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Nintendo’s first major revision of the 3DS released to Japan in October of 2014 and to North America in September of 2015. The 2015 3DS introduces improved 3D capabilities, a C-Stick, and a new set of trigger buttons.

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Dropped water on 3DS and now I have sound but no image or controls

Hello folks!

Today the day started a bit badly.

A water bottle that was in my backpack, where I also had my 3DS, was not closed properly and it started leaking.

The 3DS was placed with its right side (the side with the joystick and card reader) to the bottom of the bag, and this is where it got wet. I immediately wiped the water and dried it with a hair blower.

I emptied my bag and started drying stuff up, and it was still functioning. By the time it took me to finish and I got back to it it had a black screen with an error message on it, saying something along the lines of "An error has occurred. Please power off and power on again and if the problem persists contact support"

Since I was at a friend's home at that time and he didn't have the tools available to open it up and try and dry it on the inside, and since we had to go on a trip, I did something that I would never actually do: I placed it in a bag of rice.

It was left there for the duration of the trip and when we got back I turned it on again.

Now It boots up, with the blue and the wireless LEDs lightning up and I can hear the main menu sound but I have no image in neither screen and the controls do not sound like they work (they did work though while booting because I managed to enter into debug mode, even though I still had no image).

TL;DR I dropped water on my 3DS, I got a black 'Error' screen after a few minutes, I placed it in rice for the better part of the day, due to lack of any alternatives, and now it boots, the blue and wireless LEDs work, I have sound but I have no image and controls.

You think it's fixable? Any suggestions to try for myself?

If I get it to service can they fix it WITHOUT having to change the firmware version?


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Solución Elegida

Hi @cloisterblack

As you know water and electronics and electricity are not a good mix.

The water causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the device's operating design and could damage the components.

Rice is good to eat but does nothing to fix the problems caused by corrosion.

Don't Put Your Device in Rice. Here's Why

First do not turn on your device and then you need to with the device turned off, remove the battery as soon as possible from the device to minimize further damage.''

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of it and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 90%+ (available at most pharmacies) to remove all traces of corrosion and water. Do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is only 70% or less, can contain scents and is not as effective. If you do check the label to verify the amount of IPA

Here is a link that describes the process.

Electronics Water Damage

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted PCBs be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board.

Hopefully after you have done all this it might possibly work correctly again.

Here is a link to the ifixit guide(s) for repairing your game device.

3DS 2015 Repair

If this process seems too daunting, take your device to a reputable, professional electronics repair service experienced in liquid damage repair and ask for a quote for a repair. If you decide to do this, do it sooner than later.

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Thank a lot!

I wish I knew about removing the power source immediately after the accident! I was doing the exact opposite, pretty much. Ouch.

As for the rice, I know it's useless, but at that time I was kinda desperate and thought I had nothing to lose since I could not do anything else :D.

I would love to open the thing up myself and clean it up but unfortunately I have no screwdriver for the SD card mechanism screws.

I have contacted service but realistically, they won't have the device until tomorrow (best case scenario). I hope the fact that it was mineral water with a ph of 7.6 to at least work favourably :/

- de

Hi @cloisterblack ,

Unfortunately "mineral" water might contain more naturally occurring elements that conduct electricity than perhaps the water from a household tap.

Distilled water is the only form of water that does not conduct electricity.

You can only hope that the air drying that you did had the desired effect of evaporating most of it and that serious component damage did not occur.

Fingers crossed.

- de

I had a smoothie with my 3ds in a bag aswell and it manage to spill everything still works the only thing that bothers me is that the top screen has a weird tint it looks like the colors are inverted or somtheing this happened a while back and I’m not sure what to do any suggestions??

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