Introduction: NES Cartridge Hard Drive and Console Dock

In this guide, you'll learn how to create hard drive and docking station using an NES cartridge and console. Please vote for us in the "Hack It" contest!

Also, Special Thanks to Dan at for allowing me to use the pictures of the NES console disessembly! Check out his site as well, he has tons of retro video games and different guides for old school games!

Visit our Blog!

ike us on FaceBook!

ubscribe to us on YouTube!

Follow us on Twitter!

Check out our Store!

Tools Needed:

Phillipshead screw driver
USB to SATA cable
USB Extension Cable 
NES Catridge
NES Console
Dremel and/or razor blade/shears
Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: Cartridge Disassembly

First, identify the type of NES cartridge you have and acquire the appropriate screwdriver. One variation uses five flathead screws to hold the cartridge together, while the other variant uses three 3.8mm gamebit screws as well as two plastic tabs.

Now, remove the screws using the correct tools based on your cartridge type. Once the screws are removed, the cartridge can then be easily halved. After the housing has been dismantled, remove and discard of the game's motherboard as this will not be needed.

Step 2: Console Disassembly

For this step, you don't need to take the console fully apart. The top casing just needs to be removed in order to add the SATA adapter to the console. 

There are 6 screws on the bottom of the console that need to be removed (first picture). Once those are removed, the TOP casing can then be lifted from the bottom after flipping the console over.

You now need to remove the 7 screws that hold the RF shield (silver plate) to the cartridge holder (second picture). After those are removed, you can then lift the silver cover off the console.

Special Thanks to for allowing me to use the two pictures of the console!

Step 3: Preparing the Cartridge

Now, you need to do some modification to the NES cartridge in order for the 2.5" 9mm hard drive to fit.

First, remove the screw thread located in the center of the cartridge. I heated up the thread and used a razor blade and dremel to cleanly remove the thread.

After that, you then need to remove PART of the horizontal beam on the front of the cartridge. It needs to be cut far enough that the hard drive fits in it perfectly. You can then use super glue to hold the hard drive in place. 

Once you finish that, put the cartridge back together with the screws.

Step 4: Preparing the Console

The goal of this step is to place the SATA adapter in the cartridge reader so that the hard drive slides onto it when placed inside the console. To achieve this, you need to cut part of the 72 pin connector away to make room for the SATA adapter. Reference the pictures in this step to understand how to do this.

Once you've cut out enough room for the adapter, use a hot glue gun to properly hold it into place. We then used a USB extension cable and ran it throughout the casing of the console and exited through the video RCA port. We used shears to cut away the port and leave a gap for the cable.

Step 5: Final Result

Hack It! Contest

Participated in the
Hack It! Contest