Nintendo Switch Cartridge Reader Not Working After Fan Replacement
Hello there. On January 2nd, 2023, I used the official iFixIt guide for how to replace a Nintendo Switch's fan. After following each step exactly and finally replacing my fan, I did the steps in reverse in order to reassemble my Switch. Upon booting the Switch up, I found the new fan to be working. However, I discovered that the Switch's Game Card Reader, Touchscreen, and Headphone Jack all ceased working. (To clarify, the card reader does not recognize inserted cartridges at all. It does not give me an error.)
It turns out I am not alone in experiencing this exact problem. Searching through the comments of the guide, and more specifically Steps 18 and 19 of the guide, I discovered this was a common occurrence: Disconnecting the game cartridge reader board from the digitizer cable and the motherboard cause the board to stop working, whether partially or entirely is inconclusive. Analyzing other's discussion of the problem has me believe it is the disconnecting of the ZIF cable that causes it. This issue has been documented since 2019 on this site and yet there was no mention of the danger doing this step posed.
So far, here is what I have done in attempt to solve the problem:
1) I have reconnected the board to the cable and motherboard at least three times. None of these attempts succeeded.^
2) As Arthur Shi suggested in February 2021, I reconnected the board and then disconnected the battery for at least five seconds. According to Shi, the idea was to "power cycle the Switch." This did not work. I additionally disconnected the battery overnight to no success.
3) I reinstalled the original fan into the Switch. This did not work.
^Some commenters on these steps have noted that "the reverse is tricky," implying the re-connection of the board has some addition step that is not listed. As far as I am aware, the digitizer cable is seated properly within the connector. It it not loose and I cannot see any bent or disturbed pins. The cable does not appear to be bent in any way. So, what am I missing?
To anyone who has successfully done a Nintendo Switch repair that required the disconnecting of the Game Cartridge Reader Board, how did you do it? How did you have the card reader, headphone jack, and touchscreen operational after the repair? I simply do not understand. If I need to buy a new cart reader board to have my Switch working fully again, then does that not mean that any guide with the step requiring you to disconnect the board does further damage to the system? Again, I am not the first person asking: Dozens of prospective Switch repairers have encountered this issue over the years. Without a documented "proper" way to the disconnect the board or a solution as how to reconnect it "correctly," more people will keep coming here discussing this exact issue over and over again. So I ask once again, what are we missing here?
Again, if you've done this repair successfully, please, please comment as how you did it. @craiglloyd, if you are reading this, how did you proper reconnect the board in your repairs? Any advice, answers, or solutions are appreciated.
Edit #1: As requested, this is an album of photos of my Switch. Please take a look and see if I missing anything. I will happily provide more photos if requested.
Edit #2: As my Switch is modded, I used Hekate to attempt a Touchscreen re-calibration. Hekate gave back an error of "The touchscreen calibration failed!" I believe this confirms then that my Switch does not see the Cartridge Reader Board at all, despite the cable being securely locked into the connector.