Introduction: How to Disassemble a Game Boy (DMG)
- Triwing Screwdriver For the Main Housing*
- Philips head screwdriver
* Note that older revisions of the Game Boy have Philips head screws.
Step 1: Outter Screw Removal
There are six screws holding the main housing together. Four exposed screws, and two inside the battery compartment.
Begin removing the screws. We highly recommend putting the screws in a tin, or to a magnet to avoid losing them.
Step 2: Ribbon Cable
There are four separate PCBs in the Game Boy.
Attached to the front shell, is a PCB for the LCD screen. On the back shell, there the motherboard, along with the power regulator and the headphone filter board.
You will need to detach the LCD circuit board from the back shell before removing the PCBs from the housing. It is connected with a big white ribbon cable in a socket.
This socket has no latches, so you simply just need to pull the ribbon cable out to remove it. Keep in mind that all later Game Boys from the Game Boy Pocket and onward have a latching socket for the LCD's ribbon cable which needs to be released before you can remove it.
Unlike some ribbon cables that use stranded wire that allow for lots of bending and movement, this ribbon cable is solid metal. Too much bending may damage the cable, resulting in a non-functioning Game Boy. Do not be too overly concerned about this, but use care when removing the ribbon cable.
Step 3: Removing the Motherboard
On the back shell, there is two Philips screws through the cartridge slot that hold the motherboard in place.
Below, there are two screws through the headphone jack holding the audio filter board in place.
The power regulator board is held in by friction. No screws are required for removable, but be careful not to bend the wires too much, as their orientation is crucial for a comfortable fit.
Step 4: Removing the Shield
There is a plastic piece for the power switch that can now be removed.
If necessary, there is a metal shield behind the motherboard, held in by 4 screws that can now be removed.
Step 5: Removing Battery Contacts
To remove the battery contacts, bend the clip holding them in place, and they can be removed.
You will likely need to clean the battery contacts, you can easily remove corrosion by submerging them in white vinegar. Our battery clips were highly corroded and needed to be replaced.
Optionally, you can buy a brand new set from ASM Retro for $2.00: http://asmretro.com/dmg-battery-contact
Step 6: Removing the LCD Circuit Board
Before removing the LCD, we recommend adding a piece of painters tape to secure the speaker to the PCB to avoid ripping out the wires.
The front LCD circuit board has several more Philips head screws that need to be removed.
The LCD is supposed to be adhered to the plastic shell, but the glue is generally dried up and will remove with ease. If it does not remove with ease, carefully pry the LCD up from the plastic. Optionally, if the screen cover is detached, you can push on the LCD from the outside. This is more often an issue with the "Play It Loud" series Game Boys as they are newer and sometimes have the adhesive still intact.
Step 7: LCD Screws
If you intend on doing any LCD modifications, you will need to remove the final two screws over the LCD's ribbon cable. You will need a smaller Philips head screwdriver to remove these.
These screws are threaded directly into the PCB, not the plastic supports from the LCD's frame, as these act solely as spacers.
Step 8: Screen Cover
If it hasn't already fallen off, you can now remove the screen cover by pushing it out from the back. If you intend on replacing it, remove all of the dried glue from the shell. You can purchase replacement screen covers at http://asmretro.com or if you would like to use a genuine one, you can purchase a brand new piece of pre-cut adhesive to reattach yours! http://asmretro.com/screen-cover-adhesive