.
  10. Peel back the black foam on the corner that the ribbon cable passes beneath it.
  11. Pull up on the ribbon cable slowly as it is glued to the bottom screen.
  12. Lift up on the ribbon cable and unscrew the Phillips-head screw beneath.
  13. If you are replacing the touch screen, pull up on it gently and it should come out. It is glued in but the glue is not particularly strong.
  14. Use a pry tool or small flat head screwdriver to pry up on the four rubber screw cover surrounding the top screen.
  15. Unscrew the four Phillips-head screws you just revealed.
  16. Use a pry tool or small flat head screwdriver to pry open the top plastic portion of the shell, moving slowly around the length of the seam.. Go slowly and be gentle, the plastic tabs can be fragile.
  17. Unscrew the Phillips-head screws holding in both of the boards.
  18. Pry up on the screen until it lifts out.
  19. Remove both boards along with the screen and thin, pale spacer shim.
  20. Unplug the top screen the same way you unplugged the bottom screen, lifting up on the black locking tab and pushing out on the smaller locking tabs.


If you are only changing the touch screen jump to number 6

  1. Plug the new top screen into the same port you just unplugged the previous one from.
  2. Install the screen back into the shell with the spacer shim on the hinge side. The slotted side of the shim should be on the right(relative to the hinge being below it) to allow the ribbon cable to route through the slot.
  3. Screw both boards back in.
  4. Click the two halves of the top case together and screw them back together with the 4 Phillips-head screws.
  5. Reattach the rubber screw covers.
  6. Install the lower screen with digitizer attached.
  7. Run the ribbon cable under the foam corner.
  8. Install all the buttons.
  9. Insert the motherboard routing all the cables through the appropriate holes.
  10. Plug in all four ribbon cables and close all the black locking tabs.
  11. Plug back in the black antenna cable routing the wire around the screw hole to the left of the DS cartridge slot.
  12. Screw in the four Phillips-head screws on the board.
  13. Reattach the back cover and screw in the tri-wing screws.
  14. Insert the battery and screw on the battery cover.